Top things to do

Top Choice Cathedral in Kilkenny City

St Canice's Cathedral

Ireland's second-largest medieval cathedral (after St Patrick's in Dublin) has a long and fascinating history. The first monastery was built here in the 6th century by St Canice, Kilkenny's patron saint. The present…
Top Choice Castle in Kilkenny City

Kilkenny Castle

Rising above the River Nore, Kilkenny Castle is one of Ireland's most visited heritage sites. Stronghold of the powerful Butler family, it has a history dating back to the 12th century, though much of its present lo…
Top Choice Ruins in Kells & Around

Kells Priory

This fortified Augustinian monastery is the best sort of ruin, where you can amble around whenever you like, with no tour guides, set hours or fees. Most days you stand a chance of exploring the site alone (apart fr…
Top Choice Gardens in Ballon

Altamont Gardens

One of Ireland's most magnificent landscaped gardens, Altamont covers 16 hectares on the banks of the River Slaney, with carefully selected plantings arranged in naturalistic settings where peacocks, swans, squirrel…
Top Choice Ruins in Ardmore

St Declan's Monastery

The ruins of Ireland's oldest Christian settlement occupy a striking setting on a hill above the town, strewn with gravestones both ancient and new. The most prominent landmark is the 30m-high round tower, one of th…
Top Choice Museum in Waterford City

Medieval Museum

Housed in a stunning modern building that incorporates several medieval buildings and part of the city wall in its basement (all on display), this museum documents Waterford's medieval history in glowing detail. The…
Top Choice Factory in Waterford City

House of Waterford Crystal

This large modern complex combines a retail shop and cafe with a factory offering a tour that shows how world-famous Waterford crystal is produced. The highlight is the blowing room where you can watch skilled artis…
Top Choice Gardens in County Wexford

Johnstown Castle Gardens

Parading peacocks guard the splendid 19th-century Johnstown Castle, the former home of the once-mighty Fitzgerald and Esmonde families (the estate was gifted to the nation in 1945). The empty castle (not open to pub…
Top Choice Castle in Lismore

Lismore Castle Gardens

Although Lismore Castle itself is not open to the public, the 3 hectares of ornate and manicured gardens are well worth a visit. Thought to be the oldest landscaped gardens in Ireland, they are divided into the wall…
Top Choice Ruins in Thomastown

Jerpoint Abbey

One of Ireland’s finest Cistercian ruins, Jerpoint Abbey was established in the 12th century, with the tower and cloister dating from the late-14th or early-15th century. It is famous for its unusually large number …