In the summer peak season, Dublin's top attractions can get packed. Show up early to beat the crowds.
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, +353 1 407-0750. Sa 11:00-17:00, Su 13:00-17:00, M-F 10:00-17:00 . Contains a wide selection of early books and manuscripts, including sacred texts and manuscripts. European Museum of the Year 2002. Free entrance.Christ Church Cathedral, Christ Church Pl, Dublin 2, +353 1 677-8099. Jun-Aug daily 09:00-18:00, Sep-May 09:45-17:00 or 18:00. Dating back to the 11th century, is the oldest building in Dublin, though it underwent a massive restoration in the 19th century. Particularly interesting is the crypt, which pre-dates the cathedral. €6, students €4, children with parent free.Dublin Castle, 2 Palace St, Dublin 2, +353 1 677-7129. M-Sa 10:00-16:45, Su & Bank Holidays 14:00-16:45. Closed 24-28 & 31 Dec, 1 Jan and Good Friday. Former seat of British rule in Ireland. Guided Tour Prices €4.50, students €3.50, children €2, alternative Tour of Chapel Royal & Undercroft €3.50.Dublin Writers Museum, 18 Parnell Sq, Dublin 1, +353 1 872-2077. M-Sa 10:00-17:00, (Jun-Aug open until 18:00) Su & holidays 11:00-17:00. Located in an 18th-century house, the museum is dedicated to Irish literature and the lives of individual Irish writers such as Shaw, Joyce, Yeats & Pearse. €7.25, children €4.55, family tickets €21.Dublin Zoo, Welington/Zoo Rd, Dublin 8, +353 1 474-8900. Winter: M-Sa 09:30-16:00, summer: M-Sa 09:30-18:30. Located in Phoenix Park and dating to 1830, the Dublin Zoo is the largest in Ireland, and notable for its role in wildlife conservation efforts. €15, students €12.50, Senior Citizens €12, children €10.50, family from €43.50 for 4 to €52 for 6.Dublinia & the Viking World, St. Michael's Hill, Christchurch, Dublin 2, +353 1 679-4611. Mar-Sep 10:00-17:00, Oct-Feb 10:00-16:15. A heritage centre located in central Dublin, at the heart of the medieval city. The exhibitions at Dublinia explore life as it was in the medieval city and the world of the Vikings. Discounted admission to the Christ Church Cathedral available. €6.25, children €3.75, student €5.25..General Post Office (GPO), O'Connell St Lower, Dublin 1 (All transport to Dublin City Centre, +353 1 705-7000. The General Post Office (GPO) is one of Ireland's most iconic buildings. For almost 200 years it has been the headquarters of the Post Office in Ireland. It was designed by Francis Johnston in Neo Classical style and took four years to build from 1814-1818. In 1916 it was taken over by Irish Rebels led by P.H. Pearse, who read the Proclamation of the Republic outside the front door of the building. During the Easter Rising, The interior was completely destroyed. Amazingly, the beautiful exterior managed to survive the shelling from General Maxwell's forces and fires caused. In 1925 it was decided by the Irish Government that the building be restored and it reopen in 1929. The GPO is still a working post office and is home to: Free entrance.*An Post Museum, GPO, O'Connell St Lower, +353 1 705-7000. M-F 10:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-16:00. Offers a unique and engaging insight into the history of one of the Irish Post Office, with displays on stamps, mail boats, the role of GPO staff on Easter Monday 1916 and an original copy of The Proclamation. The audio visuals and interactive displays allow visitors to choose subjects of particular interest as they explore aspects of the Irish Post Office story. €2.Glasnevin Cemetery, Finglas Rd, Dublin 11 (Buses 9, 13 or 40 from O'Connell St or 40a/40d from Parnell St, +353 1 830-1133. Tours at 14:30: Mar-Sep Daily, Oct-Feb W & F. Situated just two miles from the city centre, Glasnevin Cemetery is currently running a series of walking tours. These tours give a valuable insight into the final resting place of the men and women who have helped shape Ireland's past and present. The walking tour last one and a half hours and visits the graves of Daniel O'Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Eamonn De Valera and many other graves of architectural and cultural interest. €5, U12 go free.Green on Red Gallery, 26-28 Lombard Street East, Dublin 2 (Exiting Pearse rail station and turn right. Cross Pearse St and it will be on the left opposite Lombard bar, +353 1 671-3414. Tu-F 10:00-18:00, Sa 13:00-16:00, Su Closed, M by appointment. The Green On Red Gallery is one of Ireland’s most dynamic and exciting galleries. Representing some of the best contemporary work on the market, both Irish and international. The programme is based on 10-11 solo exhibitions and 1-2 group or thematic exhibitions per year. Green On Red participates annually in international art fairs and the gallery’s artists regularly exhibit abroad in both private and public venues. Free entrance.Irish Museum of Modern Art, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, +353 1 612-9900. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:30 (opens 10:30 on W), Su and Bank Holidays 12:00-17:00 (5 Jun–18 Sep late Th opening until 20:00). Modern & contemporary art, formal gardens & café. Free entrance.Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship Museum, The ship is at Custom House Quay (across from Jury's Inn, +353 01 473-0111. Tours daily 11:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00 and 16:00. This active ship is an accurate replica of the original Jeanie Johnston, which sailed between Tralee in Co. Kerry and North America between 1847 and 1855, transporting Irish emigrants during the Great Famine. As the ship is still used for sailing it is sometimes away from Dublin so check the website or call ahead prior to your visit to ensure that the Jeanie Johnston will be at Custom House Quay. The tour takes visitors below deck to learn about some of the people who sailed on the Jeanie Johnston in the Famine years. €8.50, seniors/students €7.50, children €4.50, family €20.
Kilmainham Gaol, Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, +353 1 453-5984. Apr-Sep 09:30-18:00 daily (last admission 17:00); Oct-Mar M-Sa 09:30-17:30 (last admission 16:00), Su 10:00-18:00 (last admission 17:00). The prison where the rebels from the 1916 Easter Rising were executed. It is located slightly outside the city centre and can be reached by local bus (40, 79). Access is limited to guided tours, which leave every 30 minutes and are very interesting. It is well worth a visit if you are in any way interested in history. €6, senior and groups €4, children and students €2, family €14. Merrion Square. Merrion Square is one of the largest squares in Dublin. It is filled with very green (of course) grassy areas and has three Georgian style houses. There is a large statue of the writer and dramatist Oscar Wilde. There are also two square marble columns that are covered in famous Wilde quotes. Merrion Square is a good place to escape some of the noise of Dublin and enjoy Oscar Wilde’s witty sense of humor.National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, +353 1 804-0300. Nov-Jan 09:00-16:30 and Feb-Oct 09:00-18:00 daily. Free entrance.The National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West & Clare St, Dublin 2 (DART Pearse Station will get you to within five minutes from the Gallery., +353 1 661-5133. M-Sa 09:30-17:30 (till 20:30 on Th) and Su 12:00-17:30. Closed Good Friday and 24-26 Dec. National collection of Irish and European Art. Free entrance.National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, Kildare St, Dublin 2 (Buses 37/38/39 and variants, 46a, 140, 145 stop on Kildare St, or 5-10 minute walk from College Green/Grafton St, +353 1 677-7444. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00; Su 14:00-17:00, closed M, 25 Dec and Good Friday. Not to be missed for anyone interested in Irish history as this museum is the national repository for all all archaeological objects found in Ireland. The Prehistoric Ireland and Treasury exhibits are particularly exceptional. Free entrance.National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Benburb Stm Dublin 7 (Luas Red line stop 'Museum' is right outside the entrance, +353 1 677-7444. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00; Su 14:00-17:00, closed M, 25 Dec and Good Friday. Decorative arts and historial artificats from the founding of the state and historical Irish civilisation, as well as special exhibits. Free entrance.National Museum of Ireland - Natural History, Merrion Square, Dublin 2 (10 minute walk from College Green/Grafton St area, nearby buses 46a/145 stop on Nassau St and 4/7/26/66/67 on Merrion Square, +353 1 677-7444. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00; Su 14:00-17:00, closed M, 25 Dec and Good Friday. The "Dead Zoo" contains a comprehensive zoological collection stored and maintained in a manner unchanged since its establishment in Victorian times. Free entrance.
Old Library at Trinity College & Book of Kells, College Green, Dublin 2 (Most bus routes, including tour buses, stop in the area of College Green/Trinity College, +353 1 896-2320. M-Sa 09:30-17:00, Su (May-Sep) 09:30 (noon Oct-Apr)-17:30. Closed 23 Dec-1 Jan. The gorgeously illustrated original manuscript of the Book of Kells is the main draw here, but the massive Long Hall of the Old library itself is equally if not even more impressive. €9, +€2 for optional guided tour. Students & seniors €8, children under 12 free. Family admission €18..Phoenix Park, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8 (10-15 minute walk to park entrance from Heuston station stop on Luas Red line, alternatively buses 25/26/66/67 stop on Parkgate St, a 5 minute walk from the entrance, +353 1 677-0095. The largest enclosed urban park in Europe. Includes a polo field and Dublin Zoo. The residences of the President of Ireland and the U.S. Ambassador are situated in the park, but are not open to the public. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the herd of wild fallow deer that inhabit the park! Free.Waterways Ireland Visitors Centre, Grand Canal Quay Dublin 2 (10 minutes on foot from O’Connell St. Bus numbers 1, 50, 77A, 151 stop close to the main entrance. By DART at Grand Canal station and by Luas at Spencer Dock across the Liffey, +353 01 677-7510. 10:00-18:00. Housed in an award winning architectural structure affectionately known as the box in docks situated in the waters of Grand Canal Dock. Informative displays on the waterways from the pre Christian period to its modern use, with child friendly interactives and environmental displays. €4, children €2, students/seniors €3.Little Museum of Dublin, 15 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, +353 1 661-1000. 11:00-18:00 F-W, 11:00-20:00 Th. A non-profit museum documenting the social, cultural and political history of Dublin city, the collection, housed in a beautiful Georgian townhouse on St. Stephen's Green, tells the story of the capital in the 20th century, with over 400 artifacts donated by Dubliners past and present! Free Guided Tours daily at 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 & 17:00. €5 (€3 concession), family tickets €12. Dublin City Gallery - The Hugh Lane, Charlemont House, Parnell Square North, Dublin 1. Free.
St Stephens Green. A Victorian-style public park right at the southern end of Grafton Street. Samuel Beckett Bridge. Designed by Santiago Calatrava. It his second bridge in Dublin, the first one being the James Joyce Bridge. The bridge can rotate sideways by 90 degrees to let ships pass by. It connects the Docklands area around the Convention Centre with the Grand Canal Square area.
Dublin has many fine and quite affluent suburbs. Seeing them is a good way to get a real feel for the city's culture and identity. A walk around some them on a nice day is well worth your time as many are home to some of Ireland's finest architecture .Some are easily navigated by foot from the city's centre and are dotted with many fine upmarket delicatessans and boutiques. Examples include Donnybrook and Ballsbridge - the 46a bus goes through Donnybrook and the 4/7 buses through Ballsbridge, with several stops in the north and south city centre. Ballsbridge is Dublin's embassy district and is home to some of Ireland's most expensive roads including 'Shrewsbury Road', which is famous for being the 6th most expensive residential thoroughfare in the world and 'Ailesbury Road' which is equally as salubrious and home to a bulk of the capital's embassies including Spain and Poland.
Ballsbridge is also home to The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) which promotes and develops agriculture, arts, industry and science in Ireland. It hosts many concerts and also showcases the annual Show Jumping Competition, a major entertainment event. You can approach Ballsbridge via 'Herbert park', a pleasant public green park and fashionable road, opposite Donnybrook Village and vice-versa.
Dalkey and Killiney which lie on the southernmost tip of Dublin. They are upmarket neighbourhoods and home to such celebrities as Bono, Maeve Binchy and Enya among others. A walk up Vico Road to take in the view is a must-do. Killiney Hill is beautiful, offering panoramic views of the surrounding Dublin Mountains. These areas are best approached by the DART, which runs along the coast and has three main stops in the city centre.
Blackrock or Dun Laoghaire, accessible by bus or DART, are also worth a visit.
Ranelagh and Dartry are also worth visiting- Ranelagh is small but affluent, accessible by the Luas Green line and has several critically acclaimed eateries.
Sandymount, a coastal suburb no more than 2 mi (3 km) south-east of the City Centre, is another quite affluent area with a tiny park and some restaurants. It is the birthplace of W.B. Yeats. The suburb and its strand appear prominently in James Joyce's Ulysses. There is a wonderful walk from Sandymount across the north end of its beach to the South Bull Wall which reaches a finger well out into the Bay.
Although the Southside of Dublin is considered to be more affluent than the Northside, there is a wealth of attractions to be enjoyed North of the city centre also. Clontarf, Malahide, Skerries and Howth (all accessible by DART/commuter rail) are all great seaside locations to spend an afternoon. Malahide has a beautiful Castle (including extra doors for the ghost) in a Park and is a nice little village with harbour, beach, estuary and lots of restaurants. You can also take a 20-30 minute walk along the coast up to Portmarnock beach (a 5 km long beach).
Howth is home to a handful of Irish celebrities including Gay Byrne and Dolores O'Riordan. Walking the cliff walk or climbing the Ben of Howth, a 561 ft (171 m) high hill on Howth Head, on a fine day is well worth your time. Although the water may be too cold to enjoy a swim, Howth has a small stretch of beach that has a beautiful view of mountains in the distance. The affluent suburb of Sutton is located on the western part of Howth Head and boasts a scenic seaside walk featuring a Martello Tower and numerous lavish seaside homes.
Dublin's best beach is also to the north. Dollymount Strand and the adjoining bird sanctuary are highly recommended. It's a great bike ride - there's an excellent bike path along by the sea, and may also be accessed walking from Clontarf Road DART station or bus route 130 from the city centre.
Further inland on the Northside of Dublin is Drumcondra, which is a relatively expansive and bustling Victorian suburb, boasting several good parks as well as Griffith Avenue, said to be Europe's longest tree-lined residential avenue. To the east of Drumcondra is Croke Park, the centrepoint of Gaelic sports; the canal-side route to Croke Park should be approached with some caution especially at night. To the west of Drumcondra is Glasnevin which can occupy a visitor nicely with the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin Cemetery (containing many historically significant tombs) and good restaurants can be found in the Botanic Gardens and on The Rise, off Griffith Avenue.