Galway has been named as one of the best places to visit in 2020 by the prestigious Lonely Planet 8 months ago

Galway has been named as one of the best places to visit in 2020 by the prestigious Lonely Planet

It's official, west is best. Great day for the parish.

Freezing in The Sportsgrounds. Pints in the Latin Quarter. Cans at the Spanish Arch. Supermac's on Eyre Square. Bumping into President Higgins at Eamonn Deacy Park. Culture on most corners.

Yep, Galway has it all and while the city of the tribes already has a booming tourist trade, it's about to increase because Lonely Planet have named Galway as one of the best destinations to visit in 2020.

The renowned travel website has named Galway as the fourth most essential city that tourists need to check out in 2020. The timing seems to be perfect too because the city is preparing to begin its year as European Capital of Culture on 1 February, 2020.

In terms of the selection criteria, the site states that they asked everyone from their "writers and editors to our online family of social media influencers, and amid fierce debate, the list is whittled down by our panel of travel experts to just 10 countries, 10 regions, 10 cities and 10 best value destinations. Each is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences and ‘wow’ factor."

At the top of the list is Salzburg with Washington DC and Cairo completing the top three.

Galway comes next in fourth place and in terms of a description, Lonely Planet have said that the western county is "brilliantly bohemian" and "arguably Ireland’s most engaging city."

It adds: "Here brightly painted pubs heave with live music and cafes offer front-row seats to watch buskers perform. And this year all that creative exuberance is being supercharged by events marking the Galway region's role as a 2020 European Capital of Culture – the city’s calendar is as packed with activity as the bars are with locals on a Saturday night.

"Expect street spectacle, live and digital art as well as world-class music, theatre and dance. Sleep might have to wait – in Galway even the buskers play late into the night. Vivid and vibrant, brimful of imagination, Galway in 2020 is home to a year-long, city-wide, arty party. And you’re invited too."

Rounding off the top 10 are the following: Bonn, La Paz, Kochi, Vancouver, Dubai, and Denver.

Congratulations to Galway and anyone from Galway. You're all fine ambassadors.