The Book of Kells & Old Library

The Book of Kells & Old Library

The Book of Kells & Old Library
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksLibraries
8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
About
Trinity College Dublin is Ireland’s oldest university, and home to its greatest cultural treasure, the Book of Kells. A precious 9th century manuscript, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament, the Book of Kells is filled with ornate Latin text and intricate illustrations. Located in the Old Library, visitors can view the ancient manuscript, before marveling at the Long Room, considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. A once in a lifetime event is currently taking place in the Old Library, with 200,000 books being carefully removed. On your visit you will witness this historic event, which is part of the landmark Old Library Redevelopment Project. Within the Long Room, visitors will also en Brian Boru Harp, Ireland's oldest surviving harp and a rare original copy of the Proclamation, a seminal text in Irish history. Make the most out of your visit and include a guided tour of campus with the Book of Kells & Campus tour package.
Duration: < 1 hour
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The area
Neighbourhood: South City Centre
How to get there
  • Abbey St • 7 min walk
  • St. Stephen's Green • 8 min walk
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See what travellers are saying
  • Jenz88
    Chicago, Illinois116 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great stop while exploring Dublin!
    Really cool exhibit with several ancient artifacts and relics to explore. Expertly setup to introduce the background of the Book of Kells and to provide details of the religious anthropology of the times. Some of the artifacts include bible satchels, calfskin “paper”, a bedevils harp and more. The Long Room is beautiful and so well preserved with collections dating back to the 1800’s. You can tell the museum cares deeply about the integrity of the materials. A couple things to note: There is an audio tour, but (I think) you need to bring your own headphone, I was not aware of this and was a little disappointed. Tickets can only be bought online, so we were forced to do so while standing outside of the exhibit in the rain. In a hurried rush, we mistakenly bought tickets online for the wrong time and we’re offered no flexibility for an early time which was a little disappointing. Overall, a really cool stop to make while on Dublin!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 16 July 2023
  • Charis C
    244 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not to be missed
    The history of the book is really fascinating! The use of the app with the audio guide is very helpful as is enables you to follow the right path in the exhibition and get the necessary information easily. The old library is a really one of a kind! Highly recommended!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 July 2023
  • Tom Rowland
    Los Angeles, California12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Book of Kells - Trinity College Dublin
    Amazing MUST SEE exhibit. Catch it before they begin complete renovation in Fall 2023.. See an original 1916 Proclamation and an original Book of Kells manuscript. The bookshop is cool as well.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 July 2023
  • Kim N
    United States191 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Recommended visit to The Book of Kells
    This is all about the history...I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see the Book of Kells. The museum portion of the visit is very informative and seeing such a piece of history was a special experience. The general library is also very interesting with a cast of historians who had studied in this spot. Tickets seemed to be booked for the day or next so we were fortunate to be able to get tickets in person for 2 days ahead. We did the self-guided tour, which was sufficient with a lot of information provided in the museum section.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 27 July 2023
  • AntoinetteVI
    Sassenheim, The Netherlands561 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great experience
    Great experience, we did the guided tour on the app which was very informative. The Book of Kells we found very impressive. The Great Hall is being emptied at the moment and lot’s of the statues are wrapped in bubble wrap which took away a part of the charm. Nevertheless a great experience.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 31 July 2023
  • Janet L
    Hanover, Michigan18 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must see
    This is an absolutely must see when in Dublin. It was in walking distance of our hotel. The only problem I had was that they let so many people in at a time it's difficult to get close enough to see everything. It was absolutely packed and there was a school group of young people that were extremely rude. Other than that it was amazing, expecially the long hall.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 1 August 2023
  • Maggie K
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cashier to the rescue!
    My wife and I stopped in to take a tour and didn't realize we needed to book ahead. Our flight was leaving that afternoon so we only had the morning and this was the part of the trip I was most excited for. Needless to say we were disappointed, but we stopped in at gift shop and while chatting with our cashier, we shared we didn't get in to the tour. He gave us a smile and walked us over to the entry, sharing that we were his guests and they let us in. It was a wonderful surprise and made our whole trip. Great staff, beautiful exhibit and interesting information shared.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 August 2023
  • Teresa W
    Blue Ridge, Georgia4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very engaging, informative. Great guide!
    This tour was great. Everything organized beautifully and a guide who is well informed and a great communicator. He also made certain that everyone could hear him at all times. Go Brian! We came home after vacay and watched Michael Collins to try to get further history elucidation. Additionally, Brian took extra pains after the tour to set us on a path to a good lunch spot. We went for the early tour (8a.m) and I’m glad we did. Tour completed at a good time and place for lunch and further city sightseeing. As a P.S. I’d like to say that I took the time to give negative (but I hope constructive) feedback on a DIFFERENT tour we took later in the day, so I wanted to make sure that I also stressed the positive one! This tour was exactly as described and more. Very engaging.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 August 2023
  • John K
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Book of Kells
    We had Richard as our tour guide and he was as on point as possible! He was funny, jovial, friendly and most of all, informative. He took us around Dublin and explained everything in detail and was very accommodating to the entire group, taking pictures, advising restaurants and places to avoid. I can’t say enough about our Book of Kells tour with him.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 August 2023
  • Craig C
    Galena, Ohio109 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    You feel the age of the building
    Nice self guided tour of the history with a downloadable tour on your phone. Lots of displays discussing various aspects of the building, how manuscripts were made and detailed. Seeing the Book of Kells was nice but entering the Old Library was amazing. Definitely worth seeing while in Dublin. Was told that the structure will be closing soon for renovation for an unspecified period of time.
    Visited August 2023
    Written 22 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Lilian
Vienna, Austria6 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Friends
It was interesting and impressive. Unfortunately the library was empty/without books because they were archived. It's a must-see in Dublin.
Written 13 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

starfleet76
72 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Couples
Bought tickets for the only option available a couple of weeks ahead, the book of Kells experience.

Was a short audio guided tour, if you are short on data, download the trinity app first.

Only one page of the book is available, but the long room library is fantastic.

Unable to re enter the first gift store, but there is a second one.

The digital experience is good, so long as you do not suffer from motion sickness. Only a couple of eight minute visuals so nothing fantastic and really drops a star.

Not a fantastic value trip, but Pearch cafe is worth a stop for a drink.
Written 12 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grace S
Philippines25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Family
It was my first full day in Dublin and my niece booked a tour of the Book of Kells at the Trinity College Dublin Old Library. What an enriching and beautiful experience it was. I have never heard of the Book of Kells until I reached Ireland. The visit opened my eyes to the wonders of ancient history and the value of preserving artifacts like the Book of Kells. TCD took pains in ensuring many generations of visitors will be able to view it.

The Old Library is a marvel itself with its huge collection of books from all over Ireland and the UK. Other notable relics like the harp, the busts of historical Irish figures made for a quick understanding of Irish history and culture.
Written 9 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Trail798278
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
I went with a tour group to see The Book of Kells which also included the Old Library. We also went on a walking tour to see the Molly Malone statue and Dublin Castle. It was a great tour and seeing The Book of Kells and the Long Room at the library was awesome.
Written 6 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Staz
8 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Solo
Paying 19€ to see a library without books was definitely the highlight of my weekend.
They did say online that they were renovating “some” books tho I wasn’t expecting to see the shelves EMPTY!
Written 6 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tshep42
Halifax, Canada4,164 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Couples
The tour groups are small enough that the place isn’t overcrowded, which is much appreciated. We actually got a few moments alone with the Book of Kells.
Scan the QR code on the wall and you have the audio tour right on your phone. You start with a bunch of stations explaining various things about the book on the audio guide. You can go into the room where the book is located anytime. You only get to see 2 pages. They switch up the pages daily.
You then go into the Long Room of the Old Library. Now, some of us have been in much longer library rooms at modern universities, but it is beautiful old library room. I’m sure it was long for its day.
Please note that most of the books are not there right now. It’s only the first 2 sets of shelves that have books. It’s still worth going.
Then there is a separated building just outside and to the right called the Book of Kells Experience with a lot more info, films, talking busts, and great gift shop.
Written 3 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Angela
Market Drayton, UK7 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Interesting place. The library itself is stunning. I found part 2 of the tour more informative and would have liked to see this before entering the library.
Not a place I would visit again. I found it a bit overpriced
Written 1 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SH
Reston, VA275 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
We took this tour on our third day in Dublin and it was quite informative. Eoghan was our tour guide and he was both interesting and entertaining. There are a lot of interesting facts and stories surrounding Trinity…and he knew all of them. We knew that many of the books in the library were removed for repair/refurbishment so that wasn’t an issue. However, the Book of Kells is shown one page at a time and during our visit, the page being exhibited wasn’t very illustrative so that was a disappointment. It looked more like an index page with almost no art on it.
Written 1 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Darren D
Texas813 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
A highlight of our trip to Dublin. The library was listed as a "must see" on every recommendation list I found. It was an incredible sight, and I'm please that we went. I did not know much about the Book of Kells, and we enjoyed learning about it, its history, and its procurement at Trinity College. The immersive 360 experience is well done. The library will soon close for 10 years of work, as we were informed by our guide.
Written 30 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FamilyOf5
Los Angeles, CA17 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
Expensive for what it is. We were excited to see the Book of Kells, but saw most of it through photos in the pre-amble exhibit, which is good, but very crowded - we were fighting for space just to read the info. When viewing the actual book you just see 2 pages behind glass and are also crowded for space. Then the library books are currently all removed from the library for servicing, which is a little anticlimactic. The Kells Experience add-on is a multi-media exhibit meant to make up for this, but personally we did not find it very compelling.
Written 30 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Book of Kells & Old Library - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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