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Athlone Castle

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Address: Castle Street, Athlone N37 A6D7, Ireland
Phone Number: 353906442130
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Tue - Sat 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is situated in the heart of the Midlands, on...

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is situated in the heart of the Midlands, on the west bank of the river Shannon adjacent to St Peter and Pauls Church and the Luan Gallery. It was reopened in November 2012 following extensive renovations. The 13th century Norman castle now boasts 8 new exhibition spaces that tell the story of the castle, Athlone town, its people and the surrounding area. The spaces have been designed to be very interactive visitor's are encouraged to get hands on and engage with the rooms as they move through them. First built in the 12th century as a timber fort, Athlone Castle evolved into a bold, defensive building. Its most significant architectural features, such as the keep, have now been harnessed to act as a dramatic backdrop to its diverse and fascinating story. The newly designed exhibition spaces pursue both a chronological and thematic sequence combining hands-on and fun experiences such as games and dress-up activities. Learn about the rich history of Athlone from pre-historic settlement right through to the modern town. Athlone was the setting for many battles down through the centuries. The most famous is the siege of Athlone in 1690 and 1691. The story of the siege and the fighting that was ongoing is brought to life at Athlone Castle through illustrations by renowned illustrator Victor Ambrus. During a spectacular 360 degree audio visual presentation, a re-enactment of the siege of Athlone is experienced. Bold sculptural forms help to convey human figures and historical milestones. 3D maps, audio-visual installations and original artifacts combine to bring the stories and characters of Athlone to life. The newest addition to the visitor centre is the display dedicated to the memory of Athlone's famous son, John Count McCormack. Here the world-renowned tenor is honored with artefacts from both his social life and musical career. At Athlone Castle you can sit down and enjoy some refreshments in the café area located in the reception. There is seating for 16 with extra seating outside. The Failte Ireland tourist office is also located in the castle courtyard. Take the opportunity to visit our sister property Luan Gallery, located just across the road. It is a modern art gallery that showcases local and national artists in a modern impressive gallery overlooking the river Shannon. Athlone hosts a number of fairs and festivals throughout the year that offer fun-filled activities for all. If you are looking for somewhere central to travel with a lot to offer, from museums and galleries to shopping, then come to Athlone, the heart of the Midlands. This renovated tourist attraction is the perfect stop off point in the heart of the Lakeland's Region of Ireland enroute to the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way and along the exciting and culturally interesting route of Ireland's Ancient East. Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is waiting for you to explore, engage and enjoy!

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 461 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 221
  • 153
    Very good
  • 37
  • 10
  • 4
Worth the visit

We went to the castle after our viking tour. Throughout the tour you learn about the history of the castle and at some point there is a 3d display that is rather nice. Be warned... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Pretoria, South Africa
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461 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 425: English reviews
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
50 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

We went to the castle after our viking tour. Throughout the tour you learn about the history of the castle and at some point there is a 3d display that is rather nice. Be warned not to try out the disabled lift, we did not know that it was just for the disabled but once inside I almost ended up... More 

Thank arpegiator
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

A well set out museum telling the story of Athlone from pre-historic times through to modern day. Imaginative displays and hands on activities for the children

Thank RavenCruise
Level Contributor
49 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

This attraction is well worth a visit, we spent about 2 hours going around the castle and enjoyed it very much

Thank Pauge007
County Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
45 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Great views of the river and town from the top. Didn't do a tour as hadn't got time but from looking around it seemed nice and might do one in the future. Very informative sign posts placed at spots with the history of the castle and town. Well kept building. Recommend a visit.

Thank Blue_Diamond21
Level Contributor
38 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Went here on a day trip with children this was a fun day experience children enjoyed face painting, some animals were there, a large chess set outside...this was a day event show that was put on.

Thank Sarah C
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The castle is very well done and wheelchair friendly. The staff are friendly and helpful. Well worth a visit

Thank Gravesend12
Athlone, Ireland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Great local history project. Group from out of area were really impressed with the information available.

Thank John G
Galena, Illinois
Level Contributor
41 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I grew up in Athlone and took my kids for a visit. we took a self guided tour and it was great. What a great view of the town from the castle.

Thank Cottage20
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This was well worth the visit, very interactive displays and extremely passionate staff. The costumes so we could dress up were great too. The castle looks very plain from the outside but I would urge people to give it a go.

Thank Daniel M
Rye, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
793 reviews
249 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I'm basing this rating just on the facade of the castle because it wasn't open when I was in the area. It's an unusual-looking one compared to most of the castles I've seen in Ireland, and very intriguing. I happened to meet one of the tour guides in a local pub and he told me a bit about the history... More 

Thank NHjo

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?