Kilkenny Castle

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Kilkenny Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Dublin: Glendalough, Wicklow, & Kilkenny Full-Day Trip

1. From Dublin: Glendalough, Wicklow, & Kilkenny Full-Day Trip

First, make your way directly to Kilkenny, a town that was once the medieval capital of Ireland. Enjoy walking down the cobbled streets and visit the Black Abbey and the Cathedral of Saint Canice. After that, travel through the Wicklow Mountains to your next stop. Visit the Monastic site of Glendalough. Hollywood Blockbusters like ‘P.S. I Love You’ and ‘Braveheart’ have been filmed here. Explore the area renowned for its ruins, magnificent lakes, and waterfalls. Finally, head over to a sheepdog farm and watch a sheepdog herd with his master. Look at the Border Collies using a tactic called “The Eye” on sheep. Witness a shepherd and his dog at work and watch how they herd a flock of sheep.

Kilkenny: Historical Highlights Walking Tour

2. Kilkenny: Historical Highlights Walking Tour

Explore Kilkenny's fascinating past on a walking tour with a certified guide. Walk through the city's historic streets, hearing stories about Kilkenny Castle, St. John's Priory, and more, as you stand in front of these impressive sights. Kick-start your historical adventure by the Kilkenny Crystal Shop. Then, cross the River Nore towards Kilkenny County Hall, where you will find out about the most famous scholar in Kilkenny's history. From there, head to St. John's Priory and the Butler Gallery. Continue on to Kilkenny County Library and the Great War Memorial. Cross into Irishtown and St. Canice's Cathedral, where the city's history began. See many other fascinating sights along the tour, including Kieran and Parliament streets, the Black Abbey, and more. Finish your tour in front of the stunning Kilkenny Castle, home to the Butler family for 600 years.

Day Tour of Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny

3. Day Tour of Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny

The first stop on this guided tour is Glendalough, known as the valley of the two lakes, and its 6th-century monastic site of St. Kevin. The guide will walk you through the ancient monastery of St. Kevin and explain some of its important buildings, their folklore and history, before giving you plenty of time to explore the valley yourself. Then travel through the Wicklow Gap and see some of the most beautiful scenery of the area and a few small rural villages. Once the group reaches Kilkenny, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the medieval Norman town and its top sites, like St. Canice's Cathedral, Rothe House, and Kilkenny Castle. Kilkenny is steeped in history and was once the capital of Ireland. It was also the location for one of Ireland’s earliest witch trials, the famous story of Dame Alice Kyteler and her servant Petronilla. Spend 3 hours in Kilkenny, explore Kilkenny Castle and have some lunch.

Ireland: Blarney Castle, Kilkenny & Irish Whiskey 3-Day Tour

4. Ireland: Blarney Castle, Kilkenny & Irish Whiskey 3-Day Tour

Discover the scenic splendor of southeast Ireland on a 3-day tour of the lush farmlands of Kildare, the stunning Wicklow Mountains, and the fabled Copper Coast road to Waterford. Stop at historic monasteries and castles, learn about the fateful voyage of the Titanic from Cobh, and go to the famous Waterford Crystal Factory.  Enjoy a more personal experience in this small group tour with maximum of 16 passengers on a top of the range Mercedes luxury mini-coach, while a quaint bed and breakfast accommodation for 2 nights provides a more intimate experience. Day 1: Depart Dublin for Cork, driving through the lush farm counties of Kildare, Laois, and Tipperary. Make a short stop in the heritage town of Cahir to see the ruined abbey and impressive castle on an island in the River Suir. Continue to Blarney on the outskirts of Cork. Visit the castle and take one of the woodland walks to the mystical Rock Close. Explore the village of Blarney, stopping for lunch.  There may even be time to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. After this, there is a chance to discover Jameson Whiskey Distillery and taste one of Ireland's favorite exports. In the afternoon, tour the beautiful coastline of West Cork, and see some of the magnificent beaches, tiny inlets and coves. End the day in the fishing village of Kinsale, where you will be based for the night. Kinsale is famous for its food, and the evening is free to wander the narrow streets, popping into traditional pubs and restaurants. Day 2: Explore some of the highlights of southeast Ireland, starting with the historic port of Cobh, the main departure point for Irish emigration in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was also from here that the Titanic ocean liner set forth on her ill-fated maiden voyage. Continue east to Waterford, traveling along the “Copper Coast” (a designated UNESCO geo-park for its spectacular beauty). Stop at the popular surfing beach of Tramore, before heading into Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. Founded by the Vikings in the 9th century, it’s also famous for the Waterford Crystal Factory, which you are free to visit along with one of the excellent museums. Alternatively, explore the Viking Triangle on foot. In the late afternoon, depart for the busy city of Kilkenny with its fine castle and park, as well as some lovely riverside walks. Go to the National Craft Centre, or hang out in one of the pubs and enjoy a glass of Guinness! Day 3: Enjoy a free morning to explore Kilkenny before driving to the Wicklow Mountains. Marvel at some of Ireland’s highest granite peaks and see impressive valleys carved by glaciers. One of the area’s highlights is Glendalough, known as the “Valley of the Lakes.” Take one of the walking trails, or explore the ruins of the 6th-century monastery to see its round tower. The last section of your tour takes you into the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, before crossing the famous Sally Gap to descend into Dublin for an approximate 18:30 arrival.

From Dublin: Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough & Kilkenny Tour

5. From Dublin: Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough & Kilkenny Tour

Embark on a guided day trip through the lush pastures of Ireland from Dublin. Tour the vast Wicklow Mountains and see the monastery of Glendalough. Lose yourself in the medieval lanes of Kilkenny. Depart from Dublin and set off on a luxury bus to Glendalough. As you journey out of the city, your guide will fill you in on many interesting facts and fun stories about Dublin. Arrive at Glendalough, considered one of the most beautiful corners of Ireland. Enjoy an optional guided tour of the monastic settlement and some free time to explore the area or relax at a local café. The more adventurous can opt to take a hike to the Upper Lake and return via a boardwalk (approx. 2.5 km). The route takes you past the Lower Lake through a stunning nature trail that leads deep into the valley and on to the Upper Lake. Continue to the Wicklow Mountains. As you drive, your guide will tell you about its geology and history. Pass through famous movie locations featured in P.S. I Love You and Braveheart. Stop for a 10-minute photo opportunity at the Wicklow Gap before a scenic ride to Kilkenny. Once you reach Kilkenny, have free time to navigate the narrow lanes and historic buildings. Admire its extraordinary castle where you can picnic, or enjoy lunch in the local pubs. Then, join an optional guided tour of the city before making your way back to Dublin.

Other Sightseeing Options in Kilkenny Castle

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What people are saying about Kilkenny Castle

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 478 reviews

The tour that I have dreamed happened, it was in Dublin featured by Finn McCools Tours, represented by kindness people, Barbara and Michael. Thank for this amazing team that shows magnificent places and fulfill ours souls of joy. They taught us how good is to travel and learn more about Irish culture, so, for a memorable trip, you have the right recipe, Finn McCools Tours, Barbara and Michael.

We had such a lovely time on this tour and our guide Godfrey was so amazing (with additional humour and musical treat) to explain everything about the places we visited. The lovely sunny weather was the icing on the cake to enjoy the beautiful sites.

We had a great day exploring Glendalough and Kilkenny. I do recommend the tour if you are short on time but want to get a good overview of both. Great craic, Finn McCools Tours!

Really nice experience, Philip the guide, makes it better telling you stories through the trip. You can explore many places in one day. All in all it’s a nice tour to take!

Nice ride with guide Maura filling in with information and Irish music