Fancy soaking up a bit of history and culture while you’re in Dublin? Why not visit one of the many museums and cultural exhibitions around the city. From Modern Art to Natural History to Leprechauns, Dublin has a lot to offer.
– The Artistic
Dating back over 150 years and packed full of fantastic pieces from both Irish and European fine art, the National Gallery of Ireland is one of the best ways to spend an inclement afternoon in Dublin. You can take your time exploring the many wings of art and sculpture that it has on offer for free. Take a free audio guide from the information desk or take a free tour to properly immerse yourself in the European and Irish masterpieces, you’ll soon find that many hours have passed along with the bad weather. Entry: Free| Location: Nassau Street
Irish Museum of Modern Art
The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), is Ireland’s leading national institution for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art. In addition to the collection IMMA presents a dynamic and changing programme of exhibitions from Irish and International Artists, and complimentary education and family programmes throughout the year including a dynamic Talks programme and the IMMA studio and national programmes. The Museum is housed in the 17th century Royal Hospital building in Kilmainham, Dublin, whose beautiful grounds include a formal garden, meadow and medieval burial grounds. Facilities include a café, bookshop and free guided tours of exhibitions. Entry: Free| Location: Royal Hospital Kilmainham
– The Historic
Natural History Museums are common in every European capital and there’s a good reason why. Both adults and children alike love to marvel at the animals and creatures of the past and Dublin has one of the most impressive zoological exhibits. Located within the same complex as the National Museum of Ireland, the natural history building has been operating since 1856 and was restored in 2010 to allow visitors to get more up close and personal with the collection. The ground floor is dedicated to Irish animals, featuring giant deer skeletons and a variety of mammals, birds and fish. The upper floors of the building were laid out in the 19th Century in a scientific arrangement showing animals by taxonomic group. Entry: Free| Location: Merrion Street
The National Museum Of Ireland was built in the 1880s and today is the national repository for all archaeological objects found in Ireland and is the home to over two million artefacts. The Treasury exhibition space has recently undergone a major refurbishment where you can see iconic artefacts such as the Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch and the Derrynaflan Hoard. As well as these priceless artefacts, other permanent displays include Irish Silver and glassware, the Viking exhibition, the War of Independence exhibition and more. Make sure to visit the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibition which includes recently found bog bodies! Entry: Free| Location: Kildare Street
Collins Barracks in Dublin City could be said to be the National Museum of Ireland’s largest artefact, having had a unique history all of its own in another life. Collins Barracks has been completely renovated and restored to become the National Museum of Decorative Arts and History, charting Ireland’s economic, social, political and military progress through the ages.
Artefacts on display range from silver, ceramic and glassware pieces to weaponry, furniture, examples of folk life and costume. All of these are displayed with imagination in innovative and contemporary galleries, which entice you to go further, look harder and examine more closely. Entry: Free| Location: Collins Barracks
– The Unconventional
Irish people have told stories about the Leprechaun for more than a thousand years. There are many tales about him and the people he meets. The National Leprechaun Museum, the first ever attraction dedicated to Irish mythology, opens up a fun and magical world full of fascinating folklore, mythology and enchanting stories. Based in the heart of Dublin, you will explore the museum on a guided tour with a storyteller. They will bring you through the spaces and tell you more about Irish folklore and mythology. You’ll explore spaces that reflect these stories, or recreates experiences typically associated with leprechauns. The result is a series of captivating, interactive experiences – from the first ever sighting back in the eighth century, through to modern day representations of the leprechaun in film and popular culture – and plenty of adventures in between. Entry: €10 for Students| Location: Jervis Street
The Little Museum of Dublin opened in October 2011. The museum is spaced out on 2 floors of a Georgian house. It recalls what Dublin was all about during the 20th century and the exhibition has been widely praised in the international media. The Little Museum of Dublin tells the story of Dublin city from the year 1900 up to 2000 and showcases the remarkable transformation that the city went through in the last century. Visitors to the museum will witness the violent birth of the Irish nation, the conservative years that followed the false economic hope of the 1960s and the Celtic Tiger boom of the 1990s. Photographs, art and newspapers are some of the artefacts that tell the story of the city along with the influence of politics and power. Entry: €3 for Students| Location: Stephens Green
This unique Dublin Museum is an outstandingly original visitor attraction and has been designed to deliver an interactive experience unlike any other museum in the city. The museum is full of characters and exhibits, from historical figures to cartoon characters, and everything else in between. As indicated by the PLUS in the name, it’s not only wax figures either. The museum has much more to explore and experience, such as the Science and Discovery Zone, Recording Studio and the Wax Factor Green Screen. It’s great fun for all. Entry: €10 for Students| Location: College Green
David is a marketing intern working with the Global Relations team, and is a current student of Trinity College Dublin.