The best tourist attractions in Killarney

Killarney is one lucky town, any way you look at it. It is a stone’s throw away from Killarney National Park, an amazing nature reserve. It is also located on the scenic drive of the Ring of Kerry, so people will stop and visit Killarney even if only on principle. And finally, Killarney is really one of the most beautiful little towns in Ireland, with its 19th century style buildings and narrow lanes, where even plastic shop signs have been banned so as not to ruin to overall look of the town. Suffice to say, you won’t feel like leaving for a long time, especially since the best tourist attractions in Killarney are there to keep you occupied.

Ross Castle

Near the banks of Lough Leane in Killarney National Park stands Ross Castle, the ancient home of one of the oldest clans in Ireland. The castle is a typical Irish stronghold from the Middle Ages – it has a tall tower house and it used to be surrounded by a thick wall. In summer, you can take a boat trip on the lake from the lake to Innisfallen island, where you can see some truly impressive archaeological remains.

Muckross Abbey 

photo by Jim Linwood

One of the best tourist attractions in Killarney is Muckross Abbey, founded in 1448 as a Franciscan Abbey, and even if the ruins look peaceful now, the abbey has had a very violent history. The buildings were destroyed several times and the residing friars were often persecuted by various groups. Although the abbey is roofless now, there an ancient yew in the central yard, and some beautiful cloisters.

Ladies View

When you approach Killarney from the Ring of Kerry, you can stop at the Ladies View, a view so beautiful that it even stopped Queen Victoria and her ladies in waiting when they visited in 1861 – hence the name of the place. From this spot, you can see McGillycuddy’s Reeks and the Purple Mountain Range, with The Upper Lake and all its fairy islands below.


photo by Adrian King

The townland of Aghadoe is famous for its view of the lakes and Innisfallen island, and also for being a pagan worship site in the past. You can visit the remains of a stone church dating back to the 11th century, the ruins of Parkavonear Castle, and Aghadoe Cathedral. The view from Aghadoe is one of the most beautiful in Ireland.

Killarney National Park

The lakes in Killarney National Park are famous in Ireland for their beauty, and there are many more spots of great natural beauty within the park. There are countless attractions in the park (the Meeting of the Waters and the Old Weir Bridge, Muckross Abbey, Muckross House, the Muckross Peninsula, the Old Kenmare Road) and that’s without counting the herd of Red Deer which is unique in Ireland.

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