Where to stay in Galway without a car: 4 Best areas

I love to explore places without a car, and on my website, I cover many topics for car-free travelers. In this article, we will visit Galway and help you find the best places to stay in Galway without a car

I will share my recommendations for the top areas to stay in Galway without a car, along with a helpful map. I’ll also tell you where I stayed in Galway and suggest the best hotels in Galway for all budgets.

Galway is a city located on the west coast of Ireland. It is the capital of County Galway and the fourth most populous city in the Republic of Ireland.

Galway City Center is characterized by its cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and lively atmosphere. Shop Street is a popular pedestrianized street with numerous shops, restaurants, and pubs.

Some popular spots to visit in Galway are the 16th century Spanish Arch, Galway Cathedral, Eyre Square, Claddagh historic fishing village, and Galway Bay with beautiful views and opportunities for coastal walks.

The city is renowned for its cultural events and festivals, including the Galway International Arts Festival and the Galway Film Fleadh. The city has a thriving arts scene with numerous theaters, galleries, and performance spaces.

It is also home to the Galway University (National University of Ireland, Galway – NUI Galway), an important educational institution in the city, contributing to its vibrant and youthful atmosphere.

Can you get around Galway without a car?

Yes, it is possible to get around Galway without a car. Galway City Center is pedestrian-friendly, and many of its main attractions, shops, and restaurants are located within a relatively small area. Walking is a great way to explore the charming streets and vibrant atmosphere.

You can also explore Galway by bike. There are several bike rental shops in the city, and cycling can be a convenient and enjoyable way to see the sights.

Galway has a public bus system operated by Bus Éireann. This can be a convenient option for traveling to areas outside the city center. The bus station is located near the city center, making it accessible for travelers.

You can find taxis at taxi ranks or can book them through taxi companies. Taxis are a good option if you need to travel to specific destinations or if you prefer a more direct and private mode of transportation.

Some tourist attractions and tour companies offer shuttle services to popular destinations in and around Galway. You can take a boat tour to explore the stunning Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands. 

Where to stay in Galway without a car?

The best areas to stay in Galway without a car are the areas around Eyre Square, Latin Quarter/ Spanish Arch, The Claddagh, and Salthill. These are popular tourist areas in Galway City center, so you can easily get around on foot and by using public transportation. 

During my trip to Galway, I stayed in Galway City Center at the Eyre Square Townhouse. It was a lovely hotel on Eyre Street, 2 mins walk from the train and bus stations. There were many  many shops, bars and restaurants nearby. Receptionists were friendly and helpful, my bed was comfortable and the bathroom was spacious.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Galway for car-free travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Galway without a car
Map of the best areas to stay in Galway without a car

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Galway, especially for travelers without a car. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Galway have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

4 Best areas to stay in Galway without a car:

1. Eyre Square

Eyre Square is one of the best areas to stay in Galway without a car. It is the main square located in the heart of Galway City and is a central hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Staying in this area provides easy access to many attractions, shops, restaurants, and pubs.

Eyre Square, also known as John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, is a transportation hub, with the Galway Bus and Train Stations located nearby. This makes it convenient for travelers arriving or departing from the city.

The square is surrounded by shops, boutiques, and department stores, making it a popular destination for shopping. The area is also home to a variety of restaurants, cafes, and traditional Irish pubs. It’s a great place to experience Galway’s vibrant food and nightlife scene.

There are numerous hotels, hostels, and guesthouses in and around Eyre Square, providing convenient access to the city’s attractions.

The square features various monuments, including the Browne Doorway and the Kennedy Memorial. Eyre Square itself is a green space with benches, making it a pleasant spot to relax and people-watch. 

Best places to stay in Galway in Eyre Square without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): Park House Hotel, great 4-star hotel centrally located on Forster Street, within walking distance from Eyre Square, Latin quarter, and the Galway Train Station. Also close to the tourist information center where you can book a tour to Connemara, Cliff of Moher, and Aran Islands.
  • Mid-range ($$): The Galmont Hotel & Spa, popular 4-star eco-friendly accommodation, located within a short distance from Eyre Square and Galway city center. It has a children’s pool, paid onsite parking for those who drive, and very good breakfast.
  • Budget ($): Skeffington Arms Hotel, great 3-star hotel in the heart of Galway City Center, offering the views of the Eyre Square. It is close to most everything and 4 mins walk from the train station.

2. Latin Quarter/ Spanish Arch

The area around Latin Quarter and Spanish Arch is a great base for car-free travelers and those who want a central location and vibrant nightlife. They are two interconnected areas in Galway City Center, situated along the banks of the River Corrib, providing scenic waterfront views.

The Latin Quarter is known for its narrow, medieval streets with colorful buildings, creating a charming and picturesque atmosphere.

Shop Street, a central street in the Latin Quarter, is lined with shops, boutiques, and cafes, making it a popular destination for shopping and leisurely strolls.

The Latin Quarter is home to several cultural attractions, including theaters, art galleries, and historic landmarks.

This area is renowned for its vibrant music scene, with many traditional Irish pubs hosting live music sessions. It’s a great place to experience the lively atmosphere of Galway’s nightlife.

The Spanish Arch is an iconic structure that was originally part of Galway’s city walls. It is located at the Claddagh Quay and offers picturesque views of the River Corrib.

The Latin Quarter is known for its diverse range of dining options, from traditional Irish cuisine to international flavors.

Best places to stay in Galway in Latin Quarter without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): The House Hotel, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member, 4-star hotel centrally situated on Lower Merchants Road, just off Quay Square and Spanish Arch. It is also a short distance from the Cathedral, National University of Ireland, and Salthill’s promenade
  • Mid-range ($$): Leonardo Hotel Galway – Formerly Jurys Inn, 4-star accommodation set on Quay Street, with the views of Galway Bay and Spanish Arch. Short distance from St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Cathedral and Train Station.
  • Budget ($): The Snug Townhouse, great 3-star hotel conveniently located on the Quay Street in central Galway, only 10 mins walk from Galway Railway Station. Also close to the St. Nicholas Collegiate Church and Galway Greyhound Stadium. It has a 24-hour front desk and family rooms.

3. The Claddagh

The Claddagh is a historic area situated just outside the city center along the shores of Galway Bay. It is a great area for those who want budget-friendly accommodation, a quieter atmosphere while still having easy access to the city center.

Claddagh has a rich history and was originally a fishing village. It has retained much of its traditional charm, with narrow streets and colorful, historic buildings.

The Claddagh is famous for the Claddagh ring, a traditional Irish ring that represents love, loyalty, and friendship. Many jewelry shops in the area sell these iconic rings.

The Claddagh offers beautiful views of Galway Bay and the surrounding coastal area. The waterfront provides a peaceful and scenic setting for a leisurely stroll.

The area has a strong connection to Galway’s fishing heritage, and you may still see traditional fishing boats and equipment along the quays.

There is a pleasant promenade along the bay where visitors can enjoy a walk, take in the views, and relax by the water.

The Galway City Museum is located nearby, providing insights into the history and culture of Galway. It’s worth a visit to learn more about the region.

Best places to stay in Galway in The Claddagh without a car:

  • Budget ($): Adare Guesthouse, 3-star good value for money accommodation, located in a quiet area, within only 5 mins walk from downtown and the Latin Quarter. It has free on-site parking and Excellent Breakfast.
  • Budget ($): The Stop, great historic hotel located within 5 mins walk from the center of Galway, 10-15 mins walk to Eyre Square, where you can find many shops and restaurants, as well as Salthill and the beaches.
  • Budget ($): Sli Na Mara, good value for money family-run bed and breakfast, conveniently located only 10 mins walk from Galway city center. Also close to the popular area of Salthill and the Promenade. Free parking which is a bonus for those with a car.

4. Salthill

Salthill is a seaside suburb of Galway City, located to the west of the city center along the northern shore of Galway Bay. Salthill has a more laid-back and relaxed atmosphere compared to the city center. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy the coastal setting.

Salthill is known for its scenic promenade that stretches along the coastline. It offers beautiful views of Galway Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The promenade is a relaxing place for a stroll or a cycle, and it’s dotted with benches, making it a peaceful spot to enjoy the coastal views.

The area has a sandy beach, making it a popular spot for both locals and visitors, especially during the warmer months.

Leisureland is a leisure complex in Salthill that includes a swimming pool, a gym, and an amusement arcade. It’s a family-friendly attraction offering indoor activities.

Located in Salthill, the Galway Atlantaquaria is the National Aquarium of Ireland. It’s a great place to learn about marine life and conservation.

Salthill has a variety of restaurants, cafes, and pubs along the promenade where visitors can enjoy both local and international cuisine.

For golf enthusiasts, the Galway Golf Club is located in Salthill, offering a scenic course with views of the bay. The area hosts the Salthill Airshow, which showcases aerobatic displays over Galway Bay.

Best places to stay in Galway in Salthill without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): Shoreline Apartments, great accommodation, located close to Grattan Beach and Ladies Beach.
  • Mid-range ($$): Arus Grattan, beachfront self-catering accommodations 10 mins walk from Galway city center. Close to Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland, Leisure Land, Galway Golf Club.
  • Budget ($): The Nest Boutique Hostel, popular backpacker hostel located on Upper Salthill Road, featuring 24-hour front desk, Wonderful Breakfast, and even family rooms.

In conclusion, Eyre Square, Latin Quarter/ Spanish Arch, The Claddagh, and Salthill are the best places to stay in Galway without a car. These are all central areas, so you will have easy access to attractions and amenities by walking, public transportations and taxis.

You can also read this article about Ireland: Best areas to stay in Dublin without a car.

There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas that you can stay during your car-free trip to Galway. I hope you found my article helpful and enjoy your holiday!

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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