Kilkenny Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Kilkenny

Planning a short break to Kilkenny? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Kilkenny. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Kilkenny. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Dunmore Cave

Located north of Kilkenny, take the N77 then the N78. This is one of the main attractions of Kilkenny, and is on an isolated limestone outcrop of the Castlecomer plateau.

The most important discovery made in the cave was in 1967, when Viking coins and the skeletons of 46 women and children were found among the stalactites and stalagmites. The Dunmore Cave is not to be missed when in Kilkenny.

The cave is open March to June and Sept to Oct everyday from 10h00 - 17h00; mid-June to mid-Sept everyday from 10h00 19h00; Nov to March Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 10h00 - 17h00. Admission is $3.

Kilkenny Castle

Located on the square over the river. This imposing building defines kilkenny and is one of the main attractions of the city. It dates back to the 12th century with many additions and rennovations taking place during the 17th and 19th centuries. Housed in the castle is the Butler Gallery, which has exhibitions on modern art; there is also a tea room housed in the castles former kitchen. The castle is open April to May everyday from 10h30 - 17h00; June to Sept everyday from 10h00 - 19h00; October to March Tuesday to Saturday from 10h30 - 12h45 and 14h00 - 17h00, Sunday from 11h00 - 12h45 and 14h00 - 17h00. Admission is $5.20 for a guided tour.

St Canice's Cathedral

The cathedral is one of the must see activities for any visitor to the city. It dates back to the 13th century, and the purity and unity of its architecture is absolutely beautiful. The cathedral is filled with carvings and has a great selection of 16th century monuments in black Kilkenny marble, the most striking are the effigies of the Butler family. The cathedral is open Easter to Sept Monday to Saturday from 09h00 - 13h00 and 14h00 - 18h00, Sunday from 14h00 - 18h00; October to Easter Monday Saturday from 10h00 - 13h00 and 14h00 - 16h00, Sunday 14h00 - 16h00. Admission is $3.60.

The Round Tower

Next to the Cathedral. This is all that remains of the early monastic settlement reputedly founded by St Canice in the 6th century. From the top of the Round Tower there are amazing views over the city and the surrounding landscape. This is a sight not to be missed when visiting the cathedral. The Round Tower is open Easter to Sept Monday to Saturday from 09h00 - 13h00 and 14h00 - 18h00, Sunday from 14h00 - 18h00; October to Easter Monday Saturday from 10h00 - 13h00 and 14h00 - 16h00, Sunday 14h00 - 16h00. Admission to climb the stairs to the top is $2.40.


Springhill Court Hotel, Waterford Road. The AquaSpa and wellness centre is the place to go for some pampering and relaxation when you want to take a break from all the sightseeing around the city. The facilities on offer at AquaSpa include a floatation capsule; balneotherapy, which is a specialised bath with over 240 high powered jets; Hot Stone Massages; aromatherapy massages; and many other holistic and beauty treatments.

For more information visit:

Nore Valley Park Open Farm

Bennettsbridge, just out of Kilkenny. This is one the best places to take the children to have the best time of their lives. The park has a wide range of facilities and activities on offer, including many different animals to see and feed; crazy golf; pedal go karts; trailer rides; and a playground. There is also an indoor maze open for when it rains. For opening times contact the Nore Valley Park on the email address below. Admission is $5.60 per person.

For more information email:

Kilkenny Celtic Festival

All around the city. Kilkenny is known as Ireland's medieval capital, and it hosts the annual Celtic Festival. There are many activities on offer, including street parades; concerts; theatre shows; markets and much more. The festival begins with a two day conference dedicated to the exploration of celtic history as portrayed by prose; poetry; and song. The festival runs for 3 days in October.

Black Abbey

Parliament Street. This is another one of the beautiful churches found in Kilkenny city, and was founded in 1225. Some of the original elements that are still found in the Abbey include an alabaster sculpture of the Holy Trinity, which was carved in around 1400; and a pre-Reformation statue of St. Dominic carved in Irish oak. The church is open April to September Monday to Saturday from 07h30 - 19h00 and Sunday 09h00 - 19h00; October to March Monday to Saturday from 07h30 - 17h30. Admission is free.

Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel

Ormonde Street. This is the best hotel in Kilkenny, and is located in the centre of the city. The beautiful and stylish hotel offers a wide range of facilities and services, including three restaurants; two bars; a gym; an indoor pool; a kiddie pool; a Jacuzzi; a sauna/steam room; a children's playroom; concierge; room service; massage; laundry service; and a tanning bed. The elegant and comfortable guest rooms all have a TV; minibar; telephone; hair dryer; garment press; and a full bathroom.

For more information visit:

Lacken House

Dublin Road, the northeast edge of the city. This is one of the best restaurants in Kilkenny, and is housed in a stately Victorian house.

Chef Nicola O'Brien serves some of the most delicious internation dishes, including roast leg of lamb in tangy jus; breast of chicken with blue cheese and bacon wrapped in phyllo pastry; and Oriental pan-fried salmon in tomato vinaigrette. the house speciality is roast crispy duckling in orange-and-star anise sauce.

The restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday from 19h00 - 22h30. Reservations are required as the restaurant gets very busy.

User Suggestions

Go with the Flow - River Adventures - Sporting Activity

I recently organised a get-together for family and friends in Kilkenny. We booked a river adventure with this company. We had the best fun ever. A short drive from the city and we were on one of the most beautiful stretches of country river I have ever seen. The canoes were easy to manage and we had an excellent guide with us as well. Everybody especially the children loved shooting the weirs and rapids. We had a brilliant, exciting and fun afternoon. Check out their website.


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