Tuesday, 06, June 2017
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The Ultimate Guide to Dublin’s Museums and Galleries
The best in the city
If there’s one thing we’re blessed with in Dublin, it’s a collection of excellent museums and galleries. Scattered all throughout the city, there’s something for everyone, whether your interests lie in contemporary art, ancient treasures or Podge and Rodge.
Here’s our guide to Dublin’s museums (and how to get the most out of them)…
There are three Dublin outposts of the National Museum – Archaeology on Kildare Street, Natural History on Merrion Street, and Decorative Arts and History in Collins Barracks. All are free to visit, and have their own unique charms. The Natural History museum (also known as the Dead Zoo) is a must-see for kids, with stuffed animals from all around the world. The Archaeology museum is a literal treasure trove, and the Decorative Arts and History museum is fascinating for art fans.
Little Museum of Dublin
A quirky little museum on Stephen’s Green, this spot in a gorgeous Georgian townhouse offers an incredible insight into Dublin over the last 100 years. Tours are led through the old house every hour, and there’s a changing exhibition downstairs. Keep an eye out for special events, too.
Irish Museum of Modern Art
Out in Kilmainham, IMMA is worth a visit for the striking building and gardens alone. Contemporary art is spread throughout the former hospital, with free guided tours available too.
Dublin Writers Museum
With so many cherished writers to have come out of Dublin, it seems only fitting that there’s a museum dedicated solely to them. Right next door to the Hugh Lane gallery, this little museum is filled with fascinating memorabilia, including Samuel Beckett’s phone and a first edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Hugh Lane Gallery
This sprawling collection of contemporary art is, first and foremost, a beautiful space. But it’s known for two things – Francis Bacon’s studio, which was painstakingly packed up from London and re-instated in this gallery, and the stained glass artwork from Harry Clarke, The Eve of St Agnes. There’s also live classical music in the café every Sunday at noon, making it the perfect time to visit.
Chester Beatty Library
With an astounding collection of books from all over the world, some of which are thousands of years old, the Chester Beatty Library is a must-see for bibliofiles. In the gorgeous surrounds of Dublin Castle, it’s also home to one of the best cafés in Dublin, the Silk Road Café.
The exhibitions here are constantly changing, and an interesting combination of science and art. Past exhibits have included insights into the secret service and spies, illusions and risks – there’s usually something that kids will be into, as well. The fact that exhibitions change so frequently mean that it’s worth checking opening hours before visiting, as it may be closed between exhibits.
In Dublin’s favourite stadium, Croke Park, you’ll find a museum dedicated to the GAA and the history of Croker. It’s worth noting that entrance to the museum is included if you take a tour of the statium, or the Etihad Skyline tour.
National Gallery of Ireland
It’s been undergoing renovations for quite some time, but there’s always something amazing to see in the NGI. There’s a multitude of pieces from the Yeats family, and also the magical watercolour Hellelil and Hildebrand, The Meeting on the Turret Stairs. This piece is so sensitive to light, tou can only view this piece for two hours every week, with free tickets available from the gallery. If you manage to snag a ticket, it’s an incredible sight.