South West Ireland Art & Culture Guide | My Ireland Travel Guide
Orchestra performing in Ireland

South West IrelandArts & Culture

South West Ireland Cultural Attractions Regional Picks

There's a strong tradition of art and culture throughout the South West. Kerry, over the past century, was something of a breeding ground for authors and playwrights, including John B. Keane, Maurice Walsh, and Con Houlihan. Cork, even to this day, likes to see itself as a cultural anomaly, with its own slang, musical heroes and iconic venues (the now-closed down Sir Henry's to name but one). Cork City's Opera House and Marquee Summer Concerts are where you'll find the international artists, but taking a stroll off the beaten track will help you discover the real culture of the region. Below we have listed a few of our favourite cultural destinations of the South West. 

Cultural Tourist Attractions

Literary Points of Interest

Counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick have always had a strong literary tradition. Frank O'Connor, John B.Keane and Kate O'Brien being just some of the authors born in these counties, respectively. You can feel the scene of pride the Southwest has in their literary heroes through plagues, street art, and general conversations with the locals. Below are the three main libraries of the region. Keep an eye out though, as most towns of the Southwest will have at least one bookshop.

  • Kerry Library Kerry

  • +353 (066) 712 1200
  • Find on Google Maps
  • Tralee, Co. Kerry
  • Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 10a.m to 5p.m. Tuesday & Thursday 10a.m to 8p.m (Closed Sunday)
  • Limerick City Library Limerick

  • +353 (061) 557 510
  • Webpage
  • Find on Google Maps
  • Michael St, Limerick City
  • Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 10a.m to 5p.m. Tuesday & Thursday 10a.m to 8p.m (Closed Sunday)

Art Galleries & Installations

Ireland's most extensive and impressive art gallery, outside of Dublin, is found in Cork City. The Crawford Art Gallery is a visual arts gallery specialising in historic and contemporary works and welcomed 265,438 in 2019 alone. There are a number of smaller more intimate galleries found across the region and it is not uncommon for some wine bars and coffee shops to host pop-up exhibitions. These are usually only advertised a week or so in advance and, sometimes, only through word of mouth.

  • 2020 CuratesCork

  • +353 (021) 480 5042
  • Find on Google Maps
  • Sunday's Well, Cork City
  • Open Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday Noon to 5p.m. Thursday 7p.m. (Closed Monday, Sunday & Saturday)
  • The K GalleryCork

  • +353 (0) 87 737 3059
  • Facebook page
  • Find on Google Maps
  • Maryborough Orchard, Co. Cork
  • Open Weekdays 9a.m to 6p.m. Saturday 10p.m to Midnight. Sunday Midnight to 5p.m.
  • Limerick City Gallery of ArtLimerick

  • +353 (061) 310 633
  • Find on Google Maps
  • Pery Square, Co. Limerick
  • Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,Friday & Saturday 10a.m to 5.30p.m. Thursday 10a.m to 8p.m. Sunday Noon to 5.30p.m.

Music & Concert Venues

The Southwest has a great selection of live music venues. There's everything from stadia, welcoming international pop stars every summer, to intimate 20 seater venues, showcasing up and coming local acts, and everything in between. No matter what your live music needs may be, you're never too far from satisfying them in the Southwest of Ireland.

  • Coughlans Bar Cork

  • +353 (021) 496 1751
  • Find on Google Maps
  • Douglas St, Cork City
  • Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday from 2p.m to 11.30p.m. Friday & Saturday 2p.m to 12.30a.m. Sunday 12.30p.m to 11p.m.
  • Dolans Limerick

  • +353 (061) 314 483
  • Find on Google Maps
  • St Alphonsus St, Co. Limerick
  • Open Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday from Noon to 11.30p.m. Thursday Noon to Midnight. Noon to 12.30a.m. Saturday 9a.m to 12.30a.m. Sunday 10a.m to 11.p.m.

Other Regions of Ireland