6 Lesser-Known Places in Kilkenny, Ireland Every Tourist Should Know About

If you’ve been here before, you’ll have already experienced the wonder that is Kilkenny castle. You’ll have drank in all of the touristy pubs and visited the usual hot spots. Kilkenny is full of surprises and we want to make sure you experience the true essence of the city by checking out some of our lesser known spots and hidden gems. All of these are within a short distance of Hoban Hotel, your ideal hotel accommodation in Kilkenny

Billy Byrne’s Bula Bus

Billy Byrnes is one of the best bars in Kilkenny, with a great selection of drinks, friendly staff and regular live music – but did you know they also have a great outdoor area? To the back of the pub there is a fabulous beer garden with a quirky double-decker bus decorated with colourful graffiti and serving delicious street food all evening long. You can even sit on the top deck and enjoy dining with a difference. They often have ‘sofa sessions’ and move nights during the week and the weekend is all party

Cake Face

This cute café is easily missed with all of the excitement in the town and the winding Medieval lanes. Cake Face is a café that lives up to its name, serving some of the most delicious and ornate desserts we’ve ever seen. They don’t just serve sweets but have a small lunch menu available and an outdoor area free to use when the weather is good. One of the first things you’ll notice (bar the fridge full of cakes!) are the jars of assorted giant marshmallows on the counter in a strange but delicious variety of flavours. Try the passion fruit mallows and thank us later.

Bridie’s Bar and General Store

An unassuming shop front leads to a large and traditional old-world bar in the back. Bridies Bar & General Store is exactly what it says on the tin, not only do they have a great selection of beers, wines and spirits, there is an actual shop to the front selling a variety of groceries and sweets. When you’re done shopping, step through the saloon type doors and enjoy a lazy pint in the quaint and friendly bar. The owner, Pat, is always up for a chat and will go above and beyond to make sure you’re happy

Kilkenny Famine Experience

You may know the story of the great famine in Ireland from 1845-1849 when an estimated 1 million people died from starvation and related diseases, but Kilkenny has its own chapter to tell. During construction of MacDonagh Junction in 2005, a mass grave was discovered containing the remains of over 950 people. This was a hugely significant famine discovery and as a result, MacDonagh Junction has created a free audio-visual tour experience giving us insight into the poignant and heart-breaking stories of famine and workhouse victims.

The Black Abbey

Black Abbey, while not hidden, is on the outskirts of the city, about a 10-minute drive from, your ideal Kilkenny hotel accommodation, Hoban Hotel. Its interior is easily one of the most visually spectacular of all Abbeys in the area as it contains the largest stained-glass window in Ireland. The window is a huge burst of colour and character and depicts the mysteries of the rosary. Impressively it was made in 1893 and is still as beautiful and vibrant today as it was then.

Kilfane Glen and Waterfall

Another location slightly outside of the city, 20-minutes from our Kilkenny hotel, is Kilfane Glen & Waterfall. It’s slightly off the beaten track so not a place you’d pass by chance. Kilfane is an example of a romantic era garden dating from the 1790s and untouched since the 1790s. It is certainly one of the counties most beautiful locations with a cascading waterfall leading to rushing streams, tiny bridges, pretty woodlands and a small cottage. The flora in the area is appropriate to the 18-century style of the 15-acre gardens and the waterfall is most impressive after heavy rain (for obvious reasons!). The gardens have a certain tranquil and serene feel making them a must-do while in Kilkenny.

If you’re looking for a great value hotel in Kilkenny that offers an ideal location, newly refurbished dining areas and a friendly Irish welcome, stay at Hoban Hotel. Remember to always book directly to avail of our best available rates and special offers not available anywhere else.

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