Bunratty Castle is one of Ireland's most famous tourist attractions. The 15th Century castle is found on a picturesque site overlooking the River Shannon and surrounded by a beautiful Folk Park. The area has a rich history that began with a Viking settlement in 970. It was later occupied by the Normans, the Irish Chieftains, and controlled by King Henry VIII. The present structure is the fourth castle to have been built on the site and is a cross between the earlier Norman built structures and the later Gaelic tower houses. It has been meticulously restored and houses the finest collection of medieval furniture and décor in Ireland.
The Castle was first opened to the public in 1960 as a National Monument and is open to visitors year round. It is the most authentically restored and furnished castle in Ireland. Visitors are able to walk around a number of the castle's elegant rooms. The Great Hall hosts "medieval banquets" complete with maids, court jesters, music and food as served in the Middle Ages.
The surrounding Folk Park is a meticulous recreation of life in urban and rural Victorian Ireland, going back to the late 19th Century. The Idea of the park began with the reconstruction of a farmhouse from this time. Over the years it has grown into a complete village, including, shops, cottages, a Georgian house and a working corn mill. Great care has been taken to ensure that these attractions are as authentic as possible, providing an insightful and entertaining experience for visitors.
In the summer season, the park really comes alive. People in costume play the part of town's folk and demonstrate traditional jobs and crafts: animals are tended, bread is baked, milk is churned, walls are whitewashed and roofs are thatched.
Jan, Feb, March, Nov, Dec: 09.30-17.30. Apr, May, Sept, Oct: 09.00-17.30. June, July, Aug: 09.00-18.00.
Adults - euro11.00 Child - euro6.25 Student - euro8.50 OAPs - euro6.95 (Special Group Rates and Family Ticket Available.)
Medieval Banquets open year round, twice nightly at 17.30 & 20.45 (reservation required).
Bunratty Folk Park Traditional Irish Night April-Oct at 19.00 (reservation required).