Kilkenny Ireland is both an off-the-beaten-path destination and a popular attraction. Many international visitors never see much more of Ireland than Dublin and Galway, yet each summer the attractions of Kilkenny draw crowds. This landlocked county and city are known for having the best hurling team in the country, for the striking Kilkenny Castle, and traditional restaurants with live music. Whether you are driving through on your way to Cork or are in town to attend a hurling match, Kilkenny attractions will leave you wondering why you never chose to visit before. To travel to Kilkenny, you will want to rent a car. This will also give you the freedom to keep exploring other less-discovered areas of the country.
The most popular attraction is definitely Kilkenny Castle. This twelfth-century castle and extensive parklands have been restored to the style of the early nineteenth century and today is open to visitors year-round. During the summer months, Kilkenny Castle draws significant crowds, so be sure to either arrive early or be prepared to wait. Kilkenny Castle is open daily from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm with shorter hours in the winter months of October through February. The castle is complete with an art gallery, bookshop, and playground for kids.
Kilkenny Ireland is also home to many other heritage sites, which are great to visit if you're seeking historical things to do in Ireland. The importance of religion and Catholicism in Ireland can be seen in ecclesiastical sites such as the Black Abbey, Jerpoint Abbey, Kells Priory, Round Tower, and Tullaherin Church. Other important heritage sites include the Woodstock Gardens and House and the Lory Meagher Heritage Centre. Beyond these attractions, many people travel to Kilkenny for natural beauty. Stop into the tourist office for recommended walks and hikes, and head out into the spectacular green Irish countryside for some exercise.
After a day of hiking, you’ll be glad to return to the offerings of Kilkenny Ireland. A variety of hotels, restaurants, shops, and pubs will provide evening entertainment and a cozy place to sleep. Visitors might just be surprised at the hospitality that greets them in Kilkenny restaurants and pubs. If you take your food seriously, look for restaurants that are part of the Kilkenny Good Food Circle which promises quality local produce, well-presented, and fairly priced. You are likely to see a lot of Kilkenny beef, which is renowned nationwide, as well as local cheeses, sausages, and honey.
Many visitors travel to Kilkenny to see the best hurling team in the country. Kilkenny is a county that takes this Irish sport seriously, and they consistently produce a quality team that finds its way to the annual championship match and often comes away with the title. Every week throughout the summer months you can catch a hurling match in Ireland. Get tickets for Nowlan Park in Kilkenny to see the team play a game, or if you happen to be in Dublin in September, this is when the All-Ireland Hurling Championship is played. Tickets are expensive, but if you can secure one, you will be in for the game of a lifetime! This county is known for its beautiful valleys and rivers as well as Kilkenny City, called “The Marble City” for its popular jet-black marble. Go beyond the main tourist attractions of Dublin and Galway to see another side of Ireland.