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Athlone Castle

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Athlone Castle Castle Street, Athlone N37 A6D7, Ireland
Phone Number:
+353 90 644 2130
10:30 - 17:30
Open now
See all hours
Sun 11:30 - 17:30
Tue - Sat 10:30 - 17:30
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 522 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 251
  • 171
    Very good
  • 42
  • 11
  • 4
Brilliant experience

We visited the castle on Saturday as it had rained all day and it is a great experience The displays and history are fantastic and it took us about 2 hours to go through the... read more

Reviewed 12 May 2016
Northern Ireland
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522 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 479: English reviews
County Meath, Ireland
2 reviews
Reviewed 12 May 2016

As a senior citizen I would not recommend this unless you are super fit. Exhibits poorly laid out with legends often placed in most difficult to read place and in very small print. Only seating available was in audio/visual room and that was impossible for older people to sit on being both too high and narrow.

Thank ernesider
Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
105 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2016

We visited the castle on Saturday as it had rained all day and it is a great experience The displays and history are fantastic and it took us about 2 hours to go through the exhibitions it would take too long to cover all but the history is so well done do not miss this great attraction

Thank HollydogIslandmagee
Wicklow, Ireland
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2016

Really enjoyed this - the exhibitions are well laid out and the exhibits use lots of different formats. Great history and well worth a visit.

Thank Leafless
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 May 2016 via mobile

Visited athlone castke many time lovely place there and would recommends it to anybody staff are lovely and would go back there again

1 Thank Daniel B
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2016

Went last weekend with our kids and it was great they had costumes throughout castle for kids to dress up in, they loved it. Very interesting tour and would recommend to everyone, well worth the visit, staff were very friendly and helpful.

Thank michellecorcoran70
Arvada, Colorado
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2016

We wandered around the entire castle which was very cool to see, and it is right on the Shannon River which is such a pretty location.

Thank Marie853
Paris, France
Level Contributor
233 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2016

Sometimes when travelling in Ireland you feel you have visited enough castles and that you pretty much know everything about the history of Ireland but this exhibition is really well appointed, using all the possible technology to make you understand it better !

Thank ParisandVenice
Athlone, Ireland
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2016

This is a great Castle to visit with loads of interactive things to do. Kids loved it and we will go again. Pictures and museum items are great. Looking over the wall into the Shannon is a great thrill. A little imagination will put you back into that time when the Castle was in full use. We all had a... More 

Thank fitzzyma
Letterkenny, Ireland
Level Contributor
217 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2016 via mobile

Really enjoyed my trip to Athlone castle, I had been to Athlone town several times and had not visited the castle before. It is well laid out for visitors, excellent for children with costumes and props for them to use. Would highly recommend.

Thank Gerodonnell
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
91 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2016

located in the town old city area, this historic location gives good background for the development of the culture and society of the Athlone area. Great for families and children, local eateries are plentiful. The art gallery across the street is free but not worth the stop.

1 Thank martin w

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