Dublin Castle picture
Dublin Castle
1 of 3
german-images/Getty Images

Key Info

Dame Street

Price & Hours

Self-guided tours cost 7 euros (about $8) for adults and 3 euros (around $4) for kids 12-17; guided tours are 10 euros (about $12) for adults and 4 euros (around $5) for kids 12-17
9:45 a.m.-5:15 p.m. daily

Details

Castles/Palaces Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.0scorecard
  • 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 Kells
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 16
#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

Recommended

12 Top Texas Wineries to Visit

From the Texas Hill Country to the Texas High Plains, the Lone Star State offers top-notch wineries for oenophiles.

Kyle McCarthyMay 23, 2019

The 7 Best San Francisco Bus Tours

Visit the top attractions in this hilly city without breaking a sweat.

Lyn MettlerMay 22, 2019

The 15 Best Washington, D.C., Tours

The nation's capital has more to offer than free museums and tons of history.

Kim Foley MacKinnonMay 22, 2019

10 Amazing Montana Vacations

Breathtaking landscapes and year-round outdoor adventures will inspire you to visit Big Sky Country.

Gwen PratesiMay 20, 2019

The 13 Best Savannah Tours

Experience real southern hospitality when visiting Savannah with these top tours.

John RodwanMay 16, 2019

The 15 Best Boston Tours

Get to know one of America's most historic cities with these tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonMay 14, 2019

The 18 Best New Orleans Tours

With so much to see and do in New Orleans, these tours will help you maximize your time in the Big Easy.

Claire LawtonMay 10, 2019

The 7 Best Chicago Boat Tours

These low-key tours offer unique views of a city famed for its skyline.

Holly JohnsonMay 9, 2019

30 Cheap Weekend Getaways in the USA

From beach destinations to amusement parks, these vacations are perfect for an affordable and quick trip.

Holly JohnsonMay 9, 2019

The 15 Best Chicago Tours

Foodies, boat enthusiasts and historians alike will appreciate any one of these tours of the Windy City.

John RodwanMay 8, 2019