Visit to Dublin Castle: timetables, prices and advice

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Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Originally conceived as a symbol of English hegemony over the Irish, Dublin Castle is now one of the main attractions of the capital of the Republic of Ireland. It is a huge fortress whose medieval architecture was, unfortunately, partially destroyed by a fire in 1864. Dublin Castle has numerous points of tourist interest, thanks also to the fact that, more than a classic manor, it ended to resemble a huge residence, with four external towers and sumptuous halls inside, all to be discovered.



Index

  1. Hours and prices
  2. Online tickets and guided tours
  3. Where is it and how to get there
  4. What to see and how to visit Dublin Castle
  5. Useful tips for visiting the attraction
  6. Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
  7. User questions and comments

Hours and prices

Access to Dublin Castle, upon payment of a ticket, is allowed almost all year round, except for the following dates: 25, 26, 27 December; January 1st.

  • Mon-Sun and holidays, 09:45 - 17:45 (last admission allowed at 17:15)
  • Best time to avoid queues: at opening and at lunchtime
  • € 7,00 or € 10,00 in case of a guided tour
  • Reductions: over 60 and students € 6,00 or € 8,00 in the case of a guided tour; children from 12 to 17 years € 3,00 or € 4,00 in case of a guided tour; under 12 € 2,00 in both cases (guided or non-guided tour)

Online tickets and guided tours

  • Priority access: Dublin Castle and St. Patrick's Day: From € 29,00 per person - find out more
  • Visit Trinity Collage Library + Dublin Castle: From € 49,00 per person - find out more

Where is it and how to get there

It is about 4,5 km from the center. A quite considerable distance if traveled on foot, but manageable by public transport and by car.



  • On foot: not recommended; however, moving southeast, you can reach the attraction in 50 minutes from Dublin city center - get directions
  • By bus: lines 9, 14, 15, 15A, 15B, 16, 65, 68, 83, 122, 140, 13, 27, 40, 49, 54A, 56A, 77A, 123, 150, 151, 747. Approximate travel time 30 minutes
  • By car: From Benbulbin Rd and Morne Rd towards Dolphin Rd / R111 the attraction is 16 minutes away - get directions

What to see and how to visit Dublin Castle

It is a must see, one of those attractions to visit absolutely during a trip to the Irish capital. It is about a Norman fortress and the construction dates back to 1204 at the behest of King John of England, also called Giovanni Senzaterra.

It was built mainly for defensive purpose, also following the Norman invasion of 1169. The king's requests were in fact the following: very resistant defensive walls and a moat that allowed to better defend the structure. Over the centuries it changed several functions, but nowadays it is an attraction open to the public and a exclusive conference center, also hosting some offices of the European Council.

Outside you will immediately notice the four corner towers, the bastions and the well-preserved walls, while inside there are about fifteen rooms. Below is a focus on the most important.

Saint Patrick's Hall

It is the largest room of all the castle apartments and is entirely decorated, thus guarding one of the most beautiful decorations in the country.

Once used as a ballroom, thanks to its beauty and grandeur, today it comes used for ceremonies, including the formalization of the election of the President.



Throne Room

The Throne Room was originally called Battleaxe Hall, but over the years it became the boardroom.

The name of the room comes from the presence of the throne of William of Orange, also known as William III of England, with the title of Prince of Orange. Here the new President of the Irish Republic is invested. Another attraction of the room is the his chandelier, where a clover, a rose and a thistle are represented, which represent the union of, respectively, Ireland, England and Scotland.

State lounge

This room was integrated in the centuries following the construction of the castle, that is in the 30s. Unfortunately in 1941 it was severely damaged by a fire, the one we can admire today is a faithful reconstruction.

Its purpose was to reception room. Even today it is used to receive foreign dignitaries in Dublin.

State dining room

This room is also called the Gallery or the Dinner Room and here the older decorations of the whole complex, which fortunately survived years of work, fires and changes unscathed.

Its function has not changed: if it was once used as the Lord's personal dining room, today it is used always as a dining room at conferences in Sant Patrick's Hall.

State chambers

Inside the Royal Apartments you can visit different State Rooms, that is the private apartments of the lord who lived in the castle. Also due to the fire of 1941, these were almost completely rebuilt, maintaining the same layout and the same characteristics as the original ones.

Time they are no longer used, the last person to stay here was Margaret Thatcher with her husband, at a session of the European Council in the 80s.



Useful tips for visiting the attraction

It is not possible to organize a do-it-yourself visit to the great Dublin Castle, as every access is regulated, being a Irish government office, currently active. The entrances without a guided tour, therefore, must still be considered with a self-guide.

  1. Get up early: reach the Castle at least half an hour before, if not an hour: being a government building, the security checks will be very thorough. Queuing is also mandatory for Dublin Pass or OPW Heritage Card holders.
  2. Priority ticket: it is possible to book the ticket, perhaps by organizing guided tours in advance. For more info .
  3. Check the website: sometimes the entrance and opening times may vary or even be canceled due to government commitments at the last minute. We therefore advise you to check the official website.
  4. Watch out for restrictions: backpacks, bags and strollers cannot be brought inside the Castle, but will be kept by the staff at the entrance. The introduction of selfie sticks inside the building is prohibited.
  5. Minimum time: allow yourself at least two hours to visit the attraction.
  6. Disabled access: it is allowed in almost all the attraction, except for the Viking Excavation, reachable only by stairs. It is also possible to take photographs inside the attraction (without flash inside the State Apartments).

Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief

He was king John Senzaterra to want, in 1204, the construction of Dublin Castle, in medieval style, as a testimony of the English dominance over Ireland. The manor, whose original structure included the presence of four towers, lost its function of royal fortress and prison only after 700 years, when it assumed the role of government palace of the Irish Republic.
The building was heavily downsized following a terrible fire, in 1864, which destroyed numerous medieval components, with the exception of one of the four towers, the Record Tower


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