On the Cool List: Galway ‘one of world’s must-see destinations’ for 2020

National Geographic Traveller says city is ‘perfect fit’ as European Capital of Culture

Galway: ‘at once like a global cultural crossroads and an intimate after-party’. Photograph: iStock/Getty

Galway: ‘at once like a global cultural crossroads and an intimate after-party’. Photograph: iStock/Getty

 

Galway has been named one of the world’s 20 must-see destinations in National Geographic Traveller’s Cool List 2020.

The magazine says that the city feels “at once like a global cultural crossroads and an intimate after-party” and is a “perfect fit” as this year’s European Capital of Culture, with its location on the Wild Atlantic Way and a programme of events designed to sync with old Celtic festivals such as Bealtaine (May Day) and Samhain (Halloween).

National Geographic Traveller notes that annual art, film, theatre and street events would also feed into the Galway 2020 spirit. “Galway’s trick is to effortlessly squeeze big-city sensibility and college craic into small-town streets,” it says.

The magazine’s editor, Pat Riddell, says the Cool List provided plenty of inspiration close to home. “Considering how, where and why we choose to travel is an ethos now firmly in the public consciousness. Exploring the world this decade means doing so responsibly and with purpose: tour slowly, spend locally and show support.”

The National Geographic recommendation is the second big international endorsement of Galway as a tourist destination for 2020. Last October it was named one of the world’s top cities for travellers by Lonely Planet, which described Galway as “arguably Ireland’s most engaging city” where “brightly painted pubs heave with live music” and “cafes offer front-row seats to watch buskers perform”.

 

National Geographic Traveller’s Cool List 2020

  1. Namibia
  2. Baja California
  3. Lebanon
  4. Cumbria
  5. Slovenia
  6. Wales
  7. Panama
  8. Brisbane
  9. Salt Lake City
  10. Yerevan
  11. Lyons
  12. Ethiopia
  13. Cairo
  14. Los Angeles
  15. Puerto Rico
  16. Pakistan
  17. Galway
  18. Vietnam
  19. Tel Aviv
  20. Rio de Janeiro