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Best things to do in Kilkenny

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Ireland  /  Province of Leinster  /  County Kilkenny  /  Kilkenny

Top 15 things to do in Kilkenny

1. Kilkenny Castle

Preserving more than eight centuries of history within its walls, Kilkenny Castle rises over the Nore River and marks an intersection of several major medieval routes. Although the castle underwent a series of modifications over the ages, it contains three of its original four stone towers, built in 1192 by a Norman invader known to history as "Strongbow." Once a symbol of Norman occupation and a key part of the region's defenses, the castle now attracts thousands of visitors with its extensive gardens and basement art gallery. Also in the basement, the castle kitchen houses a popular tearoom, complete with a Victorian cooking range and rows of pots and plates.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $13 › Learn more about Kilkenny Castle

2. Hawkeye School of Falconry

Hawkeye Falconry provide private bird of prey experiences on the grounds of some of the most beautiful hotels in the south east of Ireland. Experiences by appointment only. Call 0830039743- 0860589300 or email john@hawkeyefalconry.ie.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Hawkeye School of Falconry

3. Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Bunratty

Offering visitors a chance to attend a genuine medieval banquet, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park hosts four-course dinners accompanied by traditional harp, pipe, and fiddle music. Located on the site of an old Viking settlement, the hulking castle houses a vast collection of medieval furniture and art, which you can explore on your own or as part of a guided tour. The adjoining folk park boasts over 30 reconstructed buildings, including a forge, pub, post office, and blacksmith's shop. As you stroll through this replica of a 19th century Irish village, look for costumed actors demonstrating traditional jobs and crafts. Book your banquet reservations well in advance, and leapfrog the lines by buying your park tickets online.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Tours from $19 › Learn more about Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

4. Cliffs of Moher Tour Including Wild Atlantic Way and Galway City from Dublin

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Day trip from Dublin to Ireland’s remote and rugged west coast to see the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and Galway City. Enjoy the unique benefit of a dedicated Tour Guide and a separate Driver for the day. The Driver concentrates on your safety and the Guide on your comfort and entertainment. There is a rest stop on route to the Cliffs of Moher and upon arrival you receive a premium ticket to visit and enjoy every aspect of what the site has to offer. 2 hours visiting time. Then travel along part of the Wild Atlantic Way coast and enjoy a coastal stop in the Burren, a unique limestone landscape famous for its flourishing plant life. Upon arriving in Galway City your Guide will offer you a free guided tour of the city, it's optional to join or just enjoy free time to wander this charismatic, bohemian and artsy city yourself. On tour hear tales about Irish history, culture, stories some Irish music will be played with some guides playing their instruments on the coach. 2 hours visit.
Suggested duration: 13 hours
Tours from $86 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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Best tours in Kilkenny

5. St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower

Visit the ancient St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower, considered the second-longest cathedral in Ireland. Historians believe that this site has has hosted Christian worship since the 6th century, though the current structure dates back to the 13th century. Walk the grounds and admire the cathedral's English Gothic style. Climb to the top of the 9th-century Celtic Christian round tower that stands 30 m (100 ft) tall. Study the architecture and interiors, which have been carefully preserved in the original style.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $13 › Learn more about St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower

6. Smithwick's Experience

Visit Ireland's oldest operating brewery on Smithwick's Experience. John Smithwick founded the company in 1710. He originally brewed the beer in St. Francis Abbey Brewery. As you tour the facilities, learn about Ireland's history of brewing and see where Smithwick's beer is made. On the same site, visit St. Francis Abbey, the 13th-century structure where monks brewed ale as far back as the 1300s. When you finish touring, you'll have a chance to taste Smithwick's red ale-style beer, originally brewed for the first Kilkenny Beer Festival.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $30 › Learn more about Smithwick's Experience

7. Ballykeefe Distillery, Cuffesgrange

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Ballykeefe Distillery

8. Blarney Castle Day Trip from Dublin

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The Blarney Castle tour features a guided coach tour of the Irish countryside, a visit to the world famous Blarney castle with its Blarney Stone.  You will also visit the medieval Cahir Castle as well as an introduction to a historically significant monastic site called the Rock of Cashel once the home of the King of Munster before it was given to the church.
Suggested duration: 12 hours
Tours from $94 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Black Abbey

Black Abbey represents a Catholic monastery of the Dominican order built in 1225, and it also serves as the local church of Killkenny. Its name derives from the "black friars," an old English nickname for Dominicans. Join the locals for religious observance, or visit between services to view the building. The old structure impresses with highly detailed stained glass throughout. Brochures describing the history of this important church are available for purchase. Check the mass schedule online before you go; doors may be locked during services.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Tours from $13 › Learn more about Black Abbey

10. Medieval Mile Museum

Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Medieval Mile Museum

11. Rock of Cashel, Cashel

Local mythology claims Rock of Cashel, a limestone hill crowned by a group of medieval buildings, came into existence when Saint Patrick banished Satan from a cave in a nearby mountain. Kings of Munster lived here for several centuries before the Norman invasion, adding structures to fortify their hilltop seat of power. Little structural evidence of that time remains, as the oldest building still standing on the rock is a round tower constructed sometime in the 12th century. Next to the tower stands a Romanesque chapel, Gothic cathedral, and a 15th century castle. Before you stroll here from the town of Cashel, check the website for a downloadable leaflet providing a brief history and a map of this historical site.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $87 › Learn more about Rock of Cashel

12. Cliffs of Moher, Burren and Galway Bay Rail Tour from Dublin

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Explore Ireland's west coast highlights on a coach and rail day trip from Dublin to the wild Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and picturesque Galway Bay.
Suggested duration: 15 hours
Tours from $162 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Rothe House and Garden

Visit an important symbol of Killkenny's heritage at Rothe House and Garden, the only 17th-century merchant's house still standing in Ireland. Built between 1594 and 1610, the residence will give you a sense of Renaissance times as you wander through its three houses. The museum within hosts 2,500 original artifacts all related to Killkenny's history. Many of these are over 400 years old, and some date back to prehistoric times. Tours are self-guided, so take as much time to view the relics as you like. Afterward, stroll through the garden out back, which was recently constructed and emulates a typical 17th-century garden. If you have Killkenny roots, the Rothe House can help you trace your Irish genealogy.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $30 › Learn more about Rothe House and Garden

14. Castlecomer Discovery Park, Castlecomer

Occupying a former private estate, Castlecomer Discovery Park is a family-friendly attraction with playgrounds, trails, a treetop walk, crafts workshops, lakes, and an exhibit about the area's coal mining history. Started as a community project, the park remains a non-for-profit organization.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Castlecomer Discovery Park

15. Blarney Castle Day Tour from Dublin Including Rock of Cashel & Cork City

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Discover the highlights of Cork & Tipperary on this popular day tour from Dublin.Visit the most famous castle in all of Ireland - Blarney Castle. Lay back and kiss the magical Blarney Stone and receive the gift of eloquent speech for 7 years. Enjoy 90 minutes in Cork to see the highlights of the Southern Capital including the English Markets which welcomed Queen Elizabeth II of England on her recent state visit to Ireland.Also experience Rock of Cashel - a magnificent ruin overlooking the plains of Co. Tipperary.Your ticket includes admission fees to Blarney Castle and Gardens worth EUR 13.00 & entrance to Rock of Cashel worth EUR 7.00!
Suggested duration: 12 hours
Tours from $87 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

Best tours in Kilkenny