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Culture and Leisure

Tralee as capital of County Kerry provides a broad range of cultural and leisure activities, which include architectural sights and monuments, interesting technical features as well as formidable classical and modern art and entertainment. And, of course, there are a lot of sports in and around the town and County Kerry. So there should be plenty of opportunities for every guest - and every different kind of weather one might experience on the emerald isle of Ireland.

The picture in the right column shows the "Ashe Memorial Hall". This impressive building houses a cafe and the tourist information and is located at the end of the broad and elegant Denny Street right alongside the extensive and well maintained town park with the famous rose garden. But there is even more to see here. The Ashe Memorial Hall ist home of the Kerry County Museum, which features changing exhibitions about the history of Tralee and the surrounding county. The building is open to visitors all year round.

Kerry County Museum

Siamsa Tire Siamsa Tire - Ireland's National Folk Theatre

Right in midst of the town park and only a stone's throw away from Kerry County Museum one can find the Siamsa Tire - the "National Folk Theatre of Ireland". The very interesting building resembles a ring-shaped fortification and contains stage buildings for 355 spectators, two adjoining exhibition rooms and a spacious foyer.

Since the foundation of the theatre in 1974 it is the one dignified place in Ireland at which to celebrate the irish language and culture with numerous stage performances and a total of 14 different exhibitions of irish art every year.
The full time actors working at Siamsa Tire are regularly supported by artists from other theaters and groups. Some stage projects every year are developed and performed together with students from the Tralee Institute of Technology, which - uniquely in Ireland - even provides a dedicated course "Folk Theatre Studies".

So the important task of conserving irish history is being taken very seriously even in the context of culture. In today's modern and booming Ireland the artists of the famous Siamsa Tire offer rare insights into irish art, cultural traditions and, of course, the irish language.
The current schedule and the admission prices as well as a form for reservations and ticket orders for upcoming performances and exhibitions can be found on the theatres website at

Tralee & Dingle Light Railway

Visitors with an interest in technical features and especially families with children should not miss a trip on the vintage Tralee & Dingle Light Railway. The train is using parts of the historic Tralee-Dingle railtrack, which had been build in 1891 and ceased operations in 1953. Over the recent years a section of the track as well as two coaches and the historic steam engine have been restored and are now up and running again. Interestingly and in contrast to many other old railway projects the engine is still steam-powered which creates a unique experience of travelling. The Tralee Steam Railway was (and still is) the most westerly railway of europe and even the parts of the track that are no longer in use provide interesting insights in the history of railway travel in Ireland.

The train operated between the Aqua Dome and Blennerville Windmill. Due to persisting technical problems with the Hunslet steam engine no trains were running in the last couple of years.

Tralee Steam Railway

Tralee Aqua Dome Tralee Aqua Dome

The magnificent Tralee Aqua Dome contains one of Ireland's largest indoor waterworlds with several pools, rivers, rapids and slides as well as water cannons and geysers. And there is even more to enjoy: the impressive modern building also boasts a sauna and a convenient viewing area, with further attractions outside like the "aquagolf" minigolf course, bouncing castles for the younger visitors and much more.
Right behind the Aqua Dome you can find one of the stations of the Tralee Steam Railway, which starts its journey to the Blennerville Windmill from here.

Coming from the city centre you can't miss the landmark building of the Aqua Dome, which is open all year round. The admission fees are 16€ for adults and 12€ for children, although they offer a rebate scheme for families and groups.

Blennerville Windmill

Blennerville Windmill - currently the tallest operational windmill in Ireland and Great Britain - is easily found a few miles from Tralee town centre at the mouth of the river Lee on the shores of Tralee bay and not far from the historic Tralee Shipping Channel. The windmill had been built around the year 1800, but ceased its business in the middle of the nineteenth century and soon after it fell into disrepair. In 1981 the then derelict, but still impressive 21 meters high hull of the windmill has been bought by the city of Tralee and subsequently reconstructed to its former elegancy. Now it can be viewed in full operation regularly over the summer months. The adjoining buildings are housing a museum, a small cafe and a gift shop. Both the Blennerville Windmill and the museum are open for viewing from easter till the end of october. You can get there from the city centre by car on the N86 in the Dingle-direction or you can take an easy 20 minute walk from the marina alongside the calm waters of the Tralee shipping channel. The most interesting means of travel however is without doubt the Tralee-Dingle Steam Railway, which will bring you from the station at the Tralee Aqua Dome right to the entrance of the Blennerville Mill.

Blennerville Windmill

Kingdom Greyhound Stadium Sports in Tralee

Just like everywhere in Ireland the Kerry people enjoy sports - and there are plenty of offers available in the Tralee area. Besides the more common disciplines that are known also in continental europe Ireland has some specialities, like football and hurling. Furthermore Tralee boasts a beautiful Arnold-Palmer-designed 18 hole golf course which overlooks the shores and beaches of Tralee bay, a horse racing course and even a Greyhound Stadium. The races are regularly happening and well visited social events, at which you can also try your luck while betting on the main actors.

Greyhound races are usually taking place on the weekends (during the summer time also midweek), the admission fee for the modern and centrally located Kingdom Greyhound stadium is 10€. Horse races are held less often in Tralee, but during may and august there will be big festivals which include some days of racing. The exact dates can be found at the website of Horse Racing Ireland.

Tralee Omniplex Cinema

The Tralee Omniplex is a very modern newly built 8-screen digital cinema that first openend its doors for the public in july 2007. It can be found right next to the Aqua Dome and if you want to see the latest Hollywood blockbuster this is the place to go. Given the fact that even in a great summer there might be some rainy days in Kerry it is good to know there is a great cinema, especially if you are travelling with children. The Omniplex Website will tell you what is playing right now.

Tralee Cinema

Tralee Pub Pubs in Tralee

Ireland is renowned for its unique pub culture. You won't probably be able to find any major western city without a couple of "Irish Pubs". Of course this is not different in Ireland itself. In the town centre of Tralee alone there are more than seventy of those "public houses", some of them rather traditional, others more modern in style. But they all have something in common: people like to come here to meet friends and strangers and to have some drinks together, often accompanied by traditional handmade music.

At least once you should take the opportunity and spend some time in one of the pubs, for this represents indeed a very important part of the irish livestyle. You will not need much luck to find one where a traditional irish music session is going on while you are there.
By the way: the taste of the drinks or the delicious barfood will not be spoiled by the smell of tobacco smoke. Ireland is one of the first european countries with a total smoking ban in public places since 2004. So you can even bring you children along without regret. The picture shows the probably most photographed pub in Tralee, "Kirby's Brogue Inn" at rock street in the city centre.

Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre

The newly opened Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre gives visitors the opportunity to experience the beautiful wildlife of Tralee Bay and enjoy a funfilled day with lots of different activities in one place just at the edge of the town centre. Kids love the boating lake, the viewing tower and the playground with its huge climbing wall!

The events and places featured on this page can of course only be seen as a small sample from all the many attractions that are on offer in Tralee and Kerry. Especially during the summer season between easter and the end of october there is a lot more to see and to do than can be mentioned here. And don't forget: every august the town will host the world famous international "Rose of Tralee" festival.

Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre
Atlantic Ocean Mountains and the Ocean

Whith all those activities and sights in the city one could easily forget that Tralee also has some wonderful beaches and a scenic mountain land-scape right at its doorstep. If you want to escape the busy life and try some sailing, surfing, swimming, angling, walking or climbing instead - you never have to go far to find the right place in beautiful Kerry!