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5 Great Reasons to Visit Kilkenny

- Posted on: 03/03/2018 - $itemValue.title

kilkenny castle 1


Arts & Culture

Kilkenny Arts Festival kicks off on August 9th and runs through until August 19th giving attendees 10 days to take in the music, theatre and exhibitions on offer.  The arts festival has something for all tastes and is family friendly too with workshops and storytelling to keep the kiddies entertained.   This year, the festival has some very cool events especially a reading of Seamus Heaney’s poetry and an event with JP Molloy on the origin of Irish which promises to be highly entertaining. 

Attractions & History

Kilkenny is steeped in History and packed full of must see attractions such as Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice’s Cathedral & Round Tower and Jerpoint Park.  Kilkenny also boast a full mile of Medieval buildings, known as the Medieval Mile which is a must see!

Kilkenny Castle is the city’s centrepiece, sitting proudly on the banks of the River Nore and winner of the 2016 Trip Advisor Travellers Choice award.  The castle is known as the home of the Butler Dynasty between 1391 and 1971 and is open for tours until 5.30pm daily.  

Smithwick’s brewery

Lonely Planet listed the Smithwick’s brewery as one of the hottest attractions in Kilkenny for 2015 and it’s easy to see why. You’ll be taken through the Smithwick’s brand story from the very beginning back in the 13th century and through the brewing process with the help of holographic monks and talking paintings. It lasts just about an hour and is family friendly too and perfect way to pass an afternoon in Kilkenny!

Quirky Cafes and Bars

Kilkenny is oozing with trendy and quirky places to eat and drink. It also boasts two Michelin starred restaurants, Mount Juliet’s ‘The lady Helen’ restaurant with its internationally themed restaurant and Campagne which serves wonderful modern French cuisine.  There’s also Zuni Restaurant which has transformed its front lounge into a trendy café and Foodworks, a funky bistro café ,to name but a few. One thing’s for sure, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Kilkenny is famous for its vibrant night life too. A trip to the ‘Hole in the Wall’ bar is a must when visiting Kilkenny. It’s an 18th century pub is housed in the oldest surviving town house in Ireland, the 1582 Archer Inner House.  The bar has been fully restored in the last decade and is one of the most popular spots with visitors to the city!


Kilkenny has a unique mix of boutiques, gift shops and high street stores making a trip to the shops a real treat! You’ll find all of your favourite high street shops such as Penney’s, TK Maxx, Heatons , H&M, River island, Dunnes Stores and many more.  Kilkenny Design centre has an unrivalled selection of hand crafted Irish gifts, all stunning and unique and a perfect souvenir from your trip to Kilkenny.  Butterslip is an independent boutique selling a range of colourful quirky jewellery and Serendepity boutique is home to designer ladies from brands like ‘Almost famous, London’ and ‘feeG’  with everything from coats to occasion wear in store.

Mc Donagh Junction is the largest shopping centre in the south east of the country and is located in the heart of Kilkenny City and is home to all of your favourite high street stores.

So if you’re sold on planning a trip to Kilkenny this year, check out some of the best hotels here