A Guide to Visiting Salthill in Galway: Stuff To Do, Hotels, Pubs, Food + More

a guide to salthill in galway
Photo left: Lisandro Luis Trarbach. Photo right: mark_gusev (Shutterstock)

If you’re debating a visit to Salthill in Galway, you’ve landed in the right place.

The lively little coastal town of Salthill in Galway is a fine place to base yourself for a night or three.

Although it’s often overlooked by nearby Galway City, there’s plenty of things to do in Salthill (and there’s lots of places to eat and drink!) making it the perfect place for a getaway.

In the guide below, you’ll discover evertything you need to know about planning the perfect trip to Salthill in Galway.

Some quick need-to-knows about Salthill in Galway

Photo by mark_gusev (Shutterstock)

Although a visit to Salthill in Galway is fairly straightforward, there’s a few need-to-knows that’ll make researching your trip a little bit easier.

1. Location

Ten minutes’ drive west of Galway City will bring you to one of Ireland’s biggest Seaside resorts, the lively little town of Salthill.

2. Population

The 2016 census put the permanent population at approximately 20,000 which of course soars during the tourist season.

3. Famous for

It’s famous for its 2km promenade (the ramble from the city is one of our favourite walks in Galway) and Blackrock Tower with its diving board at the end. 

About Salthill

blackrock beach salthill
Photo by Lisandro Luis Trarbach (Shutterstock)

The seaside town of Salthill in Galway is quite unique as Irish towns go in that there are few families who can trace their lineage back before 1900 or thereabouts.

Up to the mid-1800s it was a hamlet on the outskirts of Galway, and it wasn’t until this time that it developed into a seaside resort.

Over the next 50 years, people arrived to visit and then moved in permanently, and thus nearly everyone in Salthill can call themselves ‘blow-ins’, that term so beloved by Irish ‘’locals’ when a newcomer moves into the area. 

People love living here for the strong sense of community, evidenced by the successful GAA, golf and tennis clubs. Sandwiched as it is between the Atlantic Ocean and the busy city, Salthill has the salty freedom of coastal living while having access to the business of Galway City. 

Speaking of tennis, during the Irish Civil War in 1919, the tennis club in Salthill was attacked by Republicans who burned the pavilion and dug up the turf.

They were angry because the military was playing the English game. Sure, it wouldn’t be an Irish town if there wasn’t a bit of history!

Things to do in Salthill in Galway

best things to do in salthill
Photo left: via Blackrock Diving Tower on Facebook. Photo right: via Oslo on Facebook.

There’s plenty of things to do in Salthill in Galway to keep you occupied during your visit (and there’s loads to see nearby, too!).

Below, you’ll discover some of the most popular attractions in the town – read our Salthill Attractions Guide to discover lots more to do.

1. Ramble along the Prom

Photo of Salthill Prom
Photo via Google Maps

You might notice that The Prom in Salthill is ALWAYS called The Prom, never the Promenade, by the locals. Now we have that out of the way, The Prom must be your first experience of Salthill.

It’s a 3km walk, run, or cycle with lots of places to drop off to the beach for a bit of sunbathing or swimming.

2. The Coast Road

blackrock beach salthill
Photo by Lisandro Luis Trarbach (Shutterstock)

A brisk walk along the Coast Road and you’ll arrive at the Spanish Arch in Galway City. It’s only 1.5km but with all the stops you’ll make to admire the views or explore the Claddagh area; it can seem longer. 

If you fancy seeing more than your legs can manage, you can hire a bicycle along The Prom and cycle the Coast Road into Galway and explore the city that way. 

3. Salthill Beach

salthill prom
Photo by mark_gusev (Shutterstock)

Salthill Beach is one of our favourite beaches in Galway.  You’ll want to take a walk along the beach; not so much one beach as a series of beaches divided by rock outcrops.

The beach ends at Blackpool Beach where, if you’re feeling energetic, you can dive from the Tower. This is also a great place to kick back and watch people spring from the board into the icy water below!

4. Nighttime Activities

Photos via Oslo Bar on Facebook

If you’re fond of pub life, you’ve plenty to choose from here. Salthill in Galway is home to several of the best pubs in Galway (O’Connor’s is our go-to!).

From O’Connor’s Famous Pub with its historic décor to The Oslo, which is home to the Galway Bay Microbrewery, and then on to O’Reilly’s for live music and craic. 

Where to stay in Salthill in Galway

Photos of Salthill Hotel
Photos via Booking.com

So, we’ve covered Salthill accommodation extensively in the guides below, but I’ll give you and overview of some of our favourites here too:

Note: if you book a hotel through one of the links above or below we’ll make a tiny commission that helps us keep this site going. You won’t pay extra, but we really do appreciate it.

Hotels and lodges

From solo travellers to couples, friends and families, there’s an accommodation choice to suit everyone in Salthill. The Clybaun Hotel and Sea Breeze Lodge have awards from Trip Advisor while the Anno Santo Hotel has great reviews from solo travellers. 

The Ardilaun Hotel, which is known as one of the best dog friendly hotels in Ireland; the Galway Bay Hotel & Conference Centre has THE most wonderful afternoon tea, and The Salthill Hotel has 2 swimming pools and a state-of-the-art gym as well.

Brilliant B&Bs and apartments

For me, if I’m staying by the sea, I want views and Galway Bay Sea View apartments give you just that, as well as the freedom of self-catering.

The Stop B&B has homemade baked beans. Isn’t that enough to make you want to visit? The Nest Boutique Hostel caters for groups travelling together, families or singles. Rooms have en-suites, and the Irish artwork on the walls is a nice touch. 

Where to eat in Salthill

Photo via Gourmet Food Parlour Salthill on Facebook

As was the case with accommodation, we have a guide to the best restaurants in Salthill, where you’ll find many places to eat that’ll make your belly happy.

No matter what you’re in the humour for, you’re going to find it in Salthill. There’s been an explosion of cuisines to suit all tastes in the past decade or so, from cafes to restaurants to Gastro pubs. All good news for locals and tourists alike. 

 If it’s Asian you’re after, you’ve got the familiar LANA Street Food and Papa Rich Salthill and Samyo Asian Food. Discover more places to dine in our Salthill Dining Guide.

Why Salthill is a great base for exploring Galway.

Galway guide
Photo left by John McKaigney. Photo right by Gabriela Insuratelu (Shutterstock)

Salthill is the perfect base for an adventurer to set forth to explore Galway City and the surrounding countryside. Galway has a vibrant arts community, and if you visit in July, you might catch the International Arts Festival. 

An 80-minute drive takes you to Connemara National Park with its wonderful views of the Bay. The various walking trails are suitable for all levels of walkers, and if you’re lucky, you might meet a sheep or two along the way. 

Take a ferry to the Aran Islands and experience a host of Irish culture. See the ocean-going currachs, enjoy the music and bring back an Aran jumper!

Salthill Galway: What have we missed?

I’m sure that we’ve unintentionally missed out on some information about Salthill in Glaway in the guide above.

If you have a place to recommend, whether it be a pub, place to eat or attraction, let us know in the comments section below.

Norah is a writer and self-publisher of fiction and non-fiction. She adores the excitement of unknown places and together with several locations in Ireland, has, over 21 years, made her home in London, The Hague and New Zealand, returning to Ireland with her Kiwi rescue dog Barney, in tow.

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