20 Best Castles in Ireland

Ireland is a land rich in myths and legends. You can’t travel far in Ireland without seeing the Castle. In Ireland, there are around 30000 Castles. It is impossible to see all the castles. Also, we can declare no such castle in Ireland is best. Each Castle provides you with a different experience. They will take visitors back in time for sure. Every structure is a living testament of a bygone era. You might get confused which Castle you should visit and which you can leave for your next visit. We have a segregated list of 20 Best Castles in Ireland for our readers. This article is a must-read for those planning their trip to Ireland. 

Best Castles in Ireland

You might be wondering who built these Castles in Ireland. Most of the Castles were built by power and the royal family in the medieval period for defence. These places have been restored to their former glory, making them famous travel places. Below, you can check the 20 best castles in Ireland one by one with their brief description.

1. Cahir Castle

It is one of the largest castles in Ireland, situated along the river Suir. Cahir Castle was built in the 12th century. Its historical significance entices visitors. The strategic location of the Castle in the river Suir adds charm to its beauty. The well-maintained structure allows visitors to walk through its various chambers, towers and halls. It ultimately provides a glimpse of mediaeval life to travellers. Cahir Castle of Ireland is also used as a shooting location for various movies and TV series. 

2. Ashford Castles

It is a luxurious castle of the 13th century located in County Mayo, Ireland. Ashford Castle is situated on the shores of Lough Corrib. Visitors will get stunning views and impeccable services in this Castle of Ireland. It also offers various outdoor activities like fishing, falconry and golf. It depends on whether you want to explore the castle’s rich history and enjoy scenic surroundings; Ashford Castle of Ireland promises a memorable trip. 

3. Glenveagh Castle

Glenveagh Castle is situated in Donegal’s wild landscapes. It stands as one of the Best Castles in Ireland. Surrounded by the enchanting Glenveagh National Park, the castle offers travellers a captivating mix of history and natural beauty. It was built in the 19th century. You can explore the meticulously restored interiors, showcasing period furnishings and artefacts. The castle’s beautiful lakes and rugged mountains provide a perfect backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts. In conclusion, Glenveagh Castle is a must-visit destination for those seeking a harmonious fusion of Irish history and breathtaking scenery.

4. Dunluce Castle

Dunluce is another famous Castle in Ireland. This tourist spot has a stunning view. You will be amazed that the famous TV series “Game Of Thrones” used this castle for the shooting.It was once home to the noble Macdonell family. Travellers get a breathtaking view of the North Atlantic Ocean from the castle. What are the things that lure Visitors? Well, Dunluce Castle offers both tumultuous history and mediaeval architecture that entices travellers from all over the world. It is a lively testimony to Ireland’s rich history and culture. Add this castle to your bucket list if you love capturing photographs.

5. Dunlough Castle

Lying on the rugged cliffs of the Mizen Peninsula in county Cork, Dunlough Castle is another name in our list of famous islands in Ireland. When you visit the castle, you see three distinctive towers with different designs. In the vicinity of the castle, you can take a peaceful wall along the coastal shores. The castle’s condition has been dilapidated with time; still, it stands as a testament to Ireland’s mediaeval past. It’s a must-visit place for those looking for history and natural beauty.

6. Malahide Castle

This historic marvel dates back to the 12th century. It is located in the seaside town of Malahide, north of Dublin. The castle offers a well furnished room and a botanical garden to the visitors. When you visit this famous Ireland Castle, you will get to know the history of the Talbot Family, who lived there for centuries. 

7. Ross Castle

Ross Castles is nestled on the shores of Lough Leane in Killarney National Park. It is a famous castle in Ireland that is a perfect blend of history and scenic beauty. The castle was built in the 15th century. The rugged stone walls of the castle give you a feel of mediaeval times and the legendary O’Donoghue Ross Chieftains. From the castle, you will get a complete view of the lake and surrounding landscapes. Visitors can also explore its atmospheric chambers and tower.

8. Kilkenny Castle

This famous Castle in Ireland was built in the 12th century. It is another jewel in the list of best castles in Ireland. It was founded after the Norman conquest of Ireland and rebuilt. Today, it is a famous place in Ireland for visitors. People across the globe visit this Castle to delve into the mediaeval period of history. The Castle offers 50 acres of rolling parkland with beautiful trees and diverse wildlife. You will also see man-made lakes in this Castle. For visitors, there are playgrounds, tea rooms and trails.

9. Dublin Castle

Dublin was built in the 13th century. For centuries, the Castle was used as the headquarters of the English and later for the Britisher administration. The Castle is worth visiting if you are fond of exploring historic places. You can still view the remains of the 13th-century structure to get the touch of the mediaeval history period. Now, Dublin Castle is used by the Irish government for state events and ceremonies. The sites you can visit are Record Tower, Chester Beatty Library, entertaining halls of the state apartments, the royal chapel, the throne room, the state bedrooms, etc. It is totally worth visiting this famous Ireland Castle.

10. Bir Castle

Nestled in the Magical Midlands of Ireland, the famous Bir Castle has decorated 90 rooms on 1200 acres. The Castle is open for the public to visit only for a limited period because it is still used by the family Lord and Lady Rosse, descendants of the Parson Family. This family is famous in Ireland for its contribution to science and technology. The 3rd Earl of Rosse built the largest telescope in 1840. With this telescope, the Whirlpool Nebula was discovered. There were many discoveries, like the steam engine made by this famous Irish Family, which changed the course of history throughout the world. Near the Castle, you can explore the beautiful Georgian Town of Bir, the New Library, Sculpture Park, etc.

11. Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle stands as one of the best castles in Ireland. It invites visitors with its rich history and legendary stones. Located near Cork, this mediaeval fortress was built in the 15th century and is famous for the Blarney Stone, believed to grant eloquence to those who kiss it. The Castle’s tower offers panoramic views of the lush surroundings and Blarney Gardens. The Castle is an iconic symbol of Irish heritage. The places to explore in the Castle are dungeons, climbing the winding stone staircase, etc.

12. Trim Castle

Located on the south bank of the River Boyne in Trim, this Castle spans over an area of 30000 metres square. It is the largest, preserved and beautiful Anglo-Norman Castle in Ireland. Trim Castle was built in the 12th century. The Castle was built for the defence purpose. Now, the structure is ruined, but with its remains, you can sense how impressive once it looks back. The famous destinations near Trim Caste are The Hill of Tara, Tayto Park, Kells Monastic site, etc.

13. Kinbane Castle

The Kinbane Castle was constructed in 1547. Though the structure is ruined now, it still gives the rustic vibes of the mediaeval era. To explore this famous Castle in Ireland, you need to cover stone stairs. In the Castle, you can see beautiful cliffs and Rathlin Island across the water.

14. Lismore Castle

Immerse yourself in history; this mediaeval marvel was built in the 12th century and boasts a captivating blend of Gothic and Romanesque architecture. Overlooking the River Blackwater, the Castle’s stunning gardens, designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, add to its beauty. The Castle was the residence of the Duke of Devonshire. This famous Ireland Castle has hosted royalty and dignitaries in the past. You can explore its opulent interiors, beautiful gardens etc.

15. Dromoland Castle

In the past, Dromoland Castle was the family seat of Baron Inchiquin. Later, in 1962, it was bought by a US Citizen, Bernard P. McDonough. Since then, it has been used as a luxury hotel while retaining its historic charm. Now, the Castle offers visitors a perfect blend of rich Irish heritage and contemporary luxury. It is a famous premier destination among travellers now.

16. Doe Castle

The famous Quinn Family built Doe Castle in the 15th century. In 1934, the land was declared a national monument and handed to the Office of Public Works. It is a worthy place to visit if you love castles. You can get a peaceful walk on the premises of this Famous Ireland Castle to get the mediaeval structure feel. It is located on the right of Sheephaven Bay, so you will also get a panoramic view of the ocean from the Castle. 

17. Leap Castle

Leap Castle is considered one of the most haunted castles in Ireland. Many people claimed that they experienced ghosts in the corridor of the Castle. The Castle is allegedly haunted after the gruesome murder that happened in 1532 in a room above the main hall of the Castle. Now, this room is also famous as “The Bloody Chapel”. This famous Irish musician owns this Castle and resides there. It is open to visitors.

18. Minard Castle

Located on a hill with a breathtaking view of a little bay across the Irish Sea, the famous Minard Castle is a charming sight to behold. Now, the Castle is abandoned, but travellers come here to explore its history. The Castle is very near to the beaches so it is a plus point that after visiting this famous Castle in Ireland you can go to the beaches for relaxation. 

19. Kylemore Castle

When Kylemore Castle was built, it was home to the family of Mitchell Henry, who was a famous politician from England. You can get an idea of how beautiful the Castle would be if it took five years to complete the Castle. Now, it is famous as Kylemore Abbey. So don’t get yourself confused by the names. In the surrounding areas of the Castle you can visit beautiful gardens, a Gothic church, restaurants etc that lure travellers.

20. Bunratty Castle

The Castle is a wonderful and top historic landmark of Ireland. It is worth visiting for those who love exploring mediaeval structures and history. Also, you will get the rustic charm when you visit Bunratty Castle. In the Castle’s surroundings, you can go to the Creamery Pub and Food Barn to calm your cravings. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. What is the most visited castle in Ireland?Ans. Blarney Castle, located near Cork in County Cork, is the most visited castle in Ireland.Q. What is the oldest castle in Ireland?Ans. Killyleagh Castle in the village of Killyleagh, County Down, Northern Ireland, is believed to be the oldest castle in Ireland.Q. How many castles are in Ireland?Ans. There are approximately 30000 castles in Ireland.Q. What is the largest castle in Ireland?Ans. The largest castle in Ireland is Trim Castle on River Boyne.Q. What is the most photographed castle in Ireland?Ans. Dunguaire Castle is considered the most photographed castle in Ireland.