Kilmainham Gaol

If you like to learn the history of the cities you’re touring, then we recommend a trip to Kilmainham Gaol during your break in Dublin. Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison that now serves as a museum and reminds British visitors of the troubled past that the two countries share. It was most famously used as a prison for Irish Republicans during the painful separation of the UK and Ireland between 1916 and 1922. Most tourists try to avoid prison on their trips abroad; however, this is one prison that we suggest you put at the top of your travel itinerary.

How to get there

Kilmainham Gaol is only 3.5 miles from the centre of Dublin.

  • By bus – You can take bus numbers 13 or 40 from O’Connell Street (which is Dublin’s main thoroughfare).
  • By Luas – By the end of your holiday you may be familiar with The Luas – this is Dublin’s tram system. The nearest Luas stop to Kilmainham Gaol is Suir Road, on the Red Line.


  • Supervision – You can only go round Kilmainham Gaol as part of a tour – you can not wander around the place alone. You just need to turn up and wait, as they are run every 45 minutes.
  • Filming – Cameras are allowed in Kilmainham, but you are not allowed to take videos. 

Also note

  • Pricing – Unlike some other museums you visit on your tour of Dublin, this one has an admittance charge. This is set at 6 Euros. Students only have to pay 2 Euros.
  • Temperature – One thing to note is that Kilmainham Gaol is a really cold place and, in places, is also very dark – this adds to the atmosphere.
  • Refreshments – The museum includes a tea shop and a souvenir shop.

What to look out for

Although revolutionary at the time of its construction (in the 1770s) the Gaol will take you on a trip back through many years of history.

  • Be sure to see the cell which once housed the future Irish President Eamonn DeValera.
  • Also of note is the chapel where Joseph Plunkett married his love, Grace Gifford, the day before his execution.
  • The yard where James Connolly was executed is also of great interest and holds an almost sacred place in Irish minds.