September 22, 2023
Business News

Kilkenny Castle named Ireland’s top free tourist attraction for 2018

KILKENNY Castle has been named Ireland’s top free visitor attraction.

The latest accolade for our stunning medieval marvel is another significant boost to Kilkenny’s tourism sector.

It came out tops again in Fáilte Ireland’s latest annual survey of the Ireland most popular visitor attractions for 2018 published today.

A total of 799,032 visitors descended on the Kilkenny Castle Parklands last year.

It beat off competition from the National Gallery of Ireland and Glendalough as the country’s most popular free tourism attraction.

The Guinness Storehouse topped the list of the country’s fee-charging tourist attraction for 2018. It was followed by the Cliffs of Moher and Dublin Zoo.

Ireland’s top 10 ‘free to enter’ attractions for 2018 were:

1.      Kilkenny Castle Parklands – 799,032 (visitors)
2.     The National Gallery of Ireland – 775,491
3.     Glendalough Site – 732,824#
4.     National Botanic Gardens – 655,609
5.     Castletown House Parklands – 642,278
6.     Irish Museum of Modern Art – 505,891
7.     Doneraile Park – 490,000
8.     National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, 466,038
9.     Farmleigh House Estate – 389,932
10.  Battle of the Boyne/Oldbridge Est – 355,608

Ireland’s top 10 fee-charging attractions during 2018 were:

1.     Guinness Storehouse – 1,736,156 (visitors)
2.    Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience – 1,580,000
3.    Dublin Zoo – 1,230,145
4.    Book of Kells – 1,057,642
5.    Tayto Park – 700,000
6.    St Patrick’s Cathedral – 627,199
7.    Kylemore Abbey & Garden – 561,657
8.    Muckrose House – 550,649
9.    Powerscourt House Gardens and Waterfall – 472,523
10.  Blarney Castle & Gardens – 460,000

Speaking about the results of the Visitor Attractions Survey, Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Product Development Orla Carroll said: “While 2018 was a positive year for most of Ireland’s top attractions, there are many challenges ahead for the tourism industry. As the National Tourism Development Authority, Fáilte Ireland’s role is to support the development of a ‘world-class’ tourism sector. Our work with attractions in helping them grow their visitor numbers through training and funding is a significant part of what we do across the country. Over the course of 2018 alone, Fáilte Ireland approved grant funding of more than €31 million for 46 projects.”



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