Kilkenny Castle Ireland
Destinations,  Europe,  Featured,  Ireland (Republic of)

24 Hours in Kilkenny Ireland

Kilkenny and the Rock of Cashel

When we left Killarney, our plan was to drive to Kilkenny, our last stop before Dublin, and visit the Rock of Cashel along the way. We did this, but as often happens during travel, the journey took longer than expected and left us with little time to explore Kilkenny. Still, we had the opportunity to walk around the town, have one of the best meals of our trip, and see some stunning ruins along the way.

Please note; we visited pre-Covid. Opening times, access availability, and entrance fees have likely changed since then so please verify those details before you visit.

Rock of Cashel

The Rock of Cashel is both an ancient fortress and an important historical religious site. Perched on a high limestone outcrop, it has been home to kings and bishops for over 1000 years. The remaining buildings include a 15th-century castle, a Romanesque chapel, and the ruins of a Gothic cathedral. It’s not surprising then that it’s one of the most popular tourist sites in Ireland. Even the view from its high vantage point over the plains is stunning.

Rock of Cashel
Rock of Cashel
Rock of Cashel
Rock of Cashel from town

Admission was covered by the Heritage card and we booked the optional tour inside the chapel on arrival (worth the time).

Scroll through the photos below to see the inside the open exterior areas of the Rock of Cashel.

  • Rock of Cashel
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Rock of Cashel

Scroll through the photos below to see inside the tour and museum.

  • Rock of Cashel Museum
  • Rock of Cashel Museum
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Rock of Cashel

Before leaving the area to drive to Kilkenny, we had lunch at the nearby Cafe Hans. The restaurant was packed and busy but the service was efficient and the food was delicious and reasonably priced. They do not have a website but are a sister location to the fine dining restaurant Chez Hans. Both are only a few blocks from the Rock of Cashel.

Cafe Hans in Cashel
Cafe Hans in Cashel

The Town of Kilkenny and Kilkenny Castle

We got to the town of Kilkenny in the late afternoon with only time enough to walk around a bit, check out the castle from the outside, and have a drink at the bar connected to our hotel, the Pembroke, before heading to our dinner reservations at Campagne (more on that below).

Kilkenny Castle is definitely the town’s feature and I’m hoping to see inside it someday. The outside is open to visitors to walk around it for free so we took advantage of being able to see at least that.

View from the bridge of Kilkenny Castle
View from the bridge of Kilkenny Castle
Kilkenny Castle
Kilkenny Castle

Scroll through the slideshow below to see photos of Kilkenny and the castle.

  • Kilkenny Castle- View from the bridge over the river.
  • Kilkenny Castle
  • View from the castle over the river
  • Kilkenny street
  • View from the bridge of Kilkenny Castle
  • Butcher shop sign in Kilkenny- "From Pigs that died Happy"

Pembroke Hotel and Stratham’s Bar

Cocktails at Ford's Kilkenny
Cocktails at Ford’s Kilkenny connected to the Pembroke Hotel.

In Kilkenny, we stayed at the Pembroke Hotel which had a great central location and rooms with views of the castle (like ours below). While we did not eat there, they do have a restaurant and bar that’s named after the old mechanic’s garage that used to be there. The Statham-Ford Special cocktail was delish (above)!

Kilkenny Castle- View from our room at the Pembroke Hotel
Kilkenny Castle- View from our room at the Pembroke Hotel

Dinner in Kilkenny at Campagne

Campagne is a Michelin starred restaurant in Kilkenny. Our dinner was suburb; flawless service and innovative, locally sourced food.

Campagne in Kilkenny
Campagne in Kilkenny
Campagne in Kilkenny
Campagne in Kilkenny

Scroll through the images below to see the food, the menu, and the wine.

  • Campagne Menu
  • Wine at Campagne

Have you been to Kilkenny Ireland? Do you want to visit?
Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think!

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24 Hours in Kilkenny Ireland

For more posts on Ireland, make sure to check out the Ireland Destination Page.

NOTE: Everything on this trip was paid for by us. Nothing was complimentary or given in exchange for reviews or promotions.

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