Where to Stay in Galway (2020 • COOLEST Areas!)

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Are you wondering WHERE TO STAY in Galway? These are Galway's 5 COOLEST neighborhoods in 2019 - no matter your budget!

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With its sprawling landscapes and towering cliffs, its epic views and its bustling pubs, Galway is one of the gems of the Emerald Isle.

But with so many towns and villages to explore, choosing where to stay in Galway can be pretty overwhelming, which is why we put together this no-stress guide for where to stay in Galway.

This article breaks down the best neighbourhoods in Galway into easy to digest categories, so you can quickly find the neighbourhood that suits your travel style.

So whether you’re looking to visit the best pubs, get back to nature, or dive deep into Galway’s history, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will help you find the neighbourhood of your dreams.

Let’s jump right to it. Here is where to stay in Galway, Ireland.

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Galway

  • Where to stay in Galway first time – Galway City
  • Where to stay in Galway on a budget – Salthill
  • Best area to stay in Galway for nightlife – Kinvara
  • Coolest place to stay in Galway – Kilronan
  • Best neighbourhood in Galway for families – Oranmore

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

 
Galway City
Galway City is the heart, soul and centre of Galway County. Home to great shopping, bustling nightlife and incredible views, Galway City is our recommendation for where to stay for your first time in Galway.
 
Places to Visit:
  • Hear great music and enjoy a few drinks at Tig Coili
  • Dance the night away at DNA Nightclub Venue
  • Soak in the brilliant atmosphere of Quay Street

 

Where to Stay in Galway

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Galway.

 

Best Hostel in Galway: The Nest Boutique Hostel

This amazing hostel blurs the lines between a hotel, a guesthouse and a hostel. It offers quality accommodations with a social atmosphere. Centrally located in Salthill, this hostel is close to the beach, bars and shops – which is why it’s our pick for the best hostel in Galway.

If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in Galway!

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Galway: Magical Home in the heart of Galway

ZEN out in this house! Legitimately with the crystals and statues of Buddha, you can’t help but want to practice meditation. Located just seconds away from the magical parts of the city. The pillows and duvets are amazing, leaving you feeling like you are floating once you lay your head down. Great for singles or couples who enjoy the balance of peace and party! Here you’ll notice a vast array of restaurants on your doorstep, not to mention the pubs.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Galway: Oranhill Lodge

The Oranhill Lodge is a small and comfortable hotel in Oranmore. It has a range of amenities ideal for providing a comfortable visit. You’ll be able to enjoy a large terrace, a relaxing library, and free wifi throughout your stay. All of this combined makes this our pick for the best hotel in Galway.

View on Booking.com

 

Galway Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Galway

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Galway City

  • Galway City is the heart, soul and centre of Galway County. Home to great shopping, bustling nightlife and incredible views, Galway City is our recommendation for where to stay for your first time in Galway.
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Salthill

  • Salthill is a small community set to the west of Galway City Centre. This charming seaside village is home to a great variety of activities and attractions, including white-sand beaches and diving platforms, as well as lively casinos and interesting aquariums.
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Kinvara

  • Across the bay from Galway City centre, Kinvara is a small town famous for its towering castle, its tiny harbour and its traditional Irish bars
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Aran Islands

  • The Aran Islands are an archipelago of three islands located in Galway Bay. Barren and rocky, they are home to some incredible historic attractions as well as some of the most beautiful vistas in the world.
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Oranmore

  • A stone’s throw outside of Galway City is the community of Oranmore. Nestled between the city and nature, Oranmore is where you can enjoy incredible sights and natural surroundings as well as modern conveniences and amazing sightseeing.
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Located on Ireland’s west coast, Galway is the fifth largest city in the country. Home to approximately 70,000 people, Galway is an important tourist centre and a gateway to some of Ireland’s most impressive landscape and natural scenery.

From pub hopping and exploring castles to lounging on the beach and experiencing history, Galway is s packed with amazing activities and attractions, perfect for all types of travellers.

Galway is divided into a number of distinct districts and unique communities. To get a good feel for the region, we recommend you explore three or four different neighbourhoods depending on your interests.

This guide will break down the “can’t miss attractions” in the five best neighbourhoods in Galway.

Galway City sits at the centre of County Galway. A bustling town with fantastic nightlife, diverse history and numerous pubs to enjoy, Galway City is perfect for first-time visitors to the region.

Set to the west of Galway City is the rustic and charming community of Salthill. Home to a vibrant pedestrian walkway, Salthill is where you’ll find white-sand beaches and plenty of interesting attractions.

Travel east around Galway Bay and you’ll pass through the communities of Kinvara and Oranmore. Bursting with spectacular natural attractions, these two communities are where you can enjoy stunning sights and that charming Irish way of life.

And finally, at the centre of Galway Bay on the Aran Islands is Kilronan. Boasting some of the most incredible views and beautiful scenery in the world, Kilronan is an ideal rustic retreat for intrepid and adventurous travellers.

Still not sure where to stay in Galway? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

 

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Read our full review!

 

Galway’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Galway. Each is a little different from the last, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s the best fit for you.

 

1. Galway City – Where to stay in Galway first time

Galway City is the heart, soul and centre of Galway County. Home to great shopping, bustling nightlife and incredible views, Galway City is our recommendation for where to stay for your first time in Galway.

Galway is comprised of charming pedestrian streets that are dotted with shops, pubs and restaurants. One of the best ways to experience the city is to simply take a stroll through its centre, admiring the colourful facades, and soaking in that fantastic Irish atmosphere.

When you’re ready for a break, head over to Eyre Square where you’ll find everything from al-fresco drinking and dining to quirky markets and unique architecture.

Galway City, Galway

source: Lisandro Luis Trarbach (Shutterstock)

 

Things to See and Do in Galway City

– Grab a pint at O’Connors Pub.

– Enjoy a lively night at Garavans Bar.

– Hear great music and enjoy a few drinks at Tig Coili.

– Dance the night away at DNA Nightclub Venue.

– Drive the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way.

– Soak in the brilliant atmosphere of Quay Street.

– Explore Galway’s colourful and vibrant Latin Quarter.

– View the impressive Galway Cathedral.

– Learn about Galway’s rich and diverse history at the Galway City Museum.

– Wander through bustling Eyre Square.

– See the Medieval City Walls, which are now located within a shopping mall.

– Eat incredible Irish food at The Quay Street Kitchen.

 

Best Hostel in Galway City: Kinlay Eyre Square Hostel

Thanks to its location at the heart of Eyre Square, this hostel is the best in Galway City. You’ll enjoy a range of modern features including POD beds, luggage storage, and a complimentary breakfast. This hostel also has a comfortable lounge with a pool table, a TV, and a full kitchen.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Galway City: Magical Home in the heart of Galway

ZEN out in this house! Legitimately with the crystals and statues of Buddha, you can’t help but want to practice meditation. Located just seconds away from the magical parts of the city. The pillows and duvets are amazing, leaving you feeling like you are floating once you lay your head down. Great for singles or couples who enjoy the balance of peace and party! Here you’ll notice a vast array of restaurants on your doorstep, not to mention the pubs.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Galway City: Park House Hotel Galway

Fantastic dining and stunning décor make this our favourite hotel in Galway. This four-star hotel is in a great location for enjoying the city’s top attractions, nightlife and shopping. They offer spacious room, free wireless internet, and luggage storage. An Irish breakfast is also available each day.

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Best Hotel in Galway City: Forster Court Hotel

This charming and contemporary hotel is located within walking distance of Galway Cathedral, Eyre Square and the city’s most popular attractions. It offers easy access to Galway’s most buzzing bars and restaurants, as well as great shopping. The rooms feature modern amenities and power showers.

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2. Salthill – Where to stay in Galway on a budget

Salthill is a small community set to the west of Galway City Centre. This charming seaside village is home to a great variety of activities and attractions, including white-sand beaches and diving platforms, as well as lively casinos and interesting aquariums. Here you can enjoy a hip and laid-back vibe with stunning ocean views.

In addition to being a quaint and relaxing village, Salthill is also where you’ll find a high concentration of budget accommodation options. From backpacker hostels to in-expensive boutique hotels, Salthill is our recommendation for where to stay in Galway if you’re looking to stretch your travel dollars just a little bit further.

Salthill, Galway

source: mark_gusev (Shutterstock)

 

Things to See and Do in Salthill

– Spend a day at the Salthill Beaches where you’ll find white-sand, a diving platform and plenty of fun!

– Grab a pint at O’Connors Pub.

– Visit Micil Distillery, a working poitin and gin distillery.

– See a great variety of aquatic animals and sea creatures at the Galway Atlantaquaria.

– Place your bets at Caesar’s Palace.

– Take a break and enjoy a drink at Lonergan’s Bar.

– Stroll through Claude Toft Park.

– Go for a stroll along the bustling Salthill Promenade.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at Murrays, a neighbourhood bakery and coffee shop.

– Enjoy a delicious meal at Falguni Indian.

– Dig in at the SALT Pub & Grill.

 

Best Hostel in Salthill: The Nest Boutique Hostel

This amazing hostel blurs the lines between a hotel, a guesthouse and a hostel. It offers quality accommodations with a social atmosphere. Centrally located, this hostel is close to the beach, bars and shops – which is why it’s our pick for where to stay in Salthill.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Salthill: Spacious Home for Everyone

This space is huge for the price! It sleeps 4 but perfect for couples. If you do end up bringing the kiddos along there’s a pack and play to occupy them. And don’t you worry about the distance either, this apartment is just down the road from the beach and the aquarium. Basically, you can walk anywhere staying here, which is a plus if you want to get the full village experience.

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Best Hotel in Salthill: The Salthill Hotel

Featuring amazing views of Galway Bay, this hotel is one of the best in Salthill. It is located close to the Promenade and is a short walk from the neighbourhood’s top attractions. It has a rooftop terrace, a fantastic pool, and a stylish lounge bar.

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Best Hotel in Salthill: Glenariff

Located in charming Salthill, this family-run hotel is a great place to make your base in Galway. It is a short walk from the city’s vibrant nightlife district as well as shopping and dining options. This quaint hotel has a range of modern amenities, including a luggage storage and satellite channels. Breakfast is also available.

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3. Kinvara – Best area to stay in Galway for nightlife

Across the bay from Galway City centre, Kinvara is a small town famous for its towering castle, its tiny harbour and its traditional Irish bars. Checking out the GORGEOUS Galway bars is one of the best things to do in Galway.

One of Kinvara’s main tourist attractions is Green’s Bar. A traditional Irish haunt, this bar is home to one of the largest collections of whiskeys in the world. Whether you like yours smooth and sweet or smoky and subtle, Green’s is sure to have a whiskey that’s perfect for you!

But that’s not all, Kinvara is also home to a great selection of pubs, restaurants and bars, which is why it’s our pick for where to stay in Galway for nightlife.

Kinvara, Galway

 

Things to See and Do in Kinvara

– Explore Dungaire Castle and its sprawling and beautiful landscape.

– Go for a stroll around the Kinvara Harbour.

– Enjoy a great night at the very welcoming Green’s Bar, a family-run pub.

– Take a swim or go for a stroll at Traught Beach, one of Ireland’s Blue Flag beaches.

– Grab and drink and have a great night out at Sexton’s Bar.

– Dine on delicious Italian and Mediterranean dishes at Enoteca Il Molo.

– Soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the awesome views from The Pier Head.

– Sip a pint of Guinness at Keogh’s of Kinvara.

– Eat well and sample a variety of wines at The Gentian Café and Wine Bar.

 

Best Airbnb in Kinvara: Guest room in the middle of the Village

Ideally, you want to stay in the heart of Kinvarra right? Great, because this room is footsteps from the local pubs! Stop here on the way to the Atlantic Way, you won’t regret getting to know this cute little town. Check out the small book library, it’s quite fun to see what other people reading these days. The owners even make you breakfast! — That’s right, free food!

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Best Budget Hotel in Kinvara: Merriman Hotel

Situated in Kinvara, this hotel is an ideal base for those wanting to explore the region. They have well-equipped and cosy rooms and a delicious on-site restaurant. Guests of the hotel can also enjoy free wifi, and a convenient tour desk and in-house ticket service. There’s also a great variety of restaurants and pubs nearby.

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Best Hotel in Kinvara: Kinvara Guesthouse

The Kinvara Guesthouse is in a great location for exploring the best of Galway. It allows easy access not only to nature but to the best bars, restaurants and Kinvara pubs. This four-star guesthouse has large rooms, a wonderful staff and amazing views – which is why it’s our pick for where to stay in Kinvara.

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Best Hotel in Kinvara: Fallon’s Bed & Breakfast

This picturesque countryside B&B is the perfect base for a relaxing stay in Kinvara. This property boasts a terrace, free wifi and amazing views. It features six cosy room with modern amenities. There is also a great selection of dining, nightlife and sightseeing options nearby.

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4. Kilronan, Inis Mor (Aran Islands) – Coolest place to stay in Galway

The Aran Islands are an archipelago of three islands located in Galway Bay. Barren and rocky, they are home to some incredible historic attractions as well as some of the most beautiful vistas in the world.

Kilronan is the main village on Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands. Famous for its white-sand beaches, its close proximity to nature and its abundance of bars, this small community gets our vote for the coolest neighbourhood in Galway.

Love to eat? Kilronan is for you! This small town specializes in seafood-based food culture. Whether you’re craving cod or a good dish of mussels, Kilronan is where you can savour fresh and delicious seafood almost every day of the year!

Kilronan

 

Things to See and Do in Kilronan

– Shop for a handmade, high-quality, sweater, jumpers, socks and souvenirs at the Aran Sweater Market.

– Rent bikes and tour the island on two wheels.

– Take in the spectacular views as you explore Dun Aonghasa, a large prehistoric stone fort that sits perched on a cliff.

– Rest and relax on beautiful Kilmurvey Beach.

– Hike to and wander throughout the ruins of Dun Eochla.

– Eat and drink well, and have a great time at Joe Watty’s Bar.

– Drink up at The Bar.

– Dine on delicious seafood at Bayview Restaurant.

– Enjoy a great meal at Teach Nan Phaidi.

– Take a chilly dip at one of the Atlantic beaches.

 

Best Hostel in Kilronan: Kilronan Hostel

There’s no better place to stay to enjoy the magic of the Aran Island than this great hostel. Set at the heart of Kilronan, this hostel is close to shops, restaurants and amazing natural attractions. It boasts a spacious kitchen, a comfortable TV lounge and an outdoor area, complete with a BBQ pit. Breakfast is also included.

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Best Airbnb in Kilronan: Island Guest Room

This room is perfect for travelers who love to walk and hike. Get ready for a workout; It’s located uphill so you will surely get a little sweat going. The most important thing about this place is the view- it’s epic! Although you may find yourself stuck staring at the random gnomes, strategically placed in the garden, I think to scare off the animals? Not entirely sure but they’re groovy.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Kilronan: Clai Ban

Located in charming Kilronan, this bed and breakfast provides easy access to the island’s most incredible attractions, like Dun Duchathair and Dun Aonghasa. It has a range of great features, including free wifi, luggage storage, and well-appointed rooms. It also boasts amazing views and has delicious food.

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Best Hotel in Kilronan: Aran Islands Hotel Inishmore

This hotel is the best place to stay in Kilronan thanks to its spacious rooms, its comfortable beds and its myriad of modern amenities. Located in nearby Carraroe, this three-star hotel has a great on-site restaurant and bar. It is also close to nature and the island’s top spots.

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5. Oranmore – Best neighbourhood in Galway for families

A stone’s throw outside of Galway City is the community of Oranmore. Nestled between the city and nature, Oranmore is where you can enjoy incredible sights and natural surroundings as well as modern conveniences and amazing sightseeing.

Our recommendation for where to stay in Galway for families, Oranmore is a waterside village packed with attractions. Home to everything from the awesome Oranmore Castle to sprawling Renville Park, Oranmore is a small village that packs a very big punch.

Want to get your heart pumping? Rent bikes and see the very best of Galway by riding along the shoreline and following the curve of Galway Bay.

Oranmore

 

Things to See and Do in Oranmore

– Wander throughout the lush landscapes of Rinville Park.

– Explore the trails, fields and forests of Merlin Woods Park.

– Shop for souvenirs and snacks at the Galway Market.

– Visit the Oranmore Castle and dive deep into the history of Galway.

– Rent bikes and explore Galway Bay.

– Eat savoury and spicy Indian food at Oran Tandoori.

– Dine on delicious Italian dishes at Basilico Italian Restaurant.

– Savour incredible Irish fare at Porterhouse.

– Sink your teeth into a great plate of Irish food at Keanes.

– Sip a coffee and satisfy your sweet tooth at Sticky Bakes.

– Splash and play at Renville Beach.

 

Best Airbnb in Oranmore: Adorable Home in the Fields

Countryside home for the whole family! Enjoy watching the cows roam around staying here, the kids will love it. It’s situated just a couple minutes from the town which is perfect, you get to feel a bit off the grid, something we all need every now and then right? Stay here and you don’t have to worry about getting anything for the kitchen to cook, they keep it nice and stocked. However, the best part- they have a playground with a trampoline!

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Best Budget Hotel in Oranmore: Oranmore Lodge Hotel Conference and Leisure Centre Galway

This is a great place to stay if you’re looking for good value accommodations in Oranmore. Within walking distance of Galway, this hotel is close to the area’s top restaurants and attractions. It has a variety of features, including a Jacuzzi, sauna and a kids swimming pool.

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Best Hotel in Oranmore: Maldron Hotel & Leisure Centre

This modern hotel is a fantastic choice for your time in Galway. It has a sauna, a fitness centre and a stunning indoor pool. It boasts a range of family-friendly facilities, including large and spacious room, as well as a kids pools and kids club.

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Best Hotel in Oranmore: Oranhill Lodge

The Oranhill Lodge is a small and comfortable hotel. It has a range of amenities ideal for providing a comfortable stay. You’ll be able to enjoy a large terrace, a relaxing library, and free wifi throughout your visit. All of this combined makes this our pick for where to stay in Oranmore.

View on Booking.com

 

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Galway

Galway is absolutely one of the gems in Ireland’s crown. Set on the west coast, this charming region is home to incredible history, ancient ruins and amazing landscapes. But that’s not all, the fifth largest city in Ireland is also packed with pubs, bars, fun and adventure. There truly is something for everyone in Galway.

If you’re still not sure where to stay in Galway, here’s a quick recap of our favourite places and spaces.

The Nest Boutique Hostel in Salthill is our favourite hostel. Not only is it close to the beach, bars and shops, but it’s ideally located for exploring Galway’s most famous historic and cultural attractions.

Another great option is the Oranhill Lodge. Charming and cosy, this hotel offers a range of amenities and features including a library and a stunning large terrace.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below!

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