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The Book of Kells
The Book of Kells

The Book of Kells

star-4.5
1,915 Reviews
Library open daily 9:30am - 5pm, winter Sundays until 4:30pm
Trinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin, 2

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.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Dublin

star-5
Very Satisfying Tour
Mary_C, Sep 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
I really enjoyed the tour with John. He was extremely knowledgeable and you could tell he enjoyed sharing the information with the tour. I had studied up on the Book of Kells and Irish history in general before my very short trip to Ireland, so the walk around Dublin Castle and then seeing the Book and library brought that history to life.
star-5
Fantastic Guide
James_K, Sep 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
Frankie was fantastic. So knowledgeable and personable. He engaged everyone in the group and made sure all our questions were answered. All without notes.
star-5
history with humor
hillary_l, Sep 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
engaging and informative, sprinkled with humor and personality, plus a touch of macabre, the tour with Frankie was a great introduction to the “Black Pool” (aka Dublin)
star-5
Best way to see Book of Kells.
Scott_F, Sep 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
Our guide Frankie was fantastic. The walking tour along the streets around Dublin Castle was very informative. Book of Kelly’s was very interesting and the library fantastic. Highly recommend.
star-5
Book of Kells
Paul_K, Aug 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
The Book of Kells has been high on my bucket list for 35 years. We finally did it. Thank you, John. It was remarkable!
star-5
Informative and entertaining tour
Susan_F, Aug 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
Brilliant trip! Neil was informative, entertaining and fun. We saw so much in a three-hour span, from the Book of Kells to Trinity College to the castle in a tour packed with both history and funny stories. Highly recommended.
star-5
Fabulous guide
Anne_P, Sep 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
Our guide, John, was absolutely excellent. He tailored the talk around our interests and was entertaining, knowledgeable and helpful.
star-5
Interesting
susan_b, Sep 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
I loved Kell’s and Trinity library. John was very knowledgeable and accommodating. They go out of their way to make you happy. Great experience
star-5
Great tour by Neil at LetzGo City Tours
RJD2, Aug 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
Great tour. Our guide, Neil, was extremely informative of the history of the city, country, and Europe and made the afternoon quite fun. Trinity College, The Book of Kells, and the especially the library were very impressive.
star-5
Informative tour
Neil_D, Sep 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
Neil was a good tour guide. There were only 3 in our group so he was able to receive our full attention. Neil had a great wealth of knowledge.
star-5
Book of Kells!!!!
Tom_G, Jul 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
Seeing the Book of Kells was one the Dublin highlights. Frankie, our tour guide had an incredible depth of knowledge but kept the tour moving and fun. Don’t miss this part of Irish history!
star-5
Well done
William_C, Sep 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
Frank was very knowledgeable of Irish history and gave us several tips to make our trip more enjoyable

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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