We spent 4 days and 3 nights around Killarney. There is a reason this is one of Ireland's tourist hot-spots – there is so much to do! We didn't even scratch the surface. Kid friendly doesn't even begin to describe all you can do in and around Killarney.
We had actually planned to spend our time in Killarney at a B&B/riding stable just outside of town. I had made my reservation online and had it confirmed through the booking agency. I was not, however, able to reach anyone at the B&B itself until the day before we were to arrive. Imagine my surprise when I was told that they were not open (due to circumstances beyond their control) and had not received notice of my reservation. That left us scrambling for a 3 day reservation the evening before arriving in Killarney. Handy tip: always get a confirmation via email from the B&B itself. Even better, call and speak to the owner to confirm your arrival before you leave on vacation.
Happily, I was able to get a reservation on very short notice at Noreen O'Mahoney's Mystical Rose Country Home. Mystical Rose is Frommer's recommended and Noreen has received Irish Welcome Certificates of Merit from Falite Ireland (by nomination submitted by happy travelers).
Noreen is the friendliest hostess I have ever encountered. She went above and beyond to make our daughters comfortable and help us with anything we needed during our stay. Noreen knows everyone in Killarney (it seems) and can steer you in the right direction for any need you may have.
Mystical Rose has six rooms, all ensuite and quite cozy, with televisions, hair dryers and a desk/dressing table. Noreen will provide a cot upon request. She did not have a high chair when we visited so be sure to remember your travel booster if you have a little one. (Although she may have a booster of her own soon as she was quite impressed with ours!)
Noreen serves an generous Irish breakfast in the mornings accompanied by toast and brown bread, coffee or tea and orange juice. She made wonderful pancakes (thin like a crepe) for the girls that were melt-in-your-mouth delish.
Noreen is full of wonderful stories about Killarney and can set you up on any tour you would like to take (like I said, she knows practically everyone) and give you great advice on what to see. She's also great with kids. Our first morning Brenna had finished her breakfast long before the rest of us. Noreen had just been telling Brenna about her horse and Brenna, loving horses, wanted to see it. So Noreen took her along to feed the horse. She went out of her way and made a little girl's day. (Brenna still talks about the horses.)
Mystical Rose Country Home is within walking distance of Killarney's tourist center- about a 15-20 minute walk- a nice stroll that will save you the hassle of finding a parking spot during busy tourist seasons.
Laundry to Do? If you checked out my packing post you know that we packed clothes for four days and planned to do laundry. Noreen had us go to Gleeson Laundrette on Brewery Lane. It's a tiny bit of a “street” (more like an alley, really) just across from where the jaunting carts line up on Kenmare Place and around the corner from Lir Cafe and Chocolates. If you don't know it's there you'll miss it…
I was able to drop my laundry off in the morning and pick it up in the evening. It was washed, dried and folded. I had a huge pullman full of clothes and I paid €24 to have it done. And we didn't lose any sightseeing time.
There is no lack of dining in Killarney. You can find anything and everything here. Just remember that dining out is expensive… And dining at one of the nicer restaurants is even more so. Especially in a town that thrives on tourism.
One of the first things Brenna saw as we entered Killarney was a McDonalds. Yep, McDonalds. There is also a Burger King. And, yes, we had Happy Meals one night. It made the girls happy which is always a big plus.
Another evening we ate at Allegro on Plunkett Street. It's a sit-down fast food type restaurant that serves fish and chips, pizza, burgers and fried chicken. A bit of something for everyone. It was inexpensive and, if you want, they can deliver to some areas.
One place you will definitely eat in Ireland is a pub. Killarney has a plethora of pubs. On College Street you will find Murphy's of Killarney. Consisting of Murphy's Bar, Lord Kenmare's Restaurant, Squire's Bar and Murphy's Accommodatins you have a few choices. We had a pleasant dinner in Squire's Bar our final night in Killarney. They had a very nice children's menu (the girls split a plate of pasta and also munched on our dinners of Shepherd's Pie, Irish Stew and Fish & Chips). It's a great place to relax, enjoy the atmosphere and a Bulmer's.