Discover Kilkenny

Explore Ireland's Ancient East

The History of Kilkenny

Situated on the River Nore, Kilkenny (often referred to as Marble City due to its black marble quarries), is an old Norman settlement which was given the status of a city in 1609 by King James I of England. Between 1642 and 1649 Kilkenny was also the capital of Confederate Ireland between 1642 and 1649. Currently, Kilkenny is home to the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ossory and the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel and Ossory.

Your 4 Day itinerary

Explore our local attractions and plan how to spend your days with us using our itinerary, as advised by our local experts!

Family Attractions in Kilkenny

Kilkenny is a very family friendly place. It’s compact city centre is easy on little legs, and when you need a pit stop, there are plenty of cafés and child friendly restaurants where you can kick back and relax. We know you won’t want to spend all your time in the hotel, so here are some great ideas to ensure you have a fun filled holiday, with lots of happy memories!


Standing guard over the city on the banks of the River Nore sits Kilkenny Castle. Home of the powerful Butler family for nearly 6 centuries, the castle was extensively added to and improved upon with series of fortifications and lavish accommodation to meet the changing needs of the times and is an imposing complex.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland, Kilkenny Castle can get busy during summer months so we recommend visiting earlier or later in the day to avoid the peak periods and take time to savour the incredible history and architecture of this amazing site.

Shopping in Kilkenny

Kilkenny city centre offers an original and eclectic mix of designer labels, high street names and independent shops. Wander the web of shopping streets to browse an amazing array of boutiques, vintage stores, artisan craft shops and fashion favourites. Whether you’re here on a shopping break in Kilkenny or just passing the time during your stay, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Ireland's Ancient East

The Hoban Hotel is a perfect base for your travels across Ireland’s ancient east. Explore everything Kilkenny and Ireland’s Ancient East has to offer from the comfort of the Hoban Hotel and its ideal location. 

Kilkenny boat trips

Learn of the often unspoken and local history of Kilkenny city and the river Nore. Witness the wildlife that thrive in the urban environment and that have shared the waterways with man for thousands of years. Be sure to bring your camera!


The Watershed is one of Ireland’s best sports and leisure facilities, conveniently located just 800m from The Hoban Hotel Kilkenny and our guests can avail of discounted entry prices! Featuring a swimming pool, childrens fun pool and full leisure centre.

Golfing in Kilkenny

Some of Ireland’s best golf clubs are on your doorstep. Take advantage of your time at The Hoban Hotel Kilkenny and get in a few rounds at our nearby golf clubs.

Ballykeefe Distillery

Ballykeefe Distillery is The Birthplace of Irish Whiskey. It is located among the beautiful Irish countryside of the medieval capital, Kilkenny City. At Ballykeefe Distillery they produce a range of
Award-Winning spirits in an eco-friendly environment.
The first written account of distilling whiskey in Ireland comes from Kilkenny in 1324. It was written in the Red Book of Ossory. The word “Whiskey” is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic phrase “uisce beatha” which means “water of life”.
Take the tour of Ballykeefe and discover the roots of Irish Whiskey. Tours are available from the months of April to October and can be booked through their website.

Exclusive Offers

Form seasonal escapes to girly getaways, we offer exclusive offers and saver deals. Only available when you book on our website.

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Sep 2019
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Sep 2019
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