Going from Dublin to Killarney is a popular route. To get there will take over a little an hour by plane, just over three hours by train, and four hours by car. If you have the time, a trip by car gives plenty of opportunities to take in some famous Irish sights and to make a whole day of the experience. Here is everything along the way from Dublin to Killarney that is worth stopping for.
The Museum of Style Icons
In Newbridge, Ireland, you'll find an eclectic collection of dresses and accessories worn by some of the greatest stars. You’ll see costumes and clothing worn by The Beatles, Tippy Hedren, Audrey Hepburn, Michael Jackson, Grace Kelly , Liza Minelli, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Princess Diana, and more. This museum is a must-see for nostalgic movie buffs.
The Historic Town of Kildare
As you drive along the M7 highway, make time to get off and have a look around the town of Kildare, a historic place with links to Ireland’s most important female saint, Brigid of Kildare, abbess, bishop, and maybe goddess. As you walk around the small town, you'll see many reminders of Brigid in the artworks and installations of her memory. However, her presence can be most closely observed in St. Brigid's Cathedral in the center. Don't forget to visit the tower next to the cathedral and Kildare Castle, an overgrown tower house that's somewhat hidden away off the main road.
Some people may debate the importance of the cathedral, and instead prefer the quaint and recently restored Saint Brigid’s Well just outside town, near the Irish National Stud. This certainly is worth a visit, with its modern statue, a fine landscaped garden, and living evidence of an almost pagan folk devotion to the “Mary of the Gaels.”
The Kildare Village Outlet Center
While in Kildare, you might want to take advantage of the Kildare Village, an outlet center of epic proportions right next to the motorway. If you hoped to do a lot of shopping in Ireland, you may want to stop here to check out some of the discounts and see if anything sparks your fancy.
Also along the way between Dublin and Killarney, the Irish National Stud is a government-owned working stud farm with a museum, landscaped woodlands, and a stunning Japanese garden. This is an excellent place for horse and nature lovers and an insight into the quirkiness of horse “science” and the exhibition on the astrological influences once heeded here is nothing but hilarious.
If you know you like horses and gardens, budget more time for yourself here. This attraction is worthy enough of its own day trip from either city.
The Rock of Cashel
The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most stunning historic places, and certainly worth a stop-over in any circumstances. This stony outcrop was once the traditional seat of the kings of Munster until Muirchetach Ua Briain donated it to the church in the year 1101. Today it's most famous for its collection of medieval art and architecture, with the majority of buildings dating from the 12th or 13th century.
The view of the Rock of Cashel is best seen from a distance, but if you choose to go inside for a visit, you might enjoy a visit to Cormac's Chapel. This Romanesque church was built between 1127 and 1134 and is currently completely enclosed in a rain-proof structure. There is also a cathedral, which was built later, and a central tower which connects to another residential castle.