Galway is a city with a good selection of hotel, hostels B&Bs and guesthouses to suit most travellers. This guide will focus on providing additional context for prospective travellers specifically around the how the accommodation choices would fit into a holiday based on rugby.
All the directions to the hostels start at the “sails” sculpture/fountain in Eyre Square. In terms of directions the “top” of Eyre Square is where there sculpture is, and the “bottom” is where the Meyrick Hotel is, the “left” is the side with The Skeffington Arms, and the “right” is the side with O’Connells bar.
Bed & Breakfasts
B&Bs are an Irish favourite, allowing weary travellers to have a home away from home. The following list are those B&Bs which are offering reduced rates to Connacht Clan members and travelling fans. Note that you must book directly with the B&B to get these quoted prices and that you must mention that you are a member of the Connacht Clan or are attending a Connacht Rugby match.
*Family rooms prices are quoted for 4 sharing but room will accommodate 5.
Telephone: +353 91 566855
Galway has a number of good quality hostels and if you are looking for a lad’s/gal’s weekend away then you probably make one of these places your first port of call. We will do a bit more of a write up on these than the other options as we figure that most rugby fans will pip for one of these over a hotel (unless the other half is with you!).
A relative new-comer to Galway Snoozles is the closest hostel to the Sportsground. It is modern and fresh, and it draws (as all hostels tend to) a young backpacker crowd, especially in the summer. It has a superb location for the rugby traveller, as it is beside the coach station, near the train/Bus Eireann station, and situated between Eyre Square (2 mins away walking) and the Sportsground (5 mins).
Being very new, it offers all of the services that the best hostels do, including free wi-fi, safety deposit boxes, and key-card access for guest-only areas. One thing to take note of is that there is a €20 per person “noise and damage deposit” for group bookings. It is also just outside of the main pub area and so it is relatively quiet compared to hostel in other parts of the city, while not sacrificing convienience.
Directions: Go to the bottom of Eyre Square and turn to the right, walking along Forster Street towards the Sportsground. Go past the Tourist Office on your right, and through the junction. Snoozles is on the right hand side of the street, at the beginning of the small hill.
Galway City Hostel is located above Fox’s bar at the corner of Eyre Square and Forster Street. This means that it is bang in the heart of the bustle (and noise) of Galway. They have all the mod-cons, such as free wi-fi, but the hostel is a little on the older side, which may be very much appreciated by some (character) but some reviewers on Hostelworld seem to think that a refurbishment is required.
It is a little further from the Sportsground compared to Snoozles but not by much. It is closer to the pubs though. The website advertises free admission to nightclubs (most likely Coyotes, a very young, very alcohol fuelled place), and discounts in Fox’s below, so if you are on a blow-out weekend it would be worth putting on the shortlist.
There are lockers for each bed in the rooms but you will need to provide your own pad-locks. You can also avail of luggage storage at the hostel. The staff seems to be really friendly and popular with reviewers. Some reviewers have complained about long term residents, and also about the fact that the common room closes at midnight.
Directions: Go to the bottom right corner of Eyre Square. Look for Fox’s bar. Go down the little alley to the right of Fox’s, and the entrance is on the left.
Sleepzone is located near the county council building. This places it in a pretty quiet area, although traffic noise or noise from people passing by seems to be a problem. However it is still very close to the city centre and the Sportsground is not far away either, only about a 10 minute walk.
The hostel is quite modern, with WiFi available in common areas, and a brand new kitchen. There are a few different mixing and chill out areas. Note that the hostel does not provide any breakfast for travellers though.
Directions: Go to the top-right hand side of Eyre Square. Walk up Prospect Hill, and take the first left (to the left hand side of a large grey limestone building… the county council). Walk down the hill, past the multi-storey car park. It will be on the left.
This is a recently renovated hostel but has been in business in Galway for over 20 years. It is located at the corner of Eyre Square and Merchant’s Road, which means it is extremely central, but not right next to any bars, clubs or restaurants that would have an adverse effect on your night’s sleep.
The reviews for this hostel online are excellent (top rated on hostelword and tripadvisor) and it has recently won awards for being the best hostel in Ireland. The interior décor is eclectic, they welcome all ages, and the common rooms are top quality. The owners are responsive to feedback and have put in brand new lockers in the dorms at the behest of travellers.
All mod cons are provided, including free wifi, keycard access, and reading lights. They provide a free breakfast (cereal, toast, tea and coffee).
Directions: Go to the bottom-left corner of Eyre Square. Continue past the AIB bank on your left, past the traffic lights. On your right hand side, on the corner of the next street (Merchant’s Road) you will find Kinlay House.
For the more adventurous there is Barnacles on Quay Street, which is right across the street from The Quays (large bar and music venue), down the road from Tigh Neactain's (Irish trad pub with live Irish music), and surrounded by great eateries in the heart of “The Latin Quarter”. This is near the river Corrib which puts it further away from the Sportsground than the other options. Nevertheless the walk is still only about 15 minutes, through the centre of Galway.
They have all the same mod-cons as other, including free wifi and access to PCs, and really the only question is whether you want to be in the heart of the action! They provide a light breakfast for free and there is 24 hour access. Best of all if you mention the Connacht Clan, or show your ticket to the Connacht match you get a 10% discount!
Directions: Go to the top left of Eyre Square. Keeping Café Express on your left, you should leave Eyre Square and head onto the pedestrianized Shop Street. Continue down Shop Street passing Eason’s (on your right) until you get to a fork. Take the left fork, with The King’s Head pub on it. Continue down past Portwest on your left and The Bunch of Grapes on your right, and cross the road at the end onto the also pedestrianized Quay Street. Barnacle’s is about half way down the street on your right.