The Book of Kells & Old Library

The Book of Kells & Old Library

The Book of Kells & Old Library
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksLibraries
09:30 - 17:00
Monday
09:30 - 17:00
Tuesday
09:30 - 17:00
Wednesday
09:30 - 17:00
Thursday
09:30 - 17:00
Friday
09:30 - 17:00
Saturday
09:30 - 17:00
Sunday
12:00 - 16:30
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
  • Adventurer760359
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The most breathtaking library!
    Walking into the old long library is like stepping back in time. It's absolutely stunning! They have some amazing artifacts on display including works by Shakespeare and the Kells books. It's a little pricey, but it's worth doing for sure. Plus, the maintenance of that library is costly, so I considered my donation well worth it. Just go. Gorgeous library.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 28 April 2023
  • jxx9595
    1,469 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Old Library was the highlight
    The Book of Kells exhibit was fine, but in the end, you get to see one page of the actual book. I much prefered seeing the Old Library. I'm glad it was open during renovations, but many of the books had been removed. Still, it was fun walking through and taking photos, and there are still enough remaining books to get the feel. Of course, you have no idea what the books are, but that didn't much matter.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 18 May 2023
  • Cathy S
    Farmersville, Texas233 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very crowded, but still worth it!
    This place is packed with people but still magnificent to behold. They do control entry with timing but you could barely move in the museum exhibits and still a lot of people in the main long room. Also, they are in a period of necessary refurbishment and cleaning so more than half the shelves were empty and they are actively working during tours. We still enjoyed seeing this.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 30 May 2023
  • BET
    Emmaus, Pennsylvania5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Book of Kells and Long Room
    Trinity College’s Library and the Book of Kells were on my must-see list. Definitely book tickets in advance, as they sell out quickly. The Book of Kells exhibit is remarkable, especially in terms of how the book has been preserved for so many years. But the true highlight for me was the long room — an ultimate book lovers’ paradise. They’re currently in the process of renovating, so you’ll see some empty shelf sections, juxtaposed with plenty still packed with books. It’s a beautiful sight to behold.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 June 2023
  • Donna D
    Brownsville, Oregon72 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice visit prior to library renovation.
    The exhibit describing the many monastery-generated books (actually, works of art now) was interesting, but crowded. The actual book of Kells on display was interesting, but I didn't get much time to look at it as the crowds were making it difficult. The long room of the old library was amazing, with its high ceilings, tall shelves filled with old books, and the busts of famous men (I did see one woman). Unfortunately, they are in the initial stages of renovation and many books and busts had already been removed. The library will close in October (2023) and will be closed for at least 3 years.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 9 June 2023
  • lolly19692017
    Millbury, Massachusetts72 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see! Highly recommend!!!
    The book of Kelly’s and library is a must see. The library is considered one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. Once inside you can see why. It is simply stunning. Sadly a lot of the books were removed from the shelves and there were areas that were under construction. The book of Kells is very interesting and it was intern to hear about the history behind it. I strongly suggest this tour. I suggest you have your hotel book it for you or book it yourself online before your stay. We went the first day and were greeted with a “Sold out” sign. This is a very popular tour but you will thoroughly enjoy it.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 June 2023
  • pather5
    Durban, South Africa6 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great learning experience!
    Lovely to see the Long Room and the important work happening there. The Book of Kells was also a great learning experience although viewing the actual book was slightly disappointing as the book simply showed a drawing (albeit a lovely ancient drawing!) – I would have loved to see a page of actual writing from the Book of Kells. Worth a visit for sure!
    Visited June 2023
    Written 26 June 2023
  • TigerTina301
    New Orleans, Louisiana1,588 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Huge Library Worth Visiting
    We pre-paid for tickets for this because I heard they sell out beforehand. We arrived on time (there are no bathrooms inside so you have to walk across the grass into a building). There are walls of information to read before you head into the actual library. We probably spent a total of a half hour doing the tour (we were exhausted from a full day) although I would've liked to had read through the information on the walls. I didn't know the library was undergoing renovations until I read some of these reviews but it makes sense because not all of the shelves had books on them which I thought was odd. The actual Book of Kells is under glass but it was cool to see. It was definitely worth going to see such a huge and historic place.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 30 June 2023
  • Virginia H
    Ashland, Virginia132 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing art and faith
    Anyone who appreciates art, history, and books will find the illuminated pages of the book of Kells amazing. Trinity College, Dublin, does an excellent job with the tour and display, plus people can go into the library that has the oldest manuscripts the college owns. It was awesome, especially when one learns of the rugged conditions the monks lived with as they did this work.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 3 July 2023
  • HappyTraveler320
    Bethesda, Maryland54 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating!
    Great experience. The book itself was fascinating but the Long Room of the library was a standout. It is an astonishing space. We had an excellent guide, Roseanne, for the Trinity Campus part of the tour, and then did the Book and the Library on our own, which worked out well.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 3 July 2023
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4.5
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ELRudy
Kingsland, GA75 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
There are very few written texts since mankind has put ink to paper that has last as long as the Book of Kells. Furthermore, there are few other institutions that house reference material that simple does not age over time, but has given a revival to art and reason.

Our Book of Kells and Long Room experience was one of a few experiences in my live that I can say I was truly taken back and humbled. To appreciate the painstaking craft in the works of this volume, it is exceptional.

Book of Kells: There are assigned times for a reason. Bring your headphones for the self guided audio tour. Read the material, take your time. It took monks years to make this manuscript, appreciate it! And no photos on the actual book itself. Seriously, even cell phones. Put it away!

Long Room: Currently under a renovation, so part of the books are no on display. But there are many other items on display that are work seeing and understanding. Note - you are in library. A working library. Act accordingly (and not like the tour group I saw that day!).

On of my personal favorite experiences in Dublin. I booked the tickets from the TCD website and it was fairly seemless.
Written 23 April 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.

Paul O
County Monaghan, Ireland4,952 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Had 2pm tickets booked so joined the queue just before this time. It was not a long wait to enter but was very crowded initially when you enter.

The long room is still the highlight though due to upcoming restoration project only the first few rows in the library have books in them.

The new exhibition (which will effectively replace the long room when it is fully empty for restoration) which is in a separate building is just ok and would not be worth a visit in its own right in my opinion.
Written 23 April 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.

Julia E
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Business
Excellent visit and lots of incredible information shared with us by the guides. An awe inspiring art instillation and grant library hall is not to be missed
Written 20 April 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.

Elizabeth B
Plainville, KS3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
Currently the library is undergoing a renovation process and the library only had 4 sections with books in place, it's still awesome. Seeing the blown-up images of the Book of Kells then the actual book itself was a memorable experience. Thier is an extra called the Book of Kells Experience, be sure you get tickets before your arrival if you want to see it.
Written 19 April 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.

Mora O
Dublin, Ireland32 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
Very poor. Too crowded at entrance. Impossible to see exhibit numbers, arrows on floor required to guide the tourist. A very poor set up. Not good enough for such a wonderful subject matter. Try better.
Written 17 April 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.

Matt Preston
London, UK84 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Bunch of spoilt students stopped us being able to visit.

No notification from the company/university and trying to get a refund is seemingly impossible.
Written 15 April 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.

Explorer778015
Harrogate, UK44 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
The whole experience is really worth the visit, although the book itself feels like an after thought. The entrance room gives you lots of interesting information and 10 foot high pictures of the pages. You breeze past the book and land in the library, which when we was there had a huge floating globe but no books because they had all been removed for repair. Loved the harp too. Leaving there the brilliant and very tempting gift shop before walking through the campus to get to the 'experience'. This is a surround video experience encapsulating the story of both book and library. personally enjoyed the discourse between the talking busts. The whole thing took about 90 minutes and we read and looked at everything - but it was also empty when we went. Didn't spot any loos, not sure if it's wheelchair accessible, and despite the campus having a range of eateries it was not an easy task to discover them.
Written 15 April 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.

PETER B
Blaine, WA155 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
This was our second visit.
Previous visit 10 years ago
The library was extremely disappointing.
Empty bookshelves .
Last time shelves were full of manuscripts and students were studying .
Book of Kells exhibit needs more concise less detailed larger print exhibits.

There should be a replica of what the book originally looked like in all it finery
Way too much focus on a virtual tour not enough real substance .
Written 15 April 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.

Ron H
Columbia, SC300 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Not totally sure how to review: it's an amazing piece of history to see (1 page), and there is a lot of Information about the book, but if you're not into reading a lot of information, it may not be for you. The library is an amazing facility too, if you want to see old books on a shelf. Over all, my wife loves this type of exhibit, me, so so. I look at it that I contributed to the maintenance of some history.
Written 14 April 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.

N D
Lincolnshire, UK1,281 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
It was the library we had really come to see. Unfortunately, most of the books had been removed for restoration. Although the building is magnificent, it doesn’t have the wow factor without the books
The immersive experience wasn’t as good as we had hoped but it was OK.
Written 11 April 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 (with Photos)

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