The Best Hostels in Ireland for Every Traveller

Base yourself at one of Ireland's best hostels and explore nearby national parks and other beautiful Irish landscapes
Base yourself at one of Ireland's best hostels and explore nearby national parks and other beautiful Irish landscapes | © Gareth McCormack / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of David Gordon
27 December 2020

A third of the population of Ireland is under the age of 25, so there’s a network of hostels catering to the young that’s on demand and well-served. Some properties are classed as boutique, while others are a bit more rough and ready, but all offer that true backpacker experience. Here’s our expert round-up of the best.

The Black Sheep Hostel, County Kerry

5/5 (1 Reviews)
The Black Sheep Hostel
Courtesy of the Black Sheep Hostel / Expedia

Whether your plan is to explore the wilds of Killarney, or enjoy the delights of the town, both are a minute away from the Black Sheep Hostel. Located in a 19th-century townhouse, the timber-built, pod-style beds are comfortable and private. The hostel is well equipped, with a communal guitar for the impromptu sing-song and a fully equipped kitchen with free pasta for travellers famished after their outdoor pursuits.

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Galway City Hostel

4.4/5 (29 Reviews)
Galway City Hotel
Courtesy of Galway City Hostel / Expedia

Lively and full of good vibes, Galway is a great city to explore, and there is music everywhere you turn. Voted the best hostel in Ireland by Hostelworld is a great place to be based on your trip to the city, and it is situated right in the heart of the vibrant Eyre Square. Facilities include mixed dorms, a fully equipped self-catering kitchen and a chill-out area.

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Isaacs Hostel, Dublin

Isaacs Hostel is the perfect place to stay for backpackers on a tight budget
Courtesy of Isaacs Hostel / Hostelworld

Once a 19th-century wine store, Isaacs Hostel is full of character and has a really great atmosphere. With a mix of private rooms and multi-bed dormitories, this hostel caters for solo travellers as well as larger groups. It’s close to Dublin’s main bus and train stations, which makes getting around really simple. The common area has a pool table, the internet and Netflix, and is certainly one of the best places to meet new people in Dublin.

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Rowan Tree Hostel, County Clare

4.7/5 (13 Reviews)
Rowan Tree Hostel
Courtesy of Rowan Tree Hostel / Expedia

Situated in a restored 17th-century building in the heart of Ennis, the Rowan Tree has family-friendly rooms, dorms for groups and private rooms for couples. Ennis is a lively town, known for its Irish music scene. The town is close to some of Ireland’s most compelling landscapes: the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. Fans of 1990s sitcom Father Ted will recognise the town, with the iconic Parochial House from the series not far away in Lackareagh, County Clare.

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Abrahams Hostel, Dublin

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Abrahams Hostel
Courtesy of Abrahams Hostel / Expedia

Just a five-minute walk from O’Connell Street, this centrally located Dublin city hostel makes the most of its connections. As well as being close to the main transport hub, the hostel also offers early-morning shuttle buses to the airport. The hostel has private rooms as well as mixed and female-only dorms, and guests can avail themselves of free tours of the city.

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  • The Nest Boutique Hostel, County Galway

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    The Nest Boutique Hostel
    Courtesy of the Nest Boutique Hostel / Expedia

    Sitting pretty in the seaside village of Salthill, the Nest is beside the promenade that stretches for 2km (1.2mi) along Galway Bay. If the many attractions of Salthill tire you out, the warm and inviting open area of the Nest are ideal for meeting other guests, or finding your own space to relax. The rooms offer home comforts with decent beds and soft linen. This is no ordinary hostel in no ordinary seaside village.

    Kinlay Hostel Galway

    Kinlay Hostel Galway
    Courtesy of Kinlay Hostel Galway / Expedia

    Having undergone a complete refurbishment in 2020, Kinlay Hostel is ideally located on Galway’s Eyre Square in the middle of the city. Rooms range from private single rooms to groups of eight, while dorm rooms are also available. Staff know the best places in town and also organise tours for guests.

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    Mount Brandon Hostel, County Kerry

    Map View

    The hostel is on the Dingle Way walking trail and the Wild Atlantic Way driving and cycling route, making it one of the most scenic areas of Ireland. The beaches of Tralee Bay are close by, offering surfing and angling for outdoor enthusiasts. Mount Brandon is in the village of Cloghane, where the two local pubs host regular music sessions. The hostel offers a range of options, from single to family en-suite rooms.

    Abbey Court Hostel, Dublin

    Map View
    The rooms at Abbey Court Hostel are basic but comfortable
    Courtesy of Abbey Court Hostel / Hostelworld

    With the River Liffey and some of Dublin’s cultural hotspots on its doorstep, the Abbey Court Hostel is perfectly located for a city stay. The photogenic, colourful hostel looks like a dream on Instagram, while the entertainment on offer includes a games and music room as well as a relaxing lounge.

    These recommendations were updated on December 27, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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