Ireland, rich in history and culture, is a country filled with majestical castles, some dating back centuries. Many of these castles are open to the public, giving you the chance to soak up the history of the castle, explore the grounds and enjoy the magnificent architecture each castle has to offer.

Some of the most popular castles in Ireland and those that shouldn’t be crossed off your itinerary include:

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle can be found in the beautiful area of Cork. The castle was built in 1210 and then destroyed in 1446, where it was rebuilt into the palatial building you can see today. Some of the rooms are accessible, giving you a chance to step back in time and soak up the history of this magnificent architectural delight.

The biggest highlight at Blarney Castle is the opportunity to kiss Blarney Rock, which is believed will give you the ability to talk your way out of any situation. This may be a helpful gift to have, so be sure to kiss the rock when visiting this castle.

Doe Castle

Doe Castle can be found in Donegal. While the castle’s interior isn’t open to the public, you can get a sense of this magnificent building from the outside. Surrounded mostly by water as it sits on a small peninsula. This sixteenth century castle looks much like a Scottish tower house, with magnificent towers and surrounded by water and gardens.

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle, located in Galway dates back to 1228. This over eight hundred year old palatial building enables you to see medieval architecture at its best. Today the castle is a five star hotel where you can stay the night if you wish and live in grandeur, even if for a day.

The grounds surrounding this castle are spectacular with manicured lawns and magnificent flower beds. This is a definite must when in the area.

Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle is one of the most visited castles in Dublin. This fairy tale castle is surrounded by walled gardens and sits on over two hundred and fifty acres of woodland, parkland and garden.

What’s interesting about this castle is the mix of architectural styles that have been added over the years. Inside the castle is finished in period furniture and the guided tour will take you through the history of this spectacular building.

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle dates back to 1204 and sits on eleven acres of land in the heart of Dublin. This is the most visited historical sight in Dublin and is home to two museums. The grounds are open for you to explore during your visit including the library, chapel and apartments.

Cahir Castle

Cahir Castle is a must to see when visiting Ireland. This castle is the best preserved castle in Ireland and can be found sitting on the banks of River Suir. Dating back to 1142, this castle offers magnificent architecture and guided tours that can take you back in time with the opportunity to soak up the history and culture of this spectacular architectural masterpiece.