From outdoor activities to glorious spa treatments and fabulous food spots, there is so much on offer in this beautiful town
There are so many things to see and do in Killarney, no single list would satisfy everybody. However, here are some of our top recommendations for what to do and where to stay and eat:
A trip to Killarney would not be complete without visiting the internationally renowned Killarney National Park – so beautiful it was the subject of an episode of David Attenborough’s BBC series Wild Isles! As well as containing incredible scenery, it’s also home to the last indigenous herd of magnificent Wild Red Deer that roam the area freely.
And the best thing is, you can discover it’s lush valleys, lakes, woodland, wildlife, mountains and vegetation in a myriad of ways from walking and cycling tours to boat trips. If you’re really lucky, you might spot the white-tailed sea eagles who became extinct during the Victorian age but were reintroduced to Killarney National Park in 2007.
The recently renovated Killarney House and Gardens is a relatively new tourist attraction, adding to the Killarney National Park. Located right beside the town centre, it provides a relaxing break from the the bustling streets. The location of Killarney House was chosen by Queen Victoria on her visit to Ireland in 1861 and was originally the seat of the Earls of Kenmare. In the 1950s, the house was bought by John McShain from the USA and in the 1970s he sold it and thousands of acres of parklands to the Irish State for a nominal sum to ensure it would forever be enjoyed by the Irish public.
You can walk around it’s newly-restored and beautifully landscaped gardens before going inside to view the stunning permanent exhibition tour which has become the ‘gateway’ Visitor Information Centre in Killarney National Park. Across the road, you can explore the interior of the magnificent St Mary’s Cathedral, one of the finest Gothic Revival Churches of the 19th Century in Ireland.
Sitting at the base of Torc Mountain, just over four miles outside Killarny, you will find Torc Waterfall – one of the most beautiful and accessible places in Killarney National Park. It’s also one of the top stops on Ring of Kerry, and therefore often quite busy, and is best viewed after heavy rainfall. There are three circular routes that you can take that start at the Torc Waterfall parking. There are a series of wooden steps that you can walk up that are not too steep but should be taken slowly if wet.
It’s not a difficult walk but give yourself plenty of time, bring your wet gear and make sure you get plenty of photos once you’ve reached your breath-taking destination!
This unique new bar is new to the well-trodden streets of Killarney, so if you’re planning a trip, put it on your list! Pig’s Lane on College Street, is the town’s first underground drinks spot offering hand-crafted cocktails designed by a world champion mixologist; sustainably selected natural, regenerative and vegan wines; locally sourced snacks and small plates; a whiskey parlour; and live music from both well-known and up-and-coming artists.
Open seven days a week from 5pm, you’ll enter through the lamp-lit arched doorway and descend the dramatic tiled staircase reminiscent of underground railways of old, into the beautifully crafted subterranean bar.
Described as ‘Killarney’s Best Kept Secret’, this beautiful manor house, constructed in 1877, is situated on the edge of the National Park. Once you’re there, all you can hear is the sound of birdsong and the footfall of the occasional passing deer. It exudes stillness and serenity so you feel like you’ve escaped the hectic pace of life completely. Here’s what one of our team had to say after a stay there:
“I arrived at the hotel on a November evening just as it was starting to get dark and was immediately enchanted by the vibrant and warm atmosphere that greeted me in the reception area. This is not an imposing, austere, minimalist hotel! The walls were a vibrant shade of blue, the original Victorian staircase was a sight to behold and the dark wooden fireplace glowed with a crackling fire and charming festive decorations to mark the time of year. My bedroom was the picture of old-world elegance but with every modern amenity I could ask for. I learned later that the rooms boast many of the original features including wooden ceiling beams and cornicing, and each room is decorated in a unique style, relevant to the original period.
“A meal in the multi-award-winning Herbert Restaurant is a must because chef Cormac Vesey has created an extensive menu of delicious, locally sourced, seasonal produce. I got to try the 8-course tasting menu and it was out of this world!”
The Europe’s motto is Luxury Relaxed, and the multi-award-winning spa has a collection of powerful and highly effective signature treatments for a truly blissful escape. The unique series of holistic treatments combine traditional European and Eastern Philosophies, releasing tensions and restoring a sense of absolute wellbeing.
The expertise of highly qualified therapists, in combination with ESPA products – known for quality, purity and integrity of the natural ingredients – result in a truly personal and luxurious experience.
The Strawberry Field – Pancake Cottage: Strawberry Field is a must visit, serving mouth-watering sweet and savoury pancakes with locally sourced ingredients from rich chocolate to Irish smoked salmon.
Brunch in Café du Parc – Funky Brunch: Cafe du Parc has become a renowned destination in Killarney town serving delightful brunch classics accompanied by soulful music.
JM Reidys – Sweetshop Pub: The Sweetshop Pub dates back to the 1870’s and is one of the most photographed buildings in Killarney. Formerly a grocery and general merchants store, JM Reidys won a place in the hearts of the young and old. The pub serves pizza, brunch and bites and leads to an extensive courtyard that has earned a reputation as the go-to for a lively music session.
The Taproom at Killarney Brewing & Distilling: A five minute walk from Killarney town, The Taproom offers a wide selection of premium Irish beers and freshly made wood fired pizza.
Petit Delice Killarney: Indulge your sweet tooth at this bakery that specialises in French cuisine and serves delicious waffles, croissants, pastries, tarts, cakes, and cookies.