Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol
1 of 3
Ssviluppo/Getty Images

Key Info

Inchicore Road

Price & Hours

9 euros (around $11) for adults and 5 euros (about $6) for kids; discounts available on website
Hours vary seasonally

Details

Museums, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

According to many, this gaol, or jail, gives its visitors one of the most unique looks into the darker side Irish history. Occupied from 1796 to the 1920s, the prison housed many famous figures in the fight for Irish independence, including Thomas Francis Meagher and James Connolly, and was also the site for more sinister executions and hangings. Additionally, the prison acted as a transportation point for approximately 4,000 prisoners to the convict colony of Australia in the early 19th century. The gaol was known for the harsh treatment of its inhabitants, with no segregation by gender until 1881 when it became an all-male prison and overcrowding forced staff to place up to five inmates in cells designed for one.

Now a preserved museum, Kilmainham Gaol is very popular among visitors – many reported having to wait for the guided tour. Visitors suggested getting there early to ensure entry or booking an online timed ticket, but even those who had to wait said it was well worth it thanks to the knowledgeable, passionate guides. While you're waiting to tour the prison, check out the museum exhibit describing the history of the prison and its preservation or grab a quick snack at the on-site cafe.

Kilmainham Gaol is located just west of central Dublin near Phoenix Park. Several bus routes stop near the prison, including nos. 69 and 79 from Aston Quay and nos. 13 and 40 from O'Connell Street. The nearest tram stop is the red line's Suir Road. It is open to the public throughout the year, but hours vary depending on the season; generally, it's open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission costs 9 euros (about $11) for adults and 5 euros (about $6) for children. There is a discount if you book online in advance. For more information, visit the former prison'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.

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

Explore More of Dublin

Recommended

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019

15 Epic Outdoor Adventures to Enjoy Across America

Plan an unforgettable trip in your own backyard or on the opposite coast.

Will WalkeyMarch 12, 2019

The 30 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Explore the globe in search of these intriguing historic sights.

Gwen PratesiMarch 11, 2019

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2019

U.S. News ranked 3,877 top properties for 2019. Check out the 50 best.

Zach WatsonFebruary 5, 2019

30 Hot New Hotels to Check Out in 2019

See which new properties offer surprising and fun features.

Lyn MettlerFebruary 5, 2019

10 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the USA

Go all-in for these luxe resorts flush with amenities.

Will WalkeyFebruary 5, 2019

The Caribbean Comeback: 12 New and Renovated Caribbean Hotels to Visit

These island properties are sure to impress travelers.

Erin ShieldsFebruary 5, 2019

17 Amazing Kid-Friendly Hotels

Discover which properties offer ample amenities for children.

Christine SmithFebruary 5, 2019