Kilkenny

Travel Guide
Ireland showing farmland, tranquil scenes and a small town or village

The city of Kilkennyis one of Ireland’s historic gems and lies in the heart of County Kilkenny in the southeast corner of the Republic of Ireland. A tourist favourite, the city brims with attractions, including a beautiful castle on the banks of the River Nore, a fine 13th century cathedral and a veritable maze of 17th century alleyways littered with interesting shops and ancient inns.

Sometimes known as the ‘marble city’ for the local dark marble that features in much of its architecture, Kilkenny is also well placed for some of Ireland’s finest countryside and attractions, from idyllic woodlands and pretty villages to medieval churches, walking trails and emerald green golf courses.

Sights in KilkennyMany regard Kilkennyas Ireland’s medieval capital, and for good reason. With its 6th century origins, the city centre is awash with history at almost every turn.

Many visitors follow what’s known as Kilkenny’s ‘Medieval Mile’, a tourist trail that loops around the city’s historic landmarks. When you set out on the trail, you’ll come to the sturdy 12th century Norman castle and its gardens, St Canice’s Cathedral — Ireland’s second biggest medieval cathedral — with its striking round tower, and also to Rothe House, a Tudor merchant’s house complete with a museum.

You’re spoiled for other entertainments, too. Art and culture lovers will want to visit the contemporary Irish crafts on show at the National Craft Gallery, while those eager to experience more history will love wandering around Kilkenny’s other churches, old inns, priory ruins and cobbled lanes.

Shopping in KilkennyKilkennyis one of Ireland’s best shopping destinations, with myriad independent shops and retailers tucked down the streets and lanes around the castle. A walk along the High Street reveals classy boutiques, gift shops, book emporiums and more, and you’ll find other enticing wares and stores crammed into the medieval alleyways. For big name shops, you should head for the Market Cross Shopping Centre, where you can browse everything from fashions to sports goods, homewares and beauty treats.

Food, Restaurants and Nightlife in KilkennyWith its vibrant atmosphere and eclectic restaurants and bars, Kilkennyis great for food lovers and night owls both. The medieval streets burst with stylish eateries, bistros and wine rooms serving retro and contemporary Irish food, as well as buzzing tearooms, cafes and cosy pubs ideal for quick refreshment stops or a sociable pint.

If it’s nightlife you’re after, you’ll find plenty of pubs and bars that host traditional Irish music, dancing and DJ nights, together with arts venues that stage live bands, stand-up comedy and other gigs.

Out and About in KilkennyKilkennyhas no shortage of outdoor activities in and out of town. You may want to stroll around Castle Park with its lovely gardens and ornamental lake, tee off at Kilkenny Golf Club or other courses near the city, or tackle the scenic walking trails through the local woodlands and countryside.

Other attractions include the subterranean stalactites and stalagmites of Dunmore Cave, fishing and walks on the Rivers Nore and Barrow, and atmospheric historic monuments such as Kells Priory and Jerpoint Abbey.

Where to stay in Kilkenny

The Club House Hotel
The Club House Hotel
2 out of 5
Patrick Street, Kilkenny, Kilkenny, R95 VNP4
The price is £93 per night from 30 May to 31 May
Stay at this business-friendly hotel in Kilkenny. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in their ...
3.9/5 Good! (174 reviews)
Lots of history and fun
"Felt like I time warped to another era. This used to be a hunt club, and just lots of history to read on the walls. Truly an experience...I laughed alot getting to my room each time, felt like I was in a movie. Front desk was very kind and patient with me, I thought my doorknob was broken but it ..."

Reviewed on 18 Feb 2022

The Club House Hotel
Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel
Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel
4 out of 5
Ormonde Street, Kilkenny, Kilkenny
The price is £129 per night from 20 Jun to 21 Jun
Stay at this 4-star spa hotel in Kilkenny. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 restaurants and a full-service spa. Our guests praise the pool and the bar in their reviews. Popular ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (704 reviews)
"Nice hotel just a block away from the castle and downtown."

Reviewed on 6 May 2022

Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel
Hotel Kilkenny
Hotel Kilkenny
4 out of 5
College Road, Kilkenny, Kilkenny
The price is £140 per night from 31 May to 1 Jun
Stay at this 4-star spa hotel in Kilkenny. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a full-service spa. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in their ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (986 reviews)
"The hotel was clean and the staff members were friendly. We loved our stay here."

Reviewed on 30 Mar 2022

Hotel Kilkenny
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Stone Lodge
Stone Lodge
3.5 out of 5
Kilkenny, Kilkenny (county)
Stay at this 3.5-star golf cottage in Kilkenny. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a garden. Popular attractions Kilkenny Castle and The Hub are located nearby. ...
4/5 Very Good! (2 reviews)
"Value for money with friendly and amenable owner."

Reviewed on 11 Dec 2021

Stone Lodge
Lovers' Lodge
Lovers' Lodge
3.5 out of 5
Kilkenny, Kilkenny (county)
Stay at this 3.5-star apartment in Kilkenny. Enjoy free parking, a garden and 3 bathrooms. Popular attractions Kilkenny Castle and Nowlan Park are located nearby. ...
Lovers' Lodge
Classy 2 bed 2 bath in Heart of Kilkenny City Centre
Classy 2 bed 2 bath in Heart of Kilkenny City Centre
Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Stay at this apartment in Kilkenny. Enjoy WiFi, 2 bathrooms and a kitchen. Popular attractions Kilkenny Castle and St John's Church are located nearby. Discover ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (4 reviews)
Vrbo staycation
"Have to say it was excellent. Very centrally located, beautiful apartment spotlessly clean, very quite and very well equipped. Fay our contact on arrival was lovely and very helpful. I would certainly recommend it."

Reviewed on 4 Sep 2020

Classy 2 bed 2 bath in Heart of Kilkenny City Centre
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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