Cahir Castle has the distinction of being one of Ireland’s largest and best preserved castles. A tour of this impressive structure gives you a good look at traditional defensive measures used by castles during this time.
Cahir Castle History
Cahir Castle’s name comes from the Irish word cathair meaning “stone fort.” The O’Brien family built the castle on this island in the River Suir in the 12th and 13th centuries. Then, the powerful Butler family was granted the castle in the 14th century. They remodeled and enlarged the castle over the next few centuries, but the castle fell into ruin by the late 18th century.
During the Elizabethan wars, the Butler family sided with the Irish against English rule. Because of this, the castle was captured during a three day siege in 1599. Later, during the Irish Confederate Wars, still fighting against English rule in Ireland, the castle was besieged twice. With all of this, it’s surprising the castle managed to remain intact.
Touring Cahir Castle
A 30-40 minute guided tour of the castle gives you information about the medieval history of the castle and the surrounding region. You also learn a lot about the castle’s defense mechanisms, including its working portcullis. Though the castle was besieged multiple times, it was not an easy task for the attackers.
After the guided tour, you’re free to roam around on your own and explore the rooms, nooks, and crannies more in depth. You can also climb to the top of one of the towers for a view of the town.
Getting to Cahir Castle
If you want to take a day trip to the castle on your own, the bus is probably the best way to get there. A direct bus from Busáras in Dublin, bus number X8, will drop you off right across the street from the castle.
If you want to take a guided bus tour, I found this Blarney Day Tour through Viator, which takes you to Cahir Castle, Blarney Castle, and the Rock of Cashel. I don’t think many tours include this castle on it, so this would be a unique trip!
Visiting Cahir Castle
The castle is open daily at different times depending on the season:
- March through mid-June: 9:30 a.m. — 5:30 p.m.
- Mid-June through August: 9 a.m. — 6:30 p.m.
- September through mid-October: 9:30 a.m. — 5:30 p.m.
- Mid-October through February: 9:30 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.
Last admission is 45 minutes before closing.
Admission costs €5 for adults, €4 for seniors, and €3 for children and students.
Top Cahir Castle Day Tours
Are you planning to visit Cahir Castle on a day trip? To take some of the stress out of planning your visit, opt for a guided tour! Check out this list of the top Cahir Castle day tours from all over Ireland to help you make the most of your trip.
- From Dublin: Cahir Castle, Blarney Castle, and the Rock of Cashel Tour
- From Galway: Cahir Castle, Blarney Castle, and the Rock of Cashel Tour
- From Waterford: Custom Private Day Tour
My trip to Cahir Castle was part of my “three-castles-in-one-day” trips, because the more castles the better! You can easily take a trip to this castle in conjunction with a trip to the Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle. You can read about the tour I took here: A Day Trip Traveling Across Southern Ireland.
Ready to visit Cahir Castle in Cahir, Ireland? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book your flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find accommodation: You can find top hotels in Cahir using Booking.com.
- Get packing: Make sure you’ve packed everything you need with my packing list resources.
Have you been to Cahir Castle in Ireland? Let me know in the comments!