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. â‚¬6, students â‚¬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 â‚¬4.50, students â‚¬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. â‚¬16) and Waterford (45min. â‚¬8). Buses (64 933) arrive at Dublin Rd. and the city center from: Cork (3hr. 2-3 per day, â‚¬16); Dublin (2hr. 5-6 per day, â‚¬10); Galway (5hr. 3-6 per day, â‚¬19); Limerick (2V hr. 2-4 per day, â‚¬14); Rosslare Harbour (2hr. 2-3 per day, â‚¬7); and Waterford (lâ˜2hr. 2 per day, â‚¬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, â‚¬2) in Kilkenny. (67 674. Dorms â‚¬11-12.) Pordylo’s O, on Butterslip Ln. between Kieran St. and High St. has excellent world cuisine, including many vegetarian options. (Entrees â‚¬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.)