Tralee in Ireland is considered to be the gateway to Kerry. This colourful little village in Kerry’s most beloved county is known for its long and interesting history as well as its train station – the closest one to the famous village of Dingle. As Tralee is an interesting little town on the Dingle Peninsula, I would highly recommend visiting Tralee Ireland. Not only is Tralee home to the famous and beautiful Tralee bay, it also houses the Aqua Dome Tralee (great for the kids), the Kerry County Museum, Banna Strand and the Crag Caves. More than enough things to do in Tralee to keep you occupied for a day! In order to help you plan out your stay in Tralee, I have put together a list of best things to to in Tralee.
If you are traveling to Tralee, you might also be interested in my posts about the best hotels in Tralee and how to get from Tralee to Dingle. For those who like to play a game of golf, I have also compiled a list of the best golf courses near Tralee!
Things to do in Tralee - Kerry County Museum
The Kerry County Museum first opened its gates in 1991. This museum about the life and history of county Kerry is a 1,750 square metre museum with an interesting collection. At the Kerry County Museum you will be able to learn more about life on Kerry and the history of the Dingle Peninsula. You will learn about the life of the people who lived in Tralee, Ireland from the middle ages to the tumultuous 20th century.
In the Kerry County Museum you will also be able to see life-sized dioramas with intricate designs, depicting life in this incredibly beautiful part of Ireland. In the Archaeology hall of the Kerry County Museum you can find medieval artefacts that were collected during the excavation of Tralee’s Dominican priory.
If you are traveling to Tralee with kids and are looking for things to do in Tralee, the Kerry County Museum is a great fit as the Museum organises dress-up events and activities for kids. These activities help children understand the history of this beautiful county. Kids will be able to stroll through the reconstructed streets and houses of Tralee to experience Tralee during the middle ages.
As things to do in Tralee goes, this is a great museum to visit – especially since technology has allowed the Kerry County Museum to replicate smells and sounds from the past, whisking you away to Tralee of the middle ages!
Don’t forget to visit this award-winning museum on your drip to Tralee, and learn everything there is to know about Irish Folklore and those who lived on the Dingle Peninsula throughout the years. This is a great experience for those of Irish descent visiting Tralee and the museum can be found in the centre of town, making it easy to pop in!
Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre
Are you a fan of birds and nice walks? Than the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre will be one of the things to do in Tralee that you will enjoy. The Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre is a beautiful centre located in Tralee Cay with gorgeous walking paths and biking lanes.
In the park around the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre you will also find exercise equipment that is free to use. The Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre also contains a large pond. On this pond you can rent a pedal boat, a rowing boat or go water zorbing in Ireland! There are a few places where you can go water zorbing in Ireland, but Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre is by far the best water zorbing spot in Ireland!
Apart from the fact that the Tralee Wetlands Centre has a lot of things to do in Tralee for those who like to spend a few hours on the water, there are also a couple of visitor centres. Here you will find out more about the birds found in the Tralee Bay Wetlands Eco and Wetlands centre.
The wetlands centre attracts many migrating birds every year and you can spot them from the large observation tower. You and your children can take part in one of the group tours organised by the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre. After a day walking, hiking and exploring you can sit down with a cup of tea or coffee at the Lakeside café!
Tralee Attractions - Aqua Dome
Aqua Dome is a large water park in Tralee Town and one of the top things to do in Tralee. Families and friends from all over Kerry take the train to Tralee in order to spend an afternoon or a day at Aqua Dome Tralee.
Nestled underneath a large glass dome, this water park offers visitors hot tubs as well as a lazy river and exhilarating water slides.
As the Aqua Dome in Tralee is located underneath a glass dome, the temperature is always incredibly warm. Tralee Aqua Dome is a must-visit for those who are traveling with Kids. Apart from all the water activities offered at Tralee Aqua dome you can also find a golf course, gym and vitality spy in the Aqua dome complex.
Some of the most popular rides in the Tralee Aqua Dome include the Lazy River, the Hugh Flume Slide, the Outdoor Falling Rapids and a wave pool where you can learn to surf!
As Aqua Dome is not too far from Tralee town centre, you can easily take the bus or ask locals how you would get there.
Best things to do in Tralee - St. John's Church
One of the best things to do in Tralee for those who like architecture, is bringing a visit to St. John’s Church. This beautiful church in the centre of Tralee is a prime example of Irish Gothic Revival Architecture. The building of St. John’s Church dates back to 1780.
Today, St. John’s Church in Tralee operates as a normal church and offers weekly mass and services. St John’s Church in Tralee underwent extensive renovation that took no less than 10 years. St John’s Church then opened again in 1960, becoming one of the most beautiful and most important churches in Tralee Town.
One of the reasons why you should bring a visit to the St John’s Church is Tralee is its amazing stained glass windows. These stained glass windows are original and show scriptural stories. The site where St John’s Church Tralee now stands was originally occupied by a chapel. Some remnants of this chapel such as the Holy Water font and the Our Lady of the Wayside Statue can still be found.
Also keep a look out for the beautiful Sanctuary Window that features St. John the Baptist and the Twelve Apostles. This window right here in Tralee town is said to be one of the finest of its kind in Western Europe!
Tralee Attractions - Blennerville Windmill
If you are looking for cool and unusual things to do in Tralee, you should bring a visit to the Blennerville Windmil. This 21 metre high windmill in Blennerville, close to Tralee is one of its kind in Ireland. The beautiful historical mill has five floors and is still in working order to this day!
The Blennerville Windmill in Tralee was built in 1800. It was Sir Rowland Blennerhassett who ordered the construction of this white windmill in Blennerville. The Tralee mill was then used to mill gran that was sold to the local people in Tralee and on the Dingle peninsula, and sold as exports to Great Britain.
At the end of the century, the mill had fallen into disrepair. The steam engine had made milling not only faster, but also less labour intensive. In addition, the river channel to Blennerville was salinated, the Tralee Shop Canal opened in 1846 and the Fenit Harbouer was constructed in 1880. All these things contributed to the demise of the old Blennerville Windmill.
It wasn’t until 1981 that the Tralee district council bought the mill and repaired the old building. The restored Blennerville Windmill was opened in 1990 by Irish prime minister Charles Haughey. Nowadays, the Blennerville windmill still mills wheat and grains to show kids and young adults how Windmills in the past worked.
When bringing a visit to the Blennerville Windmill you can also visit the charming miniature replica of the Tralee Dingle narrow-gauge, the Kerry Model Railway as well as County Kerry’s main port of emigration during the Great Famine, Blennerville.
Visit the largest working windmill in Ireland on your trip to Tralee!
Best things to do in Tralee - Ardfert Cathedral
If you are looking for things to do in Tralee that have to do with history, it is a good idea to visit Ardfert Cathedral. This cathedral lies 9km Northwest of Tralee in a little hamlet by the sea called Ardfert. This romanesque cathedral was built in the 12th century and dedicated to Saint Brendan.
The site of Ardfert Cathedral carries three medieval church ruins on a site that used to hold a 6th century Celtic Christian Monastery. The oldest ruins, also known as Temple Na Hoe, date back from the 12th century while Temple Na Griffin dates back from the 15th century. The main church that can be seen now is a mix of these two with a 17th century extension.
Ardfert is a lovely little village to visit, and I would recommend stopping by when visiting the nearby beaches of Ballyhaigue and Banna Strand – the latter will be talked about further down in this article.
Down the road of Ardfert Cathedral you will also find Kate Browne’s which is still one of the best down to earth restaurants I have ever dined at – so I would highly recommend having lunch or dinner there when you are in the area!
Best things to do in Tralee- Banna Strand
Banna strand or Banna beach is one of the most famous beaches in Trallee. This gorgeous beach is located in Ballyheigue Bay that extends from Ballyheigue beach at the blackrock right bachk to Barrow Beach in the South.
This beach near Tralee has some of the most amazing sand dunes in Kerry of which some are mor ethan 40ft high! You will also be able to make out the gorgeous mountains of the Dingle Peninsula on the South West – and watch the clouds play up against the towering mountain tops.
Visiting Banna Beach is also one of the best things to do in Tralee when traveling with kids. You can easily fill a day with visiting Ballyheigue, walking on Banna beach and ultimately ending your trip with Slea Head Drive.
This beach is also acclaimed as a Blue Flag beach for its cleanliness by the Foundation for Environmental Education and increased involvement in sustainable building and ensuring environmental awareness to all its visitors. Banna Strand is the perfect place to surf, body board, and windsurf and its shallow waters are perfect for the younger ones.
This beautiful beach is a famous tourist attraction and a haven for those who like water sports. It is a great beach for surfing, kayaking, body boarding and paddle boarding.
Tralee Attractions - Slieve Mish Mountains
The Slieve Mish Mountains are a paradise for those who like to walk. If you are looking for things to do in Tralee for people who love to hike, a walk in the Slieve Mish Mountains is a great way to pass the time! The Irish Name for this mountain range is Sliabh Mis where Slieabh might possibly be the celtic word for Mountains.
These mountains strech 19 kilometres on the Dingle peninsula and they have over 17 peaks which are more than 100 metres high. The highest beak is Baurtregaum which stands at 851 metres and has many deep glacial valleys such as the Derrymore Glen and the Curraheen Glen.
There are quite a few hiking trails through the Slieve Mish Mountains and you can easily find routes online or buy a map at the tourist information point in Tralee. The Slieve Mish Mountain range is a must see for those who love walking and hiking.
Sea Safari - Things to do in Tralee
Fungie the Dingle Dolphin was a dolphin that lived in the Dingle Harbour. Every day scores of tourists would mount boats to meet Dingle’s most famous citizen.
Fungie the Dolphin showed up in the Dingle Harbour in 1983 and every since this young Bottlenose dolphin dipped its head out of the water to play in the wake of the Dingle fishing boats, Dingle residents and fishermen have built a complete industry around seeing and meeting this little fish friend.
Sadly, Fungie disappeared in October of 2020, breaking the hearts of many fans and friends in Dingle. They even put up a search for the dolphin, but he was never found. Many still hold out hope that Fungie will return some day, but the dolphin had been living in the harbour for more than 37 years, meaning he could have swam out to sea to die of old age.
Although it is now impossible to visit the Dingle Dolphin, you can still meet many other amazing sea creatures and birds. In Dingle you can go on a sea safari that will take you past the Great Blasket Islands to meet puffins, seals and other amazing sea animals.
Those who are fans of Star Wars can also head to the Skellig Islands with a tour. The Skellig Islands are better known as the little islands where the missing Luke Skywalker was found living in The Force Awakens.
Tralee Town Park
The Tralee Town Park is a city park in the centre of Tralee. The Town Park is open to all visitors and boasts a beautiful Rose Garden. This Rose Garden can be visited as part of the Rose Walk which can be taken in Tralee.
One of the best things to do in Tralee when you have a little lull moment, is to get a little baguette or some Danish pastries and have an impromptu picnic in Tralee Town Park. It is one of the most beautiful urban parks in Ireland, and Tralee Town Park still is a major attraction in the city.
The town park garden has more than 35 varieties of roses spread across 3 acres of park. It also is a great Tralee attraction to visit when you are a fan of the famous Rose of Tralee International Festival. The park namely holds large glass plaques honouring each contestant since its start in 1959.
Things to do in Tralee - Ballyseedy Wood
If you are looking for active things to do in Tralee, Ballyseedy wood should be on your bucket list. This ancient woodland looks like something out of a fairy tale! This famous wood has many hiking trails and biking tracks and offers visitors an amazing and tranquil experience.
Ballyseedy Wood and its trails date all the way back to the 16th century. The woodland holds no less than 22 species of ancient, native trees. Have a look at the gorgeous warped trunks and the massive overreaching branches and tree knots.
The wood was first mapped for Sir Edward Denny and John Blennerhassett – family of Sir Rowland Blennerhassett who built the mill mentioned above, planted many more trees throughout the 18th century.
In Ballyseedy Wood you will also find the remnants of a 9th century building and many sculptures can be seen along the trails.
The forest is 80 acres big and many of the trees in the forest are marked with their Gaelic and English names. You will also be able to spot a number of different ruins and follies from the 17th century and cross the river Lee (Tralee was named after this river) on beautiful little bridges.
The wood is also brimming with life and you might be able to spot some squirrels or deer in their natural habitat.
Rose of Tralee International Festival
Every year, the Rose of Tralee International Festival is held in August. This amazing festival celebrates Women of Irish Descent everywhere in the world. If you happen to travel to Tralee in August, it is a good idea to have a look whether or not you can join the festivities as it is one of the best things to do in Tralee.
The Rose of Tralee is chosen out of 32 candidates from all over the world. The aim of this great festival is to celebrate Irish culture and the diverse beauty of women. If you want to know more about the rose of Tralee, you can read my article on this Tralee festival!
Do you want to know more about the Rose of Tralee International Festival? Read my article on the Rose of Tralee!
Things to do in Tralee - Rattoo Round Tower
The Rattoo Round Tower in Tralee is probably one of the most iconic structures in the vicinity of Trlee. This Irish round tower is located in the little town of Rattoo near Tralee. The Rattoo Round Tower dates back to the 10th century and is probably one of the finest Irish round towers in the country.
The Rattoo Round Tower was part of an ancient monastery founded by Bishop Lughach. On the site of the Rattoo Round Tower you will also find the ruins of a 15th century church and the remains of an abbey and a great house.
The Rattoo Round Tower itself stands 90ft tall and has 5 floors and a total of windows with the fifth floor boasting 4 windows – one for each cardinal direction.
On the Rattoo Tower you can also find the Sheelah-Na-Gig which is an explicit carving that was used in Ireland as a protective symbol. The figure can be found in the North Facing window. Also look out for the Curvilinear carving above the entrance doorway to the tower!
If you like history, visiting the Rattoo Round tower is one of the best things to do in Tralee. This popular Tralee attraction can be found north of Ballyduff.
Tralee Attractions - Crag Cave
The Crag Cave in Tralee is one of the best things to do in Tralee for those with an interest in geology. This old cave in Tralee formed over 1 million years ago and houses a large number of stalagmites and stalactites.
This cave is a great example of how amazing nature can be and you can find many beautiful fossils in the cave. It is believed that at one point the cave was filled with water which then eroded the limestone rock into caves and tunnels.
Later on the water that seeped in from above formed the many beautiful stalagmites and stalactites that can be seen today. The rock cave was initially discovered by cave divers in 1983 and is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tralee.
Things to do in Tralee - Fenit Lighthouse
Fenit Lighthouse is located in the little harbour of Fenit, a 15 minute drive from the town of Tralee. The village of Fenit is a small and quaint seaside town nestled against the Dingle Peninsula mountains. Fenit means wild place, and when visiting Fenit you will see why this name is very fitting.
With clouds rolling over the mountains in the distance and the beautiful water throwing itself on the Fenit shore, Fenit is a little Tralee village that should not be missed.
The Fenit Lighthouse was built in 1851 together with the construction of the Fenit harbour. Fenit is now known for its sheer beauty and and Irish charm. Fenit is also the birthplace of the famous Saint Brendan who has many churches and abbeys dedicated to him in the area.