Dublin offers a wide choice of museums and other attractions to those visitors who wish to discover our Capital city while visiting for the Eucharistic Congress. All of the following venues listed are within easy walking distance of Dublin city centre.
Chester Beatty Library
Is located at the rear of Dublin Castle. It is both an art museum and a library housing an impressive collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, and rare books from around the world. Of special interest are the Egyptian papyrus texts and illuminated copies of the Qur'an.
Decorative Arts & History Museum – Collins Barracks.
This museum is housed in what was originally an army barracks built in the early 18th Century. The museum has three themes, the first of which is Soldiers and Chiefs which presents images of Irish soldiers at home and abroad. The second section looks at the Irish silver collection, which traces the development of the silversmith’s craft from the early 17th Century to the present day and the third theme is a temporary presentation on Irish High Crosses, which represents some of the finest examples of early medieval sculpture from Ireland.
The Garden of Remembrance
This beautiful garden is located on Parnell Square and is dedicated to the memory of all Irish People who gave their lives in the cause of Freedom both in Ireland and abroad. . The large sculpture by Oisin Kelly is based on the theme of the "Children of Lir", one of Ireland’s oldest legends. . The garden is intended as a place of quiet remembrance and reflection.
National Archaeological Museum – Kildare St
The National Museum is the repository for all archaeological objects found in Ireland. All two million artifacts are housed in a period building dating from the late 19th century. The museum contains in its treasury some of the finest bronze, iron and gold artifacts in addition to housing the world’s most complete collection of medieval Celtic metalwork. Of particular interest to the visitor are the displays of Irish gold artifacts which are found close to the display of bog bodies. No visitor should leave without a visit to the first floor display of Viking Dublin.
Stephen's Green is Dublin’s best known Victorian public park. It was given to the people of Dublin by the Guinness family in 1880 and today it comprises of a 9 hectare / 22 acre park which is maintained in the original Victorian layout with extensive perimeter tree and shrub planting, spectacular spring and summer Victorian bedding. Sanctuary from inclement weather can be obtained in the Victorian lakeside shelter or in the Victorian Swiss shelters in the center of the park. The park has 3.5 km of pathways which allows the visit all areas of the park, in particular the two lakes with their attractive bridge. The park is popular with local Dubliner’s who come to relax and enjoy the quietness the park offers and to enjoy the lunchtime concerts which are performed free during the summer months.
Merrion Square. Merrion Square is one of Dublin's largest and grandest Georgian squares. On three sides are Georgian Houses and on the other the garden of Leinster House, which houses our parliament and senate. Both the national Art Gallery and the natural History museum are to be found off Merrion Square. Many of the houses predominantly used as office space - have plaques detailing the rich and famous that once lived in them. The park itself offers an oasis of calm and is always presented with a colourful selection of flowers and shrubs. Of particular interest is the statue of Oscar Wilde reclining on the rock close to a statue of his wife Constance on a stand containing many witticisms associated with Wilde. The statue is to be found on a corner opposite Number 1 which was his home for many years. Today it forms part of the American University campus in Ireland.
In the 18th century Dublin acquired this beautiful and distinctive style of architecture. Dublin Georgian architecture is so called as it was a style developed between 1714 to 1830, during a period in which four King George’s reigned - hence the adaption of the name Georgian Dublin. Dublin at this time was of major commercial interest within the British Empire and was considered to be perhaps the second or third most important city of the British Empire. It was because of this importance that many wealthy businessmen and land owners were attracted to Dublin and to the new part of the city with its beautiful houses and parks. The wealthy landowners have left and most of the houses are now occupied by Corporate Ireland, in particular those involved in information technology and finance.
Irish Jewish Museum, 3 Walworth Road, Portobello Dublin 8
The museum is dedicated to the history of the Irish Jewish community and was officially opened in 1985 by Mr Herzog - President of Israel. The museum, which is housed in a former Synagogue, has a large collection of artefacts on display in addition to its genealogical records.
Free entrance but donations for the upkeep are welcome
Abbey Theatre / Amharclann na Mainistreach
The Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s national theatre was founded by W.B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory in 1904 to ‘bring upon the stage the deeper thoughts and emotions of Ireland’. Since it first opened its doors, the Abbey Theatre has played a vital and often controversial role in the literary, social and cultural life of Ireland. Over the years, the Abbey Theatre has nurtured and premiered the work of major playwrights such as J.M. Synge and Sean O’Casey as well as contemporary classics from the likes of Sebastian Barry, Marina Carr, Bernard Farrell, Brian Friel, Frank McGuinness, Thomas Kilroy, Tom Mac Intyre, Tom Murphy, Mark O’Rowe, Billy Roche and Sam Shepard.
They continue to support new Irish writing at the Abbey through their commissioning process and New Playwrights programme. The Abbey produces an annual programme of diverse, engaging, innovative Irish and international theatre and invests in and promotes new Irish writers and artists. Their current production of Tom Murphy’s The House is on the Abbey stage from 7 June to 14 July. Check the Abbey website for more information: www.abbeytheatre.ie
National Gallery – Merrion Square
On Saturday, the 30th of January 1864, the Earl of Carlisle officially opened the National Gallery of Ireland to the public. The collection comprised just one hundred and twelve pictures, including thirty-nine purchased in Rome in 1856 and thirty which were on loan from the National Gallery London and elsewhere. Today the National Gallery houses some 15,000 paintings, sculptures, works on paper and objets d’art dating from the early thirteenth century through to the mid-twentieth century. The collection boasts an impressive range of masterpieces by artists from the major European schools of art whilst also featuring the world's most comprehensive collection of Irish art. Of particular interest is a Caravaggio – ‘The Taking of Christ’, a painting discovered in a Jesuit house of studies in Dublin and given to the gallery on indefinite loan from the Jesuit fathers.
Natural History Museum – Merrion Square
Often referred to by Dubliner’s as the 'The Dead Zoo', the Natural Museum offers its visitors 10,000 exhibits each providing a glimpse of the natural world. The building, which dates for the mid-19th century, is in a cabinet-style’ museum designed to showcase a wide-ranging and comprehensive zoological collection and has changed little in over a century. It houses exhibitions based on animals native to Ireland in addition to a giant Irish deer skeletons in addition to a 20 metre long whale skeleton suspended from the roof.
Temple Bar is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey just off O’Connell’s bridge in central Dublin. It has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets and is the location of many Irish cultural institutions, including the Irish Photography Centre, the Ark Children's Cultural Centre, the Irish Film Institute, the Temple Bar Music Centre, the Arthouse Multimedia Centre, Temple Bar Gallery and Studio, and the Project Arts Centre. After dark, the area is a major centre for nightlife, with many tourist-focused nightclubs, restaurants and bars.
Christ Church Cathedral (Anglican Community)
Built in the centre of medieval and Viking Dublin, Christ Church is one of the oldest Cathedrals still in use in Ireland today. The first church on this site was built in the 111 Century by the Viking King of Dublin for use by both the Viking and Irish communities. Today’s Cathedral was built in 1172 and has remained a place of worship since that date. The Cathedral is open to visitors when there are no services. Each visitor is presented with a helpful guide (available in a variety of languages) which in addition to detailing the history of the Cathedral of the church, lists the many items of interest on display within the cathedral itself and its crypt.
Entrance charge Adult €6 - Seniors €4 - Student €3
Dublinia is an exhibition which helps us to understand how Dublin looked at the time of the Vikings. Located in the Synod house, which is connected to Christchurch by a covered walkway, Dublinia offers its visitors three exhibitions. The first presents how lie was at the time of the Vikings while the second exhibit presents the area some years later during the medieval period. The third exhibit helps the visitor understand how archaeology and science work together to piece together the jigsaws of our ancestor’s lives and lifestyles. This exhibit contains real genuine Viking and Medieval artifacts including those of a medieval skeleton, found in Dublin (courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland). Hear the languages of old Dublin and explore the city’s earliest maps. Visit the lab and learn how bugs and dirt can be the history hunter’s gold, finish the tour with the Time Detectives and test your new found knowledge.
Entrance charge Adult €7.50 - Seniors €6.50 - Student €6.50
City Hall was built in the 18th century to house the Royal Exchange which was used by Bankers and the business community to carry out their business transaction. Today all are welcome to visit the entrance hall referred to as the Rotunda and of particular interest to the visitor is the museum, which is to be found in the basement and which is dedicated to telling the story of Dublin. Audio guides and leaflets for this visit are available in English, Irish, German, Spanish, Italian and French. The building is fully wheelchair accessible.
Entrance charge Adult €4.00 - Seniors €2.00 - Student €2.00
Dublin Castle was built in 1204 King John of England and remained the centre of English power in Ireland until the treaty in 1922 when a peace treaty was signed between the two countries. The castle is open to visitors when not in use by the state. The visit is by means of castle guides who escort all groups through the Castle and state apartments. Of particular interest is St. Patrick’s hall which today is used for State functions and to inaugurate Irish Presidents. Visitors are free to visit the Chapel Royal which does not form part of the guided visit.
Entrance charge Adult €4.50 - Seniors €3.50 - Student €3.50
The Guinness Storehouse is housed in a listed Chicago styled building which was built as a storage facility in 1904. Its seven floors are used as museum designed to bring to life the rich heritage of GUINNESS, telling the story from its origins in 1750 to its growth as a global brand, known today around the world. Each floor is dedicated to an aspect of the brewing and transportation of Guinness. The visitor is rewarded for their efforts in getting to the 7th floor with a pint of Guinness freshly poured by experts. The bar on the 7th floor also provides the visitor with a unique 360 degree panoramic view of Dublin city.
Entrance charge Adult €15.00 – Students over 18 - Students under 18 €8
James Joyce Centre, 35 North Great George’s Street
The James Joyce Centre is dedicated to promoting an understanding of the life and works of James Joyce. The centre is based in a restored 18th century Georgian townhouse and is run by members of Joyce family. The Centre's permanent and temporary exhibitions interpret and illuminate various aspects of Joyce's life and work. The Centre also hosts International Joyce, an exhibition originally organised by the Cultural Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland. This panel-based exhibition provides a wonderful introduction to the life and works of James Joyce as well as his legacy.
Entrance charge Adult €5 - Seniors €4 - Student €4
A visit to Kilmainham is a must for all lovers of history. The Jail was built in 1798 by the English government in anticipation of political and military unrest amongst the native Irish. Throughout its history Kilmainham has housed many famous Irishmen and women, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter upraising, who were later executed in the stoneyard attached to the prison. The prison was closed in 1924 and was re-opened some years later as a museum. The Jail is located in Kilmainham, a near-suburb of Dublin, and is on the following bus routes: 51B, 51C, 78A, 79, 79A.
Entrance charge Adult €6 - Seniors €4 - Student €2
Founded in 1701, Marsh's Library was the first public library in Ireland and it celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2001. The library contains over 25,000 books, which were gifts to the library in the 18th Century by Bishop March from whom the library obtains its name. The books are of interest to those who have an interest in medicine, law, science, travel, navigation, mathematics and the music of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The Library is located next door to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and is a must for book lovers.
Entrance charge Adult €2.50 - Student €1.50
St Patrick’s Cathedral
Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptised converts on his visit to Dublin. The Parish church of Saint Patrick on this site was granted collegiate status in 1191, and raised to cathedral status in 1224. The Cathedral is today the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland and is principally a place of worship; however visitors are made very welcome. Of particular interest are the beautiful stain glass windows and the high altar which remains decorated with the coats of arms of the various members of the Order of St. Patrick who were worshipped in St. Patricks. The Cathedral has on display the organ used by Handle while practicing the Cathedral choir for the singing of “The Messiah” which had its premier in Dublin. Many people of interest have ministered and prayed here including Jonathon Swift author of Gulliver’s Travels, who is interred with his beloved Stella within the Cathedral grounds. It would be a pity to leave Dublin without a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Entrance charge Adult €6.50 - Seniors €4.50 - Student €4.50 Family €15
St Michan’s Church
St. Michan’s Church is one of Dublin's most interesting and unusual attractions. Founded around 1095 by the Vikings of Dublin St. Michans was, for over 500 years, the only parish church in Dublin north of the River Liffey. While some visitors come to see the Penitent's Stool, or the eighteenth-century pulpit and font, or the chalice dating from 1516, most come to visit the vaults to see the long narrow galleries used for the placing of coffins. Not to be missed is the coffin of the Crusader which contains a mummy, who is believed to have been a soldier returned from the Crusades. His body has been cut in half, in order for it to fit the coffin.
Entrance charge €3.50
Dublin Writers' Museum
Dublin is famous as a city of writers and literature, and many of these writers feature in the writers museum on Parnell square. Housed in a Georgian House, which in itself is of interest, this museum honours our four Literary Noble prize winners, Yeats, Shaw, Beckett and Seamus Heaney. This visit is a must for any visitor wishing to discover, explore, or simply enjoy Dublin's immense literary heritage.
Entrance charge Adult €7.50 - Seniors €6.30 - Student €6.30 - Family €18
Whiskey Corner – Old Jameson’s Distillery Bow St
Whiskey has been distilled in Ireland for over 1,000 years, using a process originally invented in the Middle East for distilling perfume. The story of whiskey and its making is told in the Irish Whiskey Corner, in part of the old Bow Street distillery complex founded in 1780. All kinds of artefacts are there, calico bags for barley samples, clogs worn by the workers, the tools used for making the wooden casks, even a list of nick-names of Dublin whiskey workers. Visitors are invited to partake of a glass of Jameson at the end of the tour.
Entrance charge Adult €13 – Child 7.70 - Seniors €9.60 - Student €10.60 - Family €29
Dublin Zoo - Phoenix Park
Located in the Phoenix Park on the outskirts of Dublin city, Dublin Zoo is one of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions. As one of the world’s oldest, yet modern zoos, the 28 hectare park in the heart of Dublin is home to some 600 animals in safe environment where education and conservation combine for an exciting and unforgettable experience! The following buses will leave you close: Nos. 25 / 25A, 26, 46A, 66 / 66A / 66B, 67 / 67A, 68, 69 or you may prefer to take the LUAS which will leave you a 15 minute walk from the Heuston Station to the entrance of the Zoo.
Entrance charge Adult €15.50 –Child under 3 No Charge - Child (over 3) €11 Seniors €12.50 Student €12.50 - Family Entrance - Please check locally.
Malahide village and castle
Malahide is a pretty coastal town approximately 30 minutes from Dublin city centre by Dart. In addition to its small village atmosphere with its many shops, pubs, and cafes, Malahide has an excellent beach for you to enjoy. One of modern Malahide’s key features in the 300-berth marina making it place a very popular place for watersports. The village can trace its origins back to the early 12th Century and the arrival of Sir Richard Talbot who had been granted the Malahide estate for services rendered. It was he who built Malahide Castle which remained the home of the Talbot family until the mid-20th century when it was purchased by the local authority. The Castle and its grounds are open to the public. .
This castle is currently being refurbished and is expected to reopen to the public in Summer 2012. The castle grounds are grounds are open to visitors. Malahide is easily accessible by Dart or by local bus.
An entrance charge applies for Castle visits but no charge applies for visits to the Castle grounds.
Howth is fishing and yachting port, approximately 30 minutes from Dublin city centre by Dart or local bus. Howth Head gives fine views of Dublin Bay and the Wicklow Mountains or Boyne Valley beyond. In the bay is the rocky bird sanctuary and monastic island of Ireland's Eye, to which boat trips may be taken in summer. Cliff paths lead around the coastline, through Howth village and its ruined abbey, and past the Bailly Lighthouse. The 15th-century Howth Castle is inland, partly ruinous, but with fine rhododendron gardens. A small, but impressive, transport museum can be visited near the DART railway station, featuring Howth's famous open-topped tram. Howth is well known for its pubs, hotels and fish restaurants. Howth is accessible by Dart or by local bus.
Dún Laoghaire is a suburban seaside town 20 minutes approximately from Dublin city Centre and is perhaps best known as one of Ireland’s principal ports with regular ferry services to the U.K. Once known as Kingstown, Dún Laoghaire has much to offer its visitors including the its East Pier which is popular with walkers, and which was featured in the 1996 movie Michael Collins. South of the harbour is Scotsman's Bay, where there was a Victorian seaside amusement area, with walks, shelters and baths. A traditional Victorian-style park, the People's Park, is located at the eastern end of George's Street, and including still-functioning tea rooms. At least one traditional "cabman's shelter" survives – these were small buildings built for the drivers of horse-drawn carriages. Dún Laoghaire is a pleasant spot to spend a morning or afternoon and it is easily accessible via Dart or local bus service..
The National Stud - Kildare
The National Stud is home to some of Ireland's finest thoroughbred horses. Located 45 kilometres from Dublin in Tully, County Kildare, the Stud is built on a one thousand acre farm and has been in use as a stud farm since 1900. Visitors will enjoy the state - of - the -art horse museum, where the history of Ireland’s long standing relationship with horses is explored and the paraphernalia of riding through the ages is displayed, overlooked by the skeleton of the legendary steeplechaser Arkle. Not to be missed during a visit is a walk through the Japanese Garden, which presents the human journey from cradle to grave. Visitors will also enjoy a walk through St. Fiacre’s which was designed to invoke the spirituality of the monastic movement in Ireland during the 6th and 7th Centuries. There is a limited bus service to/from the Stud from Busarus, the Central bus station in Dublin. Please check with Busarus for departure times and fares.
Entrance charge Adult €11 – Child(aged 5-15) €6 - Seniors €8 - Student €8 - Family €27
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Places of Interest Outside of Dublin
You may wish to discover a little more of Ireland. The following maybe of interest to you as they have a number of tour operators offering day return tours from Dublin city centre.. Please contact your tourist office for a list of operators and their contact details.
Cliffs of Moher
The cliffs are located in county Clare on the west coast of Ireland and can be visited in one day from Dublin. The Cliffs are one of Ireland's top visitor attractions and are a designated UNESCO Geo Park. They are 214m high at the highest point and range for a distance of 8 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean. O'Brien's Tower stands proudly on a headland and is an excellent spot from which to view the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and in the far distance the mountains of Connemara. Several walks have been put in place which opens up many views for the visitor without infringing on the natural beauty of the area. There is an excellent visitor centre with a cafe and restaurant and which in addition to an exhibition Atlantic Edge which presents the many scientific aspects of this unique area. In addition to being an area of outstanding beauty the Cliffs are home to one of the major colonies of cliff nesting seabirds in Ireland.
The Causeway is to be found on the North East corner of Ireland about 90 minutes from Belfast by car. Formed by a flow of lava about 60 million years ago the Causeway is an area of approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns presented in many different formations. The Causeway is reported to have been discovered by a sketch artist in 1693 and her realistic sketches prompted many visitors to come to the area and discover the Causeway for themselves. The Giant’s Causeway has often been described as the Eighth Wonder of the World and was declared as Ireland’s first World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1986. The Basalt columns are found at sea level about a 20 minute downhill walk for the visitor centre. There is a coach service provided for those who prefer not to walk. The visitor and on-site tourist office produce an excellent brochure which contains useful information and add greatly to the visit.
Kilkenny retains more of its medieval character than any other Irish city which allows the visitor to explore its ancient buildings and to enjoy its distinctive townscape. Kilkenny derives its name from its founder St. Canice who was a holy man who founded a religious settlement in the area in the 6th century. Medieval Kilkenny dates back to the mid-12 Century when a Norman knight, Richard leClerc, chose Kilkenny as the site to build a castle. The castle was sold in the 14th century to the Butler family who descendants lived in the castle until the mid 20th century. The castle is open to the public and a visit is recommended. Kilkenny city has much to offer its visitors including the city walls, Shee Alms house and Rothe house, while a visit to the 13th century Black Abbey is strongly recommended. Kilkenny has its own Brewery which offers tours to the public.
Glendalough (Valley of the two lakes)
Glendalough, is one of the most important sites of monastic ruins in Ireland. The recorded history of the wooded valley dates from the 6th century - the dawn of Christianity in Ireland. For 500 years it was one of Ireland’s great ecclesiastical foundations and schools of learning. The settlement was attacked, burned and plundered many times by the Vikings and local Irish raiders and each time the settlement was restored by the monks. Sufficient of the site remains to give the visitor an understanding of how life must have been. Of particular interest is the Round Tower and St. Kevin’s church both of which are estimated to be over 900 years old. My favourite way to visit Glendalough is to make my way to the car park at the top of the lake and from there to stroll back along the Green road to the monastic settlement. This allows me to enjoy a small part of the many walks open to visitors in the national park, of which the monastic settlement forms part, but it also reminds me that this is how visiting pilgrims arrived all those centuries ago.
Newgrange is one of Ireland’s most important Stone Age monuments. In addition to it being an important passage tomb, Newgrange also served as a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance. It was built over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange can be described as a mound which covers an area in excess of one acre and which is retained at the base by 97 kerbstones, some of which are richly decorated with megalithic art. What is spectacular within the monument is the 19 metre long inner passage leading to a cruciform chamber into which the ashes of the dead were placed. The passage is designed in such a way as to allow the rays of the sun, during the winter solstice, to enter the tomb in order to light up the chamber in order that the souls of the dead may leave on their way to the next stage of their cycle. There is a visitor centre which has an excellent cafe.
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