Kilkenny Castle
Kilkenny Castle
4.5
09:30 - 16:30
Monday
09:30 - 16:30
Tuesday
09:30 - 16:30
Wednesday
09:30 - 16:30
Thursday
09:30 - 16:30
Friday
09:30 - 16:30
Saturday
09:30 - 16:30
Sunday
09:30 - 16:30
About
Founded soon after the Norman conquest of Ireland, the Castle has been rebuilt, extended and adapted to suit changing circumstances and uses over a period of 800 years. Today, Kilkenny Castle is open to visitors all year round and is largely a Victorian remodelling of the thirteenth century defensive Castle
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • mary d
    40 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great trip, kids enjoyed the day
    Went to Kilkenny on the train with 3 grandsons. We went to Kilkenny castle and the boys had a great time. The really enjoyed seeing all the old furniture and wall coverings. We didn't spend much time in the garden because it rained a lot. We had food in the Pantry at Mac Donagh Junction, it was popcorn chicken and chips for younger boys and tenders and chips for myself and the older boy. We got 2 glasses of orange juice for us as the younger boys got one with their meals it cost €50.80 which I thought was a bit dear for what it was. We all had a great day considering the weather.
    Many thanks for leaving a review. We are delighted that you and your grandsons at a lovely time in the Castle. We hope you will be back on a sunny day to take full advantage of the 52 acres of parkland which include a playground, a pond and a formal rosegarden.
    Written 20 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 July 2023
  • fjh2022
    Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom199 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Historic castle with large gardens
    Historic castle with lovely gardens. Greta place for families or couples. Large areas to walk around. Can get guided tours at the castle or self guided. Beautiful views of the gardens. Lots of old pottery and art work. Cafe for eating.
    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your visit.
    Written 16 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 28 July 2023
  • SorchaNiCheallaigh
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth a visit!
    I visited the castle on a recent short trip to Kilkenny. It is easily accessed, near the city centre and reasonably priced. The castle itself is situated on beautiful grounds/a park, where we relaxed at our leisure after our tour. We opted for a guided tour and were very happy that we did. Our tour guide Aodhán, was both entertaining and insightful regaling us with interesting facts and anecdotes about the castle and it's inhabitants. He really brought the story of the castle to life for us. His presentation style was articulate and animated and he responded to all questions posed with an ease that showed a confidence in his knowledge of the subject matter and beyond. The tour is suitable for teens and adults as my 2 teenagers found it both informative and enjoyable!It is well worth a visit!
    Thank you for your lovely review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your guided tour and we will pass on your lovely comment to our colleague Aodhán.
    Written 16 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 5 August 2023
  • cashelguy
    Cudahy, Wisconsin356 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Storm Kilkenny Castle
    Kilkenny Castle is the home of the Butlers, a powerful Angel-Norman family, from the twelfth to twentieth centuries. The guides are fonts of knowledge. The beautifully decorated castle is filled with history. The castle has a Downton Abbey connection. Downton Abbey's creator Julian Fellowes's relative Sybil Fellowes lived here. The castle's unusual horseshoe shape is the result of Oliver Cromwell's attack on Kilkenny in 1650. His cannons blasted down the fourth wall.
    Thank you for taking the time to leave this lovely review. We are delighted that you enjoyed the visit of Kilkenny castle.
    Written 16 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Written 15 August 2023
  • Lita L
    101 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Definitely worth the price of admission!
    Allow yourself time to explore and experience the history of this exquisite castle. The family might not have been royalty, however they certainly lived like it! We took advantage of the guided tour, which I've always found well worth the time as it offers invaluable insight and personal touch. The castle staff is warm, friendly and out-going. I think the Irish are incredible!
    Many thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your visit of the Castle. You are quick right to have joined the guided tour: it allows our visitors to learn more about the stories of the castle and family from our fantastic team of guides.
    Written 28 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 19 August 2023
  • Craig C
    Galena, Ohio109 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice self-guided tour
    My wife and I took the self-guided tour, although there are tour guide options available. Nice grounds with lots of space. Although it is a castle, it isn't the stereotypic castle that most imagine. Interior of is more up to date for the late 1800's and early 1900's. Imagine Downton Abbey interior. Vey nice inside and worth a look.
    Thank you for your lovely review, We are delighted that you enjoyed the self-guided visit: it is a perfect way to visit the Castle when on a schedule. We hope you had the opportunity to listen to the short free audioguide available on our website. Some of our visitors can be fooled by the Neo-gothic appearance of the Castle but as you mentioned the Castle's interiors is Victorian/Edwardian as it was lived in by the Butler family until the start of the 20th century.
    Written 28 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Written 22 August 2023
  • Tammy F
    Mount Gambier, Australia277 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice afternoon activity.
    Lovely castle, nice grounds. The staff were helpful and answered some of our queries. A lot of it we had to google as we went there too late for a tour. Kids enjoyed counting pictures in the great picture hall. One of the cheaper castles to enter - which was great for us as a family of 4.
    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are delighted that you enjoyed visiting the Castle. Should you planned to return to Kilkenny, keep an eye out for our Free Child Friendly tours!
    Written 30 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 28 August 2023
  • Linda
    Cork, Ireland1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Recommended
    On a recent trip to Kilkenny, I visited this castle with my husband. We did the guided tour with the tour guide Aodhán. I am a history teacher myself, and I was very impressed with Aodhán's depth of knowledge. He was also very confident in his delivery of the facts and addressed any questions with ease. The castle itself is well maintained, with lovely artwork throughout. The gardens and grounds are beautiful. I am happy to recommend it.
    Many thanks for taking the time to leave a review. we are delighted that you enjoyed the guided tour of the Castle. We will let our colleague Aodhán know.
    Written 4 September 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 September 2023
  • Mike H
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Keane of the Castle
    Our tour guide John Keane was awesome! Cheerfully snarky, and absolutely Enthused about all things Kilkenny Castle. He made the hour tour fascinating and hilarious. We would like to hire him to narrate our autobiographies.
    Many thanks for taking the time to leave a review We will pass on your lovely comment to our colleague John.
    Written 4 September 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 September 2023
  • Cindy T
    Pinellas Park, Florida235 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning castle with interesting history. Quaint idyllic town.
    I visited the castle on a tour, and it was well worth the stop. The grounds are breathtaking, and views of them from inside are lovely. The furnishings and artwork in the castle were magnificent. The tour app was not working well for us, but we just wandered around and read the sign boards. I especially liked in many of the rooms they showed samples of the original wallpaper they had found during renovations. Great to see that history retained. The town of Kilkenny itself is adorable! We walked all around, went into many shops, and picked up a great lunch at Blaa Blaa Blaa 😊
    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your time in Kilkenny and that you had a great time visiting the Castle. We will check the audioguide to ensure it is working correctly.
    Written 14 September 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 13 September 2023
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles6,655 reviews
Excellent
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498
Poor
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18

Harper
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Family
Really let down. After driving from Dublin off the ferry from Wales we were there by 420pm only to be abruptly told by a staff member that we couldn’t come in. This was despite the door he was holding open with the hours saying it was open until 5pm as did the website . When asked why we couldn’t come in he said we need 45 mins to tour. We said we would be happy with 30 mins. He said no. That was our only day in Kilkenny. Very poorly run.
Written 10 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Many thanks for your feedback. We are terribly sorry to hear about your experience. Depending at what time of the year you visited our last admission is 45 minutes or 30 minutes before closing time. Before the Covid 19 emergency we had just introduced new updated opening hours to accommodate our visitors. I would invite you to contact us directly at kilkennycastleinfo@opw.ie to discuss your experience of our customer service, we are always eager to improve our skills on site. We hope you will get a chance to come back to Kilkenny and enjoy a visit of the Castle.
Written 15 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SuperSaint72
Dublin, Ireland61 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
Really good experience, probably missing the person touch that a guided tour would bring (will definitely revisit once guided tours are allowed again). The self guided tour was free and you just needed to book a time slot on their website. the grounds are amazing and we really enjoyed the stroll after the castle visit. the castle itself has great artwork and have the rooms laid out very well with information plaques for each room. Well worth a visit.
Written 19 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CarolinaNurse323
Kernersville, NC6,440 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
My husband & I got to visit this magnificent castle when our tour group travelling with Gate 1 Travel took a break here before heading to Dublin.
We just finished riding the Kilkenny City Train and couldn't wait to tour the castle.

Lord and behold....my husband was in heaven because before we went into the castle for a tour there just happened to be the Kilkenny Motor Club sponsoring a Charity Car Run out on the front lawns of the castle.
Naturally, we had to see the cars first!!

Kilkenny Castle is a 12th century castle set in extensive parklands, built for William Marshall and remodeled in Victorian times. This was the principal seat of the Butler family, Marquesses and Duke of Ormonde.
We took the self-guided tour ( 6 Euros each) and off we went!
Majestic and unbelieveable are only a few of the words I could use....from room after room.
In the Library, the interior decorations are a faithful recreation of the furnishing style of the mid to late 19th century.
Oh, the Picture Gallery and the Painted Roof are breath-taking.
The Moorish Staircase is gorgeous .
But...my favorite place was the Rose Garden since I love roses this place was absolutely beautiful!
With the fountain and roses in every direction just blew me away!
If ever in Kilkenny, please don't miss seeing this castle!!
Written 23 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ocean-Traveler55
Fernandina Beach, FL1,140 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
Touring Kilkenny Castle was one of the highlights of our trip to Ireland. Loved the tour and the expansiveness of the castle. Built in 1195 by Strongbow, it was a symbol of Norman occupation. The Butler Family lived in and controlled the castle for 600 years! The property was transferred to the people of Kilkenny in 1967 for £50 and the castle and grounds are now managed by the Office of Public Works. The gardens and parkland adjoining the castle are open to the public. Highly recommend this tour!
Written 8 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle C
Dublin, Ireland19 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
Visited the castle on a weekday, was great value for money. The set up was very good considering the current regulations. The tour wasn't guided but there was staff at every room happy to answer any questions !! It's an indoor tour and while we had pre booked we still had to queue outside the building for a short time before entering due to social distancing and while the weather was dry while we were waiting there did not seem to be any covering in place if it rained? Overall an enjoyable experience.
Written 28 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your feed back. WE are delighted that you enjoyed your visit and had some lovely weather. Due to COVID-19 restrictions all visitors including visitors with pre-paid tickets need to queue before entering the building, it allows us to ensure that social distancing is adhered to in the Castle. It is indeed an outdoor queue and we would advise our visitors to wear weather appropriate clothing.
Written 8 September 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tanya L
Gloucester, UK5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
I loved this tour.. the young girl was absolutely lovely. She really knew her stuff and I wished she’d been my history teacher. I’m not sure if her name was Dianne? But she’s a credit to you, she was so informative without being boring, she had a great sense of humour, spoke clearly, not too fast and no mumbling. It’s not easy capturing people’s attention but she obviously loves her job. Thank you
Written 27 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Many thanks for your feedback, we are delighted that you enjoyed your guided tour and we will foward your lovely comments to Dianne!
Written 6 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jaimee G
Urbana, IL452 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
There are a LOT of castles in Ireland and this one was only okay. It was our first castle on our trip so it felt pretty neat at the time, but looking back, it wasn't the most interesting by far. The grounds are free to walk around (fountain, garden, grass) and you could get some decent pictures of the castle from the outside. The tour allows you inside to see some reconstructed rooms with a pamphlet and signs to guide you. So depending on if you plan to see other castles or not, this one might or might not be worth it. We enjoyed Cahir castle more than this one.
Written 22 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sugarloaf65
Dublin, Ireland50 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Family
All OPW sites are free at the moment with no guided tours on offer, you have to book your time slot and get a free E ticket. On arrival you get a sheet with info for a self guided tour. Castle is interesting, lots to see, there are number restrictions for each room as you go around its probably not ideal for little kids as you find yourself waiting in corridors. Takes approx 1 hour and gardens, park outside are fantastic, very well maintained. If its busy on grass next to castle take your food about half way through park beyond the playground theres more picnic tables in a lovely wooded setting.
Written 20 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ali99
Dublin, Ireland51 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
Visited today with our 10 year old daughter. Staff were very friendly at the ticket desk and couldn't have been any more helpful in helping me locate my booking. We had booked tickets online before we went.
Our tour guide John Walsh was the epitimome of professionalism. His knowledge of the history of the castle was amazing and he gave us such an informative tour.
The gardens were amazing and are well worth a look around after the tour. Even in the heavy fog that was there today you could appreciate their beauty and how magnificent they must be in Summer.
Overall a great day out and would recommend to all.
Written 23 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Many thanks for your feedback, we are delighted that you and your daughter had a lovely time at Kilkenny Castle. We will pass on your lovely compliments to John!
Written 6 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

734runner
Drogheda, Ireland251 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
This was our second time to visit this impressive castle. The opw have done a first rate job as it is in pristine condition and if in kilkenny it cannot be missed. The grounds are also a great place for families and for running if you like to exercise.
Written 23 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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