The Final Draft > How to Spend the Perfect Day in Kilkenny
How to Spend the Perfect Day in Kilkenny
Welcome to the captivating city of Kilkenny, Ireland, where a harmonious blend of medieval heritage, artistic charm, and a flavourful brewing tradition awaits you. With its enchanting castles, vibrant streets, and the famous Smithwick's Experience, Kilkenny offers a delightful day filled with unforgettable moments. Here we have crafted the ideal itinerary that encompasses the best of Kilkenny experiences, including a taste of the beloved Smithwick's famous ales.
A Brief History
For 50 years, the Kilkenny Arts Festival has grown to become one of the leading festivals in Ireland. What began as a modest music and arts event has blossomed into a vibrant, multi-disciplinary festival featuring visual art, classical music, theatre, literature, dance, and more.
1. Begin with an Authentic Irish Breakfast
Kickstart your day with a traditional Irish breakfast at one of Kilkenny's charming cafes or eateries. Relish the flavours of bacon, sausages, eggs, tomatoes, and a side of soda bread, served with warm hospitality that is characteristic of Irish culture. This hearty meal will provide the energy you need for a day of exploration.
2. Step Back in Time at Kilkenny Castle
No visit to Kilkenny is complete without immersing yourself in the grandeur of Kilkenny Castle. This majestic fortress, perched proudly on the banks of the River Nore, invites you to delve into its storied past. Wander through the well-preserved rooms, explore the lush gardens, and take in breathtaking views from the castle tower. Guided tours offer fascinating insights into the castle's history and the influential Butler family who once called it home.
3. Discover Medieval Magic at St. Canice's Cathedral
Next, make your way to St. Canice's Cathedral, a striking testament to Kilkenny's medieval heritage. Admire the cathedral's stunning stained-glass windows and Gothic architecture. Don't miss the opportunity to climb the iconic round tower, which stands tall since the 9th century. From its top, you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the city and the lush Irish countryside.
4. Lunch and Local Brews at a Historic Pub
For lunch, immerse yourself in the authentic pub culture and savour some local delicacies. Kilkenny boasts numerous historic pubs, each with its own unique charm. Indulge in a delicious meal of Irish stew, fresh fish and chips, or a mouthwatering gourmet burger. Pair your lunch with a pint of the famous Smithwick's ale, and it just so happens we have a guide for that too. The Best Food Pairings with Smithwick’s.
5. Explore the Enchanting Medieval Mile
After lunch, take a leisurely stroll along the enchanting Medieval Mile, a stretch of cobbled streets lined with medieval buildings. Explore the delightful boutiques, art galleries, and craft stores that showcase the city's vibrant arts and crafts scene. The Kilkenny Design Centre is a must-visit spot to find unique Irish-made souvenirs and gifts.
6. Unveil the Smithwick's Experience
Now, it's time for a truly unique Kilkenny tour - the Smithwick's Experience. This interactive brewery tour offers an in-depth journey into the history of Ireland's oldest ale, Smithwick's. Learn about the brewing process, the legacy of the Smithwick's family, and witness the art of beer-making up close. Of course, the tour ends with a well-deserved tasting session, allowing you to savour the distinct flavours of this beloved Irish ale.
7. Wander Along the River Nore
As the day draws to a close, take a leisurely stroll along the peaceful River Nore. Enjoy the tranquillity of the water, the scenic stone bridges, and the surrounding greenery. This serene moment allows you to reflect on the wonders of Kilkenny and the experiences that have enriched your day.
Kilkenny offers an enchanting day trip that seamlessly blends history, culture, and the Smithwick's Experience. From exploring medieval castles to savouring local brews, this charming city leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. Embrace the rich heritage and artistic vibes as you embark on a perfect journey through the heart of Ireland, discovering the magic of Kilkenny at every turn.