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There are several very good museums in Kilkenny.
Medieval mile museum
The Medieval Mile Museum is located on the 13th-century site of St Mary’s cruciform church and graveyard. Inside you’ll find 800 years of Irish and Medieval times history.
Information: open 7-days a week, additional charge if you opt to take the museums guided walking tour of the Medieval Mile. Check the museum website for more information
For art lovers….
This is a contemporary craft gallery located in the former stable yard of Kilkenny Castle. Closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is free.
The Finest exhibition spaces in Kilkenny can be found at the Butler Gallery. This contemporary art gallery display’s art by Irish and International artists from as early as the 1800’s. Closed on Monday.
Things to do in Kilkenny at night
Music and dance
The tavern’s really come alive at night with live performances. Lively Irish folk music and Irish step dancing are two things that were very high on my “Ireland wish list.” They did not disappoint!
Looking for romantic things to do in Kilkenny? I LOVE to explore a historic town after dark. Dark recesses and old and ancient buildings and monuments are often magically lit at night. The masses have left for the day and often you’ll find quite solitude, best of all, this activity is free!
Some of the buildings of particular night interest include St. Canice’s Cathedral and Kilkenny Castle
(this is an activity I also enjoy solo and Kilkenny is a nice safe place to do it!)
Kilkenny is a town that likes its festivals! Here are two my favorite options:
Ode to St. Patrick:
St Patrick’s Festival is held in March. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world but there’s nothing quite like spending it in Ireland! 100,000 people descend on this little town for 6 days of festivities. Local landmarks are lit up in green, carnival rides, marching bands, street performers, festival food and much more!
Fun fact: Kilkenny hosts an annual comedy festival each June called “Kilkenny “Cat Laughs” Festival”…now how fun is that!?
See the Kilkenny Festival Page for a complete list.
Medieval Mile Pass / Tourist Discount
The Medieval Mile discount is a discount pass that once purchased gets visitors free access to Kilkenny attractions such as: the castle, Medieval Mile Museum, Rothe House, Smithwick’s Experience, St Canice’s Cathedral & Round Tower, the tourist trains, the ghost tour and more!
At last check the pass was €39.00 so it can easily pay for itself.
Notice: The sale of Ireland’s Medieval Mile pass has been suspended until further notice. Check the Kilkenny Chamber Website for more information.
More Kilkenny things to do?
Yes of course! I’ve hit the highlights but there’s more! Check out Heritage sites for more ideas!
Things to do near Kilkenny:
Have a car? you may be interested in these sites if you are looking for things to do near Kilkenny: Dunmore Cave, Jerpoint Abbey, Kilfane Glenn, Castlecomer Discovery Park…and don’t miss the opportunity to stay in a gorgeous castle! details below!
This tour’able cave was the site of a Viking massacre in 928. Be aware of the 700 steps on the tour.
distance from Kilkenny: 15 km
location: Castlecomer Road, Inchabride, Kilkenny
Gothic style Cistercian abbey, founded in the 12th century with stone sculptures and stone carvings throughout the structure. The abbey has been declared a National monument.
distance from Kilkenny: 20 km
location: Jockeyhall, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny
Don’t miss Kells Priory one of the largest and most impressive medieval monuments in Ireland. Located at Kellsborough, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland Just 10 km from Jerpoint Abbey.
Kilfane Glenn and Waterfall
“Untouched for 200 years, Kilfane Glenn is a picturesque paradise with a waterfall tumbling its way to a rushing stream and woodland paths leading to a cottage orné. Tiny bridges sit among ancient trees, wild fox-gloves, ferns and other historically correct 18th century planting.” –Kifane Website
distance from Kilkenny: 20 km
location: Stoneen, Kilfane, Co. Kilkenny
adventure park with ziplines, tree-top walks, boating, canoeing, rafting, archery, ax throwing and more!
distance from Kilkenny: 20 km
location: The Estate Yard, Drumgoole, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny
Need to rent a car in Kilkenny?
- Europe Car
- Enterprise. We were picking up a car in Kilkenny (after having arrived by train) and Enterprise came and pickled us up from our lodgings and took us back to the office to finish our paperwork.
how to plan your trip
How much time should I spend in Kilkenny?
GOOD question! You could do Kilkenny on a 1 day trip, BUT there is so much to see and do here! You should slow down and give it some extra time, at least two days to do it right! more if you like!
from Kilkenny by car:
- Dublin: 1.5 hours
- Cork: 2 hours
- Shannon: 2 hours
- Waterford: 1 hour
Dublin is an easy train or bus ride away, the rest are doable but much longer journeys.
Kilkenny is an easy day trip from Dublin. If you’re flying into Dublin you can take a taxi or airlink bus 747 from the airport to Heuston Station. Either option can take up to an hour during high traffic times. (The bus is the cheaper option, leaves from just outside the airport.)
You can book the Dublin Kilkenny train with Irish Rail in advance via their website or at the train station. Direct trains available, travel time approximately 1.5 hours.
Looking for more easy day trips for Dublin? here are some fantastic options: The Best Day Trips From Dublin By Train (11 Ideas) Love Dublin and considering moving there?
bus Dublin Kilkenny,
Coach tickets between the two cities can be purchased at Transport for Ireland. Trip by bus is possible in less than 2 hours.
Parking in Kilkenny
If your hotel doesn’t offer free parking, Kilkenny has over 4,500 public parking spaces. Check the link for complete information on parking your car in Kilkenny.
Best Places to Stay in Kilkenny (how about in a castle???)
Looking for accommodation in Kilkenny City? I prefer a place with some personality!
in Kilkenny City
is one of the cute boutique hotels in Kilkenny. It is located across the street from the Hibernian Hotel, where you can get your complimentary full Irish breakfast in the morning. The Hibernian is just .6 miles from the train station so walkable, even with our luggage but you should have no problem getting a taxi at the train station.
location: 5 Patrick Street, Kilkenny (just around the corner from the castle!)
Castle Hotels Near Kilkenny
How about a castle stay? You’ll need transportation for this one but it’s worth the trouble! and don’t forget you can rent a car right in town.
Stay in a castle that was built in 1180! and for as low as $130 per night! Kilkea Castle is set on 180 acres of woodland, gardens and a golf course.
location: 40 miles from Kilkenny.
What to have the WHOLE castle to yourself? Check out Ballintotis Castle accommodations; one of the best secret escapes Ireland!
Be sure to check out my article on affordable castles to stay at in Ireland!
Eating in Kilkenny
Wondering where to eat in Kilkenny?
Here are a couple of outside of the norm dining options in Kilkenny.
Matt the Millers
cute building on the water, often serving up live music.
Terrace tables with a view of the castle across the river.
Need more options?
As always, I’m here for your best experience. If you are looking for more dining options check trip advisor, listed in order by best customer ranking.
2 weeks Ireland Scotland England
We toured Kilkenny as part of a whirlwind 14 day trip that included highlights in Ireland, Scotland and England! Get our free itinerary here!
Ireland obsessed? Want to hear more about my travels around Ireland and the rest of our amazing planet? You may be interested in my Ireland page and be sure to submit your email address to my subscriber sign up at the end of the page to be the first to know when a new blog publishes!