Finding your feet in Kilkenny

Things to do in Kilkenny:
Summer 2024

A boat trip with ourselves where our guides will highlight much of what there is to see and do in Kilkenny.

A Local Guide to Kilkenny 2024

Start your visit to Kilkenny with a Guided Tour, which will give you an overview of the city and serve as a great introduction to what’s on offer. For this, we recommend a boat trip with ourselves where our guides will highlight much of what there is to see and do in Kilkenny, along with some of the more interesting histories and folklore of the city. Our trips are a relaxing introduction and offer some great photo opportunities.

If you fancy a more energetic way to explore the city, you could try any one of the many walking tours or cycling tours on offer. These include Shenanigans Walking Tours, Ormonde Language Tours, and Kilkenny Cycling Tours. Another alternative way to see the city is by road train; Kilkenny City Tours and Kilkenny Road Train Tours, offer 30-minute guided tours with recorded commentary via an audio system. If you fancy an evening tour of the city, check out Kilkenny Haunted Dark Tours. And for a complete list of all guided tours in Kilkenny have a look at Guided Tours of Kilkenny City.

Boat Trip under Kilkenny Castle

Diving deeper into the city’s history

Once you’ve gotten a feel for the city, why not check out some of its main historical attractions? For this, we recommend a visit to Kilkenny Castle and St Canices Cathedral where you can climb the 800-year-old round tower. The other prominent sites in the city include Rothe House, the Medieval Mile Museum, and the Smithwicks Experience. If you fancy getting out and exploring some of the lesser visited historical sites check out our blog Historical Sites & locations to Visit in Kilkenny

It’s not all serious – Fun and laughs for Kids

A part from our own boat trip, we’d suggest any of the following which are sure to keep the kiddies entertained: Jurassic Newpark, Castlecomer Discovery Park, Dunmore Caves, or the National Reptile Zoo. However, there are loads of options for things to do with kids in Kilkenny, for a full list, check out Kid-Friendly Adventures Exploring Kilkenny’s Delights or for the smaller ones why not take in some of the many Playgrounds In Kilkenny

Parents and twin boys on boat trip in Kilkenny
Group of Kayaking trainees rafted up together in Kilkenny
Lady in the stockade in Kilkenny and a friend taking her picture
Two ladies being served dinner outside a restaurant in Kilkenny

Day-Time Activities

If you just want to relax and watch the world drift by, come with us on a Private Boat Trip, but if you’re looking for something with a bit more of an adrenaline rush, check out some of the following activities such as:

Inside view of the Book and Coffee Shop in Kilkenny.

Books and Coffee

If you’ve had your fill of history, heritage and culture but still fancy a ramble around, its always a treat to visit Kilkenny’s numerous bookshops. For a full list and some excellent bargains, check out Bookshops in Kilkenny. For some of the great café’s such as Cakeface, Wild Tails (Dog Friendly) and Charlie’s, have a look at Kilkenny’s Coffee Shops.

Nightlife in Kilkenny

Whether you’re a couple looking for a Romantic Escape or a bunch of friends down for a Stag/Hen session, there is a fantastic nightlife in Kilkenny. You could check out Kilkenny’s Top Restaurants, take in a show at the Watergate Theatre or Cleeres Theatre, and enjoy the night in one of Kilkenny’s Top Bars such as Tynans, Kytelers or Biddy Early’s. If the sun is shining down, head for one of the many excellent Beer Gardens or Terraces such as the Rivercourt, and when darkness falls, there is always live music about, seven nights a week.

View of Kilkenny Castle at night

A City of Festivals

It’s also worth checking out some of the many festivals that Kilkenny hosts throughout the year, including the Cats Laugh comedy festival on this year from 31st May to June 2nd or Kilkenny Arts Festival on from August 8th to 18th. For a full list of other great festivals on over the coming months, check out Kilkenny’s Top Festivals

Unusual & Quirky Stuff

For some of the more unusual things to do in Kilkenny including climbing a Round Tower or a Whiskey Tour, have a look at Ten Unusual Activities in Kilkenny City

Man, woman and three boys walking in a wooded garden.
Inside view of the Book and Coffee Shop in Kilkenny.

Map of the Medieval City

Getting around Kilkenny is super easy and by far the best method is on foot. This allows you to explore the city, taking in the medieval walls, streets and buildings in a way that no other mode of transport will. Download the Kilkenny Street Map for the city or drop by the Tourist Information Office to pick up a hard copy. It will certainly serve you well. If walking is your thing, Kilkenny is probably the best adapted county in Ireland in terms of marked and looped walks. If you want a few hours away from the hustle and bustle, I’d recommend checking out one of Kilkenny’s Walks, Parks & Forests

List of Things To Do in Kilkenny

Finally, if you’ve hit most of the touristy things to do and you fancy some exploring by yourself, check out the following 100 Things to do in Kilkenny. Here you’ll find a very brief listing that you can view at a glance and hopefully it sparks some inspiration. Everything from horse riding to pottery and from historical adventures to go-karting is listed. Or if you fancy exploring further afield, check out some of the great towns around Kilkenny county and things to do there in places such as Bennettsbridge, Callan, Castlecomer, Freshford, Goresbridge, Graiguenamanagh, Inistioge, Thomastown and Urlingford.

Two ladies with a map standing outside Kilkenny Castle

Up The Cats!

I hope you find our guide “things to do in Kilkenny” useful and more importantly, you enjoy your stay in Kilkenny. Out boat trips depart every hour from St Johns Bridge (BoatTrips.ie on Google Maps), so drop by and say hello if you’re passing. Or give us a wave from the river bank. Have fun and Go Explore!