The Best Things To Do In Killarney

Written By: Chris Manning

A trip to Killarney is a must on the itinerary of any holiday to Ireland. It’s difficult to explain just how beautiful this Irish destination truly is — from the lush green landscape to the jeweled blue skies, Killarney is a favorite amongst travelers to Ireland and has been for centuries. Featured on the famous Ring of Kerry drive, which takes visitors through some of the most scenic destinations on earth, Killarney has a number of historic points of interest, breathtaking castles and cathedrals, not to mention one of the highly recommended national parks in the world.

Nearby Killarney National Park, the first in Ireland, was created in 1932 and features a variety of rugged topography and breathtaking waterfalls that are perfect to experience on a scenic drive or hike. After exploring the National Park, a trip to one of the many castles is in order — and it’s hard to choose exactly which ones you want to see! Ross Castle, built during the 15th century, is a historic fortress that is open to the public and interesting to explore.

Muckross House, built during the 19th century, is a breathtaking mansion that features a good number of artifacts, beautiful architecture and has a café on-site. One of the best ways to explore Killarney is by simply taking a scenic drive in any direction — you’ll find waterfalls, wooded areas filled with an assortment of hiking trails and plenty of green spaces that will entice you to spend the entire time outdoors during a trip to the town.

Though much of Killarney is laid-back and more rustic, there are still plenty of modern amenities and gorgeous places to visit during a stay. No matter what your budget, there are many accommodation options ranging from luxurious hotels to bed and breakfasts — perfect depending on what you want to do during a visit to Killarney. The city has access to some of the freshest local produce and foods, which means that any dish you eat in Killarney is sure to be of the highest quality and just like everything else in the city there’s a wide range of options from fine dining all the way to pub food!


Blarney Castle

Take the trek to fascinating Blarney Castle – a six-hundred-year-old fortress – and climb to the top battlements to kiss the world-famous Blarney Stone; the Stone of Eloquence. Guaranteed to bestow you with the “gift of the gab”, you’ll never be short of a word again! Explore the castle and its architecture and enjoy the gardens for a great day out!


Blarney Stone

Famous for centuries, join the multitude of people that have made the trek to the top of the Blarney Castle, in search of the “gift of the gab”. Mythology says that if you kiss the stone, you will never be short of a word again! Find out for yourself, and before you leave, explore the rest of the magnificent castle and splendid gardens too. It would be a shame to leave Ireland without this “gift” from the stone!


Ross Castle

As you tour Killarney and its National Park, take time to visit the splendid Ross Castle; a fifteenth-century fortress that stands proud on the bank of Lough Leanne. While the castle fell into disrepair over the years, it has been lovingly restored. Take a guided tour, and while you admire the architecture and furnishings, learn about the history of the O’Donoghue clan and their fierce resistance in the Irish Confederate Wars!


Gap of Dunloe

Try something different as you explore the amazing Gap of Dunloe; travel eleven-kilometres along this narrow mountain pass on a “jaunting car” – a horse-drawn trap, seating four. As you meander from Kate Kearney’s cottage down to Lord Brandon’s Cottage, enjoy the beauty of the hillsides and the five lakes joined by the River Loe, then finish by making a wish at the Wishing Bridge! If this is too sedate a way for you to travel, it is also a pleasant hike or bike ride!


Killarney National Park

Natural beauty and diversity are complemented by famous estates – such as Muckross House – at Killarney National Park. Spread over 25,000-acres, come and enjoy the smorgasbord of natural wonders that the park delivers, with forests, waterfalls, islands, wildlife, and manicured gardens all on offer. It is easy to hike or cycle, and boating and fishing is available too.



A busy fishing port and one of Ireland’s largest Gaelic-speaking towns, Dingle (An Daingean in Gaelic), effortlessly bridges the gap between old and new. Historic pubs and a lively folk music scene nod to the traditional, while the town’s cosmopolitan youth award it a reputation for creativity, cemented by a packed schedule of annual arts festivals.


Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a route passing through some of the most beautiful scenery is southern Ireland. The route is circular and around 180km in distance. It passes through Killarney with its lovely National Park alongside Lough Leane, around Iveragh Peninsula, passing through Kenmare, Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen and Killorglin. Along the way there are beautiful views of castles, forts, historic houses and a sheer rocky island.

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