Activities in Kilkenny, Ireland

There’s enough happening in Kilkenny throughout the year that you should have plenty of choices to incorporate into your business program or fill some free time. These are only a small sampling of the range of activities for you in Kilkenny. Visit Kilkenny Castle History buffs will enjoy spending a couple of hours touring Kilkenny […]
  • Kilkenny Castle Parade Tower Banqueting Kilkenny Castle Parade Tower Banqueting Courtesy image
  • Kilkenny Castle Exterior Kilkenny Castle Exterior (c) 2011 Rob Hard
  • Kilkenny Castle Parade Tower Theater Style Kilkenny Castle Parade Tower Theater Style Courtesy image
  • Kilkenny Castle Long Gallery Kilkenny Castle Long Gallery Courtesy image
  • Kilkenny Shopping Kilkenny Shopping Wool and cashmere are great buys in Kilkenny. Courtesy image.
  • Kilkenny Rothe House Kilkenny Rothe House Built between 1594 and 1610, Rothe House is steeped in rich local and national history and a visit is high on the list of things to do in Kilkenny. The House and Garden are owned by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, and managed by Rothe House Trust. The House is open to the public as a Museum, displaying some of the 2,500 historic artefacts collected by the Society since its founding in 1947. Courtesy image.
  • Kitlers Inn is a popular pub in Kilkenny known for its entertainment. Courtesy image
  • Set Theatre Upstairs at Langton House Hotel Set Theatre Upstairs at Langton House Hotel

There’s enough happening in Kilkenny throughout the year that you should have plenty of choices to incorporate into your business program or fill some free time. These are only a small sampling of the range of activities for you in Kilkenny.

Visit Kilkenny Castle

History buffs will enjoy spending a couple of hours touring Kilkenny Castle, and learning about the Butler family. Built in the first decade of the 13th century, Butler ownership began in 1391 and continued until 1967 when the family passed it to the city for public ownership for a token payment of 50 GBP. The castle is located in the center of the city, so it is easily accessible on foot. And the grounds are immaculate. Tour the castle where you will see where the family has resided. The Parade Tower Wing is used for special events and meetings. Yes, you can have a business event, dinner, gala or performance located in free entry.

Learn Hurling in Kilkenny

Hurling has been an Irish tradition for more than 3000, and Kilkenny is the home of the hurling champions with 33 All Ireland Hurling titles to their credit. This is also a great way to experience Kilkenny at the same time. This two-hour program has been featured as a very popular activity. You’ll learn the basics of hurling, play the sport (light activity) and enjoy an Irish meal at Lanigans Bar & Restaurant. You’ll also receive a team photo that is taken at Kilkenny Castle. This seems like a great leisure or group activity. Learn more at The Kilkenny Way.

Learn to Play the Irish Drum

Helen is a Master Bodhran who has taught people all over the world how to plan the Irish drum. Currently at Matt the Millers pub (free entry), you join the circle and discover your rhythmic talent. It’s a very interactive program (and likely a unique idea for your own private event). Learn more about the Bordhran Experience.

Sip Wine at ‘The Hole in the Wall’

Ireland is known for its beer, but travelers also love their wine. The Hole in the Wall is a wine bar and cultural entertainment venue in Kilkenny that is housed in Ireland’s oldest surviving townhouse. This is a very small venue (seats about 40 max) and it is said that everyone who visits feels like they have uncovered a hidden gem! I’lm going to need to stop in on my next visit.

Climb the Bell Tower

The Bell Tower of St. Canice of Kilkenny is one of two towers in Ireland where visitors are allowed to view from the inside and at the top. The climb in this round tower is roughly 120 steps, but don’t expect stairs. It feels more like climbing ladder after ladder, approximately 10 in all. The higher you go, the steeper the climb. Luckily, handrails are provided, as well as small resting platforms along the way. Those who dare to take the challenge will be treated to a wonderful view of Kilkenny and its surrounding landscapes.

Meet in Ireland shares more information about meetings and events in Kilkenny.

What activities would you recommend for visitors and business travelers spending time in Kilkenny?

— Research contributed by AnnMarie Koss

Rob is editor of Business Travel Destinations. He reviews international destinations for meetings and events -- where business travelers go, the hotels where they stay and their lifestyle preferences on the road. Rob was previously the event planning guide for About.com (owned by The New York Times Company) from 2007 - 2011. His articles also appear in business travel publications and travel sites internationally.