Situated in what is affectionately known as the “Sunny South East” of Ireland, Kilkenny is home to approximately 25,000 people and is the smallest city in population in the Republic of Ireland, but don’t let that fool you, sitting just 75 miles southwest of Dublin – Kilkenny is a hub of culture, beauty and history.
Often referred to as Ireland’s Medieval Capital, Kilkenny draws thousands of historians, travellers, tourists and wide eyed visitors to experience the night life, the rich history and the beautiful streets of one of Ireland’s most loved cities.
Kilkenny holds an ancient city status rightfully attributed due to the magnificent St. Canices Cathedral and an old royal charter dating back from 1609. The city has the greatest concentration of medieval churches in Ireland. It is sometimes referred to as the Marble City as black polished limestone (“marble”) was quarried around the city. And of course, there’s the beautiful Kilkenny Castle. Not just your average castle or piece of history, Kilkenny Castle is a one of the most recognisable - and most visited - buildings in Ireland. The castle was founded in medieval times, but it’s most significant moments have been played out during more recent history. The castle was featured in Oliver Cromwell's re-conquest of Ireland in 1650; and was besieged during the Irish Civil War in 1922. So, if you’re looking for a magnificent piece of architecture with a vibrant history – then look no further.
No stranger to the festival scene, Kilkenny plays host to three main festivals a year which bring large crowds from all over Ireland and further afield. In May the Rhythm and Roots music festival take place, June bank holiday weekend sees the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival takes place and in August the Kilkenny Arts Festival comes to life. Don’t worry if you aren’t visiting over the summer months as Kilkenny has so much more to offer in terms of entertainment than just festivals!
Langtons Bar & Club, Kilkenny is known for both the pub and the club – it has won National 'Pub of the Year' and it's equally impressive restaurant has won the National Restaurant Award on three occasions. Go here for some great grub and a real Kilkenny welcome. The same family own and run the Marble City Bar which is another local favourite for great good in lovely surroundings.
Beautiful scenery is a consistent finding in Kilkenny and you won’t be hard pushed to find a beautiful garden or park to enjoy this fine scenery. Kilfane Glen and Waterfall is a pristine example of a romantic era garden dating from the 1790s – even in their nature, Kilkenny is historically rich. Untouched for 200 years this park is a paradise with a waterfall tumbling its way to a rushing stream and woodland paths leading to a beautiful cottage. Situated in Kilkenny city - Rothe House & Garden is a unique Irish merchant's townhouse, built between 1594 and 1610. The property comprises three houses, three enclosed courtyards and a large garden, all of which have been reconstructed to reflect a typical 17th century garden of the period so you can experience the beauty of the time.
In many ways, Kilkenny is a historian’s dream city, but don’t be put off by that if history isn’t your thing because Kilkenny is still one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. A warm welcome, a great tradition of live Irish music and a city full of life awaits you in Kilkenny.