Ross Castle, Killarney

Allegedly haunted by medieval ghosts, Ross Castle sits on the edge of Lough Leane, one of three interlinked lakes within the country's most popular national park. Built in the 15th century by the region's ruling O'Donoghue clan, the castle was among the last places in Ireland to succumb to the forces of Oliver Cromwell, who occupied the country in 1650. The castle's cunning defensive features include a spiral staircase designed with each step a different height, which helped trip up would-be attackers for over a century. You can see the unusual staircase and rooms filled with 17th century oak furniture by guided tour only, so be sure to book your tickets well in advance. A visit to Ross Castle represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Killarney trip builder to plot your vacation.
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Ross Castle Reviews
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  • Absolutely perfect experience. From the drive there, a boat ride, exploring the castle grounds and topping it off with a horse drawn jaunting ride through the park it was just perfect! The drivers wil...  more »
  • Great castle to walk around and take a picture with the view of the lake and mountains especially with the sunset. Only a 5 minute drive from Killarney but was closed when we went but would have loved...  more »
  • With a great view to the Lake you can relax and take some pictures on the outskirts of this castle which although not so large will leave you surely impacted with its architecture and it will transport you back to imagine how was the life of those people who used to inhabiting it, is certainly impressive
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  • Beautifully rebuild tower house using time accurate techniques. Plus lots of info and a great tour will give you a sense on what it was like to live there and the times that made living in a tower house seem like a good idea. You'll appreciate this place more if you've seen a bunch of rundown tower houses or other castle like buildings that have had their roofs removed and wondering what it might have looked inside.
  • Loved this area of Ireland, very beautiful scenery. This castle was nice and well kept. We did not have time for the tour of the inside, however there is plenty to see and the lake makes this a great stop.
  • Free parking, beautiful example of restored tower keep, on natural limestone foundation, adjacent to beautiful lake near Killarney. Great photo opportunities without going into the castle proper. I paid for the guided tour, going to be able to access the top of the keep for even better photo opportunities - turns out you can only get as far up as the great banquet hall, oh well. Guided tour is very reasonably priced, and provides a wealth of information about Ross castle in particular, and of similar castles of the same era. You also get to access the keep which does afford you excellent views of the lake.
  • Amazing tour. Jimmy was a great guide. Spectacular grounds & interesting facts shared. Loved it!
  • €5 for guided tour, which was about 30-35 minutes. Pretty bummed you couldn't take pictures inside after paying that much. Great info and history though. Beautiful grounds, even on a rainy day.

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Where to stay in Killarney

Travelers visit Killarney for the national park surrounding it, and there are plenty of places to stay in town that capitalize on the natural beauty of the valley setting. Because of its popularity, Killarney has more hotel beds than any other town or city in Ireland other than Dublin. Stay at a hotel or hostel in the town's center near the bustling corner of Main Street and East Avenue Road, or find a place along the side streets off Main Street for easy access to tourist shops, local pubs, and restaurants. There are plenty of affordable bed and breakfasts or guesthouses just within walking distance from the center, or you can stay outside of town at a scenic farmhouse or luxurious resort.
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