A medium-sized town in County Kerry, despite its relatively modest size, Killarney has plenty going on. It acts as a major retail and cultural centre for the south west of Ireland, while it managed to stay true to its long and rich history. Its proximity to Killarney National Park helps to attract thousands of visitors to the town and the surrounding villages. What helps to set Killarney apart from many other Irish towns and cities is that it has a distinctive 19th century look, with old-style shop signs and facades being a common feature of the High Street. Killarney has quite a few cultural and sporting venues to its name too, meaning you can see a show, watch a Gaelic football match or see some artworks from local artists.
As Killarney is home to many rural routes as well as a few trunk roads, a hatchback should have you covered wherever you decide to drive.
Driving in Killarney Town Centre
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Killarney’s relative proximity to Cork and Limerick means that traffic can be heavy at times on weekday mornings and evenings as a result of commuting.
Sometimes, the best places to park in Killarney are away from the centre; the retail park on the eastern edge is ideal.
Parking near Killarney National Park can be difficult, especially in summer as it’s generally busier at that time of the year.
Highlights & Hotspots
The most significant religious building in Killarney is Muckross Abbey. Founded in 1448, it now lies largely in ruins, although it’s ok to enter when restoration works aren’t being performed. You can wander through the many rooms at your own leisure.
Near the Abbey is Muckross House and Gardens. This stately home and the gardens are usually open on weekdays to the public, who are free to roam the grounds and learn about its history, which dates back a few centuries.
The INEC Killarney Convention Centre is home to many sports events as well as major concerts from local and international artists. It’s always best to check what’s on at the INEC before deciding when to pay a visit.
The centre of Killarney is known for having a surprisingly vibrant nightlife. Many of the town’s pubs and clubs are open seven nights a week during the summer, when visitors from the UK and other parts of Europe come over.
Kerry Airport is just over eight miles north of Killarney. With one main passenger terminal, it offers flights to Dublin for commuters as well as London. Some seasonal flights to south west Europe are available in the summer.
The airport is easy to get to, being close to the N23. From there, you should drive southwest on the N23 until reaching a junction with the N22, which goes to Killarney itself.