Home to this incredible Kilkenny Castle and numerous other historic landmarks, Kilkenny in the southeast of Ireland has been named one of the most charming medieval cities in Europe.
Many know Ireland for its historic appeal, with ancient sites and medieval castles dotted across the country’s landscape. Now, Kilkenny has taken the crown as one of the most charming medieval towns and cities in Europe.
Ranking alongside the likes of Bern in Switzerland, Bologna in Italy, and Colmar in France, Travel Mag recognised the Leinster city for its medieval charm.
Not only is Kilkenny home to one of the most recognisable medieval landmarks in Ireland. Rather, the city has numerous preserved churches, monasteries, and more historical attractions to discover.
Plenty of history to uncover – a 12th-century castle and much more
No doubt the spectacular Kilkenny Castle, built in 1195 by Norman occupiers, is on the bucket list of any history buff planning a visit to Ireland.
Among the most recognisable landmarks across the whole of Ireland, Kilkenny Castle welcomes upwards of 750,000 visitors every year.
According to statistics from 2018, the castle was the most visited national monument or heritage site operated by the Office of Public Works (OPW) that year.
Kilkenny Castle is just the jewel in the crown of this fantastic city. This is why the publication has named it among the most charming medieval towns and cities in Europe.
Kilkenny named among the most charming medieval towns and cities in Europe – wander along the Medieval Mile
Aside from Kilkenny Castle, visitors to the city can soak up the history on every street corner. By taking a walk along the Medieval Mile, visitors will encounter the impressive 13th-century St. Canice’s Cathedral.
Along the way, you will also pass the Anglo-Norman Castle and Rothe House and Gardens. You will also see the Medieval Mile Museum and Butler House.
Perfect for curious minds of all ages, you can learn something new from the 800-year history of this area.
A worthy winner – what Travel Mag had to say
Crowning Kilkenny among the most charming medieval towns and cities in Europe, Travel Mag explained, “After they were done conquering the British Isles, the Normans took on Ireland. It was under their oversight that Kilkenny became an important merchant hub.
“While a lot of the character of those days has been replaced by more modern buildings, there’s enough charm in the main sights to go around, starting with the 12th-century Kilkenny Castle and its gardens overlooking the River Nore.
“A discovery trail through Kilkenny links the castle to the other main medieval sights, such as St Canice’s Cathedral, a section of which dates back to the 9th-century.”
Other fantastic cities in Europe – history all across the continent
Kilkenny joined 19 other European locations named among the most charming medieval towns and cities in Europe.
Germany boasted two entries on the list, with Lübeck and Bamberg mentioned. Similarly, they named France twice, with Colmar and Carcassonne making the list.
Travel Mag mentioned Spain an impressive three times, boasting about the charm of Granada, Toledo, and Ávila. Meanwhile, Italy boasts two mentions, including Bologna and Siena.
Other cities mentioned include Bern in Switzerland, Bruges in Belgium, Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, and Dubrovnik in Croatia.
Closing out the top 20, Travel Mag named Guimarães in Portugal, Rhodes in Greece, and Sibiu in Romania among Europe’s most charming medieval towns and cities. They also mentioned Tallinn in Estonia, Toruń in Poland, and York in England.