Overlooking the Spanish Arch, built in 1594 by the docks where Spanish galleons used to unload their cargo, this rather endearing modern museum is a good place to acquaint yourself with the city’s history. Permanent galleries downstairs relate to Galway’s prehistoric and medieval periods, while the upper levels deal with the city’s more recent past, including its relationship with the arts. Highlights include a large collection of intricate embroidered textiles, made by a local order of nuns between the 17th and 20th centuries, and some engaging exhibits relating to the history of cinema in the city. A lively program of special events includes talks, touring exhibitions, and hands-on arts workshops.