On my first day in Ireland, I’ve been on a trip from Killarney to Kenmare. Although I had my share of trips to gorgeous places, I’ve been fascinated with Killarney, this tiny town in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland. Should I have known that was such a lovely place, I would have booked a much longer stay. There are so many things to do in Killarney, that I could have kept myself busy for at least one month. Unfortunately, I’ve only had four days, out of which, three were already reserved for the TBEX Travel Blogging Conference (this being the main reason for my presence in Killarney). This also explains why most of my photos are taken by night.

As you get to the train station in Killarney, everything looks neat and welcoming, one of the very few peaceful corners left in this world. Nobody is in a hurry, people take time to look around them, to see the trees and the old Celtic style buildings. As you drag your luggage along the main road, you’ll encounter a parking lot full of horse carriages and the Killarney Park Hotel, surrounded by luxuriant greenery. Finding your way around is easy. I’ve used my GPS to get to Glena’s House, the bed & breakfast I had booked, and I didn’t encounter any problem in getting there. To make a long story short, I had a wonderful time, the accommodation was basic, but very clean, with a nice breakfast, and located at only 5 minutes walk from the town center. Taking into consideration the price, I can say this is one of the best accommodation options in Killarney for budget travelers. Anyway, if Killarney isn’t on your Ireland bucket list, you should add it right away!

Killarney streets by night

Everything looks neat, there are lights everywhere, and the town feels safe and welcoming. The center is rather small, but perfect for a stroll before bedtime (or before beer time for that matter).

church by night

Churches are everywhere in Ireland, and they make great photo subjects.

These are the best 10 things to do in Killarney:

1. Attend a Live Celtic Dance & Music Show

The main streets of Killarney are full of bars and pubs. At first sight, you’d think they are all small, and that nothing goes on inside, other than drinking and eating. However, these pubs are way bigger than what you can see from the outside. The backyard of many pubs in Killarney is home to live music and Celtic dance shows. You can eat, drink and dance until you drop. There’s no need to go with friends, as you’re going to make plenty of them on-site. Irish people are welcoming, so you’re going to feel at ease in the middle of the dancing crowd. If you don’t want to enter those pubs, all you need to do to listen to some cool music is to wander the streets. There are musicians playing by every corner, as music and dancing are the most popular things to do in Killarney, and perhaps in other parts of Ireland as well.

celtic dancer

This scene was part of a Celtic dance show that was organized at the Killarney Racecourse.

You don’t need to attend such as performance, as you can find great dancers and music in many of the downtown pubs. Just follow the music and the crowds, and you’ll find great entertainment, craic, and good beer.

2. Eat Fish (with or without Chips)

What is the best thing to eat on an island? Fish and sea food, of course! All restaurants have it on the menu. I’ve tried fish and chips at The Flesk Restaurant, together with a glass of wine, and I’ve liked it. I ate it too fast to remember to take a photo, but you can take my word for it.

the flesk restaurant

The Flesk Restaurant, a place with good food and amazingly welcoming staff. The waiters would really go out of their way to make you feel good.

3. Drink a Pint (or Two) of Gandalf’s Ale at The Shire

If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings and of The Hobbit, you shouldn’t miss The Shire, one of the funniest pubs in Killarney. Anyway, this is hard to miss, as Gollum doesn’t waste his time. He roams on the main streets inviting all people who have run out of things to do in Killarney by night to stop by The Shire.

gollum tbex

Gollum wanders the streets of Killarney, inviting people to stop by The Shire for a beer or two. He loves the camera, and doesn’t mind waiting for you to get a focused photos of him.

the shire pub killarney

The Shire – one of the best places to try in Killarney. While here, try a pint of Gandalf’s ale. If you’re lucky, Gandalf may stop by to have a chat with you.

 gollum in the bush

Gandalf was there, but I ended up with yet another photo of Gollum 🙂

4. Go on a Beer Tasting Tour

I usually prefer wine. However, when you visit the land of the beer, you have to taste some. There’s a cool brewery in Killarney, Killarney Brewing Company, just nearby the bridge over the Flask river, where you can enjoy beer tasting and find out more about brewing.

killarney brewing company

There’s always fun and laughter at Killarney Brewing Company. Every time I passed by, there were large groups of people laughing and signing.

5. Visit Ross Castle

Ross Castle is only a short drive away from Killarney. If you can’t be bothered driving, you can walk there, as it wouldn’t take you more than 30-45 minutes. The castle is in the middle of a beautiful park, nearby a lake.

Ross Castle by the lake

Ross castle and the Killarney National Park

castle and clouds

6. Visit Muckross House & Gardens

I have a funny story about this one. When I saw the name Muckross House, I thought it was the private home of the Muckross family. I trespassed a little to take some photos in the park, but I had no idea I could have gone farther.

Muckross House

Green and yellow trees and grass

The color of the grass impressed me the most. It was the greenest green I’ve ever seen (and I live in a country with pastures and hills).

100 years sign

100 birthday – let’s drink to that!

7. Watch the Sunrise over the Flask River

I’m not a morning person. However, during my stay in Killarney, I had to wake up early to get to the travel blogging conference sessions. The conference took place at the INEC Conference Center. In order to get there, you have to cross the bridge over the Flask River. This is how I know that this is one of the best things to do in Killarney. You’re going to have the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views. If you’re into photography, get ready to take some stunning shots of the sky and the trees reflecting into the river. Sometimes there are fishermen trying their luck early in the morning.

river reflections at sunrise

The photogenic Flesk River looks good at sunrise. Watching the sunrise from the bridge is one of the best things to do in Killarney.

8. Watch the Sunset over the Same Flask River

Watching the sunset from the same bridge is another opportunity to fill your eyes and your soul with color and warmth. If you look the other side, you’ll see this kind of scenery:

orange sky sunset

One of the most gorgeous sunsets I’ve experienced in Ireland. Wherever you look, there are colors and shapes that fill your soul with joy and your eyes with color.

9. Take a Jaunting Carriage Ride

Jaunting carriages are pretty much everywhere around Killarney, so it shouldn’t take you too long to find one. You can book a ride through the Killarney National Park, in order to view the scenery and avoid cars and pollution.

Jaunting car in Killarney

Why drive when you can take this guy for a ride?

jaunting car on the road

You’ll go faster than the cars.

10. Visit the Killarney Falconry

If you want to see falcons, visiting Killarney is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the company of these beautiful birds. As a matter of fact, you’re going to see (and touch) hawks and owls. Here’s a video of these gorgeous birds:

Bonus (in case you run out of things to do in Killarney):

11. Visit Gap of Dunloe & Lakes of Killarney

gap of dunloe car

There are trips to Gap of Dunloe and the Lakes of Killarney, just in case you don’t want to get there by yourself.

12. Visit the Torc Waterfall

13. Take a Ring of Kerry Tour (Stop by Ladies’ View for Stunning Photos)

Here are some photos to see what I’m talking about. The Ring of Kerry is one of the reasons why I want to get back to Killarney for a longer stay.



Things to do in Killarney
Things to do in Killarney

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