Top 3 Museums to Visit in Dublin, Ireland

Updated on August 27, 2019
Sam Shepards profile image

I love traveling. In Europe, I enjoy historic cities and nature walks. I've visited Scotland, Ireland, and France, among other countries.

National Gallery of Ireland
National Gallery of Ireland

If you’re an art or history lover, you’ll find more than enough to do in Dublin. The Irish city has a large variety of museums, ranging from large national museums to small independent ones. Many of them are reasonably priced or even free.

It’s hard to pick just three, but the following museums are some of the best in Ireland and are representative of the different kinds of museums you’ll find in Dublin. If you can only fit in a few museums during your trip, these should be at the top of your list. I'm including a few extra museum suggestions as well, in case three just isn’t enough for you.

  • National Gallery of Ireland
  • Chester Beatty Library
  • Dublin Writers Museum

National Gallery of Ireland

If you enjoy art, you don’t want to miss the National Gallery. This museum has an impressive collection of works from Irish artists such as Yeats, O’Connor, and Leech. You’ll also find masterpieces from international artists like Van Gogh, Caravaggio, Rubens, Goya, Monet, Picasso, Rembrandt, and more.

In particular, the museum is known for paintings by Italian Baroque and Dutch masters. The building itself, which has been open since 1854, is very impressive. You can find it in the middle of Dublin off of Merrion Square. Admission is free, which is lucky considering the size of the museum’s collection. You can pop in and out on multiple days in order to see as much as you want.

If you need more art: The Irish Museum of Modern Art is a bus or Luas ride away. Situated in the stunning 17th-century Royal Hospital Building, this museum offers a great selection of rotating collections and permanent exhibitions.

Dala'il al-Khayrat at Chester Beatty Library.
Dala'il al-Khayrat at Chester Beatty Library.

Chester Beatty Library

The Chester Beatty Library is so much more than a simple library. This library is known as one of the best museums in Europe, and it’s home to impressive collections of rare books, manuscripts, prints, drawings, miniature paintings, and other decorative arts.

Rare books that you won’t want to miss include Egyptian papyri, medieval manuscripts, and illuminated editions of the Bible and the Qur’an. The museum’s manuscripts date all the way back to 2,700 BC, presenting a wide swath of human history. The museum has particular strengths in historical religious texts and artifacts from Islamic and Far Eastern cultures.

You’ll find things at the Chester Beatty Library that you’ll struggle to see anywhere else. Where else will you find a large selection of Ancient Egyptian love songs? Admission to the library is free. You’ll find it on the grounds of Dublin castle, making it easy to fit into your site-seeing itinerary. Keep in mind that between November and February, it’s closed on Mondays.

If you need more history: Trinity College is famous for its Book of Kells exhibit. You can visit the Trinity College campus to see the Old Library and the Book of Kells, a stunningly beautiful illustrated copy of the gospels from the early 9th century.

Dublin Writers Museum

Dublin has a rich literary tradition, and the Dublin Writers Museum is a great place to dive into it. It’s housed in a beautiful 18th-century mansion that sets the scene for a trip back into Ireland’s literary past.

This small museum features works and artifacts from the lives of famous Irish authors such as William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, Beckett, George Bernard Shaw, and Patrick Swift. You’ll find portraits, letters, rare books, and personal items in the museum’s exhibits. Depending on when you visit, you may also catch a literature reading or lunchtime theater. The museum is a great place to get a sense of Irish literature and the movements that shaped it throughout the past.

If you need more literature: The James Joyce Centre provides an interactive tour of Ulysses plus interesting artifacts from Joyce’s life and works. If you’re a James Joyce fan, this is the place for you.

In Dublin, you’ll never run out of things to do. While I’ve highlighted some of the city’s great museums, there are other highly worthwhile ones that you may wish to visit. If you’re itching for more history and culture, try visiting the Natural Museum of Ireland, the Old Jameson Distillery, or the Irish Jewish Museum for example. Or, if you’ve reached your capacity of museums, stop into one of Dublin’s many great pubs to recover with a pint.

A
National Gallery of Ireland:
Merrion Square W, Dublin 2, Ireland

get directions

National Gallery of Ireland

B
Chester Beatty Library:
Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, D02 AD92, Ireland

get directions

Chester Beatty Library

C
Dublin Writers Museum:
18 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin, D01 T3V8, Ireland

get directions

Dublin Writers Museum

© 2019 Sam Shepards

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Sam Shepards profile imageAUTHOR

      Sam Shepards 

      2 months ago from Europe

      Hi,

      The countryside and following certain routes is the best. I love seeing green, cliffs and water. When the weather is bad and you are in Dublin you can opt for a couple of museums interspersed with some eating and having a great coffee or tea etc.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'd love to visit Ireland in order to explore the countryside. I would certainly spend some time in Dublin, though. I think that visiting the museums that you describe would be a very interesting activity. I'll keep the information that you've shared in mind in case I ever have a chance to visit the country.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)