11 Best Things To Do In Kinsale, Ireland

Kinsale is a town in County Cork, Ireland. Originally a medieval fishing port, historic Kinsale is one of the most picturesque and historic towns on the south-west coast of Ireland. Kinsale has a beautiful set of long waterfront, yacht-filled harbor, narrow winding streets and brightly painted galleries, shops and houses. It is also a leading Irish tourist attraction and the southerly starting point of the Wild Atlantic Way trail. So if you find yourself with this historic charming town, here are the best things to do in Kinsale, Ireland.

Best Things To Do in Kinsale Ireland

1. Charles Fort


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Charles Fort is a star fort located on the water’s edge, at the southern end of the village of Summer Cove, on Kinsale harbour.

Charles Fort is a classic example of a late 17th-century star-shaped fort and it has been associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history. The most significant of these are the Williamite War 1689-91 and the Civil War 1922-23. Charles Fort was declared a National Monument in 1973 and one of the most popular Kinsale attractions.

Address: Summer Cove, Kinsale, Co. Cork P17 AY18

Hours: Mid March – October 10.00 – 18.00 | November – Mid March Daily 10.00 – 17.00

Entrance Fee: Adult: €5.00 | Group/Senior: €4.00 | Child/Student: €3.00 | Family: €13.00

Phone: +353 (21) 477 2263

Email: charlesfort@opw.ie 

2. James Fort

James Fort is an early 17th-century pentagonal fort located on Castlepark peninsula in Kinsale harbor. Situated downstream from Kinsale on the River Bandon and located opposite of Charles Fort, it has a commanding position guarding the small harbor of Kinsale.

The fort remains the most interesting example of 17th-century military architecture and it offers wonderful views of the town, river and Charles Fort.

3. Kinsale Museum

The Kinsale museum houses a large number of local artifacts relating to Kinsale’s maritime, military and secular history from the Battle of Kinsale to the Kinsale Giant.

Address: Market Square Kinsale Cork, Republic of Ireland

Hours: Please ring in advance to check opening times.

Entrance Fee:

Phone: +353 21 4772234

Email: kinsaletic@eircom.net

4. Old Head


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The Old Head of Kinsale is a headland and a remarkably dramatic piece of Ireland protruding more than 3km into the Atlantic Ocean. An early lighthouse was established here in the 17th century by Robert Reading. The area is the nearest point of land to where the RMS Lusitania was sunk in 1915.

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It is also famous for its world-class, 18-hole golf course. Nine holes play along with the tops of the cliffs, but all 18 holes boast stunning views of the ocean.

5. The Boat House Gallery

This is a quality gallery with a variety of styles of work and diverse arts. Elizabeth Timmons first opened the gallery back in 2010. It has been a huge success with the locals and tourists that it becomes one of the most popular galleries in Kinsale.

Address: 68 Main St, Sleveen, Kinsale, Co. Cork

Hours: 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Entrance Fee: none

Phone:  +353 21 470 9981

Email:  info@theboathousegallery.ie

6. Town center

kinsale ireland

Kinsale is a charming town with colorful shopfronts, art galleries and restaurants. Walking along its cobbled street will make you reminisce of the old days. Stroll around and then sit in one of the benches in the marina and watch the world go by. This charming town is one of the must do’s in Ireland.

7. St. Multose House

St. Multose House is the oldest building and one of the most important landmark buildings of Kinsale. Built in 1190, but with substantial alterations and renovations over the years, this remains an interesting example of Norman architecture. St. Multose House has also remained in continuous use up to the present day.

Some interesting features that can be found in St. Multose House include an inscription in Norman French, the Easter sepulcher, the Baptismal font, and the carved memorials.

Address: Knocknabohilly, Kinsale, Co. Cork

Hours: N/A

Entrance Fee: free

Phone:  +353 21 4772220

Email: N/A

8. Ghost tour

This is not just any ghost tour; it’s more theatrical, fun, humorous, interesting and comedy than horror. Two actors weave funny stunts and stories into a loose History of the town, offering an entertaining 1.25 hours of fun on Kinsale’s after-dark streets. If you are looking for stuff to do with kids, this is one of the best things to do in Kinsale for families.

Address: The Tap Tavern, Kinsale, Co. Cork, P17 D981

Hours: it starts at 9pm – 10:15pm

Entrance Fee: adults €10, children €5

Phone:  087 948 0910

Email: marytap@iol.ie

9. Eat seafood in Fishy Fishy


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Kinsale is well-known for its seafood restaurants. And there are lots of seafood restaurants in Kinsale that you should really try. As for our favorite, the award-winning Fishy Fishy restaurant is a must for all seafood lovers and foodies alike.

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Address: Fishy Fishy Restaurant, Crowleys Quay, Kinsale, Co. Cork

Hours:  Mon – Wed: 1pm – 8pm (last booking 8pm), Thurs – Sat: 12pm – 9pm (last booking 9pm), Sun: 12pm – 8pm (last booking 8pm)

Phone:  +353 21 4700415

Email: N/A

10. Join a harbour cruise

Kinsale harbour cruises are ideal for families who wish to enjoy the scenic beauty on Kinsale Harbour out on the water. It will give you a very different view of Kinsale and its beautiful natural harbour. Kinsale harbour cruises also offer culture, education, and enjoyment for families.

Address: Kinsale Quay | (between Actons Hotel and Trident Hotel), Kinsale, Ireland

Hours: N/A

Entrance Fee: Adult : €13.00 | Child (under 14): €5.00 | Children(under 2) are free | Family : €32.00 (2 Adults & 2 Children)

Phone:  +353 86 250 5456

Email:  harbourcruises@gmail.com

11. Try a local brewery

Sample local beers, rum or gin in Blacks Brewery. They have amazing selections of quality beers and spirits and their tours are entertaining.

Address: Farm Lane | KnocknabohillyKinsale P17 XW70, Ireland

Hours: 09:00am – 09:15pm

Entrance Fee: €12

Phone: +353 87 918 0433

Email: tours@blacksbrewery.com 

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