View MapView Map
HomeDestinationsCorkCork CityMTU Blackrock Castle Obse ...
MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory
Cork City, Co. Cork
Family friendly
Rainy days
Free car parking
Reach for the stars at the 16th century Blackrock Castle in Blackrock, on the outskirts of Cork City. A former watch tower now combined with an award winning observatory for budding astronomers and scientists.

Blackrock Castle overlooks the River Lee on the outskirts of Cork City harbour. MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory, the Space for Science, is Cork’s fun and exciting location to learn about the universe. Over 400 years ago, the fortification which is now Blackrock Castle, was built at the River Lee where the narrowing channel leads to Cork and has been part of the city’s history ever since.

Today the castle is a science centre and is home to the new 'Ireland in Space' exhibit. Take a trip that spans from the origin of our universe through to the near future.

A working research observatory with a 16” robotic telescope is managed by the Blackrock Castle Observatory Labs at the castle. This comprises of a team of researchers from the Munster Technological University engaged in searching for new planets around distant stars using telescopes within the castle and abroad.

Join a 'behind the scenes' guided tour of the castle that will bring the past, present, and future together. Enjoy an entertaining and informative experience while appreciating the panoramic views of Cork Harbour.

Why we like it
  • Visit a 16th century former watch tower and observatory for budding astronomers and scientists.
  • See the fascinating 'Ireland in Space' exhibit.
  • Take a guided tour of the castle and enjoy impressive views of Cork Harbour.
  • BCO Labs is an active research observatory. See some of the equipment used by the researchers and learn about their ongoing work.
Tips from locals

The Castle Café in the courtyard presents a lovely, seasonal menu with lots of choice for gluten free or vegan diners too.

Tips from locals

The Castle is surrounded by scenic walks along greenways and the harbour front, so be sure to wear your walking shoes to explore.

Contact details
Blackrock, Cork, Co. Cork, T12 YW52, Ireland
Visit duration

We recommend planning to spend 1 to 1.5 hours here.

More to discover at MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory
The Castle Café

The Castle Café is a family friendly café and restaurant located within the historic Blackrock Castle grounds, only a ten minute drive from Cork City.

Mail Icon SVG

Subscribe now to receive destination inspiration, travel tips, upcoming events and all the best things to do around Ireland.