Trinity College - Old Library & Book of Kells Exhibition

Trinity College Dublin is fascinating. It is the oldest university in Ireland, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, and is famous for its graduates such as Swift, Goldsmith, Wilde and Beckett. Home to the famous 9th Century Gospel – The Book of Kells and to the longest single-chamber library in the world.

Open Year Round.

No Booking or Payment Card Fees. Tickets Valid for 365 days - use at leisure.

College Street, Dublin 2 (See Map Below)


Trinity College Dublin, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1, provides for a fascinating visit and it is one of Ireland’s top attractions. It is the oldest university in Ireland and is famous for its graduates such as Swift, Goldsmith, Wilde and Beckett.


The Old Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition is a 'must see' on the itinerary of all visitors to Dublin. Located in the heart of Dublin City, a walk through the cobbled stones of Trinity College Dublin will bring visitors back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed. Inside is housed the Book of Kells - a 9th-century gospel manuscript famous throughout the world.

Visitors enter through the Library Shop and proceed to the Book of Kells 'Turning Darkness into Light' exhibition; then to the Treasury where the Book of Kells and other related manuscripts are on view; then proceed upstairs to the magnificent Long Room, the longest single-chamber library in the world, which houses 200,000 of the library’s oldest books in its oak bookcases.

‘Turning Darkness into Light’ and the Book of Kells

‘Turning Darkness into Light’ is an exhibition introducing the Book of Kells and other manuscripts.

The Book of Kells is world famous. Written over 1000 years ago, it contains lavishly hand decorated copy, in Latin, of the four gospels. It has long been associated with St Colum Cille (c 521-597 AD) who founded his principal monastery on the island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland, in about 561. The Book of Kells was probably produced early in the 9th century by the monks of Iona, working wholly or partially at Iona itself or at Kells, County Meath, where they moved after 806 AD, when Iona was attacked by Vikings.


Trinity College Library

Trinity College Library Dublin is one of the world’s great research libraries, holding the largest collection of manuscripts and printed books in Ireland. There has been a library there since Trinity College was founded by charter of Queen Elizabeth in 1592. The earliest surviving building, the Old Library, was built between 1712 and 1732.

The Long Room

The main chamber of the Old Library, the Long Room, is stunning. It is nearly 65 metres in length, and houses around 200,000 of the library’s oldest books. Marble busts are placed down either side of the room - a collection which began in 1743.




Trinity College Dublin is situated in the heart of Dublin's city centre. Trinity College's central location makes it highly accessible for all forms of public transport, such as LUAS (light rail transit) lines, the DART line (Dublin's suburban rail system) and a large number of Dublin's bus routes. The national bus routes are a few minutes' walk away, Dublin's main two train stations are in close proximity, while Dublin airport is 13km (8 miles) from the campus and is directly accessible via bus or taxi. 

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Trinity College - Old Library and Book of Kells Experience
College Street, Dublin 2
T. +353 (0)1 896 2320

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Open Year Round
October to May
Monday - Saturday 09:30 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 16:30
June to September
Monday - Saturday 08:30 - 17:00
Sunday & Bank Holidays 09:30 - 17:00

Closed: December 24 to January 3. From time to time they may close for special events. 

Last admission 30 minutes before closing.

Approx Visit Duration: 90 minutes.  Allow at least 40 to 60 minutes for your self-guiding tour. 

  • This attraction can be busy at peak times. However, if there is a queue you should not be waiting for more than 10 minutes. 


Click the 'Buy Tickets Here' button above to view all ticket types and prices - and to buy your tickets.  

Tickets are guaranteed best value and are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase - for use during attraction opening dates and times.


Audio guides available in German, French, Italian, English and Spanish for €5.00. 

Downloadable leaflets available in English, Irish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Russian and Chinese.


Snack bars/restaurant open from May to September. 


Shop specialising in merchandise relating to the Book of Kells, Celtic art, Irish history, Trinity College and Dublin city. Books, cards, CDs and cassettes, jewellery, posters, T-shirts and crafts are on sale. 


Car parking nearby (fee required). Coach parking (one hour only) along Nassau Street.


Partially wheelchair accessible with accessible toilet.  

Note: Opening times may be subject to change and attraction website and contact details will be on your ticket for any updates.


Indoor (all weather) Partially indoor Family Friendly Wheelchair access (partial) Tea Rooms / Coffee Shop Baby Changing Assistance / Guide Dogs Permitted Gift Shop
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