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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 137 Hotels in Kilkenny
€48
Aspect Hotel Kilkenny

Aspect Hotel Kilkenny

Ring Road, Kilkenny
4.1
of 5, from 565 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Kilkenny hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Talbots Tower, National Craft Gallery and Butler House. Shee Alms House and Kilkenny Castle are also within 2 miles (3 km).

€69
Hotel Kilkenny

Hotel Kilkenny

College Road, Kilkenny
4.2
of 5, from 691 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Kilkenny hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Talbots Tower, Butler House and St Mary's Cathedral. Tholsel and Shee Alms House are also within 15 minutes.

€128
Lyrath Estate Hotel Spa & Convention Centre

Lyrath Estate Hotel Spa & Convention Centre

Paulstown Road, Kilkenny
4.5
of 5, from 253 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Kilkenny hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of The Hub, St John's Church and Nowlan Park. Shee Alms House and Tholsel are also within 3 miles (5 km).

€74
Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel

Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel

1 Ormonde Street, Kilkenny
4.4
of 5, from 84 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Kilkenny City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kilkenny Castle, St Mary's Cathedral and Black Abbey. The Hub is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) away.

€73
Pembroke Hotel

Pembroke Hotel

11 Patrick Street, Kilkenny
4.7
of 5, from 488 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Kilkenny City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Butler House, National Craft Gallery and Kilkenny Castle. Shee Alms House and Talbots Tower are also within 5 minutes.

€54
Kilford Arms Hotel

Kilford Arms Hotel

John Street, Kilkenny
3.8
of 5, from 133 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Kilkenny City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St John's Church, Shee Alms House and Tholsel. National Craft Gallery and Kilkenny Castle are also within 10 minutes.

€64
Newpark Hotel

Newpark Hotel

Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny
4.3
of 5, from 402 reviews
4.5 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).

€78
Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel

Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel

Ormonde Street, Kilkenny
4.3
of 5, from 306 reviews
4.5 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.