Country: Ireland Language: English Currency: Euro (€)
Kilkenny is a small town surrounded by luscious green countryside. The city is full of history, culture, and plenty of activities for tourists. Visit the Kilkenny Castle, Rothe House, and walk down the Medieval Mile, where you will see a number of historic buildings dating back to the 9th century! If you are looking for a change of pace, the city offers a range of music and theatre events in its parks and pubs, creating a very lively atmosphere.
The Kilkenny Castle was began construction in 1195 and was completed in 1213. The Anglo-Norman castle soon became the residence of a powerful Irish family. The Butler’s lived in the castle for nearly 600 years! It was sold to the people of Kilkenny in 1967 for about £50! Since its sale, the castle has been under the care of the Office of Public Works, who have worked to conserve the castle, and who have allowed public access into its interior.
The Medieval Mile connects Kilkenny Castle to many historic buildings. The Thosel, built in 1761 was used as a guildhall, a customs house, a courthouse, and today, it serves as the city hall. As you walk further down the Medieval Mile, you’ll find the Smithwick’s Experience Brewery Tour. The tour takes you through a walk through the halls of the Abbey of St. Francis, where 13th century monks began brewing. After learning about the history of Smithwick’s, you’ll get to enjoy a pint of the Red Ale in the tasting room!
Kilkenny is home to a few cathedrals, each expressing impressive architecture. St. Mary’s Cathedral stands just off of the Medieval Mile. It was founded in 1842 and features a locally sourced limestone exterior. St. Canice’s Cathedral, at the end of the Medieval Mile, dates back to the 13th century and is considered one of the longest cathedrals in Ireland! And finally, the Black Abbey, a 13th century abbey, was the home to the Dominican Order.
Kilkenny can easily be explored in a couple of hours, making it the perfect stop for lunch on your Ireland road trip. Plenty of parking is available throughout the city! Between the Smithwick’s Experience and the pubs that line the Medieval Mile, you will find a great place for a bite to eat while enjoying the energetic medieval city!
Kilkenny is one small town in Ireland... Keep your adventure going and check out our city guides for some other nearby destinations!