The Heritage Card

A screenshot from the website of Heritage Ireland - where you can buy the Heritage Card.

The Heritage Card is a fantastic tool for those looking to explore several of Ireland’s state-managed Heritage Sites whilst saving money on admission fees.

Over 45 sites are included, from Dublin Castle and Kilmainham Gaol in the capital, to the Rock of Cashel and the Hill of Tara around Ireland (full list below)

Is it worth the investment? Similar to the Dublin Pass it comes down to how many of the sites you intend to visit. The family pass costs €90 for 2 adults and up to 5 children, while a single adult card costs €40. Considering that entrance to something like the Rock of Cashel or Dublin Castle is upwards of €8 per adult or €20+ for a family ticket you’d have to visit 5 sites in the year before seeing a return.

In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about the Heritage Card, including where to get it, where it’s accepted, and how much you can save.

The OPW Heritage Card: An Overview

The Office of Public Work (Heritage Ireland) is responsible for the daily operations of many state-owned National Monuments and National Historic Properties in Ireland.

The Heritage Card grants holders free admission to all fee-paying state-managed Heritage Sites across Ireland for one year from the date of purchase.

You can buy it online here. This is the booking website linked to from the Office of Public Work. Take care if you purchase from an unofficial source, and that the prices are the same as listed here.

From the terms and conditions:

Cards will be posted free of charge and will be dispatched within 10 working days of purchase
The card is only valid for use by the signatory on the card and is strictly non-transferable. …
The Card will be dated at the Heritage site on first use. The Card’s validity begins from this date.

Heritage Card Terms and Conditions

As it can take some time for the card to be delivered, order in good time. Perhaps a better alternative is to purchase the card at the first site you visit, then there’s no stress about receiving the card in time.

Heritage Card Pricing

The following prices apply when purchasing the card from one of the OPW heritage sites mentioned below:

  • Adult: €40.00
  • Senior: €30.00 (60 years and over)
  • Student/Child: €10.00 (Valid student ID required / Child aged 12-18 years)
  • Family: €90.00 (2 adults & 5 eligible children aged 12-18 years)

Prices correct as of 7th May 2023, from the official website.

Sites Covered

These are the main sites which have free entry with the card:

Site Opening Details Online Booking?
Annes Grove Gardens Seasonal No
Ardfert Cathedral Seasonal No
Athenry Castle Seasonal No
Aughnanure Castle Seasonal No
Battle of the Boyne All year No
Boyle Abbey Seasonal No
Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre (Newgrange and Knowth) All year Yes
Cahir Castle All year Yes
Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery Seasonal No
Casino Marino Seasonal No
Castletown House and Parklands House – Seasonal No
Céide Fields Seasonal No
Charles Fort All year Yes
Clonmacnoise All year Yes
Custom House Visitor Centre All year Yes
Derrynane House Seasonal No
Desmond Castle Adare Seasonal No
Donegal Castle All year No
Doneraile Estate All year No
Dublin Castle All year Yes
Dún Aonghasa All year No
Dunmore Cave All year – Closed at present No
Emo Court Seasonal No
Ennis Friary Seasonal No
Farmleigh House and Estate Seasonal Yes
Glebe House and Gallery Seasonal No
Glendalough Visitor Centre All year No
Ilnaculin- Garinish Island Seasonal No
Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh- Pearse’s Cottage All year Yes
Jerpoint Abbey All year – Reduced in Winter No
Kilkenny Castle All year Yes
Kilmainham Gaol All year Yes
Lough Gur Seasonal No
Old Mellifont Abbey Seasonal No
Ormond Castle Seasonal No
Parke’s Castle Seasonal No
Portumna Castle Seasonal No
Rathcroghan All year No
Rathfarnham Castle All year No
Reginald’s Tower All year No
Rock of Cashel All year Yes
Roscrea Heritage Centre Seasonal No
Ross Castle Seasonal No
Sligo Abbey Seasonal No
Swiss Cottage Seasonal No
The Blasket Centre – Ionad an Bhlascaoid Seasonal No
The John F. Kennedy Arboretum All year No
Tintern Abbey Seasonal No
Trim Castle All year – Weekends only in Winter No
You can see more details in Heritage Irelands 2022 brochure here.

Written / Updated


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