I’ve lived in Galway for five years with my Irish wife. I’m originally from Australia and America, having grown up and completed my studies across both countries. My local friends have noted that as an outsider with a local wife, I’m able to pick up on idiosyncrasies they themselves fail to ever notice. As someone who has never really had a home, I absolutely love Ireland and Galway. I’ve decided to settle here permanently for many reasons, including the fact that it is a great base for exploring Europe and America further still. Despite its small population and stature, Galway City is an extremely important part of the country. Local Irish holiday-makers visit from around the country every summer (and winter), and countless bus and ferry loads of Americans, French, Germans and English visit year-round. The City and surrounding county have a unique and ancient history, however the tourist dollars and influx of income and investment from American multi-nationals has allowed the city to sprint forwards into the 21st century. As a result, it punches well above its weight, especially when compared with all other towns and cities of an equal or greater size in Ireland. I include Dublin on this list, somewhere with approximately fifteen times as many residents but nowhere as much attraction for visitors (or locals).