One Day In Killarney – What To Do & Where To Eat

Killarney is a beautiful picturesque town in County Kerry roughly 1 hour 30 minutes from Cork it is a wonderful place to visit for the day. While Killarney is small and compact there is definitely plenty to do and see within the charming town.

One of the biggest draws to visiting Killarney is the Killarney National Park along with Lough Leane where you can see some stunning views and go on some lovely walks. Not to mention the town charm of local pubs and places to dine to try new and exciting dishes.

Something we really loved was the overall charm of the town and the people there, with everything you needed for the day to enjoy what Killarney had to offer. After enjoying our trip so much we decided to create a one-day itinerary for anyone else looking to enjoy Killarney.

How Much Does One Day In Killarney Cost?

An average day out in Killarney really won’t cost that much at all. There are three factors that we should think about: food, transport, and entertainment.

The food factor is always very predictable, though, of course, it depends upon where you eat. If you chose to forego breakfast, then that greatly reduced the overall price, similarly, a dinner in McDonald’s greatly reduces the overall price.

Generally speaking, per person, you can expect to pay roughly twenty pounds for food, per meal. So, for a couple spending a day in Killarney, this would come to £120 in total. However, if you’re visiting from out of town, then you’re likely to be staying in a hotel.

If this is the case, then your hotel will likely have breakfast available to you at no extra cost. This will reduce the price of food, per day, to roughly £80 for a couple.

Transport around Killarney is fairly well-priced, it’s a mid-sized town, so while the public transport links aren’t spectacular, there are some other options available to you.

A great option is the Killarney Shuttle Bus. This bus operates across all of Killarney and connects a number of great attractions to the town centre. This shuttle bus operates seven days a week, and actually has free tickets for children under 12!

Impressively, the company that operates the shuttle bus also runs a bus tour of Killarney, which would be ideal for people wanting to absorb as much as possible in one day.

Another great option is bike hire. There’s a fantastic bike here shop called O’Sullivan Cycles, where you can hire a bicycle for fifteen euros per day for an adult, and eighty-five euros per week. This is a great way to see Killarney!

There are a great number of different things to do throughout each and every day that you spend in Killarney. We’ve got some favourites that we’d love to share with you, though, so make sure to read through to the Itinerary that we have drawn up for a day in Killarney!

How To Get Around Killarney

Car Hire

Car hire is a lot of people’s first port of call when looking for transport around a new city that they’re visiting. This is completely understandable, and a number of car hire businesses are available in Killarney.

Of all the options available, Rhino car hire stands out as the market leader. This is because they have a branch that operates out of Kerry Airport, allowing you to pick up your car when you land and return it when your vacation in Killarney is finished.

Bike Hire

We briefly mentioned bike hire above, and, honestly, it’s worth mentioning again. Hiring bicycles is great for your health, the planet, and your enjoyment of the holiday as well!

One great thing about hiring bikes in Killarney which we didn’t mention before is the fact that they’re a great way to see local nature spots. There are a number of brilliant natural locations near Killarney, and bikes are a great way to get there and then explore them when you can. This is a great activity for kids and adults alike!

Jaunting Car

Jaunting cars are available from the HA-HA in the town centre, and offer tours of a number of local attractions. The idea of a jaunting car is that you will be picked up at the hub where all the cars sit, and then a tour guide will drive you to a local attraction of your choice.

You will be offered the best views on the way, and the guide will be happy to give you a brief tour of the attraction when you arrive.

Local Link

As with any town, there are a number of local buses that would be a wonderful option to explore away from Killarney. The best resource to look up everything you can about these transport links is at Local Link Kerry.

One Day In Killarney: Itinerary

If you’ve only got one day in Killarney, then there are three big attractions that we’d really recommend you see! The great news about all of these attractions is that you can easily fit them into one day, allowing you to have a fun-packed extravaganza!

Morning

Make sure you start the day with a nice filling breakfast and a cup of hot coffee (or tea) to get you ready for nature, walking and even some amazing sightseeing.

Take A Walk Through The National Park

One of the biggest beauties of Killarney is the natural scenery and beauty of the national park. Located just a short drive from the town centre itself you can find many different walks that take you in and around the national park or you can simply walk from the town itself right into the national park.

We found having a gentle walk through the national park over to Killarney House and Ross Castle was the best way to see a bit of both while in Killarney. There are many other trails you can follow within the National Park if you want to explore more and really escape into nature.

Follow the signs for Killarney House & Gardens and explore some of the hidden treasures and trails along the way. You can do this at a fast pace to allow more to be fit into your day or take the time to take in the scenery and the National Parks beauty.

Explore Killarney House and Gardens

Recently opened to the public offering tours around the house formally known as Kenmare House due to the original inhabitants being the Earls of Kenmare. The house was originally much larger and had more buildings within the land.

The other parts of the property had burnt down and so the family relocated to the renovated stable block. This is the building you see today is where the McShane family lived up until 1988 and so it became apart of the National Park.

The house has recently opened up the 3 lower floor rooms that have been restored to show to the public the wonderful place in which the McShane family spent their days.

The tour is currently free and lasts around 20-30 minutes. The upstairs room is currently undergoing restoration to become exhibition rooms so the entry for the tour may change.

If you aren’t too bothered about looking around the house, take a stroll around the gardens and see the beautiful flowers. The gardens are often worked on to keep the gardens well looked after and the flowers in season.

If you are a photographer and looking to have a lovely backdrop the gardens are a beautiful place to be. Once you have had a stroll around the house and gardens stroll on over to Ross Castle for more stunning scenery.

You can find more information on Killarney’s house and gardens on the Killarney National Park website.

Ross Castle

Ross Castle is a 15th-century tower house and keep that is located on the edge of Lough Leane, here you can take a tour of the castle and the interiors or you can simply sit on one of the nearby benches for a short break. There are ducks, swans and wildlife around enjoying the water so you won’t be short for company.

There are scheduled tours around the castle that last 40 minutes and cost €5.00 per adult and €3.00 per student/child. The tour was great to see the intimate structure of the building and the small details that went into the architecture even in the 15th century.

To get to the castle you can drive there and park up or you can walk through the national park from the town centre with ease.

The walk was roughly 20mins and we saw some wonderful views along the way. I enjoyed seeing a field full of deer prancing and playing, you could even hear them from a distance.

You can find more information about Ross Castle and visitor hours on the Killarney National Park website.

Ride Around Town In A Jaunting Car

Alternatively, if you are looking to do less walking and more exploring look at hopping on a jaunting car.

One way to explore the town of Killarney is on a Jaunting Car. These carts on two wheels pulled by horses were popular in Ireland back in the 19th century and Killarney is now one of the only places in Ireland where you can experience this mode of transport.

We suggest booking with a Killarney Jaunting Car with Tangney Tours which has been run by the Tangney family for more than 220 years. Here you can sit back and relax while you are shown around the best views, best spots and even given some inside knowledge on the best places to eat in town.

Lunch

Stop for lunch in town where you can find a number of cafes, restaurants or kick places to pick up a sandwhich and go ready for a jam-packed afternoon.

We suggest heading to Noelle’s Retro Cafe, Petit Delice or Jam. Each of these quaint cafes can be found in the town centre and they offer up freshly baked bread, cakes and even their own butter!

Take a seat, relax and enjoy a well-earned lunch while you watch the town pass by.

Afternoon

After filling up and a hearty lunch you want to make sure you are ready for some real wildlife to come and sit right on your arm. If you like a little adventure and looking to do something truly amazing you will love taking part in the Killarney Falconry.

Killarney Falconry

Killarney falconry is one of the most spectacular things to do for quite a long way when you’re in Killarney.

Thanks to the ready access to wonderful nature, Killarney falconry allows you to go out into nature and stroll along while observing the skills of the trainers and hawks. At the end of the experience, you can handle and hold a real owl!

The experience takes around an hour, and is a wonderful way to kick things off on our exciting dar in Killarney!

Muckross House, Gardens, & Traditional Farms

After you’ve had the excitement of watching real birds of prey swoop over your head, you would be forgiven for wanting to take a moment in a calmer spot, and soak up some history and nature at the same time.

Muckross House is right at the spiritual centre of Killarney National Park, and gives you fantastic access to some beautiful gardens, and virtually ancient buildings! This is truly a spot to go if you love getting a little history whenever you can.

Another thing that’s stupendous about spending the middle portion of your day here is that there is a small restaurant on site! This means that you can take a break from your day, and have a wonderful lunch before having a small exploring session, and then moving onto the final stage of the day.

Killarney Lake Cruise

A great way to end your afternoon in Killarney is to check out the Killarney Lake Tours! Killarney national park has some of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and this cruise is the best way to see both the lakes and the surrounding scenery.

The vessel is glass-covered, meaning that you won’t get rained on so that you can see sights such as the nearby Ross Castle, Innisfallen Monastery, and Ireland’s highest mountain range!

As a miniature extra benefit, you’re already right there, ready to go on your cruise! Muckross House is within the Killarney national park, meaning that you don’t have to do any additional travel to end your day with a lovely view of the surrounding countryside.

If you have time after your afternoon at Muckross House and taking on the falcons be sure to fit in the cruise. If not this makes a great alternative if you are looking to have a slower pace in the afternoon and rest up before an exciting evening of good food, whiskey and some traditional Irish music.

Evening

After enjoying an afternoon of exploring you will more than likely be ready for a good filling meal with even better drinks and company. Head to any of the recommended restaurants for amazing food and an even better atmosphere.

Head For Some Dinner

Like many places in the world, there are certain dishes that are made by the Irish themselves and would be rude not to try so head to one of the local pubs, eateries or restaurants to find some traditional Irish food before heading off to a Whiskey Tour.

There are a number of places that not only serve great food but also come with a great atmosphere. Try places such as The Laurels Pub & Restaurant, John M. Reidy or Murphy’s Bar Restaurant and Townhouse.

For more restaurant recommendations click here.

Whiskey Tasting Tour

What we learned from our first trip to Ireland was that you can’t get the full experience of Ireland until you have done a whiskey tasting. While neither Cora nor I are fans of whiskey, we went on 2 whiskey tours while in Dublin earlier in the year.

Though we didn’t go on one in Killarney there are plenty of places that offer whiskey tasting tours and bars that want you to try the local and homemade whiskeys. I would recommend you add this to the list of things to do in Killarney to get the full Irish experience.

As always if you think of anything you think should be on the list of things to do in Killarney let me know and I will add it in. If you have visited Killarney before let me know what you enjoyed and what you loved doing while you were there.

Go To One Of The Singing Pubs

You may have already experienced some of the musical delights of Killarney during dinner but if you feel like ending the night with a real bang then head to one of the singing pubs where you can listen and even take part in some traditional Irish music.

Killarney is well known for it’s singing pubs with many pubs have live music every night. The live music is likely to cover everything from traditional Irish folk songs to modern-day covers and by the end of (or just an hour into) the night, you’ll likely find the entire pub singing along too

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