Skip to Content

16 BEST Things to Do in Waterford Ireland

Located 90 minutes south of both Dublin & Cork, Waterford is one of the oldest cities in Ireland and worth a visit. Waterford has an impressive history that dates back to 914 A.D. when it was founded by the Vikings. If you are looking for things to do in Waterford, we have some great ideas.

Port of Waterford Ireland

Apart from a rich Viking history, Waterford is also known for its beautiful cut lead glass, or crystal.

A visit will allow you the chance to experience some of the most popular things to do in Waterford.

Best Things to do in Waterford Ireland

Things to Do in Waterford Ireland

There are so many awesome places to explore and things to do in Waterford. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Check out the Fountain Clock

The Clock Tower is an iconic structure overlooking the River Suir along Meagher’s Quay.

The tower was made in Gothic Revival style in 1863 and was originally known as ‘The Fountain Clock’ as it had troughs for horses to drink from.

2. Visit Reginald’s Tower

This iconic Norman tower is the oldest civic building in Ireland, dating back to at least 1088.

It was built as a fortification during one of Waterford’s many sieges and has been standing proud since then.

The tower now houses an impressive museum, with exhibits that cover everything from Viking settlements to the present day along with artifacts uncovered during archaeological digs.

You also get great views of the city and of the river depending on which side of the tower you look out.

Waterford Friary

3. See What’s Left of the Franciscan Friary

The Franciscan Friary is a medieval monastic ruin located in Waterford city center.

The Friary was founded by the fourth Earl of Desmond in 1240 and provides visitors with an insight into life at a Medieval friary.

It is also home to Ireland’s oldest almshouse, which dates back to 1448 and still gives sanctuary to the needy.

Waterford King of the Vikings

4. King of the Vikings

This virtual reality experience allows guests to step into an authentic reconstructed Viking house while learning about the Vikings who once lived in Waterford.

The experience places you right in the time of Vikings and makes you feel like you are actually one of them.

Dragon Slayer

5. See The Dragon Slayer

This Viking sword sculpture is the world’s largest wooden sword sculpture created by John Hayes and James Doyle in 2017.

6. Check out the Irish Wake Museum

The Irish Wake Museum provides visitors with an insight into the traditional wake and funerary customs that were once practiced in Ireland.

Visitors can learn about funeral traditions, burial practices, mourning customs and more.

The museum also contains various artifacts from the 18th century including death masks, grave markers and other memorabilia

Waterford Medieval Museum

7. Enjoy the Waterford Treasures Medieval Museum

Waterford was one of the most important cities in medieval Ireland, and its Medieval Museum is proof of that.

Medieval Museum Entrance

The tour begins in the 13th-century Choristers Hall and 15th Century Wine vault, where you will find the Great Charter Roll viewed by HM King Charles III.

Medieval Museum Exhibits

This museum has in-depth interactive exhibitions that show the way the city evolved.

You will also find many different artifacts from the Middle Ages.

Probably the most impressive of which, is the only set of Medieval vestments to survive in Northern Europe. Made from Italian silk woven in Florence, the panels were embroidered in Bruges.

Vikings in Waterford Ireland

8. Viking Triangle Sculpture

This commemorative sculpture depicts the marriage of Strongbow & Aoife. They were married here in 1170.

9. See a Show at Theater Royal

The Theater Royal dates back to 1785 and is Ireland’s oldest continually operating theatre. It has been restored to its original Victorian design and now hosts plays, live music, comedy shows and variety acts. If you are in town long enough,

Waterford House of Crystal

10. Experience How Waterford Crystal is Made

Waterford is known all over the world for its exquisite crystal and glassware, so it’s no surprise that one of its most popular attractions is the House of Waterford Crystal.

Making Waterford Crystal

Here you can take a guided tour through the factory and learn about all aspects of traditional crystal-making.

Try your hand at glass-blowing and take home a piece of Waterford’s rich heritage as a souvenir.

Bishop's Palace

11. Take a Tour of Bishop’s Palace

The Bishop’s Palace is one of Waterford’s oldest and grandest buildings, dating back to 1741.

It was built by Ireland’s most famous architect Richard Cassels for Francis Marsh, the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore.

A guided tour of this 18th-century building will take you through stunning rooms such as the ornate drawing room, library and chapel.

12. Enjoy the Street Art

Waterford is home to some beautiful artwork, and this can be seen all around the city.

Take a stroll through the medieval streets and enjoy the stunning street art which includes vibrant murals and sculptures.

13. Waterford City Walls

The Vikings established Waterford as a walled city in the 9th century.

The walls of Waterford are some of the best preserved in Europe and are a National Monument under the custody of Waterford City Council.

Horological Museum in Waterford

14. National Horological Museum

The National Horological Museum is the only museum of its kind in Ireland, and it’s home to an incredible collection of watches, clocks, and other timepieces.

You can learn all about the history of timekeeping in this unique museum, as well as admire some of the world’s most beautiful creations.

15. Christ Church Cathedral

The first church on the site was built in the 11th century. In 1170 it was the venue for the marriage of Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (“Strongbow”), and Aoife Ní Diarmait.

It was decided to build a new cathedral in the 1800s and during the demolition of the old building, a series of medieval vestments were discovered.

These can be seen at the Museum of Treasures in Waterford and the National Museum in Dublin.

Christ Church Waterford

The current building is neo-classical in design and worth exploring just because of its history.

Jerpoint Kilkenny

16. Make a Day Trip from Waterford to See Jerpoint Abbey

Only a 30-minute drive from Waterford, Jerpoint Abbey is a magnificent 13th-century Cistercian monastery located in County Kilkenny, Ireland.

Jerpoint Abbey Tour

Visitors can explore the abbey’s grounds with their own self-guided tour or join one of the guided tours offered on-site.

Jerpoint Abbey

The tour will take you around the ruins, featuring stone carvings, windows, and doorways that have survived through time.

You will learn about the history of Jerpoint Abbey including its foundation by King John in 1180, and its destruction during the Reformation in 1540.

Jerpoint Abbey Mensa Tomb

The abbey also houses a fascinating collection of artifacts from the medieval period, including religious objects and tools used for everyday life.

Waterford Ireland

Waterford is a beautiful city filled with history and heritage. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something to do, you can be sure that Waterford has something special to offer.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

DISCLAIMER: Day Trip Tips is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and its affiliated international sites. You'll also notice that we do link out to recommended hotels/tours/products/services. If you purchase anything through these links, we often receive a commission. This fee supports our site and allows us to bring your the best day trip tips! Read our Privacy Policy