COVID-19 adviceCOVID-19 advice: Please follow current government travel advice. Learn more

What's nearby
Looking for accommodation?
HomeDestinationsCorkCork CityMTU Blackrock Castle Obse ...
MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory
Cork City, Co. Cork
Reach for the stars at the 16th century Blackrock Castle, 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 Cosmos At The Castle, an award winning interactive astronomy exhibition which highlights recent scientific discoveries and their implications for life in outer space. Cosmos At The Castle is self guided and has approximately 1 hour of content.

You can send a message to space at the Pan Galactic Station and it will be sent at your command via the castle’s radio telescope and beamed towards nearby stars with known planets in orbit around them. The castle is also home to The Comet Chaser, Ireland’s first interactive theatre. In this cinematic gaming experience, you make decisions that directly influence the design of a vital space mission to divert a comet on a crash course to collide with Earth. Using scientific principles to make critical decisions along the way, players in The Comet Chaser determine the outcome of the game.

To see the areas that still remain as a castle the behind the scenes guided tours take place at set times only. Tours take place at 13:30 and 15:30. Your tour guide will bring the past present and future together and take you down to the dungeon and out on to the lower roof where you can take in views of Cork Harbour.

A working research observatory with a 16” robotic telescope is managed by BCOlabs at the castle. This team comprises of a team of researchers from MTU engaged in searching for new planets around distant stars using telescopes at BCO and abroad. Please note that as BCOlabs is a full time research facility and public access cannot be granted to the observatory at this time.

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.

Family friendly
Rainy days
Free car parking
mapGet directions on Google Maps
Contact details
Castle Rd, Blackrock, Cork, Ireland
Visit duration

We recommend planning to spend 1 to 1.5 hours here.

More to discover at MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory
Mail Icon SVG
Mail Icon SVGTravel inspiration to your inbox?

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

Newsletter signup