Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Ireland  /  Province of Leinster  /  County Offaly  /  Historic Sites  /  Clonmacnoise
Clonmacnoise, County Offaly
(4.6/5 based on 600+ reviews on the web)
A preserved ruin along the Shannon River set against green and rolling hills, Clonmacnoise offers a glimpse into the religious and cultural history of the monasteries in Ireland. Founded in 546 CE by Saint Ciarán, the monastery was a center of learning and trade for over 600 years until it began to decline around the 12th century due to a diminishing population. Visit many of the ruined and partially ruined buildings on the site, including temple Finghín and McCarthy's tower, cross of the scriptures, and the cathedral, where the last High King of Ireland is buried. Many kings from Meath, Tara, and Connacht were buried at this site. Explore the visitor center for a comprehensive history of the site. A visit to Clonmacnoise represents just the start of the adventure when you use our County Offaly vacation trip planner to plot your vacation.
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24 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM IRELAND September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in County Offaly BY A USER FROM CANADA July, culture, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 15 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM SWEDEN July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 41 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 29 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, culture, museums, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 4 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM IRELAND May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 30 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM IRELAND July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 26 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM IRELAND July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM IRELAND July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 30 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM IRELAND July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We visited Ireland in September/October, 2016 and while driving across Ireland from Galway to Dublin we made a stop in County Offaly to see this historical monastic site. It was a bit off the beaten p...  more »
  • Growing I remember the pictures of the statutes and craved stones with wonderment ~ the visit to Clonmacnoise returned that sense of awe. I know it is historical, cultural and real but the major emoti...  more »
  • This is a great monastic, was founded in 548 by St. Claran, The North and South Crosses are housed here along with tools used to carve the stone. We enjoyed what we referred to as the whispering arch....  more »
Google
  • Interesting place. Deep history and a lot of rebirths to the land. Still used to this day for church goers. An active church is here. If you take one of the shortish tours, full of information, you will learn about that. You even learn about the pope's helicopter pad. Purpose built for a pope to make one journey here. Nice place. Very rarely do you get to just walk around a place with so much history. You can touch almost everything. No rope or glass stopping you. Much more interesting that way. Adds a little something you don't get from a museum for example. The freedom to walk around makes it more like an art gallery than a museum.
  • Great experience. You can get a real sense of the history of the place at the museum. Some of the best multimedia pieces associated with the ruins that we witnessed in Ireland.
  • This is a cool place and a nice bit of history but it has been made to be very commercialized and feels more like a theme park than a valuable historical place. It's worth a peek but if you want to feel like you are standing in a place that helps you rise up and meet history, this may not be it.
  • Very peaceful in the early morning. Well worth the detour off the M4 motorway. Stop in Ballydangan on the way. Local guide tip: drive around the back and enter via the graveyard for free or out of hours.
  • Amazingly beautiful and very quiet site. Nice to wander between the graves and the ruins of the old churches. Must have been very spectacular in its hayday. Must see place if you're in Ireland.