The largest church in Ireland, the majestic St. Patrick’s Cathedral has borne witness to nearly 800 years of Irish history. The church was supposedly founded on the site where Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick, baptized converts and is known for its exquisite stained-glass windows, marble statues, and medieval tiling. St. Patrick’s is as much a significant spot for literary pilgrims as it is for their religious counterparts; Jonathan Swift, the esteemed author of “Gulliver’s Travels” once served as dean here and is now buried within its gray stone walls.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of Dublin’s most-visited historical attractions and an essential stop for any history buff. A stop at the 13th-century building is included on most Dublin sightseeing tours, along with nearby attractions such as Trinity College and Temple Bar. It’s also a stop on hop-on hop-off bus tours in Dublin. To fully appreciate the symbolic significance of the cathedral’s many features and avoid the lines that can form at busy times, opt for a guided tour with skip-the-line-access.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Travelers can explore independently or take part in guided tours, which take place several times daily from Monday to Saturday.
- The cathedral is wheelchair accessible.
- The Dublin Pass includes cathedral entry.
- Take time to stroll through the adjacent St. Patrick’s Park, a grassy square with perfectly framed views of the cathedral.
How to Get There
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is located in the heart of Dublin city center, within easy strolling distance of several other big-name attractions, including Christ Church Cathedral and Dublin Castle. Ride the Luas Green Line tram to the terminus, St. Stephen’s Green; St. Patrick’s is about a 10-minute walk from there. Dublin Bus run several routes (49, 54a, 56a, 77a, and 151) to the cathedral.
When to Get There
St. Patrick’s is open year-round. Summer mornings in July and August tend to draw the biggest crowds. Join a skip-the-line tour to avoid waiting around, or plan your visit for late afternoon instead when the cathedral empties out.
How to Hear the St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir
The cathedral has its own choir, which belts out hymns during morning and evening services. The choir performs during school terms only, with varying service times. All are welcome to attend services and no tickets are required.