Tourist Information for County Kilkenny and City

kilkenny castleKilkenny City is a convenient 90 minute drive from Dublin. It is small and intimate but with lots of facilities and a good nightlife.

Situated on the River Nore, Kilkenny is very pretty city and ideal for walking around. It is a very popular city for weekend breaks drawing in a lot of UK and Dublin city business to its quaint pubs, excellent restaurants and hectic nightlife. Kilkenny boasts a large amount of quality hotels for a city of its size. There is a sparkling nightlife with some great pubs such as the renowned Langtons in the city centre

Kilkenny voted 9th friendliest city in the world by readers of Conde Nast Traveler, and most friendliest city in Europe

The compact size of Kilkenny City is what provides the great character to it. You can wander around the city and never be far from anything. The streetscapes are beautiful with some lovely shop and house facades. A wide variety of cuisine will keep the foodies happy.

There are few cities with as bright and delightfully confusing a blend of “old” and “new” as that of Kilkenny. From a Medieval history rich in centuries of conflict and lore has sprung this bustling, bright metropolis with a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere. The ancient and the modern harmonise in Kilkenny, and visitors are well advised to take the time to experience a bit of both, in order to better appreciate the true diversity of this fascinating old city.

St Canice’s Cathedral and Kilkenny Castle are exceptionally beautiful buildings and going on a tour of these buildings is advised.

History of Kilkenny

Historically the city is a treasure as well, and visitors are well-advised to make a stop or two at one of their fascinatingly varied heritage attractions. The ecclesiastical attractions are especially varied, with the Augustinian Priory, Black Abbey and Jerpoint Abbey all worth a look. Kilkenny Castle is certainly a popular draw, and for the children and more adventurous tourists, Dunmore Cave is open to viewing (by guided tour only).


Kilkenny City is the administrative capital of County Kilkenny in the sunny south east of Ireland. Established as a city by royal charter of King James in 1609, Kilkenny is therefore amongst the oldest cities in Ireland.

Not far from the city, near the village of Thomastown stands Jerpoint Abbey, a former Cistercian Monastery and large settlement when constructed. Some superb architectural features remain on the ruins for inspection.

Historically the city is a treasure as well, and visitors are well-advised to make a stop or two at one of their fascinatingly varied heritage attractions. The ecclesiastical attractions are especially varied, with the Augustinian Priory, Black Abbey and Jerpoint Abbey all worth a look. Kilkenny Castle is certainly a popular draw, and for the children and more adventurous tourists, Dunmore Cave is open to viewing (by guided tour only).

Kilkeny Castle

Kilkenny Castle is the most important tourist attraction in the city. It is the most prominent landmark in this compact and beautiful city and is the most visited attraction in County Kilkenny and up there with the top tourist attractions in Ireland.

Kilkenny Castle has been an important site since Strongbow constructed the first castle in the 12th century. William the Earl Marshall built the first stone castle on the site in 1213. The Butler families were long time inhabitants of the Castle through many generations right up to 1935. The family bought the Castle in 1391 and lived there throughout wars, feuds and a variety of rulers of Ireland until 1935, quite a remarkable feat considering the political events and various wars and invasions that took place over that time. The Butler family donated the property to the Nation in 1967.

Located in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle is one of the great treasures of Kilkenny City and indeed Ireland – the Kilkenny Design Craft Centre – offering an unrivalled selection of Irish handcrafted gifts. While it has many imitators, the Kilkenny Design Centre remains Ireland’s most prestigious source of Irish gifts of exceptional quality. It attracts thousands of visitors every year and it is to the forefront of cutting-edge design in Ireland.

What to do in Kilkenny

There’s plenty of things to do see and outside the city and throughout Kilkenny’s rural hinterland. Some of Ireland’s finest craft studios are to be found in Kilkenny from pottery to gold and silver smithing and the experience of seeing a master craftsperson is not one to be missed.

Kilkenny offers a host of leisure activities and amenities to the visitor. There is an abundance of parks and walking trails in the area. Golfers are well catered for by both Kilkenny Golf Club, in the city, and the famous Mount Juliet Golf and Country Club, near Thomastown. Mount Juliet hosted the Irish Open Golf Championship several times. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, it is regarded as a great test of your golfing skills and one of the finest parkland courses in Ireland.

Cat Laughs Festival

Each year Kilkenny hosts the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival on the June Bank Holiday weekend. It has developed into Irelands leading comedy festival with stars from Ireland and worldwide performing every year. If you are planning a visit to Kilkenny, any time is a good time to visit one of Ireland’s most beautiful cities.

Kilkenny Restaurants

Two restaurants in Kilkenny have been awarded a Michelin Star. Off the 9 Michelin Star restaurants in Ireland, 2 are in County Kilkenny.

Hotels and Accomodation in Kilkenny

With a range of hotels, B&B’s, Guesthouses and Hostels abailable throughout Kilkenny City and county, Kilkenny fact becoming a hugely popularĀ  Irish tourist destination.

Visit Kilkenny to find out why for yourself.