What are Galaxies
Galaxies are large systems of stars and interstellar matter, typically containing several million to some trillion stars, of masses between several million and several trillion times that of our Sun, of an extension of a few thousands to several 100,000s light years, typically separated by millions of light years distance. They come in a variety of flavors: Spiral, lenticular, elliptical and irregular. Besides simple stars, they typically contain various types of star clusters and nebula.
We live in a giant spiral galaxy, the Milky Way Galaxy, of 100,000 light years diameter and a mass of roughly a trillion solar masses; our Sun is one of several 100 billions of stars of the Milky Way. The nearest dwarf galaxies, satellites of the Milky Way, are only a few 100,000 light years distant (and closer in case of some dwarfs which are currently merged with the Milky Way), while the nearest giant neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy(M31), also a spiral, is about 2-3 million light years distant.