32 Best Things To Do In Killarney In 2024

Author: Veruska Anconitano, Award-Winning Food Travel Journalist, Sommelier & Outdoor LoverAuthor information
About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a a food travel journalist with awards to her credit, such as World Best Food Travel Journalist. She holds a certification as a sommelier and she is also an ardent lover of the outdoors. Aside from this, Veruska is a Multilingual SEO and Localization Consultant and co-owns multiple websites that cater to a global audience.
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Set in the heart of a beautiful country with stunning hills and glistening lakes, Killarney is a lovely destination for visitors looking to experience Ireland’s history as well as its charisma. As Ireland’s most popular tourist destination, this charming town has lots of attractions and activities that are sure to appeal to various tourists.

As a launching point for nature enthusiasts eager to lap up the natural beauty of the Irish landscape, Killarney, which is near the southwest coast in County Kerry, is a must-see for everyone. Paddle through the extensive Killarney Lakes, and then tour the famous Ring of Kerry, a breathtaking drive through town.

In addition, it serves as the starting and finishing point of the Kerry Way, a two-hundred-kilometer trail so picturesque that you’ll cherish every image lazy photo shot taken. Killarney is also the location of a substantial amount of adventure activity.

Among Ireland’s many attractions, Killarney has a plethora of recreational activities and boasts an incredible landscape. As one of Ireland’s most magnificent sceneries, Killarney National Park is a must-see for any visitor.

Let’s jump straight into the best things to do in Killarney: this guide has been written from a local perspective so you won’t probably find suggestions you’ve already found everywhere else. Instead, you’ll have real insights on the best things to do in Killarney, the most unusual ones, and a series of resources to plan your trip at its best.

The Best Things to Do In Killarney

There are several tourist sites inside the city limits of Killarney, while some are located in nearby towns. The finest destinations in Killarney run with activities, from viewing an ancient monastery to shopping in small shops to exploring a castle. Here’s a list of things to do when you’re on a holiday trip to Killarney:

1. Touring the Ring Of Kerry

It is a good starting place for tours of this gorgeous region of Ireland in Killarney. Visiting The Ring of Kerry, Ireland’s most popular tour route, is one of the top activities in Killarney. It traverses the Iveragh Peninsula, a stretch of land that offers its travelers magnificent beaches, towering mountains, and historic ruins. Of course, it would help if you had your camera on hand. Starting at Killarney is the preferred option for travelers interested in following this trail.

2. Ride Jaunting Cars

Visiting all the tourist spots on foot isn’t the traditional way to see the sights. If you’re going on a group trip or your own, you can rent a Jaunting Car. Jaunting cars are available to notable destinations all across Killarney. Jaunting Car rentals are available through hotels and tourist destinations or through direct negotiation with a driver that will guide you.

Killarney town

3. Climb the Torc Mountain

The torc mountain is also one of the must-visit destinations in Killarney. A view of Killarney from on top Torc Mountain displays the town in a fascinating 360° look showcasing all the unique destinations like the lakes, Killarney national park, and the Muckross House from afar. The Torc Mountain also has the Torc Waterfall situated at its base to add more to its unique scenery.

4. Visit The Torc Waterfall

Located within the torc mountain is a magnificent waterfall that will blow your mind. This waterfall is one of the most attractive tourist destinations for people touring through the Ring of Kerry. However, no matter how beautiful this waterfall might seem, the best time you can watch the Torc Waterfall in its full glory is when it is raining.

Torc Waterfall

5. Go Golfing

Killarney is home to some of the best and natural golf courses in the area. So it’s okay to take your golf pack with you. I have a feeling you’ll love to partake in one of the golf tournaments held there. Since there’s an array of golf courses available, you will have the benefit of picking any one that suits your preference.

6. Try Lake Kayaking

Lake Kayaking is for sports enthusiasts who are well vested in kayaking. Since Killarney is home to several lakes, you can kayak the Killarney lake and take a trip to incredible destinations like Innisfallen island.

7. Walk the Gap of Dunloe

The Gap of Dunloe is a famous mountain pass sited in county Kerry. This fascinating mountain pass has a length of 11km. It is also known to link the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple mountain. It’s a walk you’re going to find quite fascinating and adventurous all the way.Visitors can admire Dunloe Castle, a medieval fort set into a forest grove, and a collection of Ogham Stones while traversing the Gap.

8. Visit the Innisfallen Island with a Kayak

If you’re a tourist who loves the thrill that comes with adventure, then I’ll suggest you take a visit to Innisfallen Island. From the Rose Castle, kayaks and short boats are ready to take you on a trip to this enchanting Island. Innisfallen Island is known to be the home of the Irish native red deer.

9. Climb the Carrauntoohil Mountain

Test your courage as an adventurer by climbing the highest mountain in Ireland. You’ll be amazed at what the view looks like from the top. Heading towards the top is the Devil’s ladder, a challenging aspect that makes it more fun. The mountain comprises lots of walking routes to suit various tourists.

Carrauntoohil Mountain

10. Walkthrough the Sacred Grounds of the Muckross Abbey

One of the primary religious destinations in Killarney is the Muckross Abbey. The Abbey is still well maintained, and its cloister is both beautiful and memorable. This stunning cloister with a gorgeous, combined space encircled by a courtyard with a great yew tree. The Abbey was often torn up and put back together throughout its history, subjecting it to an unpleasant history. However, the remains are remarkably intact, with no roof to cover them. Feel free to enter the Abbey and wander the sacred grounds.

11. Enjoy Killarney National Park

Grab a bike or walk around Killarney National Park to discover one of the best places in Ireland. Lakes, a lot of green, beaches, old houses, and farms: the park has everything you need to spend a day or a few hours far from the chaos.

Things to do in Killarney without a car

There are some activities you can carry out while touring in vehicles or jaunting cars. For me, the thrill of an adventure is in the experience and the kind of tasks you carry out. You’ll have to leave your car behind and venture into the fascinating parts of Killarney.

1. Visit The Meeting of the Waters

The meeting of the waters is a lovely area in Killarney. As the name implies, this is a beautiful site where the three famous lakes of Killarney converge. This place is the perfect definition of peace and tranquility. Indeed, this wonder is one of Killarney’s best-kept secrets. Follow the route at the back of Dinis cottage, and it’ll lead you to this magnificent view.

3. Play With the Ducks at the Lake beside Rose Castle

Behold one of the wonders of the 15th century. Right on the shores of the great lake Lough Leane stands the Magnificent Rose Castle. The interesting fact about this castle is its location on the shores of the biggest lake in Killarney. So you can sit by the lake with family and friends and soak in the best view of nature as the ducks float by in style.

Things to do in Killarney with kids

Your kids are not left out of the fun since Killarney also has some fascinating destinations that will help broaden your kid’s minds and make them enjoy one of the best vacations ever. Here are a few of the locations where you can have absolute fun with your kids

1. Visit the Killarney National Park For a Horse Ride

The 26,000 acres of this enormous land make it the perfect natural landscape. It also combines a picture-perfect scenery of the waterfall, lake, steep mountains, and woods. The Killarney National Park is just the ideal place for your kids to have fun while basking in the beauty of nature.

2. Visit the Ladies View for the Perfect Sight View

The ladies’ view is a fascinating Panoramic sight that your kids will find impossible to forget for a very long time. It’s a few minutes drives from the outskirts of Killarney. From the ladies’ view, you can spot a picturesque sight of the three mythical lakes of Killarney.

Ladies View

2. Take a Fishing Trip to On one of the Lakes

One of the best Killarney experiences you’ll ever have with your kids is having a splendid fishing expedition on one of the Killarney lakes. It’s one of the best ways to know these lakes well and help groom your child’s fishing expertise.

Best Places To Eat In Killarney

Advising on the best restaurants, bars, and pubs in Killarney is not an easy task. Since Killarney is one of the most touristy cities in Ireland, being disappointed when it comes to food it’s not hard. The city is very well known for the quality of its food and selecting just a few can be hard. The following list includes places that we personally like and recommend to everyone; it’s not a definitive list but it’s been put together based on our own taste and our own experiences.

  • Bricín Restaurant: one of the most famous restaurants in Killarney, Bricín Restaurant offers some of the best traditional Irish foods. It’s impossible not to try the Killarney boxty, a twist on the traditional Irish potato pancake with a choice of chicken, lamb, or ratatouille fillings.
  • Quinlan’s Seafood Bar: a family business located in different areas in the Southern part of Ireland. The one in Killarney is known for its fish and chips that are made using the best of the fish from the area and the proximities. A must-try if you’re in Killarney.
  • The Lake Room: if you want to spend money and eat well, The Lake Room has to be your choice. It’s located in the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and offers the best of the local foods and ingredients in a spectacular setting overlooking the Lakes of Killarney.
  • Treyvaud’s Restaurant: if you want to try modern Irish cuisine, Treyvaud’s is the perfect spot. The dinner menu includes the best Irish dishes, from roast guinea fowl to prime Irish beef and Guinness stew, almost always with a spin on tradition.
  • Herbert Restaurant: located into Cahernane House Hotel, this restaurant uses the best Irish and local products to create seasonal dishes that are hard to forget. The ambience is refined but not too formal or stuffy, the dress code is smart casual and the service is warm and friendly. A must-try place if you’re looking for a sensational experience and stunning views

Hotels in Killarney: advice

Killarney is the typical example of a perfect traditional Irish town. It happens to be a must-visit to tourists and travelers alike because it happens to be home to one of the world’s best tourist destinations. Killarney is like a small city with a lot of places to stay. However, picking a perfect accommodation might seem a kind of task for most travelers.

The following list includes hotels that we personally like and recommend to everyone. It’s not a complete list but it only includes hotels and accommodation we’ve visited and keep visiting every time we are in Killarney and places that we personally suggest to people traveling to Ireland. We don’t recommend sleeping in the city center because it can get crowded and noisy; instead, plan to spend a little bit more and enjoy one of the many hotels overlooking the lake or nestled in the countryside.

Cahernane House Hotel
  • Cahernane House Hotel: a stunning 19th-century country house set on the edge of Killarney’s National Park.
    The on-site Herbert Restaurant, awarded 2 AA Rosettes, offers an extensive menu with all produce locally sourced. Breakfast is terrific and so are the rooms and the facilities. Perfect location if you need to unwind in close contact with nature and you’re looking for good food. Check the prices and book your stay.
  • The Victoria: Overlooking Killarney’s National Park, The Victoria is close to the town but far enough to give guests the quietness they need. Bikes can be hired from reception and the breakfast is one of the best you can have in the area (try the scones!). Check the prices and book your stay.
  • Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa: Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa is one of the most incredible places in the Killarney area. The whole hotel is meant to provide guests with the best experience ever in terms of quality of service and facilities. You can watch the beautiful landscape and the natural scenic view of the Mountains and Killarney lakes during a downpour right from the comfort of your hotel balcony. Check the prices and book your stay.

Best Organized Tours In Killarney

If you do not want to waste your time trying to figure out what to do when in Killarney or if you want to meet other travelers or even if you don’t want to rent a car, the following organized tours are just the best choice out there. Have a look, click on the link to get more information, and book your tour, if you wish.

  • 1-Hour Lakes of Killarney: Boat Cruise
    Cruise the Lakes of Killarney aboard a glass covered heated boat and enjoy the panoramic views of Killarney National Park on the Lakes of Killarney. Check the details and the prices.
  • Killarney: Combination Jaunting Car & Lake Cruise Tour
    Jump on-board a traditional jaunting car, where you will ramble through the Killarney National Park & Ross Castle with the local jarvey. Take a cruise on Killarney’s largest and most picturesque lake, Lough Léin in the comfort and safety of a covered heated and modern vessel. Check the details and the prices.
  • Ring of Kerry Full-Day Tour from Killarney
    Explore the dramatic landscape of the Ring of Kerry on this tour from Killarney, and discover one of the most mystical and unspoiled regions of Ireland. Enjoy panoramic views of Dingle Bay, visit the village of Sneem, and much more. Check the details and the prices.
Killarney horses

Is Killarney Worth Visiting?

Among the best-looking towns in Ireland’s lovely South-West region is Killarney. It is a destination for many travelers because of this. This city is a unique place in Ireland, so it’s a popular destination for various tourists alike. It means it is also a bustling place. However, is it safe to say that Killarney is worth visiting? I believe visiting Killarney will be worth your time and effort.

Things To Do In Killarney: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Killarney is the ideal place when it comes to suitable tourist destinations that embody Irish history. Through this guide, we were able to get an idea of what Killarney is all about. However, there are common questions that a typical tourist will ask before taking a trip to this fascinating destination.

1. What are the most popular places to visit in Killarney?

There are so many fascinating places to visit in Killarney; however, the most popular places to visit are The Ring of Kerry, The Killarney National park, The Torc Waterfall, The Rose Castle, Killarney lakes, The Ladies View and of course the Meeting of the Waters.

2. How many days should I spend in Killarney?

3 days should be more than enough to explore and visit some of the favorite and fascinating locations in Killarney.

3. What is the best time of the year to visit Killarney?

To get the best experience of Killarney, it’s advisable to visit during the Spring and Autumn seasons. Summer can be extremely crowded and prices can be crazy.

5. Is Killarney expensive to Visit?

Yes, it is. To date, Killarney is one of the most expensive destinations for tourists and travelers visiting Ireland.

6. Is Killarney Safe for Tourists?

Yes, Ireland happens to be one of the safest tourist destinations in the world. And Killarney is no exception.

7. How Long Does it Take to Visit the Ring of Kerry?

The Ring of Kerry is about 120miles long, and driving through it can take a whole day.

8. What to do in Killarney when it rains?

Quench your taste with some of the finest beer and whiskey ever brewed by visiting Killarney craft brewery. Nothing like a bottle of whiskey to keep the nerves calm during rainy, cold weather. You could also try out some of their mouth-watering oven pizza delicacies for a meal change.

Travel to Ireland: a few resources for you

If you’re planning to book a giveaway to Ireland, these are a few resources we recommend:

Best Ireland Travel Guides

If you want to plan your trip to Ireland, these are the travel guides we recommend:

Get in touch with us for customized tours, travel tips, itineraries, and everything you need for your trip to Ireland: no one better than those who live on-site can advise you and make you experience Ireland like a real local.

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