Things To Do in Kilkenny


The ancient city of Kilkenny is the historic capital of County Kilkenny and is characterised by the beautifully restored castle,  museums and restaurants. The city itself is small and compact enough to explore by foot and travellers to the city will never be left without something to do, see or explore and at its heart lies the Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel. Stood in the centre of Kilkenny is the impressive Kilkenny Castle which has been beautifully restored to its former glory and offers daily tours of the stunning interior and maintained surrounding gardens. The Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel is located a brief 2-minute walk from the castle.

Click here for a drone tour of Kilkenny! 


Festivals In Kilkenny

The summer through autumn months are a great time to visit the city of Kilkenny and enjoy the city’s non-stop festivals and events offer visitors a variety of popular events to experience in both the city and surrounding county. Festivals such as the Kilkenny arts festival in August or the food festival in October.


Golf Courses in Kilkenny

Golfers are spoilt for choice in Kilkenny with 5 of the best golf courses in Kilkenny county within 20 minutes drive of the city centre. Kilkenny Golf Club is a short 10 minute drive from our hotel and boasts the best opening hole in the country and beautifully manicured greens. A short 20 minute drive from the city centre and you’ll arrive at Mount Juliet Golf Club. Designed by the great Jack Nicklaus in 1991 the course has established itself as one of Ireland's premier golf venues attracting golfing legends such as Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els and Pádraig Harrington.


The Medieval Mile Museum

The Medieval Mile Museum is Kilkenny's newest visitor attraction and offers a unique and interactive look into over 800 years of history of Kilkenny. Set in the renovated Saint Mary’s church which was built in the 13th Century the museum displaying some of Kilkenny's most famous stone carvings, relics and civic records which date back to the 12th century. The Medieval Mile Museum is a brief 2 minute walk from the Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel and a must see for visitors to the city.


Dunmore Cave

Dunmore Cave located a 21 minute drive from the Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel is classed as one of Ireland's best preserved caves. The cave itself has impressive calcite formations that have grown over millions of years which are accessible by the public. Dunmore Cave is also the site of a bloody Viking massacre in the 12th century where the locals fled to seek refuge but were later found and killed by Viking raiders.


The Smithwick’s Experience

Located a Short 5-minute walk from the Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel the Smithwicks Experience is one of Kilkenny city's most popular attractions. Visitors to the world famous brewery will experience an interactive tour through over 300 years of brewing history finished off with a taste of the Smithwicks 3 most popular brews.

Kilkenny Castle

Built In 1195 by the Anglo-Normans to control the fording point on the River Nore, Kilkenny Castle is an impressive and symbolic castle built by Strongbow also know as Richard De Clare. The Butler family bought the castle in 1391 and lived in the castle for over 500 years until 1935, the castle fell into disrepair in the 20th century and the Butler family decided to sell the castle to the castle restoration committee for £50. Since then the castle has been restored to its former glory and both guided and self guided tours of its stunning interior and maintained gardens.


St Canices Cathedral

The Stunning St Canices Cathedral located 10 minutes from the Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel and is the jewel in the crown of Kilkenny. Mass has taken place in St Canice’s Cathedral for over 800 years. The round tower that stands beside the Cathedral is only one of two left on the island that can still be climbed by visitors. The view from the top of the tower is just as impressive, a breathtaking view of the city and surrounding countryside makes the climb worthwhile.


Ballykeefe Distillery

Ballykeefe Distillery is The Birthplace of Irish Whiskey. It is located among the beautiful Irish countryside of the medieval capital, Kilkenny City. At Ballykeefe Distillery they produce a range of Award-Winning spirits in an eco-friendly environment. The first written account of distilling whiskey in Ireland comes from Kilkenny in 1324. It was written in the Red Book of Ossory. The word “Whiskey” is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic phrase “uisce beatha” which means “water of life”. Take the tour of Ballykeefe and discover the roots of Irish Whiskey. Tours are available from the months of April to October and can be booked through the website. 


Kilkenny Cycling Tours

Kilkenny Cycling Tours offers a variety of guided and self-guided cycling tours. Visit historic and cultural sites around Kilkenny, including Kilkenny Castle, Shee Alms House, The Tholsel, St. Mary’s Church, Rothe House & Gardens, The Courthouse (Grace’s Castle), The Black Abbey, and St. Canice’s Cathedral, along with some hidden gems along Ireland’s Medieval Mile.