Is Killarney Worth Visiting? A Full Guide for 2024

In County Kerry in Ireland, Killarney is a destination that sometimes falls under the radar for people planning to visit Ireland. However, those who do travel to this charming town are in for a pleasant surprise. The answer to the question “Is Killarney worth visiting?” is an absolute yes. Curious why and if you should go out of your way to visit Killarney? Read on!

Is Killarney Worth Visiting? Just look at this landscape!

Ready to hear while it is worth even changing your trip plans to visit Killarney? Well, Killarney is my favorite place (so far) in Ireland! This deep dive includes travel tips, tour recommendations, and my own experiences to help you make the most out of your trip.

πŸ“ Where is Killarney Located?

Killarney is located in County Kerry in Ireland. Its location in south-western Ireland offers iconic Irish landscapes, and a national park unlike anything else you’ll ever see. It’s a part of Ireland that feels untouched by the rush of life, and where old-time traditions are still celebrated.

The locals here will tell you that Killarney is the beauty of Ireland. Wander for yourself and you’ll find that it’s easy to see why they love it here. This small town is right on the edge of Killarney National Park and the famous Ring of Kerry.

How to Get to Killarney: The Best Options

πŸš— Best Ways to Travel from Dublin to Killarney

Many travelers fly into Dublin just like I did when traveling through Ireland. I had to figure out how to get from Dublin to Killarney, and I’m sharing my best travel tips so you can have the best trip possible.

The adventure from Dublin to Killarney can be as memorable as the destination itself. You have a few options to consider, each offering positives.

Driving in Killarney – very little traffic! Ireland is a great place to drive.

πŸš™ Traveling from Dublin to Killarney by Car

By car: If you’re in the mood for a road trip, driving from Dublin to Killarney allows you a lot of freedom. Although I rented a car in Killarney, it is also very convenient to rent a car you can pick up at the Dublin airport. The drive takes about 4 hours from Dublin to Killarney by car. No need to rush, you can explore the towns along the way and plan around a trip to Killarney. After renting a car, I realized that my fears about driving in Ireland really weren’t necessary. Having a car gave us so much freedom!

πŸš† From Dublin to Killarney by Train

By train: When traveling from Dublin to Killarney, I opted to take a train before I rented a car in Killarney. It’s about a three-hour ride from Heuston Station in Dublin to Killarney. If you catch a train, you will certainly be happy with your choice! Ireland trains are clean, comfortable, and right on time. This is a great option for those who want to travel without worrying about driving in a foreign country. The best part is this gives you time to relax, or even have a chat with a local. One of my favorite memories in Ireland was talking to a local on the train ride!

View out the train window from Dublin to Killarney.

🚌 From Dublin to Killarney by Bus

By Bus: The bus systems in Ireland operate smoothly and efficiently. It’s about a four and a half hour bus ride. If you’re not familiar with the bus system in Ireland, I recommend checking the time tables in advance. You can use Rome2Rio for the easiest bus planning when traveling.

⭐ Tours from Dublin to Killarney

By Tour: Another option for traveling from Dublin to Killarney is by taking an organized tour. Tours are great because they provide a convenient way to travel between cities. They also often include photo ops at popular locations! Plus, you can sit back and relax while someone else drives. Just make sure to do your research and choose a tour that aligns with your trip. Check out my favorite tour company for all the options!

Easiest Way to Travel from Cork to Killarney

The easiest way to get from Cork to Killarney is by train or bus. Both are affordable and convenient options, with trains taking about an hour and buses taking around two hours.

Driving in Killarney – Freedom and Flexibility

However, if you want to fully explore the best of Killarney, consider renting a car and driving. Later, you may be glad you rented a car in Ireland. Tours from Cork are also an option.

πŸ“… How Many Days Should You Spend in Killarney?

The length of your stay in Killarney largely depends on your travel style and how much time you have in Ireland. If you only have one day to spare, I recommend a Ring of Kerry tour. If you’re just passing through, two days may be enough to explore some must-dos. However, if you have more time, I would recommend at least four days to fully immerse yourself in this incredible place.

Is Killarney Very Touristy?

Killarney has something to offer all year, attracting visitors both international and local. Yet even with tourists, the Irish charm remains. Though tourists are noticeable, it’s hard to detract from the beauty and magic of Killarney.

β˜€οΈ Best time to visit Killarney

Beautiful Killarney views in September!

The best time to visit Killarney is from April to June and September to October when the weather is mild, and the crowds are more manageable. If you prefer warmer temperatures, be prepared for higher prices and larger crowds in the summer months.

Why is Killarney a Tourist Attraction?

Killarney is a very special place in Ireland. Its scenic beauty makes it a popular tourist destination for people from all over the world. But what sets Killarney apart from other destinations?

Killarney National Park

Visitors come to Killarney National Park from every corner of the globe, drawn by its breathtaking landscapes. At the heart of the National Park is Ireland’s famous Torc Waterfall! Keep in mind, the park is much more than just one waterfall. It holds countless hiking trails, picturesque lakes, ancient woods, and incredible viewpoints that showcase the beauty of Ireland’s countryside.

⭐Traveler’s Choice: Take a Killarney National Park Tour!

⛰️ The Landscape Along the Ring of Kerry

One of the main reasons to visit Killarney is its stunning landscape, particularly along the famous Ring of Kerry. This scenic drive takes you through some of Ireland’s most breathtaking views, such as the Gap of Dunloe and Ladies View.

🀝 The Warmth of the Locals in Killarney

Beyond the landscapes, it’s the people of Killarney that truly make it a special place to visit. The warmth of the Irish hospitality and eagerness to share recommendations for your visit to Ireland will leave a lasting impression on you.

🏰 Ross Castle and Killarney History

One of the top destinations to visit in Killarney is Ross Castle. A 15th-century tower house, Ross Castle holds a place in Irish history. This castle has played an important role in Irish history and offers visitors a glimpse into 15th-century Ireland with its well-preserved medieval walls. There are even Ross Castle kayaking tours where you can learn the history of the castle and admire the views from the lake!

⭐ Traveler’s Choice: Ross Castle Kayaking Tour

Is Killarney a Walkable Town?

Walking Through History in Killarney

While downtown Killarney can be explored on foot, not all of Killarney can be seen by walking. With acres of national park and miles of coastline, renting a car or taking a guided tour is the best way to explore beyond the town center.

🚘 Do you need a car in Killarney?

Walkable places include downtown Killarney and Ross Castle from downtown. However, for a more immersive experience, consider exploring the outskirts of Killarney by driving a car or by taking a tour. Ross Castle and Muckross House can also be reached by horse-drawn carriage from downtown Killarney. As for my experience in Killarney, I am glad I had a car. There are things I wouldn’t have been able to do without it, and it was part of the adventure!

View from a pullover spot near the Gap of Dunloe in Killarney. So glad we had a car!

Must See Spots in Killarney

⛰️ The Ring of Kerry

Must see spots in Killarney include driving (or touring busing) the iconic Ring of Kerry. The scenic drive that takes you along the breathtaking coastline along the Wild Atlantic Way. Another must-see spot is the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass along the Ring with iconic views of the Irish countryside.

🏰 Ross Castle

At the top of this list is Ross Castle, the 15th-century tower house just waiting to be explored. It’s a must-see for anyone wanting to see castles and immerse themselves in the history of Ireland.

🏞️ Killarney National Park

A trip to Killarney National Park is an absolute must! The good news is, if you’re driving or touring the Ring of Kerry, you will naturally enter the national park. Make sure you keep an eye out for the Irish red deer in the area!

🏠 Muckross House

Muckross House in Killarney - its worth visiting!

Muckross House is like a step back in time, with its traditional furnishings and preserved rooms. The house is much more than just a historic home – it’s also a working farm where you can learn about traditional Irish farming practices. The gardens around the house are also wonderful, with colorful flowers and plants that change with the seasons.

Is Killarney Worth Visiting Isn’t the Question to Ask

I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface on why Killarney is worth visiting. From its breathtaking landscapes to its welcoming locals, it’s a destination you will surely fall in love with. So if you’re planning a trip to Ireland, don’t overlook Killarney – trust me, it’s worth adding to your trip itinerary.

Beyond just being a beautiful place to visit, I believe there’s something deeper that makes Killarney special. Maybe it’s less of the hustle of everyday modern life now, or maybe it’s really like the locals may tell you, ‘there’s magic in the mountains’.

The question isn’t whether Killarney is worth visiting, it’s if you’ll ever be ready to leave.

Travel Resources for Ireland

πŸš—Β Discover CarsΒ helps you get the cheapest rental cars while traveling
πŸ›οΈ Viator is best for researching and booking tours and experiences
πŸ€• Safety WingΒ is my recommended travel health insurance

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