Galway City is being hailed as an “artsy enclave” by CNN Travel

Galway has been named one of the 20 best places to visit in 2020 by CNN Travel, joining other international locations such as Jamaica, Wyoming, and Denmark.

The latest distinction for the charming city on the Wild Atlantic Way comes after Galway was named the top foodie destination for 2020 by BBC Good Food, as well as one of the best cities to visit in 2020 by Lonely Planet.

Read More: A local's guide to ten of Galway's best-kept secrets

Of Galway, Katia Hetter and the CNN Travel team write: “It might just have been named a European Capital of Culture for 2020, but Galway City, in the west of Ireland, wasn't in need of any help where the arts are concerned.

“As with the United States, Ireland's west coast has historically attracted pioneers and mavericks. Battered by Atlantic winds, the weather is fiercer here than in the cultivated east. This is a rural land where people live by their own rules, and artists are drawn by the sublime beauty of the rocky landscape. The capital of County Galway, Galway City, is an artsy enclave where bonhomie and erudition are prized.

“Festivals bloom freely in Galway, with cultural gatherings spread across its calendar like wild heather. Visit any season, and you'll happen across celebrations of food, music, history, art, literature, and nature, plus everything from burlesque to banjos, and ponies to Pride.

Bustling Galway City (Getty Images)

Bustling Galway City (Getty Images)

Read More: Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture program officially launched

“In 2020, there are European Capital of Culture events happening throughout, from Margaret Atwood's International Women's Day appearance at the Wild Atlantic Women literary event to Lumiere Galway, which will close out the year in January 2021 with spectacular light installations throughout the streets of the capital.

Galway International Arts Festival is held annually in July, and in 2020, the Pixies, Flaming Lips and Sinéad O'Connor will take to the stage. The Galway Races get underway at the end of July and, in August, Omey Strand in Connemara becomes a racecourse, with horses and their riders galloping across the sands.”

The Galway Races (Ireland's Content Pool)

The Galway Races (Ireland's Content Pool)

Read More: The best pubs in Galway city

Traveling to Ireland in 2020: IrishCentral's sister travel company Irish Studio Travel can help you vacation in Ireland no matter your budget. With Irish Studio Travel, you can book your entire Irish vacation online, leaving all the hard work for us to handle. 

Are you hoping or planning to travel to Ireland this year? Join with other travelers, adventurers and lovers of Ireland in our dedicated travel group, where you can find top tips, great recommendations, and air out any of your concerns and questions. 

Have you visited Galway before? Tell us about it in the comments!