What to Do in Killarney, Ireland

Killarney, Ireland

If you're heading over to Killarney, Ireland, you're in for a treat! The town and its surrounding areas are full of fun and interesting things to do.  You'll find history, art, lakes, scenery, ruins, castles, and shopping - something for everyone!

Killarney town is full of colorful shops. Photo by Adventurous Wench.
Killarney town is full of colorful shops. Photo by Adventurous Wench.

Killarney National Park

Near Knockreer House, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland. Photo by IrsihFireside (flickr)
Near Knockreer House, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland. Photo by IrsihFireside (flickr)
Stately Muckross House. Photo by davosmith (flickr)
Stately Muckross House. Photo by davosmith (flickr)

Where to go in Killarney

Killarney Town

If you love old English/Irish architecture including thatched roof cottages, then you're in for a treat when you visit Killarney Town.

There are quite a few buildings dating from the 1800s such as Killarney Courthouse, Deenagh Lodge, The Malton Hotel, The Old Monastery and the Franciscan Friary, as well as houses and cottages with picturesque thatched roofs.

Muckross House & Gardens

If you love stately homes, then don't miss Muckross House & Gardens, a Victorian mansion which is located in Killarney National Park.You can see how the upper crust lived in the Victorian era and once you've toured the house, you can stroll through the beautiful gardens that are world famous and feature rhododendrons, azaleas, and a large water garden.If you would like to know what farming life was like, you can explore the Muckross Traditional Farms, and see the farming methods that were used in the days before electricity.

Muckross Lake, Killarney National Park. Photo by jmenard48 (flickr)
Muckross Lake, Killarney National Park. Photo by jmenard48 (flickr)
Ross Castle, Killarney National Park, Ireland. Photo by cnkimpel (flickr)
Ross Castle, Killarney National Park, Ireland. Photo by cnkimpel (flickr)

Ross Castle

Also in Killarney National Park is Ross Castle. This sturdy castle was once the home of Irish chieftains, and it was built with all sorts of ingenious features for fending off attackers. The tour of the castle is fascinating, and you'll realize how tough life was in those days - even for the chieftains!

Innisfallen Island

While you're in the National Park, you can also take a boat over to Innisfallen Island, in Leogh Leane, the Lake of Learning. It got this nickname, because back in the dark ages, this small island was home to one of the major centers of advances learning in all of Europe. Princes from all over were sent here to pursue their studies. Today it's an atmospheric ruin.

Ways to explore Killarney

Jaunting car. Photo by Adventurous Wench (flickr)
Jaunting car. Photo by Adventurous Wench (flickr)
Boats in Killarney National Park. Adventurous Wench.
Boats in Killarney National Park. Adventurous Wench.

Riding around Killarney

Ride In A Jaunting Car

Sit back in a horse drawn carriage (jaunting car) and let your guide and driver (jarvey) show you the beautiful sights of Killarney. You could visit Ross Castle, The Lakes, Muckross House & Gardens and Torc Waterfall.

Take A Boat Ride

If you love the water, then why not take a boat ride on one of Killarney's lakes? A do-it-yourself option is to take out a "self-propelled" rowing boat and enjoy the experience at your own speed. But if you'd prefer to leave the hard work to others, you can board a Lake Cruiser and sit back and enjoy the ride.

Go Cycling

If you enjoy cycling, then why not go on a cycling expedition to the Gap of Dunloe? This outing will take all day and is for the fit! First, cycle to Kate Kearney's Cottage where you can sit down and have some morning tea, then cycle another eight miles to Lord Brandons Cottage and catch a boat to Ross Castle. Once you've toured the castle, you can then cycle back to Killarney. Of course, there are other options available to non walkers or cyclists, so if you'd like to go on this trip, you can arrange to go by coach.

Countryside near Killarney

Along the Ring of Kerry. Photo by Rambling Traveler (flickr).
Along the Ring of Kerry. Photo by Rambling Traveler (flickr).
Dunmore Head, Dingle Peninsula. Photo by Jim Linwood (flickr)
Dunmore Head, Dingle Peninsula. Photo by Jim Linwood (flickr)

Day Trips

Tour The Ring Of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is famous throughout the world for its outstanding natural beauty. This trip is 110 miles long and you will see cute little fishing villages along the Atlantic Coast and bustling market towns as well. Near Caherciveen are two stone forts that date from the ninth century. Although this trip is only 110 miles, make sure you allow a whole day so you can stop at your leisure and explore the stone forts, quaint fishing villages and breathtaking views whenever you fancy.

View The Dingle Peninsula

Another full day trip is exploring the Dingle Peninsula. Once you reach Dingle, you can go on a boat trip to visit a wild dolphin called Fungi, who has lived in the harbour for the last 20 years. If you love sea creatures, you could also go to Ocean World which is nearby.


Explore Killarney, Ireland

show route and directions
A markerKillarney National Park, Ireland -
Killarney National Park, Demesne, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
[get directions]

B markerInnisfallen Island, Ireland -
Innisfallen Island, Co. Kerry, Ireland
[get directions]

C markerDingle Peninsula, Ireland -
Dingle Peninsula, Kilmore, Co. Kerry, Ireland
[get directions]

D markerGap of Dunloe, Ireland -
Gap Of Dunloe, Co. Kerry, Ireland
[get directions]

More by this Author

  • What to do in Sicily, Italy
    22

    Sun-soaked, historic and beautiful, Sicily is an extraordinary place to visit. Often overlooked for Italy’s more northern attractions, a visit to Sicily is like discovering a well-kept and delightful secret. From...

  • Top Ten Ancient Ruins of Rome, Italy
    5

    Here are ten ancient ruins of Rome, Italy that are definitely worth seeing. When you're planning your trip to Rome, save time for these ancient highlights!

  • What to do in Venice, Italy
    56

    How ever well you think you know Venice, Italy, you're in for a some surprises! One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it's still possible to escape the crowds in its narrow streets and hidden...


Comments? 4 comments

twogroce profile image

twogroce 6 years ago

Beautiful and useful! Thank you for sharing your Hub!


happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 6 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Glad you like it! Ireland is such a gorgeous place!


Enchantedbama profile image

Enchantedbama 5 years ago from Bama

I have been to each one of these places and they are wonderful and beautiful.


happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 5 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Hi Enchantedbama - Ireland is indeed a wonderful place. Thanks for dropping by:-)

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working