Ireland is full of rich history, from the Norman Invasion to Vikings roaming the lands. However,
one of the most historical parts of Ireland is their castles! Ireland castles can vary from Medieval
to 19th-century homes and are fascinating to visit. While some are now only ruins, plenty are
also open to the public! Some of these are luxury hotels, while others are historical sites you
can visit on your next trip to Ireland.
Castle Hotels in Ireland
It was a dream of mine to stay in a castle, even if it was just for a night, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to do it in Ireland! You may even be shocked at how easy it is to book your castle
experience! While some are smaller, allowing just one group to visit at a time, many are fully
operational hotels. Here are the best castles in Ireland you must visit while you’re there on your
Ballyseede Castle had a ton of amenities ranging from free Wi-Fi to free parking for guests. This is a great place to stay if you want beautiful garden views and a lush castle experience. We chose to stay here because it was one of the best places based on the price point and availability. However, this castle had everything you could possibly need, from a coffee/tea maker to an in-room TV. While staying in a castle, this unique lodging experience has gardens for walking around, restaurants for dining, and so much more.
Follow Ballyseede Castle on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and check out this Ballyseede Castle Review to learn more! You can book your stay at this Irish Castle directly, or by using Booking.com, TripAdvisor or Hotels.com.
Located in South Ireland, Lismore Castle is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire. It originally belonged to the Earls of Desmond and has since passed in possession since the mid-18th century. This castle has all the luxuries of a modern home, including a theatre room, WiFi, and ensuite bathrooms. You can sleep anywhere from 8 to 12 people or up to 27 for a larger party. You can rent this castle on an exclusive basis all year. This castle also has a masterpiece of historical treasures and artwork, from contemporary works to Old Masters, hanging on its walls.
Located in the Northwest of Ireland, Ashford Castle is also one of Ireland’s finest five-star hotels! Despite being a castle from the 13th century, it was built in the 18th century. Ireland’s first and only Forbes Five-Star Hotel was the Guinness Family’s former home and is a luxurious experience for anyone who visits. This hotel has over 83 rooms and suites, an award-winning spa, three bars, and six restaurants on the property.
You can find Slane Castle in County Meath and on a 1,500-acre estate in the heart of Boyne Valley. It’s been there since the 18th century and is still home to the same family from when it was built. You can find this castle just 35 minutes from the Dublin Airport. This castle even has its own food truck on the castle grounds. While not as well accommodated as the other castles, this one still has a lot to see and is a large estate worth walking around, even if you only stop by for the day. Stop by this castle for afternoon tea or hike down the walking trail during your stay. You’ll also find the largest historical reenactment in Ireland at this castle!
Located in West Ireland, you’ll find this 5-star luxury hotel, Dromoland Castle. Dating back to the mid-19th century, this restored castle got a big makeover from its 15th-century build date. The lineage of this castle dates back over 1,000 years to one of the last High Kings of Ireland, Brian Boru. At Dromoland, they believe that every guest should be treated like royalty.
Other Castles in Ireland
Here are the best castles in Ireland that you have to visit while you’re there on your next trip.
This beautiful tower is well preserved and is located in West Ireland in County Clare. The Bunratty Castle dates back to 1425 and is one of the most authentic and complete medieval fortresses in Ireland.
Located on the outskirts of Dublin, you will find Malahide Castle. The oldest parts of this castle date all the way back to the 12th century.
Known for the Blarney Stone, the Blarney Castle is one that was affected by the Irish Confederate Wars and besieged during that time. While impressive to look at, it is in partial ruin with only a few places accessible.
You might recognize Trim Castle from Braveheart, but it’s one of the most beautiful castles in Ireland. It’s Ireland’s largest Cambro-Norman castle, and you can wander the grounds yourself or get a guided tour here.
Not much is left of the Doonagore Castle, but it’s still a sight to see. You can see near the shores of the North Atlantic Ocean, this castle was built in the 14th century.
Only an hour from Dublin, Kilkenny Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Ireland. It’s a symbol of Norman occupation, and the majority of this castle dates back to the mid-19th century.
Located in the Southeastern part of Ireland, Cahir Castle is one of the largest castles in the country. It has everything you would expect from a medieval castle, but it has a working portcullis!
Located in County Cork, Blackrock Castle one tends to get missed. This impressive castle dated to the 16th century and was originally built to protect intruders from the port.
Popular from Game of Thrones, this was the primary filming location for the show! Take part in a medieval banquet or try on a Game of Thrones costume when visiting the fantastic Castle Ward.
Clough Oughter Castle
Surrounded by natural beauty, you’ll find the Clough Oughter Castle in County Cavan next to Killykeen Forest Park. At one point, this castle used to be a prison!
What is the Largest Castle in Ireland?
The Trim Castle is the largest castle in Ireland. It’s listed above in the 20 best castles and is perfect for visiting to catch a glance or take a tour. Head to Ireland and you can visit the largest castle in Ireland and see the ultimate symbol of Norman glory. This castle is located in Meath, Ireland. This is a family-owned hotel and is one of the finest independent hotels in County Meath.
What is the Oldest Castle in Ireland?
The Killyleagh Castle dates back to the 1100s and is believed to be the oldest castle still remaining in Ireland. The Hamilton Family owns this castle; while you can’t stay in this castle overnight, you can still visit the oldest Castle in Ireland. This castle is located in Killyleagh, Downpatrick.
How Many Castles Are in Ireland?
It’s hard to put an exact number on it, but it’s been estimated that there are over 30,000 castles that are still in Ireland. Some are standing, and some may be in ruins but still can be looked at and known that they’re castles. Many of them are available to the public to stay in, but most of the castles are historical sites that can only be visited on a day trip.
Castles are not only a staple of Ireland but a big part of their way of life and history. Hopefully, with the help of this guide, you can find the best ones to visit and help paint a picture of the historical times. These are some of the best castles to visit across the country and will help you start your journey on the right foot. Many of these are even close together to help travel between them. You can make a trip just to visit castles if you want because there are so many! So here are the best castles to visit, so you don’t waste your time.