For anyone lucky enough to visit the Emerald Isle, a stop in Killarney is an absolute must. It’s the start and end point of breathtaking bus routes, has its own national park, and offers countless boutiques for finding the perfect souvenir.
Ireland’s famous world class hospitality is on full display in Killarney, along with live entertainment and mouthwatering meals. Whether you’re a solo traveller or on a big family vacation, you’ll find something to keep everyone happy.
There is no shortage of things to do in Killarney, Ireland, but we thought we’d narrow it down to our 5 favourites.
Explore the Killarney National Park
Surrounding two sides of Killarney town is the 26,000 acre Killarney National Park. The rugged landscape includes mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and woods, making it a stunning place to explore.
The UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is full of fascinating wildlife from pygmy shrews to the famous Killarney red deer. If history is more your thing, the park has that covered, too. Remains of a prehistoric settlement from over 4000 years ago are nearby. So is a stone circle from the Bronze age, ring forts from the Iron age, and standing stones.
For slightly more modern history, you can visit the 15th century Muckross Abbey or the equally old Ross Castle. Don’t forget the Muckross House and the Killarney House and Gardens.
Best of all, you can explore Killarney National Park in a huge number of ways. If you want to take your time exploring on foot, you can choose from a variety of walking and hiking trails ranging from easy to very difficult. You could choose to explore the park on horseback, or take a hop on/hop off shuttle.
Go on a Ring of Kerry bus tour
The Ring of Kerry is a 179 kilometer circular driving route through one of the most scenic places in Ireland (and that’s saying something!). The one day bus tour will leave you with amazing memories and photos that will make your friends drool.
The 6-hour tour starts and ends in Killarney, following along the edges of the Iveragh Peninsula. The long list of places you’ll see include the village of Glenbeigh, Rossbeigh Beach, the mountain pass Molls Gap, and the Killarney National Park.
You’ll follow along the rugged coastline, stopping at scenic places and grabbing a delicious lunch along the way. Going on a Ring of Kerry bus tour is one of the best ways in Ireland to pack in an endless amount of beauty in a single day.
Climb Ireland’s highest mountain (Carrauntoohil)
Are you someone who thinks that working up a sweat is the best way to spend a vacation? Then this is absolutely the activity for you.
One of the best things to do in Killarney, for the really adventurous, is to climb the island of Ireland’s tallest mountain (1,038.6 meters). To tackle the mountain means over 6 hours of steep ascent and descent over rough terrain, so it’s safe to say that a certain level of fitness is required.
If you decide to check off Ireland’s most famous summit, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the lakes and mountains surrounding you. Wear comfortable clothes, dress for the rain (it is Ireland after all) and spend your day on a guided climb of Carrauntoohil.
Jaunting Car Tour with beer and pizza
Step back in time by taking a Jaunting Car Tour; Ireland’s traditional transportation.
Your personal driver/guide will take you by horse and carriage throughout the Killarney National Park, including places where motor-operated vehicles are prohibited. Some of the highlights include Ross Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral, and Killarney House Gardens while getting to take in the natural beauty around you in style.
You’ll stop at the Killarney Brewing Company where you’ll choose from a selection of craft beers and enjoy a meal of handcrafted pizzas.
Cruise the Lakes of Killarney
What better way to explore the Lakes of Killarney than on a comfortable, heated boat where you’re protected from the elements by a glass roof.
The Lakes of Killarney sit 20m above sea level and consist of 3 lakes; Muckross Lake (Ireland’s deepest lake), Upper Lake, and Lough Leane. Each lake has its own individual charm and characteristics.
Cruise the lakes in comfort while taking in all the history and picturesque natural beauty around you.
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