Ireland trip: Kilkenny!


After my time in Belfast, I took the train down to Dublin again and immediately went through to Kilkenny. It was a day mostly spent in the train, but thank fuck for Iairnród Éireann (Irish Rail) and their free WiFi and outlets! OUTLETS! in their trains. Did I mention they offer outlets?! OUTLETS! They also announce everything in both Irish and English, which is fucking hilarious because I do honestly not understand how people even know how to pronounce Irish, let alone speak it. I swear to God, I even understood more Hungarian words than I understood Irish words.


Anyway. Moving on.
Kilkenny is a lovely little town not too far from Dublin. Its main feature is a castle, appropriately called Kilkenny castle. While I might not have realised this yet in Kilkenny, I would soon discover that every little dignified Irish town would have at least one castle. However, Kilkenny’s castle was the first one I paid a visit too. It was lovely to walk through and the view was pretty great. There’s a big piece of land attached to the castle, which functions as a local park where people go for a run, walk their children or sit down with a book.


In Kilkenny I stayed in MacGabhainns hostel. It’s located very close to the city centre, but that’s to be expected when a town is as small as Kilkenny is. The hostel was pretty nice and the manager was very kind as well.


The Rothe house in Kilkenny is definitely worth the visit. Especially the garden is amazing and is like a hidden gem.

I spent one day walking and exploring Kilkenny and the next day I tried to figure out something else to do. That’s when I heard of the Dunmore caves. They are ancient caves that can be found just outside of Kilkenny. There’s a bus that runs there and back, so I decided to give it a go. Got on the bus just fine, it was when I got off the bus at my ‘stop’ that I got slightly more apprehensive about it all. I say ‘stop’, because the driver literally just stopped on the road in the middle of nowhere and told me that this was the stop for the Dunmore caves. When I got out, I did indeed see a sign that said ‘Dunmore caves’. However, that sign didn’t say how far they would be. Before I could even ask the bus driver, he’d driven on already (but not after telling me the bus for the way back to Kilkenny would depart from this place again at 5  p.m. It was 1 p.m. now).


This tower belong to the church next to it and is 30 meters high. Sadly, it was closed when I came to visit.

Not knowing what else to do, I just went to walk in the direction the sign said I had to go. I was in the absolute middle of nowhere, the only thing I could hear were some cows mooing in the distance. I made my way along the road (going uphill, thanks) and luckily saw some more signs for the Dunmore caves, so I figured they couldn’t be too far away. After about fifteen minutes of walking, I finally saw a sign that said ‘Dunmore caves reception’, so I found it after all. Thank the lord.


Kilkenny has a lot of relics from a bygone age. This gate is part of the old city wall.

For the way back to Kilkenny, the very very kind guide made sure I got a lift from some people who had a car and were also going that way. That was extremely nice of them and of the guide and I was very glad for it, seeing as I was done with the caves at about 3 p.m.


The Smithwick experience was very fun to do! It also tasted pretty good.

After my days in Kilkenny, it was time for me to move on to Cork. I liked Kilkenny, it is a quaint little town, but it’s also small enough that I could have done with staying one night less. I think I would recommend it as a trip for just a day, especially if you own or rent a car and can get in and out as you wish. Whatever you do, though, if you ever visit Kilkenny you absolutely have to visit Kilkenny castle and the Smithwick experience.




4 thoughts on “Ireland trip: Kilkenny!

    • Hi! They’re worth going to if you’ve got your own transport, but if you need to get there with public transport I wouldn’t bother. They look nice, but they’re not the most impressive caves I’ve ever seen. I had seen all there was to see in about twenty minutes. So, yes if you’ve got a car, if not then don’t bother.

  1. Pingback: 76. Go on at least two vacations abroad – imjustthisawesome

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