Home to over 30,000 Castles, Ireland is perhaps one of the richest historical countries of the world; From Vikings to Elizabethan era, Ireland has seen and experienced it all. The stunning landscape along with the medieval architectural marvels makes Ireland one of the favorite tourist destinations for all travel lovers.
It is also one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world and its castles are the best places to stay during your honeymoon. Castles are related to the ancient history of Ireland which is the major tourist attraction now, so we have created a list of best castles in Ireland one should visit.
Some of the Best Castles in Ireland are:
1. Kilkenny Castle
Built at the beginning of the 12th century, this castle is located at the crossing of the River Nore overlooking the city of Kilkenny. The beautiful exterior is complemented with the equally stunning interior, making it a must visit location for all the lovers of history and archeological marvels. The Canice Cathedral and the Roth House along with the Dunmore Caves and Castlecomer Demesne are additional places around the Castle that are worth visiting.
Timings: Monday to Saturday – 9.30 to 5.30
Entry Fee: Adult: €8.00, Senior/Group: €6.00, Child/Student: €4.00, Family: €20.00
2. King John’s Castle
This 13th-century castle is located in Limerick on the bank of River Shannon.The Castle though was built under the Norman conquerors, has a long previous historical presence in relation to the famous Vikings whose first base of raids was exactly from the location of the King John’s Castle. The castle underwent a massive million dollar remodeling and makeover in 2011 to make it easily viable for the tourists. The castle architecture and scenery might be extremely stunning but the beautiful display of masonry, carpentry and monetary system (currency) of the era is a spectacular and informative sight not worth missing.
Address: Nicholas St, Limerick, Ireland
Timing: 9:30 AM–4:30 PM
Phone: +353 61 360 788
3. Slane Castle
This is one special castle for all the romantics around the world. One of the most sort after destination castle wedding venue, the Slane Castle is located at Boyne Valley in Ireland. At only 25 minutes from Dublin Airport, the castle is also the permanent home ground venue of the iconic Slane Concert. Privately owned by the Conyngham Family, the castle is a genuine beauty that is not worth missing. A long history of romantic events during the medieval era followed by endless shows and events in relation to the castle and the family for the next few centuries has made this Castle a historical memorial.
Timing: 10.30 AM to 8 PM
Phone No: +353 (0) 41 988 4477
4. The Rock of Cashel
If you are really interested in knowing more about the Irish Christian history during the 15th century, The Rock of Cashel is perhaps the best location for that. Located at Devil’s Pit, 30 km north of Cashel, this fortress has a long history that dates back to St. Patrick during the early 11th Century. Though a major part of the castle has been destroyed and rebuilt many a time, the tallest portion of the building, around Tower is also the oldest one. The tower is said to be dating back up to the 11th century, is an example of architectural marvel due to its robust and sturdy structure even over 1000 yrs later.
Address: Moor, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
Phone: +353 62 61437
5. Dunluce Castle
Located on the picturesque backdrop of the Antrim Coast, this castle was built in the early 15th century by the McQuillan clan originally. However, towards the middle of the 15th century, it was taken over by the McDonnell family. In fact, the castle once even belonged to Winston Churchill as a part of the marriage gift. Connected to the mainland by a bridge, this castle is extremely beautiful and can often be seen in various movies and music videos. From Led Zeppelin music video to being C S Lewis inspiration for Narnia, this castle is as stunning in real life as in photographs.
Address: 87 Dunluce Rd, Bushmills BT57 8UY, UK
Hours: 10AM-4: 30 PM
Ticket Price – Adult – £5.50, Child (age 4 – 16) – £3.50, Senior citizen £3.50, Student and Benefit Claimants (ID required) – £3.50, Family (up to 5 members) – £15.00, Group rate (10 plus,) – £4 per person
6. Blarney Castle
Located at about 8km from Cork City, this is perhaps one of the most iconic castles of Ireland. Built by the famous Cormac MacCarthy, in the early 16th century, this Castle has a very rich and extremely interesting history attached to it. Though only partially accessible, the Blarney Stone better known as the Stone of Eloquence is what makes the Castle world famous must-visit spot in Ireland. The extensive garden surrounding the Castle along with an interesting Poison Garden also makes it an attractive tourist spot worth making it into the list of places to must visit in Ireland.
Address: Monacnapa, Blarney, Co. Cork, Ireland
Hours: 09:00 AM–06:00 PM
Entry – Adult €18, Student/Seniors €14, Children (8-16 years) €8, Family (2 adults + 2 children)€45
7. Ashford Castle
To many Ashford, the castle might be one of the most famous luxury hotels in the world. However, what many do not know is that this Castle is also a beautiful tourist spot worth exploring during your trip to Ireland. Built in the early 12th century by the House of Burke, this Victorian Castle is located along the coast of Lough Corrib. Often a favorite choice for films and dramas, the Castle has been an important location for CW’s Reign in the recent years. The Panoramic view of the castle is perhaps one of the most stunning ever and one of the reasons for simply dropping by at least once in your lifetime.
Phone: +353 94 954 6003
8. Carrickfergus Castle
Located on the Northern coast of Belfast Lough of Northern Ireland, the Carrickfergus Castle was built in the early 11th century by John De Courcy. A guided tour along the pathway through the Castle is filled with historical events and incidents worth knowing about. The Castle is located on a stunning and beautiful backdrop making it one of the favorite photo shoot location for many. Cave Hill, Ulster Museum, Marble arch caves, Ulster American Folk Park are some of the nearby and adjacent spots one can easily access on route to the Castle.
Address: Marine Hwy, Carrickfergus BT38 7BG, UK
Hours: 10:00 AM – 04:00 PM
Entry Fee: Adult – £5.50, Child (age 4 – 17) – £3.50; Senior Citizen – £3.50; Student and Benefit Claimants (ID required) – £3.50; Child under 4 – Free; Family (up to 5 members) – £15.00; Group rate (10 plus, must be pre-booked) – £4 per person
9. Ross Castle
One of the few remaining strongholds of the medieval era of Irish Chieftains, the Ross Castle was built by the ODonoghue clan. Currently there is not much left in the castle, however, the remains of the carpentry and tapestries of the time have been beautifully preserved. If you are curious about the history of Ireland, the lifestyle and the intricate designs of time of the Irish Cristian Era, you can be seen here and learned about well in the Ross castle galleria. One of the major attractions of Killarney, the castle is located close to the Lake of Killarney and can often be visited through a boat ride.
Address: Ross Island, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Hours: 9:30 AM–5:45 PM
Phone: +353 64 663 5851
Admission Fees – Adult: €5.00, Group/Senior: €4.00, Child/Student: €3.00, Family: €13.00
10. Dublin Castle
Built during the early 13th century, Dublin Castle was more of a fortress and official prison comes treasury during the time. Originally the position of the castle was a Viking Settlement, making it a historical location of major importance. The English ruled Ireland during the 17th and 18th century from Dublin Castle thus making it an official government building for over few 100 yrs. As of now, the Castle is used for all the major Constitutional occasions and even the Presidential Inaugurations in held here. The Chapel Royal Art center of the castle has some of the finest arts and paintings of the world displayed for public viewing. Other attraction within the Castle complex includes Chester Beatty Library, the Garda Museum, the Treasury Building, and the Revenue Museum.
Tel: +353 (1) 645 8813 Fax: +353 (1) 679 7831 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.dublincastle.ie
Timing: 09:45 – 17.45
Entry – Guided Tour (1hr 10min) (State Apartments, Medieval Undercroft, Chapel Royal and Exhibitions) Adult €10.00 Senior (60+) €8.00 Student (photo ID required) €8.00 Child (6- 17) €4.00 Family (Two adults, max five children) €24.00
Self-Guide (30 minutes approx) (State Apartments and Exhibitions) – Adult €7.00 Senior (60+) €6.00 Student (photo ID required) €6.00 Child (12-17) €3.00 Family (Two adults, max five children) €17.00
11. Dunguaire Castle
Dunguaire Castle is located in Galway county and was built in the year 1520 by the Hynes Clan. The castle with a beautiful backdrop of the Galway Bay has a 75-foot tower within the complex that gives it a beautiful outlook. Exploring the historical remnants spread all over the castle is a beautiful experience in itself.
Siar Café, Greene’s Pub, Secret Garden, El Molo Pier Head Bar & Restaurant, Merriman Inn Farmers/Country Market, Tully’s Pub, Crinniú named are some spots around the Castle complex that one must not forget to explore. The Cuckoo Fleadh held in the month of May every year is a beautiful traditional Irish celebration held within the castle complex that is also a very sort after the celebratory event.
Telephone: +353 61 360 788
Hours: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
12. Cahir Castle
The Cahir castle was built by the Butler Clan in 1650 for the purpose of being used as a stronghold. The Castle is often referred to as one of the best restored and preserved Castle complex of the country. Designed by the legendary Connor O’Brien, this castle was a technological marvel of the time. Currently, the complex has one of the best audiovisual shows of the country that helps in knowing the Irish history in a more detailed and interesting fashion. The Swiss Cottage nearby is also an exploring worthy spot.
Tel: +353 (52) 744 1011 Fax: +353 (52) 744 2324 Email: email@example.com
- March-Mid June – Daily 09.30 – 17.30
- Mid-June – August – Daily 09.00 – 18.30
- September – Mid October – Daily 09.30 – 17.30
- Mid October – February – Daily 09.30 – 16.30
Admission Fees: Adult: €5.00, Group/Senior: €4.00, Child/Student: €3.00, Family: €13.00
13. Malahide Castle
The Malahide Castle is located at Malahide Village at a distance of 9 km from Dublin. Built by the Talbot Clan in 1175, this Castle even survived the Battle of Boyne in 1600. After a long list of being handed over to various reigns, in 1845 it was finally handed to Marquess Wellesley. The castle has a beautiful Butterfly House, Exhibition center, Fairy Trail and Botanical garden attached that should be explored while touring the Castle.
- April to October – 09.30 – 16.30
- November to March – 09.30 – 16.00 (Closed: 24th, 25th, and 26th December)