The Best Castles To Stay in When in Ireland

There are far too many amazing places to choose from when planning where you’re going to stay in Ireland. While I haven’t stayed in all of these myself, I have had the opportunity to talk to countless visitors to the country about some amazing castles to stay in when in Ireland.

CastleArea of IrelandStar RatingRoom Price From
ClontarfDublin5€139
FitzpatrickDublin4€119
DunboyneDublin4€86
AshfordWest Coast5€525
BallynahinchWest Coast5€280
AbbeyglenWest Coast4€113
The Black CastleSouthern IrelandBnB€330
DromolandSouthern Ireland5€450
Waterford CastleSouthern Ireland5€170
Wilton CastleSouthern Ireland5€160
Killeavy Northern Ireland4£170
BallygallyNorthern Ireland5€180

While this is just a sample of what is on offer when it comes to castle accommodation in Ireland, I think these are some of the best. By staying in any of these locations, you will not only get the chance to visit a castle, but you will also have the chance to see and do plenty nearby.

Castles in Ireland

There are around 800 castles in Ireland. Many of these are in ruins, especially thanks to tumultuous periods in Irish history. Some castles are now national monuments that are open to visitors year round. There are even a few castles in Ireland that are still used by the Irish government for official ceremonies.

I have already spoken about some of the castles you can visit in Ireland in different articles. If you are looking to visit castles in Dublin, please click here for more information.Opens in a new tab.

If you are looking to visit castles in different parts of Ireland, outside of Dublin, then please click here for more information.Opens in a new tab.

There are also, of course, castles that you can now use as accommodation for your travels around Ireland. While I cannot possibly go into detail on all of them in this article here. I just wanted to give you some insight, from a national guide, about some of the best and what you can see/ do from them.

Castles in Dublin You Can Stay in

Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle in the heart of the city center

Most visitors to Ireland will stay in or near Ireland’s capitol city of Dublin. There will be plenty for you to see and do in this city, so don’t worry. If you only have a limited amount of time in Ireland, you can still experience much of the country from Dublin.

I have my full recommendation for Dublin, linked here.Opens in a new tab.

If you are sticking to the modern city of Dublin and still want to feel like you’re having the luxury of staying in an ancient castle, then read on…

Clontarf Castle

Today Clontarf is a suburb of Dublin city, along its northern coast. In the past however, this sleepy community has played host to battles, royalty and intrigue. You will be able to stay in a 5-star hotel right here, built with the location’s history in mind.

There has been a castle on this site since 1171 and you can practically feel the history of this place when you explore it.

Information on Clontarf Castle

  • Room Price From: €139 per night.
  • Unique Features: Located about 5 miles from Dublin Airport.
  • Attractions Nearby: Dublin City.
  • Official WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

Fitzpatrick Castle

This 18th Century castle is now a 4-star hotel and is located in the beautiful Dublin suburb of Killiney. Just south of Dublin city center, this area is well-connected to the rest of the city with excellent transport links. Having said that, you might not want to leave this place once you arrive.

The nearby Killiney Hill has some of the best views of Dublin Bay. The village itself has plenty of brilliant pubs and restaurants that you will definitely have to check out while you’re here. You can really see why the likes of Enya and Bono have made this area their home.

Information On Fitzpatrick Castle

  • Room Price From: €119 per night.
  • Unique Features: Located on Dublin Bay, with plenty of access to water activities.
  • Attractions Nearby: Dublin City, Dublin Bay and Killiney
  • Official WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

Dunboyne Castle

Located just outside of Dublin in County Meath, Dunboyne Castle was originally built in the 18th Century and is now a hotel and spa. Located on a 21-acre site, this area has amazing views of the surrounding countryside.

If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle that you can find, even in places like Dublin, then this is the place to go. You will still have easy access to the city, so don’t feel like you’re going to be too isolated here.

Information on Dunboyne Castle

  • Room Price From: €86 per night.
  • Unique Features: Spa and beautiful grounds.
  • Attractions Nearby: Dublin is close by, so are heritage sites like NewgrangeOpens in a new tab..
  • Official WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

Castles on the West Coast of Ireland You Can Stay in

Dunguaire Castle
Dunguaire Castle

When coming to Ireland, who wouldn’t want to spend some time on the beautiful west coast. Here, you will find places like Galway and Connemara national park. If you want to see some of the famous Irish countryside, then this is where you will likely want to stay.

Ashford Castle

This is easily one of the most famous castle hotels in Ireland and with good reason. Originally created as a medieval fortification in the 12th century, the castle today is a 5-star hotel and resort. People will have their weddings here, spend romantic getaways and just enjoy the castle and its grounds.

The castle is located in rural Ireland and there are plenty of amenities in the nearby area. You will be able to find all sorts of activities here, from the tour of the castle to falconry!

Information on Ashford Castle

  • Room Price From: €525 per night.
  • Unique Features: Situated in the middle of a gorgeous part of rural Ireland.
  • Attractions Nearby: Lough Corrib and the 350-acre estate.
  • Official WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

Ballynahinch Castle

This castle is known as the jewel in the crown of Connemara. It is located on a 700-acre estate and is regarded as having some of the best views in Ireland. From this castle, you will be able to see the 12-bens mountain range that dominates the Connemara region.

The castle really is a jewel and if you stay here, you will definitely feel like you’re miles away from anywhere else.

Information on Ballynahinch Castle

  • Room Price From: €280 per night.
  • Unique Features: Located on a 700-acre estate with 350-acres of woodlands, walks and lakes.
  • Attractions Nearby: Connemara national park and Kylemore Abbey are nearby.
  • Official WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

Abbeyglen

Built in 1832, this castle is also nestled in the Connemara region of the west of Ireland. Here you will be able to find a luxurious 4-star hotel. You will also be able to explore some of the most picturesque parts of the island of Ireland.

Information on Abbeyglen Castle

  • Room Price From: €113 per night.
  • Unique Features: Wellness and relaxation center, tennis court and fine dining can all be found here.
  • Attractions Nearby: Connemara, Clifden and the Sky Road.
  • Official WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

Castles in the South of Ireland You Can Stay in

inside of a medieval irish castle with mossy walls
Photo by Vijay Aditya M on Pexels.com

The Southern parts of Ireland are becoming more and more popular all the time. When you visit this part of the country, you will definitely see why. This region has always been popular with the Irish when they want to go on a nice little “stay-cation”. You should definitely consider a trip south of Dublin.

The Black Castle

You will be able to step back in time when you stay at the Black Castle. This bed and breakfast was built out of the ruin of the ancient, 16th century castle owned by the O’Kennedy family.

This unique location has no electricity or Wi-Fi, so the Black Tower will actually live up to its name! Make sure to check this place out if you want to have a truly unique experience here in Ireland.

Information on the Black Castle

  • Room Price From: €330 per night.
  • Unique Features: No electricity or Wi-Fi. As close to the original 16th century setup as possible.
  • Attractions Nearby: The Rock of Cashel and Lough Derg are both within easy reach of here.
  • Official WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

Dromoland

This castle was originally built in the 16th Century as the seat of the O’Brien family. This family was one of the most powerful in Irish history and their lineage dates back to the High King Brian Boru, who won the battle of Clontarf in 1014.

Today, you will be able to stay in this luxury hotel and live like modern Irish gentry.

Information on Dromoland Castle

  • Room Price From: €450 per night.
  • Unique Features: Falconry, archery, walks, horseback riding and many other activities can be found here.
  • Attractions Nearby: The City of Limerick, River Shannon, the Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands are all nearby.
  • Official WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

Waterford Castle

Waterford castle was originally built in the 16th Century on an island in the River Suir in the south of Ireland. Today, this 5-star resort has some of the best views of the surrounding countryside and has plenty to do besides.

This castle is the perfect place to stay if you want to get away from everything. It is literally built for quiet and seclusion. So if you do want to get away from it all, you should definitely consider coming here.

Information on Waterford Castle

  • Room Price From: €170 per night.
  • Unique Features: Located on a 300-acre island in the middle of the Suir River. There are plenty of retreats and activities here.
  • Attractions Nearby: The medieval town of Waterford is nearby, as is the Waterford Greenway.
  • Official WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

Wilton Castle

This is a 13th Century castle that is privately owned by a local farmer today. They have done some amazing work on the restoration and this castle is actually available to be fully booked out. If you want to have a get together with 13 of your closest friends and family, why not book an Irish castle?

Information on Wilton Castle

  • Room Price From: €160 per night.
  • Unique Features: You are able to fully book out this medieval castle!
  • Attractions Nearby: Located 2 hours away from Dublin, in the heart of Wexford. This is near the coast.
  • Official WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

Castles in Northern Ireland You Can Stay in

Giant's Causeway
Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has so much to offer travelers from all over the world. The beautiful landscapes and unique history really will leave a lasting impression on most visitors here. Like the rest of Ireland, there are plenty of beautiful castles that you are now able to stay in when you visit.

Killeavy Castle

This castle is just north of the border, near the town of Newry, and is about an hour away from both Belfast and Dublin airports.

It’s located in a 350-acre estate, mixed with farmland and woods, right next to the Slieve Gullion mountain. Today, this castle serves as luxury accommodation as well as a spa and wellness retreat.

Information on Killeavy Castle

  • Room Price From: £170 per night.
  • Unique Features: Located on Slieve Gullion, there is a spa and wellness retreat and a 350-acre estate nearby.
  • Attractions Nearby: This hotel is located about an hour away from both Dublin and Belfast.
  • Official WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

Ballygally Castle

This haunted 17th Century castle is reputedly the only building built in the 1600s that is still inhabited in all of Northern Ireland today. When you visit this castle, you will be right on the beautiful Northern Coast of Ireland, which has famous sites like the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the Giant’s Causeway.

This hotel has been ranked in the top 30 hotels in the UK and is one of the best places to stay in all of Northern Ireland.

Information on Ballygally Castle

  • Room Price From: €180 per night.
  • Unique Features: The only 17th Century building in Northern Ireland still inhabited. It is also, allegedly, haunted!!!
  • Attractions Nearby: Located about 26 miles from Belfast. It is also close to the Giant’s Causeway on the Northern Coast.
  • Official WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

FAQs About Staying in Castles in Ireland

Here are some frequently asked questions that I have gotten about staying in castles in Ireland:

Are the castles in Ireland family-friendly?

Yes, many of the castle hotels in Ireland cater to families and offer special amenities for children, such as kid-friendly menus, family rooms, and activities suitable for all ages. Be sure to check with the specific castle for their family-friendly offerings.

Do I need a car to explore the surrounding areas of the castle hotels?

While some castle hotels are located close to public transportation options, having a car can be advantageous for exploring the surrounding areas at your own pace. Car rentals are widely available in Ireland, and many castle hotels offer parking facilities for their guests.

Is it possible to visit a castle hotel for a day without staying overnight?

Some castle hotels offer day visitor options, allowing you to explore the grounds, dine in their restaurants, or even partake in some of the activities on offer. However, this varies by location, and it’s best to contact the specific castle hotel you’re interested in visiting to inquire about day visitor options and any associated fees.

Jack

Jack Redmond has been a tour guide in Ireland for the past decade. Having received a national guiding qualification, he has brought thousands of travelers all over the island of Ireland.

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