Why stay in Galway?
Galway is Ireland's fourth largest city and one of the most popular spots to visit in western Ireland. Galway is an ideal spot for basing yourself if you intend to visit western Ireland in general, but it's also a city worth visiting all on its own. Don't come to Galway hoping to hit museums and other tpyical tourist attractions, however - it's primarily a place to hang out and get to know Irish culture firsthand.
Galway is right on the sea, and also has a nice aquarium called the Galway Atlantaquaria which features the typical fish and other life that's found around the coast of Ireland. You can get a look at what's left of the old city defense system at one end of the pedestrian mall - it's called the Spanish Arch. There are often concerts, plays and other events taking place in Galway, so just find out what's going on when you're there. And don't be afraid to just pop into a local pub for a pint and a meal and (if you're lucky) some traditional Irish music - you just might make some lifelong friends. Using Galway as a base, you can also make day-trips to the nearby Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, the Aran Islands and Connemara.
The word "hostel" won't always be apparent in the listings of budget accommodations here - sometimes a property will be more like a guesthouse or B&B, but still at hostel prices. Also keep in mind that "hostels" aren't just for the young anymore - they're ideal for budget-minded travelers who want to meet fellow travelers. A few notable Galway hostels are highlighted here.
Kinlay House Galway is right on the pedestrian area in Galway's city center and offers both day trips to nearby attractions and complimentary passes for Galway's top nightclubs. Sleepzone Galway City is in the city center and has been listed in several guidebooks. It boasts over 200 beds.
The Galway City Hostel is steps from the main train and bus stations and has views of Eyre Square and its own bar. Barnacles Quay Street Galway is in the pedestrian zone in the center of town and has been recommended by a few guidebooks.
Don't worry if none of these properties sounds ideal - there are plenty more Galway hostels listed here. Keep reading descriptions until you find the right one for you.
If you haven't already booked your flight, search for international airfare to Ireland and get on your way. And don't forget to read more about the city before you go in the Galway Travel Guide.