Dublin Castle picture1 of 3
Dublin Castle2 of 3
german-images/Getty Images

Key Info

Dame Street

Price & Hours

Self-guided tours cost 7 euros (about $8) for ...
9:45 a.m.-5:15 p.m. daily

Details

Castles/Palaces Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.0

scorecard

  • 4.5Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Right in the heart of the city, the site of the Dublin Castle has played a part in Ireland's history since the land was used by Vikings to build a fortress in A.D. 930. Parts of the castle were built and torn down through the ages, but the oldest remaining structure, the Record Tower, dates back to the 13th century.

In addition to having been a stronghold against foreign attacks on the city, the castle and its grounds have also been home to a prison, an office of record, a water station, a seat of parliament, a royal court for entertainment and a military residence – all before 1850. The castle grounds were also the site where the Easter Rebellion of 1916 began, and after five years of fighting, where the treaty that granted Irish independence was signed. Many previous visitors recommended taking the guided tour, which they say is more extensive and informative that the self-guided tour.

Today, Dublin Castle offers a mix of old and new. It serves many functions, from hosting foreign dignitaries and state dinners to housing some of Ireland's government offices and commercial space available for private events. The castle grounds also include preserved areas like the lavish State Apartments that were home to the Viceregal court from 1680 to 1830. What's more, the grounds are home to the world-famous Chester Beatty Library

Dublin Castle is located just a few blocks west (about a 10-minute walk) of Trinity College and is open to the public daily from 9:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. You won't have to pay to explore the grounds, but if you'd like to take a peek inside, self-guided tours cost 7 euros (about $8) for adults and 3 euros (about $4) for kids ages 12 to 17. You can pick up a brochure at the ticket desk to help you navigate the state apartments and exhibitions. If you purchased a Dublin Pass, your admission fee is waived. If you'd like more historical background and access to the Viking excavation and chapel royal, opt for a 70-minute guided tour. Tours cost 10 euros (about $12) for adults and 4 euros (about $5) for kids ages 12 to 17. For more information, visit the castle's website

See all Hotels in Dublin »

More Best Things To Do in Dublin

Trinity College and The Book of Kells1 of 16
St. Patrick's Cathedral2 of 16
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Trinity College and The Book of Kells

Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity College is Ireland's oldest and most notable college. Among its alumni are such renowned writers as Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde. Today, visitors from around the world come to explore the college's verdant campus and towering Gothic-style halls.

But the real reason to visit is to take a gander inside the Old Library. These hallowed halls house an amazing collection of literature. Of all the books at the Old Library, the most famous and priceless one is the "Book of Kells." This illustrated version of the gospels was created around A.D. 800 by Celtic monks. The manuscripts' pages come to life with vibrantly hued depictions of Christ and his followers, bordered by intricate Celtic knots and other designs. Whether or not you're religious, previous visitors agreed that seeing the "Book of Kells" in person is truly a sacred experience. Although some visitors complained of crowds in the library, most agreed the "Book of Kells" is a must-see.

Read more
Federica Grassic/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Dublin »

Explore More of Dublin

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World

Let these gorgeous destinations inspire you to travel more.

Holly JohnsonJanuary 16, 2020

50 Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

From relaxing weekend getaways to epic adventures, these honeymoon trips will help couples create memories to last a lifetime.

Kyle McCarthyJanuary 8, 2020

The Cheapest Days to Fly: A Guide to the Best (and Worst) Times to Travel

Use these tips and tricks to get the best deal on your next flight.

Lyn MettlerDecember 23, 2019

30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways

Spend sun-filled days exploring Florida's beautiful beaches, cities, parks and small towns.

Gwen PratesiDecember 9, 2019

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019