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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 150 hotels in Kilkenny
Hotel Kilkenny €87
Hotel Kilkenny

Hotel Kilkenny

College Road, Kilkenny
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 740 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    This family-friendly hotel is located in Kilkenny, close to Talbots Tower, National Craft Gallery and Butler House. Also nearby are St Mary's Cathedral and Tholsel.

    Lyrath Estate Hotel Spa & Convention Centre €115
    Lyrath Estate Hotel Spa & Convention Centre

    Lyrath Estate Hotel Spa & Convention Centre

    Paulstown Road, Kilkenny
       
      4.5
      of 5, from 304 reviews
      5.0 out of 5.0

      This family-friendly hotel is located in Kilkenny, close to The Hub, Nowlan Park and St John's Church. Local attractions also include Kilkenny Castle and National Craft Gallery.

      Kilford Arms Hotel €77
      Kilford Arms Hotel

      Kilford Arms Hotel

      John Street, Kilkenny
         
        3.9
        of 5, from 161 reviews
        3.0 out of 5.0

        This hotel is located in Kilkenny (Kilkenny City Centre), close to St John's Church, Shee Alms House and Kilkenny Castle. Also nearby are Tholsel and Rothe House.

        Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel €99
        Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel

        Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel

        1 Ormonde Street, Kilkenny
           
          4.4
          of 5, from 112 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          This hotel is located in Kilkenny (Kilkenny City Centre), close to Kilkenny Castle, St Mary's Cathedral and Black Abbey. Nearby attractions also include The Hub.

          Newpark Hotel €92
          Newpark Hotel

          Newpark Hotel

          Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny
             
            4.3
            of 5, from 422 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            This family-friendly Kilkenny hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kilkenny Golf Course, Rothe House and National Craft Gallery. St John's Church and St. Canice's Cathedral are also within 1 mile (2 km).

            Springhill Court Hotel €54
            Springhill Court Hotel

            Springhill Court Hotel

            Waterford Road, Kilkenny
               
              3.9
              of 5, from 184 reviews
              3.0 out of 5.0

              Situated in Kilkenny, this spa hotel is close to Talbots Tower, Butler House and National Craft Gallery. Also nearby are Kilkenny Castle and Shee Alms House.

              Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel €87
              Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel

              Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel

              Ormonde Street, Kilkenny
                 
                4.3
                of 5, from 330 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                This family-friendly Kilkenny hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Shee Alms House, National Craft Gallery and Talbots Tower. Tholsel and Butler House are also within 5 minutes.

                Aspect Hotel Kilkenny €43
                Aspect Hotel Kilkenny

                Aspect Hotel Kilkenny

                Ring Road, Kilkenny
                   
                  4.1
                  of 5, from 596 reviews
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  This family-friendly hotel is located in Kilkenny, close to Talbots Tower, Butler House and National Craft Gallery. Also nearby are Kilkenny Castle and Shee Alms House.