If your idea of a perfect couples getaway includes rolling green hills, blue lakes, charming castles, and manor houses, horse-drawn carriages, and scenic road trips overlooking a stunning coastline, then Killarney Ireland is the place to be.
Killarney, a quaint town in County Kerry, is one of the most picturesque destinations in the Emerald Isle. Located in the rural south of Ireland, Killarney is also the perfect escape from hustle and bustle of city life. You’ll fall in love with the town’s colorful villages, well-preserved historic sites, and breathtaking natural landscapes. It’s not surprising why a growing number of romantic couples put Killarney on their bucket list.
If you’re in Killarney with your significant other, here are 9 of the best things to do in the charming town.
While Killarney is a small town with only about 15,000 residents, the town thrives on tourism. More tourists flock to the town during the peak season (summer months), making the attractions crowded. Killarney hotels and airfares are also a bit more expensive.
To make the most out of your couple’s getaway, you should time your visit during the early spring and fall. Not only there are fewer tourists and cheaper accommodation rates — but Killarney also looks more beautiful during these seasons.
You can easily get around on foot or hire tour providers, but nothing’s more romantic than seeing Killarney on a horse-drawn vehicle. As you wander through the town, you’ll notice horses and carriages called “jaunting carts”. These horse-drawn carts were popular in Ireland back in the 19th century, and Killarney is only one of the few places in the country where you can experience this mode of transport.
If you’re interested in taking one, you may ask your accommodation or hotel if they can recommend a driver.
Since Killarney is a famous tourist hub, expect to have plenty of options when it comes to accommodation. Skip the standard Killarney hotels and go for upscale properties like boutique house hotels with tasteful interior design or manor houses near Killarney National Park. If you’re on a budget, you can find homey B&Bs and backpacker hostels.
Whether you’re going for high-end accommodations or low-cost ones, make sure the property is accessible from the city center. You don’t want to spend all of your travel money on cabs, do you?
Another tip is to find a hotel that offers more than just lodging: find properties that give you access to amazing experiences you and your partner will enjoy, like hike and heritage packages along the Kilkenny National Park, use of complimentary bicycles, and access to gourmet food.
It would be a shame to visit Killarney and NOT explore the Killarney National Park, the first national park in Ireland. There are many trails leading around the area and to different places, so be sure to take your time.
The natural wonderland boasts its pristine lakes, waterfalls, woodlands, mountains, and wildlife. The impressive 20m-tall Torc Waterfall resides here, and it’s open for a walking tour. You and your partner will also love hiking to the summit of the Torc Mountains, allowing you to feast your eyes on the picturesque landscapes of Killarney.
Another lovely sight to see is The Gap of Dunloe, a scenic yet narrow mountain pass that separates the Purple Mountains from MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. You can take a horse, cycle it, walk it, or ride a boat.
Killarney National Park isn’t only a nature lover’s paradise. It’s also home to a couple of heritage sites Killarney is known for. When you’re in the park, don’t miss the heritage spots including Ross Castle, Muckross House, Muckross Abbey, Innisfallen, and Killarney House and Gardens.
Ross Castle - a 15th-century tower house and fortress on the edge of Lough Leane.
Muckross House - a grandiose 19th-century Victorian mansion that acts as the focal point within the Killarney National Park.
Muckross Abbey - Also called “The Franciscan Friary of Irrelagh”, the Muckross Abbey is a well-preserved ruin including a church and a graveyard.
Innisfallen - an island in Lough Leane which is home to the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey, one of the most impressive archaeological remains.
Killarney House and Gardens - an elegant mansion built in the mid-1720s, which was once the stable block of a french chateau-style residence.
Exploring these heritage buildings and their surrounding landscapes is enough to bring you back in time. Don’t worry if you’re not used to walking — you can explore the park riding in a jaunting car.
Forget wine and champagne — Ireland offers a plethora of fine liquors you and your beloved can enjoy. Whiskey is one of them.
Here in Killarney, you’ll have the opportunity to visit The Irish Whiskey Experience, an interactive journey through the history of Ireland’s whiskey production. There’ll be guided tours, AVPs, and of course, a comparative tasting experience of some fine Irish whiskeys.
Redefine date nights by sampling traditional Irish foods and pub fare. Of course, you can also find a good selection of Indian, Italian, and other global cuisines you love. The Killarney Town has a plethora of dining options, including a Lord of the Rings-themed restaurant:
Ireland is known for its love for music. It’s not surprising how many pubs offer not just food and drinks, but also live music every night. The live music can range from modern-day covers to traditional Irish folk music.
For live music, singalongs, DJs, and dancing, you may check out spots including John M Reidy’s, The Grand, and Mike’s Take Away.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a travel and lifestyle writer. Aside from taking vibrant street photos, you can find her writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit Cahernane House Hotel Killarney.