Waterford City at night
For other places with the same name, see Waterford (disambiguation).

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 traveler'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

Waterford has a wet and windy climate like most of Ireland almost all year round. The summers are mild, but absolutely no guarantee of good weather. Heavy rain is common in the Winter, and snow is rare. Bring your umbrella and don't let it put you off, there are plenty of scenic shelters in the city. One of the finest is the William Vincent Wallace Plaza on the Quay.

Get in

By car

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.

By plane

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. 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.

By boat

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.

By train

Plunkett Railway Station is the main train station in Waterford. It is on the north side of the river. You can travel anywhere in Ireland on the rail network . Plunkett Station is outdated, and as the large signs posted over the entire building suggest, due an upgrade. Don't hang around wondering where the services are and just start your trek across the bridge.

By bus

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.

Get around

By foot

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.

By bus

By taxi

Taxis and Hackney Cabs are available in Waterford. Taxis can be hailed down in the street however hackney 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.

By car

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.


With its diverse range of attractions, Waterford City, County and surrounding areas of the South East appeals to a wide sector of the tourism pie with its numerous museums, architecture, historical sites and its endless variety of good restaurants, clubs, international cultural and social events, and even 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 harbor; Ardmore, an idyllic beach resort; and Passage East, a tiny seaport from which you can catch a ferry across the harbor 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 Waterford Crystal factory situated about 10 minutes from the centre of the City. 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.


Waterford Treasures consists of three magnificent museums located within Waterford's Viking Triangle.

Bishop’s Palace Treasures of Georgian Waterford

This magnificent Georgian residence is a must-see attraction. Experience authentic grand eighteenth century living in this beautiful Georgian building. Don’t miss the oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal in the world dating back to 1789, and the Napoleon Mourning Cross; the only one to survive out of the original twelve that were made on his death. Take the multi-media handheld guide or enjoy a family friendly tour with a costumed performer. www.waterfordtreasures.com – +353 51 849650

Open daily year round including Sundays and Bank Holidays June/July/August Monday – Saturday - 09:30-18:00 Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday – 11:00-18:00 September to May Monday – Saturday – 10:00-17:00 Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday – 11:00-17:00 Last admission – one hour before closing Adults €5, seniors & students €4, Under 14’s free Adult combined entry €8 (Medieval Museum & Bishop’s Palace)

Reginald’s Tower Treasures of Viking Waterford

Reginald’s Tower is named after the Viking leader who founded Waterford in 914, making Waterford Ireland’s oldest city. Don’t miss the 9th century sword and weapons from a Viking warrior’s grave and the magnificent 12th century gold kite brooch. Guided tours and multimedia handheld tours available. www.waterfordtreasures.com – +3535 51 304220

Easter to October Monday – Sunday – 09:30 to 17:30 November Monday to Sunday – 9:30 – 17:00 December to Easter Wednesday – Sunday – 9:30 – 5:00 Last admission – thirty minutes before closing Adult €3 / Seniors / Group €2 / Child / Student €1 / Family







Stay safe

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 05:00 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.

Go next

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