It is undoubtedly Irelandís most vibrant inland city, situated by the River Nore . The former medieval capital has a proud heritage culminating in the countryís top art festival. The history of the city can be seen in the compact narrow streets (known as The Slips), its famous stately castle, Rothe House and medieval Innís.
Kilkenny city is home to a vibrant artistic community with a flood of designer studios, craft shops and galleries. The art trail, taking in 9 retail studios and workshops includes jewellers, potters, leather & wood workers, glass blowing as well as candle makers.
St Caniceís gothic style Cathedral sits in Irishtown, well worth a visit especially for the fine views over the city. Continuing into the city, Rothe House is splendid example of a Tudor house encompassing a small museum.
Kilkenny cityís main shopping street, High Street leads uphill to The Parade, a wide expanse previously used for military displays and civic ceremonies. The cityís most dominating feature, the thirteenth century castle, overlooks the river.
Aside from the cityís attractions there are some very popular festivals that hit Kilkenny every year. The Arts festival takes place every August and features music, drama, street entertainment and various exhibitions. In June the city hosts a comedy festival, The Cat Laughs and in May the Rhythm and Roots festival features bands from around the world.
10 kilometres north of Kilkenny city is Dunmore Caves, a limestone cavern with a notable series of chambers, noted for its steep descent and striking rock formations. Buses leave from The Parade and drop you about a mile from the cave entrance.
Some of the counties finest spots lie to the south of the county. Situated in the lush valleys of the Nore and Barrow, lie the religious remains at Kells and Jerpoint Abbey. The latter has some of the finest Cistercian ruins in Ireland, originating from 1160. The village of Kells, houses what is supposed to be the countryís most atmospheric ruins, Kells priory, dating back to 1193. Popular places to stay nearby are Thomastown, Inistigoe, Graiguenamanagh and St Mullins.