Despite having a somewhat twee reputation for its traditional Irish charm and coaches full of tourists keen to get their hands on a cuddly shamrock – Killarney – gateway to the Ring of Kerry, is a lovable place, alright. Overlook visitors on the lookout for a leprechaun and head off for a Guinness as well as sampling traditional Irish music at its best in the many quality taverns on offer.
Killarney is golfing heaven, with over seven championship courses in close proximity. This includes Killarney Golf and Fishing Club - just a couple of miles on foot from the city – with its three courses, one of which is next to beautiful Lough Leane, one offering mountain views and another with artificial lakes.
Murphy’s Ice Cream has the best homemade ice cream you will ever taste, and a lobster at Gaby’s Seafood Restaurant will make this particular shellfish encountered at any other restaurant, redundant.
The sublime natural attractions surrounding Killarney, including lakes, waterfalls, moors and mountain peaks (some rising 1000 metres and more into the sky) all add to the attraction of this quaint and charming town. A town which has been doing serious tourism for over 250 years now.
Killarney’s Top 10
10. Carrantuohill is the highest mountain in Ireland. Walk or hire a pony.
5. O’Connors bar is the place to go for those in the know. Live music, stand up comedy and pub theatre. Hecklers welcome.
9. Ballybunion is one of the finest ‘links’ golf courses in the world, and is just a short drive from Killarney.
4. Take a gander at the Gap of Dunloe, a gorgeous gorge, just seven miles distant and a great place for a ramble.
8. Golfing folk must take in the Lakeside Kileen course, host of the Irish Open and Curtis Cup
3. Killarney Riding Stables offers rides lasting two to five days through the Iveragh Peninsula.
7. If you’re up for the craic –and of course you are – Tatler Jack’s is one of Killarney’s best haunts featuring pool tables, and Guinness galore.
2. Take a tour of the Dingle Peninsula with rugged coastline and forts. Slea Head is the point from where Irish emigrants left for America.
6. Killarney Outlet Centre a selection of shops including Blarney Woollen Mills with discounts- to be sure.
1. St Mary’s Cathedral If neo-Gothic Architecture does it for you, seek out this Killarney attraction.
The Gathering Festival takes place in early March, and is a four day event celebrating traditional Irish music and dancing with acts from all around Killarney.
St Patrick’s Day on the 17th March in Killarney is given the same level of attention as it is all around the world, when Killarney parties well into the night.
The Olde Machinery Rally takes place in Killarney at Easter and features the Fancy Dress Classic Car Rally, plus old bangers of the other sort at the barbecue.
Labour Day is the first Monday in May, a national Irish Holiday when folks in Killarney take a break.
The Killarney Lake Regatta takes place at the beginning of July and is one of Ireland’s oldest regattas, on Lough Lein.
The Killarney Horseracing Festival takes place during the month of July. A real equestrian treat.
The Killarney SummerFest takes over Killarney during the last week in July and he place comes alive with fun-packed activities and events for all the family.
The Rose of Tralee International Festival is an August event which takes place in Killarney. Go and see the gorgeous girls compete to be crowned the rose.
The Irish Open takes place at Killarney Golf and fishing Club at the end of July.
Killarney kicks off the Xmas celebrations with the Children’s Torch Light Parade where kids cross town to meet Santa.
When To Go
The weather in Killarney is just about as good as it gets in Ireland, with more than its fair share of sunny days. However, Irish weather does tend towards ‘all the seasons in a day’ so be prepared for rain or shine.
Annual average temperatures are around 9 °C, with summer temps getting up to 20 °C or so and winter temps falling to around 3-4 °C.
The wettest months are likely to be December and January – with April the driest, on average. That said, bring a brolly.
Killarney is less than 10 miles from Kerry Airport with plenty of low cost flights via operators like Ryanair, from London and Dublin. Inexpensive flights are also available from London Stansted.
By road Killarney is around 188 miles from Dublin and 55 from Cork.
Killarney has four to five trains daily from Dublin, and also connects to Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.
When tourists venture off in search of the Emerald Isle, the heavily romanticized in verse and literature part of Ireland, they're often told to seek out Killarney. The former "Best Kept Town" winner is small, with under 15,000 people, but green and eminently pristine. Killarney also contains some of the most remarkable attractions in Ireland.
As a result, the town has more hotels than every other city in the country other than Dublin. While that may surprise some, come visit Killarney at the height of summer to discover why. The popular SummerFest draws thousands of visitors to big-name outdoor concerts, while the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve of Killarney National Park is a magnet with nature lovers. At just over 100 km2, the park is relatively small but boasts a diverse ecology, from deer and osprey to salmon and Arctic char in the Lakes of Killarney. Visitors can explore it all on foot or in a traditional horse-drawn carriage.
Attractions & Activities
Restaurants & Nightlife
The weather in Killarney is quite mild, with relatively high rainfall from one month to the next.
- Winter (December to February) 4-8°C
- Spring (March to May) 6-14°C
- Summer (June to September) 11-17°C
- Fall (October to November) 5-11°C
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