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Bunratty Castle and village

We will be staying in Dublin and want to visit Bunratty Castle/Village. Does the 1-day rail/bus tour offer enough time in Bunratty to see the sights? If not, is there a way to go there on our own?
Thanks for your advice.

It's been years since I've been, but I did a tour with a friend similar to this:

I don't remember having time in the village but time on the castle tour was sufficient for me. It was a long day and a lot of bus riding but we covered a lot of ground and really got to see a lot of the country side. I don't generally go for bus tours, but the one I took there was great. I think we booked it at the Dublin Visitor's Center.
Happy Travels!

Posted by
16770 posts

I have loved many of Europe's open-air folk museums, but Rick's Ireland guidebook calls Bunratty "the most commercial and least lively of all European open-air folk museums."

Posted by
1070 posts

i LOVED the folk park. I have been to several in the US,.....we got to Ulster folk park the day after it closed for the season (we discussed the merits of Chevy Chases 'approach in National Lampoon American vacation but decided to leave quietly).........
but back to bunratty, which still holds a warm place in my heart.........
we wandered around at our own pace, I purchased a couple of small bits of pottery, had a good lunch, scratched the nose of a donkey, and took what others chose as some of the best photos I took in that entire trip. Five years later, on a bus trip with my mother, I signed us up for the castle dinner, but I'm not sure I would plug for that. however, the folk park was great. this is a day that I'm going to dare to hold a different opinion than Rick
go to bunratty! in 3 or 4 hours you'll be able to make a significant dent. tour of the castle doesn't take long....there's not that much to see inside. and the folk park is interesting and visually pleasing

Posted by
1831 posts

Absolutely disagree with Rick on this one. We were not too impressed with the castle but loved the folk park. We went twice although we had lovely weather both times, once in fall and once in spring. Maybe on a rainy day it might be not be much fun.

Posted by
1843 posts

I'll add another 'yes' vote for the Bunratty Folk Park........we LOVED it!! As my Irish cousin put it, when she was encouraging us to go there to visit, it is the best illustration of what life would have really been like in Ireland in the late 1800s.

We also toured the was interesting.....but if I had to choose one or the other (based on what I know now), I'd definitely go with the folk park.

I'll never forget the wonderful moment of meeting two Irish Wolfhounds that one of the workers had out for a walkabout. Lots of cute cottages, little chapel, quaint shops, animals and not the typical 'over-commercialized' experience of some tourist attractions. It was quiet, nice and quaint.

Posted by
9363 posts

The first time I visited Bunratty we were unable to see the folk park part because of restrictions imposed by the program to keep foot and mouth disease out of Ireland (2001). All we could see was the castle and the few buildings leading up to it. The second time, we spent quite a lot of time in the folk park and thoroughly enjoyed it. This isn't the first time that RS and I have disagreed. :)