Trinity College: Unveiling the history and prestige of Dublin’s iconic university

In the heart of Dublin, Trinity College stands as a testament to centuries of academic excellence, boasting a rich tapestry of history, distinguished alumni, and cultural treasures.

Trinity College: Unveiling the history and prestige of Dublin’s iconic university.

In this article, we invite you on a virtual journey through the hallowed halls of Trinity College, exploring its famed Book of Kells, the architectural marvels of the Long Room Library, and the storied traditions that have shaped this venerable institution.

From famous alumni like Oscar Wilde to the allure of its picturesque campus, discover what that makes this a beacon of Irish education.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for visiting:

Picture of a boy and a girl walking out of Trinity College.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Failte Ireland
  • Don’t miss the Book of Kells exhibition, showcasing an illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels. It’s a highlight of Trinity College. Note that photography is not allowed in the Book of Kells exhibition, so be respectful of this policy.
  • If you do plan to visit the Book of Kells exhibition, ensure you book your tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to avoid long queues.
  • Join a guided tour to gain in-depth knowledge about the history and significance of the college and its treasures.
  • Enjoy the beautiful architecture and ambience of Front Square, surrounded by iconic Trinity College buildings.
  • Explore the Science Gallery, an innovative space showcasing the intersection of science and art.
  • Visit the Buttery, a historic dining hall on campus, for a delightful meal or afternoon tea.

Interesting facts about Trinity College:

  • Trinity College was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, making it the oldest university in Ireland.
  • The Book of Kells is believed to have been created around 800 AD on the Isle of Iona and later brought to Trinity College for preservation.
  • The Long Room Library is a stunning chamber housing over 200,000 of Trinity’s oldest books.
  • Trinity College boasts an impressive list of alumni, including writers like Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and Jonathan Swift.
  • The iconic bell tower, known as the Campanile, was designed by Sir Charles Lanyon and serves as a symbol of the college.
  • Trinity College also houses the Book of Durrow, another significant illuminated manuscript dating back to the seventh century.
  • Students at Trinity College participate in various traditions, including the annual Trinity Ball, one of Europe’s largest private parties.

What’s nearby

Food: The Boxty House (Irish), Courtyard Restaurant (Irish), Dunne and Crescenzi (Italian), and The Pig’s Ear (Irish). For the best restaurants in Dublin, see our guide.

Drink: Doyle’s, O’Neills Victorian Pub & Townhouse, O’Donoghues Bar, The Ha’penny Bridge Inn. Check out our definitive list of the best pubs in Dublin for more recommendations.

Accommodation: The Trinity City Hotel (four-star), Trinity Townhouse Hotel (three-star), Jacobs Inn Dublin (two-star). Book your Dublin stay with the help of our guide to the city’s best hotels.

Other attractions: National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Irish Whiskey Museum, The Little Museum of Dublin, Dublin Castle, Temple Bar. Consult our Dublin Bucket List for an in-depth view of the city’s best activities.

Your questions answered about Trinity College

Front view of a collage in Dublin.
Ireland’s Content Pool/ Paul Kelly

What is Trinity College famous for?

Trinity College is renowned for its rich history, distinguished alumni, and iconic treasures such as the Book of Kells, a beautifully illuminated manuscript.

Is Trinity College free to visit?

While the exterior of Trinity College is freely accessible, there is an admission fee to explore specific attractions like the Book of Kells exhibition and the Long Room Library.

Was Trinity College used in Harry Potter?

No, Trinity College was not used in the Harry Potter film series. However, its impressive architecture and historic charm have made it a popular location for other films, such as Michael Collins, Educating Rita, and The First Great Train Robbery.

Contact info:

Address: College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland

Telephone: +353 1 896 1000

Email: [email protected]


Book of Kells exhibition opening hours:

Monday-Saturday: 9:30 am–5 pm

Sunday: 12 pm–4:30 pm

Admission fees:

Standard: from €19

Student/Senior: from €16

Child (6-12): from €10.50

Family (two adults, two children): from €47

Group (10+): from €14.50 each

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