Killarney for Free – More Fun without Funds

Killarney House & Gardens

Getting away from home is great, but by the time you’ve paid for everything, it can be expensive. Not when you stay at Killarney’s Holiday Village! We’ve put together another list of activities you can enjoy in this beautiful corner of the world without putting your hand in your pocket.

Visit Killarney House

Just outside Killarney town, about 2km from Killarney’s Holiday Village, is a stately entrance, dubbed “the Golden Gates.” This marks the entrance to Killarney House & Gardens. The gardens have been opened since 2016, but now a section of the restored house is now open for guided tours too—and at no charge. The formal rooms display fine furniture, Waterford crystal, and art that tells the story of the house and its residents, from the Earls of Kenmare to the construction magnate John McShain and his wife, Mary.

Tackle Cardiac Hill

The hint is in the name: Cardiac Hill is a full workout on the side of Torc mountain, just over 6km from Killarney’s Holiday Village. Drive past the car park for Torc Waterfall and look for the parking area on the right hand side of the road. Then cross the road and walk along the path in the direction of Kenmare until you get a sign warning you about the strenuous nature of what you are about to embark upon. Cardiac Hill brings you up a steep set of stepped boulders with a rope banister that you will hang onto for dear life as you try to get your breath back. You will be rewarded at the end of the climb with stunning, panoramic (free!) views of Killarney.

Admire Stained Glass Masterpiece

Stained glass artwork in Killarney? Yes, tucked away inside the modest stone friary next to the train station in Killarney town is a set of genuine Harry Clarke windows. Born in 1889, Harry Clarke was a leading figure in the Irish Arts & Crafts Movement and his exquisite stained glass is treasured around the world. The Friary Harry Clarke is a substantial set of windows facing west over the choir area.

Pace Yourself at Parkrun

Free weekly timed runs? It has to be parkrun, the fun fitness phenomenon sweeping the world has found a home in Muckross, Killarney. Register online at, print off your bar code, and then make your way to the carpark at Muckross House for 9.30am any Saturday morning. There’s no competition; it’s just you against yourself. And when you’re finished, celebrate with tea and a scone in the café (it’s not free, but it’s only €3 for parkrun participants).

What free fun have you discovered in Killarney? We’d love to hear from you!