Dublin Castle: History, facts & visit info

Follow the thread of Irish history from the time of Vikings to the present day at Dublin Castle.

Dublin Castle: History, facts & Visit Info.

A reminder of British rule in Ireland, Dublin Castle stands on the south side of the River Liffey.

Once the seat of the Viceroy of Ireland, today it is more synonymous with the government of the Republic.

Founded on a former Viking settlement, its roots reach far back into Irish history and serve as a fascinating insight for visitors.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for visiting Dublin Castle:

  • Dublin Castle remains an operational Irish government building, so access may be subject to change at short notice.
  • The closest Luas stops are St. Stephen’s Green (green line) and Jervis Street (red line), and numerous buses will leave you nearby. Dublin Castle is centrally located and can be reached by foot, too.
  • Prams cannot be taken on the tour, although storage facilities are available.
  • The only part of the castle that is not accessible for wheelchair users is the Viking excavation in the Chapel Royal. Unfortunately, it can only be accessed by stairs.

Interesting facts about Dublin Castle:

  • King John of England ordered the construction of Dublin Castle as a medieval fortress in 1204. It then served as the residence for the British Viceroy of Ireland – the monarch’s representative – until 1922.
  • It was built atop an earlier Viking settlement, the remains of which can be seen in an excavation exhibition in the castle’s Chapel Royal.
  • A fire caused severe damage in 1684, and the castle underwent rebuilding in the late 17th and 18th centuries. However, much of the old structure still stands.
  • Since 1938, each Irish president has been inaugurated in the castle’s St Patrick’s Hall.
  • Famous visitors to Dublin Castle throughout its history include John F Kennedy, Charles de Gaulle, and Nelson Mandela.
  • Dublin Castle, in 2016, became the first place where the Irish flag was allowed to fly at night. Find out more with our article on amazing facts you probably didn’t know about the Irish flag.

What’s nearby

Food: Try food from all over, including Chez Max (French), Copper Alley Bistro (Irish), Bottega Toffoli (Italian), Beef & Lobster (seafood and prime cut meats), Corfu Greek Restaurant (Greek), Silk Road Café (Middle Eastern), 777 (Mexican), and Diwali Restaurant (Nepalese).

Drink: The Workman’s Club, The Long Hall, the Hairy Lemon, Grogans, Darkey Kelly’s. Dublin Castle is also a short walk away from the iconic but touristy Temple Bar.

Other attractions: The Irish Rock’ n’ Roll Museum Experience, Dublinia Museum, Christ Church Cathedral, Irish Whiskey Museum, and St. Stephen’s Green.

Accommodation: Dublin Castle’s central location makes it handy regardless of your accommodation. However, in the immediate vicinity, you’ll find the Hard Rock Hotel Dublin (four-star), Harding Hotel (three-star), and Handel’s Hotel (three-star), among other options.

Your questions answered about Dublin Castle

How long does it take to walk through Dublin Castle?

The guided tour lasts about an hour; the self-guided tour takes around 30 minutes.

Is there visitor parking in Dublin Castle?

There is no visitor parking at Dublin Castle. The nearest car parks are the Christchurch Q-Park and the Park Rite on Drury Street.

When did the British leave Dublin Castle?

The British left Dublin Castle on 16 January 1922.

Contact and more info

Address: Dame St, Dublin 2, Ireland

Website: https://www.dublincastle.ie/

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +35316458800

Opening hours: Daily (including bank holidays), 9:45 am–5:45 pm (last admission 5:15 pm).

Price: For self-guided tours: Adult €8, Student/ Senior (60+) €6, Child (12–17) €4, Family ticket (two adults and up to three children) €20. Children under 12 go free. Advance booking is required for parties of eight or more.

A limited number of tickets are available for guided tours at the ticket office on the day of your visit. The guided tours run between 10 am and 4 pm daily.

More IB4UD Dublin Guides

READ: The Ultimate Dublin Bucket List

READ: Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin: Ireland’s most famous prison

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