Kilkenny is a top visitor destination. Who does not love Kilkenny, the Marble City? In reality, millions of visitors love it and return again and again. The warm and friendly people are always happy to welcome visitors whether just for the day or for a longer visit. Kilkenny has so much to offer throughout the year. You will never be disappointed.
When you are looking for something to do, Kilkenny has lots to offer every visitor with loads of firm favourites plus two exciting new additions. An added bonus is that all the venues in the town are within walking distance.
Medieval Mile Museum.
This is the newest visitor museum in the city with a strong 21st-century feeling. Forget everything you know about museums when you enter the Medieval museum in Kilkenny. Clean, clear lines, high ceilings, and wide-open spaces breath fresh air into this latest museum which is open 7 days a week.
This superb renovation brings a whole new life to the medieval history of the city. There are no cabinets packed with artifacts. The most valuable and impressive items are given pride of place here and are beautifully presented in very accessible displays. You will be blown away by the careful and well-thought-out displays.
The museum offers you:
- 800 years of local history.
- Audio tours and guided tours on offer.
- A very accessible experience for everyone.
There is also a very interesting walking tour of offer which departs from the museum.
Medieval Mile Trail-a walking tour.
- Learn about Kilkenny’s history while walking around the streets and lanes with wonderful local storytellers.
- Includes entry to the Medieval Mile Museum.
- The tour is available on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Tour lasts one hour.
Here is the link to the Medieval Mile Museum for further details:
Right in the centre of the city, Rothe House is on Parliament street. Dating back to the 16th century, this very atmospheric house was home to a wealthy merchant family who reared eleven children. It is an essential visit when in Kilkenny. The house envelops the visitor as they make their way around.
Here are some of the intriguing items to be seen:
- A reconstructed Cist grave, which dates back around 4,000 years is in the second courtyard.
- The first, Kilkenny built, flying machine dating back to before the Wright brothers.
- A beautiful blunderbuss owned by a famous local highwayman.
- Giant Irish Deer head and antlers.
- Explore the three houses and three courtyards.
- Open from Tuesday to Sunday.
Here is the Rothe House website for further information:
Kilkenny Castle, which is located in the centre of Kilkenny on the parade, dates back to Norman times. Despite being rebuilt and updated several times, it is a firm favourite with international visitors and locals alike. The castle includes extensive parklands and a man-made lake.
Regardless of whether you visit the town for one of the many events each year, no visit to Kilkenny is complete without a visit to this castle.
Here are just some of the great items to see inside the castle:
- The breathtaking dramatic Picture Gallery and you will be amazed at the hand-painted ceiling.
- The famous Decius Mus tapestries are very striking for their size and detail.
- Extraordinary light-filled yellow silk wall hangings and stunning furnishings throughout.
- In some rooms, you will see examples of the Oriental fashion of the nineteenth century.
Tours of the castle are available and it is essential to book in advance.
Next, we move outside the castle to see the following:
- 50 acres of inviting parklands.
- The formal garden.
- Orienteering with 4 distances and all available free to download and open to everyone. Remember that, as this is an adventure sport and will cross uneven ground please wear appropriate clothing for this sport. The “Wheel On” route is suitable for wheelchairs and buggies.
Here is the link to more information on the castle orienteering:
This is the link to book your visit to the Castle:
St. Canice’s Cathedral.
This historic cathedral, built on the site of earlier churches, is a working cathedral and hosts many cultural events plus a large number of visitors throughout the year. In addition, there is a very impressive round tower alongside this building. Climbing this round tower is a privilege as there are only 2 round towers in Ireland that can be climbed by visitors.
Here are some interesting facts about this round tower:
- An important point to note is that this round tower has a minimum height requirement to climb the tower of 4 foot 5inches.
- The tower is 30metres, 100 feet, tall with 7 floors and 121 steps.
- The tower offers breathtaking views out over the city.
- The round tower may date back to the 9th century making it the oldest structure in the city.
The tower is well worth climbing and here is the link to the website.
Butler Gallery Kilkenny.
Originally housed in Kilkenny castle, this gallery has moved out of the castle and is now located in newly renovated premises. It is a valuable addition for tourists to the city.
The renovation building is a very 21st-century renovation, inviting, relaxed and airy, filled with light packed exhibition spaces without the crowded atmosphere of traditional galleries.
The gallery has a number of temporary shows along with the O’Malley collection which deserves a special mention.
The O’Malley Collection exhibition.
This is an ongoing exhibition of the work of the local artist Tony O’Malley and includes paintings and sculptural works. He was an important artist of the twentieth century and was from Callan, County Kilkenny. The artist lived and worked in Callan until his death at the age of 89.
Guided tours of the gallery are available on Saturdays and Sundays.
Remember to have this wonderful space on your list of places to visit in Kilkenny.
This is the link for more details on current shows on display.
I hope you enjoy your visit to Kilkenny and here is a link to buy the OSi map of the city.
Have a wonderful time in Kilkenny and let us know your top places to visit around Ireland.
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