The Long Room in Trinity College is special. And there are few rooms like it in the world.
While its name doesn’t sound particularly interesting, you’ll have forgotten all about that when you step into the stunning 65-metre chamber!
In the guide below, you’ll find info on everything from the loose Trinity College Library Harry Potter link to what you need to know about the tour.
Some quick need-to-knows about The Long Room in Trinity College
Although a visit to the Trinity College Library is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
2. Home to the Book of Kells
The Trinity Library is also where you’ll find the extraordinary Book of Kells. Dating back to the 9th century, the Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book written entirely in Latin and featuring some amazingly elaborate illustrations to go with the text. Made from high-quality calf vellum and extending to a total of 680 pages, it’s a must-see even if there are queues.
3. Architectural brilliance
300 years old and 65 metres long, there’s a good reason why the Long Room in Trinity College is one of the most photographed rooms in Dublin. Carved with an elegant wooden barrel ceiling and lined with marble busts of prominent writers, philosophers and supporters of the college, it’s very difficult not to be wowed when you walk into the Long Room’s hushed chamber.
4. The tour
A visit to the Long Room in Trinity College takes around 30-40 minutes in total. Standard adult entry will cost €18.50. You can also try this guided tour (affiliate link) that’ll take you around Trinity and Dublin Castle (the reviews are excellent).
About The Long Room
Built between 1712 and 1732 and stretching to 65 metres in length, the Long Room in Trinity College is the longest single-chamber library in the world and houses some 200,000 books.
Originally the famous Trinity Library had a flat ceiling, but that changed when the beautiful barrel ceiling was added in 1860 to allow space for more works, as well as an upper gallery.
The marble busts are another distinctive feature of the Long Room and they date back to 1743 when 14 busts were commissioned from Peter Scheemakers, a renowned Flemish sculptor. The busts depict many of the great philosophers and writers of the Western world, along with a number of men that were connected with the college.
The most famous book here is obviously the Book of Kells but perhaps of more recent importance is one of the last remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic.
Note: As of summer 2023, there are no books on the shelves in the Long Room due to an ongoing conservation project. While we miss the books, we think the library is still pretty spectacular without them.
Some handy info on the tour of the Long Room in Trinity College
The tour of the Trinity College Library in Dublin is well worth doing (hit play on the video above and you’ll get a good idea why).
Below, you’ll find info on the ins and outs of the tour. Later, you’ll find some need-to-knows about the unfounded Trinity College Harry Potter link.
1. It’s self-guided
The first thing to know here is the tour of the Long Room in Trinity College is self-guided so you can spend as long as you want exploring if you so wish.
2. Takes around 30-40 minutes
As was mentioned earlier, it’s about a 30-40 minute tour, but I wouldn’t blame you for spending a bit longer marvelling at the Book of Kells or reading the interesting information boards on how it all came about.
3. There’s plenty to see
In the Long Room, there’s plenty of space for you to get a closer look at some of Peter Scheemakers’s gorgeous marble busts, of which some of the highlights include Aristotle, William Shakespeare and Wolfe Tone.
4. You can book online and avoid queues
Standard adult entry will cost €18.50 and we highly recommend booking online to avoid the queues because they can get long. You can book the tour here, or you can also try this guided tour (affiliate link) that’ll take you around Trinity and Dublin Castle.
Debunking some myths (yes, the Trinity College Harry Potter link isn’t a real one!)
So, there are several myths that surround the Long Room in Trinity College. The most recent myth is the one surrounding Star Wars (this was a fairly controversial one).
The second is the Harry Potter Trinity College link, which seems to have grown legs over the last few years. Here’s what you need to know.
The Harry Potter link
This was actually one of the first guides published on this website many years ago. Since then (and thanks to the page ranking in Google for ‘Trinity College Library Harry Potter’), I’ve been getting email after email from people asking whether or not the movie was shot here.
Although I wish there was a Trinity College Harry Potter link, there isn’t. The Long Room just resembles the library used in the filming of the Harry Potter movies.
There is a strong Harry Potter Ireland link, however, with several scenes from one of the movies shot off Ireland’s coast.
The Star Wars link
And the Hollywood myths don’t stop there. The Jedi archives of the Jedi Temple in the movie Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones also bear a startling resemblance to the Long Room of the Trinity College Library.
Controversy arose as permission had not been sought to use the building’s likeness in the film. However, Lucasfilm denied that the Long Room was the basis for the Jedi archives and as such, officials from Trinity College Library decided against taking any legal action. So all was good in the end.
Things to do when you leave the Long Room
When you leave the Trinity Library, you’re a short walk from some of the best things to do in Dublin, from tours and historical sites to much more.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from The Long Room (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. The grounds of Trinity College
The leafy grounds of Trinity College are some of the prettiest in Dublin and it goes without saying that you should spend a bit of time just strolling around exploring.
Whether it’s before or after your visit to the Library, it doesn’t really matter as there’s no rush on this particular activity. They’re particularly nice in autumn when all the students are scurrying around and the leaves are turning all sorts of orange and red.
2. National Gallery of Ireland
Just a short walk south of Trinity College, the National Gallery of Ireland is Ireland’s premier art gallery and showcases work by some of the all-time masters of their craft. Located in a stately Victorian building on Merrion Square, the gallery features an extensive collection of fine Irish paintings as well as work by European artists from the 14th to the 20th Century, including Titian, Rembrandt and Monet.
3. Endless attractions in the city
With its handy central location, there are loads of other Dublin attractions to check out within a short walk or a tram or taxi ride. Whether you want to learn about the city’s most famous export at the Guinness Storehouse or go for a stroll through St Stephen’s Green, there’s plenty of entertaining directions to head when you’re leaving from Trinity College.
4. Food and trad pubs
Located near the famous Temple Bar area, there’s a plethora of pubs, bars and restaurants to get stuck into when you’ve finished exploring the Long Room. Whether it’s classic Irish meals or far-flung dishes from Nepal or Japan, there’s a cuisine for everyone. And if you want to hear a bit of trad music then just walk closely past any pub and listen out (the later in the evening the better!).
FAQs about the Trinity College Library
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What is the Trinity College Harry Potter link?’ to ‘Which tour is the best?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Was Trinity College Library used in Harry Potter?
Although the Long Room in Trinity College looks like a place in Hogwarts, it wasn’t used during the filming of the Harry Potter series.
How many books are in the Long Room?
The Long Room is packed with 200,000 of the library’s oldest books. If you’ve yet to visit, you’re in for a treat – it’s one of the most impressive libraries in the world.
What is the Long Room at Trinity College?
The Long Room can be found in Trinity’s Old Library building. It is, as the name suggests a library. It’s home to over 200,000 of the college’s oldest books.