Visit Trinity College Dublin: tickets, prices, opening hours

Old Library au Trinity College de Dublin

Coming to Ireland’s capital soon? Then be sure to visit Trinity College Dublin, Ireland’s oldest university!

Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity College is Ireland’s oldest university! Located in the heart of Dublin, it is the city’s one and only open university. Prestigious, it is renowned for the quality of its teaching, as well as for the rare books jealously guarded in its library. Every year, it welcomes thousands of visitors and students from all over the world! A visit to Trinity College is a must in Dublin!

Would you like to visit Trinity College Dublin? In this article, you’ll find all the information you need to discover it. From advice, history and practical information to prices and timetables, you’ll find everything you need to plan and enjoy your visit!

History of Trinity College Dublin

Old Library au Trinity College de Dublin

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Opened in 1592 and modelled on the universities ofOxford and Cambridge, the university allowed only Protestant male students to attend, but gradually began to tolerate the presence of Catholics in 1793. The university did not open its doors to women until 1904.

Selective from the outset, Trinity College accepted within its walls only the elite and the most promising students. The wide variety of courses on offer meant that every student was destined for a promising career! Some of the greatest names in Irish history studied here, including writer Samuel Beckett and Theobald Wolfe Tone, one of the initiators of Irish republican nationalism.

Over the centuries, the university has gradually expanded, constructing new buildings to offer more courses to more students. As prestigious as ever, Trinity College welcomes 16,000 Irish and foreign students every year.

A place of learning, Trinity College’s history has also made it a major tourist attraction in Dublin. In addition to its architectural treasures, such as the ancient library, the university also exhibits the Book of Kells, considered by many to be one of the finest pieces of medieval history. A visit to Trinity College takes you back into history!

Our tips for visiting Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College est le seul collège constitutif de l'Université de Dublin, une université de recherche en Irlande.

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Are you about to arrive in Dublin and want to organize your discoveries? We understand perfectly: time is precious! To help you discover this beautiful university and its treasures, here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your visit:

The best time to visit Trinity College Dublin

To enjoy the gardens of Trinity College, it’s best to visit in spring, summer or autumn. At these times, you’ll also come across many students outside. To make the most of your visit, avoid coming early in the morning before classes start, at midday during lunch breaks or in the late afternoon.

To visit the Trinity College Library, we recommend mid-morning or mid-afternoon. A visit to the Library usually lasts between 40 minutes and an hour.

Practical information

Photography is not permitted in the exhibition area of the library, particularly in the area where the Book of Kells is located. In the Long Room, however, you can take photos without a flash or tripod.

La Vieille Bibliothèque is accessible to people with reduced mobility. When you arrive, you can use the elevators by requesting permission from the janitor beforehand.

What to do when you visit Trinity College Dublin?

Sphere Within Sphere is a bronze sculpture in Trinity College Dublin

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There are several options for visiting Trinity College. Firstly, you can take a tour of the campus and admire the buildings, old and new, that make up the university. Guided tours of the campus are available, and are described in detail in the Guided Tours section below.

One of the highlights of your visit is the Trinity College Library and its exhibition on the Book of Kells. Ireland’s largest library, this Old Library houses some of the country’s oldest and rarest books on 2 floors. Some even date back to the 15th century! On the left-hand side of the library, you can also admire Brian Boru’s harp, a true archaeological marvel! Above all, the Library is famous for housing the famous Book of Kells.

The Book of Kells

Also known as the Great Gospel of St. Columba, this book is a manuscript illustrated with ornamental motifs. Produced by Celtic monks around the year 800, it is considered a masterpiece of Irish Christianity and Irish-Saxon art.

Despite its incompleteness, it is one of the most sumptuously illuminated manuscripts to have survived from the Middle Ages. Many specialists consider it to be one of the most remarkable relics of medieval religious art, not least because of its great beauty and excellent finishing technique.

How much does a ticket to Trinity College Dublin cost?

Trinity College in Dublin Ireland

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Access to the university gardens is free.

You will, however, have to pay an entrance fee to visit the Book of Kells and its exhibition, and at the same time Trinity College’s Old Library. Here are the prices for visiting Trinity College:

  • Adults: €18.50
  • Children under 12: free
  • Students and senior citizens: qualify for a discount

Please note that prices may vary from period to period. Until March 2020, the Book of Kells is unavailable. As a result, admission to the Library is cheaper.

How do I book a ticket for Trinity College Dublin online?

You can book your ticket to visit Trinity College and its Library directly on the university’s official website. The university’s official website has a page dedicated to the exhibition « The Book of Kells ».

On this page, simply click on the « Buy Tickets » button to reserve your tickets.

Are there guided tours of Trinity College Dublin?

DublinIreland- 2019 Sculpture at Trinity College Dublin

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Mariangela Cruz

By visiting the Authenticity Tours desk at the main entrance, you can also book a guided tour of the Campus. Lasting 35 minutes, it allows you to learn more about this prestigious university. A tour of Trinity College costs €15 for an adult. It is possible to purchase a ticket combining this tour with entry to the Library.

Please note: tour times vary according to the season. Visits generally take place from morning to mid-afternoon. More information is available on the university’s official website.

The Trinity College Library offers audio guides in French, English, Spanish, German, Italian and Chinese. You can borrow them for €5 per audioguide. Please note that there are no official guided tours of the Library.

Are there combined tours with other monuments?

The Long Room in the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin.

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Guided tours of Trinity College can be combined with other Dublin landmarks. For example, you can opt for bus or walking tours, which are bound to include the capital’s oldest and most prestigious university.

These tours frequently include monuments such as the Central Post Office, emblematic of the island’s revolutionary past, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Dublin Castle and the Temple Bar cultural district. These tours cost between €15 and €25 on average.

Please note: guided tours of this type do not necessarily include admission to the Trinity College Library.

Opening hours of Trinity College Dublin

From May to September, the Old Library and its exhibition are open Monday to Saturday, 8.30am to 5pm, and Sunday, 9.30am to 5pm. From October to April, it is open from 9.30am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, and from 12pm to 4.30pm on Sundays. Last admission is 30 minutes before the library closes.

The gardens and campus are open all day Monday to Sunday.

How to get to Trinity College Dublin

To reach Trinity College, you can take the following buses: 25, 25a, 25b, 26, 47, 49, 54a, 61, 66, 66a, 66b, 67, 84x, 150, all of which stop close to the university. The university is also just a stone’s throw from Temple Bar and thus Dublin’s historic city center.

From City Hall or Dublin Castle, the university can be reached in no more than ten minutes on foot!

Where can I park near Trinity College, Dublin?

Want to drive to Trinity College? Don’t worry, you’ll have no trouble parking close to the university and Dublin city center. There are numerous parking lots close to the college. Take Q-Park Setanta, just a stone’s throw from Trinity College. Parking costs €4 per hour, with rates decreasing over time.

Where to stay near Trinity College Dublin?

Trinity College is located in the center of the Irish capital around College Green.

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Trinity College is located in the heart of Dublin. As mentioned above, the Temple Bar district is just a stone’s throw from the college. This festive district is home to countless Irish pubs, the emblem of the city! If you like lively, festive, friendly areas, then we can’t recommend this district enough for your accommodation in Dublin. You’ll easily find a hotel or Airbnb here. Its central location makes it easy to visit the rest of the Irish capital.

However, prices can be a little high, as in any large European city center!