Day 1 – Exploring the Oldest City in Ireland

Kick your first day off nice and early and be out and ready to rock for 9:00.

Our first day in Waterford is going to be spent wandering around Waterford City – Ireland’s oldest, as it happens.

We’re going to spend the day exploring the city by foot, so a decent pair of runners will make your feet happy.

Ready to rock?

Lets get cracking.

Here’s everything you need to know about day 1!

What you'll be doingWhere you'll be sleepingWhat you'll need
  • Exploring the Oldest City in Ireland
  • Jack Burtchaell’s Walking Tour
  • Breakfast
  • A ramble along the city walls
  • Lunch
  • The Medieval Museum
  • Food and Pints
Dooley’s Hotel, Waterford City
  • A decent pair of runners or walking shoes
  • Appropriate clothing depending on the weather

Day 1 Stop 1 – Jack Burtchaell’s Walking Tour

OK, so this isn’t really a stop, but bear with me.

We’re going to join Jack’s one-hour award-winning walking tour that’ll take us through the regional capital and Ireland’s oldest city.

walking tour waterford city
Photo via Jack’s Walking Tours

The tour includes two cathedrals, four national monuments, and a gallery of many a rogue and rascal.

Although the walking tour is just one-hour long, it covers 1,000 years of history, and is delivered in a witty manner that’ll leave you itching for more.

waterford city things to do
Photo via Tourism Ireland

One of Jack’s stories that I’ve heard mention of is about the first frog in Ireland, which was brought to Ireland by the Franciscan friars.

“They had very strict rules in those days,” according to Jack, “so they introduced frogs as a food to augment the Lenten diet of the Middle Ages and prohibition of meat on Fridays.”

What a brilliant bit of knowledge.

bishops palace waterford city
Photo via Failte Ireland

Book the tour in advance and get up close and personal with Waterford City to kick-start your morning.

Day 1 Stop 2 – Breakfast and a strong ass coffee

You’ll finish up the tour at around 10:15 (if you start at 9) – head to the Granary Cafe for 10:30.

If you’ve yet to have breakfast, or if you’re in need of a caffeine pick-me-up, point your nose in the direction of the Granary Cafe.

the Granary Cafe waterford
Photo via the Granary Cafe

Grab a bite to eat and fuel up for the busy day ahead.

Day 1 Stop 3 – A ramble along the city walls

Finish up at the cafe at 11:10 and head off walking.

One of the most impressive features of Waterford City is the historic walls and towers.

waterford city walls
Photo via Google Maps

Founded by the Vikings way back between 856 and 914, Waterford City is over 1,000 years old and boasts the largest collection of medieval defensive towers and walls in Ireland.

We’re going to have a little ramble along the walls and check out some of the six towers that are still standing today.

Head off in the direction of Reginald’s Tower.

waterford city things to do
Photo via Tourism Ireland

Reginald’s Tower is the most impressive of the six towers that are still standing and can be found at the highest point of the city’s Viking Triangle.

reginalds tower waterford
Photo via Failte Ireland

Inside the tower you’ll find an exhibition on Viking Waterford that houses 9th century swords and weapons from a Viking warrior’s grave and a magnificent Waterford Kite Brooch.

Take a bit of time to have a float around the tower and soak up some of the city’s rich past.

Day 1 Stop 4 – The Waterford Crystal Tour

Take your time exploring the city’s walls and towers and aim to get to start the Waterford Crystal tour at around 13:30.

OK, I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about crystal and glass making (same thing?! 🤔) that fascinates me.

ESPECIALLY when it’s insanely hot and you’ve a lad, like in the image below, blowing it into a bowl or whatever it is.

So, we’re going to nip to the House of Waterford Crystal next to embark upon the factory tour.

waterford crystal tour
Photo by Andrew Bradley

Those that choose to take the tour can watch craftsmen meticulously transform glowing balls of molten crystal into elegant shapes.

The skills that have taken two hundred years to perfect are clearly visible in every piece.

waterford crystal
Photo by Andrew Bradley

This type of thing completely transfixes me – what an absolutely incredible craft to have.

Take the tour and drop by the crystal store after if you fancy taking a chunk of Waterford home with you.

Day 1 Stop 5 – Lunch in Momo’s

Finish up at Waterford Crystal at around 15:00 and take the 7-minute stroll to Momo’s restaurant.

momos waterford places to eat
Photo via Google Maps

We’ve packed in a fair amount of things to do in Waterford City over the past few hours.

Fuel up in Momo’s (the thai yellow curry looks savage) and rest the legs for a bit.

Day 1 Stop 6 – The Medieval Museum

Finish up at eating at around 16:30 and take the 5-minute stroll to the Medieval Museum (arrive around 16:35)

Our next stop takes us to the Medieval Museum where visitors can soak up the story of what life was like in the Historic Waterford City.

Waterford City center was excavated between 1986 and 1992 and the many unique discoveries that were found during this time are housed in the Museum.

Take a look inside what’s been listed at one of the best things to do in Waterford on Tripadvisor in the video below.

According to the lads at Visit Waterford, ‘The medieval museum incorporates the 13th century Choristers’ Hall and a 15th century wine vault and takes visitors back to the great age of faith and chivalry.

The museum galleries feature some of the great treasures of medieval Ireland and Europe, including the unique 4 metre long illuminated Great Charter Roll of Waterford (1373) as well as the sumptuous cloth-of-gold vestments (1460).

Spend some time wandering around the museum, and head off on the guided tour if you fancy.

Day 1 Stop 7 – Rest the legs and get ready for the evening ahead

You should arrive to your hotel for around 18:30

For this trip we’re going to recommend that you stay in Dooley’s Hotel.

Check in, rest the body for a bit and then get out for food and a drink.

Day 1 Stop 8 – Food and a pint

It’s been a busy aul day. We’re going to round it off with food and a few pints.

We’re going to recommend that you grab a bite to eat in Bodega!, but there’s a load of great places to eat in Waterford.

gingerman bar waterford city
Photo by @luciedomert on Instagram

You can have a browse through some of them on our map of the best places to eat in Ireland – just zoom in on Waterford City.

For drinks, we’re going to nip into the Gingerman for a couple.

We’ll be doing a lot of active exploring tomorrow, so do your best to avoid lashing in too many pints and giving yourself a thunderous hangover.

Day 2 takes us up a magic road and on a hike that offers one of the best views on our island – click the little ‘3’ below to check it out.