If you’re taking a trip to the great city of Kilkenny, you should be prepared for a rainy day or two (or three). No matter the season, rain is a staple of the beautiful Kilkenny. Luckily, there’s plenty of city fixtures to keep you entertained. Here are five things to do in Kilkenny on a rainy day.
Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile
Have an umbrella? That’s all you need to enjoy Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile! This historic one-mile walk is the most efficient way to view some of Kilkenny’s most impressive historical sites and landmarks. Here are some of the sites available along the trek:
- Kilkenny Castle (more on that later)
- St. Canice’s Cathedral & Round Tower
- Grace’s Castle
- St. Mary’s Church
The Medieval Mile is a necessary tourism spot for anyone visiting Kilkenny, so don’t let the rain stop you from enjoying this incredible walk through history
Learn about the history of Ireland’s oldest ale by visiting The Smithwicks Brewery. Smithwicks, founded in 1710, is even older than Guinness, and it shows. Take a tour through the gorgeous Victorian structure and learn the brewery’s fascinating history. Afterwards, have yourself a drink at the Smithwick’s Experience Bar. This tour is family-friendly and even has audio guides in four different languages for international visitors. Rainy day or not, when what to do in Kilkenny is the question, you won’t regret a visit to Smithwick’s.
Rainy days are a great opportunity to treat yourself to a tour of the gorgeous Dunmore Caves. With spectacular guides and incredible historical value, the Dunmore Caves are a popular tourist destination, just a few minutes outside of Kilkenny’s city centre. The chambers you’ll walk through have been formed for millions of years, with some of the finest calcite formations you can find in the country.
The caves’ very existence were first recorded in the 9th Century, but archaeological work has proven Vikings to have been present in the caves as well. This fascinating exhibit is unfortunately inaccessible to wheelchair users, but the well-paved path (and lack of tight spaces) makes Dunmore Caves a great spot for tourists of all ages.
Located at the beginning (or end) of the Medieval Mile, Kilkenny Castle is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Kilkenny. This massive castle holds a ton of history, originally being where historic figures Strongbow and his son-in-law William Marshall built their forts and castle, respectively. Admire the ancient structure, its colourful gardens, and fun family park for the kids to enjoy!
When entering the castle, you’ll be able to see the rooms, restored to their Victorian styles and designs. You can also access the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny’s impressive art gallery. The gallery houses tons of 19th and 20th Century work. It’s free to visit and is a great tourist location for the whole family, rain or shine.
Kilkenny’s National Reptile Zoo is open year-round, and home to some of the coolest creatures and exhibits in the country. With lizards, turtles, crocodiles, and some of the rarest reptiles in the world, you and your kids will never be bored spending a day here. The Reptile Zoo is completely child friendly, with play areas, souvenir shops, and even indoor picnic areas to keep you comfortable and sheltered from the rain. With over 50 exhibits, the National Reptile Zoo can easily fill a rainy day.
Don’t let some rain get you down. One could argue that it’s impossible to get an authentic Kilkenny experience without some downpour. Thankfully, there are plenty of things to do when visiting Kilkenny that keep you and your family entertained and dry!