5 Things To Do in Kilkenny City, Ireland

Tripper Maya Hanley shares her five favorite things to do in Kilkenny City, Ireland.

Kilkenny is well known nowadays for its great entertainment, comedy festivals like The Cat Laughs, music festivals, beautiful vista, pubs and great shopping. As well as all that, it has a long and fascinating history as one of the most powerful cities in Ireland.

Here are 5 things you have to experience in Kilkenny:

The Hole in the Wall is a tavern and music venue just off the High Street, built in 1582. It was famous as a place where the Butlers of Ormonde and  the Duke of Wellington(who would later become British Prime Minister),amongst others, drank and caroused over the centuries. Nowadays, while still having many of its original features, it has been lovingly restored and is a great place to sneak into for a nice glass of wine and perhaps to listen to wonderful music upstairs in the gallery. Because of its great acoustics, many well known musicians, like Liam O’Maonlai of the Hothouse Flowers, are drawn there to give intimate concerts. Don’t miss it – its history and ambiance make it something really special.

Langtons Hotel and Bars is probably the most well known and frequented place for socialising and entertainment in Kilkenny.  Eamon Langton has gradually bought up buildings on John St. and lovingly refurbished them into a  hotel and bars that are wonderfully comfortable and luxurious. The friendly service in Langtons is second to none. Their most recent additions are Bridie’s, an old fashioned style general store with a bar behind and The Set, a great theatre and entertainment venue.

St. Canice’s Cathedral is what Kilkenny is named after. In Irish, Cill Chainnigh means the Church of Canice. It’s been a place of worship for over 800 years and combines an early Christian round tower and Anglo Norman church.  There are wonderful stained glass windows, some of them by the Harry Clarke studio. You can still walk up the narrow stairs to the top of the round tower and get amazing views of the whole city.

Kilkenny Design Centre is one of my favourite places to go shopping in the city. It originally housed the stables and carriage houses for Kilkenny Castle. There are a series of craft studios in the courtyard and the shop sells exclusively Irish made crafts, jewellery, clothing, pottery and more. You’ll find something in your budget that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Kilkenny Castle was handed to the people of Kilkenny by the 6th Marquess of Ormonde in 1967 for the princely sum of £50! It is now a major tourist attraction as it sits beautifully on the banks of the river Nore. Built in the first decade of the 12th century, it was the seat of one of Ireland’s most powerful families, the Butlers of Ormonde. They have very interesting and informative tours there and you can stroll around the gorgeous grounds and gardens. Well worth a visit.

Thanks, Maya!  Trippers for more Ireland travel tips, you can connect with Maya via her Tripping profile.