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 …Heritage Card Terms and Conditions
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.
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.
These are the main sites which have free entry with the card:
|Site||Opening Details||Online Booking?|
|Annes Grove Gardens||Seasonal||No|
|Battle of the Boyne||All year||No|
|Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre (Newgrange and Knowth)||All year||Yes|
|Cahir Castle||All year||Yes|
|Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery||Seasonal||No|
|Castletown House and Parklands||House – Seasonal||No|
|Charles Fort||All year||Yes|
|Custom House Visitor Centre||All year||Yes|
|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|
|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|
|Old Mellifont Abbey||Seasonal||No|
|Rathfarnham Castle||All year||No|
|Reginald’s Tower||All year||No|
|Rock of Cashel||All year||Yes|
|Roscrea Heritage Centre||Seasonal||No|
|The Blasket Centre – Ionad an Bhlascaoid||Seasonal||No|
|The John F. Kennedy Arboretum||All year||No|
|Trim Castle||All year – Weekends only in Winter||No|