What is an Irish Heritage Card & should I buy one?

What is an Irish Heritage Card? Is it worth it?

What is an OPW Heritage Card?

Irish Heritage Cards are provided by the Office of Public Works (OPW) for the Republic of Ireland. They are a government organization that takes care of historic houses, parks and gardens in the States care along with national monuments and historic sites. They are the perfect addition to your dream trip to Ireland.

ruined abbey Irish heritage card
©Historic Graves of Ireland

The Heritage Card Ireland can be purchased for a small sum and it will give you free admission to all the OPW-managed sites located throughout the country.

There are 52 sites listed as free with the Heritage Ireland (OPW) Card but at some locations, there may be a charge for parking or other services so keep that in mind. You can also purchase a British Heritage card which will give you access to many sites in N. Ireland and they have created a partnership with Heritage Ireland that gives you access to sites in the ROI as well.

Cross on Rock of Cashel with cloudy background in Ireland

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What is an OPW Heritage Card

Some heritage sites in Ireland are already free. Dunamase Castle, for example, is free, as is the ruined Abbey in Donegal Town.

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Irish Heritage Card Attractions

Newgrange under a fluffy cloudy sky buy an Irish heritage card
  1. Adare Castle – Adare Heritage Centre, Adare, Co. Limerick – Open June to September
  2. Ardfert Cathedral – Ardfert, Tralee, Co. Kerry – Open late March to late September
  3. Athenry Castle – Athenry Castle, Co. Galway – Open late March to early October
  4. Aughnanure Castle – Oughterard, Co.Galway – Open late February to late November
  5. Battle of the Boyne – Oldbridge Estate Drogheda, Co. Meath – Open January to December
  6. Boyle Abbey – Boyle, Co. Roscommon – Open late March to late September
  7. Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre (Newgrange and Knowth) – Donore, Co. Meath – Open January to December 
  8. Cahir Castle – Cahir, Co. Tipperary – Open January to December
  9. Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery – Carrowmore, Co. Sligo – Open late March to early November
  10. Casino Marino – Marino, Dublin 3 – Casino means a small house this one has 16 finely decorated rooms.
  11. Castletown – Celbridge, Co. Kildare – Open March to mid-December. Park open year-round.
  12. Céide Fields – Ballycastle, Co. Mayo – Open mid-March to October
  13. Charles Fort – Summer Cove, Kinsale, Co. Cork – Open January to December
  14. Clonmacnoise – Shannonbridge, Athlone, Co. Offaly – Open January to December
  15. Derrynane House, National Historic Park – Caherdaniel, Co.Kerry – Open mid-March to early December
  16. Desmond Castle Kinsale – Cork Street, Kinsale, Co. Cork – Open June to September
  17. Donegal Castle – Donegal Town, Co.Donegal – Open January to December
  18. Doneraile Court – Doneraile, Co. Cork – Open January to December
  19. Dublin Castle – Dame Street, Dublin 2 – Open January to December
  20. Dún Aonghasa – Aran, Co.Galway – Open January to December
  21. Dunmore Cave – Ballyfoyle, Co. Kilkenny – Open mid-March to October
  22. Emo Court – Emo, Co. Laois – Open late May to early October
  23. Ennis Friary – Abbey Street, Ennis, Co. Clare – Open April to November 1
  24. Farmleigh – Phoenix Park, Dublin 8 – Open January to December
  25. Gallarus Oratory – Gallarus, Dingle, Co. Kerry – Open January to December but the visitors centre is closed in winter.
  26. Glebe House and Gallery – Glebe, Churchill, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal – Open late May to early November
  27. Glendalough Visitor Centre – Glendalough, Co. Wicklow – Open January to December
  28. Glenveagh Castle – Churchill, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal – Open January to December
  29. Hill of Tara – Navan, Co. Meath – Open late January to December
  30. Ilnacullin (Garinish Island) – Glengarriff, Bantry, Co. Cork – Open April to November 3
  31. The Blascaod Centre – Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, Trá Lí, Co.Chiarraí – Open late March to early November
  32. Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh Conamara – A Connemara Cultural Centre
  33. An Gort Mhór, Rosmuc, Co na Gaillimhe – Open January to December
  34. Jerpoint Abbey – Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny – Open January to December
  35. JFK Memorial Park and Arboretum – New Ross, Co. Wexford – Open January to December
  36. Kilkenny Castle – Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny – Open January to December
  37. Kilmainham Gaol – Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8 – Open January to December
  38. Muckross House & Gardens – National Park, Killarney Co. Kerry – Open January to December
  39. Old Mellifont Abbey – Tullyallen, Drogheda, Co. Louth – Open late May to early September
  40. Ormond Castle – Castle Park, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary – Open late March to early November
  41. Parke’s Castle – Fivemile Bourne, Co. Leitrim – Open late March to early October
  42. Portumna Castle – Portumna, Co. Galway – Open January to December
  43. Rathcroghan Visitor Centre – Cruachan Aí, Tulsk, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon – Open January to December
  44. Rathfarnham Castle – Rathfarnham Road, Dublin 14 – Open January to December
  45. Reginald’s Tower – The Quay, Waterford – Open January to mid-December
  46. Rock of Cashel – Cashel, Co. Tipperary – Open January to December
  47. Roscrea Castle and Damer House & Blackmills – Castle Street, Roscrea, Co.Tipperary – Open late March to late September
  48. Ross Castle – Killarney, Co. Kerry – Open March to early November
  49. Sligo Abbey – Abbey Street, Sligo, Co. Sligo – Open late March to October
  50. Tintern Abbey – Wexford – open March to October
  51. Trim Castle, Co. Meath – Open January to December 
What is an Irish Heritage Card & should I buy one?

A Heritage Card gives free entrance to all the places listed above for a period of one year. This includes more than 50 heritage sites all over the country, some of which are among the most popular places to visit in Ireland.

What is an Irish Heritage Card & should I buy one?

Download the Irish Heritage Card brochure here.

How much does an Irish Heritage Card cost?

The Irish Heritage Card is a fantastic value for the cost. Children under 6 are free and a family is considered 2 adults and up to 5 children.

Adult      €40

Senior (over 60) €30

Child (under 18)  €10

Family   €90

View on Trim Castle through a gap between fortification walls with dark moody sky in Trim village, County Meath, Ireland

Should you Buy an Irish Heritage Card?

If you want to visit some of the most incredible sites in Ireland the answer is yes. Even if you only visit half a dozen of the sites you are saving money.  

Here’s a typical itinerary from Dublin to Waterford: Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, Kilkenny Castle, Tintern Abbey, Glendalough, Jerpoint Abbey, JFK Memorial Park and Arboretum, Dunmore Caves & Reginald’s Tower you will spend €53 compared to the OPW Heritage card at €40.

What is an Irish Heritage Card & should I buy one?

Where do I Buy an Irish Heritage Card?

OPW Irish Heritage cards can be purchased at any of the sites your first visit and they are valid for one year from the day you purchase it.

Depending on the site you purchase your OPW Card from you may need cash to buy it as some places don’t have credit card machines.

What is an Irish Heritage Card & should I buy one?

Can I use my English Heritage Card in Ireland?

Planning on visiting Ireland and England? Until recently, your English Heritage card would mean nothing if you tried to use it in Ireland. Not anymore.

Thanks to a recent initiative between English Heritage and Ireland’s Office of Public Works (OPW), your card is now a key into some of Ireland’s most beautiful and historically important heritage sites. You simply have to become a member of  English Heritage and your card will be accepted at all the OPW Heritage Card sites in Ireland.  

So, what is your favourite historic place in Ireland to visit?

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  • Faith was born in Ireland raised in Canada and has lived in over 10 countries in Europe including England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Northern Ireland, Wales, along with Mexico, Antigua, the US and has slow travelled to over 40 countries around the world. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Women's Studies Faith is a student of history, culture, community and food and has written about these topics for over 40 years.

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