With sprawling landscapes, towering cliffs, EPIC views and bustling pubs, Galway is an Irish gem. Whether you’re heading to the land of the Irish to get back to nature, deep dive into history or pub crawl around the town – Galway has it all.
Galway is a cultural hub, known for its festivals, music, history and arts. It’s a vibrant city full of Irish character. There always seems to be something exciting to do or somewhere new to explore.
With so many towns and villages to explore, choosing where to stay in Galway can be pretty overwhelming. But don’t you worry bout a thing, I’ve got you covered. I’ve spent the time exploring this gorgeous city and I’ve put this no-stress guide together 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 grab yourself a Guinness and settle in while I take you through everything I know.
If you’re travelling to Ireland and have Galway locked into your itinerary, you’re off to a good start. Heading to Galway is a sure way to experience true Irish culture. From the pubs to the INSANE landscapes, you’ll see some of the best of what Ireland has to offer.
Your next step is likely to be deciding where you’re going to stay in Galway. This is no easy task, especially when there are loads of different, unique places to choose from. If this sounds like a bit of you, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are my go-to recommendations for places to stay in Galway, Ireland.
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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 my pick for the best Galway hotels.
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. This is why it’s my pick for the best hostel in Galway.
If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in Galway!
Best Airbnb in Galway: Galway City Centre Stay
This lovely apartment is newly renovated with state-of-the-art appliances. It is modern, clean, spacious, and comfortable. It’s in a great location with a heap of restaurants on your doorstep, not to mention the pubs!
You’ll be right in the thick of the action but far enough that you won’t hear the hustle and bustle. It’s the perfect city oasis, especially for couples looking for a getaway.
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.
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.
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
Kilronan, Inis Mor
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.
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.
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 landscapes and natural scenery.
From pub hopping and exploring Irish castles to lounging on the beach and experiencing history, Galway is packed with amazing activities and attractions. It’s perfect for all types of travellers. Each area of Galways offers slightly different, so let’s run through each to see which is best suited for you.
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. It’s also where you can experience the hidden gem under all of Europe’s best party cities.
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. Travelling to Ireland isn’t always cheap, so finding more affordable areas like Salthill is super handy to stretch out the budget.
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. It boasts 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, I’ve got you covered! Keep on scrollin’
Galway’s Five Best Neighbourhoods 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.
Galway City is the heart, soul and centre of Galway County. Home to great shopping, bustling nightlife and incredible views. Galway City is my recommendation for where to stay in Galway for your first time.
Galway is comprised of charming pedestrian streets (such as Quay Street) that are dotted with shops, pubs and restaurants. You can head to the Galway City Museum for a taste of the city’s history.
One of the best ways to experience the city is to simply take a stroll through its centre. You can admire the colourful facades, and soak in that fantastic Irish atmosphere.
When you’re ready for a break, head over to Eyre Square. Here you’ll find everything from al-fresco drinking and dining to quirky markets and unique architecture.
Best Hotel in Galway City: Park House Hotel Galway
Fantastic dining and stunning décor make Park House Hotel one of the best hotels in Galway. This four-star hotel is in a great location for enjoying the city’s top attractions, nightlife and shopping. They offer spacious rooms, free wireless internet, and luggage storage. An Irish breakfast is also available each day.
Best Luxury Hotel in Galway City: The Galmont Hotel & Spa
The Galmont Hotel is a gorgeous hotel that overlooks Galway Bay. It’s super close to the city centre, just a five-minute walk away. They have beds that you will never want to get out of, with Egyptian cotton sheets and goose feather pillows.
They have a spa centre that boasts a gym, a sauna and a swimming pool and offers spa treatments too. The hotel also has two restaurants where you can unwind with a drink or enjoy a full-course meal.
Best Hostel in Galway City: Kinlay Eyre Square Hostel
This is a great hostel in Ireland. 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.
Best Airbnb in Galway City: Galway City Centre Stay
This lovely apartment is newly renovated with state-of-the-art appliances. It is modern, clean, spacious, and comfortable. It’s in a great location with a heap of restaurants on your doorstep, not to mention the pubs!
You’ll be right in the thick of the action but far enough away that you can’t hear the hustle and bustle. It’s the perfect city oasis, especially for couples looking for a getaway.
Things to See and Do in Galway City
- 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 Spanish Eyre Square.
- Join a walking tour of the city.
- See the Medieval City Walls, which are now located within a shopping mall.
- Eat incredible Irish food at The Quay Street Kitchen.
- Get a haircut at one of the oldest barbers in Ireland – Healy’s Barbers.
- Visit An Púcán to enjoy live music in a big ol’ beer garden and dance the night away
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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. It has white-sand beaches and diving platforms, as well as lively casinos. Here you can enjoy a hip and laid-back vibe with stunning ocean views.
Salthill is also a relatively short drive to the Connemara National Park. One of Ireland’s best National Parks. Here you can experience incredible mountain views amongst bogs, grasslands and woodlands. It’s not one to miss off your Galway to-do list.
In addition to being a quaint and relaxing village, Salthill is also where you’ll find a high concentration of budget accommodation options. Salthill has a selection of backpacker hostels and in-expensive boutique Galway hotels. This is why it is my suggested place to stay in Galway if you’re looking to stretch your travel dollars just a little bit further.
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.
Best Luxury Hotel in Salthill: Galway Bay Hotel Conference & Leisure Centre
This hotel is a taste of luxury in Salthill. This four-star hotel looks over Galway Bay and is located on Galway’s Blue Flag beach – not a bad location! It’s close to Galway’s vibrant centre and cathedral.
The decor in the rooms is bright and cosy with a TV and free Wi-Fi. If you want to go old school, it has free newspapers on request. You can use the leisure centre which has a fully equipped gym and sauna.
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. This is why it’s my pick for where to stay in Salthill.
Best Airbnb in Salthill: The Rest @ Sea
This Airbnb in Ireland is perfect for two couples. It’s a stone’s throw away from the beach and a 20-minute walk from the city centre. The bus into town is just outside the Airbnb which is super ideal.
The apartment is newly renovated and provides a home away from home feeling. There is a big, comfy couch that you can relax on after a day of exploring and flick on the FREE Netflix!
Things to See and Do in Salthill
- Spend a day at the Salthill Beaches where you’ll find white sand, the Blackrock diving platform and plenty of fun.
- Walk the trail from Salthill into Galway City (or vice versa)
- Grab a pint at O’Connors Pub.
- Visit Micil Distillery, a working Irish Poitín and gin distillery.
- 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.
- Take a short drive or join a tour of Connemara National Park.
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. This is why it’s my pick for where to stay in Galway for nightlife.
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 also to the best bars, restaurants and Kinvara pubs. This four-star guesthouse has large rooms, wonderful staff and amazing views. This is why it’s my pick for where to stay in Kinvara.
Best Budget Hotel in Kinvara: Fallon’s Bed & Breakfast
Situated in Kinvara, this bed and breakfast is an ideal base for those wanting to explore the region. They have well-equipped and cosy rooms and a delicious on-site restaurant that offers a tasty Irish breakfast every morning.
Guests of the accommodation can also enjoy free wifi, a coffee maker and free parking. There’s also a great variety of restaurants and pubs nearby.
Best Airbnb in Kinvara: Massive 2-Story Cottage
Ideally, you want to stay in the heart of Kinvara right? Great, because this cottage is footsteps from the local pubs! And not only that, there are so many other attractions a stone’s throw from your front door.
The 2-story house offers space for up to 6 guests, ideally if you want to bring some friends along. The hosts are known to be super kind and helpful, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have.
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.
- Soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the awesome views from The Pier Head.
- Sip a pint of Guinness at Keogh’s of Kinvara.
- Join a guided tour of the Cliffs of Moher & Burren.
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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 my 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 mussels, you can savour fresh and delicious seafood almost every day of the year.
Best Hotel in Kilronan: Kilronan Holiday Homes
These houses are in a perfect location, super close to the local pubs. While at the same time, they are completely private in the middle of nature. Everything is within easy walking distance.
The houses are clean and well-equipped with every possible amenity you could think of. It has comfortable beds and a great shower. The shops and the port are within handy walking distance.
Best Hostel in Kilronan: Private 4 bed Room Kilronan Hostel
A hostel on Airbnb? You betcha! This is the perfect spot for friends looking to book a weekend away in Kilronan. The shared spaces are well-maintained and the breakfast is a great addition. The Airbnb is in a beautiful location and just a short walk from the port and the village.
Best Airbnb in Kilronan: Island Guest Room
This is a great Airbnb in Galway. This room is perfect for travellers 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.
Things to See and Do in Kilronan
- Shop for handmade, high-quality 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.
- Take a chilly dip at one of the Atlantic beaches.
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.
My recommendation for where to stay in Galway for families is Oranmore, 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.
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 a spacious room, as well as a kid’s club and pool.
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 kid’s swimming pool.
Best Lodge 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 my pick for where to stay in Oranmore.
Best Airbnb in Oranmore: Spectacular Sea View Lodge
A great alternative to a luxury hotel, this stunning Airbnb is worth every penny! There is a beautiful view of the ocean. You can wake up and have your morning coffee while watching the water hit the bay – the best way to start the day!
As the house accommodates 6 guests at a time, it’s the ideal place for families or a small group that travels together. Everyone will have enough private space while there’s plenty of room to socialize after a long day of exploring Oranmore.
Things to See and Do in Oranmore
- Wander through 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.
- 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.
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FAQs About Finding a Place to Stay in Galway
Here’s what people usually ask me about the areas of Galway and where to stay.
Where is the best place to stay in Galway if I don’t have a car?
The city centre is the best place to be if you don’t have a car. Everything is super walkable, so be sure to pack your trainers. You can even join the many locals and tourists on the walking trail to Salthill.
Where is the most unique place to stay in Galway?
The Aran Islands are an EPIC place to explore from Galway, I recommend Kilronan Island. You can jump on a ferry or a plane (depending on your budget) from Galway City to get there.
What is the best Bed & Breakfast to stay at in Galway?
Fallon’s Bed & Breakfast is a perfect little B&B in Galway. They have cosy rooms and a delicious restaurant that offers a tasty Irish breakfast every morning. It’s also in perfect walking distance to shops and pubs.
Where to stay in Galway if I want to party?
Kinvara is the place for you partygoers. There is a great selection of bars and pubs where you can enjoy a few Guinness’ and get a bit loose. The city centre also had a few great spots to enjoy a few bevvies.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Galway
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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 and adventure. There truly is something for everyone in Galway.
I loved my time exploring this incredible area and I know you will too. Each neighbourhood has something unique and magical to offer. If you’re still not sure where to stay in Galway, here’s a quick recap of my favourite places.
The Nest Boutique Hostel in Salthill is my 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 is one of the best hotels around. It offers a range of amenities and features including a library and a stunning large terrace.
If you think that I’ve missed anything, let me know in the comments below!
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured on our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
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