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Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

4.5
#1 of 788 in Sightseeing in Ireland
Historic Site Specialty Museum
Kilmainham Gaol turns the clock back a few decades, offering you a look inside one of history's most notorious prisons. The imposing gray building played a key role in Irish history for over a century, finally closing its doors in 1924. Before then it provided a grim setting for the imprisonment of notable participants in the many uprisings for Irish independence, culminating in the execution of 14 men who led a rebellion that took place during Easter week in 1916. You can take a guided walk through the history of this eerie site, now one of Europe's largest unoccupied structures of its kind. Before you leave, look in on the yard where the infamous 1916 executions took place. Put Kilmainham Gaol on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Dublin trip itinerary maker.
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Reviews
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18,736 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Highly recommended as a crucial witness in the recent history of the country. Even still excited to visit your stays. Apparently it is most visited Trinity College or the cliffs of Moher.
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  • Interesting place, good and informative guide. One learns much about the history of Ireland and wins a wide impression.
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  • Not necessarily simple to understand the history of this site. But to see all the same to the side "prison" because it's not every day we can get.
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Google
  • Our tour guide was very interesting and informative, and gave us a full history without ever losing the group's full attention. The prison itself is a very interesting piece of Ireland's history and gives you a new appreciation for the history of the Irish people. Definitely book in advance online so that you can ensure your spot at the time you want, particularly on the weekends during peak months as it may sell out.
  • Our tour guide was very enthusiastic which kept me interested throughout, learn a lot about the history of the prison, and made references to specific events in Irish history but without going off topic so even people like me that aren't that educated with history stayed interested, would definitely recommend! The only one thing I would change is there was restricted access to some areas of the prison, I guess these were off guards due to safety. If that is the case I think it would have been cool to have full 360° videos of the restricted areas of the prison available to view in the museum at the end of the guided tour.
  • This was one of my favorite sights in Dublin. The tour was excellent and gave lots of information about Ireland's past and historic personalities. Would totally recommend the prison tour to everyone. Keep in mind to book in advance, online service works perfectly!
  • The tour here was the most informational tour I've been on in Dublin. it explained so much about the history of the country and the independence. The tour guide was fantastic and kept me quite interested the entire time. I highly recommend.
  • It is not just the imposing building but also the tragic stories that associate with it. The guide was very aware of the Irish history and he transmitted the atmosphere of this dark era very accurately. I wish such sights would not exist, but as it is sadly a vivid part of history I think it is worth visiting it. We had to wait for an hour for the tour (in February), so I guess booking in advance is necessary. The duration of the tour is about 30 minutes. The guide was very polite and willing to answer questions after the tour ended. There is also a museum inside the Kilmainham Gaol with really interesting exhibits and information about the prison's history.

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Where to stay in Dublin

Dublin offers everything from luxury hotels to eclectic guesthouses. Explore over 1,000 years of history in the city on foot by staying at one of the hotels or hostels in the city center. The south side of the river has always been a popular place to stay, particularly near Temple University or the tourist nightlife center Temple Bar, but a new crop of attractive options has popped up on the north side as well. For more affordable accommodations, try a hostel or make your way toward St. Stephen's Green for a more comfortable stay at a mid-range hotel. If the artistic spirit of Dublin is what beckoned you, spend your holiday in a guesthouse near the creative Lower Gardiner Street.
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