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Things You Need To Know Before Travelling to Kilkenny

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Kilkenny offers some of the best experiences Ireland has to offer and, with that in mind to help you make the most of your time, here are some things that you should know before travelling.

It's so easy to get here...

There are buses and trains going to and from Kilkenny multiple times per day, which means a rental car isn’t essential for getting here.

Kilkenny City is one of Ireland’s most compact places and, when you’re exploring the city, most of the attractions can be reached on foot. Bicycles are also available for rent from Kilkenny Cycling Tours.

Click here to find out how to get to Kilkenny.

Getting here is easy. Leaving, not so much.

― Every visitor to Kilkenny, ever.

A whole new world outside the city

That being said, there is so much to see and do outside of the city – from Medieval Monuments in the historic village of Kells to distillery tours in Ballykeefe Distillery, the birthplace of Irish whiskey. A car is somewhat of an essential for exploring the county but this is no problem as both Europcar and Enterprise Rent-A-Car have bases in Kilkenny City.

Warm welcomes

Kilkenny is known world wide as one of Ireland’s friendliest cities. Visitors should really embrace the spirit of the city and do as the locals do! A warm welcome always awaits any new face – whether it’s a coffee on Kieran Street in the morning or a pint and some traditional ceol agus craic in Fred Malzard‘s pub.

It's a weekend every day

Kilkenny is known as Ireland’s festival capital and this is not without merit. No matter what time of year it is, from Yulefest in December to the internationally acclaimed Arts Festival in August, there is always a lively atmosphere about the city and county. Visiting here on a weekend is not an essential if it’s the buzz you are seeking because there is always plenty happening mid-week.

You can see what’s coming up across the city and the county here.

Explore

In this article

Malzards Pub & Hurling Experience

BallyKeefe Distillery

Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre

Kilkenny Cycling Tours

Kilkenny Arts Festival

Recommended Experiences

Hospitality – a warm welcome awaits in Kilkenny

Castle Curiosities

4 Destinations That Are So Kilkenny

A tale of three sisters in Ireland’s Ancient East – Kilkenny waterways

Family Friendly places to stay in Kilkenny

Kilkenny – so much to explore within walking distance

5 Ways To Unwind in Kilkenny

Festival Guide to Kilkenny

Malzards Pub & Hurling Experience

Catching up with the gal pals

Lads’ Weekend in Kilkenny

Dine like a local

Night Time Vibrance

Outdoor Experiences in Kilkenny

Malzards Pub & Hurling Experience

19 Main St, Ballycoam, Stoneyford, Co. Kilkenny

0879715304

malzards.com/

A great pub located in Stoneyford, Kilkenny just a short distance from Mount Juliet, that offers the best craic and great music. Malzards offers a traditional Irish Pub experience, with traditional Irish instruments available for you to play, or sing along with the local musicians in the bar. Learn how to hurl: in a relaxed, fun environment, learn all about Ireland's ancient Gaelic game of hurling with neighbours, young and old will love it!

BallyKeefe Distillery

Kyle, Ballykeefe, Cuffsgrange, County Kilkenny

0877004538

[email protected]

ballykeefedistillery.ie

The BallyKeefe Distillery story is extremely rare and unique with it being the only distillery in Ireland that carries a culture of sustainability and a blue print for the environment. This state of the art new distillery at Ballykeefe is the first Whiskey distillery to operate in Kilkenny in over 200 years. It revives an Irish tradition of family farm distilleries lost for centuries. There is a huge emphasis on being eco-friendly, low carbon footprint and 100% sustainable, with the pot ale and spent grains fed to the cattle on the farm. This is a one of a kind in Ireland where everything from Grain to Glass is done on the family farm with no off-farm waste.

Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre

Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre, Kilmangah, Co. Kilkenny

087 3980088

[email protected]

ballykeeffeamphitheatre.com

Nestled at the foot of the old Ballykeeffe Quarry, Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre brings the authentic atmosphere of an open-air Italian theatre to the quaint Kilkenny countryside. The once-bustling slate quarry had lain abandoned and in disarray for many years, with most indifferent to its very existence. However, in the late 1990s, a team of dedicated volunteers recognised a unique potential which was brought to fruition through hard work and perseverance, and in the year 2000 the amphitheatre proudly played host to the first of many performances – the Irish Defence Forces band & the Dublin Male Welsh Voice Choir.

Kilkenny Cycling Tours

15 John Street, Kilkenny

086 8954961

[email protected]

kilkennycyclingtours.com/

Kilkenny Cycling Tours offers you the opportunity to visit historical and cultural sites around Kilkenny including Kilkenny Castle, The Kilkenny Design Centre, Shee Alms House, The Tholsel, St. Mary’s Church, Rothe House & Gardens, The Courthouse (Grace’s Castle), St. Francis’ Abbey, The Black Abbey and St. Canice’s Cathedral. Experience Irish hospitality while having an enjoyable easy-paced cycling around the medieval capital of Ireland with photo opportunities and historical information provided at each destination.

Kilkenny Arts Festival

Kilkenny City

056 7763663

[email protected]

kilkennyarts.ie/

Since its foundation in 1974, Kilkenny Arts Festival has gathered many of the world’s finest musicians, performers, writers and artists in Ireland’s medieval city each August. For ten days, the city’s historic churches, castle, courtyards, townhouses and gardens offer a magical setting for unique collaborations and intimate encounters between audiences and artists.