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50 things to do in Killarney: a locals guide

killarney-national-park

Killarney is one of the nicest places in Ireland to visit. I am not biased when I say that I swear. Even though I am local to the area I love exploring different parts of Killarney.  Whether you are into walking, nature, or just having a pint in the local pub there is something for everyone. Here are 50 things to do in Killarney

1.  Killarney National Park.

The most well-known tourist attraction in Killarney has to be the Killarney National Park, with over 32 thousand acres of Mountains, Lakes and walks to choose from you will not be bored.

Muckross Park

muckross-house-killarney

2. Visit Muckross House

Built in 1843 this house is steeped in history. They do regular tours of the house and it is well worth the few euro entrance fee.

3. Walk around the Gardens

When you are finished exploring the house, take a look at the beautiful gardens at the back of the house, the upkeep is done by the head Gardener who continues to live on the grounds as is the tradition.

4. Visit Torc Waterfall

This beautiful natural waterfall is over 70 feet high and is particularly beautiful after rainfall. You can drive to the waterfall or walk through the park whichever you prefer. If you are feeling up to the challenge once as you view the waterfall you can walk over 100 steps to the top of the waterfall to overlook the beautiful views of the National Park

5. Walk around Muckross Abbey

Muckross Abbey is in the center of the National Park in Muckross. It was once inhabited by Franciscan Monks in the 15th century. It is now a ruin but still a great attraction to visit.

6. Take a trip on a Jaunting Car

If you are not up to walking around the park, you can take the scenic route and travel by horse and carriage. See all the best parts of the park and get all the local and historical information from the driver. This is a great option if you are stuck on time and want to see everything. It is definitely an experience you will not forget.

7. Have a cup of tea at Dinis Cottage.

This cottage was originally a hunting lodge for Muckross House. It is now a café during the summer months. When traveling there you can either walk or cycle around the Muckross lake or take the boat trip from the boathouse at Muckross House

Traditional-farms-killarney

8. Churn butter at the Traditional Farms.

Next to the Muckross House Car park is the Muckross Traditional farms where houses have been re-created to look like country homes in Ireland long ago. Learn about the history of Ireland at the time and the main livelihoods of the people who lived in them.

lower-lake-killarney

9. Have a picnic by the lake

If you are in Killarney during a sunny day why not go for a picnic. There are so many parts of the park to choose from. My favorite is in front of Muckross house near the lake.

10. Spend time at the beaches

Believe it or not, Killarney has beaches. There are a few lake beaches placed along the Muckross lake. My favorite is Rosie’s Beach

11. Try catching a fish

As there is a number of Lakes in Killarney there are quite a lot of fish as well. Many tourists go fishing on the lakes for trout and if you are lucky you might catch a salmon.

12. Cycle around the lakes of Killarney

If you are a cycling enthusiast, Killarney is your dream destination as there are so many pedestrian and cycle paths around Killarney. There are many places in Killarney town where you can rent a bike and cycle to your heart’s content around the National Park

Ross Castle Grounds

ross-castle-killarney

13. Ross Castle

This castle is set right on the lower lake in Killarney and it is lovely to walk around and take in the views of the lake and the boats that float by

14. Travel on the Waterbus.

There is a waterbus that does regular boat trips during the summer by Ross Castle If you are not up to going in the smaller boats.  This one will take you on a quick trip around the lake and will give you some of the local information. However by preference is No. 15

15. Do the Gap of Dunloe trip

A really nice day trip is the Gap of Dunloe. Start off at Ross Castle where you take a boat trip that goes through the three lakes of Killarney followed by a walk or a jaunting car through the Gap of Dunloe. The whole trip should take a full day to do it so be prepared.

16. Visit Inisfallen Island.

Was originally a monastery for Franciscan monks now a ruin. If you ask nicely the boat driver might stop at this location along the way during the trip to the Gap of Dunloe.

17. Have a pint in Kate Kearney’s Cottage

When you’re finished with your trip through the Gap of Dunloe stop in Kate Kearney’s cottage for some food and a few drinks. If you’re not up to doing the Gap trip you can always drive directly there and walk some of the ways around the Gap of Dunloe, though you won’t get to see all of it.

Other activities in the Park

18. Go Nature Spotting.

Nature is a huge aspect to the Killarney National Park. There are many red deer native to Ireland which can be seen in the park. There is also the white-tailed sea eagle which can also be found. Keep your eyes peeled when you are around the park to see the many animals living there along the way.

19. Killarney Falconry.

If nature is your thing the Killarney falconry do wonderful walks showing you the different falcons and birds of prey around the park.

killarney-national-park

20. Go Walking/Hiking

Killarney is a great place for walking and hiking. There are so many mountains and hills such as Carrauntoohil and Mangerton. For less mountain climbing and hill walking much of the national park is dedicated to different trails for walkers.

21. Knockreer House And Gardens

Another lovely part of the National Park. This part of the park is in the town centre. It is lovely for walks and has a playground for children to play in.

22. Go on a guided walking tour

If you are not confident in exploring the park by yourself you can take a guided walking tour through the park and will give you the history along the way.

Tours

23. Go on a Ghost Tour

If you want to do something completely different, a great trip is the Ghost Bus tour that takes you to all the haunted places around Killarney.

24. Hop on the tourist train

There is a little train that goes through Killarney town and the different parks in Killarney. This is great fun for adults and children alike.

25. See how beer is made at the Killarney Brewery

If you want to taste some of the local produce the Killarney brewery does regular tours.  You get to find out how the local beer is made with a few samples thrown in.

Killarney Town

killarney

26. Have a look around the shops

There are loads of shops in Killarney town to choose from. With shops such as New Look and Pennys to the more boutique shops, there is plenty to choose from. The outlet center is also great for a bargain.

27. Go on a pub crawl.

The nightlife in Killarney town is great and there are different types of pubs to choose from depending on your tastes. Killarney in 2014 was awarded the purple flag which recognises the safety of the town at night and friendliness to tourists

28.  Taste some of the local food

Killarney prides itself on the great restaurants and food outlets in Killarney. There are so many restaurants to choose from. My favorite in Killarney is Bricin restaurant for food, though you will need to book in advance

29. Have a tipple in the Irish Whiskey Experience

If whiskey is your thing, then go to the Irish Whiskey Experience where they have lots of different whiskeys to try out and they also do a whiskey tasting and other events.

30. Go to The Pink Lounge for Gin and Champagne

If whiskey is not your thing then head to the pink lounge for some Gin and/or Champagne. There are over 25+ gins to choose from with fresh fruit and several different tonic’s.

31. Dance the night away with some traditional Irish music.

There are so many venues that have an array of trad music in Killarney. My favorite two venues are Scotts Hotel (during the summer they have a band outside) the Failte and the Porterhouse. Though the best option is to give a walk around town and listen out for music in the pubs you pass by.

32. Have chips in Den Joes.

The one thing I love when I am in Killarney is going to Den Joes take away and ordering chips curry and stuffing. It is a very local cuisine and a must for when you are in Killarney.

Outside Killarney Town

killarney-national-park

33. See the stunning scenary at Ladies view

Beyond Torc Waterfall is a beautiful viewing point called Ladies view. During a clear day, you can see all three lakes of Killarney

34. Buy some souvenirs at Molls Gap.

There is a lovely drive to Molls Gap where you can soak in the beautiful countryside views. At the top of Molls Gap is an Avoca shop that serves tea coffee and delicious food.

Events

35. Go to a Football Match.

Kerry prides itself on having one of the best football teams in the country. If you are in Killarney over the summer get tickets to the local match in Fitzgerald’s Stadium and watch some Gaelic sport.

36. See an amazing concert at the INEC

The Irish National Event Centre is in the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney. It does quite a number of events throughout the year. Check out their website to see what events are taking place during your trip.

37. Soak in the atmosphere of a Festival

Killarney Hosts a number of festivals throughout the year including Killarney Summerfest, fourth of July Weekend and Christmas in Killarney. Check out this website to get the latest updates.

38. Killarney Races.

If you want a day of glamor head to the Killarney Races. There are two race days held during the summer. The Ladies day is held on a Thursday where everyone dresses up to claim the top prize of best dressed.

Activities

39. Have a Spa Day.

Killarney has a number of Spas. Relax chill out from your travels and get some Spa treatment done in any one of our lovely hotels in Killarney

40.  Eat some tasty treats during Afternoon tea.

This has become quite popular all around Ireland in recent years and Killarney is no different. My favorite place to go is the Aghadoe heights Hotel where you can sit, sip tea and look out at the views of the lower lake in Killarney.

41. Golfing

If you are into Golfing while on holidays, Killarney has some lovely Golfing clubs which tourists can avail of.

42. Kennedy’s Pet farm

If you’re a looking for something for the kids Kennedy’s pet farm has lots of different animals for all the family to enjoy.

 

Day Trips from Killarney

View along the Healy Pass

View along the Healy Pass

43. Go on a road trip to the Healy Pass.

This is a lovely day trip that will take you along the Kerry Coast and on the West Cork Border. See my previous blog post about this day trip here.

44. Take a bus tour along the Ring of Kerry.

This trip goes all around Kerry. There are some beautiful views along the way and it is great fun to stop at the local pubs and villages along the journey. If you are not driving there are many local bus companies that operate day trips from Killarney.

45. See a goat as King at Puck Fair.

Killorglin which is about a 20-minute drive from Killarney has a festival every year where a goat is a King of Killorglin for three days. There is a great atmosphere during this event with lots of market stalls, music and banter galore.

46. Go shopping in Tralee

Tralee is regarded as the biggest town in Kerry (though Killarney is better!!). Tralee is 20 minutes from Killarney and is a great place for shopping. Manor West Shopping centre has many shops to choose from. They also have a large swimming pool centre called the Aquadome which is great fun.

47. See a dolphin in Dingle

Dingle is in North Kerry which is somewhat beyond Tralee.  It is a great day trip where you can go on a boat trip to see a dolphin, go for walks around the town and eat the local catch of the day.

48.  Stroll around Kenmare

Kenmare about 45 minutes from Killarney. It has many nice restaurants and bars as well as elegant hotels such as the Park Hotel Kenmare for afternoon tea.

49. Explore Craig Caves.

This is a great tour. Near Castleisland, you can get a guided tour through the underground caves and find out about how they were discovered and the unique aspects of the cave.

skellig-Kerry

My dog Molly enjoying the beach near the Skellig Chocolate Factory

50. Climb and eat chocolate at the Skelligs

Most notably known for the filming of Star wars this is a lovely day trip from Killarney. You can get a boat trip to Skellig Michael which used to be inhabited by monks. If you are planning on doing this trip you will need to book at least six months in advance due to its popularity. There is also a lovely chocolate factory nearby which does amazing chocolates. The trip to the chocolate factory and the views along the way alone is worth the trip.

 

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Things to do in Killarney Kerry, Ireland

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