1) The National Museum, Kildare Street – Highlights include the Celtic gold exhibit, the Faddan More Psalter and the “Bog Bodies”.
2) The Book of Kells, Old Library, Trinity College – The famous illuminated manuscript of the Gospels, dating from the 9th century. Entry also brings you into the Old Library, home of Ireland’s oldest harp.
3) The National Library, Kildare Street – A beautiful reading room and an excellent (free) exhibit on the life and works of W.B. Yeats.
4) The National Gallery, Nassau Street – Highlights include the Jack B. Yeats gallery and a room dedicated to lesser known 20th century Irish artists.
5) Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle – a fabulous collection of manuscripts and artwork from all over the world. Highlights include exhibits on world religions and the fantastic garden.
6) Dublinia – A lively and fun “hands-on” history of Viking and Medieval Dublin.
7) Dublin City Exhibition, City Hall – In the basement of city hall, there is a permanent exhibit on the history of Dublin City – wonderful overview of many of the major events in Irish history and an excellent collection of maps of Dublin throughout the centuries.
8) The Hugh Lane Gallery – A wonderful collection of 19th and 20th century art in a beautiful Georgian building.
9) Dublin Writers Museum – A great place to get an overview of Irish Writing through the centuries – not just Joyce, Yeats and Wilde!
10) Glasnevin Cemetery – The award winning visitor centre offers superb tours of Dublin’s major Catholic cemetery. Famous residents include Daniel O’Connell (who is commemorated with a round tower), Charles Stewart Parnell, Eamon de Valera, Michael Collins, Maud Gonne, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Brendan Behan…
11) Phoenix Park – Europe’s largest urban park – over 1750 acres of fields, paths, ponds and gardens. Also contains Dublin Zoo, the residence of the President of Ireland (the Aras an Uachtaráin) the residence of the American Ambassador, Farmleigh House (once a Guinness family estate, now a guesthouse for the Irish government), the Papal Cross (marking where Pope John Paul gave mass to 1.25 million people in 1979), the Wellington Monument, the Magazine Fort and Ashtown Castle,
12) National Botanic Gardens – A 50 acre botanic garden bordering the River Tolka and opened in the early 19th century. Has a wonderful Victorian glasshouse and over 20,000 species of plants. Also has the Office of Public Works garden
13) Kilmainham Gaol – The infamous jail that held the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. A great tour and a great way to get this confusing period of Irish history straight.
The Abbey Theatre is Ireland’s National Theatre.
The Gate Theatre stages consistently strong productions of popular classics and occasional new pieces. Has a strong relationship with the works of Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Brian Friel.
The Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar stages more experimental theatre than the Abbey or the Gate.
The Irish Film Institute is Dublin’s primary outlet for film-buffs. Hosts many festivals and special screenings and events throughout the year in addition to regular showings of current films. Has an excellent shop with a wide array of Irish films.
The National Concert Hall is home to the RTE Symphony Orchestra. Hosts numerous performances throughout the year ranging from opera to jazz to short lunchtime concerts to films accompanied by live orchestra, to variety shows and big band celebrations.
Whelan’s, on Wexford Steet, is one of Dublin’s best venues for exceptional live music.
Many of Dublin’s bookshops have closed in recent years, but there are still a few hiding out if you know where to go.
The major bookshop that supplies Trinity College students is Hodges and Figgis, located on Dawson Street. This shop stocks almost anything you could think of and has great sections on everything Irish.
The Loft Bookshop, located on Middle Abbey Street upstairs from 3FE café, is home to an inventively-curated selection of new and previously-loved books. Specializing in literary fiction–but with sections on poetry, art, politics, sci.-fi., Irish interest, vintage, history, and cooking–this smaller, independently-owned and operated shop aims to be a haven for booklovers. Plus, the café downstairs serves one of the best cups of coffee in all of Dublin.
Chapters Bookstore, located on Parnell Street approximately three blocks west of O’Connell Street, is a massive bookstore with an impressive collection of used books for sale upstairs.
Books Upstairs is a small specialty shop located at 36 College Green, Dublin 2, just outside the front gates of TCD. This selection is clearly hand picked and focuses on Irish poetry, philosophy, critical theory and gay/lesbian studies. A great place to find current issues of Irish academic and poetry journals.
The Winding Stair bookshop, 40 Ormond Quay, Dublin 1 – this small bookshop is a fascinating place to explore. A wonderful collection of used books and old Penguin classics.
Oxfam Books, 23 Parliament st, Dublin 2 – A small gem of a bookshop, with a particularly good Irish interest section. There’s also vinyl, cds and dvds.
There are other bookshops located throughout the city, so ask us if you are interested in seeking out others!