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The Book of Kells
The Book of Kells

The Book of Kells

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
More than expected
Angie_S, Oct 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
This tour was one of my favorites while in Dublin. Neil our guide was very entertaining and knowledgeable. He engaged with everyone in the tour like we were old friends. Her sang at the statue of Milly Malone. Shows us shops we would t normally find on our own. The book of Kells and the library were awe inspiring. Truly would do the tour again.
star-5
Enjoy the ‘wow’
MARYANNE_M, Nov 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
Just want to say that Neil McCourt, our guide was so fun and informative. He obviously loved what he was doing and was able to bring that infectious feeling of excitement to the whole tour. The ‘wow’ moment, as he says was just that. Thank you Neil
star-5
The guide was very nice...
Lucie_R, Nov 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
The guide was very nice and passionate about what he was presenting. He told us very interesting and fun facts about Trinity, the Library and Dublin in general. 100% would do it again
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
Neil was fantastic. He...
Janis_W, Oct 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
Neil was fantastic. He shared a wealth of information. Trinity Library is a must see. I recommend this tour to everyone. Sign up!
star-5
Definitely recommend!!!
Michael_M, Sep 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
Neil was super awesome Friendly, knowledgeable and really ensured we had a great time on both tours A+++++
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
Great tour!
Telesia_O, Sep 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
Wonderful tour! Guide Neil McCourt provided a wealth of information that really made our experience in Dublin richer. Engaging, informative and entertaining- everything you could want in a tour! Highly recommended!
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-4
Loved this walking tour
Jennifer_H, Sep 2021
Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
The entire tour was great! Very knowledgeable tour guide. Loved getting right in to the library without waiting.
star-5
Great tour by Neil at LetzGo City Tours
Ryan_K, 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
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.

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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