If you are touring Ireland for more than a couple of days, this card will certainly save you money, possibly quite a lot of money!
It is easy to buy, a true bargain (a rare thing!) and not half enough used by visitors to Ireland.
All prices updated for 2017.
What is a Heritage Card?
Heritage Cards are issued by the Office of Public Works (OPW), a government body which looks after national monuments, historic houses, parks and gardens that are in State care.
A Heritage Card gives free entrance to all the places in their care for a period of one year. This includes more that 75 heritage sites all over the country, some of which are among the most popular places to visit in Ireland.
Some of these attractions are free to enter even without the card but it really is not difficult to save money with a Heritage Card, no matter what region of Ireland you are visiting.
Download a brochure of all Heritage Card sites (PDF).
How Much does it Cost
Remarkably little is the short answer.
|Senior (over 60)||€30|
|Child (under 18)||€10|
A ‘family’ is defined as “2 adults and up to 5 children under 18”. Children under the age of 6 have free entry anyway, so do not need a card.
Should you Buy a Heritage Card?
If you intend doing any sight seeing, YES buy this card.
Look at the list of headline locations it includes, places that most people touring Ireland will visit – Kilmainham Jail, the Rock of Cashel, Muckross House, Kilkenny Castle, Glendalough, Bru na Boinne, Clonmacnoise – all on the lists of most people who visit ireland.
It’s a complete no-brainer.
Can you give me an example of the savings?
Ok, here goes.
Suppose you spend time in Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork and Kerry, which would not be an unusual itinerary. You’ll visit the following places (and more, these are the ones that we highly recommend).
- Dublin: Kilmainham Goal and Dublin Castle
- Day Trip from Dublin: Brú na Boinne, Hill of Tara, Trim Castle, Battle of the Boyne Centre
- Kilkenny: Kilkenny Castle, Jerpoint Abbey, Dunmore Caves
- On the way to Cork: Cahir Castle, The Rock of Cashel
- Cork: Charles Fort, Garanish Island
- Kerry: Muckross House and Gardens, Ross Castle, Derrynane House, the Blasket Centre.
Family of 2 adults & 2+ Children:
Without any card: €305 | With a Family card: €90
Without any card: €238 | With 2 adult cards: €80
Where to Buy a Heritage Card
You can buy cards at the first of the included Heritage Sites that you visit. They are valid for one year from the date of purchase. There is no need to buy before you travel.
Beware of sites selling this card and offering to mail it to you – they charge a premium, you get no benefit and it simply isn’t necessary.
Note that not all of the places on the Heritage Card list have credit card facilities, so plan to have enough cash at the first visit.
In calculating the savings for two adults with a Heritage Card you show the following:
Without any card: €160 | With 2 adult cards: €42
Shouldn’t the savings be 118 Euros?