Kilkenny

Kilkenny: home to one of my favourite brewers, Smithwicks. Kilkenny also has a plethora of touristic stops, enough to rival that of the infamous Killarney along the Ring of Kerry.

Looking out over the River Nore in from Kilkenny castle park in Ireland.

Smithwicks Brewery

I’m not going to lie, my companions and I initially stopped in this bustling little town to try one of our favourite brews at it’s source: Kilkenny Cream Ale.

Smithwicks Irish Ale Brewery in Kilkenny, Ireland.
Smithwicks brewery tour.

We opted to take one of the tours through the Smithwicks Experience. It wasn’t the best brewery tour that I’ve been on, but it was still pretty interesting, and definitely a convenient location in regards to the rest of the Medieval Mile (more on that later).

Smithwicks on tap.
Bottles of Smithwicks Irish Ale on an old wood bar.
Drinking Smithwicks Irish cream ale.

Please note: no brewery tour is complete without a pint. All of Smithwicks beers ended up being delicious!

Smithwicks Irish Ale.

The Medieval Mile

The Medieval Mile in Kilkenny is named so because the centre of town was mostly established in medieval times. Everything is close together, and was meant to be experienced on foot. In our short time there, we managed to walk the whole span of it, although we didn’t visit too many attractions.

Rothe House and Garden in Kilkenny, Ireland.
Hidden alleyway in Ireland along the Medieval Mile.

If you are interested in visiting a few of the stops along the Mile, the city offers a Medieval Mile pass that includes access to not only the Smithwicks Experience, but Kilkenny Castle, museum, cathedral, and even a ghost tour (to name a few).

Medieval Mile in Kilkenny, Ireland.
Along the Medieval Mile in Kilkenny, Ireland. Rainy, grey day. Dunnes Stores.

To read more about the Mile and check out other experiences along the way, visit Kilkenny’s website.

Kilkenny Castle

Even though its foundations are firmly set in Medieval times, Kilkenny Castle is now mostly a product of the Victorian era. The castle is surrounded by the most beautiful gardens.

Water fountain in Kilkenny Castle park in Ireland.
Kilkenny Castle in Ireland.

Where to Eat & Drink in Kilkenny

Instead of exploring (I often get a little burnt out on my trips), I ended up hanging out in some of Kilkenny’s coolest pubs. Left Bank is set in a huge old Victorian style building, with the comfiest of chairs to relax in.

Inside an old pub in Ireland.  Left Bank on the Medieval Mile.

And an Irish coffee was just the thing for me!

Irish coffee in an old Victorian pub.

The restaurant has moving portraits (à la Harry Potter) with famous local characters and hosts live music on the regular.

Victorian stone and wood fireplace in Left Bank in Ireland.
A cozy local pub in Ireland. With dark Victorian details and brick.

Kytelers Inn was my personal favourite. The food, the vibes, the music – everything was what you’d expect of a fantastic Irish pub.

Trad Music in Ireland inside a small pub.
Bangers, Mash and Peas.
Tiramisu cake.

Kytelers has a resident witch: the original owner of the Inn way back in the 1300s. She had four husbands and was eventually burned at the stake. You can read more about her epic life here.

An old Irish pub in Kilkenny - Kyetelers Inn.

Both restaurants are situated along the Medieval Mile.

Overall, I found myself wanting to spend more time in this charming city. Kilkenny is only 1.5 hours away from Dublin and would make a fantastic weekend, or even day trip on a holiday to Ireland.

For more Ireland:

To read more of my Ireland adventures, click here.

Stay tuned for my last Ireland post, coming next! Soon, an itinerary will follow.

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