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At the heart and soul of medieval Ireland, Kilkenny is famed for its electric atmosphere played out in its maze of narrow Norman alleyways. Twisting and turning around abbeys, cathedrals and crumbling city walls, there’s even an early 13th century castle dropped in the middle of it all. It’s surrounded by beautiful gardens that attract artistic locals, giddy kids and chilled-out tourists on sunny days. And with a bustling crafts scene, arts and comedy festivals, GAA hurling specialists (shout “Go the Cats” and the locals will love you), and wonderful old pubs, it’s pretty much got the whole city break thing covered.