15 Of The Very Best Museums In Dublin City Centre

Katherine Notman Katherine Notman

15 Of The Very Best Museums In Dublin City Centre

If you can’t get enough of museums then you’re in luck, because Dublin is full of them!

When it’s a rainy day in Dublin (not an uncommon occurrence), there are plenty of places to stave away boredom. Dublin is absolutely packed full of museums, some of which are free!

And if all goes to plan, from May 10, museums in Ireland are due to be permitted to reopen to the public with social-distancing measures in place.

PLEASE NOTE: Some procedures for reopening museums (regarding tickets, booking, entry) are subject to change, depending on each museum, given the recent announcements. Check each site’s reopening details prior to booking.

1. National Museum of Ireland — Archaeology, Dublin 2


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The National Museum of Ireland’s Archaeology building is, as you might expect from an archaeology museum, impeccably designed and incredibly beautiful. The artefacts here are from an array of different eras. At the moment there is a temporary exhibition on The Battle for Clontarf of 1014, during which the Irish fought the Vikings and won. As with all four National Museums of Ireland (one of which is in Country Mayo), admission is completely free.

📍 Kildare Street, Dublin 2

2. National Museum of Ireland — Natural History, Dublin 2


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If you found animals fascinating when you were a kid, this museum will recapture that enthusiasm and make you want to explore with all the zeal of a five-year-old who loves turtles. There are so many amazing exhibitions here that you could easily spend a couple of days looking around. But the best bit? Entry is free!

📍 Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2

3. National Museum of Ireland — Decorative Arts & History, Arbour Hill


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The third National Museum in Dublin is the museum of Decorative Arts & History. It’s another stunning and impressive building. However, if you think the outside is impressive, just wait until you see the inside. One exhibition they are running at the moment is named ‘Rainbow Revolution’ and it is dedicated to the history of LGBTI+ struggle in Ireland and across the world as a whole. Ireland was the first nation in the world to legalise same-sex marriage and this exhibition is a must-see.

📍 Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Stoneybatter, D07 XKV4

4. The Little Museum Of Dublin, Dublin 2


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As the number one museum in Ireland on TripAdvisor, this little museum really packs a punch. You can learn a lot about Ireland in a very small space. One exhibition that is on at the moment focusses on the role that women have played in the history of Ireland. Admission is €10 per adult and tickets can be bought on the website.

📍 15 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

5. The Irish Immigration Museum (EPIC), Dublin 1


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There is a huge Irish diaspora across the world, who have planted Irish culture wherever they have travelled. We now see a strong sense of pride in being Irish from people whose great great great grandparents were Irish. At EPIC you can explore the history of Irish emigration for 16.50 each. Tickets are available on the website.

📍 The Chq Building, Custom House Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1, D01 T6K4

6. Kilmainham Gaol, Kilmainham


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Kilmainham Gaol is hugely important to the history of Ireland as a nation. It is the place where James Connolly and Patrick Pearse (among many others) were executed for their part in The Easter Rising. It is a very popular museum, both with locals and also with international visitors, so tickets are only sold online and your ticket will provide you with a time slot. Adult tickets are around 8 each.

📍 Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 RK28

7. Dublin Writer’s Museum, Dublin 1


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Open since 1991, the Dublin Writer’s Museum is still relatively young. It was opened with the aim of encouraging an interest in Irish writers and the literature they have produced. Subsequently, it contains the works of, and displays about, both living and deceased Irish writers. Along with a gallery featuring paintings of famous Irish writers, there is a section that can be better described as a museum of literature. Entry is €7.50 per adult and you can buy tickets on the website.

📍 18 Parnell Square North, Rotunda, D01 T3V8


See also: 8 Lovely Literary Locations For Book-Loving Dubliners

8. Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Glasnevin


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Glasnevin Cemetery is famously the place where Daniel O’Connell (or The Liberator) was buried, in a crypt that you can visit. (Well, Daniel O’Connell minus his heart, which was buried in Rome.) Lots of famous people are buried in Glasnevin Cemetery and it has to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. There is so much to learn from this one in particular, because of the importance that the cemetery places on telling the stories of those interred here. There are tons of different tours which you can choose from and they are all around €14.50 per adult, bookable online.

📍 Finglas Road, Glasnevin, D11 H2TH

9. Irish Whiskey Museum, Dublin 2


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The history of whiskey is tied tightly to Irish history and it’s absolutely fascinating. You can explore the history of whiskey here for €20 per person. Plus, you’ll get to drink some of the whiskey, of course. Book tickets over on the website.

📍 119 Grafton Street, Dublin, D02 E620

10. Chester Beatty, Dublin Castle


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The Chester Beatty is another free museum. Rare manuscripts from across the world are displayed here and the emphasis is on representing Irish history as a whole, reflective of multi-cultural Ireland. There are books on display from countries like Japan and Iran, with strong visual cultures, which translate into beautiful illustrations on the pages of the displays. This library really is a feast for the eyes.

📍 Dublin Castle, D02 AD92

11. Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham


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IMMA is based in the beautiful old Kilmainham Hospital. It caters to lots of different tastes, with an array of artwork in different styles. Entry to the museum is free! You can learn more about the museum on the website.

📍 Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 FW31

12. The GAA Museum, Croke Park


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If you want to learn about Gaelic sports then this is the place to do it. It’s a huge muse, dedicated to sports, and Irish sports in particular. Tickets are around €15 per adult and you can also book tours around Croke Park.

📍 St Joseph’s Avenue, Ballybough, D03 P6K7

13. 14 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1


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14 Henrietta Street was once a large, Georgian house. However, following the economic decline of Ireland, it was converted into tenement flats. Tours are €9 per person and you can book one on the website.

📍 14 Henrietta Street, Northside, Dublin 1, D01 HH34

14. National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland, Dublin 1


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This museum offers Irish Mythology tours during the day for people of all ages. Then, in the evening, the tours are only for those aged 18+, because they focus on the dark side of Irish Mythology. The experience is much more interactive than you might expect from a museum. Daytime tickets are €10-16 and evening tickets are €18 each. Tickets can be booked on the website.

📍 Twilfit House, Jervis Street, Dublin 1

15. The Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship, The Docklands

The Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship tells the sad tales of Irish people who fled Ireland during The Great Famine. The ships they boarded, like the Jeanie Johnston, were full of disease and many died on the way to their new homes across the sea. You can climb on board the ship and explore the museum for €11 per adult and tickets can be booked on the website.

📍 Custom House Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1, D01 V9X5

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Tags: Museums