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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.


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See all 338 properties in Kilkenny
Hotel Kilkenny
Reviewed on 16 Feb 2020
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Hotel Kilkenny

Hotel Kilkenny

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

    Staff were very friendly and provided excellent service.

    Pembroke Hotel
    Reviewed on 19 Mar 2020
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    Pembroke Hotel

    Pembroke Hotel

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

      Lovely hotel, good food and service. They were sure to take care of us even in the crazy covid 19 closures. Close to town center, Kilkenny Castle and the medevial mile. Wonderful city to visit.

      Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel
      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

        Butler House & Garden €199
        Reviewed on 22 Feb 2020
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        Butler House & Garden

        Butler House & Garden

        16 Patrick St, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
           
          4.9 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Everything & everyone was perfect. The building. The staff. The rooms. All magnificent!

          The Garrandarragh Inn €120
          Reviewed on 3 Nov 2019
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          The Garrandarragh Inn

          The Garrandarragh Inn

          Main Street, Mullinavat
             
            4.8 of 5
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            We stayed for 1 night only but food was top class, dinner and breakfast.

            Lyrath Estate Hotel Spa & Convention Centre
            Reviewed on 23 Feb 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

              Excellent hotel, beautiful surrounding yet just a short distance from Kilkenny

              Mount Juliet Estate, Autograph Collection
              Reviewed on 27 Feb 2020
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              Mount Juliet Estate, Autograph Collection

              Mount Juliet Estate, Autograph Collection

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

                the health spa and pool were not available and was not flagged at either time of booking or with the reminder 3 days before arrival, this is sharp practice and not a 5 star service

                Springhill Court Hotel
                Reviewed on 20 Feb 2020
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                Springhill Court Hotel

                Springhill Court Hotel

                Waterford Road, Kilkenny, Kilkenny
                   
                  4.0 of 5
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Very happy with hotel. Clean, modern decor. Kid friendly, friendly staff. Lovely pool facility. Rooms were cosy and comfortable. Lots of choice at breakfast time and very tasty.

                  Top Activities in Kilkenny

                  See all 7 things to do in Kilkenny (county)