Dublin, Ireland’s capital, is a must-see for any history buff or admirer of imperial structures. In Dublin, you may visit the massive St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century, as well as the buildings of Trinity College and Dublin Castle.
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Top 10 Places to Visit in Dublin
But, getting out of Dublin for the day allows you to visit a number of other castles in the area. Castles near Dublin range from important landmarks to lovely ruins; visit as many as time permits.
1. Kilkenny Castle
Kilkenny Castle is located 130 kilometres (80 km) to the southeast of Dublin. The Normans constructed the fortress around the end of the 12th century, and it came to dominate the area above the Nore River. The castle is now a major tourist attraction in the city of Kilkenny.
Locals and tourists alike take advantage of the free admission to stroll among the rose gardens in front of the castle and the wooded areas that surround it. Yet, while in town, you should also go inside to see the magnificent Great Hall and the several decorated bedrooms.
2. Malahide Castle
Malahide Castle, about 14 kilometres (9 miles) north of Dublin, is a castle in close proximity to the city. The Malahide Castle, erected in the 12th century, is an excellent place to spend a few hours because of its close proximity to the city centre. For centuries, the castle served as a private home, but in the 1970s, it was officially donated to Ireland.
The castle’s exterior and grounds have been preserved as they appeared when it was built in the 18th century. In addition to the beautiful grounds, Malahide Castle also features a lovely banquet hall and a more intimate dining room where guests can enjoy a dinner after exploring the grounds.
3. Rock of Cashel
Almost two hours away from Dublin, the Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most fascinating castles. Cashel has some fairly dark roots, as legend has it that St. Patrick himself expelled Satan from a cave.
Although many kings resided there over the years, the majority of the current fortress dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries. On the Rock of Cashel, you may visit the Cathedral, Cormac’s Chapel, and the Round Tower, all of which date back to the 13th century.
4. Trim Castle
Trim Castle, to the northwest of Dublin, is Ireland’s largest Norman castle. Located only 45 minutes from Dublin, it is the ideal destination for a day trip if you want to get out of the city and learn about Irish culture.
A ecclesiastical and military stronghold, Trim Castle was constructed over the course of more than 30 years in the 12th century. Trim Castle hosted parliament sessions in the 15th century, and its treasury and mint produced coinage for the region. Size, age, and the highly irregular cruciform shape of Trim Castle in the 12th century make it one of a kind.
5. Birr Castle
Birr, a small village in County Offaly, located only around 85 miles (140 kilometres) west of Dublin. The major attraction in Birr is the castle, although the main street also includes some interesting stores and restaurants.
There has been a castle there in some form since the 12th century, but several renovations and extensions have given it its current impressive aspect. The current 7th Lord of Rosse still lives in a portion of Birr Castle.
Nonetheless, the rest of Birr Castle is accessible to the public, and in fact, it is home to the Ireland Heritage Science Center in a section of the castle.
6. Charleville Castle
The town of Tullamore, most famous for producing whisky, lies around 90 minutes west of Dublin. Charleville Castle, a magnificent Gothic structure steeped in history, may be found there as well. The area has been utilised for worship from at least the sixth century, when it was most likely settled by ancient Druids.
The structure of the castle dates back to the early 19th century. Many of the castle’s occupants lived there for just a short period, and it wasn’t until the 1970s that significant restoration work began. These days, ghosts are what make Charleville Castle famous. Many paranormal and detective articles have focused on the castle, and paranormal investigators lead many of the tours.
7. Swords Castle
Swords Castle is located just two miles north of Dublin’s airport. The fortress was commissioned by John Comyn, Dublin’s first archbishop, and constructed around 1200. The castle’s pentagonal design and extremely high walls are both unusual for their respective periods.
Swords Castle appears to have been extensively damaged and abandoned in the 14th century, but historical records show that it was occupied again in following decades. Currently, TV productions frequently employ Swords Castle as a location. Those who only wish to see the outside can do so as well.
8. The Gibson Hotel
The Gibson Hotel, with its sleek façade of stainless steel and glass, is the ideal place to relax in the heart of the city. O’Connell Street and the centre of Dublin are both within walking distance of the hotel. Modern and stylish, the hotel’s spacious guest rooms provide either private courtyards or views of the city.
Superior and family rooms, as well as junior suites, are available and have soothing, modern furnishings. In addition to Hemi Bar, there is also Coda Eatery. The Gibson offers a quiet place to read or hold a business conference.
9. Clontarf Castle Hotel
At Clontarf Castle Hotel, old world elegance meets cutting-edge comfort, style, and convenience. The castle has a vine-covered facade that leads to arched entryways and luxurious rooms with freestanding baths, stylish wall coverings, and fashionable furniture, all within fifteen minutes of Dublin’s city centre.
The Fahrenheit Grill is a top-notch Dublin eatery known for its succulent steaks and fresh seafood. Indigo Lounge, furnished with plush sofas and crimson chandeliers, serves breakfast pastries and coffee in the morning and dinner and cocktails in the evening.
10. The Merrion Hotel
The Merrion Hotel combines the elegance of the past with the cutting edge of the contemporary with its stately columns, marble bathrooms, and collection of 19th and 20th century art.
The Georgian main house and its garden wing offer guests a variety of different vistas, including the garden, the city, and even some majestic government buildings. The boutique hotel’s Cellar Bar serves gastro-pub fare, while The Cellar Restaurant serves modern Irish cuisine and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud serves exquisite dining.
The hotel features a spa, a bar, and event space. The National Gallery, Trinity College, and the Irish Museum of Contemporary Art are all within walking distance from The Merrion.