Although it's the county town, Tralee is often dismissed elsewhere in Kerry as an overflow valve for Limerick and its social problems. While that's unfair – there are some good restaurants and bars, a great museum and excellent new wetlands centre – it's certainly down-to-earth and more engaged with the business of everyday life than the tourist trade.
Founded by the Normans in 1216, Tralee has a long history of rebellion. In the 16th century the last ruling earl of the Desmonds was captured and executed here. His head was sent to Elizabeth I, who spiked it on London Bridge. The Desmond castle once stood at the junction of Denny St and the Mall, but any trace of medieval Tralee that survived the Desmond Wars was razed during the Cromwellian period.
Elegant Denny St and Day Pl are the oldest parts of town, with 18th-century buildings, while the Square, just south of the Mall, is a pleasant open space with a contemporary style.
Tralee destination guides
Dingle Peninsula Walk
Experience on foot the history and natural beauty of Ireland's Dingle Peninsula
Dingle Peninsula Guided Walk
Guided walk through the mountain trails and coastal paths of Ireland's picturesque Dingle Peninsula