5 Best Neighborhoods Where to Stay in Galway, Ireland (2024 Update)

Colorful row houses along a calm waterfront with parked cars and a clear blue sky in a quaint coastal town.

Are you looking for the best places where to stay in Galway? Fantastic! 

I have compared all the areas and hotels in Galway County to deliver the best guide for your trip to beautiful Ireland! I’ve done all the planning for you, so now you only have to pick from top-notch options!

The best area for first-timers is Galway City Center – it is the capital city of the county and has loads of historical attractions apart from nightlife and the stunning Irish nature you are looking forward to experiencing! 

But hey, there are more unique places in this article that will captivate you, so stay till the end to uncover cool spa hotels and more unique accommodations! 

Keep in mind Galway is super popular all year round, and the best hotels get booked super fast, so if you want to secure the room of your dreams, you need to book in advance!

Quick Picks for Your Stay

Here’s a list of the best Galway hotels that will help you decide quickly where to stay in Galway city centre: 


Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:


This map will help you visualize all the areas in Galway, Ireland, that I will be talking about in this post:

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Galway, with numbered locations and labels for easy navigation

1. Galway City Center – best place to stay for the first time

Historic stone cathedral with a green dome, reflected in the still water of a river, with a backdrop of trees and clear skies.

Galway City Center is the capital city of Galway County in Connacht Province. It is located on the northern shore of Galway Bay, and as you can imagine, there is a lot to see and do! It is the main hub for culture and nightlife!

Get lost in the beautiful streets of Galway, and cross Salmon Weir Bridge to see the unique Galway Cathedral (map), which has the most stunning Renaissance architecture style! University of Galway (NUI) is only a 10-minute walk away, and worth a visit!

During your stay, make sure you walk around the bustling and vibrant streets of the Latin Quarter (map). It is filled with boutique shops and pubs where you can have a pint and listen to Irish music (ah, the dream!!!). I suggest The Quays Bar next to Quay Street; the interior looks like a Victorian church with its vitraux windows and wooden decor! 

Can you believe the lovely Galway City dates back to the 1270s?! It was by the time the Anglo-Norman settlers built the city walls!

One of the most important spots that no person who comes to town can’t miss is Eyre Square, which is also known as the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park after he visited this spot back in 1963. If you feel like going on a shopping spree, Eyre Square Center is a huge mall, and it is super close to the square!

Don’t forget to go under the Spanish Arch, which was built in 1584 and is located literally next to another major attraction, the Galway City Museum! Which has free entry, BTW! After visiting the museum, head to the docks for a stunning sunset around the long walk (map) and snap a picture!

PRO TIP: Galway City Center is a great area where to stay without a car, actually, I recommend staying in this area without a car. Otherwise, you will be trapped in the traffic!

Here are some of the best city-center Galway hotels for each budget: 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Galway: an elegant bar area with plush green seating and a well-stocked bar, a sophisticated hotel room with modern furnishings and neutral tones, and a grand lounge with luxurious yellow armchairs and a glittering chandelier

The Hardiman is one of the most luxurious and iconic hotels in Galway City. It features a classy style, you will feel like a royal! The rooms come with deluxe amenities and are super spacious. Some of them come with views. There is a beach shuttle available for guests for a fee!

Other accommodation options in Galway city center

mid-range
Cozy bedroom with a double bed covered in a floral quilt, a desk, and a window allowing natural light in.

Feel like you’re at home in this perfect B&B that has spacious rooms and a lovely small terrace

budget
Stone facade of a lively urban hostel with bright orange signs, featuring pedestrians walking by on the city sidewalk.

Stay in a shared room in the middle of the city! You will have everything you need steps away

airbnb
Rustic bedroom with an exposed brick wall, a comfortable bed with dotted linens, and colorful artwork hanging above.

What a cozy and arty home where to spend your vacation. It comes with 4 bedrooms hosting 7 guests

Things to do in Galway City centre

  • Visit the beautiful Galway Cathedral
  • Go shopping in Eyre Square Center
  • Attend the Christmas Markets if you’re visiting Galway in December
  • Learn new things about history at Galway City Museum

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

Aerial view of a coastal town with apartment buildings, a beach, and a pier, with clear blue waters and a green landscape surrounding it.

Salthill is located north of Galway City Center, only a 20-minute walk away. What’s cool about this area is that it is close to the main attractions, still far enough from the bustle of the city, offering a more tranquil vibe

This is definitely a great area for those traveling with families to County Galway; there are many attractions for kids here. Also, the area is probably the cheapest in terms of accommodation, making it great for budget travelers

One of the most beautiful attractions in the area is Blackrock Beach (map). This beach is ideal for a stroll and coffee with a view. You can also walk around Salthill Prom for more iconic views of Galway Bay!

Near Blackrock Beach, you have the Blackrock Diving Board, and some people love jumping off and diving from that tower!

The Galway Atlantaquaria, the National Aquarium of Ireland, is one of the most iconic places to visit in Salthill. Kids and adults will love discovering beautiful marine creatures!

To keep the family fun going, you can visit Leisure Land. This place has everything you could wish for, from amazing indoor pools for people of all ages to adventure golf. If you are visiting from mid-March onwards, you can also visit Curry’s Fun Fair!

If you feel like spending time in the city and having a meal, head to Shop Street and to the Latin Quarter for friendly pubs. I recommend The Dáil Bar (map).

PRO TIP: If you find anything near The Claddagh, book it! It used to be a fisher’s village, and still has this charm. It is just outside Galway City Center walls and next to Salthill!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Galway: a modern hotel facade with spacious balconies and sunset views, a chic living area with vibrant orange sofas and abstract art, and a contemporary bedroom with ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows.

These beautiful apartments are the perfect setting for a relaxing time in Salthill! All the properties are a delight, wonderfully decorated, and with stunning views. Whether you are traveling with a partner or a big group, they have the ideal apartment for you!

Other accommodation options in Salthill

mid-range
Modern minimalist bedroom with a large bed, black and tan bedding, wooden headboard, and an en suite bathroom.

Stay in Galway in a good-looking guest house in Salthill that has a restaurant, cozy rooms, and free wifi

budget
Chic café interior with eclectic furniture including armchairs, a wooden table, and a floor lamp, exuding a cozy atmosphere.

What a cute boutique hotel! It is located near the beach, and you can book a private room or a bed in a shared room!

airbnb
Quaint townhouse with a beige facade, adorned with window boxes full of blooming flowers and a welcoming front door.

Book a room in a cozy countryside house. It comes with a delightful old-world charm and a beautiful garden!

Things to do in Salthill

  • Find the diving platforms at the Salthill beaches
  • Enjoy a stroll along the Salthill Promenade
  • Check the Galway Atlantaquaria the National Aquarium of Ireland
  • Head to the O’Connors Salthill pub to get a drink
  • Get a souvenir in Galway City Center on Shop Street

3. Oranmore – where to stay in Galway for families

Medieval stone tower of a castle with a small wooden door, beside a dry moat with a boat, under a partly cloudy sky.

Oranmore is located 5 miles (8 km) east of Galway city center. It has a charming small-town vibe, and lots of families live in the area. Apart from being super serene, it nestles cool historical attractions, and it is home to cute pubs!

With Oranmore Castle located near the seaside, and the cliffs around this medieval landmark, the whole family will love playing princess and knights around the castle, so get your camera ready for some memories!

Did you know Oranmore Castle is more than 800 years old?! Its construction began in the 13th century!

You can head to the beautiful Rinville Park (map), which is beyond beautiful! Here, you can go on relaxing hikes and have a picnic overlooking Galway Bay, and if you have kids, they will love the playground area. The park has something for people of all ages, without a doubt!

Something really cool about the area is that it is home to a really incredible golf course. So, if you are a golf fan, you should definitely head to Galway Bay Golf Resort for a golfing session! The golf club is a great place to enjoy a family-friendly lunch since it offers a kid’s menu. But if you prefer having something downtown, I highly suggest you stop by the Porterhouse (map), the most famous pub in the area!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Galway: a luxurious bedroom with a large upholstered headboard and elegant decor, a white exterior of a boutique hotel with outdoor seating, and an indoor swimming pool with a glass ceiling and relaxing ambiance.

Oh la la! This hotel feels so classy! I love it! You will feel like you are staying in a charming estate house! Rooms are spacious and nicely decorated. If you are traveling with your family, they have special amenities for kids. The indoor pool looks dreamy and like the perfect place for a relaxing swim!

Other accommodation options in Oranmore

mid-range
Twin bedroom with modern decor, wooden headboards, and decorative flower arrangements on bedside tables.

Relax in style at the coach house, take in the beauty in the front beer garden, and have a delicious Guinness

budget
Exterior view of a large multi-storey hotel with brick facade, ample parking, and landscaped garden in the foreground.

Stay in a stunning hotel with an incredible indoor swimming pool. Every morning, enjoy a complimentary breakfast

airbnb
Compact living room with a gray sofa, red armchair, wooden coffee table, and a small red sofa against white walls.

Enjoy your stay in Galway in this modern apartment that has a kitchen, free wifi, and a the best location in Oranmore

Things to do in Oranmore

  • Go for a scenic walk overlooking Galway Bay
  • Have family fun in Renville Park
  • Visit the unique Oranmore Castle with the family
  • Have a scone or soda bread at Brazco Coffee Academy (map)

4. Kinvara – where to stay in Galway for couples

Ancient stone castle on a grassy hill surrounded by water at low tide, with cloudy skies reflecting in the water.

Kinvarra is located 17 miles (28 km) away from Galway City Center, and it is the perfect landscape for a romantic trip! 

Why? Well, it is just the cutest and coziest village I’ve seen! There are a lot of lovely attractions in the area, and it is surrounded by movie-like typical Irish countryside views! Ah, so dreamy!

I imagine it would be so lovely to start the day with a scenic walk around Kinvara Harbour, stopping by the homey restaurants Fox’s of Kinvara for a warm brunch with scons included! 

Later, if you are traveling in the warmer months, you can visit Burren Nature Sanctuary to pet cute animals and enjoy the greenery. It will feel like a fairy tale! 

Don’t forget to check out Green’s Bar, at nighttime, one of the main tourist attractions here! A family-owned local business since 1865 that sells more than one hundred types of whiskeys, and it is super cozy!

You can also visit Dunguaire Castle, a 16th-century fortress. From here, you can catch the most incredible sunsets, which you can enjoy best with your bae! 

Another fun idea would be visiting Kinvara Farmers Market (map) to buy local fruits and treats, and then head out to the nearby Traught Beach. And enjoy your delights with a view!

PRO TIP: If you are traveling by car and feel like having an adventure with your partner, head to Cliffs of Moher for a scenic hike and stunning travel photos!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Galway: a traditional bedroom with a wooden bed and exposed beams, a spacious living room with a fireplace and comfortable seating, and a tranquil view of a castle by a lake with a boat passing by.

This place is absolutely stunning. I am sure all your Irish countryside dream homes look like this! It is located steps away from the waterfront and Kinvara town center is only a 10-minute walk away. The cottage can host 4 guests and comes with free private parking.

Other accommodation options in Kinvara

mid-range
Attic bedroom with a slanted window, green bedspread, colorful pillows, and a violin on a striped ottoman, conveying a cozy and artistic ambiance.

Relax during your stay in Galway in this lovely place near the bay that has cozy rooms and offers breakfast

budget
Contemporary white cottage with a blue front door and window shutters, landscaped with a stone wall and young plants.

An affordable option for those who travel to Galway, this apartment has garden views and a kitchenette

airbnb
Romantic bedroom with a four-poster bed, ornate ceiling decorations, and light streaming in through the window.

Beautiful cottage in the middle of town steps away from the waterfront! Truly a unique accommodation

Things to do in Kinvara

  • See the beautiful architecture of the Dunguaire Castle
  • Catch a sunset at Kinvara Harbor
  • Spend a fun day at Traught Beach
  • Try a wide range of whisky drinks at Green’s Bar, one of the oldest pubs

5. Clifden – where to stay in Galway for beautiful landscapes

Ruins of an ancient castle overgrown with ivy, set against a blue sky with scattered clouds, surrounded by a lush green landscape.

If all you want to do in your time in County Galway is spend time in those idyllic Irish landscapes we all dream about, then Clifden is the best area to stay during your trip! 

By the way, No need to say that apart from those landscapes you can also enjoy drinks and meals in cozy traditional Irish pubs with local bands! For example, Lowry’s Bar!

Wondering who are the main characters in Clifden? Let’s start with Clifden Castle, which I recommend you reach from Clifden town by foot following the scenic Sky Road in the Connemara region. The castle is completely stunning, and its surroundings make it even more special. 

TIP: the castle doesn’t have any opening hours. It is on private land, but you can visit it and wander around it and its paths. Beware that the fortress was built in 1818 and is now in ruins, so be careful during your visit!

Another must in the area is the beautiful Connemara National Park, which you can reach by car in less than 20 minutes and in an hour by public transport. This place is ideal for a scenic walk; Diamond Hill (map) at the national park is a must for the best pictures. 

While you are in the area, you should definitely visit Kylemore Abbey Connemara, which is the most popular attraction in Connemara for a reason. 

Kylemore Abbey was built in the 1800s by a rich businessman and, since 1920 is home of the Benedictine community. Here you can visit the abbey, its stunning gardens, and the neo-gothic church. You will feel like you are in a movie!

PRO TIP: If you want, you can have a day trip and visit the beautiful Inishbofin Island. It can be reached by ferry (€25 round trip) from Clifden! Inishbofin Island is stunning, the perfect place for a hike, and pictures of cute animals!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Galway: a charming breakfast bar with woven stools, a homely bedroom with blue bedding and wooden partitions, and a scenic view from a balcony overlooking a river and forested hills.

This spacious loft is modern and luxurious. It comes with 2 large beds and can host 4 guests. The living room is spacious and comes with a comfortable couch where you can curl up and watch movies! Have a bubble bath in the bathtub or enjoy the ocean views from the rooftop terrace!

Other accommodation options in Clifden

Mid-range
Traditional brick hotel building with a glass conservatory extension, outdoor seating, and a clear blue sky overhead.

Classy hotel steps away from the heart of town! It comes with free parking, a swimming pool, and a cozy bar

Budget
Bright and cozy hotel room with a double bed, plush pillows, and a view of greenery outside the window.

Feel at home in this cute guesthouse with comfy rooms! Every morning you can enjoy a free breakfast

Airbnb
Formal dining room with white clothed tables set for a meal, large windows, and a traditional stone fireplace.

Stay in a room at an authentic castle! Enjoy the tennis courts, the piano bar, and the stunning gardens

Things to do in Clifden

  • Be charmed by Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden
  • Take a day trip to Omey Island
  • Learn about Irish history at Connemara Heritage and History Centre
  • Wander around Clifden Castle ruins
  • Buy local at the Clifden Farmer’s Market
👑 Luxury price:$250
💵 Mid-range hotel:$170
🛏️ Budget:$120
📍 Best area:Galway City Centre
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:The Hardiman
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:Ash Grove House
👛 Best budget hotel:Galway City Hostel

BONUS 1: More unique places where to stay in Galway

Elegant country house with ivy-covered walls, surrounded by a lush garden with red roses and greenery, under a clear sky.

Let’s be real! County Galway is huge, and apart from these 5 main hubs for a relaxing and fun time in Galway there are many more you can visit! 

First, you need to know about the Aran Islands, which you can reach by Aran Islands Ferries from Galway City and Connemara; you can check out the timetables here.

The Aran Islands consist of Inis Mor, Inis Oirr, and Inis Meain. Inis Mor is the biggest one, and where you can find more accommodation and attractions, such as Dún Dúchathair (Black Fort) and Poll na bPéist, also known as The Wormhole.

By the way, did you know the Aran Islands were some of the filming locations for the popular film “The Banshees of Inisherin”? It’s a masterpiece, so watch it before visiting if you haven’t!

If you want more options, I have some cute little village recommendations for you! 

For example, Roundstone in Connemara has beautiful lakes and beaches. Leenane is great for hiking and checking out the Aasleagh Falls. Last but not least, Barna and Spiddal are great for a super tranquil stay surrounded by nature!

Prices in these towns and islands round from €120 to € 250 the night. Without further ado, let’s check out some of the accommodations!

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Galway: a refined dining area with plush velvet chairs and ambient lighting, a cozy bedroom with simple furnishings and warm lighting, and a comfortable living space with bookshelves and a vintage feel

1. Errisbeg House
This cute bed and breakfast is located in the picturesque Roundstone Village! The property is located near the beach and has an old-world vibe. Basically, the place looks like a manor and has the most amazing garden! Rooms are cute and cozy!

2. Aran Walkers Lodge
Located in the iconic Inis Mor, this property is so idyllic! Everything looks super cute and cozy; it is the perfect place for a restful and wholesome stay! They offer a traditional Irish breakfast every morning, and you can rent bikes onsite for a fee to explore the island.

3. Ard Einne House Bed & Breakfast 
Wake up to the most beautiful ocean views while staying at this beachfront hotel in Inis Mor! The accommodation has a classic cottage vibe and a lovely picnic area with views. Start the day with the hotel’s free breakfast and a scenic hike!

4. The Connacht Hotel 
This one’s a bit special! It is located only a 30-minute walk to Galway City Center, but the reason why I am recommending it is because it has a Glamping option! So if you are going on a family holiday and want to go camping, this glamping option is great for you! They have a mobile home available for 6 guests. It comes with Netflix and a kitchenette!

BONUS 2: Best spa hotels in Galway

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Galway: a rooftop dining area with a view of the sea, a luxurious bedroom with plush furnishings and a large window, and a spacious indoor pool with classical columns and a tranquil atmosphere.

If all you want to do is sit in the sauna and get massages after your hikes and properly unwind, then you will love these spa hotels in County Galway!

All the hotels I am recommending are quite luxurious, and prices round from €160 and up! Let’s check them out!

1. Loughrea Hotel & Spa
Have a delicious breakfast in the morning and head out to enjoy the beautiful landscapes Loughrea has to offer! Back in the hotel relax like a royal in the outstanding spa facilities the hotel has, including jacuzzi, massages, and steam rooms!

2. Galmont Hotel
Galmont Hotel is one of the most iconic spa hotels in Galway City! This amazing hotel comes with 2 incredible onsite restaurants and an indoor swimming pool. Relax like no other with the onsite spa, which includes body scrubs and treatments, as well as massages and sauna! Some rooms come with unique waterfront views!

3. The g Hotel
Visit all the tourist attractions in Galway City and then unwind at the hotel. Have a gourmet meal at any of the onsite restaurants, or order room service after a perfect spa session and relax in the privacy of your room!

4. Screebe House
Stay in this stunning estate house in the cute town of Rosmuck! The hotel has a unique and charming Victorian vibe that will make you feel like royalty! It comes with an indoor pool, a beautiful garden, free parking, an onsite restaurant, and a full-service spa, including sauna and hot tubs!

FAQs about where to stay in Galway, Ireland

Bustling cobblestone street in a historic town with pedestrians, outdoor cafes, and traditional shop fronts under festive banners

🍀 What is the best area to stay in Galway, Ireland?

If you’re wondering where to stay in Galway, the area you are looking for is Galway city centre is a great area that has all the big tourist attractions, many pubs, and the best budget or luxury hotels in town, like The Hardiman.

🤔 How many days do you need in Galway?

4-5 days should be enough for your stay in Galway City. You can see all the beautiful places and still have some time to take day trips and visit other attractions like the Connemara National Park.

❓ Is Galway safe for tourists?

Overall, Galway is a very safe city to visit for families or any other tourists. However, as everywhere, do try to take all measures to preserve your safety and security.

🚶‍♀️ Is Galway a walkable city?

Yes, you can walk around Galway and get from one area to another, especially if you’re staying in the city center. Many people have categorized this city as a pedestrian-friendly place.

💚 What are some unique places to stay in Galway, Ireland?

If you’re looking for some unique places where to stay in Galway then I highly recommend Kinvara and Aran Islands! Dunguaire Cottages and Aran Walkers Lodge are two beautiful hotels in Galway in these two areas that will make your stay an unforgettable one.

💸 What is the best hotel in Galway if you’re on a budget?

The Nest is the best budget hotel for where to stay in Galway, and it’s located in Salthill, so you’re close to all the main attractions.

Conclusion

Tranquil harbor at dusk with a red fishing boat, modern buildings, and calm waters reflecting the vibrant sunset sky and city lights, showcasing a serene maritime setting.

That is a wrap for today, my sweet angels! Those were the most amazing places where to stay in Galway! Now you have everything you need for a beautiful vacation to beautiful Ireland! 

Honestly, all the hotels I recommended are dreamy, but if I had to choose my top 2, I would go with:

Galway is super popular all year round, so it is super important to book in advance to avoid last minute booking issues!

Which of these areas where to stay in Galway was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great adventure, 

Victoria


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featuring a serene view of Galway, Ireland, with a clear blue sky and rocky shoreline

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showcasing colorful houses along a waterfront in Galway, Ireland

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One Response

  1. Andreas Riha 24.04.2023 at 18:48

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