Attractions

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 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 …
Top Choice Museum in Kilkenny City

Medieval Mile Museum

Dating from the early 13th century, St Mary's Church has been converted into a fascinating modern museum that charts the history of Kilkenny in medieval times. Highlights include the Rothe Chapel, lined with ornate …
Cave in County Kilkenny

Dunmore Cave

Dunmore Cave is as famous for its history as for its beautiful calcite formations, and has yielded many archaeological treasures. Admission is via guided tour only, which leads down a steep descent to caverns full o…
Museum in Kilkenny City

Rothe House & Garden

Dating from 1594 this is Ireland's finest example of a Tudor merchant's house, complete with restored medieval garden. Built around a series of courtyards, it now houses a museum with a rather sparse display of loca…
Gallery in Kilkenny City

National Craft Gallery

Contemporary Irish crafts are showcased at these imaginative galleries, set in former stables across the road from Kilkenny Castle, next to the shops of the Kilkenny Design Centre. Ceramics dominate, but exhibits of…
Brewery in Kilkenny City

Smithwick's Experience

Until its closure, Smithwick's was Ireland’s oldest working brewery. John Smithwick founded the business in 1710 on the site of Kilkenny's 13th-century St Francis Abbey (the abbey ruins remain within the complex). S…
Gallery in Kilkenny City

Butler Gallery

The Butler Gallery in the basement of Kilkenny Castle is one of the country’s most important art galleries outside Dublin. Small exhibitions featuring the work of contemporary artists are held throughout the year. A…