Hello and welcome to the best hostels in Ireland. This list will help you backpacking Ireland like a boss. We found many fantastic hostels from Dublin and Galway, to Killarney and Cork.
Are these the best Hostels in Ireland?
Is the pope religious…?
The quality of hostels in Ireland varies a lot. You can find really worn-out, old hostels up to absolutely incredible places.
In this list we give you a wide range of hostels; from design hostels to Backpacker and Party Hostels. All are great! Just choose the right hostel for your own travel style.
You’ll spot a big map of Ireland complete with ALL hostels at the end of this guide. This is really helpful for your planning.
Not only that, but we share with you our ultimate hostel packing list.
List of Cities with the Best Hostels in Ireland
Come on then, let’s jump right in and discover the best hostels in Ireland.
- Inis Mor, Aran Islands
- Malin Beg
- All Best Hostels in Ireland on a Map
- More Hostels in Europe
What about Northern Ireland? This is actually politically seperate from Ireland and is part of the United Kingdom. We have written a guide to the best hostels in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.
Note: in many of the destinations there is only 1 hostel recommendation. This is because we couldn’t find any other hostels worth mentioning that we would recommend to our friends and family.
Best Hostels in Dublin
Dublin, Ireland’s capital, sits on the mouth of the River Liffey. Stroll the cobbled streets, grab a Guinness and revel in the city’s rich history.
We have 3 great hostels for you to choose from:
1. Jacob’s Inn
Jacob’s Inn Hostel is a spacious, bright accommodation in the heart of Dublin city centre. A top pick for solo travellers!
Enjoy great inclusions such as a free breakfast, bike hire, tour booking and foosball.
The dorm beds have been created pod-style with a curtain for added privacy. Not to mention the spacious room that comes with it.
Location: All top sights are within a 10-minute stroll. A 25-minute direct link to the airport is right outside.
2. Generator Hostel Dublin
The design of Generator Hostel Dublin is a real mix of modern and quirky, leaving the place feeling super hip.
With state-of-the-art facilities, a fun atmosphere and central location – budget travellers are in luck.
Take advantage of the freebies and have fun with nightly events and drink promotions.
Yep that’s right, there’s a bar and cafe on-site!
3. Sky Backpackers
This former recording studio is now a cosy, colourful and musical themed hostel right near the Temple Bar area.
It’s great for free walking tours and themed nights.
Chill out with a book or play a game with new friends. Reception is open 24/7 so enjoy the nearby nightlife to your heart’s content.
Best Hostels in Wicklow: The Elbowroom Escape
Nestled in the Wicklow landscape is a real treasure; The Elbowroom Escape.
Hiking enthusiasts will love the several tracks leading from the door. Either that or relax in one of the beanbags by the fire, or in a hammock outside.
Breakfast is included and rooms are of the highest standard.
Think memory foam mattress and en-suite. It’s seriously superior and chic!
Location: Minutes from nearby Donard.
Best Hostels in Mountmellick: The Forum Mountmellick Boutique Hostel
Here we have a charming family run boutique hostel, renovated from a 19th century Presbyterian Church!
The Forum Mountmellick is ideal for solo travellers, couples, friends and groups.
It’s a place to relax and unwind. The large kitchen is great for keen cooks!
Rooms range between shared and private. Each one comes with a modern en-suite.
Location: Slap bang in the surrounds of natural beauty. Stay here if you like walking, sightseeing and history.
Compare prices at: Booking.com
Best Hostels in Kilkenny: Kilkenny City Boutique Hostel
Enjoy city views from one of the 21 modern rooms at Kilkenny City Boutique Hostel.
The best bit? No doubt the Burger Bar on-site.
A full Irish continental brekky can be enjoyed for a small fee before hitting the sights. A complimentary tea/coffee will be waiting for your return.
Location: 400m from the Kilkenny Castle and 500m from the famous Smithwick’s Brewery.
Compare prices at: Booking.com
Best Hostels in Dungarvan: Dungarvan Hostel
Located just off the town square, there really is no better place to stay than at Dungarvan Hostel.
Everything you need is under one roof, including:
- 17 rooms: 5 dorms & 12 private rooms
- Creamery Cafe (open 7 days a week)
- Bike & bag storage
It’s a great gateway to the Waterford Greenway, just yards away from the very start point.
Best Hostels in Cork
Are you ready to discover Ireland’s second largest city in the south-west?
It’s a breezy, cosmopolitan city with 2 great hostels worth a mention:
1. Hostel 51 Degrees North
Fancy sleeping in a swanky mid 18th-century accommodation?
Hand crafted bunks, a 9-eater cinema and private sauna – can we get a hell yeah!
There’s also a self-catered kitchen with Aga gas cooker. It’s a real homely space we think you’re going to love.
Rent a bike or explore the Owenabue river on foot or by kayak.
Compare prices at: Booking.com
2. Bru Bar & Hostel
If a friendly and fun stay in the heart of Cork is what you’re after, look no further than Bru Bar & Hostel.
This sociable bunch want to welcome you to the ground floor pub for a Guinness and a chat. The daily happy hour makes it affordable, and there’s live music to be enjoyed 7 nights a week!
After a night of karaoke and pool, fill up on a free breakfast and wind down in the common room.
Location: In the busy St. Luke’s neighbourhood, amid cafes, restaurants and bars. It’s a 25-minute bus ride to the airport
Compare prices at: Hostelworld
Best Hostels in Glengarriff: Blue Pool Hostel
Blue Pool Hostel is a wonderful no-frills hostel that is a haven for hikers and sightseeing enthusiasts.
The rooms here are simple, yet comfortable. Not small, just cosy.
It’s more of a home-from-home, in fact. Rustle up a feast in the kitchen and relax in the living room. A light breakfast is also included!
Location: In the centre of Glengarriff, nearby locals pubs and restaurants. Garnish Island is a ferry ride away.
Best Hostels in Killarney: The Black Sheep
Really cool hostel created with the backpacker in mind.
Custom created bunk beds with own privacy curtains and under bed lockers, personal lights and power sockets.
In the sitting room you will find a well stocked library and an open place to relax, play guitar or some board games.
The Black Sheep has its own south facing garden with organic veggies and free range chickens. Guests are free to roam the garden and chill in the patio or bbq area. The hostel has an eco-friendly outdoor ethos and they love to meet fellow backpackers who love nature and the outdoors.
Location: In the centre of Killarney, a small town in an amazing natural setting. From the world fa- mous scenic drives of the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula to Killarney National Park and the Lakes of Killarney there is plenty to see and do.
Best Hostels in Dingle: The Hideout Hostel
Clean, modern, helpful staff – just some of the ways The Hideout Hostel has been described over and over.
All dorm and private rooms come with an en-suite. And every guest can enjoy the light breakfast, coffee included!
A great big lounge is full of books, games and music. Head here on your own to meet new friends.
Backpackers rejoice at this budget friendly, well-maintained accommodation.
Awesome: There is a resident dolphin in Dingle. Speak to the staff for more info!
Location: In the centre of town in a quiet street. The pier and marina are just minutes away.
Compare prices at: Hostelworld
Best Hostels in Limerick: Ballyhoura Luxury Hostel
A luxury hostel, often referred to as a hidden gem, located in the picturesque mountain village of Kilfinane, Limerick.
The beds at Ballyhoura Luxury Hostel are made of solid hardwood, with extremely comfortable mattresses and 100% Egyptian cotton linen. The living room is large and cosy with an open area, log fire and big comfy couches.
The warm Irish welcome from Séamus and Teresa immediately puts people at ease and sets the tone for a comfortable and relaxing stay, where you can unwind and recharge your batteries.
Location: A stroll from nearby shops, pubs and restaurants. A great base for exploring hidden gems of Munster. Enjoy walking, MTB, horse trekking and archery in this area.
Best Hostels in Doolin: Aille River Hostel
This 300 year old family run hostel is the gateway to majestic 700ft cliffs of Moher.
Give it a serious thumbs up when you discover:
- FREE washing machine & powder
- Private parking
- Camping sites available
- Local live music
Aille River Hostel is quite literally by the river in a peaceful, natural environment. And the living room comes equipped with a wood fire, how cosy!
Best Hostels in Inis Mor, Aran Islands: Kilronan Hostel
Feel at home as you enjoy views of Kilronan Harbour and the Atlantic Ocean from Kilronan Hostel.
Stay in comfort in small dorms (with en-suite) at a budget-friendly price.
This hostel also boasts a BBQ area, outdoor seating and cosy TV room. Breakfast is also included!
Location: Less than 1-minute from a supermarket and ATM. Good restaurants and bars are also close-by.
Best Hostels in Galway
We traveled through Ireland, and visited Galway, Dublin, Killarney and more on our round-trip. We recommend staying minimum 2 nights in Galway to get a real taste of it.
This is the only destination in Ireland (alongside Dublin) that we’ve found 3 great hostels:
1. Kinlay House Eyre Square Hostel
For a genuine taste of Irish hospitality, stay at Kinlay House Eyre Square Hostel.
In the middle of the nightlife district, this is the place for pub crawls, fully equipped pod-beds and a hearty breakfast (for free).
Try your hand at traditional Irish instruments and get to know roommates over a game of pool.
Great: female-only dorms are available here, too.
Location: A 3-minute walk from the Galway train station, on the corner of Eyre Square – ideal for people watching.
2. The NEST Boutique Hostel
Experience the best of beautiful Galway at The Nest. The design is funky, industrial and functional.
The environment is cozy, great for hanging out, reading a book and mingling with other guests. What about the design?
Well, let us put it this way:
It’s an epic hostel! Stay here, thank us later!
At the Nest you have all the amenities on your doorstep, yet you are away from the noise.
Location: Only 2 min to the Galway Bay and its promenade, and 20 min to the city centre. Further along the street you’ll find coffee shops, a supermarket, numerous restaurants and a microbrewery.
3. Galway City Hostel
How about live Irish music every evening at an in-house bar? Only at Galway City Hostel.
Enjoy pub grub and a Guinness without leaving the front door. And when you fancy exploring, join a pub crawl with new friends.
Rest your head in curtain-lined pod beds at the end of the night. Your bed will be ready made.
In the morning? Free breakfast and relax time in the chill-out area!
Location: Right by Galway’s bus and train stations. Eyre Square shopping centre is a 2-minute walk.
Best Hostels in Leenaun: Wild Atlantic Hostel
Get ready for a huge hostel with a whopping 200 beds within 300 acres of land! Wild Atlantic Hostel is an award winning accommodation in Delphi Resort.
Outdoor enthusiasts, couples, groups and families eat your heart out.
There is a library, spa, restaurant and bar. All of which have breath-taking mountain views!
It’s a beautiful mix of adventure atmosphere and chill vibes for all traveller types.
Best Hostels in Sligo: Strandhill Lodge Hostel & Surf School
Just a few steps from Strandhill beach, this hostel sticks by its name as a surfers hotspot!
Choose between private lodge accommodation, shared dorms and campsites. Everyone gets a free breakfast!
Of course surf lessons are available if you fancy. Otherwise explore the village as it has something for everyone.
Traditional Irish pub, golf, trekking and restaurants – it’s all here to take advantage of!
Best Hostels in Donegal: Donegal Town Independent Hostel
If you’re after peace, quiet and some beautiful scenery, Donegal Town Independent Hostel is the one for you.
Treat it as a comfortable base for exploring the natural beauty of Donegal. It’s a nature lovers paradise!
This warm, family run hostel offers hot showers, garden and a self catering kitchen. There is also a cosy living room with wood fire for those chilly evenings.
Best Hostels in Malin Beg: Malinbeg Hostel
Malin Beg is recommended for older travellers and adults that want to submerse in the nature of Ireland.
From Malinbeg Hostel it’s a 5-minute walk to Silver Strand Beach and the Ougue fishing port. Ideal if you fancy cliff climbing, scuba-diving and deep sea fishing!
Unwind in a beautiful common room by the fire, and make use of the self-catering facilities.
There’s also private parking for those travelling with a car.
Compare prices at: Booking.com
Best Hostels in Dunlewey: Errigal Hostel
Errigal Hostel is the one and only choice in Dunlewey because of the…
- Mezzanine-style dorms & floor to ceiling windows
- Free breakfast
- Common room w/ fireplace
- Free parking
Not to mention the impressive mountain panoramic views from wherever you happen to be standing!
Location: 20-minute drive from Donegal airport, 30-mins from Letterkenny. Glenveagh National Park and gorgeous beaches are accessible from here.
Best Hostels in Ballygorman: Sandrock Holiday Hostel
No trip to Ireland would be complete without visiting Ireland’s most northerly point!
Sandrock Holiday Hostel consists of two 10-bed dorms and a big fully fitted kitchen.
It’s a cosy, homely establishment that wants to encourage you to get outside and enjoy the surrounds.
Rent a bike and explore, pop in to a pub to chat with locals and spot a basking shark from the hostel during summer months.
Location: Overlooking a fishing pier, beach and highlands of Donegal. 100kms north of Donegal township.
Compare prices at: Hostelworld
All Best Hostels in Ireland on a Map
Below we have put ALL of the best hostels in Ireland mentioned in this article on a map.
That’s because we want to make your planning as hassle free and straight forward as possible!
We’ve marked them as follows:
- Design Hostels: Blue
- Backpacker-Type Hostel: Orange
- Other recommendations: Purple
(View full sized map here)
Combine our article on the coolest cheap places to stay, with this guide on planning your Ireland itinerary. The combo should result in some epic adventures.
Alright then, here we list your most asked questions.
What are the best hostels in Ireland, Dublin?
We have 3 great hostels for you to choose in Dublin, from:
Read: our full guide to the best hostels in Dublin
What are the best hostels in Ireland with private rooms?
Of course most of the hostels in this list have private rooms.
What are the best sites for finding hostels?
For finding hostels, we highly recommend hostelgeeks.com of course. We have created guides on every site we visit.
Hostelworld.com is always a great platform to book your hostel and reviews.
When traveling with your couple, have a look at Airbnb too. They list plenty of apartments and private rooms.
More Hostels in Europe
There are many, many awesome hostels in Europe to be discovered and enjoyed, including out-of-this-world 5 star hostels.
Easy: find all of the best hostels in Europe here.
We’ve gone one step further and created these awesome guides to nearby destinations to Ireland:
- 19 best hostels in Scotland
- best hostels in Edinburgh – including 5 star hostel CoDE Pod Hostels: The LoFT
- top 3 hostels in Glasgow
- best hostels in Manchester
- 3 best hostels in London – including Palmers Lodge Hillspring and Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage
- fun hostels in Brighton
Destination not Listed?
Besides the listed accommodation, we also put together the best hostels in the world; the 5 Star Hostels.
We stayed in a former winery in Santorini, in a former jail-now 5 Star Hostel and many more. And we share all of these unique budget accommodations with you.
Make sure you check out our guides “best hostels in“. Here we cover many more destinations.
By now you should have the answer to your question where to stay in Ireland. Which of the best hostels in Ireland have you fallen in love with? Let us know!
This guide is your shortcut to your hostel-picks, saving you lots of time in your accommodation research.
And for sure, it gives you the security of a top-hostel choice without any bad surprises.
Then please please leave a comment below. We would be thrilled to hear from you and to help a fellow backpacker.
Have fun & Safe travels!
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Your Smart Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.The most important things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries