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Kilkenny City Guide

Kilkenny is known as the creative heart of Ireland. This small town is more than 400 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.


Top Hotel Deals

See all 353 properties in County Kilkenny
Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel €84
Reviewed on 23 Feb 2020
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Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel

Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel

Ormonde Street, Kilkenny, Kilkenny
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    The location was excellent & the staff were lovely

    Hotel Kilkenny €90
    Reviewed on 12 Jul 2020
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    Hotel Kilkenny

    Hotel Kilkenny

    College Road, Kilkenny, Kilkenny
       
      4.2 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      I visited in challenging times, as we came out of lockdown. Staff could have been friendlier, the hotel lacked a welcoming feeling. Food was excellent.

      Pembroke Hotel €96
      Reviewed on 20 Jul 2020
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      Pembroke Hotel

      Pembroke Hotel

      11 Patrick Street, Kilkenny
         
        4.7 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        great service, clean and spacious room and wonderful breakfast

        Lyrath Estate Hotel Spa & Convention Centre €187
        Reviewed on 13 Mar 2020
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        Lyrath Estate Hotel Spa & Convention Centre

        Lyrath Estate Hotel Spa & Convention Centre

        Paulstown Road, Kilkenny
           
          4.5 of 5
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          What a beautiful hotel! We only stayed one night, but it was wonderful! The staff, the food, the room. All were great! We loved it!!!

          The Hoban Hotel Killkenny €58
          Reviewed on 13 Mar 2020
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          The Hoban Hotel Killkenny

          The Hoban Hotel Killkenny

          Ring Road, Springhill, Kilkenny, Kilkenny
             
            4.2 of 5
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            A very comfortable stay.

            Kilkenny Inn €79
            Reviewed on 18 Mar 2020
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            Kilkenny Inn

            Kilkenny Inn

            15-16 Vicar Street, Kilkenny
               
              4.4 of 5
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Nice bar, easy parking, comfortable room, easy walk to town center and even the castle!

              Mount Juliet Estate, Autograph Collection €157
              Reviewed on 4 Aug 2020
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              Mount Juliet Estate, Autograph Collection

              Mount Juliet Estate, Autograph Collection

              Mount Juliet, Thomastown, Kilkenny
                 
                4.5 of 5
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Really friendly and helpful staff. Food was excellent. The hotel was exceptionally clean and attention to detail during Covid-19 was obvious

                Newpark Hotel €95
                Reviewed on 25 Feb 2020
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                Newpark Hotel

                Newpark Hotel

                Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny, Kilkenny
                   
                  4.3 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Very nice property overall, just small things like no net curtain in ground floor window, and no pressure in shower..

                  Top Activities in County Kilkenny

                  See all 47 things to do in County Kilkenny