things to do in Waterford Ireland

The 25 Best Things To Do In Waterford Ireland – Your Guide to Best Attractions in Waterford

Last Updated: August 7, 2023By

Overflowing with rollicking festivals, fascinating history, and Ireland’s finest crystal, Waterford is a city ripe for exploring and we’ve curated the best things to do in Waterford Ireland. Get lost wandering the narrow lanes and lively squares of the Viking Triangle, soaking in over 1,000 years of architecture and heritage.

Watch master artisans shape glowing molten crystal into exquisite works of art at the House of Waterford Crystal. Enjoy street theatre, food stalls and family fun at Ireland’s oldest arts festival, Winterval, in November and December.

With its monumental Norman castle, great restaurants and sparkling waterfront vistas, Waterford engages visitors with its vibrant mix of past and present. Come experience the magic and tradition of Ireland’s ancient “City of Kings

Key Takeaways

  • Waterford’s Viking Triangle is a must-visit for history enthusiasts, offering attractions like Reginald’s Tower, the Medieval Museum, and the Waterford Treasures Museum.
  • The Waterford Crystal Factory is an iconic attraction where visitors can witness the craftsmanship and elegance of Waterford Crystal, while learning about its rich history dating back to 1783.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the scenic Waterford Greenway, a 46-kilometer trail that offers breathtaking views of the Irish countryside and passes historic landmarks.
  • Waterford also offers a vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene, with options like the Theatre Royal for performances, traditional Irish pubs for authentic cuisine and atmosphere, and T&H Doolan’s, the city’s oldest pub, for a taste of Waterford’s heritage.

The Best 25 Things To Do In Waterford Ireland

1. Exploring the Viking Triangle

You’ll love exploring the Viking Triangle, where you can discover Waterford’s rich history and visit attractions like Reginald’s Tower and the Medieval Museum.

Located in the heart of Waterford, the Viking Triangle is a vibrant area filled with historical significance. As you wander through the streets, you’ll be transported back in time to when Vikings first settled in this area over a thousand years ago.

Reginald’s Tower stands tall as one of Ireland’s oldest civic buildings and offers panoramic views of the city. Inside, you can explore fascinating exhibitions that showcase Waterford’s Viking past.

The Medieval Museum is another must-see attraction, housing an impressive collection of medieval artifacts and interactive displays.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about Waterford’s heritage, the Viking Triangle is sure to captivate your imagination.

2. Visiting Waterford Crystal Factory


Waterford Crystal Factory

Waterford Crystal Factory


When visiting Waterford, don’t miss the chance to tour the world-renowned Waterford Crystal Factory. Located in the heart of Waterford City, this iconic factory is a must-visit for anyone interested in witnessing the craftsmanship and beauty of Waterford Crystal.

The House of Waterford Crystal offers an immersive factory tour where you can see skilled artisans shaping molten glass into intricate crystal pieces. Witnessing the precision and artistry that goes into each creation is truly awe-inspiring.

As you explore the factory, you’ll learn about its rich history dating back to 1783 and discover why Waterford Crystal has become synonymous with quality and elegance. Whether you’re a history buff or simply appreciate exquisite craftsmanship, a visit to the Waterford Crystal Factory is one of the best things to do in Waterford city.

3. Strolling through the People’s Park



Take a leisurely stroll through the People’s Park and admire the beautiful surroundings. This charming park is located in Waterford, Ireland and offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

As you walk through the park, you will be surrounded by lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and towering trees. The park also features a picturesque pond where ducks gracefully swim, adding to the tranquil atmosphere.

Here are five things you can do to fully enjoy your visit to the People’s Park:

  • Take a picnic and enjoy a meal on one of the many grassy areas.
  • Visit the nearby Waterford Treasures museum to learn about the rich history of Waterford.
  • Explore the Viking Museum for an immersive experience into Ireland’s Viking past.
  • Relax on one of the park benches and soak up some sun while reading a book or people-watching.
  • Capture stunning photos of your surroundings to create lasting memories of your time in Waterford.

So take your time, breathe in the fresh air, and let yourself unwind as you explore this delightful oasis in Waterford.

4. Discovering the Waterford Treasures Museum

To fully immerse yourself in the rich history of Waterford, head over to the Waterford Treasures Museum and discover a fascinating collection of artifacts.

This medieval museum is one of the top attractions in Waterford, and it’s easy to see why. As you step inside, you’ll be transported back in time to ancient Ireland.

The museum houses an impressive collection of treasures that tell the story of Waterford’s past. From intricate Celtic jewelry to beautifully crafted Viking swords, each artifact provides a glimpse into the city’s vibrant history.

Explore the interactive exhibits and learn about the significance of each piece. You’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for Waterford and its captivating past.

So don’t miss out on discovering this gem of a museum during your visit to Waterford!

5. Taking a tour of Reginald’s Tower

While exploring Waterford’s rich history, be sure to include a tour of Reginald’s Tower. Located in the heart of Waterford, Ireland, this iconic landmark is one of the top 25 things to do in the area.

Steeped in history and dating back to the 12th century, Reginald’s Tower offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the past. As you take a tour through this impressive fortress, you’ll be captivated by its medieval architecture and intriguing exhibits. Learn about Waterford’s Viking roots and the city’s importance as a trading hub during ancient times.

Ascend to the top of the tower for breathtaking views of Waterford city and its picturesque surroundings. Don’t miss out on this immersive experience that will transport you back in time while showcasing the beauty of Waterford, Ireland.

6. Marveling at the Bishop’s Palace

When visiting Waterford, don’t forget to marvel at the Bishop’s Palace, an impressive historic building. Located in Ireland’s oldest city, this magnificent structure is one of the top attractions in Waterford.

Step inside and be transported back in time as you explore its grand rooms and stunning displays. Admire the exquisite Georgian architecture and intricate period furnishings that highlight the opulence of past eras.

Learn about Waterford’s rich history through interactive exhibits that showcase its cultural heritage and artistic achievements. Discover fascinating artifacts, including rare silverware and delicate porcelain pieces.

Stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens that surround the palace, offering a peaceful retreat from the bustling city streets. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a unique experience, a visit to the Bishop’s Palace is an absolute must-do when exploring Waterford.

7. Enjoying a performance at Theatre Royal

Don’t miss out on enjoying a performance at Theatre Royal. Located in the heart of the city, this historic theater has been entertaining locals and visitors since 1785. The beautifully restored building boasts a scenic backdrop that adds to the overall charm of your experience.

With its diverse program of plays, musicals, and concerts, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Theatre Royal. After an evening filled with entertainment, take a stroll along the Waterford Greenway or visit Mount Congreve, both popular tourist attractions in the area.

Whether you’re a theater lover or simply looking for a memorable night out, Theatre Royal should definitely be on your itinerary when exploring Waterford’s cultural offerings.

8. Experiencing local cuisine at a traditional Irish pub

Indulge in the local cuisine at a traditional Irish pub and savor the flavors of authentic dishes. When you visit Waterford, Ireland, be sure to experience the culinary delights that await you at these charming establishments.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you enjoy a pint of Guinness and feast on hearty Irish classics like beef and Guinness stew or fish and chips. The traditional Irish pubs not only offer delicious food but also provide a glimpse into Waterford’s rich heritage.

With its Viking heritage and historic sites such as the Waterford Heritage Centre, this city offers a unique blend of history and gastronomy. Don’t miss out on a chance to explore the top tourist attractions while indulging in mouthwatering meals at a cozy traditional Irish pub.

9. Shopping at the Apple Market

Take some time to explore the Apple Market, where you can enjoy shopping for a variety of unique products. Located in Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city with a rich Viking history, this market is a must-visit destination.

As you stroll through the vibrant stalls, you’ll find an array of goods ranging from fresh produce to local crafts and handmade jewelry. The market is also conveniently situated near the railway station and tramore, making it easily accessible for both locals and tourists alike.

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as you interact with friendly vendors who are passionate about their products. Whether you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind souvenir or simply want to indulge in some retail therapy, the Apple Market offers something for everyone.

Don’t miss out on this unforgettable shopping experience during your visit to Waterford!

10. Hiking along the Waterford Greenway

Waterford Greenway, Waterford, Ireland

Waterford Greenway, Waterford, Ireland


Explore the beautiful Waterford Greenway by hiking along its scenic trail. This 46-kilometer route stretches from Waterford City to Dungarvan, offering breathtaking views of the Irish countryside.

As you walk, take in the historic landmarks that dot the path, such as the King of the Vikings, an interactive experience that brings Waterford’s Viking history to life. Along the way, you can also visit attractions like Mount Congreve Gardens, home to stunning gardens and rare plants, or Lismore Castle, a majestic fortress with a rich history.

The Copper Coast is another highlight of this hike, where you can admire dramatic cliffs and rugged seascapes. Don’t forget to stop by the House of Waterford Crystal to witness master craftsmen at work and learn about the art of glassmaking.

Lace up your hiking boots and get ready for an unforgettable adventure on the Waterford Greenway!

11. Learning history at the Medieval Museum

Visitors can delve into history at the Medieval Museum in Waterford, where they can learn about the city’s medieval past. The museum offers an immersive experience that takes you back in time.

Here are three things you can enjoy at the Medieval Museum:

  • Explore the stunning walled garden: Step into a picturesque oasis and wander through beautifully manicured gardens, filled with vibrant flowers and ancient stone walls. It’s a serene escape from the bustling city.
  • Discover Christ Church Cathedral: Admire the magnificent architecture of this historic cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century. Marvel at its intricate stained glass windows and ornate decorations.
  • Take a virtual reality tour: Experience the River Suir like never before with a virtual reality exhibit that allows you to explore its rich history and stunning landscapes. Immerse yourself in an interactive journey along this iconic river.

At the Medieval Museum, history comes alive through captivating exhibits and engaging experiences. Don’t miss this opportunity to uncover Waterford’s fascinating medieval heritage.

12. Touring the Mount Congreve Gardens

The Mount Congreve Gardens offer you a tranquil escape with their breathtaking beauty and serene atmosphere. Located just a short distance from Waterford, these gardens are a must-visit for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

With over 70 acres of stunning landscapes, you can wander through woodland walks, vibrant flower beds, and picturesque lakeside views. The gardens feature an impressive collection of rare and exotic plants from around the world, carefully curated by the Congreve family over generations.

Take a guided tour to learn about the history and design of these magnificent gardens or simply explore at your own pace.

Afterward, you can visit nearby attractions such as Dunmore East, Waterford Suir Valley Railway, Reginald’s Tower, or Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens to make the most of your trip to Waterford.

13. Walking along the Quayside

Strolling along the Quayside offers a scenic and enjoyable way to experience the charm of Waterford, Ireland. As you walk along the waterfront, you’ll be captivated by the stunning views of the River Suir and the historic architecture that lines its banks.

The Quayside is bustling with activity, from locals going about their daily routines to visitors soaking in the vibrant atmosphere. Take your time to explore the various shops, cafes, and restaurants that dot this lively area. Immerse yourself in the rich history of Waterford as you pass by landmarks such as Reginald’s Tower and admire the graceful swans gliding on the water.

Whether you’re an avid photographer or simply looking for a leisurely stroll, walking along the Quayside is sure to be a highlight of your visit to Waterford.

14. Visiting the iconic Clock Tower

Located along the Quayside, you can’t miss the iconic Clock Tower when exploring Waterford. It is one of the best things to do in this charming city and a must-visit attraction for tourists.

The Clock Tower, also known as the ‘oldest civic building’ in Waterford, stands tall and proud, showcasing its rich history. As you approach the tower, you’ll be captivated by its striking architecture and intricate details.

Climb up to the top for breathtaking panoramic views of Waterford’s skyline and beyond. Inside, you’ll find a fascinating exhibition that tells the story of the tower’s construction and its significance to the city.

Don’t forget your camera as this is one of the best places to capture stunning photographs that will leave lasting memories of your visit to Waterford.

15. Enjoying the views from Christ Church Cathedral

Once you enter Christ Church Cathedral, you’ll be amazed by the breathtaking views that await you. Situated in Waterford, this historic cathedral offers a unique perspective of the city’s rich history.

As you step inside, your eyes will be drawn to the stunning stained glass windows that depict scenes from Ireland’s past, including the arrival of the Vikings and the construction of the railway line and viaduct.

The panoramic view from the top of the tower allows you to take in the charming streets below, dotted with quaint shops and bustling cafes. It’s no wonder this spot is one of Waterford’s most popular tourist attractions – it captures both the beauty of nature and the vibrant spirit of this ancient city.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for incredible vistas, Christ Church Cathedral is not to be missed.

16. Exploring the Copper Coast Geopark

When you step into the Copper Coast Geopark, you’ll be amazed by the stunning coastline and unique geological features.

This geopark is one of the top tourist attractions in Waterford, offering visitors a chance to explore nature’s wonders.

As you walk along the Copper Coast, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking cliffs, hidden coves, and golden sandy beaches.

The geopark also provides an opportunity to learn about the area’s rich history.

Discover a Viking house replica where you can immerse yourself in the past or embark on a thrilling Viking virtual reality adventure.

Additionally, don’t miss out on seeing the Cloth of Gold Vestments, which are beautifully preserved medieval robes.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or history lover, exploring the Copper Coast Geopark is an experience not to be missed in Waterford, Ireland.

17. Visiting Waterford’s oldest pub, the T&H Doolan’s

Now that you’ve explored the stunning Copper Coast Geopark, it’s time to dive into Waterford’s vibrant history by visiting its oldest pub – the T&H Doolan’s.

Step inside and be transported back in time as you soak up the authentic atmosphere of this legendary establishment. Established in 1770, this historic gem has witnessed centuries of revelry and camaraderie. As you sip on a pint of locally brewed beer, imagine the lively conversations that have taken place within these walls over the years.

Feel the presence of Waterford’s Viking past permeating through the wooden beams and stone walls.

Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Ireland’s oldest city while enjoying live traditional music.

Marvel at the collection of Waterford Crystal adorning every corner, a testament to Waterford’s world-renowned craftsmanship.

At T&H Doolan’s, history comes alive, making it an essential stop on your Waterford adventure.

18. Going bird watching at the Tramore Backstrand

After immersing yourself in Waterford’s vibrant history at T&H Doolan’s, head to Tramore Backstrand for some bird watching. Located in the charming fishing village of Tramore, this hidden gem offers a unique opportunity to explore Ireland’s diverse birdlife.

As you walk along the sandy shores, keep an eye out for various species that inhabit this beautiful coastal area. From elegant gulls and graceful herons to colorful kingfishers and elusive sandpipers, there is no shortage of fascinating birds to spot.

The Tramore Backstrand provides a tranquil setting where you can connect with nature and witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Don’t forget your binoculars! This picturesque location is not only one of the top things to do in Waterford but also adds another layer of history to a city founded by the Vikings.

And speaking of history, did you know that the oldest piece of Waterford was discovered here? So be sure to soak up both the natural beauty and cultural significance during your visit.

19. Taking a ferry ride to the Hook Peninsula

To explore the Hook Peninsula, hop on a ferry ride and experience the beauty of this coastal area. The Hook Peninsula is known for its stunning landscapes and historical sites.

One of the best places to visit is Waterford Harbour, where you can admire the breathtaking views of the sea and watch boats sail by. As you travel across the water, take a moment to appreciate the tranquility and serenity that surrounds you.

Once you arrive at your destination, make sure to visit the iconic Hook Lighthouse. This impressive structure dates back to the 12th century and offers panoramic views from its top. It’s like stepping back in time as you learn about its fascinating history.

Another must-visit spot is Dunbrody Abbey, a medieval abbey founded by Norman knights in AD 1170. Explore the ruins and imagine what life was like for monks centuries ago.

If you’re interested in learning more about Waterford’s heritage, head to the Edmund Rice Heritage Centre. Discover the story of Edmund Rice, an Irish businessman who founded Christian schools all over Ireland in the 19th century.

The Hook Peninsula truly offers something for everyone – stunning scenery, rich history, and a chance to connect with nature. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable adventure!

20. Visiting the Comeragh Mountains

Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to visit the stunning Comeragh Mountains while exploring Waterford, Ireland.

Nestled in the heart of County Waterford, these majestic mountains offer a breathtaking backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With its rugged peaks, cascading waterfalls, and tranquil lakes, the Comeragh Mountains provide a playground for hiking, mountain biking, and fishing.

As you embark on your adventure through this natural wonderland, be prepared to discover hidden treasures along the way. From ancient ruins to picturesque villages, there is no shortage of exploration opportunities in this viking-infused region. Marvel at the panoramic views from Mahon Falls or take a leisurely stroll along the River Suir where you can soak in the beauty of this enchanting landscape.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply seeking solace amidst nature’s grandeur, a visit to the Comeragh Mountains is an absolute must when visiting Waterford. Don’t forget to pack your camera as you capture memories that will last a lifetime in this magical corner of Ireland that goes beyond just Waterford Crystal and castles.

21. Enjoying a round of golf at the Waterford Castle Golf Club

If you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience in Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, why not enjoy a round of golf at the prestigious Waterford Castle Golf Club?

Nestled on its own private island, this championship course offers a truly breathtaking setting. As you make your way through the 18 holes, you’ll be surrounded by the city’s Viking history and stunning landscapes.

The club itself boasts a rich heritage and is located within the grounds of a magnificent castle dating back to the 16th century. After your game, take some time to explore the castle and learn about its fascinating past.

And don’t forget to visit the nearby House of Waterford Crystal where you can witness firsthand the artistry behind Ireland’s most famous crystal brand.

With its spectacular views and historic charm, a day at Waterford Castle Golf Club is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

22. Tasting local cheese at Knockanore Farm

Once you’ve finished your round of golf at Waterford Castle Golf Club, don’t forget to indulge in the local cheese at Knockanore Farm. Located in the heart of Waterford, Ireland, this family-run farm is a hidden gem that offers a delightful experience for cheese lovers.

As you step onto the farm, you’ll be greeted by lush green fields and breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Take a guided tour and learn about the traditional methods used to produce their award-winning cheeses. From creamy cheddar to tangy blue cheese, there’s something to suit every palate. Taste the rich flavors and savor the unique textures that make these artisanal cheeses so special.

Afterward, take a stroll through the picturesque village of Waterford, known for its Viking history and iconic castle. Don’t miss out on this delicious opportunity to explore both culinary delights and historical landmarks in one unforgettable experience.

23. Taking a scenic drive along the Copper Coast

While driving along the Copper Coast, you can admire the stunning coastal scenery and experience the beauty of Ireland’s rugged coastline. Located in County Waterford, this scenic drive offers breathtaking views that will leave you in awe.

As you make your way along the coast, take a moment to appreciate Waterford’s rich history. The city is known for its Viking heritage, and you can catch glimpses of it as you drive by. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the oldest bridge in Ireland, which spans across the banks of the River Suir.

And if that’s not enough, be prepared to be mesmerized by spectacular views of Waterford Castle as it stands proudly on its own island. This picturesque drive is a must-do when visiting Waterford!

24. Exploring Waterford’s Viking history at the King of the Vikings exhibit

Now that you’ve experienced the breathtaking beauty of the Copper Coast, it’s time to dive into Waterford’s rich Viking history.

Step into the King of the Vikings exhibit and immerse yourself in a world of warriors and conquerors. Housed within Ireland’s oldest civic building, this interactive experience brings the past to life as you wander through a recreated Viking settlement.

Marvel at intricate Waterford Crystal designs, a testament to the city’s craftsmanship. As you explore further, discover artifacts that tell stories of battles fought and treasures found.

After your journey through history, take a stroll through the heritage town of Lismore, where charming streets lead to hidden gems like Victorian gardens bursting with colorful blooms.

Don’t miss this opportunity to unravel Waterford’s fascinating Viking legacy while immersing yourself in its vibrant culture and natural wonders.

25. Relaxing at Tramore Beach

After exploring Waterford’s Viking history, head over to Tramore Beach for some relaxation. Located in Waterford, Ireland, Tramore Beach is a hidden gem that offers stunning views and a tranquil atmosphere.

This beautiful piece of Waterford is perfect for unwinding and soaking up the sun. As you walk along the sandy shore, you can’t help but feel a sense of peace and serenity.

Tramore Beach holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. It was once frequented by Lafcadio Hearn, an influential writer who spent his childhood summers in Tramore. Soak up the same enchanting views that inspired him as you lounge on the soft sand or take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters.


From exploring the Viking Triangle to visiting the iconic Waterford Crystal Factory, there is something for everyone in this beautiful city.  Take a stroll through the People’s Park and discover the rich history of Waterford at the Treasures Museum.

Don’t forget to take a tour of Reginald’s Tower and taste some delicious local cheese at Knockanore Farm. And for some relaxation, head over to Tramore Beach. With its stunning views and vibrant atmosphere, Waterford is truly a gem worth exploring.

FAQs – Things to Do in Waterford Ireland

Are there any special events or festivals that take place in Waterford?

Yes, there are plenty of special events and festivals that take place in Waterford.

The city is famous for its annual Spraoi Festival, a vibrant celebration of music, art, and street performances.

Another highlight is the Waterford Harvest Festival, where you can indulge in delicious food and drink from local producers.

Don’t miss the Winterval festival during Christmas time, which transforms the city into a magical winter wonderland with ice skating rinks and festive markets.

Can you recommend any local restaurants or cafes in Waterford?


When it comes to local restaurants and cafes in Waterford, you’re in for a treat.

For a cozy atmosphere and delicious food, head to The Granary Café.

If you’re craving seafood, Tannery Restaurant is a must-visit with its mouthwatering dishes.

Looking for something more casual? Check out Bodéga! With its vibrant setting and tasty tapas, it’s perfect for a laid-back meal.

Don’t miss these fantastic dining options during your time in Waterford!

Is there a recommended time of year to visit Waterford for the best weather and attractions?

The best time to visit Waterford for optimal weather and attractions is during the summer months from June to August. During this time, you can expect mild temperatures ranging from 15-20°C (59-68°F), perfect for exploring the city’s top attractions like the Waterford Crystal Factory or taking a stroll along the scenic coastline.

Additionally, this period offers a vibrant festival scene with events such as the Spraoi International Street Arts Festival and the Waterford Harvest Festival.

Are there any guided tours available for exploring the Copper Coast Geopark?

Yes, there are guided tours available for exploring the Copper Coast Geopark. These tours allow you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and history of this stunning area.

Expert guides will take you on a journey through rugged cliffs, picturesque beaches, and charming coastal villages. You’ll learn about the geology, flora, and fauna of the region while enjoying breathtaking views along the way.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to explore the Copper Coast with a knowledgeable guide!

Where can I find more information about the history and significance of Waterford’s Viking heritage?

To learn more about Waterford’s Viking heritage, head to the Waterford Treasures – Three Museums in the Viking Triangle.

Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history as you explore three unique museums: the Bishop’s Palace, the Medieval Museum, and Reginald’s Tower.

Discover artifacts, interactive displays, and intriguing stories that bring the Viking era to life.

Don’t miss this opportunity to delve into Waterford’s fascinating past and understand its significance in Ireland’s history.

editor's pick

latest video

news via inbox

Nulla turp dis cursus. Integer liberos  euismod pretium faucibua

Leave A Comment