Ireland’s best-preserved medieval town, Kilkenny (pop. 25,000) is also a center of great nightlife; nine churches share the streets with 80 pubs. Tynan Walking Tours provide the down-and-dirty on Kilkenny’s folkloric tradition; hour-long tours depart from the tourist office. ( (87) 265 1745. ‚6, students ‚5.) The 13th-century HKilkenny Castle housed the Earls of Ormonde from the 1300s until 1932. The basement shelters the Butler Gallery’s modem art exhibitions. ( 21450. Open June-Aug. daily 9:30am-7pm; Sept. 10am-6.30pm; Oct.-Mar. 10:30am-12:45pm and 2-5pm; Apr.-May 10:30am-5pm. Required tour ‚4.50, students ‚2.) Climb the narrow 30m tower of St. Canice’s Cathedral, up the hill off Dean St. for a panoramic view of the town and its surroundings. ( 64 971. Open Easter-Sept. M-Sa 9am-6pm, Su 2-6pm; Oct.-Easter M-Sa 10am-4pm, Su 2-4pm.) Start your pub crawl at either the top of John Street or the end of Parliament Street.
Trains (22 024) arrive at Dublin Rd. from Dublin (2hr. ‚16) and Waterford (45min. ‚8). Buses (64 933) arrive at Dublin Rd. and the city center from: Cork (3hr. 2-3 per day, ‚16); Dublin (2hr. 5-6 per day, ‚10); Galway (5hr. 3-6 per day, ‚19); Limerick (2V hr. 2-4 per day, ‚14); Rosslare Harbour (2hr. 2-3 per day, ‚7); and Waterford (l2hr. 2 per day, ‚6.40). The tourist office is on Rose Inn St. (51 500. Open Mar.-Sept. M-F 9am-6pm, Sa 10am-6pm; Oct.-Feb. M-F 9am-5pm.) B&Bs are concentrated on Waterford Road. Stay in former royal quarters at the 15th-century UFoulksrath Castle (An OigeHI) , in Jenkinstown, 12.5km north of town on the N77. Buggy’s Buses run to the hostel from the Parade (20min. M-Sa 2 per day, ‚2) in Kilkenny. (67 674. Dorms ‚11-12.) Pordylo’s O, on Butterslip Ln. between Kieran St. and High St. has excellent world cuisine, including many vegetarian options. (Entrees ‚17-23. Open daily 6-1 lpm.) A Dunnes supermarket is on Kieran St. (61 655. Open M-Tu and Sa 8:30am-7pm, W-F 8:30am-10pm, Su 10am-6pm.)