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St. Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower, Kilkenny, Ireland

St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower, Ireland
A view of St. Canice’s Cathedral and the Round Tower in Kilkenny, Ireland

St. Canice’s Cathedral and the 9th century Round Tower are near the center of town in Kilkenny, Ireland. While not justifying more than an few hour visit, unless you plan to attend mass, the Gothic Cathedral and Round Tower are very impressive and create an atmosphere of antiquity. There is no charge to look around the property; a cemetery that feels more like a park. I am sure stopping by the area at night would give you an entirely different feeling.

I went to the church in the evening and there wasn’t a soul around… so if you are planning a visit and want to see the inside of the church I would go early rather than later. Check their website for hours: St. Canice’s Cathedral

Gravestones Outside the Cathedral
Some lichens on old gravestones in the cemetery surrounding the cathedral

The lichen-covered tombstones in the cemetery surrounding the Cathedral are a great place to practice taking pictures, or just to check out the craftsmanship of each tombstone. Some of the designs are unique to Kilkenny.

The Round Tower is the oldest standing building in Kilkenny, dating back to the 9th century. The Round Tower is over 100 ft high and one of only two round towers you can climb to the top of in Ireland. The Round Towers’ presence signifies the religious importance of the grounds. It was used as a lookout for potential invaders, and also provided strategic defense.

The Round Tower of Kilkenny, Ireland
The Round Tower is the oldest standing structure in Kilkenny

St. Canice's Cathedral Map

3 Good comments on "St. Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower, Kilkenny, Ireland"

  • jamie elise  @ Friday, May 27, 2011 at 6:44 AM

    I am young,spontaneous,love the sunshine,beach,outdoors,adrenaline rushes, night life,and great food!

    I have never been to Europe and am planning a very last minute trip. The beginning of July-middle of august.I want to know if i should do the back-pack or 1 small wheel bag?Hostels do they need to be booked before im there?Should i purchase the expensive but convenient Euro Rail pass? Do you recamend seeing other places i forgot on Itinerary,or taking off some?I am grateful for ANY and ALL advice! My number one worry is safety as i am a young girl and want to have fun but stay safe. How do i get a phone for a foreign country hats the cheapest way?

    *My itinerary:*
    Fly into Milan
    Take the Euro trail to Zurich Switzerland,
    Take the Euro trail to Salzburg Austria, Euro trail to
    munchen Germany, take a bus to Prague in Czech Republic
    Berlin wall to Netherlands, Amsterdam, Holland,
    Take train to Belgium for 1 day
    Euro trail..? to Paris
    Take Euro trail to the south of France
    From France train to Italy (Geneva, Milan, Verona, Florence, Sicily, take train ride 2 hours to Croatia.
    Then to Sicily, Island of Capri, then Venice and take the ferry to Greece.
    Fly Ryanair.com from Greece-Madrid Spain, Barcelona, Salamanca
    Ryanair.com from Spain-London
    In London take Euro trail train to Scotland
    Scotland fly to Dublin Ireland
    Fly out of Shannon Ireland

    • Mike  @ Friday, May 27, 2011 at 9:40 PM

      A backpack vs. wheel bag is a personal preference, I prefer a backpack because it keeps your hands free, but many girls tend to prefer wheel bags because they have trouble moving around with a big heavy bag on their back. I’d say if you can pack light, which is always better, use a backpack, if not, use a wheel bag.

      Hostels do not “need” to be booked ahead of time in most cases, however during peak times the best hostels will usually fill up ahead of time. If you book a few days in advance you’ll probably be fine, to be safe you can book even further in advance, but its better to have the flexibility to change things because you never know when you’ll want to change plans once you’re on the road.

      For the eurail pass, if you can get the youth discount, it might be worth it, looks like you’ll be on the train a lot. Even with the cost of the pass, you still have to purchase reservations on some trains, so keep this in mind when budgeting, your train costs are not 100% covered by the eurail pass.

      Generally most of the places you’re visiting are pretty safe. Use the same common sense you use back home, it’s not much different. Don’t walk alone at night, stay in groups whenever possible, especially on big nights out drinking.

      If your phone is not carrier locked, you can purchase sim cards in each country, however if you’re only going to be there for a limited time, it may not be worth it. I don’t think you’ll need a phone much, if you want to call home you can use skype or a pay phone. Don’t use your credit card in pay phones, I did that one time and it charged me hundreds of dollars, always pay with cash or a calling card. If you just want a phone for emergencies, sign up for an international plan with your current carrier and use your phone from home.

      In order to see everything on your itinerary, you’ll have about a day in each place. Sorry, but you need to either extend your trip, or remove a lot of these places. Remember travelling takes a lot of time, some of these trains are pretty long, you have to find your way to and from every place you go, to hostels, get checked in and out, these things eat up a lot of time. I’d say in order to do a trip like this properly you’d probably need about twice as much time.

      If you want some quick help eliminating places, I’d say Croatia can go, although its a cool country, its out the way to get to the best places there. Greece is amazing, but if you go, you should get out to the islands which can be slow and takes a lot of time. That’ll get you closer to your target, however you’re going to have to rush through everything. Not sure what you’re up for, my first Europe trip was to 9 countries, 14 cities over 3 weeks. I’d never do it again, but I wouldn’t have changed anything. Prepare to get sick though if you’re going to travel like that, especially if you’re going out every night like we were.

      Let me know if you have any other questions, you’re going to have an amazing time!

    • Casey  @ Friday, May 27, 2011 at 11:11 PM

      I agree with what Mike said, especially with less is more. In addition to what he said, one of your biggest expenses is going to be traveling from location to location, so to save money, instead of traveling in rapid succession, try staying for longer at each location. If you are set on seeing as many countries as possible, make sure you schedule in days to rest and do things like laundry.

      I would recommend against getting the eurorail pass. It is not that big of a savings, and you feel pressured to use it. I used one my first time to Europe and haven’t bought another since. It can give you a less fluid feeling when traveling, like you are obligated to use it, and if your plans change, you might end up not using it as much as you thought. You didn’t mention how you plan on getting around Ireland, but trains are a very poor way to see the country. The buses go everywhere, but they are expensive. The cheapest way to get around, and a socially acceptable way, is hitchhiking, although as a female I probably wouldn’t try it alone. Also, be careful with ryanair and easyjet, they have strict weight limits on bags.

      Switzerland is a great place to start if this is your first time traveling. It is nice to start in a country where english is commonly spoken and then transition to places like Sicily where its going to be a little more difficult to communicate. Interlaken, Switzerland is a great place to meet up with other backpackers and if you are into adventurous activities try canyoning. You might even meet other solo backpackers there or at other hostels you will end up traveling with. A great place to meet other travelers is in the kitchen, so find a local market and try and whip up some food in the common kitchen of your hostel and you are bound to get into a conversation. Other travelers are a great source of information.

      If you have any other questions, I’m here. Have fun.

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