Travel Guide to Killarney

About Killarney

Killarney is a town in County Kerry, in south west Ireland. Killarney town is located north of the MacGillicuddy Reeks, on the northeastern shore of Lough Lein/Leane which are part of Killarney National Park . The town of Killarney is home to St. Mary's Cathedral, Ross Castle, Muckross Abbey, Torc Waterfall and Gap of Dunloe .

Killarney was awarded the "Best Kept Town" award for 2007 in a cross-border competition jointly organised by the Department of the Environment and the Northern Ireland Amenity Council.  Owing to its natural heritage, history and proximity to the Dingle Peninsula, Skellig Michael island and its location on the Ring of Kerry, Killarney is a popular tourist destination.

Killarney is without a doubt one of the finest tourist towns and most beautiful places in the world. The Killarney area provides unparalleled beauty to please the eye and soothe the mind. In its 25,000 acres of National Park you will find lakes, rivers, mountains, wildlife and walks where all year round you can commune with Nature without interruption.

Killarney town itself provides an incredible range of beautiful shops, leisure activities such as swimming  and entertainment.  Killarney cineplex is located in the town of Killarney  The INEC has shows daily and nightly  All of the above should help you relax and unwind throughout the day and night and a huge selection of restaurants to tempt your taste buds, which are mentioned further down.

Activities in Killarney:

The Killarney Lakes

If you only get the chance to do one thing in Kerry, make it a visit to the Killarney National Park. This beautiful park consisting of over 26,000 acres is home to some of Ireland's (if not the world's) most breathtaking landscapes and scenery. The 3 lakes of Killarney make up a quarter of this 26,000 acres and are the subject of many a photograph. The focal point of the Killarney National Park is the Muckross House and Gardens.

The Killarney National Park is home to the unique native Red deer (present in the country since the last Ice Age) and the seika deer introduced in the 19th Century. The sea eagle/white tailed eagle was also recently reintroduced to the area after an absence of over 100 years. The names to be found locally such as Muckross (wooded area of the pig) Torc (Wild boar) and Esknamucky Glen (narrow ravine of the Pig) all suggest the presence at one stage of the native wild pig in this area.

For the active and even not so active 'a must' is a walk along the Old Kenmare Road. This road is teeming with History, scenery and wildlife. Along the route can be seen the remains of famine settlements abandoned in 1840's and also lazy beds (abandoned 'undug' potato furrows from the famine times). You will also come across an area where the tenants houses were broken down to create large stone piles or cairns. These cairns were used as resting places for the muskets used by the local landlord at the time (Lord Kenmare) and friends to shoot the deer for sport.
As you stroll along this rough track, it is hard to believe that horse drawn coaches once travelled along this route especially when you come past Corrs Cascade and reach the enchanting area known as Esknamucky Glen. Here in this narrow ravine you will come across some writing on a stone slab written by a member of the Irish army in the 1800's. 'James Neill Tippy' may have been stationed here to watch out for smugglers on the route smuggling the likes of butter, whiskey or even sheep.....

The three main lakes of Killarney are the focus which everything else in the valley radiates from. The day trip up the Killarney Lakes is one of the greatest tourist trips in the world, combining the parkland along the northern shore of Lough Leane, the lush woodlands, the wild ruggedness of the Gap of Dunloe and the infinite variety of the lakes.

Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula

Exploring the area around Killarney is a great idea for a day trip and is an ideal base for touring the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula. There are many quiet beaches and coves along the way and most are safe to bathe in.  There are also many towns and villages to visit on your journey, such as KenmareWaterville,  and Ventry to name just a few!

Fishing in Killarney and its surrounding areas

You can go fly fishing on the Lakes of Killarney, Waterville Lake, River Laune, River Flesk, Carragh Lake, Long Lake, and the Black Valley or sea fishing in Kenmare. The quality of angling in Killarney is famous throughout Ireland!

Golfing in Killarney and its surrounding areas

Kerry is home to some of Ireland's finest golf courses and Killarney is one of the best bases for golfing enthusiasts.  Please click on the links below to view some of the golf courses around Kerry:

Bird Watching in Killarney

120 Bird Species have been recorded in Killarney. In one recent twelve-month period, three very unusual species were found including the Osprey, Reed Warbler and Black Tern. Recent tagging and recording has found a Killarney Starling in Latvia, a Blackbird from Finland and a Teal under the Urals. 

Walking in Killarney

Killarney provides both the rambler and serious walker with the ultimate in diversity. The choice of walks is endless, from the Kerry Way which is the country's longest way-marked trail, to the highest peaks in Ireland - the Macgillycuddy's Reeks and of course the beautiful Killarney National Park. Plese clikc HERE for some of Killarneys nicest walks which will apeal to all levels.

Children's Activities

There is a brilliant children's playground in Killarney.  It is located in the Killarney National Park opposite St. Mary's Cathedral.


Muckross House

Muckross House and Gardens and Traditional Farms  which are located just outside Killarney, is a fantastic experience for everyone. The house and its gardens are kept magnificently, while the farm shows how farming used to be managed in more traditional times.

The Skellig Islands

The Skellig Islands is an experience of a lifetime. The two Skellig Islands, Skellig Michael and small Skellig stand in the Atlantic Ocean 12 km south west of Valentia.  They are renowned for their scenery, seabird colonies and early Christian monastic architecture.

Ladies View

Ladies View is located at Molls Gap between Kenmare and Killarney.  Ladies View became famous in the 1860's when Queen Victoria decided that the view was the "finest in the land".

Other Places to See Near Killarney

Other places and activities worth noting are:

Restaurants in Killarney

There are many places to eat out in Killarney.  From fast-food to fine dining. A good tip is to follow the locals, they know the good from the bad - if there are only tourists eating in a restaurant, tread very carefully.  These are a few of the many places to eat in Killarney:

There is also MacDonalds, Burger King, Bombay Palace Indian Restaurant, Genting Thai Restaurant and many other dining outlets.

Local History of Killarney

Killarney (Cill Airne) has many sites of interest in the town and this reflects its strong religious and educational history. Killarney was a Church foundation from the 5th or 6th Century and house settlement began here from around 1500.

Nestled amidst deep, lake filled valleys with astounding sights such as the famous Ladies View (Named after Queen Victoria's Ladies' in Waiting) and the MacGillicuddy Reeks - Ireland's largest mountain range, home of Carrauntoohil  our largest peak.

Killarney itself is a lively place of activity, with many hotels, restaurants, pubs, discos, along with outlets for renting bikes , cars and the famous jaunting cars.

It is an ideal base for touring the Ring of Kerry, Dingle and Tralee. Well serviced by transport - bus, train, and the nearby Kerry Airport, Killarney is easily accessible from Ireland and abroad.
There is a

  • Train Station: +353 64 6631067 and
  • Bus Station:   +353 64 6634777

Myths & Legends

There is a myth about an island located under the waters of Lough Leane called Tir na Nog which means The Land of Eternal Youth.


For taxis in South Kerry visit South Kerry Taxi or call +353 (0)87 164 5981