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9 Best Castles to Visit in Ireland
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Have you ever wanted to visit a castle in Ireland that dates back thousands of years? From authentic castles to modern-day castle hotels, there is no shortage of opportunities for you to experience medieval history. Below are our 9 best castles to visit in Ireland that are solely for touring and viewing.
Blarney Castle is well-known for its Blarney Stone, but there are many other attractions that make this sight worth seeing. From caves to dungeons, there is plenty to keep you learning about the history of Blarney Castle.
Bunratty Castle is a highlight of County Clare. It was built in 1425, but because it was recently renovated in 1954, it is the most complete medieval fortress in Ireland. The castle resides on Bunratty Folk Park, a vast expanse of village shops, streets and homes that are reminiscent of 19th century Ireland.
Cahir Castle is one of the largest castles in Ireland. It is located just minutes away from nearby attraction Rock of Cashel. Cahir sits nearby River Suir, where you can see ducks that float leisurely around the property.
Built in the 15th century, Donegal Castle was built along the river Eske for defensive purposes. It was also once home to the royal O’Donnell family. Today, visitors can tour the property and see its cobblestone floors and walls – the only surviving original features.
Today, Dublin Castle is an important Irish government building that also doubles as a popular tourist attraction. Although the original features of the castle are limited, we still consider this a must-see as well as a hidden gem.
Dunluce Castle is a formidable fortress located in Northern Ireland. If you’re planning a trip along the Coastal Causeway Route, we highly recommend a stop at what was once considered one of the finest coastal castles.
Another castle in Northern Ireland is Gosford Castle. Walking trails will take you around the grounds where you can enjoy the scenic views and even have a picnic. Fun fact – this castle was a filming location for HBO series Game of Thrones!
Rock of Cashel
Rock of Cashel is an ancient historical site that is now considered one of Ireland’s most visited attractions. It is also known as St. Patrick’s Rock, as the castle’s hall is home to the original Cross of St. Patrick.
Located in beautiful Killarney National Park, Ross Castle is one of the last castles of Ireland and open to the public with guided tours only.
Now that you know the best castles to visit in Ireland, you can choose to explore or even spend the night in a castle hotel. Tenon Tours offers personalized castle packages so that you can discover the best of Europe on your own terms.
This epic itinerary takes you through three fascinating countries: Ireland, Scotland and England. All the main highlights are included, from uncovering your Irish ancestry and embarking on a river cruise in London to visiting Scotland’s stunning Isle of Skye. And did we mention the castles at every stop?
Experience the best of Ireland during this private-driver tour, perfect for the whole family. Visit wild, craggy coastlines, ancient castles and charming towns. During this two-week adventure, you’ll discover the true essence of the Emerald Isle.