COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

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

Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel
Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel
4 out of 5
Ormonde Street, Kilkenny, Kilkenny
The price is £111 per night from 8 Jun to 8 Jun
This family-friendly Kilkenny hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Shee Alms House and Kilkenny Castle. St. Mary’s Medieval ...
4.3/5Excellent! (660 reviews)
"Hotel was lovely but very"

Reviewed on 22 Dec 2020

Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel
Hotel Kilkenny
Hotel Kilkenny
4 out of 5
College Road, Kilkenny, Kilkenny
The price is £103 per night from 2 Jun to 2 Jun
This family-friendly Kilkenny hotel is located in the business district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Talbots Tower and Kilkenny Castle. St. Mary’s Medieval Mile Museum ...
4.2/5Excellent! (994 reviews)
Lovely hotel
"The check-in was very easy all current guidelines are being followed and all staff were wearing their facemasks. The hotel was very nice, clean and spacious. All staff we encountered were very helpful, quick seating and service in the bar and restaurant. the room was very spacious and clean, we stayed ..."

Reviewed on 29 Sep 2020

Hotel Kilkenny
Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel
Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel
4 out of 5
1 Ormonde Street, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
The price is £125 per night from 14 Jun to 14 Jun
Located in Kilkenny City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kilkenny Castle, Rothe House and Black Abbey. St. Canice's Cathedral is 0.5 mi (0.8 ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (315 reviews)
A great hotel in a great city !
"I accidentally booked the wrong night and didn’t realise until I arrived (very late). They were super accommodating, the room was lovely, staff were lovely & the breakfast was really good."

Reviewed on 24 Sep 2020

Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel
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.
Lovers' Lodge
Lovers' Lodge
3.5 out of 5
Lovers Lane, Kilkenny, Kilkenny (county)
Situated in Kilkenny, this apartment building is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) from Nowlan Park and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Kilkenny Castle. St John's Church and The National ...
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
Located in Kilkenny City Centre, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of St John's Church and Kilkenny Castle. Shee Alms House and St. Mary’s Medieval ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (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
The Lodge - Rural Tipperary Bordering Kilkenny
The Lodge - Rural Tipperary Bordering Kilkenny
3.5 out of 5
Ballingarry upper, Thurles, Ballingarry, County Tipperary
The price is £55 per night from 17 May to 17 May
Situated in Ballingarry, this holiday home is 10.6 mi (17 km) from Callan Golf Club and within 20 miles (32 km) of Kilkenny Castle and Kells Priory. Butler House ...
The Lodge - Rural Tipperary Bordering 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.

Popular places to visit in Kilkenny

Top things to do in Kilkenny

Reviews of Kilkenny

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
9
5 - Excellent 40.90909090909091%
4 - Good
12
4 - Good 54.54545454545455%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 4.545454545454546%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Jan 2020

Fantastic bars and restaurants.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

18 Nov 2019

Cute town to walk around

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

14 Jun 2019

I would come back to this charming town.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

21 May 2019

no

5/5 - Excellent

Alan

19 Apr 2019

Great looking town, very characteristic. Good dining options and pubs.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

27 Feb 2019

A small, traditional Irish town. Would recommend visiting the Smithwick’s brewery

Cities near Kilkenny