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 Pub in Kilkenny City

Kyteler's Inn

Dame Alice Kyteler's old house was built back in 1224 and has seen its share of history: she was charged with witchcraft in 1323. Today the rambling bar includes the original building, complete with vaulted ceiling …
Top Choice Bistro in Kilkenny City


The owners of this cool and casual bistro keep their own pigs and grow their own salad leaves, so it would be churlish not to try their pork belly stuffed with black pudding, or confit pig's trotter – and you'll be …
Top Choice Modern Irish in Kilkenny City


Chef Garrett Byrne was awarded a Michelin star for this bold, stylish restaurant in his native Kilkenny. He's passionate about supporting local and artisan producers, and serves ever-changing, ever-memorable meals, …
Top Choice Arts & Crafts in Kilkenny City

Kilkenny Design Centre

Sells top-end Irish crafts and artworks, from county-wide artisans. Look for John Hanly wool blankets, Cushendale woollen goods, Foxford scarves and Bunbury cutting boards.
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…
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…
Church in Kilkenny City

Black Abbey

This Dominican abbey was founded in 1225 by William Marshal and takes its name from the monks' black habits. Much of what survives dates from the 18th and 19th centuries, but remnants of more ancient archways are st…