If you find yourself scrolling through pictures of colorful towns in faraway places, you’re not alone. With Instagram and snapchat, it’s never been easier to access the world’s vibrant destinations at the touch of a finger.

Painted bright pink, blue, yellow and green, Kinsale is full of the best of Ireland’s colorful houses. This quaint town gives the popular Venetian island of Burano a run for its money. Kinsale is a must for in-the-know travelers looking for the most colorful town in Ireland. 

Colorful Cork County

Ever since I moved to Cork City, I quickly realized that Ireland itself is full of color. Not only is it extremely green, many of the buildings are painted bright shades of blue, pink, and orange.

Perhaps one of the reasons I was drawn to Cork, besides the booming job market for internationals, was all of this color. County Cork (and also neighboring County Kerry) is filled with quaint coastal towns, where painting your house a simple brown is hardly an option.

DSC08717But without a doubt, Kinsale takes the prize for the most vibrant colors of the coast. It reminds me of Burano, being a smaller and slightly secluded town with the smell of the sea in the air.

Though Kinsale of course does not have the canals or artisan glass like Burano, it has a legacy of its own. Kinsale is instead known for being a historic fishing town filled with friendly locals and excellent seafood. It’s also a popular starting point for taking a road trip around Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Most Colorful Town in Ireland

DSC08798.jpgDSC08747What I love most about Kinsale is that its unapologetic quirkiness. The colors truly brought out my inner child, as I wandered the streets. Just call me Alex in Wonderland!

Every corner is filled with little shops full of souvenirs or flowers. You can actually smell the seafood even without stepping foot in a restaurant.

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Not only is the town itself stunning, so are the gorgeous seaside views. I loved walking along the harbor and taking a visit to the Dock Beach.

How to get to Kinsale in Cork County:


If you’re every around Cork or Kerry County, Kinsale is a must-see. It’s the first official stop along the legendary Wild Atlantic Way.

If you are coming from Cork City, you can easily get to Kinsale by taking bus 226. However, it fills up fast, so I recommend taking an earlier bus from the main Cork bus station in town. (I learned this lesson the hard way, after chasing down the bus in a taxi).

You can also take a tour of Kinsale with Paddywagon. Otherwise, you can make this your first or last stop along the Wild Atlantic Way road trip.

What to do in Kinsale:

Besides exploring all the gorgeous colored streets, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Kinsale.

Explore the town and local shops

DSC08795DSC08769Make time to get lost in the colorful streets and stumble upon the unique shops.

Have some of the best fish and chips

DSC08722-Stop by Fishy Fishy or some of the other local restaurants to try anything from fresh oysters to mussels, and of course Fish and Chips!

Take a trip to the beach

DSC08859Most of the beaches are hard to reach by foot from the main part of Kinsale. However, we did walk to Dock beach, which is across the bay. We also hiked up the see James Fort at the top of the hill. Otherwise, both Garretstown and Garrylucas Beaches are very popular, but you’ll have to get to them by car.

Visit St. Charles Fort

Just a few kilometers outside of the town, St Charles Fort is a national war monument and symbol of Irish history.

Take a trip around the Old Head

If you didn’t have time to visit the Cliffs of Moher, the Old Head in Kinsale is a breathtaking alternative. You can either golf or simply walk through around the walking trails. Though, you will need a car to get here.

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DSC08757The colors of Kinsale in combination with the breathtaking landscape make it a hard destination to beat.

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