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The Book of Kells Tours

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The Book of Kells
Dating back to AD 800, the illuminated manuscript known as the Book of Kells is renowned for its extraordinary illustrations and ornamentations. Its intricate drawings incorporating Celtic and Christian traditions are a testament to the incredible craftsmanship of the medieval Irish monks believed to have created it while on the remote island of Iona in Scotland. Despite Viking raids, theft, and fights between various Irish and English factions, 680 astonishingly detailed vellum (calf-skin) pages of the book remain intact.

The Basics
The manuscript, which tells the story of the gospels across four volumes, is on view at Trinity College’s magnificent, 18th-century Old Library. To ensure conservation, two volumes are displayed at a time, allowing visitors to view four pages during any one visit. Before viewing the book, visitors pass through an exhibition that explains the significance and importance of the manuscript and touches upon the story of its near miraculous survival. A ticket to the Book of Kells includes access to the Trinity College Library’s Long Room, where you’ll find an original copy of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic and a medieval harp. Visitors can combine a tour here with a visit to nearby Dublin Castle.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Book of Kells is popular and long lines can form. Buy a ticket in advance to avoid waiting around to get inside.
  • Explore independently or sign up for a guided early-access tour to skip the queue and inspect the manuscript without the crowds.
  • The Old Library is wheelchair accessible.
 
How to Get There
Trinity College is located on the south side of Dublin city center, at the northern end of Grafton Street. Take the Luas Red line to Abbey Street, the Luas Green Line to Stephen’s Green, or the DART train to Pearse Station. Find the library entrance adjacent to Fellow’s Square, opposite the Arts Building. 
 
When to Get There
The Book of Kells site is open daily with varying hours by season (May to September: Monday to Saturday 8:30am to 5pm and Sunday 9:30am to 5pm; October to April: Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 5pm and Sunday noon to 4:30pm). The book is a major Dublin attraction and attracts many travelers, particularly during summer. Visit in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the biggest crowds.
 
Inside the Medieval Manuscript
The manuscript’s pages are filled with colorful, elaborate drawings. Some are adorned with swirling Celtic knots, while others are covered with drawings of animals such as lions, snakes, and peacocks, as well as mythical beasts and human figures. Among the most famous pages of the medieval manuscript is the one known as Chi Rho, which is said to signify Christ.
Address: Trinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
Hours: Library open daily 9:30am - 5pm, winter Sundays until 4:30pm
Admission: Select attractions and tours may have fees
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Book of Kells Early Access Tour with Dublin Castle

Avoid the crowds and explore Irish history in peace on this Book of Kells and Dublin Castle exterior tour. Visit the Trinity College Library, home to the famous Book of Kells—widely considered among the most important of all Ireland’s ancient treasures. Listen as your guide brings medieval Ireland to life, shedding light on the Book of Kells’ profound historical significance. Afterward, enjoy a guided walking tour around Dublin Castle’s mighty exterior. Visit the gardens and yards, and learn of the castle’s role as court, fortress, treasury and jail.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From  
US$56.08
From  
US$56.08
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Dublin Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Maximize your time in Ireland’s vibrant capital with a 24- or 48-hour hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus ticket. Discover Dublin’s spectacular sights on two routes boasting 30 conveniently located bus stops. Listen to entertaining commentary as you cruise around the capital, enjoying excellent views from the top deck of a double decker bus. Whenever a landmark captures your attention, simply disembark to explore further; explore attractions like the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College and St Stephen’s Green and then simply rejoin your bus tour at a time and stop that suits your schedule. Entry to the Little Museum and a Dublin walking tour are included with the bus ticket.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Duration: 2 hours
From  
US$25.18
From  
US$25.18
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Big Bus Tours Dublin Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Explore Dublin at your own pace with Big Bus tour; your 24- to 72-hour ticket allows you to hop on and hop off whenever you like at more than 30 stops. The Blue Route includes live commentary, teaching you about Dublin's history and culture, and you'll also get access to a walking tour (with a 48-hour ticket) and included drinks at some bars and distilleries. Hop on and off as many times as you like to explore Dublin highlights at your leisure, such as St. Stephens Green, Croke Park, EPIC the Irish Emigration Museum, and others.
  • Duration: 90 to 120 minutes
  • Duration: 90 to 120 minutes
From  
US$22.66
From  
US$22.66
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Private 4-hour Dublin Tour with a Local Dubliner

It’s easy to explore Dublin’s top attractions on your own, but only a local guide can give you the inside scoop on life in the city. This private 4-hour tour can be completely customised to your preferences, so you can benefit from your guide’s expertise and learn more about Irish culture as you hit the shops, pick up tips for where to eat, drink, or party, and experience the city like a true Dubliner.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
US$57.85
From  
US$57.85
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Haunted Ireland Halloween Tour

Our Halloween tour will take you to all your favorite Irish Haunts! From ghostly castles to lively festivals we will travel around the island experiencing all the Irish traditions of Halloween. Highlights include the Bram Stoker Festival, Leap Castle, Ulster American Folk Park and the spectacular Derry Halloween where we will spend All Hallows Eve celebrating at this amazing festival and watching the Fireworks Finale! October 26th - Nov. 2nd, 2019.
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Duration: 8 days
From  
US$2,599.00
From  
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Wild Atlantic Way Irish Music Tour

We celebrate the old and new music of Ireland on our ten-day Music Tour getaway. We will explore the beauty and splendour of Ireland by day and by night we will enjoy sessions and private concerts with some of Ireland’s finest musicians. Bring your instrument and join in on the session or just relax and listen! Feb. 15th - 26th 2020
  • Duration: 11 days
  • Duration: 11 days
From  
US$2,700.00
From  
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(Nearly) all of Dublin in 5 hours

If you only have one day to see as much of Dublin as possible, you need this tour!It is a thorough but leisurely-paced, tour of most of Dublin's major and minor sites. History, culture, architecture, Irish society, Irish language, literature, and many-a-joke to be heard during our jaunt around the fair city.A coffee break and a lunch break will be included to nicely punctuate the tour.Five hours fly by quickly!Optional: Guided tour of Old Library of Trinity College where the Book of Kells is housed. - - Note that if this option is selection, the National Museum of History and Archaeology must be substituted out. On Mondays, the National Museum of History and Archaeology is closed. - Please note that there is an entrance fee for those who opt for the Book of Kells (adults and children).
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Duration: 5 hours
From  
US$29.15
From  
US$29.15
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