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:

SiteOpening DetailsOnline Booking?
Annes Grove GardensSeasonalNo
Ardfert CathedralSeasonalNo
Athenry CastleSeasonalNo
Aughnanure CastleSeasonalNo
Battle of the BoyneAll yearNo
Boyle AbbeySeasonalNo
Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre (Newgrange and Knowth)All yearYes
Cahir CastleAll yearYes
Carrowmore Megalithic CemeterySeasonalNo
Casino MarinoSeasonalNo
Castletown House and ParklandsHouse – SeasonalNo
Céide FieldsSeasonalNo
Charles FortAll yearYes
ClonmacnoiseAll yearYes
Custom House Visitor CentreAll yearYes
Derrynane HouseSeasonalNo
Desmond Castle AdareSeasonalNo
Donegal CastleAll yearNo
Doneraile EstateAll yearNo
Dublin CastleAll yearYes
Dún AonghasaAll yearNo
Dunmore CaveAll year – Closed at presentNo
Emo CourtSeasonalNo
Ennis FriarySeasonalNo
Farmleigh House and EstateSeasonalYes
Glebe House and GallerySeasonalNo
Glendalough Visitor CentreAll yearNo
Ilnaculin- Garinish IslandSeasonalNo
Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh- Pearse’s CottageAll yearYes
Jerpoint AbbeyAll year – Reduced in WinterNo
Kilkenny CastleAll yearYes
Kilmainham GaolAll yearYes
Lough GurSeasonalNo
Old Mellifont AbbeySeasonalNo
Ormond CastleSeasonalNo
Parke’s CastleSeasonalNo
Portumna CastleSeasonalNo
RathcroghanAll yearNo
Rathfarnham CastleAll yearNo
Reginald’s TowerAll yearNo
Rock of CashelAll yearYes
Roscrea Heritage CentreSeasonalNo
Ross CastleSeasonalNo
Sligo AbbeySeasonalNo
Swiss CottageSeasonalNo
The Blasket Centre – Ionad an BhlascaoidSeasonalNo
The John F. Kennedy ArboretumAll yearNo
Tintern AbbeySeasonalNo
Trim CastleAll year – Weekends only in WinterNo
You can see more details in Heritage Irelands 2022 brochure here.

Written / Updated


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