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For the best romantic weekend in Ireland, Kilkenny is the place to be!

While on a 2-week road trip around the Emerald Isle, I enjoyed this medieval town very much and can confidently say that for the best romantic weekend in Ireland, Kilkenny is the place to be!

Possibilities for romantic breaks in Ireland abound. From the beautiful towns of Northern Ireland to the picturesque seaside villages of the South, it can be difficult to choose from the many romantic places to stay in Ireland. The most sought-after romantic getaways in Ireland are usually Dublin, Galway or Killarney. But if you prefer a small town feel with loads of charm and authenticity in Ireland, Kilkenny is sure to delight any loving couple.

Cozy and charming describes to a tee Kilkenny, Ireland. By reading this post, you’ll see that has all of the elements required for the best romantic weekend in Ireland; award-winning food, cultural activities, historical sites, and all of this, set amongst a beautiful compact city.

Kilkenny, for the best romantic weekend in Ireland.

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Kilkenny Ireland is a magnificent medieval town that deserves more than a day visit while on Ireland’s Ancient East route. This small town is at the epicenter of County Kilkenny which packs loads of history and it’s without a doubt among the top romantic places to stay in Ireland. It has award-winning food and lots to see and do, more than enough to fill an entire romantic weekend getaway.

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The Medieval Mile

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Set the tone for your romantic weekend by stepping back in time and walking the Medieval Mile lined with beautiful historic buildings. A section of the mile is a pedestrian-only street with many quaint restaurants and boutiques. As most city centers, surrounding activities can be accessed by foot, so park the car, hold your partner’s hand and go explore!

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The Gift’s Horse is probably the cutest boutique in all of Ireland

The Rothe’s House

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Another notable building on the Medieval Mile is the Rothe House, a 16th-century merchant’s house that kept being built upwards and upwards over the years. The house itself is quite modest but the romantic part of this visit, lays, you guessed it, upwards. The rooftop has a beautiful English garden with citrus trees, fresh herbs, produce and fittingly enough, resident ducks. Peaceful and whimsical is the tone here.

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The Kilkenny Castle

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No medieval town would be complete without a castle, and of course, a cathedral. In this case, the Kilkenny Castle is a noteworthy example, nestled on the banks of the Nore River with vast well-tended grounds. Pretend to be royalty and stroll the corridors, admire the refurbished rooms and salons which have been beautifully restored. A leisurely visit can be done over a few hours. 

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The St-Canice’s Cathedral

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Your loved one’s gaze makes your heart pitter-patter? Visit the beautiful cathedral and get some true butterflies in your stomach by climbing the adjacent Round Tower. Prepare yourself to be extra close to your partner as you make your way up this narrow staircase, all the way to the top. You’ll be rewarded with a great panoramic view of the whole city, enjoy great views of Kilkenny castle and St-Mary’s Church in close sight. The St Canice’s Round Tower dates back to the 6th century and is actually the oldest standing structure in the city and it’s also one of only two Round Towers that people can climb in Ireland. Get up there, lovers!

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Go for a lovely bike ride 

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Photo Credit ~ Kilkenny Cycling Tours

Pack a delicious gourmet picnic basket and head out for a lovely bike ride on the back roads, all the way to the picturesque village of Bennetsbridge. Enjoy a stress-free return back to the city, biking along the Nore River while enjoying the scenic views. Make sure to stop along the way for the many for photo ops. For reservations 068 895 49 61 or [email protected]

Get Ireland’s Best Trips and Guides from Lonely Planet 

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Smithwick’s Experience /Brewery 

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Beer isn’t usually top of mind when planning or imagining yourself on a romantic weekend getaway, but please give Kilkenny’s emblematic brewery a visit for a pint of Ireland’s most popular Ale. Smithwick’s Ale, 300 years in the making, Slainte!

Romantic Dining Options

High Tea at the Lyrath

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Photo Credit ~ Lyrath Hotel 

A picture perfect setting for an amorous afternoon complemented with panoramic views. Enjoy afternoon tea at the luxurious Lyrath hotel situated just a mere 1.2km from the city center. Served in the floor to ceiling glassed Atrium, overlooking an enchanting courtyard and gardens. Tea is also served in the Yew Restaurant over the weekends with glorious views over Lady Charlottes’ Gardens – so many options, so little time for lovers on a getaway weekend! 

Lunch at the River Court Hotel

Take a lovely stroll with your Cherie d’Amour along the waterfront and stop in to enjoy a wonderful lunch at the River Court hotel. We had an amazing meal on the terrace, which offers unbeatable views of Kilkenny castle as the backdrop to this lunch destination, very romantic indeed.

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Photo Credit ~ River Court Hotel 

The Ultimate Romantic Dinner / Rive Gauche 

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Whatever you decide to do, we’re sure you’ll find Rive Gauche to be the perfect romantic restaurant for you and your lover! The place oozes love and passion. With true Parisian flair and an ambiance that adds to the mood, all of your romantic senses will be elevated by the red glow of the boudoir type lighting. Almost across from the Kilkenny castle on the Parade, the venue has two distinctive spaces; the dining area and the well-stocked bar.

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Start your evening by settling down at the bar for an aperitif and maybe order some oyster as an appetizer. The surroundings are beautifully decorated, all with vintage finishes, an abundance of dark wood and exposed brick walls. Prepare yourself for a succulent meal, gastronomy at its finest awaits in the main dining room. Ask for a private banquette, a bit secluded from all of the other diners and tables.

Romantic Places to Stay in Kilkenny

River Court Hotel 4 star 

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At the heart of the city, the River Court Hotel is located at the back of the river Nore, overlooking the Kilkenny Castle. You can easily access the Medieval Mile with its shops and restaurants, all within a short walk across the bridge. The site offers secure parking and complimentary WIFI. The hotel has newly refurbished and redecorated rooms with beautiful furnishings throughout. Book a Deluxe room or Suite for the best views of the 12th century, Kilkenny Castle. A true fairy-tale experience awaits!

Get the latest prices for River Court Hotel here

Kilkenny Hibernian 4 star 

Best romantic weekend in Ireland, Kilkenny

Photo Credit ~ Kilkenny Hibernian

Best romantic weekend in Ireland, Kilkenny

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Photo Credit ~ Kilkenny Hibernian

Also located in the city center, these rooms offer easy access to all major attractions, right at your doorstep. The Kilkenny Hibernian has undergone a complete makeover providing luxury & chic accommodations. Car parking is offered across the street from the hotel.

Get the latest prices for Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel here

The Lyrath Estate

Best romantic weekend in Ireland, Kilkenny

Photo Credit ~ Lyrath Estate

Best romantic weekend in Ireland, Kilkenny

Photo Credit ~ Lyrath Estate

Want a dreamy location for a passionate weekend in Kilkenny? This exceptional hotel is dreamy in every sense as it is slightly off the city’s center, it lets you enjoy spectacular grounds filled with estate walks. A long list of services, from a luxurious spa to fine dining with extra touches such as resort bikes and valet parking, this is the place to truly woo your partner. You can choose from fanciful executives, suites and penthouse accommodations. ENJOY!

Get the latest prices for the Lyrah Estate here

The Parade in central Kilkenny

Best romantic weekend in Ireland, Kilkenny
Best romantic weekend in Ireland, Kilkenny

Nearby Excursion Options

Go out and explore 

The Kilkenny county is rich in heritage and natural beauty. Feel the passion of tradition by visiting these great attractions which are easily accessible within a 1hr drive from the city center.

The House of Waterford Crystal

If shimmering wine glasses don’t ring your romance bell, then I don’t know what will. Are you also in the just married category? If so, you’ve probably received some Waterford Crystal products for your engagement, wedding or some special occasion. If so, there’s a good reason why. Waterford Crystal is world renown for its exceptional quality and pureness. Impress your lover, book a private tour at the iconic House of Waterford Crystal.

The Rock of Cashel 

A scenic country drive is another perfect activity for a romantic weekend getaway in Ireland. A visit to the Rock of Cashel is a unique way to step back in time. Steeped in history of kings and castles, this site is a marvelous day excursion with your loved one. According to legend, St-Patrick arrived in Cashel in AD 432 and baptized King Aengus who became Ireland’s first Christian ruler. Set over a limestone hill, the Rock is overlooking lamb grazing pastures and valleys. Do bring an umbrella in case of rain as some parts of the tour are uncovered. Your paid admission includes a 60-minute tour.

Walsh Whiskey Distillery

Only 30 minutes away from Kilkenny, in Royal Oak, the Walsh Whiskey is one of the largest independent whiskey distilleries in the country and is the first to be developed in the Carlow region in the past 200 years. Walk the estate grounds and take in the ongoing renovation of the stately home built circa 1775.  The distillery is unique in its kind, as it’s manually-controlled and produces all three styles of Irish whiskey in one still house; pot still, malt and grain.

Have you been to Kilkenny, Ireland?
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