Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland famous for its crystal ware and intriguing medieval history. Located on the River Suir, Waterford was once one of the most important European ports in times past.
Today, Waterford still maintains its 'small Irish town' feel, and has a much more relaxed vibe than the larger cities, whilst still providing for most traveller's tastes. Appealing most, perhaps, to interests including history, culture, music and arts. Waterford, like most Irish towns, has a lot of pubs.
Waterford is in the south-east of Ireland on the River Suir, and close to where the Suir, Barrow and Nore enter into the sea. Most of Waterford City itself is on the southern side of the river, Ferrybank being the only suburb on the north. The South Quay (once dubbed 'The Noblest Quay in Europe') is a mile long and provides the perfect entrance to the city.
Being a medieval town, the city itself has sprawled over other fully functional villages over the many generations of its existence. Most (if not all) of these villages have kept their own village centres and attitudes,which provides the city with numerous cultural quarters. The oldest of these is the Viking triangle near Reginald's tower. Narrow lanes, tranquil surroundings and late-night dining have made this spot very popular with visitors. The architecture in the area is also some of the finest in the city.
Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Barronstrand Street, Waterford
After a Norman conquest, as Waterford grew, the city walls were extended west. A large portion of these walls still stand today, and tours are run regularly. Inside the Norman quarter (opposite the Clock Tower on the Quay) is the pedestrianised John Roberts Square, and Arundel Square. These are two of the main social and commercial hubs in the city.
Just outside the walls is Ballybricken, one of the many inner-city villages in Waterford. The centre has been converted into a public green area with a bandstand and many benches for those tired from walking the hill. Being an old farmers community, Ballybricken is known locally for having some of the finest produce and butcher shops in the city. Waterford city Garda station is also located on Ballybricken.
When to visit
Unlike most of Ireland, Waterford and the South-East region, enjoys some of the best weather. It's known as the Sunny South East for good reason: the most sunshine and least rain. Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland and is known as The Viking City because of its Viking past. In recent years, the city has been restoring all the ancient city walls. and has also been creating a new 'Viking Triangle' in the city centre. There's a new City Museum and crafts have been brought back into the area. The summers are mild, but no guarantee of good weather. Recent winters have been mixed - Rain is common in the Winter, and snow is rare. Bring your umbrella and don't let it put you off. It is also a modern city with great shops and tourist trails and the locals are very friendly and helpful.
Waterford City is located 65km (40 miles) west of Wexford, 53km (33 miles) west of Rosslare Harbour, 158km (98 miles) southwest of Dublin, 126km (78 miles) east of Cork, and 153km (95 miles) southeast of Shannon Airport. Waterford is reachable from anywhere in Ireland by road.
Waterford airport is 6km south of the City, and can be reached from certain locations in the UK, Europe (during the Summer) and other major Irish airports. Aer Arann have daily flights to London-Luton airport, as well as several times weekly flights to Birmingham and Manchester. There is now also a daily flight to the rapidly expanding London Southend Airport in Essex. Flybe also run a year-round service to Birmingham (BHX). There are also summer time flights to Lorient (Brittany). The Airport runs four services a week to Amsterdam and several flights to Bordeaux. Waterford is also ideally located between Dublin and Cork and therefore has access to both airports for long distance flights.
The nearest ferrypoint to Waterford is in Rosslare. It is a short journey from Rosslare to Waterford. Rosslare is accessible by Fishguard and Pembroke (Wales). You can connect at Rosslare and get a bus directly to Waterford City.
Plunkett Railway Station is the main train station in Waterford. It is on the the north side of the river and has direct connections to Dublin (Heuston)via Carlow and Kilkenny and to Limerick via Tipperary. .
Bus Eireann provide the State bus service in Ireland. The main Bus Terminal is located right in the heart of the city. Bus services run from all major cities and smaller towns into Waterford and is probably the easiest and least expensive way to travel to the city.
Rapid Express operate to Waterford beginning at Dublin Airport and ending at the seaside town of Tramore in County Waterford.
Waterford remains a small city keeping its medieval feel. The city centre is easily travelled on foot, as the centre itself is pedestrianised. Leave the car behind, you will likely save time by walking! Also worth noting is that Waterford is infamously known for its steep urban hills. Don't be afraid to take advantage of the many public benches around.
Bus Éireann provide the major local bus service in the city. Connecting you to all suburbs (including regular services to Tramore) and quarters of the city itself.
Rapid Express (or J.J Kavanagh & Sons Coaches ) also offer a local service, concentrating mainly on Ferrybank and Dunmore Road locations to and from the centre.
Taxis and Hackney Cabs are available in Waterford. Taxis can be hailed down in the street however mini cabs must be booked from offices. Costs are measured by distance. Taxis have a metre. If you have to be somewhere at a particular time, it is wise to book in advance as offices can be quite busy.
Whilst travelling to Waterford by car is easy, travelling around the city by car is not recommended. The city centre is almost entirely pedestrianised, and in the narrower streets during peak times, your car horn will fall on deaf ears. This is truly a walker's city! Vehicle hire is readily available but make advance reservation particularly during main holidays periods. As with rental anywhere, make sure you have a current driving license.
Budget Southeast Car rentals in South-East Ireland.
Waterford City, County and surrounding areas of the South East has numerous museums and historical sites and a variety of international cultural and social events, and some modern art galleries.
From the Waterford Crystal tour
Coastal highlights south of Waterford include Dunmore East, a picturesque fishing village; Dungarvan, a major town with a fine harbour; Ardmore, an idyllic beach resort; and Passage East, a tiny seaport from which you can catch a ferry across the harbour and cut your driving time from Waterford to Wexford in half. Of all the coastal towns in County Waterford, Ardmore stands out as the perfect getaway. It has a beautiful and important early Christian site, a pristine Blue Flag beach, a stunning cliff walk, a fine craft shop, an excellent restaurant, comfortable seaside accommodations, and a quaint town recently named Ireland's tidiest. Portally Cove, near Dunmore East, is the home of Ireland's only Amish-Mennonite community.
In northwest County Waterford, the Comeragh Mountains  provide many opportunities for beautiful walks, including the short trek to Mahon Falls. These mountains also have highly scenic roads for biking. Farther west, there's great fishing and bird-watching on the Blackwater estuary.
Waterford Crystal  is a famous export of this city. Glass is hand blown and hand cut in the new, though smaller, factory on the Cork Road. Waterford Crystal showrooms are situated just down from Reginalds Tower in The Mall. The factory tour is well worth it if you have an hour to spare. See the master craftsmen at work on one of the factory tours. Many famous designers have contributed to the collections ranging from glass tumblers to chandeliers. Tours of the factory run every 15-20 minutes.
Discover the Viking and Norman heritage of the city on one of the walking tours including a visit to the famous Reginald's Tower and the ancient city walls.
Reginald's Tower on the Quay, Ireland's oldest civic building
The Waterford Treasures Museum located in the old Granary building on the Hanover Street junction of the Quay, holds thousands of artefacts from archaelogical digs that have uncovered Waterford's rich heritage and tell the story of Ireland's oldest city.
Reginald's Tower named after the city's founder, Regnall, is the oldest urban civic building in Ireland, and the oldest monument to retain its Viking name. The tower now serves as a museum displaying pieces on the history of Waterford and the tower itself. Reginald's tower is hard to miss, opposite the William Vincent Wallace Plaza on the Quays.
Edmund Rice International Heritage Centre on Barrack Street is dedicated to the memory of Brother Edmund Rice, founder of the Presentation and Christian Brothers.
A blaa A floury bread bun unique to this area of Ireland.
Mother's Knee Tea Parlour and Chocolate Boutique, Tramore. An up-market chocolate boutique and tea shop/cafe. The chocolatier trained in London and Geneva before starting Mother's Knee in Tramore.
Café Lucia2 Arundel Square, Tel: 051 825553 A lovely little café in a small laneway, Cafe Lucia is the best in the city. Enjoy sumptuous food and decadent hot drinks. Located in the centre of the city, it is perfect for a cup of coffee or lunch in the middle of your sightseeing.
Bodéga, 54 John Street (City centre in entertainment hub), ☎ 051 844177, . 12- 10.30PM Mon to sat closed Sunday. Located in the hub of Waterford's nightlife, this very fine bistro/wine bar offers a fabulous range of dishes prepared by their three French chefs. Seafood a speciality. This alternative, informal late-night wine bar has a truly Latin feel, with a full licence serving wines, beers & spirits. Awards include; Bridgestone 05, Guardian, Time Out... Maincourse 15-27 euro.
The BrasserieArundel Square, Tel: 051 857774 For great service & great food in a relaxed informal atmosphere, the Brasserie is definitely the place. Located in the very heart of the city, take time to relax with friends over a good meal. Full range of wines & beers to compliment a delicious selection of dishes.
The Cottage BistroCheekpoint, Tel: 051 380854 Email: [firstname.lastname@example.org] Aidan and Marian McAlpin opened the Cottage Bistro in March 2003. It's reasonably priced menu and wine list, together with a light hearted atmosphere made it an initial hit with people from Waterford and abroad.Situated in the picturesque village of Cheekpoint, seven miles east of the historic city of Waterford. Cheekpoint is a small 17th century fishing village situated where the three rivers: the Suir, the Nore, and the Barrow meet. Open Tu-Sa (6PM-9.45PM). All Bank Holiday Mondays. Sundays from June to August.
The Dry Dock Barat Dooley’s Hotel, The Quay, Tel: 051 873531 Web: [www.dooleys-hotel.ie] Conventiently located in the City Centre. Rich in character comfort and style. Enjoy the dining experience. Carvery Lunch served from 12.30 - 2.30PM followed by an a la Carte Menu until 8PM. Tradition Irish music on Monday and Wednesday nights during the summer. Irish stew on Wednesday nights until 8PM. Contact Dooley's Hotel 051-873531.
EspressoParnell Street, Tel: 051 874141 Web: [www.espresso.ie] Espresso is an Italian run Pizza / Pasta restaurant at Parnell Street in the heart of John’s Street Village. The menu is inexpensive and includes lots of Pasta, Homemade Burgers, Salads and probably the best Pizza in the country. The house wine comes by the litre and the beer comes by the pitcher. The style is informal, the music is loud and the prices are cheap. Espresso is open from Tu-Su for Lunch & Dinner. Also do Pizza & Pasta to take out.
Jade Palace4 The Mall Tel: 051 855611 Fine traditional Chinese restaurant in the heart of the city Wide variety of Chinese, Thai, European & Seafood dishes available. Relax & enjoy a splendid meal in the restaurant or alternatively enjoy the barfood menu in the fully licensed bar - M-Su from 5 - 8PM. M-F 12.30 - 2.30PM. Evening meals M-Sa 5.00 - 11.30. Sunday 12.30 - 11.00PM.
KamboThe Brasscock Centre, Dunmore Road, Tel: 051 870727 A delightful Thai restaurant serving the best Oriental dishes. All dishes freshly prepared to traditional recipes using only the best seafood, meats and vegetables. Excellent selection of wines & bottled beers. Book now for special occasions & dinner parties. Free Car Parking.
Kong's Chinese RestaurantGlenville Centre, Dunmore East Rd. (behind StatOil Garage) Tel: 051 843082 A genuine Chinese experience in style & taste. Enjoy the authentic flavours and spices of oriental cuisine, in a cool and comfortable setting. A fine selection of wines & bottled beers. Open 12:30PM - 2:30PM and 5PM-12PM.
La Bohème2 George’s St., Tel: 051 875645 Be transported in time and enjoy innovative French Food in the vaulted elegance of this beautiful restaurant, carved from the cellars of one of the oldest houses in Georgian Waterford. 7 Course Tasting Menu a Speciality. [Opening Hours: M-F 5.30-10.30PM; Saturday 6- 10.30PM; 3 Course Table d’Hote Menu M-F from 5.30-7PM for ?28 per person.] Proprietors: Eric and Christine Theze.
La Palma - Ristorante Italiano20 The Mall, Tel: 051 879823 Visit La Palma’s striking new location at No. 20 The Mall in a beautifully restored Georgian building. Set over two levels La Palma now offers a private dining room & Cocktail Bar with an enclosed heated Terrace. Bridgestone Recommended. Open for lunch M-F 12.30 to 2.30PM & dinner M-Sa from 5.30PM. Closed Sundays.
Zaksat Athenaeum House Hotel Christendom, Ferrybank, Tel: 051 833999 Athenaeum's signature restaurant Zaks, overlooking Waterford city, offers superb cuisine in chic & elegant surroundings. An ideal venue for entertaining friends, associates or simply a get away from the stress of everyday life. Zaks is open seven days a week for both lunch and dinner with music from their resident pianist every Saturday night.
Mothers' Knee Tea Parlour and Chocolate Boutique, Tramore. Mothers' Knee Tea Parlour and Chocolate Boutique, Tramore. Mothers' Knee Tea Parlour and Chocolate Boutique is an up-market chocolate boutique and tea shop/cafe. The Choclatier trained in London and Geneva before starting Mother's Knee in Tramore
Geoffs on John's Street is a popular location with the alternative crowd. Impossible to find a seat after 9 on the weekends. Good drinks and loud music without being too imposing. Geoffs has an amazing arty interior and a large sheltered and heated smoking area.
T & H Doolans on Georges Street is a 'true' Irish experience. A real traditional tavern, located in a tranquil and quiet part of the city's nightlife, the sound of bodhrán and fiddle can be heard far up the alleyways on the approach. A must for any visit to the city.
Downse's Pub on Thomas Street (between the Quays and the Glen) is Waterford's oldest pub and still today remains a clock-ticking pub. Conversation is the music of this pub and it attracts the most unique characters from all over the city. Please switch off the ring-tones on your mobile (cell) phone as this is frowned upon.
Jordan's on The Quays.
Kazbar On John's Street.
Munster Bar Entrance's on Bailey's New Street and The Mall.
The Tavern Lower Yellow Road.
The Forum in the Glen is a bit out of the way from the normal nightlife hub, but is one of the major gathering points for the 'alternative' crowd in the city. They run a popular indie nightclub every Thursday and Saturday night. The main floor is normally open for techno nights, but still attracts an unusual crowd due to it's location. They also host live bands and theatre productions.
The Foundary are two night clubs situated on the corner of Parnell st. and John st. these play the usual nightclub music and are populated by the younger mainly student crowd.
Crystal On John Street.
Escape On John Street.
Ramada Viking Hotel Waterford , Cork Road, Waterford, Ireland, +353 51 336933, . Ramada Viking Hotel is a comfortable modern 3 star hotel in Waterford City with free parking, business facilities and much more.
Athenaeum House Hotel (Athenaeum), Ferrybank, Waterford, ☎ 051 833999, . checkin: 2.00PM; checkout: 12.00PM. 4 Star Boutique hotel set on the banks of the River Suir overlooking Waterford City and Harbour. It has 29 bedrooms including 4 suites, award winning restaurant, bar and lounge, terrace overlooking the city. from E50pps.
Majestic Hotel Tramore Waterford (Majestic Hotel Tramore Waterford), Tramore, Waterford (From Dublin, take the N11 to Waterford and R675 to Tramore), ☎ +353 (0)51 381 761, . checkin: 16:00; checkout: 12:00. Majestic Hotel Tramore, Waterford on the Waterford Coast overlooking Tramore Bay.
The city centre is safe, both day and night, and even wandering the narrow alleyways of the old town alone is perfectly secure. The nightlife can keep certain areas near Parnell Street very busy until 5AM Thursday through Sunday, but there is normally Gardaí around (they stand out with big glow-in-the-dark coats). Tourists should maybe avoid some of the denser neighbourhood suburbs if alone at night.
The Comeragh Mountains are one of Ireland's best kept secrets. Here you will find hill walks of all kinds with spectacular views, hidden lakes, pretty valleys, wild waterfalls and rocky crags. Some of the larger tracks are suitable for mountain biking. Powers the Pot camp site high in the Comeragh Mountains is good for camping or caravanning. They also do wonderful home cooked meals in their little bar.
Dunmore East is a working fishing village about 10 miles from Waterford City. With views across to Hook head, the scenery can be breathtaking. Dunmore East was recently (2005/2010) home to one of the main events of the 2005/2010 Tall Ships Race. The start of the race was hosted by Waterford City, with the bay around Dunmore East holding over 50 antique tall ships. Well worth a visit to anyone who goes to the south-east of Ireland.
The coast of Waterford is scenic and varied and is still very unspoiled. There are cliffs, sandy beaches and sea-caves. The stretch between the towns of Tramore and Dungarvan is called the Copper Coast. See the Copper Coast geopark website at .
Tramore, Clonea and Ardmore are known for their fine, long sandy beaches.
The beaches at Bonmahon, Clonea, and Dunmore East have Blue flag status