Set on the banks of the River Ratty, this imposing 15th-century castle has been immaculately restored and is filled with period furnishings. The estate encompasses a re-created 19th-century village where visitors can explore typical rural dwellings and businesses, as well as observing demonstrations of traditional jobs and crafts.
Visitors can choose between several experiences at the castle. Opt for a full-day admission ticket, which allows you to explore the castle (either as part of a guided tour or independently), the folk park, and the Bunratty Walled Garden. During the busy summer season, costumed characters in the folk park reveal tales of everyday life in 19th-century rural Ireland. Some day tours from Dublin and Limerick make a stop at Bunratty Castle en route to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren.
For an immersive experience, sit down for a medieval-style evening meal in the castle’s banquet room. Dinner includes a four-course feast and honey mead, accompanied by traditional music. Alternatively, enjoy Irish music, dancing, and storytelling—as well as a four-course meal—during a traditional Irish evening in the barn at Bunratty Folk Park.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Bunratty Castle is a must for families, with lots of fun, interactive activities on offer.
- Food and drinks are available at the pub in the folk park and at the tea room in the castle.
- Bunratty Folk Park is wheelchair accessible. Only the basement level of the castle is wheelchair accessible; the other four floors are not.
How to Get There
Bunratty Castle is situated in the village of Bunratty in County Clare, Ireland, about a 15-minute drive from Shannon Airport and a 20-minute drive from Limerick City. Bus Éireann route 343 runs between Limerick bus station and Bunratty. The bus stop is about 5–10 minutes’ walk from the castle.
When to Get There
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is busiest during the summer months. Go in early morning to avoid the crowds. The last tour of the castle takes place at 4pm, to allow for setup for the evening banquet. If you want to attend the medieval banquet, note that it runs nightly between April and September. Between October and March, banquets are scheduled according to demand.
Bunratty Walled Garden
Also situated within the estate is Bunratty Walled Garden, a half-acre plot of manicured gardens. Once part of a much larger garden that would have grown vegetables for the Bunratty kitchen, this meticulously landscaped section of land now serves as a pleasure garden for strolling and has been restored to look much the same as it would have back in the 1800s.