Ireland Travel Guide: The Best Places to Stay in Galway

Where to Stay in Galway Feature Image

I always recommend that solo female travelers add Galway to their Ireland bucket list. Galway’s vibrant city center offers plenty of fun things to do from pubs, to cafes, charming bookstores, and stunning scenery. Galway is also perfectly located for awesome day trips to Ireland’s top attractions! Plus, it’s an incredibly safe place for solo travelers as the people are warm and welcoming, you won’t have any problems making new friends. But where is a safe place to rest your head after a day of exploring or a night in the pubs? In this post, we’ll dive into where to stay in Galway for any budget!

Even though I’ve been to Galway about 5 times now, I can’t stay in all of the hotels or hostels! So, I’ve enlisted the help of some of my favorite solo travel ladies to offer their recommendations!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a tiny bit of income if you decide to make a purchase or booking.

 

Ireland travel resources

Top 5 Places to Stay in Galway

If you don’t want to read the entire post, don’t worry, I’ve got you!

Here are the top 5 places to stay in Galway City:

Base yourself in Galway for awesome day trips around the Wild Atlantic Way

How to Decide Where to Stay in Galway

Galway offers a variety of accommodation options for every type of solo traveler with every type of budget. There are hostels, Airbnb’s, Bed & Breakfasts, and hotels. So, how will you choose?

First, consider your budget. Hostels are budget-friendly accommodations as you share space with other travelers. Galway has everything from the traditional party hostel to the new, trendy, boutique hostels. If you’ve never stayed in a hostel before (don’t worry I’ve got a guide for hostels here) they’re safe and a great way to meet new people when traveling solo by joining their free activities like pub crawls or walking tours! 

That being said, if you’re looking for a more private space but still want to get to know the local way of life, an Airbnb or traditional Bed & Breakfast might be right up your alley. You can find these for any price!

The second thing to consider is the accommodation’s location. How important to you is it to be close to the city center? Or are you looking for something a bit more removed so you can relax? Be sure to consider proximity to public transportation and walking distances to the places you want to visit. I’ve made some mistakes in the past where I’ve booked a place removed from the city center to save a few bucks, but then I end up spending an hour on public transportation to get to where I want to go! 

The third thing to consider, which I’ve kind of touched on already, is the type of atmosphere you want. Do you want to soak up the pub culture in Galway? Are you looking for a place with a chilled out and welcoming vibe where it’s easy to meet people but it’s also easy to be totally alone? To get a good idea of the atmosphere of the place you’re considering booking, read the reviews. People are honest about noise levels, staffing, and safety.

Neighborhoods in Galway

The two best neighborhoods to stay during your trip to Galway are the city center or Salthill. 

The city center includes Eyre Square, the Latin Quarter, and the West End. Staying in the city center puts you right in the beating heart of Galway. You’ll be a stone’s throw from the fantastic nightlife Galway is known for, great cafes, and other fun things to do in Galway.  Staying in the city center allows you to easily return to your room if you need to rest in the middle of the day and at night, you’ll be close enough to fall into bed!

Salthill is also an excellent option for those who want to be close to the action, but also escape from it. Salthill is home to some of Galway’s best pubs, like O’Connors, and restaurants, like Kai Cafe, so you won’t be hurting for places to dine and drink. Plus, it’s a bit closer to Galway Bay if you want to be able to easily walk to the Salthill Promenade for sunset!

If you are driving the Wild Atlantic Way, you could even extend your accommodation search to include destinations in the rest of County Galway like Connemara National Park or Kinvara. It I’ll provide some accommodation options for those below. 

Now, let’s get down to it! Below are the best places to stay in Galway broken up by the type of accommodation. 

Best Pub in Galway: O’Connor’s

Where to Stay in Galway, Ireland

Hostels in Galway

If you’re a budget traveler, you’re in luck because Galway has plenty of hostel options to choose from. These hostels are perfect for any type of solo female traveler as they all offer safety, comfort, and fun!

The Nest Boutique Hostel

The Nest Boutique Hostel is one of my favorite places to stay in Galway. It has the look and feel of a boutique hotel without the price tag. When you walk in you are greeted by friendly staff, a warm fire, and a cute little coffee shop. There is also a large kitchen with plenty of storage and everything you need to cook your own meals. But if you don’t feel like cooking breakfast, The Nest has you covered with a free breakfast filled with pastries, yogurt, oats, fruit, tea, and coffee.

In terms of bedrooms, they offer everything from shared to private rooms, both mixed and single gender. I stayed in a female-only 6-bed ensuite dorm. The wood frame beds are incredibly comfortable and don’t have the squeak of the metal bunks other hostels offer. Each bed comes with its own charging ports and light so you can read in bed without disturbing your neighbor. 

The ensuite bathroom was very spacious and felt like a boutique hotel bathroom. Plus, if you need a hairdryer, which I don’t travel with, you can borrow one from the front desk. And if you’re on a longer trip, there are laundry facilities on-site!

The Nest is located in the Salthill neighborhood, just a 20-minute walk away from Galway city center. I walked back multiple times at night and there is a secure key fob for late-night entry and someone always on staff. If you don’t feel like walking, there is a bus stop that leaves you right outside the front door and only costs €2 – perfect for a rainy day. The Nest is perfect for those solo female travelers who want a quiet and warm atmosphere to return to after a day exploring Galway.

Check rates and availability here.

Nest Boutique Hostel in Galway

Galway City Hostel

Recommended by Rose of Where Goes Rose

Without a doubt the most conveniently located for places in Galway, there’s one hostel you most definitely need to know about. Galway City Hostel is less than a minute’s walk from the train station which is helpful if you’re arriving late from another city in Ireland.

This cozy base runs bar crawls, group trips, and hostel dinners. These really help to keep the cost down when backpacking in Galway. While the bar crawls are less likely to keep the costs down, they’re an excellent way to bond with other backpackers and head out to meet the locals and enjoy Irish live music.

The hostel has rooms of various sizes including 4-bed dorms if you don’t like the idea of a larger one. The comfy social area has cozy sofas and free tea and coffee making facilities so you can feel totally at home. The morning breakfast with toast, spreads, and cereal will set you up for a day of exploring.

Check rates and availability here.

Bunk Boutique Hostel

I’ve had two experiences at Bunk Boutique Hostel, both very positive. I was already staying at The Nest and decided to extend my stay in Galway, but at the time The Nest was fully booked. So, I found the Bunk Boutique Hostel on booking.com and decided to give them a try. On the day I was supposed to check out of The Nest and check into Bunk, The Nest had a cancellation and I decided to stay instead of moving all of my stuff. I called the Bunk to see if I could get a refund, even though booking.com had said No, the manager processed my refund immediately. 

This experience is why I decided to stay with them on my subsequent trip to Galway. Bunk Boutique Hostel is located steps away from the bus station, Eyre Square, and some of the best pubs in Galway. Making it a perfect location for a solo female traveler who doesn’t want to walk very far alone at night.

I booked in a 10-bed dorm room with bathrooms located across the hall. I ended up on the third level of the bunk bed, which was fine, except when you’re slightly hungover in the morning and need to get to the bathroom STAT!

The staff was super friendly, allowing me to store my luggage before and after check out. And if you’d like to cook your food, they have a fully equipped kitchen – although no free breakfast!

Kinlay Eyre Square

From Hayley of Hayley on Holiday

Kinlay Eyre Square Hostel is seriously one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in across Europe (and I’ve stayed in a lot). When I’m instantly greeted by friendly reception staff at a hostel, I know it’s going to be a good stay. Firstly, Kinlay Eyre Square Hostel is in a very central location. I easily walked everywhere in Galway: down the main streets, to Galway Cathedral and to the bus station.

Inside, you will find spacious common areas, including a chill-out lounge and a large dining room with excellent free WiFi. It definitely had a social atmosphere, which is always good when you’re traveling solo. Although the kitchen is available for guest use, the hostel organizes a free continental breakfast every morning as well.

When I traveled solo to Galway, I personally stayed for three nights in a 6-bed female dorm at Kinlay Eyre Square Hostel. The room was a good size (as were the lockers) and I always appreciate when the bunk beds come with a shelf and personal light. We also had a very spacious ensuite in our dorm room. One final thing – it was named the best hostel in Ireland, that’s how good it is! I highly recommend checking it out when visiting Galway solo.

Hotels in Galway

Admittedly, I have not stayed in a hotel in Galway – although there are plenty of great options to choose from, it just hasn’t been in my budget. But my travel budget is growing, and I’ve been researching the best hotels in Galway for my next trip. Here are a few Galway hotels I’d consider staying. 

Galmont Hotel & Spa

The Galmont Hotel & Spa is a classic hotel to stay in Galway. The Galmont is in a great location just a short walk from Eyre Square. The luxurious hotel has a range of room types, many with views over Lough Atalia. There is also an onsite bar and restaurant, gorgeous indoor swimming pool, and an award-winning spa. Not only does the Galmont make a perfect base for exploring Galway, but it’s also the perfect place to indulge in a bit of relaxation. A bit more practically, there is an onsite car park if you have a rental car!

Check rates and availability here.

Skeffington Arms Hotel

Located on Eyre Square, Skeffington Arms Hotel combines a vibrant atmosphere with comfortable rooms. There is an onsite Irish pub, and you’re steps away from the fantastic nightlife Galway is known for! There is discounted parking available at the adjacent Q Carpark.

Check rates and availability here.

Leonardo Hotel: Formerly Jurys Inn Galway

Perhaps the best located hotel in Galway is Jurys Inn, now called Leonardo Hotel. This hotel is located in the heart of the Latin Quarter just steps from the Spanish Arch and Galway City Museum. With 130 newly refurbished rooms you’ve got plenty of room types to choose from! While some of Galway’s best restaurants are just steps away from this hotel, you can also opt for room service or dining at their onsite restaurants.

Check rates and availability here.       

Galway Bay Hotel

Galway Bay Hotel is another iconic hotel in Galway with stunning views of Galway Bay. This four-star hotel offers elegant rooms, many with views of the Atlantic Ocean. You can also indulge in the onsite spa, take a swim in the recently refurbished Leisure Centre pool or dine in the award-winning Brassiere. Galway Bay Hotel is also located just across the road from Salthill Prom and Blackrock Diving Tower if you prefer a swim in the sea. Bonus: the hotel offers free parking!

Check rates and availability here.

G Hotel & Spa

The G Hotel & Spa is a luxurious and artistic retreat known as one of the best spa hotels in Ireland. The G Hotel has uniquely decorated rooms with a blend of glamour and comfort. The G Hotel offers a luxurious spa, award winning restaurant, and three lounges! The only downside to this stunning boutique hotel is it’s slightly removed from the city center, with a 30-minute walk to the Latin Quarter. However, if you have a car this would be a great place to stay as they offer free parking, and you wouldn’t have to navigate Galway traffic. 

Check rates and availability here.

Salthill Hotel

Overlooking the stunning Salthill Promenade and Galway Bay, Salthill Hotel offers solo female travelers a picturesque retreat by the sea. The hotel provides a range of comfortable rooms, some with breathtaking ocean views. Enjoy amenities such as complimentary Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and an indoor pool. Salthill Hotel also features on-site dining options, including a restaurant with panoramic sea views. With its coastal location and proximity to Salthill’s attractions, this hotel provides a serene escape for those seeking a relaxing and rejuvenating experience in Galway.

Check rates and availability here.

Galway's Latin Quarter

Bed & Breakfasts in Galway

There are also a number of bed and breakfasts located in Galway, many in between the city center and Salthill. Here are a few Bed & Breakfasts in Galway that have caught my eye.

The Heron’s Rest Townhouse Bed & Breakfast

The Heron’s Rest Townhouse is perfectly located on the Long Walk, just down the way from the Spanish Arch and Ard Bia at Nimmos. They offer contactless accommodation if you’re looking for a more independent trip. This stay is more of an apartment rental with three accommodation options each with their own kitchen and all with sea views!

Check rates and availability here.

The Stop

The Stop is situated in Galway’s creative West End neighborhood. This unique B&B combines a passion for food, music, art and design into a restful and inspiring place to stay. After a restful sleep in one of their cozy rooms, enjoy a delicious breakfast created from local organic produce and home baking with a side of artisan coffee. I haven’t stayed here yet, but it’s high on my list for my next trip! The rooms and space look so cute and the reviews of the staff make it seem like an incredibly welcoming place.

Check rates and availability here.

Corrib House

Nestled along the River Corrib, Corrib House offers a delightful B&B experience with elegantly decorated rooms in a historic Georgian townhouse. Corrib House is located just steps away from Salmon Weir Bridge and Galway Cathedral. Start your day in Galway with a hearty breakfast in their tea rooms overlooking the River Corrib. Even if you don’t stay here, I highly recommend having breakfast here!

Check rates and availability here.

sunset on the Salthill Prom in Galway

Where to Stay in County Galway

If you’ve got a car, consider staying outside of Galway city center for a more peaceful and unique experience in Galway County.

Where to Stay in Connemara

Connemara is home to the wild landscapes of Connemara National Park, the historic Kylemore Abbey, and a quieter pace compared to Galway city.

Here are two of the best places to stay in Connemara.

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

Is staying in one of Irelands famed castle hotels on your bucket list? If it is, then consider the stunning 700-acre Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. Located in the heart of Connemara this luxurious castle is the perfect base for exploring the Wild Atlantic Way or simply relaxing in the beautiful surroundings of Connemara and the 12 Bens Mountain range. The onsite restaurant won Ireland’s Fine Dining Hotel Restaurant of the year in 2024! Let their expert guides assist you in planning an epic adventure in Connemara. 

Check rates and availability here.

Rosleague Manor Hotel

Rosleague Manor is expertly located in Letterfrack Village just a few minutes away from the entrance to Connemara National Park. Each room in the manor house offers beautiful appointed antique furnishings and many rooms come with a sea view. There is an onsite restaurant to refuel after a day spent hiking in Connemara National Park.

Check rates and availability here.

Where to Stay in Kinvara

Kinvara is a picturesque village located on the shores of Galway Bay with colorful storefronts, traditional pubs, and friendly locals ready to charm you with their good craic. Learn about this history of the area at Dunguaire Castle, explore the Burren, and end your day listening to traditional Irish music in the local pubs. Kinvara is just a 30-minute drive from Galway city.

Here are two of the best places to stay in Kinvara:

Kinvara Guesthouse

Kinvara Guesthouse is located in the Kinvara village center surrounded by the town’s shops and pubs. The guesthouse offers spacious and warm rooms from double rooms to family rooms. There are also self-catering cottages available. In the morning enjoy a continental breakfast before heading out for your day!

Check rates and availability here.

Fallon’s Bed and Breakfast

Fallon’s B&B is a family-owned bed and breakfast located on the main street of Kinvara. The B&B is just a short walk from Dunguaire Castle, the scenic harbor, and the best restaurants in town. The Fallon family will make you feel right at home!

Check rates and availability here.

bike riding the aran islands

Where to Stay on the Aran Islands

One of the best day trips from Galway is to the Aran Islands. Three islands make up the Aran Islands with Inis Mór being the most popular. While it’s a fun day trip, you can also extend your stay if you want to spend more time in this unique area of Ireland’s west coast. Here are two of the best places to stay on Inis Mór. 

Kilmurvey House

Kilmurvey House is in a great location on the Aran Islands. This 18th century stone house blends old-world charm with modern comforts. Some rooms overlook the sea and others overlook Dun Aonghusa. They offer twice daily bus shuttle to and from Kilronan village, a full breakfast, and complimentary access to Dun Aonghusa fort.

Check rates and availability here.

Aran Islands Camping & Glamping

Enjoy a unique glamping experience at Aran Islands Camping & Glamping overlooks Frenchman’s Beach and Galway Bay. The camping area is just a short walk away from Kilronan Village and the ferry port. There are 24 glamping pods, a full kitchen, and hot showers. Alternatively, you could bring your own tent for camping!

Check rates and availability. 

Are there more places to stay in Galway than what is recommended here – of course! There are also a couple of places I’ve stayed in Galway that I wholeheartedly do not recommend. That’s why I wanted to write this post, to help you find a place that suits your travel style and that I know you’ll feel welcome and safe. 

Please let me know in the comments below if you stayed anywhere recommended here or if you have a hotel I should check out the next time I’m in Galway!

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14 thoughts on “Ireland Travel Guide: The Best Places to Stay in Galway

  1. Katherine says:

    Ooh, I’ve stayed at the Galway City Hostel before! It was great, especially for the price that I paid. I visited at the end of winter and had a four bed dorm all to myself 🙂

  2. Maria says:

    Great accommodation guide! Never been to Ireland, but hopefully in the near future. Not a big fan of hostels with shared dorms, but the ones you described look very tempting, especially when they have female dorms

    • justchasingsunsets says:

      I’m definitely moving away from shared dorms, but these ones have really nice private dorms if you’re still looking for a budget friendly and social option!

  3. Jackie says:

    I am in the process of planning a trip to Ireland so this is really helpful to know! You can bet I’ll be downloading your Ireland Itinerary Planner, too. Thanks for sharing these helpful resources. You’ve saved me a lot of time and research!

  4. Cherene Saradar says:

    I was really bummed to have missed Galway when I was in Ireland but the entire trip was too short so I’m definitely going back! Great tips here!

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