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Visiting Bunratty Castle in Bunratty, Ireland

Bunratty Castle, Bunratty, Ireland

The gorgeously restored Bunratty Castle is filled with fine medieval furniture and thousands of years of Irish history. Learn more about visiting the historic Bunratty Castle in Bunratty, Ireland.

Bunratty Castle History

Bunratty Castle, Bunratty, Ireland

Bunratty Castle has a long history filled with the most prominent figures in Irish and English history. The de Clare family, descendants of Strongbow, built the first castle here in 1276. (If you want to visit another de Clare family castle in Ireland, check out Kilkenny Castle.) The O’Brien family, descendants of the Irish High King Brian Boru, captured and destroyed the castle a few times.

The castle that stands now is the fourth reconstruction, built around 1425 by the MacNamara family. The castle later became a stronghold of the O’Brien family again. It stayed in the family until 1712 when it was sold to the Studdert family, who let the castle fall into disrepair.

Luckily, in 1956 the 7th Viscount Gort and the Office of Public Works bought and restored the castle, saving it from ruin. It opened to the public in 1960 and is now a tourist attraction containing the castle and a folk par with a reconstruction of 19th century buildings.

Touring Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle, Bunratty, Ireland

You can take a guided tour of all the rooms in this 15th century castle. They have excellent tour guides who are really passionate about the castle’s history.

When I visited, I had an extremely energetic little old man who liked to act out plummeting to the depths of the dungeons. It was fantastic! He is by far one of the best tour guides I have ever had!

Bunratty Castle, Bunratty, Ireland

You are also free to explore the castle grounds on your own. The castle’s folk park has reconstructions of 19th century Irish buildings, including Ardcroney Church, which was moved stone-by-stone from Ardcroney in County Tipperary to the park.

There is also a petting zoo, a fairy trail, a walled garden, and a café on the grounds. These extensive castle grounds have so many interesting things for you to explore!

Visiting Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle, Bunratty, Ireland

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is open daily from 10 a.m. — 5 p.m., with last admission at 4 p.m.

Admission to Bunratty Castle costs €15.25 for adults; €11.50 for students, seniors, and children ages 4-18; and free for children 3 and under. Your tickets include access to the castle, farmhouses, village street, playground, fairy trail, walled gardens, playground, and more.

And if you want a really special experience, you can attend the castle’s famous Bunratty Banquet. This unique medieval banquet allows you to experience a medieval Irish meal complete with four courses in the Great Hall and music, song, and dance from the Bunratty Castle Singers. You really don’t want to miss this!

The 2-hour long banquets run nightly at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost €66 for adults, €37.50 for children ages 4-10, and €10 for children 3 and under.

Castle Count: 14

Read next: 10 Breathtaking Day Trips from Galway, Ireland

Ready to visit Bunratty Castle in Bunratty, Ireland? Plan your trip with these tips.



Visiting Bunratty Castle in Bunratty, Ireland

Have you visited Bunratty Castle? Let me know about your trip in the comments!

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  1. Hi Page! My wife and I visited Ireland and we rented an auto to explore the West Coast itinerary-free. We stopped at Bunratty Castle and took the tour as well. Loved it!! Then we pondered across the street to Durty Nelly’s for lunch. We would recommend this stop to anyone visiting the Emerald Isle.

  2. I have always dreamed of going to Ireland or Scotland to visit a castle. I’m part Scottish and these castles are such a critical part of history!. I’m so glad they restored this because it’s always so sad to see the ones in disrepair but that upkeep is expensive. Great photos of the trip!

  3. Ireland is on my bucket list. I am so ready to visit. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

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