When people think of Ireland they think of history, but what people don't know about Ireland is that it is insanely beautiful with its pretty towns. Kinsale, a seaside enclave known for its splendor and rich history, was once a medieval fishing harbor. Conde Nast recently named it one of Ireland's most attractive towns, and it constantly outperforms its peers. Kinsale is a lively town with plenty of charm. Today, this charming seaside community boasts a plethora of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. It is a great area to spend a few days away, only 30 minutes from Cork. Kinsale is a gastronome's paradise and one of the best spots to visit in Ireland. It's also known as the "Gourmet Center of Ireland" because of its fantastic restaurants, so come hungry.


Visitors will find ample entertaining things in Kinsale, whether they are history enthusiasts looking to explore the town's cannon fort, a foodie wanting to explore the area's best dinner restaurants, or an angler trying to catch a big one from the River Brandon. Let's make a list of things not to skip in Kinsale.

Things To Do In Kinsale

Learn History in Charles Fort

Kinsale's major historic site is Charles Fort. Built in the late seventeenth century, this star-shaped cannon fort has been meticulously restored.

Charles Fort fought in the Irish Civil War of 1922 and the Williamite War of 1689, two of Ireland's most important wars. The fort overlooks the Old Head of Kinsale and provides unrivaled views of the hamlet.

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Browse Through Exhibits In The Kinsale Museum

The initial investigation into the shipwreck of the Lusitania, a British steamship sunken by a German submarine near the Old Point of Kinsale in 1915, took place at Kinsale's beautiful Courthouse & Regional Gallery building, which was built around 1600. This one-of-a-kind structure is packed with fascinating displays. The museum presently houses a diverse collection of regional historical items, including a pair of boots previously held by Patrick Cotter O'Brien, the 'Kinsale Giant' and the world's tallest man in his lifetime. A mast from one of the Spanish Fleet ships that attempted to assist the Irish in defeating Britain at the Siege of Kinsale in 1601 is also on display.

Take Inspiration In The Streets

Kinsale, a mecca for artists, is the destination to go to if visitors are looking for ideas or simply want to admire a few unique pieces. Visitors will find a wide range of interesting items, from handicrafts to artworks to photos.

  • In 1906, the Boathouse Gallery opened as a Steam Bakery. The unique location evolved into the wonderful gallery it is now. Regional and national artists' works are on show here for visitors.
  • The Giles Norman Gallery has a large collection of the renowned photographer's magnificent works, most of which were influenced by his passion for Ireland's stunning landscapes.

Walk On The Kinsale Loop

The six-kilometer circuit around the Old Point of Kinsale bay, located just outside Kinsale, is among West Cork's most stunning walking trails. From a 17th-century watchtower to ancient Celtic remnants, it's famed for its breathtaking scenery and historical landmarks. This steep and narrow headland, which ends in an 18-hole golf club, can be hiked in about an hour and a half, making it an excellent way to burn some calories for a superb evening dinner in town.

Wander Around The Town Center With A Walking Tour

Road-tripping around Ireland is very popular, but this town would better be explored on foot. Kinsale's allure is largely due to its vibrant, small-town, coastal scenery and laid-back character. There's a lot to be gained from taking a leisurely stroll through its little alleys or along the coastline. Under an often-dull sky, vivid shades of red, yellow, green, purple, and blue burst, inviting visitors to meander around Kinsale's vibrant alleys. Their natural attractiveness contributes to its being one of Ireland's most beautiful little towns. The town's cobblestone lanes are lined with interesting stores and award-winning dining.

A walking trip with Kinsale Historic Town Tours is among the top activities visitors can do in Kinsale because no one understands a town like its residents. Dermot Ryan, the tour's leader, brings an Irish flair to each excursion that visitors won't find anywhere else.

Nothing Like A Cruising Tour

There's no good alternative to seeing a seaside town from the water. Gliding along the riverbank is much more gratifying if the town is surrounded by enormous medieval forts.

A Kinsale Harbor Cruise is a wonderful day out that visitors would never forget. Jerome, an enthusiastic angler, historical author, and boat owner, captains their vessel, the Spirit of Kinsale. Visitors may expect a treat and a wealth of historical information about the region.

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Something For Gourmet Lovers


Twisted, one of Kinsale's hottest eating destinations, combines Spanish tapas with Japanese-inspired tastes and French patisseries, from Jámon Iberico to Seaweed Cakes, Canelé de Bordeaux to Cod Croquettes. It is a must-eat place that has received praise from numerous culinary writers, not only for its gourmet but also for its superb wine list.

Nine Market Street

Nine Market Street is an excellent location to go for amazing home-baked bread, buns, and pastries for breakfast, and often receive praise from John and Sally McKenna. Visitors can expect a delectable brunch and great lunch items like melon and ricotta coleslaw and fish tacos.

KoKo Kinsale

Stop at this specialty chocolatier for a Choco-paradise, lover's where visitors can admire the exquisite handcrafted chocolates on exhibit and make a small purchase to take home. Stay a bit and savor the chocolates with a cup of tea or coffee. Their hot cocoa drinks are pure decadence and must be tasted.

Kinsale is a charming town oozing history and picturesque scenery. Visitors should gear up for an amazing getaway to Ireland.