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It is often said that Ireland is home to more than 30,000 ancient castles and castle ruins. These castles are not only of paramount historical significance but can also bring you a step closer to living a modern-day fairytale. 

The Kilkenny Castle in Ireland is a majestic monument with a history spanning over 800 years. The drawing-room, bedrooms, library, among other things, will transport you to a different timeline altogether. You can also treat your eyes to some awe-inspiring paintings at the Picture Gallery in the Castle. 

If you are looking to read about Kilkenny castle, you have come to the right place. From the features of this beautiful castle to the Kilkenny castle history, this blog will take you through everything that you will need to see. Read on to know more!

Kilkenny Castle: A Must-Visit Monument in Kilkenny

Kilkenny Castle Travel Guide | History, Ticket Pricing & Facts
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The Kilkenny Castle overlooks the River Nore in Kilkenny, a city that is filled with medieval architecture. For over 600 years, this ancient monument served as a seat for the Butlers of Ormonde. Following the Norman invasion, the clan had arrived in Ireland and settled in Gowran. A very affluent and wealthy family, the Butlers bought and occupied the Castle in 1391. 

The Butlers of Ormonde were important patrons of art, and you can see the proof throughout the Castle. In the 16th century, James Butler had even commissioned Hans Holbein, the younger, a famous artist from that era, to make his portrait. At the public gallery in the east wing of the Castle, visitors can witness the opulent collection of paintings. 

Visitors can also check out the beautiful rose garden, the woodlands, and a human-made lake, among other things, which add to the sheer charm of the Castle. 

Kilkenny Castle: The History 

Kilkenny Castle Travel Guide | History, Ticket Pricing & Facts
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It is widely believed that the Castle was originally a wooden structure, even though there isn’t enough evidence. It was Richard de Clare, commonly known as “Strongbow,” who built the original Castle. 

The first stone castle on the site was erected in 1260. After the first Norman invasion of the country, this Castle became the stronghold of the Butler family.  

Inspired by his time in France, James Butler renovated the Castle to mirror a modern chateau. The 300 years-old entrance to the Castle couldn’t be completed in James Butler’s lifetime. It was his grandson who finished the entrance’s remodeling in his grandfather’s honor. 

When it was no longer possible to take care of the Castle, Lord Ormonde sold the Castle to the Castle Restoration Committee for 50 Euros. 

Plan Your Visit to the Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle Travel Guide | History, Ticket Pricing & Facts
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Visitors can choose to be a part of either guided or self-guided tours. Please note that visit to the castle and guided tours have been restricted due to the ongoing pandemic. 

Ticket Prices for Kilkenny Castles

Ticket prices vary for guided and self-guided tours. If an adult wants to avail of the benefits of a guided tour, he/she will have to pay 12 Euros. Children or students can get a guided tour through the Castle for 6 Euros. If you plan to visit the Castle with your family, you can avail the services of a professional guide for 30 Euros. A ticket for senior costs 10 Euros. 

Kilkenny Castle Travel Guide | History, Ticket Pricing & Facts
Photo by Getty Images

The ticket prices for self-guided tours are comparatively lower. For adults and seniors, the tickets cost 8 Euros and 6 Euros respectively. Tickets for students and children are priced at 4 Euros. A family, however, can check out the beautiful Castle in Kilkenny for 20 Euros. 

You can book tickets both online and at the ticket counter. People who plan to visit the Castle in a group of more than six can contact Group Bookings to make a reservation. 

Please note, there may have been changes while you’re reading this article, so it’s always better to refer to their official website for an updated prices.

Timing of Kilkenny Castle

The Castle stays open to visitors throughout the year. If you wish to visit the Castle at any time between October and March, the Castle is open from 9:30 in the morning to 5:00 pm. However, It is closed at the moment due to the ongoing pandemic and travel restrictions.

From April to September, the Castle stays open from 9:30 in the morning to 5:30 in the evening.  & Rest of October to March, the castle is open from 9:30 to 5:00 PM in the evening.

Information leaflets are available in different languages. Visitors can even avail a guiding brochure in Braille. 


The charming city of Kilkenny is filled with historical buildings and monuments. You cannot miss the well-preserved church, the 13th-century Dominican Abbey, the merchant’s townhouse from the 17th century, among other places.

The Kilkenny Castle is located close to the Dunmore Cave, St. Mary’s Church in Gowran, and Kells Priory. 

Are you planning a visit to Ireland? Here is a list of 20 beautiful tourist spots that you should add to your travel itinerary immediately!

If you want to share some of your stories from your journeys, let me know in the comment section below! 

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