5 Insta-Perfect Kilkenny Locations

Around every corner, down every alleyway and in every village, Kilkenny boasts a stunning historical ruin or something rare and beautiful. Get through this list and your Instagram feed will have everything your followers would expect from a trip to Ireland; real Irish history, medieval streets and buildings, beautiful ruins and stunning scenery. Hope you have an extra SD card packed!

St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower, Kilkenny

St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower – yes, a round tower right in the centre of the city – is one of the most popular heritage sites in the medieval city of Kilkenny.

What can be found there? What is there to do?

Between the stained glass windows of the cathedral, its Gothic features, the ancient graveyard and the round tower, your camera won’t stop. The round tower is the oldest standing structure in the city and is one of only two in Ireland that visitors may climb. And just think of the 360-degree shots you’ll get of the stunning Kilkenny landscape from the top! Worth every one of the 121 steps

Top Tip: Climbing the tower is weather permitting, so save this for a dry day.

Top Tip: In summer, the tower is very busy from 11am to 4pm. The best time to climb is between 9am and 11am.

Kells Priory

Situated alongside King’s River, Kells Priory is a spectacular monastic site, and one of the largest in Ireland.

What can be found there? What is there to do?

Stretch your legs over a 3-acre site as you wander around one of the most intact ruins of their kind. The Augustinian priory, which dates from 1193, resembles a vast fortress with its seven stoic towers that sit at intervals on imposing walls. It makes for a memorable trip and fantastic photos.

Kells Village is located approximately 15km south of Kilkenny city. A visit to Kells Priory is free and guided tours are available

Your hardest decision will be whether to go for colour (the classic Irish palette of green grass, those grey stones of the priory and the blue of the sky, if you’re lucky) or atmospheric black and white.

Kilkenny Castle

No trip to Kilkenny is complete without a visit to Kilkenny Castle, and a photo to prove it. The imposing structure looming over the heart of the city started life as an Anglo-Norman stone castle built for William Marshal, son-in-law of Strongbow, in the thirteenth century. It became the principal residence of the powerful Butler family for over 600 years.

What can be found there? What is there to do?

Trace almost 800 years of life in the castle on a self-guided tour through the grounds, in and out of the awe-inspiring castle rooms.

  • Only non-flash photography is permitted inside the castle
  • If a tour doesn’t float your boat, you can watch a free 12-minute video in the Medieval Room in the South Tower and forego the admission fee
The bridge over the Nore connecting Rose Inn Street and John Street Lower is a good spot for photos of the castle.

Inistioge

Point your car in the direction of Inistioge to see more of Kilkenny’s rural side. Although this village played an important role in Irish history, it has retained a quiet charm, and the beauty of the countryside is worth the short drive from the city.

What can be found there? What is there to do?

The village itself is idyllic and has been used as a location for TV and film, but your photographic challenge is the picture-perfect 10-arch bridge spanning the River Nore, a rubble stone Classical-style road bridge and the only of its kind in Europe, boasting 10 arches of equal size.

  • There are some great places to eat and drink in Inistioge.
  • For more information and directions, visit www.inistioge.ie
Inistioge was a location in the movie adaptation of Maeve Binchy’s Circle of Friends (1995, starring Chris O’Donnell and Minnie Driver).

The Smithwick's Experience

Kilkenny’s Smithwick’s Experience celebrates the famous ruby red ale and the history of the site, where brewing has taken place since the 14th Century.

What can be found there? What is there to do?

Learn all about the 300-year brewing history of Ireland’s most popular ale with a tour located on the site of the original St. Francis Abbey brewery”

The price of entry includes a fully guided, interactive 1-hour tour.

When pre-booking online, check out the customised engraved glasses, the perfect family souvenir!
Explore

In this article

Smithwicks Experience

Kilkenny Castle

St.Canice’s Cathedral

Recommended Experiences

4 Destinations That Are So Kilkenny

6 Brilliant Free Things To Do in Kilkenny

6 Sensational Foodie Experiences

Beautiful film village of Inistioge

Five great things to do in Kilkenny this Autumn

Castle Curiosities

Castlecomer Craft Yard

Smithwicks Experience

44 Parliament Street, Kilkenny

056 7786377

[email protected]

smithwicksexperience.com/

Immerse yourself in the story of Smithwick’s, told as only a local knows how. Where 300 years of history combine with extraordinary brewing innovations, to create the Smithwick’s tour – an experience like no other.

Kilkenny Castle

The Parade, Kilkenny

056 7704100

[email protected]

kilkennycastle.ie

Go back in time to a 12th Century castle, remodelled and restored and set in 1830's splendour and extensive parklands: includes art gallery and playground. Publications are also on sale. Access for visitors with disabilities to ground floor and the gardens only.

St.Canice’s Cathedral

Coach Road, Kilkenny

056 7764971

[email protected]

stcanicescathedral.ie

Built between 1202 and 1285, St Canice's has been preserved in its original style and form. Worship has taken place here for over 800 years. See the wonderful stained glass and the largest collection of ancient monuments. View Kilkenny and the surrounding area from the 9th century round tower (weather permitting) and see the seat of the bishop of Ossory dating back to 1120AD. Facilities include: Gift shop, toilets, wheelchair access. Information leaflets are available in 15 languages. Group and guided tours available by booking in advance.