#138 The Unexpected Value and Comfort in Ireland’s Unique Hostels — AUDIO


Hostels have come a long way in recent years, and many hostels offer a boutique, yet budget, experience for travelers. In this episode, I get reactions from my friends Liam and Tony about their stays in Irish hostels and reveal my list of the best hostels for those who might have reservations about staying in a budget accommodation.

Have a listen and feel free to review the show notes:

CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON below to listen 


Best Irish Hostels for Hostel Newbies

Quotes from this interview

The word hostel had a different connotation for me because of my past experience, and I think it’s different now. — 4:27

Not only was I surprised with the price that which you could get a double room or a triple room, but also the quality and the privacy and the cleanliness and for the most part the friendliness of the hostel owners. — 4:27

Ask them “Can I see the room? Do you provide towels? Is there breakfast included? What else is included?” — 7:13

You can do Ireland on a budget and have a fantastic trip. Yes, you have to get your flight here, but between public transportation, the prices at the hostels, you can do your dream trip to Ireland and not break the bank. — 8:38

Whether you’re traveling as a family or alone, there are options for accommodations. — 8:58

Hostels are a real melting pot as far as meeting people. So even being a single traveler, you’re bound to make friends. — 9:16

I will definitely do more hostels. Because it is a way to save money, and the majority of them are really nice. Some can be almost the same quality of a B&B. — 10:04

You’re at a disadvantage at a hostel if you are just showing up, and you want a private room because they’re going to have a lot of dormitory beds available, but they might not have that double room. — 12:39

If you’re a group of girlfriends traveling around or a group of four guys traveling around, you can get some great deals. — 13:30

As a general rule, the closer a hostel got to being walkable to a desirable or major village, the more expensive it was. — 20:20

I was impressed with the fact that you could get tea, bread, jam and butter at many hostels. — 21:50

I came away with a new appreciation for today’s hostel.– 28:28

Show Notes


Intro – The Devil’s Bit by Theresa Larkin and Noel McQuaid


Liam and Tony talk about hostels in Ireland


Having reservations about staying in a hostel


Hostels in the 1980s


Hostels in the 1990s


Hostels in 2014

Amenities at a hostel

Places mentioned:

My suggestions for those looking for a “boutique” hostel experience

Note: Some properties provided a media discount (and others bribed us with scones ;).

Author: Corey

Share This Post On


  1. Thank you so much for this, Corey! I’m taking a good look at more “alternative” lodging for our trip this fall and some of these look absolutely perfect!

    Post a Reply
    • Following up… I noticed both Liam and Tony said, rather adamantly, do not book a hostel in advance. Because I travel with my children, I really, really prefer to have lodging booked before hand. Especially to be sure we get a family room.


      Post a Reply
      • Jody,

        If the place is on the list above and has a room arrangement you desire and online pics/reviews suit you, I’d say you’re perfectly safe to book ahead.

        Hostels are extremely popular with European families with children of all ages, so they often cater to these families.

        The biggest risk is that some of the facilities at places I visited (but didn’t put on the list) were a bit “campgroundy” which is not always bad, but might not appeal to everyone (especially those used to B&Bs). The other risk are the urban hostels… which can run the gambit from extremely nice to not nice at all (the-not-so-nice ones tend to be the hostels with the most deceiving photos too). In general, if an urban hostel makes the list of “best places for large groups – they are probably better suited for hen and stag (bachelorette and bachelor) parties (not so family-friendly).

        Hope this helps…

        Post a Reply
  2. I enjoyed listening to the discussion on hostels
    in Ireland. Our family has recognized the
    value of Irish hostels for quite some time. We have
    visited and stayed in over 100 hostels throughout Ireland.
    We encourage listeners interested in additional
    information on Irish hostels to check out the many
    photos and information posted on our family’s
    website: http://www.uniqueirishhostels.com

    Post a Reply
    • Mary – Your website was a valuable resource in my research of hostels. Thanks for all the work you put into it!

      Post a Reply
    • Thank you for the link, Mary! I’m off to do my research!

      Post a Reply
  3. Corey your info is spot on as always. I LOVE Rowan Tree and Ennis in general as a perfect spot for exploration of my favorite region. Plus Shannon is a lovely airport and usually cheaper. I highly endorse and recommend it as a fabulous time and affordable gateway to explore the most beautiful welcoming delicious country! Ta and greetings to Liam 🙂

    Post a Reply
    • Couldn’t agree with you more… Ennis offers a little bit of everything!

      Post a Reply
  4. I found this podcast very interesting. I was all set to buy bulk B&Bs vouchers and stay at the odd pub if available. I’m sure I will stay at some B&Bs still when I need a bit of space and privacy to reflect and chillax. But I really love the way the hostels seem to have changed, I look forward to mingling more with other travellers and finding off the beaten track places to discover from chatting. I think hostel accomodation would be better than hiding in a more private B&Bs. Thank you for the insight. You have changed my whole holiday planning.

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

The Irish Fireside E-Newsletter features articles and links relating to Irish travel, storytelling, and culture.

* indicates required

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This