If you’re wondering where to stay in Galway, you’ve landed in the right place.
This guide contains two things:
- Advice on what part of Galway to base yourself in
- Info on some of the best places to stay in Galway
The guide kicks off with an overview of some of the different areas in Galway that make the perfect base to explore from.
It then goes on to offer some insight into the many great places to stay in Galway, from spa hotels and 5 star resorts to glamping, camping and much more!
The best area to stay in Galway (based on what you want to see and do)
Before we hop into the different places to stay in Galway, I want to give you an idea of some of the different areas in the county, so you can decide where to base yourself.
Picking a base for your Galway road trip is important, as it’ll determine how much driving you’ll have to do along with the range of places to stay, eat and drink near your accommodation.
Choosing where to stay in Galway comes down to 1, where the majority of the things you want to see are and 2, how you plan on getting around.
For example, if you’re not driving, you’re going to be relying on public transport and organised tours, so Galway City is your best bet.
Option 1: The main towns and villages (and Galway City)
If you’d rather stay in one of the larger towns or villages in Galway, the ones listed below are the best of the bunch, in my opinion.
The most popular of the many places to stay in Galway is the city, but there’s plenty of other great towns and villages, like:
Option 2: Staying in one of the smaller villages in Galway
There’s an endless number of places to stay in Galway if you’d prefer to base yourself in a smaller town or village.
Now, some villages, like Leenane, are very small, while others, like Kinvarra, are small but have plenty of places to eat, sleep and drink. Here are my favourites:
Option 3: Staying on one of Galway’s islands
If you’re wondering where to stay in Galway that’ll get you away from the crowds, consider making your way to one of the county’s islands.
Although it’s Galway’s Aran Islands that you tend to hear about most, there are several other islands where you can kick back for a weekend:
Places to stay in Galway that are a great base for a road trip
Where you base yourself from on your Galway Road Trip is very important, as it’ll determine how much driving you have to do on each day of your visit.
Personally, I usually opt for either Clifden or Galway City, but there are plenty of other places to stay in Galway that are great for exploring.
1. Foyles Hotel (Clifden)
If you’re in search of great places to stay in Galway for an adventure, look no further than the village of Clifden.
Although there are plenty of great hotels in Clifden, Foyle’s Hotel is our favourite. Foyle’s has recently been redesigned and boasts 25 finely furnished en-suite rooms.
It’s located at the centre of the village, a short walk from lively pubs and some of the best restaurants in Clifden.
2. The Hardiman (Galway City)
There’s a clatter of hotels in Galway City where you can base yourself for a few nights and the beauty of staying in the city is that you can explore around you on day trips.
Hotel wise, Galway City’s home to it’s fair share, with something to suit most budgets (if you’re after cheap places to stay in Galway, hop into our Galway hostels guide).
The Hardiman is a great option if you’ve a bit of cash to splash. It’s central, the reviews are exceptional and there’s an outdoor Canadian hot tub where you can soak up a mighty view.
3. The Ardilaun Hotel (Salthill)
Salthill tends to get overlooked a fair bit by those visiting Galway. However, it’s a great little base, as there’s plenty of things to do in Salthill and there’s loads to see nearby.
There’s also plenty of great pubs and restaurants in Salthill where you can kick-back after a day spent exploring.
Hotel wise, the Ardilaun is a peach of a spot (it’s also one of the best dog friendly hotels in Ireland!).
It boasts a pool, gym, sauna and jacuzzi along with an award-winning restaurant much, much more!
Where to stay in Galway for a whole lot of luxury
If you’re in search of a bit of luxury, you’re in luck – there’s plenty of swanky places to stay and 5 star hotels in Galway.
Below, you’ll find some of the best places to stay in Galway if you’re happy to splash the cash for a fancier setting (or nip into our Galway luxury accommodation guide).
1. Glenlo Abbey
This, in our opinion, is one of the best places to stay in Galway. Finely plonked on 200 acres at the edge of Lough Corrib, Glenlo Abbey is one of the finest 5 star hotels in Ireland.
Dating back to the 18th century, Glenlo Abbey boasts 50 fancy rooms, several on-site restaurants and a magnificent estate to explore during.
There’s also a 138-acre golf estate and plenty of activities on offer, including fishing, boating, archery, and horse riding.
2. The G Hotel
If you’re wondering where to stay in Galway City for a fine bit of luxury, look no further than the G Hotel.
This glamorous 5-star was designed by Phillip Treacy, and it’s a stone’s throw from many of the city’s top attractions.
Guests have access to an award-winning spa and restaurant. The luxurious bedrooms are spacious and fitted with comfortable beds, bathrooms with free-standing tubs, and flat-screen satellite TVs.
3. Ballynahinch Castle
There are few places to stay in Galway that offer as unique (or luxurious!) an experience as the incredible Ballynahinch Castle Hotel.
Those that visit can expect a fairytale-like location, scenery that’ll knock you on your ar*e and rooms that you’ll never want to leave.
Where to stay in Galway if you fancy a bit of pampering (yes, spa hotels!)
There’s a number of brilliant spa hotels in Galway, ranging from pretty damn pricey to fairly reasonable, depending on your budget.
Below, you’ll find some swanky places to stay in Galway, like the Galmont, and some frequently overlooked spa hotels, like the Connemara Coast.
1. Connemara Coast Hotel
In a lot of guides on where to stay in Galway, you’ll see the same hotels and B&Bs pop up time and time again.
Does that mean there the only worthwhile places to stay in Galway? Of course not! Our next hotel is a prime example of this.
You’ll find the brilliant Connemara Coast Hotel finely situated along the shores of Galway Bay, a stone’s throw from the city (16 minutes).
There’s a spa on-site, a big aul pool and a restaurant and bar that has racked up some solid reviews online.
2. The Galmont Hotel and Spa
The Galmont is arguably one of the best places to stay in Galway City if you want to be very near the action, without being in the centre of it.
Located a short 13-minute or so ramble from Galway’s lively Latin Quarter, the Galmont is a great place to base yourself for a night or 3.
Boasting awards such as “Spa Hotel of the Year 2019” at the 2019 Irish Hotel Awards, this spot comes with a clutch of endorsements.
3. The Twelve Hotel
Boasting the title of ‘Hotel of the Year 2018’, The Twelve is an elegant retreat in the quiet little village of Barna, not far from Galway City (16-minute drive away).
If you’re wondering where to stay in Galway for exquisite dining, luxurious rooms and an on-site spa, get yourself here!
This is a great little base as you can nip in and out of the city with ease or you can head up towards Connemara National Park on a scenic drive (1 hour and 20 minutes away).
The best places to stay in Galway if you fancy giving glamping and camping a lash
Below, I’ve popped in some of our favourite places to stay in Galway if you fancy a night away with a difference.
1. Aran Islands Camping & Glamping
First up is one of the most unique places to stay in Galway and you’ll recognise it if you nipped into our camping in Galway guide.
Aran Islands camping & glamping offers two types of accommodation; the beehive shaped Clochán Glamping Unit (sleeps up to four people) and the larger Tigín Glamping Unit (sleeps up to six people).
All units are fully heated, come with a mini-kitchen (there is also a shared kitchen for big meals), fridge, a sofa bed, a shower room and coffee/tea making facilities.
2. Clifden Eco Beach
If you’re wondering where to stay in Galway to get up close and personal with some of the best scenery in the county, look no further.
Located on in Connemara, Clifden Eco Beach is an eco-friendly campsite located right next to one of the best beaches in Galway.
The campsite has on-site facilities such as showers, toilets, washing machine and a kitchen offering free tea/coffee.
3. Burren Glamping
Burren Glamping is another of the more unique places to stay in Galway during your visit (it’s a great place to explore both Clare and Galway).
The horse truck is recently refurbished, sleeps up to 6 people and is well insulated. Breakfast is made from organic produce directly from the farm.
FAQs about where to stay in Galway
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from where to stay in Galway if you’re visiting for the first time to what are the best places to stay in Galway if you fancy going all out.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best areas in Galway to stay in?
For Connemara: Clifden. For the city and wider county: Galway City, Salthill, Oranmore. For something different: Inishbofin.
What are the best places to stay in Galway accommodation wise?
For luxury: The G Hotel and Ballynahinch. For spa hotels: The Galmont, Glenlo Abbey and the Connemara Coast Hotel.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.