15 Best Things To Do In Waterford, Ireland

Ireland’s oldest city is located in the heart of Waterford county where history took place over a couple of decades ago. Along with that comes a lot of interesting places to discover and a lot of enchanting stories to tell that surely a lot of tourists would like to know. Not only it is rich in history, but Waterford is also home to the best-curated gardens in Ireland. Without further ado, here are 15 things to do in Waterford, Ireland.

15 Best Things To Do In Waterford, Ireland

Waterford Castle things to do in waterford

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1. Kickstart your trip in the Viking Triangle

Viking Triangle Waterford

Fun Fact: Waterford was founded by the Vikings in the 10th century. Presently, the Vikings Triangle’s current location is where you can find Waterford’s best and top sights and attractions. This is the best place to kickstart your trip since you can easily spot Reginald’s Tower, Bishop’s Palace, and the Medieval Museum nearby. It is also a popular venue for the Viking festival where the locals celebrate its history through arts and craft, archery, demonstrations, and lots of Viking foods.

Contact Information

Address: The Viking Trust Company Ltd., Brick Lane, The Viking Triangle Waterford, Ireland

Phone: +353 87 183 5035

Email: molivera@waterfordvikingtriangle.ie

2. Step back to the days in the King of the Vikings

 

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This 30-minute virtual reality experience should make it to your list of things to do in Waterford after it opened for tourism purposes in 2017. Step back to the days when the Vikings used to settle down in Waterford. The storyline of the guided tour involves the ruins of the 13th-century Franciscan Friary where you can see authentic Viking houses.

Aside from the virtual reality experience, the guides also add to the experience by dressing up according to the timetable of the story. Also hailed as the “first Viking virtual reality adventure in the world”, the King of the Vikings experience is located in the Viking Triangle.

Opening Hours

Open daily from 10:30 am-5:00 pm

Contact Information

Address: 10 Bailey’s New St, Waterford, X91 A0PF, Ireland

Phone: +353 76 110 2676

Email: info@kingofthevikings.com

3. To Watch the making of fine crystals in the House of Waterford Crystal

House of Waterford Crystal

The House of Waterford Crystal gives you the chance to see how these fine crystals from Waterford are handcrafted. Both a factory and visitor center at the same time, the current House of Waterford Crystal is the rebirth of the original fine crystal factory which operated from 1783 until 2009.

The new leg only came to life in 2010 after the city initiated its comeback to the crystal-making industry. The visit includes a tour where you’ll be able to see how the Waterford Crystal is cut and polished using a century-old method. You can also buy some souvenirs at the end of the trip.

Opening Hours

Daily from 9 am-6pm

Admission Fee

Adult- €13.05

Family (2 Adults, 2 Children)- €38.00

Student- €11.50

Child (Under 18)- €6.50

Child (under 10)- Free

Senior-€12.50

Contact Information

Address: 28  House of Waterford The Mall Waterford, Ireland

Phone:+353 51 317000

Email:houseofwaterfordcrystal@fiskars.com

4. Visit Ireland’s one and only Medieval Museum

 

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Walk back to the Medieval times as you visit the Medieval Museum in Waterford. Be sure not to miss it as it is the only museum in Ireland which is entirely dedicated to showcasing the medieval times in the country. Here you can find two chambers– each with its own set of stories. The first one is the Chorister’s Hall from 1270 where the dean of Waterford Cathedral used to reside. It also has an underground way leading to the Mayor’s Wine Vault from the 15th century. The other chamber is the Cloth of Gold vestments where you can find century-old vestments. Some of these vestments are even silk woven from Florence and embroidered in Bruges. It is an enchanting experience seeing these pieces from the past.

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Opening Hours

September to May

Mon-Fri 9:15am – 5 pm

Saturday- 10 am-5pm

9.30am to 6 pm

Sunday

11 am to 5 pm

June-December

Mon-Fri -9 am -6 pm

Sat- 9:30 am-6pm

Sun- 11 am-6pm

Admission Fee

adult- €7

Senior/ Student €6

Under 14 free with paying adult

Group (10+)

Adult/Senior/Student €4

School groups €2 per student, leaders free

Contact Information

Address:  Cathedral Square, Waterford, Ireland

Phone: +353 (0)761 102501

Email: bookings@waterfordcouncil.ie

5. Watch a musical in Theatre Royal

 

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If you’re lucky, you might be able to score performance in Theatre Royal. This classic Victorian U-shaped theater from 1876 hosts various acts like operas, Irish folk acts, dance recitals, musicals, rock bands, jazz bands, and comedy acts. The theater can house 432 guests on three tiers. Now, it has an elegant chandelier as one of the auditorium’s highlights which were sponsored by the Waterford Crystal in 1951. The theater is being properly taken care of by the Waterford community. It underwent maintenance from 2007 to 2009 to provide a better experience. On a regular day, you can also grab some snacks in the Cafe Royal and watch the Bishop’s Palace Garden in sight.

Opening Hours

Mon- Fri-  10am-4pm (8pm on performance day)

Sat- 12pm-4pm (8pm on performance day)

Sunday and bank holidays- closed

Contact Information

Address: The Mall, Waterford, Co. Waterford, Ireland. 

Phone: +353 (0)51 874 402 

Email: boxoffice@theatreroyal.ie

6. Visit Reginald’s Tower, Ireland’s oldest civic building.

Reginald's Tower,Waterford

You will be amazed to know the history behind this oldest civic building in Ireland. Now acting as a museum, Reginald’s Tower used to function a lot of things for the Irish people. The origin of the tower can be traced back to the middle of the 11th century where it was originally a part of a Viking fort. Over the years, it functioned as a royal keep, and a military warehouse too. In present, it holds artifacts recovered from the time of the Vikings such as swords and coins.

Opening Hours

January – Early March

Wed-Sun- 9.30 am – 5pm

Late March – Mid December: Daily – 9.30 am-5:30 pm

Closed for Christmas from 24th December – 6th January inclusive.

Last admissions 30 mins before closing

The average length of visit – 1 hour

Admission Fee

Adult: €5.00

Sen/Group: €4.00

Child/Student: €3.00

Family: €13.00

Contact Information

Address: The Quay, Waterford, Ireland

Phone: +353 (0)761 102501

Email: reginaldstower@opw.ie

7. Feel at home in Mount Congreve

Mount Congreve Gardens

This photogenic Georgian house is more than meets the eye. The main highlight of this house is the walled garden situated in Mount Congreve’s 30-hectare grounds. This garden, a botanical garden, has gained international recognition after it was brought to life by Ambrose Congreve in the 20th century. The garden consists of 250 types of climbers, 600 camellias, 300-acre cultivars, and over 2000 rhododendron bushes which in total has over 3000 different types of trees and shrubs. You can also find an enchanting lily pond in the heart of this walled garden. Mount Congreve is located in Kilmeaden just outside Waterford. It is truly worth a visit.

Opening Hours

March-May

Thu-Sun & Bank Holidays from 11 am-5.30pm

June, July & August

7 days per week 11 am-5.30 pm

September-December

Thu to Sun & Bank Holidays from 11 am-5.30pm

Last entry to the gardens daily is 4.30pm

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Admission Fee

Adults: €7.00

Concession: €6.00

Family (2 adults & 2 children): €20.00

Under 12’s free

Contact Information

Address:  Mount Congreve, Mountcongreve, Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford, X91 PX05, Ireland

Phone: +353 (0)51 384 115

Email:  info@mountcongreve.com

8. Tour the Curraghmore House and Garden

Curraghmore House and Garden Waterford

The Curraghmore House and Garden is located in Portlaw, County Waterford and is the largest private dwelling in Ireland. This highly-rated tourist attraction is sitting on 2500 acres of private woodland with garden and grazing pastures. Originally, the house was built for the La Poer family and they even still occupy this stunning house since 1177. However, it has been opened for public viewing too. If you have time to spare, there is a house and garden tour that you can experience with your family or even solo.

Opening Hours

Wed to Sun 10:30 am – 4:30 pm

Guided Tours of House, Garden and Shellhouse) will be available until September 2019

Admission Fee

Gardens  – €6.00

Shell House & Garden  – €10.00

House Tours  – €12.00

House, Shell House & Gardens  – €18.00

Contact Information

Address: Curraghmore estate, Curraghmore, Portlaw, Co. Waterford, X91 CH28, Ireland

Phone: +353 86 821 1917

Email:  info@curraghmorehpuse.ie

9. Enjoy a home away from home in Waterford Castle Resort and Golf Course

Waterford Castle things to do in waterford

Waterford Castle Resort and Golf Course are perfect for guests of all types. Whether you’re on a vacation with your family or just by yourself, the resort has great amenities to make you feel at home. Located in the heart of Waterford, this 310-acre island offers the King’s Channel Club House for relaxation or the modern Island lodges for family-friendly accommodation. Guests can also enjoy bird watching or deer spotting from time to time. The Waterford Castle was also part of the Irish history before it was transformed into a hotel in the late 1980s. The classic castle vibes and some of the historical features of the place still remains though. If you’re up for some royalty treats, Munster Room Restaurant, its in-house restaurant, is also serving sumptuous meals that you should try.

Contact Information

Address: Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort The Island, Waterford, Ireland X91 Y722

Phone:+ 353 (0) 51 878 203

Email: info@waterfordcastleresort.com

10. Step into the memories of the past in Bishop’s Palace

Bishop's Palace Waterford

Waterford is indeed filled with lots of historical significance and the Bishop’s Palace is just one of the places you need to visit if you want to know more of Ireland’s history. Designed by Richard Castles, an Anglo-German architect, the Bishop’s Palace became one of the first Georgian monuments in Ireland and in Waterford. Now, the palace is developed into a museum for safekeeping historical pieces from the 1700s like the oldest piece of Waterford crystal and the last surviving mourning cross to commemorate the death of Bonaparte. You can also find information about the War of Independence and the First World War in this museum– both a significant chapter of Waterford’s past.

Opening Hours

September to May

Mon-Fri 9:15am – 5 pm

Saturday- 10 am-5pm

9.30am to 6 pm

Sunday

11 am to 5 pm

June-December

Mon-Fri -9 am -6 pm

Sat- 9:30 am-6pm

Sun- 11 am-6pm

Admission Fee

adult- €7

Senior/ Student €6

Under 14 free with paying adult

Group (10+)

Adult/Senior/Student €4

School groups €2 per student, leaders free

Contact Information

Address: Museum of Treasures, The Mall, Waterford, Ireland

Phone: +353 (0)761 102646

Email: bookings@waterfordcouncil.ie

11. Visit the Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral Waterford

Christ Church Cathedral is the third church in Waterford built for the Church of Ireland congregation. This cathedral has a Neoclassical architecture where you’ll find a stuccowork on the nave ceiling. There are also Corinthian columns and the last pillar remaining from its Gothic predecessor.

Opening Hours

Summer -Easter to October

Mon to Fri: 10: am to 5 pm

Sat: 10am – 4pm

Winter November to Easter

Mon to Sat: 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Bank Holidays: Closed

Contact Information

Address: 1 Cathedral Square, Waterford, Ireland

Phone: +353 51 858958

Email: contact.christchurch@gmail.com

12. Pay respect to the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity

Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity

The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity takes pride by being the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. The origin of this cathedral can be dated back to 1790s. The designer behind this historical church is a local architect known as John Roberts. He incorporated a Neoclassical style in the overall design of the cathedral where you can see Ionic pilasters, a balustrade with statues, and a decorative wall surface by the entrance depicting Christ flanked by angels. You can also find 10 chandeliers inside which were all donated by Waterford Crystal. Years later, the cathedral also faced a few renovations such as the alteration of the altar so that the presiding priest would be able to face the congregation during mass.

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Opening Hours

Weekday Masses

Mon – Fri -10:30am, 5:30pm

Saturday-10:30 am

Sunday -Cathedral mass

8 am, 12 noon and 5:30 pm

Contact Information

Address: Barronstrand St, Waterford, Ireland

Phone: 051 875166

Email: waterfordcathedral@hotmail.com

13. Get an authentic Japanese experience in Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens

Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens

Named after Lafcadio Hearn, a 19th-century author, and traveler, this Japanese Garden offers an authentic Japanese experience while in Waterford. The garden is specifically located 10 kilometers south of Tamore and is a captivating garden inspired by Hearn’s writings and journey to Japan. It features a Japanese Garden with bridges, bamboos, ponds, and streams. It also has a Victorian Garden, Greek, and as well as American Garden. Hearn became popular for his works about Japan and its folklore around the same time when Japan had just started welcoming foreigners to their country. This popularity caught the attention of Princess Takamado of Japan and visited this garden in 2017. In present, you can book guided tours in advance if you want to appreciate the garden and its deep symbolism.

Opening Hours

Daily -10 am-5pm

Admission Fee

Adult Entry: €5.00

Child U12 (only with Adult standard entry): €2.00

Guided Tour (45mins) – €7.50 p.p– (Guided Tours for minimum of 4 adults)

School Children Guided Tour/School Tours – €3.00 per child(all age groups)

Free to Residents of Tramore on Thursdays (must produce Residents Card)

Contact Information

Address: The Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, Pond Road, Tramore, County Waterford.

Phone: + 353 87 0960013

Email: info@lafcadiohearngardens.com

14. Go biking along the Waterford Greenway

Waterford Greenway

Hailed as one of the most scenic views in Ireland, biking along the Waterford Greenway should be in your list of things to do in Waterford. It is perfect for tourists who just want a chill activity while appreciating Waterford’s beautiful scenery. The route is 46-kilometers long and has been improved to become a cyclist-friendly and walker-friendly route. You can start your ride by the banks of the River Suir where you’ll come across three historic viaducts. The countryside view is definitely the highlight of this trip. If you don’t have a set of wheels, you can also rent e-bikes in the area. You can also find a lot of snack bars and ice cream shops as you go along the route.

15. Be with nature in Comeragh Mountains and Coumshingaun Lough

Comeragh Mountains Waterford

The Comeragh Mountains and Coumshingaun Lough are the perfect places to go if you want to add an extra adventure to your trip in Waterford. The Comeragh Mountains in the western part of Waterford has 12 peaks of 800 meters. It has a smooth terrain which is perfect for the non-professional hikers. You can find a lot of natural wonders in the trail such as the Coumshingaun Lough. It is a 365-meter deep armchair-shaped hollow with a small lake located on its foot. Normally, the lake is inky black but when hit by the sunlight the lake turns into a metallic shade of blue. It is known to be the most romantic sight in the Comeragh Mountains. Prepare to conquer a bowl of cliffs to reach the bottom of the hollow.


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