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Athlone Castle

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Castle Street, Athlone N37 A6D7, Ireland
Phone Number:
+353 90 644 2130
See all hours
Sun 12:00 - 17:00
Tue - Sat 11:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is situated in the heart of the Midlands, on...

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 café area located in the reception. There is seating for 16 with extra seating outside. 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!

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 481 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 229
  • 161
    Very good
  • 38
  • 11
  • 4
Well presented historical gem - great value

Really enjoyed spending the afternoon in the castle on a chilly December trip away. Great for kids and adults, lots of interesting things to see and do. There is a phenomenal... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
Mick W
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481 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 443: English reviews
Level Contributor
99 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Really enjoyed spending the afternoon in the castle on a chilly December trip away. Great for kids and adults, lots of interesting things to see and do. There is a phenomenal amount of historical detail carefully laid out and clearly documented. there are 360 degree reenactments of battles, uniforms and artifacts. There's a small gift shop and coffee dock also.... More 

Thank Mick W
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Great self guided tour. You will get out of it what you put in. We were two adults visiting but still enjoyed the dressing up, interactive games and movie. Amazing models of soldiers and impressive collection of artefacts. Lovely castle too. The lady on reception was also extremely nice and friendly.

Thank Peadar Ó
Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The place is clean and well maintained this is a fact ! But nothing else ... some figures, information brochure, a film that should be refreshed and that's it. It's fun to go on the courtyard (it's free), but the rest is not worth a penny.I visited different places in Ireland and such sites were much better equipped or free... More 

Thank Paihibo
Waterford, Ireland
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Lots to see and well presented, situated in the heart of Athlon you get good views over the town. The exhibition is well presented and informative

Thank DiGibbs
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

probably because i'm american, i thought the castle was cool. and it gave a nice history of the town & early settlements. inside exhibits are nicely done & quite modern.

Thank Suzanne C
Balbriggan, Ireland
Level Contributor
62 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Looks very promising from the outside but there's not too much to see of the original castle interiors. It's mostly interactive exhibition, very modern. We quite enjoyed walking around but were a little bit disappointed that we couldn't see any original features. The views from the top are nice though.

Thank JusiaG
Level Contributor
24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2016 via mobile

We were visiting Athlone and decided to do some tourist things. Athlone castle was of course an obvious choice. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount there is to learn and how much there is on display at the castle. I have come away from my visit there much better informed about our heritage. Well worth a visit.

Thank Cearaoc
Level Contributor
36 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2016 via mobile

I was completely taken aback by the quality and design of the Athlone Castle tour. Fabulous setting perched over the Shannon river. Very interesting history to the place and brilliantly exposed by the exhibition material and by the great tour guides. Kids and adults would love it. Highly recommended.

Thank Jonathan D
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2016

Friendly informative guides bring you systematically through the castle explaining the history. There is a film show of the 1690 siege battle / manikins made up in battle and military dress of the time. Uniforms can be tried on and photos taken . Information on boards regarding the Generals etc. It was a battle in Ireland but the sides were... More 

Thank homefarm1951
Lusaka, Zambia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2016

I like how the castle has so much history in it. I especially enjoyed the 360 degree show. I would do that again if I could. the staff was warm and friendly and ready to help. I like that the tour is interractive and at your own pace.

Thank jacintamsakala

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