Áras an Uachtaráin

sights / Architecture

Áras an Uachtaráin information

Dublin , Ireland
Address
Extras Phoenix Park
Getting there
bus 10 from O'Connell St, 25 & 26 from Middle Abbey St
Opening hours
guided tours hourly 10am-4pm Sat
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Lonely Planet review

The residence of the Irish president is a Palladian lodge that was built in 1751 and enlarged a couple of times since, most recently in 1816. It was home to the British viceroys from 1782 to 1922, and then to the governors general until Ireland cut ties with the British Crown and created the office of president in 1937. Queen Victoria stayed here during her visit in 1849, when she appeared not to even notice the Famine. The candle burning in the window is an old Irish tradition, to guide 'the Irish diaspora' home.

Tickets for the free one-hour tours (hourly 10am to 4pm Saturday) can be collected from the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre , the converted former stables of the papal nunciate, where you'll see a 10-minute introductory video before being shuttled to the Áras itself to inspect five state rooms and the president's study. If you can't make it on a Saturday, just become elected president of your own country or become a Nobel laureate or something, and then wrangle a personal invite.

Next door is the restored four-storey Ashtown Castle , a 17th-century tower house 'discovered' inside the 18th-century nuncio's mansion when the latter was demolished in 1986 due to dry rot. You can visit the castle only on a guided tour from the visitor centre.