When travelling to Ireland, Galway City should be at the absolute top of your list of places to visit. It can be so hard deciding where to stay in Galway, but luckily, this city is filled with so many incredible neighbourhoods.

In this post, I’ll list the best places to stay in Galway including accommodation options and the top areas for travellers. 

Galway City is host to the best arts and culture in the whole country and also happens to be home to Ireland’s best seafood. On top of that, there are loads of amazing hikes and historical sites in and around the city of Galway.

During a 5-month study abroad in Dublin last year, I was lucky enough to visit Galway. Though I opted to stay in the city centre, there are loads of other amazing areas to stay in the city.

where to stay in galway city center

Here are the best places to stay in Galway, Ireland.

1. Galway City Centre

This is the place to be if you want to be in the heart of everything going on in Galway City!

There are so many fun things to do in Galway, and everything will be only a short walk away from where you’re staying. As a bonus, you can check out all the great pubs without making use of public transportation.

If you stay right in Galway City Centre, you’ll also easily be able to go on day trips without utilizing public transportation. Most pickup spots to explore nearby areas like the Cliffs of Moher, Kinsale, or Cork, are right near Eyre Square, so you could roll out of bed and walk to the bus stop.

Keep in mind that staying in Galway City Centre means that the noise might be a lot louder than it would be elsewhere in the city just because it is directly downtown.

This Neighbourhood is Best For:

This neighbourhood is excellent for any type of traveller, but backpackers, couples, and solo travellers will probably like it most here!

The prices for accommodations in Galway City Centre indeed range and vary. If you’re planning a weekend getaway to Galway, you’ll definitely want to base yourself in the city centre.

Top Highlights in Galway City Centre

  • Eyre Square is the best park in all of Galway City and is the perfect place to people-watch and spend an afternoon.
  • For a fun night out, head to O’Connell’s Bar which is right along Eyre Square.
  • An Púcán is a newly-opened pub restaurant serving up breakfast, seafood, and more.
  • Quay Street is the busiest part of the city centre and is lined with lots of fun shops. This is also the place to go and see some live street artists if you’re interested!
  • The Dough Bros is great for an easy dinner or lunch. This laid-back restaurant serves up some of the best pizza in Galway.
eyre square visiting galway where to stay
Eyre Square, Galway

Best Places to Stay in Galway City Centre

The perfect place to stay for backpackers and solo travellers is the Galway City Hostel which is a short walk from the Spanish Arch, Galway Cathedral, and Eyre Square. Rooms start at around €30 ($36) and go up depending on what type of room you opt to stay in.

The Imperial Hotel Galway is one of the top-rated hotels in the whole city because it’s right next to Galway’s train station and the National University of Ireland Galway. A single room starts at €78 ($93) while a family room starts at €88 ($105).

Another great place to stay is The Victoria Hotel which is also located right next to the train station, and it has dining called Alexandra’s Restaurant. Rooms rates here start at €88 ($105).

Of course, Airbnb is hugely popular here in Galway City, and you can find some great deals on places to stay here. The Furbo Suite is centrally located and highly rated. Make sure to check out our article on the best Airbnbs in Galway.

2. Salthill

Salthill is located right outside of the city, but it is the best area to stay in Galway if you want a more quiet atmosphere. If you’re wondering where to stay in Galway, Ireland, check out Salthill because it’s only a short bus ride or drive from the city centre.

This neighbourhood is located right on the coast and is gorgeous. It’s home to tons of beaches, which makes it even more scenic and breathtaking.

This Neighbourhood is Best For:

Families and couples will love staying in Salthill because it isn’t as busy as Galway City. Solo travellers and backpackers will most likely prefer to stay in a more bustling area because it’ll be closer to all of the top sights, bars and restaurants.

Top Highlights in Salthill

  • Salthill Promenade is the most popular attraction in all of Salthill. It’s along 3km of beaches and has spectacular views of Galway Bay!
  • Salthill is known for its resorts, and Leisureland is the best family resort in this whole area.
  • For a great place to relax, head to Salthill Beach, which is also lovely for swimming and coastal walks.
  • Are you interested in learning how to go diving? You’ll want to head to The Galway Dive School which is the perfect place to get scuba certified in Ireland. (Note: always do your research before choosing a scuba company).
  • A great place to go with children is the Seapoint Leisure Arcade right in the centre of Salthill, which has been a popular spot among locals and tourists for over 20 years.
  • Other fun places to explore include Barna Woods for relaxation and the Omniplex Cinema to see a movie.
where to stay in galway salthill neighbourhood
Salthill, Galway

Where to Stay in Salthill

The Nest Boutique Hotel in Salthill is located a short walk away from the water and some of the top sights in the village. This hotel is perfect for families and costs €90 ($160) per night on average.

Perfect 4-star accommodation in Salthill is the Ardilaun Hotel, which is home to a spa, steam room, gym, 50-foot pool, salon, and more. This hotel is most popular among couples and averages €161 ($191).

Though most backpackers and solo travellers most likely won’t want to stay in Salthill, those who do want to stay here can stay at Black Cat. A one-night’s stay starts at €80 ($91) for a small double room.

3. The Claddagh

The Claddagh is a more hip and trendy place to stay in Galway City which is also where the traditional Claddagh Irish ring came from. If you stay here, you’ll want to go on a tour to explore the history of the area.

There aren’t big hotels or small hostels available in The Claddagh neighbourhood. Instead, every place to stay is a quaint bed and breakfast, which is one of the best ways to experience Galway City.

This is one of the best neighbourhoods in Galway located directly on the water and is only a short walk away from the Docks. You can also easily walk to pretty much any of Galway City’s top highlights, including Eyre Square and the Spanish Arch.

This Neighbourhood is Best For:

This neighbourhood is perfect for families, older travellers, and couples. There isn’t a whole lot to do in this area, but it’s still located in Galway City, so it’s centrally located and you can walk everywhere.

Top Highlights in The Claddagh

  • Walk along South Park Beach to get some of the most amazing views in the area.
  • Another great viewpoint is Nimmo’s Pier, which is right along the coast and offers views of the River Corrib and the Galway Docks.
  • Explore Celia Griffin Memorial Park for a relaxing afternoon.
  • Grab dinner or a pint at The Crane Bar, one of Galway’s best pubs.
where to stay in galway claddagh
Claddagh, Galway

Where to Stay in The Claddagh, Galway

Sli Na Mara is a quaint bed and breakfast in The Claddagh that is only a short walk from the Salthill Promenades. This is the perfect place for families to stay and only costs €90 ($106) a night.

Another great family-friendly place to stay is the Adare Guesthouse which is only a 5-minute walk away from Galway city centre. Each room starts at €75 ($89).

The Stop B and B is a quirky and contemporary bed and breakfast that is filled with lots of modern art and artefacts. It’s located inside an early 20th-century building, and rooms start at €100 ($118).

4. The Docks

The Docks are located directly across the River Corrib from The Claddagh. This neighbourhood is aptly named for being right on the water and is home to the Galway Docks and the Port of Galway.

This neighbourhood is pricier compared to the other places to stay in Galway so far, but it’s because the views are unbeatable! It’s also located only a short few blocks away from Galway City Centre.

This Neighbourhood is Best For:

Families and couples will love staying in this area, as it serves for the perfect place for a romantic getaway. It’s a bit more expensive, as mentioned earlier, so it might not be the best place for backpackers to stay, especially since most hotels are 4-stars.

Top Highlights in The Docks

  • The Spanish Arch is located right along The Docks and dates back to the 16th century!
  • The Long Walk is home to the most popular viewpoint in all of Galway City. There are beautiful picturesque buildings right on the water.
  • Fans of history should check out the Galway City Museum, which is filled with artefacts dating back to the medieval times.
  • Stop by The Shed to see some exhibits about the visual arts put on by local artists inside an old warehouse.
  • Check out the Galway Docks for another one of the best coastal views in this area.
spanish arches galway
The Spanish Arch

Where to Stay in The Docks

The House Hotel is situated inside a historic stone building and features interiors in the style of art deco. Guests can dine at the hotel’s own Yard Kitchen & Bar. Prices start at €74 ($88) and go up depending on the type of room you stay in.

A perfect family-friendly accommodation is the Jurys Inn Galway, which is one of the most popular hotel chains in the country. Rooms start at €109 ($129), and guests can enjoy a complimentary coffee bar and an in-house restaurant.

If you’re travelling with a more substantial amount of people, opt to stay at the Herons Rest Boutique Accommodation located right on the water. There’s a huge breakfast buffet, and this accommodation has consistently been mentioned by countless significant travel publications, including Conde Nast Traveler.

A 3-room accommodation starts at €570 ($675). If you stay here, you’ll be a close walk to many of Galway’s best sights.

5. National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) Area

A great place to stay in Galway is right near the primary university in the city. This area is extremely safe and is located slightly outside of the city, but it’s easy to get to the city centre by utilizing public transportation.

Staying here will be a lot quieter than the centre, but it’s still located near some of the best sights in the city.

This Neighbourhood is Best For:

Any type of traveller would love to stay in this part of Galway, but especially younger travellers. Most of the hotels and bed and breakfasts here are mid-range price and are quite lovely.

Top Highlights in the NUIG Area

  • What better to do in this area than explore NUIG? This campus is lovely, and visitors are welcome to come and walk around for free.
  • One of Galway’s historical landmarks, the Royal Coat of Arms, is located right in this area.
  • The Cúirt Literary Trail begins right in this area near the Quadrangle Building. This short walking trail is one of the best hikes in Galway.
  • Stop by Mocha Beans Newcastle for some of the best breakfast and coffee in the area.
the university in galway
Galway University

Where to Stay in the NUIG Area

The Ash Grove House is one of Galway’s best hotels, and it’s only a quick 8-minute walk away from the city centre. Rooms start at €79 ($94), and Irish breakfast is available for guests every morning.

An excellent place for families to stay is the Desota House Bed and Breakfast which is equipped with plush beds and buffet-style breakfasts each morning. Rates start at €79 ($94) depending on the type of room.

Mocha Newcastle doubles as one of the area’s best coffee shops and an affordable accommodation location. Pricing for rooms starts at €60 ($71), and guests are encouraged to come downstairs for a full Irish breakfast in the morning — one of the must-try meals in Ireland!

Enjoy Your Stay in Galway, Ireland

As you can now see, Galway is perfect for all types of travellers, including families, solo travellers, couples, and more! There truly is the ideal neighbourhood for you, and I hope this guide helped you find the place best suited for your adventures.

The great thing about Galway is that no matter where you stay, you can pretty much walk to the city centre or hop on a bus easily. I hope you’ve been inspired to start planning your next trip to Galway City today.

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Images in this article are courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

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