Getting to Galway, Ireland – Travel Advice for delegates attending IEEE Games, Entertainment & Media Conference, 15th-17th August 2018

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This blog article will help you chose how to arrive in Ireland and make your way to Galway in the West of Ireland for the IEEE GEM conference. I’ll cover a couple of different topics which should help answer the following questions you may have: (i) Which airport in Ireland should I arrive at?; (ii) Should I hire a car?; (iii) What happens when I arrive in Galway?; (iv) How do I get a good deal on flights into Ireland in August?

I hope you find this information helpful when planning your trip to Ireland this Summer and if you have further questions please feel free to contact me directly at dr.peter.corcoran@ieee.org.

Arriving into Ireland – Which Airport?

Dublin Airport

Delegates are recommended to fly into Dublin Airport (DUB) where there are coach services with citylink or gobus every 30 minutes to the centre of Galway. These are comfortable modern coaches with onboard WiFi and the coach station is a 2-5 minute walk from most hotels. There is a wide selection of direct flights from US, UK, Canada, Middle East, and a more limited selection of direct flights from Asia. Dublin connects with all the major European hubs and many smaller airports across the UK & Europe.

Shannon Airport

While Shannon provides a more limited range of connections it is closer to Galway for those intending to hire a car. There are direct flights from US, UK, Canada, Middle-East and Europe although the choice is more limited.

Knock (Ireland West) Airport

This is also closer to Galway and you can find a bus connection with Bus Eireann – although the connections won’t be as frequent as form Dublin. The choice of connections is mostly limited to UK and Spain/France.

Should I hire a car?

If you only intend to visit Galway town then you will not need a car. The University is a 10-15 minute walk from downtown and you can use the online taxi service MyTaxi to hail a cab from your iPhone or Android smartphone. And you can find out about public transport in Galway town here.

If you did want to see more of Ireland then hiring a car will allow you to explore the Wild Atlantic Way – a 2,500 km drive along the entire Western seaboard of Ireland – although you don’t have to drive all of it! Galway is situated near the mid-point so you can explore to the North or South as suits your available time & itinerary. You can find my ‘Star Wars’ publicity video, shown at ICCE 2018 here.

Arriving into Galway …

Coach Services from Dublin

The coach station is just off Eyre Square – there are many hotels and hostels locate here and this is also the focal point for much of Galway’s nightlife. (I’ll cover accommodation & in a later post). You can easily find a taxi on Eyre Square and most hotels and the conference venue at the Alice Perry Engineering building on the University North campus are only a short cab ride away. The building is named after Alice Perry – the first woman in the UK or Ireland to earn a degree in engineering!

By Road from Shannon

Getting from Shannon Airport to Galway is mostly by motorway. Drive North along the N18 until you reach the junction with the M6 and you’ll arrive in Galway in just over an hour. Here is the route on Google Maps from Shannon Airport (SNN) to the Engineering Building at National University of Ireland Galway.

Flights to Ireland in August

As August is a busy month it is probably a good idea to consider booking flights to Ireland as early as possible. From most European destinations you can find good deals from Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) and Aer Lingus (www.aerlingus.com).

Below are some links to the skyscanner.com website with best prices for a 6-8 night trip from a selection of destinations in US & Canada, searched on Feb 17th. You can make a new search by clicking on the links and adjust the dates as needed.

From US:

From Canada:

Thats all for now folks – I hope you found some of it useful!

Peter Corcoran, Conference Chair IEEE GEM 2018