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“Kind of small, not worth going out of your way for”
Review of Athlone Castle

Athlone Castle
Ranked #2 of 25 things to do in Athlone
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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 cafe area located in the reception. There is seating for 16 with extra seating outside. Visitors can also avail of audio-guides in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. 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!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Stairs / lift
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Kind of small, not worth going out of your way for”
Reviewed 25 June 2014

At 8 Euro the entry seemed a bit pricey for what there was to see. There was some interesting information about the castle and town's strategic importance in Irish history but it took us less than an hour to see everything there was to see. Granted, this was our first stop off the plane so we were a bit jet-lagged and didn't stop to read everything. It could possibly have been a 4* attraction.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank BobFromVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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549 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Athlone Castle”
Reviewed 23 June 2014 via mobile

I really enjoyed myself here. Very informative and I enjoyed learning some history of the castle. The girl behind the counter was very helpful and friendly also. I will be telling all of my friends and also my family about this castle. All in all, a great day out. :)

Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Athlone, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“a good day out”
Reviewed 20 June 2014

The amount of history and scenery from the battlements and then the museum inside was very well laid out with lots to see and touch. Try the game capture the castle I know its meant for kidds buts its fun.

Visited June 2014
Thank Victor F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quepos, Costa Rica
Level 6 Contributor
264 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Very nice but not close to kilkenny's castle”
Reviewed 19 June 2014

Worth a stop for pictures and should be better once restoration is complete. Setting is great and lots to see right close by the castle. Compared to Kilkenny, it has too much competition.

Visited June 2014
Thank Terry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Not worth the money. Far better castles around the country.”
Reviewed 15 June 2014 via mobile

I visited Athlone castle with a group of university students. Admission fee is €8 for adults and €6 for students/seniors. I have been to quite a number of Irish castles and found Athlone over priced. On arrival, the lady at the counter did a quick talk to the group but we didn't really learn anything from it. The exhibition itself is self guided. Basically just a few posters with information, a few artifacts along with a 7 minute audio visual. Twenty minutes was more than enough for our group to spend here. Overall I wouldn't recommend a visit.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank ViviennePhelan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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