When it comes to finding a good hostel in Ireland, you’re not simply looking for a cheap bed to lay your weary head on. As with all of the best hostels in the world, the foundations of a good hostel normally lie in the staff rather than the building itself.
Sure a good hostel need to be clean and comfortable and ideally with a super-fast internet connections, but the true measure of a good Irish hostel is how good the craic is! Are there good common room areas for guests to hang out in? What’s the atmosphere like? Do the staff encourage tomfoolery and shenanigans or are they hell bent on treating you like teenagers withs strict no fun policy? I’ve done the ground work for you and come up with 15 of the best hostels in Ireland where you are SURE to have the craic.
Even though Ireland is tiny in size in comparison to many other destinations around the world, there are so many places to see. Yes, there is a big beautiful country to explore OUTSIDE of Dublin! Shocker! That’s why we’ve tried to be balanced and add in a number of different and amazing locations, yet also added more than one for some of the top destinations such as Dublin!
Bru Bar and Hostel, Cork
Bru Bar and Hostel is a great place to stay in Cork City. Travellers that like to socialize will love it as there’s a bar downstairs where you can get the night started before moving onto some of the great pubs in the city. The location is perfect as it’s within walking distance of most of Cork City’s main sights! The staff are really friendly and go the extra mile in making sure you have a pleasant stay.
Kinlay House, Cork
Kinlay House offers great budget accommodation for travelers to Cork city! It’s situated in the charming Shandon neighbourhood and within close proximity to lively bars, great cafés and restaurants, shops and the city’s main attractions – how convenient!
The lovely staff will be more than happy to answer questions and tell you about their day tours. Dorms and privates are available so it’s a great place for solo travelers, couples and families alike! It’s also a great place for people that like to stay in shape or have a swim while on holiday. Guests can access Club Vitae health and fitness club next door for only E5 (they not only have a pool, but a sauna and steam room too!) Pretty cool if you want to do something and it’s raining (of which the odds are high in our beautiful but wet country).
This is one of our top recommendations for a place to stay in Dublin. Generator is a great group of hostels of which there are twelve all over Europe – and their Dublin branch doesn’t disappoint! Not just one of the top places to stay in Dublin, this is definitely one of the top hostels in Ireland. Whiskey lovers will be especially pleased if they choose to rest here for a night or two as the hostel is next door to the Jameson Factory. Although that means it’s not right in the city centre there’s access to tram transportation just outside that will let you move around freely….and they are mere minutes walk to Temple Bar!
Modern, clean and funky rooms make your stay all the more enjoyable. But what really makes the hostel top notch in our books is its well-designed open social spaces and its simply awesome bar which add to the atmosphere and make it a perfect place to meet other travellers. Another thing to know before you go is that they offer a room with a hot tub for those who are after a more luxurious experience – why not eh?!
Four Courts Hostel, Dublin
Situated overlooking the banks of Dublin’s river Liffey, the Four Courts Hostel is another great option if you’re staying Ireland’s capital city! Its location also makes it easy to visit the Guinness Storehouse, the Jameson Distillery, Temple Bar and Brazen Head. One of the best value for money hostels in Dublin, they offer free international calls for guests and there’s a free breakfast too!
Jacobs Inn, Dublin
Jacobs Inn is our final suggestion for your trip to Dublin – well it’s good to have options isn’t it! It’s located right in the city center and beside access to public transportation making it easy for you to go anywhere you want to really. You can help yourself to all of the free tea and coffee you like too! Score! They have a common room and a game room which makes it the perfect place for mingling! There’s also a lot of space in the kitchen area to make your own food if that’s the way you prefer to travel. The staff are kind and super helpful.
Neptune’s Hostel, Killarney
Killarney is a great place to stay if you want to visit some of Ireland’s top tourist destinations including the Dingle peninsula, The Ring of Kerry and the Gap of Dunloe. If you do have this amazing opportunity, we definitely recommend you stay at the family owned and run Neptune’s Hostel which has been welcoming guests from all over for no less than 20 years. Neptune’s is the type of place you go to once and return again because of its real family feel that makes you feel like you’re staying at a home away from home. Great value for money with a free breakfast and in a convenient location.
Kinlay Eyre Square Hostel, Galway
You need to visit the charming Galway City at least once – fact! And being only a minute’s walk from both the coach and train station makes Kinlay Eyre Square Hostel the perfect place to arrive at after your journey there. Its central location within the city itself also makes it perfect for walking around and soaking up its sights. The friendly staff are always happy to help guests plan their trips to the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands and Connemara. It’s great value for money if you’re on a budget (lots of free tea and lovely scones for breakfast). We love the cozy common room where it’s possible to BYOB, relax and chat to other guests.
TurfnSurf Lodge, Bundoran
As we’re trying to include hostels for every type of traveller, we can’t miss one for surfers. Where to surf in Ireland? Bundoran! The surf capital of Ireland, and one of the top spots in the world, this small seaside town located on Ireland’s north coast of County Donegal, is a great place to surf. Stay at TurfnSurf Lodge because it’s right by the beach (perfect!) and also near all the best pubs! You can book accommodation on its own or whole surf packages with them, making your trip to Bundoran stress free. The rooms are lovely and the staff are super friendly and helpful. The instructors are great on teh water and even more fun once you get them on the dance floor at night. They also throw epic fancy dress parties and BBQs during the summer – especially if you visit during the renowned Sea Sessions Music Festival. Given that you’re around fellow surfers of course the atmosphere is super laid back so it’s a great place to chill. Their breakfast room also has views that will break you Instagram feed.
Snoozles Hostel, Galway
Snoozles is another great option for visitors to Galway. They have a nice little common room where you can meet other cool travellers like yourself! It’s located in a lovely residential area so if the noise annoys you it’s a good place to stay! We love their regular weekly timetable which allows you to mingle with other guests: Sunday’s – Pizza & Movie Night 7pm; Monday’s – Open Mic Night 7pm; Thursday – Group Dinner (Only for €2!) 7pm! Don’t mind if we do…
Finn McCool’s Giant Causeway Hostel, Antrim
If you’re planning a trip to Giant’s Causeway then we have the place to stay for you! (For those of you who don’t know Giant’s Causeway is Ireland’s famous attraction that is made up of some 40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the sea)! Finn McCools is a lovely, small boutique hostel with a homely feel located less than 200 metres from this must-see tourist attraction. It’s a great place to explore nature, to hike and cycle. Therefore, a top hostel for outdoorsy types! We love the fireplace – makes it feel like home.
Vagabonds is simply the best place to stay in Belfast. Only a few minutes’ walk from the city centre and all the main tourist attractions and bars and restaurants meaning it’s really in the perfect location. We love the design of the hostel which gives it an overall funky feel. It has a great atmosphere which makes it the ideal place for solo travellers looking to make some travel or drinking buddies!
Hostel Connect Derry
Awarded the title City of Culture in 2013, there’s just so much to do in Derry which is home to a combination of great pubs, clubs, restaurants and galleries, and also hosts so many great events during the year (their Halloween festival is one of the best in the country). So where to stay? We recommend the city’s largest and most charming hostel, Hostel Connect, which is situated right in the centre of it all. They have a great, nicely decorated common area where you can watch TV, use the computers or just have a chat with other guests. It’s great value for money and the staff go out of their way to give you information about where to eat and drink and what to visit to ensure you don’t miss anything that this amazing city has to offer!
Lahinch Hostel, Clare
That’s right, another surf hostel has made the list! Well we can’t help it that surf hostels are usually where you meet some of the coolest people-it just comes with the territory! But the location of Lahinch hostel doesn’t make it just a great place to surf. Situated between Dingle and Clifden, it also serves as a great place to visit the Cliffs of Moher or go on further to visit other great places in the west such as the Aran Islands and the Burren to name just a few. The accommodation is spacious and they have a great kitchen and dining area for guests to cook in. The staff are really fabulous and will help you organise anything from surf lessons to hiking to cycling trips. The hostel is also near numerous pubs which makes for evening entertainment. It’s simply an amazing feeling to wake up every day – love it!
Valley House Hostel, Achill Island
We simply adore this hostel located in a beautiful historic Victorian house. Achill Island is such a magical place so staying in a magical hostel to add to the experience is a must! The hostel is wonderful as it has its own cozy little bar so it’s possible to grab a bite to eat and a drink with fellow travellers there (the food is delicious in case you were wondering!) It’s also well equipped with self-catering facilities and the bedrooms are large and spacious. Price wise, it’s good value for money too!
The Connemara Hostel, Galway
Tennis courts, free on-site parking, a spacious self-catering kitchen, outdoor barbecue facilities, guest lounge, games room stunning view overlooking the Killary Fjord from every room…The Connemara Hostel has it all! It’s simply the place to stay if you want to make friends and be welcomed by great staff while visiting one of Ireland’s most beautiful areas!
Author Bio: Ann Marie Murphy is from Wexford, Ireland and has travelled extensively throughout Asia and Europe. She spent one year teaching English and partying it up in Seoul, three years in beautiful Paris doing everything from au pairing to working with international organisations and at the moment she’s based in Bangkok where she’s completing an internship with UNESCO. Her two loves are writing and ultimate Frisbee.
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