Galway is a city in the West of Ireland in the province of Connacht. Galway City Council is the local authority for the city. Galway lies on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay and is surrounded by County Galway. It is the fourth most populous urban area in the Republic of Ireland and the sixth most populous city in the island of Ireland.
According to the 2016 Irish Census, Galway city has a population of 79,504; however, the rural county agglomeration is far bigger. Galway will be European Capital of Culture in 2020, alongside Rijeka, Croatia.
Galway has a year-round mild, moist, temperate and changeable climate, due to the prevailing winds of the North Atlantic Current. The city does not experience temperature extremes, with temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) and above 30 °C (86 °F) being rare. The city receives an average of 1,156 mm (45.51 in) of precipitation annually, which is evenly distributed throughout the year. The average January temperature in the city is 5.9 °C (43 °F) and the average July temperature is 15.9 °C (61 °F). This means that Galway, like most of Ireland, has a Maritime Temperate climate (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system. While extreme weather is rare, the city and county can experience severe windstorms that are the result of vigorous Atlantic depressions that occasionally pass along the north west coast of Ireland. Most of these storms occur between late autumn and early spring. Due to the city's northerly location and its longitude, Galway has long summer days. Daylight at midsummer is before 04:20 and lasts until after 23:00. In midwinter, daylight does not start until 08.49, and is gone by 16:19.
Galway is known as Ireland's Cultural Heart and is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations and events. Every November, Galway hosts the Tulca Festival of Visual Arts as well as numerous festivals.
On 1 December 2014, the Director General of UNESCO announced the official designation of Galway as a UNESCO City of Film.
In 2004, there were three dance organisations, ten festival companies, two film organisations, two Irish language organisations, 23 musical organisations, twelve theatre companies, two visual arts groups, and four writers' groups based in the city.
Furthermore, there were 51 venues for events, most of which were specialised for a certain field (e.g. concert venues or visual arts galleries), though ten were described as being 'multiple event' venues. The main squares in the city are Eyre Square (containing John F. Kennedy Park) in the centre of the city, and Spanish Parade next to the Spanish Arch.
In 2007, Galway was named as one of the eight "sexiest cities" in the world. A 2008 poll ranked Galway as the 42nd best tourist destination in the world, or 14th in Europe and 2nd in Ireland (behind Dingle). It was ranked ahead of all European capitals except Edinburgh, and many traditional tourist destinations (such as Venice). The New Zealand Herald listed Galway as one of 'five great cities to visit in 2014'.
Galway City is the capital of Connacht. The city has experienced very rapid growth in recent years. Galway has a strong local economy with complementary business sectors, including manufacturing industry, tourism, retail and distribution, education, healthcare and services that include financial, construction, cultural, and professional.
Most (47%) of the people employed in Galway work in either the commerce or professional sector, with a large number (17%) also employed in manufacturing. Most industry and manufacturing in Galway, like the rest of Ireland, is hi-tech (e.g. ICT, medical equipment, electronics, chemicals, etc.), due to the Celtic Tiger economic boom. Companies such as Boston Scientific, Medtronic, EA Games, Cisco and SAP AG have their regional offices or other offices in Galway City and environs. Soon Apple plans to build a massive data centre in Athenry outside Galway City. Tourism is also of major importance to the city, which had over 2.1 million visitors in 2000, and produced revenue of over €400 million.