So, you’re in Dublin, and you’ve had enough of the pubs and crowds. What now?
Well, how about exploring some of the amazing museums this city has to offer?
Dublin’s museums are not your typical boring displays of old stuff. They’re full of stories, secrets, and surprises that’ll make you see this city in a new light!
Forget the clichés; it’s time to discover the real Dublin in its museums!
What are the best museums in Dublin?
The best museums in Dublin include EPIC Museum, The Little Museum of Dublin, National Museum of Ireland, Dublinia, Museum of Literature Ireland, Kilmainham Gaol, National Library of Ireland, and Chester Beatty.
Additionally, the Irish Whiskey Museum, 14 Henrietta Street, The Irish Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum, GAA Museum, Glasnevin, GPO Museum, The National Print Museum, and IMMA also offer engaging exhibits and experiences for visitors.
Address: The Chq Building, Custom House Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1
Phone: +353 (0)1 906 0861
Email: [email protected]
Operating Hours: Open Daily – 10 AM to 6:45 PM (Last entry: 5 PM)
EPIC is a museum that celebrates the Irish diaspora and its impact on the world. It’s not just a collection of facts and figures, but a journey through the stories of Irish immigrants who became famous or influential in various fields.
Whether you’re interested in science, politics, art, or adventure, you’ll find something to inspire you at EPIC! The museum is interactive and immersive, using technology and creativity to bring history to life.
It’s no wonder that EPIC, adorned with the title of Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2019 and graced by celebrities like Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Justin Trudeau, offers a gateway to discovering Irish identity beyond borders.
- Make the most of your visit by exploring the Docklands neighborhood. With a variety of local attractions like The Jeanie Johnston and The Famine Statues, you could easily spend a whole day here.
- Download the Dublin Discovery Trails app to unlock virtual experiences and explore the area’s fascinating landmarks and heritage sites.
The Little Museum of Dublin
One of the most charming and engaging museums in Dublin is the Little Museum, located in a Georgian mansion across from St Stephen’s Green.
This museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the vibrant life of Ireland’s capital city during the 20th century, from famous figures like James Joyce and John F Kennedy to everyday life and events.
You can learn about women’s rights, U2, aviation and much more through films, exhibits and memorabilia. The Little Museum is not a typical historical museum, but rather a lively and interactive experience that will delight and inform you.
Take a relaxing walk in St Stephen’s Green, a beautiful park with stunning gardens, surrounded by historic Georgian buildings. It’s famous for being mentioned in James Joyce’s book, ‘Ulysses’.
National Museum of Ireland
- Decorative Arts & History: Collins Barracks, Benburb St, Stoneybatter, Dublin
- Natural History: Merrion St Upper, Dublin 2
- Archeology: 35A Kildare St, Dublin 2
Phone: +353 1 6777444
- Tuesday to Saturday – 10 AM to 5 PM
- Sunday to Monday – 1 PM to 5 PM
Exploring Ireland’s captivating history and culture is best experienced through the National Museum of Ireland, with its four branches spread across the country. In Dublin, you can visit three of them, each with its own theme and collection.
Those interested in ancient mysteries and creepy stuff will love the Archaeology museum, where you can see real mummies.
If you prefer fashion and design, the Decorative Arts & History museum has beautiful crafts and offers insights into the Easter Rising.
And for fans of animals and nature, the Natural History museum, also known as the Dead Zoo, houses thousands of specimens from all over the world.
Engage with and explore the collections of the NMI by utilizing their learning resources. Check out their online activities, printable activity sheets, and animal-inspired arts and crafts.
Dublinia lets you experience the city’s Viking and medieval history in a fun and engaging way. You can see how the Vikings shaped Ireland’s culture and trade, and how they built the magnificent Christ Church Cathedral.
You can also explore the daily life of medieval Dublin, from crime and punishment to health and hygiene. Dublinia is located in Synod Hall, a stunning 19th century building that was restored by the same architect who worked on Christ Church.
If you want to learn more about Ireland’s past and see some amazing views of the city, Dublinia is a must-see!
- Make the most of your visit by combining a trip to Christ Church Cathedral. Get a discounted combined ticket at Dublinia’s welcome desk upon arrival.
- Start your Viking journey with Dublin and the Viking World, a beautifully illustrated book that takes you through the streets and homes of this important town. Available for €12.99 from the Dublinia gift shop.
Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI)
Address: UCD Naughton Joyce Centre, 86 St Stephen’s Green, Saint Kevin’s
Phone: +353 1 716 5900
Email: [email protected]
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 10 AM to 6 PM (Last entry: 5 PM)
MoLI, or the Museum of Literature Ireland, is a must-see for anyone interested in Ireland’s literary history. The museum showcases rare books and immersive exhibitions from the National Library of Ireland.
You can also enjoy the stunning Georgian architecture of Numbers 85 and 86, where many famous Irish writers studied and taught.
MoLI is a museum that celebrates Ireland’s literary heritage from past to present, and it’s one of the best museums in Dublin City Centre.
- If you need a break from all the literary wonders, you can relax in the museum’s peaceful gardens and café, where you can listen to some lovely birdsong.
- Visit MoLI on the First Friday of every month for free and a special programme of events, including writer interviews, music, dance, poetry, and spoken word.
- January to June 9:30 AM to 5:15 PM
- July & August 9:30 AM to 5:45 PM
- September to December 9:30 AM to 5:15 PM
- Closed on 24th to 27th of December
Kilmainham Gaol is more than just a former jail. It’s a place where you can learn about the history of Ireland and its struggle for independence.
For over 300 years, this building witnessed the imprisonment and execution of many Irish rebels, as well as the deportation of countless convicts to Australia.
Now, it’s a museum that offers tours of its cells, chapels, and grounds, where you can see the traces of the past and hear the stories of the people who lived and died here.
- Before visiting Kilmainham Gaol, download and print their social guide to help first-time visitors, families, and those with developmental and learning disabilities prepare for their visit.
- Ensure a smooth visit to Kilmainham Gaol by pre-booking your tickets online, as this popular site has limited capacity.
National Library of Ireland
The National Library of Ireland (NLI) is a treasure trove of Irish culture and history, with more than 12 million items in its collections.
You can explore the lives and works of two of Ireland’s most celebrated poets, W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney, in the award-winning exhibitions that showcase their manuscripts, letters, photos and more.
You can also trace your Irish roots with the free genealogy service, or enjoy the many events and activities that the library offers, such as lectures, workshops, recitals and storytelling.
Visit the National Library’s Genealogy Room on the mezzanine level to access numerous resources for tracing your Irish roots. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone interested in genealogy.
Address: Dublin Castle, Dublin 2
Phone: (+353 1) 407 0750
- Monday to Friday – 9:45 AM to 5:30 PM
- Wednesday – 9:45 AM to 8 PM
- Saturday – 9:45 AM to 5:30 PM
- Sunday – 12 PM to 5:30 PM
The Chester Beatty is a free museum that showcases the amazing collection of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, a former mining tycoon and world traveller.
He amassed a huge number of rare and beautiful items from Asia, Europe and the Middle East, such as ancient scrolls, manuscripts, paintings and prints.
You can see some of the highlights of his collection in this museum, which is located in the stunning Dublin Castle. The Chester Beatty also hosts temporary exhibitions that explore different aspects of art and culture.
The Silk Road Café in the museum is a well-kept secret, offering a Middle Eastern paradise with falafel sandwiches, hummus, salads, baklava, and wine. Escape to their heavenly rooftop garden for peaceful relaxation and soak up the sunshine.
Irish Whiskey Museum
The Irish Whiskey Museum is a fantastic spot to dive deep into the intriguing world of Irish whiskey. They’ve got this cool tour that takes you through four different rooms, each representing a different chapter in Irish history.
But the best part? You get to sample a bunch of whiskey types along the way!
Back in 2013, Ireland had only four distilleries and five visitor centers. Fast forward to today, there are a whopping 24 distilleries up and running, with 28 more in the works.
This museum stands out for its independence from distilleries, providing an unbiased perspective on Irish whiskey. With numerous distillery tours and pop-up breweries, none present Ireland’s whiskey story as dramatically as this amazing museum.
- Enjoy Irish whiskey tastings at the bar or a cup of tea, coffee, or spiked Irish coffee!
- Take advantage of the free WiFi at a table overlooking Grafton Street.
14 Henrietta Street
If you’ve ever wondered how the rich and poor lived in Dublin over the centuries, you should check out 14 Henrietta Street. This museum is housed in a former Georgian mansion that became a tenement in the 20th century.
You’ll see how the rooms changed over time, from elegant parlours to crowded flats. You’ll also hear stories from the people who lived there and how they coped with poverty, disease, and hardship.
You’ll also learn about the culture and politics of Dublin’s working class, and how they shaped the city we know today. 14 Henrietta Street is not your typical museum. It’s a living testimony of Dublin’s past, and a must-see for anyone who loves history.
Join Culture Club’s free hosted talks and tours to discover Dublin’s cultural spaces (which includes 14 Henrietta Street). Book your spot in advance to connect with the dedicated individuals behind these cultural gems.
Irish Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum
Address: Curved St, Temple Bar, Dublin
- Monday to Friday – 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM
- Saturday & Sunday – 11 AM to 5:30 PM
The Irish Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum is one of the city’s most distinctive attractions. Over the years, it has played host to legendary artists like Christy Moore and Rihanna.
As you step inside, you’ll embark on a journey into the intriguing and enchanting world of the Irish music industry, spanning three decades of musical history.
Your visit includes an exclusive backstage pass to the famous Button Factory venue, a tour behind the Wall of Fame, and an exploration of the recording studios used for Glen Hansard’s Oscar award-winning film, Once.
Don’t miss the chance to visit Temple Bar Pub, just an 88-meter walk from The Irish Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum. There, you can enjoy an authentic Irish pub experience and live music.
Dublin’s renowned Croke Park is a fantastic spot for sports enthusiasts, offering a range of engaging experiences.
This sprawling sporting complex, the largest in Ireland, comprises a majestic stadium and an enlightening GAA Museum, highlighting the significant role of sports in Dublin and the nation.
The museum isn’t just about history; it’s a deep dive into the rich culture of Gaelic games. You’ll explore the origins of Gaelic football, hurling, handball, and camogie through interactive exhibits.
Non-Irish visitors will undoubtedly find themselves absorbed in the camaraderie and the passion these national games inspire.
Enjoy a delicious snack or drink at the Blackthorn Café, open daily from 9:30 AM to 5 PM. You can also have some fun at the Interactive games area, where you can test your skills in hurling, Gaelic football, and handball.
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
Address: Finglas Rd, Glasnevin, Dublin
Phone: +353 1 882 6550
At the Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, you can learn about the lives and deaths of some of the most influential figures in Irish history, such as Michael Collins, Constance Markievicz and Eamonn de Valera.
You can also explore the records of 1.5 million people who are buried here, which is a great way to trace your Dublin ancestors. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can climb up the O’Connell Tower and enjoy a stunning view of the city and beyond.
The Glasnevin Cemetery Museum is not just a place of mourning, but a place of discovery and inspiration.
Opt for a guided walking tour to fully experience the cemetery. Knowledgeable and passionate guides share Ireland’s history, tailoring the experience to your interests while maintaining a balance of sensitivity and fun.
Address: O’Connell Street Lower, North City, Dublin 1
Phone: + 353 (0)1 872 1916
Email: [email protected]
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Saturday – 10 AM to 5 PM
The GPO 1916 tour in Dublin offers an amazing, immersive journey back in time to the Easter Rising in 1916. When you step into the iconic General Post Office, it’s like being right in the midst of history.
The tour is visually stunning and presents the events in a way that’s easy to understand, giving you a whole new perspective on the GPO and O’Connell Street.
The GPO Museum is a must-see, with interactive activities like composing newspaper reports, sending Morse code messages, and playing games, all while learning about the GPO’s crucial role in the Easter Rising.
The Rebel Rising Tour is perfect for those wanting a deeper dive into Irish history.
If you’re eager to delve deeper into the 1916 Easter Rising and the significant moments of modern Irish history, the Rebel Rising Tour is an ideal choice for you.
The National Print Museum
- Tuesday to Friday – 10 AM to 4 PM
- Saturday & Sunday – 12 PM to 4 PM
The National Print Museum is a one-of-a-kind place in Ireland and the British Isles with a cool goal: celebrating the world of print and its influence.
It’s not your typical museum where things are locked up behind glass – here, they’ve set up a working print shop with historic letterpress printing gear.
This letterpress stuff, invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1439, is a big deal that has shaped our history. You can even roll up your sleeves and make your own letterpress keepsake.
They also offer guided tours to dive into Ireland’s printing history, including the story of the 1916 Proclamation. Plus, their temporary exhibitions show how print has molded Ireland’s past.
Start your creative journey with the National Print Museum’s exciting art and craft workshops. Gift a loved one a workshop experience they’ll cherish.
Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
Address: Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Phone: +353 1 6129900
- Tuesday, Thursday to Saturday – 10 AM to 5:30 PM
- Wednesday – 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM
- Sunday & Bank Holidays – 12 NN to 5:30 PM
If you’re looking for a cool place to see some amazing art in Dublin, you should definitely check out the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). It’s located in a stunning 17th century building that used to be a hospital, surrounded by beautiful gardens.
You can wander around the galleries and see the latest exhibitions by Irish and international artists, or join a free guided tour to learn more. There’s also a shop and a café where you can chill and enjoy the vibe.
IMMA is one of the best museums in Dublin for modern art lovers, and it’s only a short walk from other attractions like Kilmainham Gaol and the Guinness Storehouse.
- IMMA presents IMMA Outdoors, an extensive summer program that brings the museum outside. Explore artist commissions, performances, workshops, and more across the 48-acre grounds.
- Don’t forget to check out IMMA Nights, happening every Thursday and Friday evening from May to September. Find all the details online.