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Top hotels in County Kilkenny
Reviewed on 23 Feb 2020
Reviewed on 12 Jul 2020
Top things to do in County Kilkenny
Kilkenny City Guide
Kilkenny is known as the creative heart of Ireland. This small town is more than 550 years old, but today it is a vibrant city with a reputation for its cutting edge art and culture. The medieval architecture of Kilkenny is a beautiful backdrop for the many cultural events that take place here every year, including the Kilkenny Arts Festival. Discover art galleries and restaurants alongside traditional pubs in the narrow medieval streets. Overlooking the town is Kilkenny Castle, which dates from the 12th century. The castle is situated on the banks of the River Nore and is surrounded by beautiful parks. Another major attraction is St. Canices Cathedral , a beautifully restored tribute to the 6th century monk after which Kilkenny is named. The tower is the oldest building in Kilkenny and one of two such towers in Ireland which can be climbed. Weather permitting, it provides incredible views over the city.
Kilkenny really comes to life in the evenings and weekends when locals and visitors alike hit the many pubs and restaurants to enjoy a pint of the black stuff, the friendly atmosphere and live music. The year is full of festivals of all kinds, covering everything from theatre to comedy to music and dance. In the summer, the city offers all kinds of street entertainment to accompany everything going on indoors. Exhibitions at the Butler Gallery and National Craft Gallery also contribute to the thriving local art and cultural scene.
The compact city centre of Kilkenny means you can easily explore it on foot. If you want to avoid masses of tourists who come here for festivals and events, you can visit on a weekday or off-season. If you have limited time, half a day is enough to see the main attractions. However, it's worth just wandering around for a while to soak up and simply enjoy the culture, history and merriment of that Kilkenny is so famous for.