Killarney City Guide

With a resident population of only 15,000 souls, Killarney might seem an unlikely destination to rank second in popularity among visitors to Ireland, but there’s far more to this charming town than its welcoming, bustling centre.

The historic and natural attractions of Killarney’s hinterland will feature high on any itinerary, and for over 250 years the town has been used as the perfect base for exploring the natural wonders of the ‘Ring of Kerry’: dramatic Irish scenery at its very best on the nearby Iveragh Peninsula.

Killarney Centre

The warmth and attraction of Killarney are apparent as soon as you arrive: the town boasts a beautifully kept, unspoilt centre, with many of the abundant independent shops, restaurants and traditional pub frontages painted bright colours and bedecked with flowers bursting into bloom.

The signposted Tourist Trail makes for an extremely conducive amble by day or in the evening one when the legendary ‘craic’ is in full flow – or alternatively hail a local jarvie and take a sightseeing trip on his horse-drawn jaunting car.

Killarney National Park

The town stands on the boundary of the Killarney National Park, which is accessible for hikers on foot. Cycles are easy to hire and regular buses also run up to the classic viewpoints over the town, lakes and mountains.

You can take a jaunting car 2km via the Demesne public park to the Lough Leane shore and Ross Castle, a 15th-century tower and keep built by the O'Donoghue Mór clan. From here you can take a boat trip to Innisfallen – founded in 640 – on its atmospheric island.

A 6km jaunt away, the palatial 19th-century Muckross House is the centrepoint of the National Park, featuring period interiors, gardens and traditional farms.

The Ring of Kerry

Traditionally, Killarney is the starting point and final destination on the 180km circular Ring of Kerry, celebrated for its unsurpassable, archetypal Irish scenery. It is possible to complete the tour by car in around four hours, but this rich landscape truly benefits from a more leisurely exploration, in the time-honoured Irish tradition.

The spectacular Purple Mountain, Mangerton Mountain and MacGillycuddy's Reeks are the rugged high points, with famous waterfalls, lakes, valleys, inviting-looking islands and picture-postcard villages all plentiful along the winding way.

Sport in Killarney

While Killarney is a classic hiking and biking destination, the Killarney Lakes ensure top-class rowing also thrives locally, and the angling in the area is particularly renowned, not least because the heavenly freshwater Killarney Lakes require no permits.

The lakeside Killarney Golf Club is a world-class course where it is possible to book a tee time and play for a green fee, Dr. Crokes is the biggest of the town’s three gaelic football clubs and it also has a hurling side, and Killarney Racecourse is a great Saturday afternoon destination.

Enjoy your Stay in Killarney

Whether you are visiting Killarney for a healthy, activity-based break, to enjoy the breathtaking scenery or a weekend of fun in the town’s bars and nightspots, rest assured you will enjoy the finest imaginable choice of hotels, as Killarney famously boasts more accommodation than any other Irish destination outside of Dublin!

Guide to Exploring Killarney

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