Top 10 Best Castles In Ireland (Europe)

Here are some of best castles in Ireland to stay or visit with your family, spouse or friends. Some are easy to access and some are not. Below are the top 10 picturesque Irish castles you can visit in Ireland.

Ross Castle

best castles in ireland
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Lying in a jungle Ross castle is known as a haunted castle in Ireland. It is about an hour and a half drive from Dublin. It was built in the century by the O’Donoghue family.

This can be quite dangerous since you cannot see buildings beside the lake nearby. However, the stories you can hear about this Ross castle are not very satisfactory.

Staff and guests say they wake up late at night from time to time when they hear the sounds of whispering and doors shutting.

They also say that when they are sleeping, they feel that there is someone else in their bed, but no one hurt.

Blarney Castle

blarney castle
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One of the best castles in Ireland lies from 263kms away from Dublin, which is Monacnapa estate – Blarney Means persuasive eloquence, the castle began at the very start of the 13th century.

It is still convincing people with its charming and pleasant commendation. This castle is primarily known for it’s Blarney stone. Many believe that kissing the blarney stone gives you charm, pleasantly flatter, or persuade, which is also known as “The Gift of Eloquence.” Blarney stone was casting a spell by a witcher lady after the king helped her when she was drowning.

Blarney Stone is situated at the top of Blarney Castle, and kissing it is not an easy task. Tip: Do not do this if someone who doesn’t like you is nearby. You have to bend backwards while holding a railing. That is also one of the things that changes Irish castles from other castles around the world. 

There is also dolmen in the ground that has a connection with prehistoric. Besides dolmen, you can find the Witch’s Kitchen and Wishing Steps in the field. Blarney Castle is hiding from the near Blarney village and lying in the woods. Blarney village is one of the last estate villages that remains standing in Ireland.

Official Website –

The Rock Of Cashel

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Located in Cashel, the castle’s buildings began at the very end of the 13th century. However, it was built in the 5th century – rises 200 feet from the ground, the castle located in a cliff where rocky cliff face is banded with limestone outcrops.

There is a round tower in the castle, which is the tallest structure in the castle. It is nearly 80 feet tall. 

It is believed that The Rock of Cashel originated from the Bit of Devil, a mountain about 20 miles away. After St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland deported Satan from the cave, Satan took a bite from there and spat into this current location. It is acknowledged that this was the case.

King Aengus was baptized here by the St. Patrick, and he turned in to Catholicism. King Aengus became Ireland’s first-ever Christian ruler. This is also where Brian Boru, the longest-reigning king of Ireland, was crowned. Tadhg, a brother of King Cormac, was buried here at the back of Cormac’s Chapel.  Many say so.

You can find St. Patrick’s Cathedral on there, which is the largest remaining building. It was built in the 13th century.

Ashford Castle

ashford castle ireland
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Lying in the Ashford Castle Estate in Mayo, the Ashford castle is a 5-star hotel in today and 263kms away from Dublin.

Ashford Castle is different from other castles in Ireland with its architecture. The fountain and the fabulous garden there show you some fantastic side of the Irish environment.

The castle was built in 1228 when Norman ruling the area and remained under their authority for more than 350 years until it got by Sir Richard Bingham.

The Browns later receive this as a gift, and they change the architecture of the castle differently. They added French style to it. 

After, philanthropist Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness purchased the estate where the castle was and refurbished some of the buildings with the neo-gothic style, which was famous around the world.

Transferred from father to son and from him to brother, the castle later became a renowned country hotel. The guest house built for the estate manager and guests during that time is now a luxury hotel where you can stay overnights.

Official Website –

Doonagore Castle

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Located in Ballycullaun, the castle was in tower-shaped today. It was built during the 14th century by Tadhg.

Doonagore means the fort of the rounded hills, and the castle is located where the Spanish ship Armada crashed in 1588. Although the passengers survived the incident, all of them were hanged. It is a sad incident that should not be forgotten when talking about Doonagore Castle.

The entire castle of that day is not still standing, and only one of its towers remains near the shores of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is specially built with sandstone, which is abundant in the area.

The Doonagore Castle is owned by a private owner and is not open to the public.

Kilkenny Castle

kilkenny castle tours ireland
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Lying in the College Park, Killkenny Castle was built in 1192. William Marshall, who started to build this completed the castle in 15 years.

Kilkenny Castle is located on a high plateau of the River Nore. But it is believed that there was a timber fortress in there.

Arrow loops in the castle make it clear that the palace was very secured. Arrow loops are windows that look into the external environment so that they can safely fire arrows from the castle.

Including a chapel, a great hall, and four towers, the North West Tower is a must-visit. North West Tower has the oldest rooms. Official Website –

Oughter Castle

best castles in ireland
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Lying in four kilometres away from the river banks of Lough Oughter and lying in the middle of the river, The castle is very talkative while it is lying on the lake unlike other best castles in Ireland.

Oughter Castle is one of the best castles in Ireland. When the Kingdom of Breifne under O’Rourkes, he realized that the Normans could take over, the O’Rourkes took possession of that area and built the Oughter Castle in 1233. Philip O’Reilly was imprisoned there in some period.

Lough Oughter island, which has rich and varied wildlife, was seized in 1641, during the Irish Rebellion. 

The canal is known for canoeists and boating, and the canal is adjacent to the Killykeen Forest Park, so almost everyone visiting the best castles in Ireland comes here. Cavan Canoe Centre offer you the service for canoeing and kayaking.

Cahir Castle

best castles in ireland
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Lying in the Cahir where there is fertile soil, Cahir Castle is one of the best destinations to visit in Ireland with its moat. The castle also appeared in a film called Braveheart.

Cahir Castle is located in southeastern Ireland with fertile soil in Ireland, so rulers had focused on this land.

In the early 13th century, Phillipp of Worcester received this fertile ground from the king, and then he built magnificent Cahir Castle.

Butler’s coat, which is above the castle gate, shows the crucifix of Jesus. It also depicts Hubert Fitzwalter, who participated in the third crusade and became Archbishop of Canterbury.

Some of the things can see in today are of later additions and are made of red sandstone so that you can quickly identify them.

This is one of Ireland’s undefeated fortresses, which has defeated only once. You can go to this defendable castle to feel the encouraging environment they had in the past.

Malahide Castle

malahide castle
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Lying about 20 minutes drive from Dublin, the Malahide Castle is famous and known for its wall with the lawn. Castle was opened in 1185.

The fabulous castle and the harbour was a gift of King Henry II. The castle was awarded to Richard Talbot, and Talbot family lived there for nearly 800 years.

The castle belonged to the Cronwell when he was conquesting Ireland, but after he passed away, the Talbot family took the castle.

But the castle wasn’t such a lucky place for the Talbot family. When the Battle of the Boyne (King of Ireland and King of England) broke out, 14 members of the family passed away.

Is nature trying to protect the castle by growing lawn on the walls because it was unable to help the family that day?

The beauty of Malahide Castle is that the garden is on the wall, which is very interesting. It is because of the relationship the Talbot family had with the nature that nature kisses this castle so much even today.

Official Website –

Donegal Castle

best castles in ireland to stay
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 Lying in the Milltown, Donegal Castle is looking and feeling like a haunted place with its calm environment.

The O’Donnell clan built the castle we see today, and her wife, Nuala, built the Franciscan monastery down the river. Some say there was a tunnel connecting these two.

The tower house here damaged by Gaelic clans who were Irish groups from time to time. After the original styles and techniques of the tower house refurbished without harm.

How Many Castles Are In Ireland

Ireland is a country that has a vast history, and it is a country you can see over more than 30000 castles.

The first castle to be found in Ireland can be seen in Cork. It was the oldest castle in Ireland and was built in 1035.

Normans were a medieval ruling class in England. In medieval times, Normans tried to invade Ireland. They built earthen mottes castles in Ireland. However, it was enough to invade Ireland.

The Normans transformed the earthen mottes into classic design of castles and reduced lesser fortified models. Classical castles helped Normans to invade Ireland. Normans conquered Ireland in 1169 and settled the Hiberno-Normans in their occupied territories.

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