Best time to go to Ireland

Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival 2024, Ireland

See some Irish craic while indulging in famous Galway Bay oysters

Dates: September 27-29, 2024

Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival
Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival
Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival
Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival

Every September, Nimmo's Pier in the town of Galway is filled with fun and music due to the most famous food festival in Ireland and the world's longest-running oyster festival. Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival takes place annually on the last weekend of September, marking the beginning of the oyster season. The Clarenbridge Oyster is arguably the most delicious oyster in the world, and the festival celebrates everything about this unique native oyster of West Ireland.

Activities and Attractions

Attendees can expect a celebration of oysters, seafood, and Irish culture, complete with music, parades, and culinary competitions. The festival offers a variety of activities, ensuring there is something for everyone. According to the organizers, highlights include the World Oyster Opening Championships and the Masquerade Gala 'Mardi Gras'. Visitors can also enjoy a seafood trail, street parades, and a silent disco. For families, there are cooking demonstrations, circus acts, and various workshops. Additionally, some of Galway’s top restaurants will be hosting tastings and culinary talks, providing a gastronomic delight for food enthusiasts.


Tickets for the festival can be purchased online, with different prices depending on the event. The opening night on Friday, September 27, costs €47.60, while the price for the World Oyster Opening Championship on Saturday, September 28, is €94.20. The Party of Champions, also on Saturday evening, costs €57.96. The Féile Bia Na Mara event on Sunday, September 29, is free of charge. For groups of ten or more, a 10% discount is available. As per the organizers, tickets will not be mailed but can be collected at the festival venue starting from September 27.

Location and Infrastructure

The festival takes place at Nimmo's Pier in Galway, a vibrant city on Ireland’s west coast known for its medieval architecture and lively arts scene. Galway is well-connected, with regular train and bus services from Dublin and other major cities. For those traveling by car, ample parking options are available near the festival grounds. Besides the festival, visitors can explore Galway's rich cultural heritage, including the famous Eyre Square and the picturesque Claddagh area.

Festival History

The Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival was founded in 1954 by Brian Collins, a local hotel manager. The inaugural event had just 34 attendees. Today, it attracts over 22,000 visitors each year, celebrating the Clarenbridge Oyster, considered one of the finest oysters in the world. Originally held near Paddy Burke’s Bar in Clarenbridge, the festival moved to the center of Galway as it grew in popularity. Over the years, it has drawn celebrities such as director John Huston, rugby player Brian O’Driscoll, golfer Christy O’Connor Jr., actor Bob Hope, and President Michael D. Higgins.

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