We love Dublin Castle and its one of our top recommendations for you to do on any trip to Dublin. It’s located centrally about half way down Dame Street. Once the centre of British Rule it is now used by the Irish Government for state occasions after it was handed over to the new Irish Government in 1921. Over time it has functioned as a Treasury, a prison, a military fortress and as courts of law. The State Apartments, Undercroft, Chapel Royal, Chester Beatty Library, Craft Shop, Heritage Centre, Dubhlinn Gardens (which the city gets its name from) and Restaurant are all open to visitors.
History buffs will love trawling through its environs and rich complex history. Some people will say there’s not much of a ‘castle’ left but that misses the point. Don’t expect to see a drawbridge and turrets! The ‘castle’ is a collection of history, ideas, stories and grandeur as well as wonderful buildings.
On the way in the main gates be sure to stop for a cup of coffee and pastry at the Chez Max restaurant. This is a glorious place, great service, great coffee and makes you feel absolutely worth it!
When you get to the main castle you have a choice of the full tour for €10 or the State Rooms for €7. There is no comparison between the two – the full tour (which takes about 70 minutes) is so much better. So, unless you are very tight for time then you should go for it. It includes a visit under the castle to view the old walls of the city and the River Poddle which flows through this part of the city in a brick tunnel.
How to get there
To walk to it, with your back to Trinity College you are viewing Dame Street. Simply walk up the street for about 15-20 minutes and Dublin Castle is on your left. You can’t miss it! Via bus you can take the 13,27,40,49,54A,56A,77A, 123 or150. Dublin Castle is generally open all year around. However, occasionally it can be closed if an important function is happening, so do check ahead.