Clonmacnoise, County Offaly

#1 of 8 in Historic Sites in County Offaly
Church · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
A preserved ruin along the Shannon River set against green and rolling hills, Clonmacnoise offers a glimpse into the religious and cultural history of the monasteries in Ireland. Founded in 546 CE by Saint Ciarán, the monastery was a center of learning and trade for over 600 years until it began to decline around the 12th century due to a diminishing population. Visit many of the ruined and partially ruined buildings on the site, including temple Finghín and McCarthy's tower, cross of the scriptures, and the cathedral, where the last High King of Ireland is buried. Many kings from Meath, Tara, and Connacht were buried at this site. Explore the visitor center for a comprehensive history of the site. Use our County Offaly trip builder app to add Clonmacnoise and other attractions to your County Offaly vacation plans.
Create an itinerary including Clonmacnoise

Clonmacnoise reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,024 reviews
  • An enchanting place. Wonderful history and some quite beautiful headstones and architecture. Not completely open due to COVID but still worth a visit.  more »
  • The atmosphere in Clonmacnoise was magical. It was such a beautiful and peaceful place. The handout was much appreciated but maybe a map could be added to it. There is a map at the start of the walk.....  more »
  • The atmosphere is superb. You feel the saints of old are close to you here. The people on duty are delightful and very enthusiastic about their work and the site. It is really well thought out with a very good film and display boards which help you to appreciate what you are seeing. The museum which houses the three high crosses is excellent. It is well worth a lengthy detour to make a visit. Especially if you approach as a pilgrim.
  • Absolutely one of my favorite places I've visited on this trip. A site of incredible historical relevance that is well maintained and has a very informative little museum attached. One particularly striking feature for me was the sense of peace here, and there are so many interesting tidbits of information that make it a worthwhile stop for any history enthusiast. I will definitely return when I can.

Plan your trip to County Offaly

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.