Killarney travel guide

Killarney Tourism | Killarney Guide

You're Going to Love Killarney

With its charming period architecture and gorgeous setting of green fields and forests, blue waters, and mountains, Killarney offers you a taste of the lush Irish countryside, and you can expect accommodation and dining at all price points to go with the picturesque views and range of outdoor activities.

Located in the southwestern part of Ireland in County Kerry, Killarney is surrounded by more than 26,000 acres of ancient forests, rivers, and lakes, and the highest mountain peaks in Ireland. You're likely to see deer, rabbits, and more wildlife in Killarney National Park, which borders the town.

The area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and there are many traces of Killarney's long history left to explore, including castles and the former homes of the area's gentry. Together with gourmet dining and traditional Irish hospitality, Killarney offers you the best of rural Ireland.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Killarney

1. Outdoor Adventure

Killarney is the ideal place to explore the bucolic Irish landscape, with many walking, cycling, and driving tours available. You can also explore your adventurous edge, including canyoning and waterfall jumping right in Killarney National Park.

2. Life on the Water

No matter how short your stay, you must get out on the water, whether it's a boat trip to Ross Castle or other area attractions, kayaking through the Killarney Lakes, or heading to the ocean in nearby Kenmare. There is canoeing, surfing, sailing, and stand up paddle boarding, among the many ways to enjoy the water.

3. Unique Accommodation Options

Forget bland chain hotels - staying in Killarney or the area is your chance to experience the best of Irish country living. There are picturesque resorts like the beautiful Carrig Country House, ideally situated on Caragh Lake overlooking the Kerry mountains, cute B&Bs in town, and many more such as Cahernane House Hotel, a 19th-century mansion that is now a 5-star resort.

4. Everything from Comfort Foods to Fine Dining

Many hotels include a classic Irish breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, and potatoes fried in butter, and you'll have to try at least one sumptuous Irish tea from one of the area's many tearooms, including those at Dinis Cottage, Deenagh Lodge, and Ross Castle too. The tourist industry has attracted many international chefs to Killarney. Fresh seafood is king of many menus, including lobster and freshwater fish like trout, along with produce, cheeses, and other dairy products from area farms.

5. History

There are many ways to explore centuries of history in Killarney, including the Innisfallen Monastery that dates from the 6th century and iconic Ross Castle, built in the 15th century. There are centuries-old cathedrals and many other sites to explore.

What to do in Killarney

1. Killarney National Park: Nature of the Nation

Lakes, castles, hills, and gardens comprise the phenomenal sights of this preserved patch of nature. It was Ireland's first National Park, and it continues to be a pride of the country. Whether going for a hike, relaxing by the water, or exploring one of the age-old buildings strewn across the land, there is nothing quite like this atmospheric area. Ladies View is one of the most popular lookout points atop a hill at the park's heart, offering the perfect opportunity to gaze over the expansive paradise.

2. Muckross House: What a Life

Located between scenic Lough Leane and Muckross Lake, this Victorian Mansion is nestled idyllically in Killarney National Park. Thick ivy climbs its fortified stone walls, changing color with the seasons and off-setting the imposing facade with a rustle of life. Inside, period furnishings complete the regal atmosphere, while outside the vast gardens are still landscaped to perfection. Further explorations take you to Torc Waterfall, a peaceful babbling brook not far from the luxurious house.

3. Ring of Kerry: Make the Rounds

There is no better way to explore the far reaches of the Iveragh Peninsula than to take a road trip around the Ring of Kerry. Bring your camera for pit stops along the way - from historic buildings to gorgeous valleys, the scenery never gets old. Don't miss the series of well preserved Ogham Stones near the Gap of Dunloe - these ancient slabs are covered in 4th and 5th-century carvings. And as you approach the Atlantic you will see the Old Barracks, one of the most interesting structures around.

4. Caisleán an Rois: "May All Assault Disdain"

Take a trip back in time with a tour through Ross Castle, a 15th-century keep amidst the well-kept gardens of Killarney National Park. Its tower seems straight out of your childhood imagination: a quintessential medieval fort that has weathered the centuries. And its iconic shape is just the beginning - tours through the chambers reveal tactful construction elements for the defense of the land, and you can practically see the ancient battles unfold before your mind's eye.

5. Muckross Abbey: Franciscan Friary

A violent history has played out on the grounds of this otherwise hallowed Abbey, originally founded as the religious hub of Kerry Country in the 15th century. Much akin to Ross Castle with which it shares parklands, this vine-covered abbey fits in perfectly with the surrounding atmosphere. A thick-trunked tree grows impressively out of the center courtyard, almost as imposing as the heavy stone building that surrounds it. A beautiful contrast of nature and history, Muckross can't be missed.

1. Killarney National Park: Nature of the Nation

Lakes, castles, hills, and gardens comprise the phenomenal sights of this preserved patch of nature. It was Ireland's first National Park, and it continues to be a pride of the country. Whether going for a hike, relaxing by the water, or exploring one of the age-old buildings strewn across the land, there is nothing quite like this atmospheric area. Ladies View is one of the most popular lookout points atop a hill at the park's heart, offering the perfect opportunity to gaze over the expansive paradise.

2. Muckross House: What a Life

Located between scenic Lough Leane and Muckross Lake, this Victorian Mansion is nestled idyllically in Killarney National Park. Thick ivy climbs its fortified stone walls, changing color with the seasons and off-setting the imposing facade with a rustle of life. Inside, period furnishings complete the regal atmosphere, while outside the vast gardens are still landscaped to perfection. Further explorations take you to Torc Waterfall, a peaceful babbling brook not far from the luxurious house.

3. Ring of Kerry: Make the Rounds

There is no better way to explore the far reaches of the Iveragh Peninsula than to take a road trip around the Ring of Kerry. Bring your camera for pit stops along the way - from historic buildings to gorgeous valleys, the scenery never gets old. Don't miss the series of well preserved Ogham Stones near the Gap of Dunloe - these ancient slabs are covered in 4th and 5th-century carvings. And as you approach the Atlantic you will see the Old Barracks, one of the most interesting structures around.

4. Caisleán an Rois: "May All Assault Disdain"

Take a trip back in time with a tour through Ross Castle, a 15th-century keep amidst the well-kept gardens of Killarney National Park. Its tower seems straight out of your childhood imagination: a quintessential medieval fort that has weathered the centuries. And its iconic shape is just the beginning - tours through the chambers reveal tactful construction elements for the defense of the land, and you can practically see the ancient battles unfold before your mind's eye.

5. Muckross Abbey: Franciscan Friary

A violent history has played out on the grounds of this otherwise hallowed Abbey, originally founded as the religious hub of Kerry Country in the 15th century. Much akin to Ross Castle with which it shares parklands, this vine-covered abbey fits in perfectly with the surrounding atmosphere. A thick-trunked tree grows impressively out of the center courtyard, almost as imposing as the heavy stone building that surrounds it. A beautiful contrast of nature and history, Muckross can't be missed.

Where to Eat in Killarney

Rozzers Restaurant is a favorite place for fine dining Irish/continental style, located in picturesque Killeen House Hotel. A multi-course prix fixe dinner starts at EUR55.00. Award-winning Gaby's Seafood Restaurant focuses on the bounty of the ocean, with main dishes starting at EUR21.00. Bricin Restaurant and Craft Shop celebrates Celtic culture and cuisine with a menu of two and three course favorites like homemade seafood chowder and Boxty, a traditional Irish favorite, starting at EUR23.00 to EUR26.00.

When to visit Killarney

Killarney in June
Estimated hotel price
€66
1 night at 3-star hotel
Killarney in June
Estimated hotel price
€66
1 night at 3-star hotel

Killarney has a seasonal climate, with summer daytime temperatures averaging in the high 50s to low 60s Fahrenheit, and remaining around the 50 mark from April to November. The town sees a huge influx of tourists during the summer months. Fall and spring offer bargains and weather that is cooler but still pleasant enough for outdoor activities. The colors and deer rutting season make fall a good time to visit.

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Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
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How to Get to Killarney

Plane

The closest international airport to Killarney is Cork Airport (ORK), at a distance of just under 55 miles. The most economical way to get to Killarney is the Irish Bus Service, Bus Éireann, which costs EUR14.00. It is possible to take the train with transfers in Cork and Mallow, at a total cost of about EUR35.00. From Cork or Dublin, you can also catch a regional connecting flight to Kerry Airport (KIR), just seven miles from Killarney.

Train

There are direct connections by train from Killarney train station to Dublin Heuston station and Cork. Irish Rail provides several trains to Killarney per day along the run between Dublin Heuston station and Tralee. The train station is located just at the edge of town within walking distance to Killarney National Park.

Car

Driving the Irish countryside is a pleasant and scenic journey. Killarney connects with N72, with links to Mallow and beyond to the M8. N22 links Killarney to Cork in the east and Tralee in the northwest.

Bus

Bus Éireann, or the Irish National Bus Service, provides service to Killarney from multiple locations including Tralee and Kenmare. There are also many private companies that operate tours and bus transportation from various centers such as Dublin and Cork.

Airports near Killarney

ORKCork

Airlines serving Killarney

Lufthansa
Good (1,389 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,465 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,906 reviews)
KLM
Good (292 reviews)
Air France
Good (299 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,658 reviews)
British Airways
Good (943 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (360 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (642 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,168 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (203 reviews)
Vueling
Good (266 reviews)
JetBlue
Good (1,140 reviews)
Aer Lingus
Good (307 reviews)
Edelweiss Air
Good (7 reviews)
Neos Air
Excellent (5 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Killarney

You can take in the lovely countryside in luxurious style at historic Muckross Park Hotel & Spa. The International Hotel Killarney offers a combination of period and contemporary style. At the budget-priced level, you'll find picturesque places like the Eviston House Hotel, with both modern and elegant period furnishings and a lively Irish bar.

Popular neighbourhoods in Killarney

Killarney - you'll find the town of just 15,000 immaculately clean and well kept, with beautifully maintained gardens and streets. There is a wide range of hotels, restaurants, and pubs available to enjoy.

Killarney National Park - Muckross and Knockreer estates are located within the park that borders the town. Explore the 4,700 acres of woodland within walking distance of the town's center.

Killarney Lakes - Lower Lake (more often known as Lough Leane), Middle Lake (or Muckross Lake), and Upper Lake are located within the Killarney National Park. This is where to enjoy water sports and boating. Lower Lake surrounds Innisfallen island, home to the 7th-century monastery of St. Finian, along with the remains of an 11th-century church and 12th-century priory.

Where to stay in popular areas of Killarney

Most booked hotels in Killarney

The Brehon
Excellent (9, Excellent reviews)
€139+
Dromhall Hotel
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
€98+
Killarney Towers Hotel & Leisure Centre
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
€116+
The Gleneagle Hotel & Apartments
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
€143+
Eviston House Hotel
Poor (0, Poor reviews)
€139+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Killarney

Public Transportation

The town is very compact and walkable, and there is no real public bus service available. Some private companies offer horse and buggy tours and transportation to the National Park, along with shuttle bus service to various locations.

Taxi

There are a number of taxi companies operating in Killarney, including Corcoran Taxis and Killarney Taxi. Fares start at EUR4.00, increasing by about EUR1.45 per 0.62 miles. Taxis are also an option to get from Killarney to nearby towns, with fares of about EUR40 for a trip to Kenmare.

Car

Even though the distances are not far between the town and many of the major attractions, a car rental is a good idea; prices start at about EUR10.00 per day and there are Budget and Enterprise outlets in town. Street parking may be at a premium but there are a few larger car parks in Killarney with hourly rates that start at EUR2.00.

The Cost of Living in Killarney

Shopping Streets

There are many specialty stores in town such as Quills Woollen Market on High Street, while Lyne's of Killarney shopping mall offers many stores just down the street. The Killarney Outlet Centre is located near the bus and train stations and offers many international brands at discount prices.

Groceries and Other

Tesco and Spar are two of the supermarket chains available in Killarney, with well-stocked shelves and reasonable prices. Supervalu is a discount chain. A quart of milk costs about EUR1.00 and a dozen eggs will run about EUR2.60.

Cheap meal
€14.59
A pair of jeans
€74.28
Cappuccino
€2.79
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