Dublin’s museums scene is diverse, owing to its status as the Republic of Ireland’s capital and hub of education and culture. Each museum here serves as an introduction to or detailed representation of not only this historic city but also the entirety of Ireland.
From museums devoted to archaeology to a quirky city collection and even a museum devoted to the city’s literary geniuses, here are the greatest museums in Dublin that are genuinely worth visiting.
Things you'll find in this article
- 11 Best Museums In Dublin, Ireland
- 1. Dublin Writers Museum
- 2. EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum
- 3. Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
- 4. Guinness Storehouse
- 5. Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
- 6. Irish Whiskey Museum
- 7. Kilmainham Gaol
- 8. Little Museum of Dublin
- 9. National Gallery of Ireland
- 10. National Museum of Ireland of Archaeology
- 11. National Museum of Natural History
11 Best Museums In Dublin, Ireland
Dublin’s museum scene contains all the regular museum-goer haunts, a national gallery, a museum of natural history and plenty of historical museums as well.
1. Dublin Writers Museum
This intimate museum has been open since 1991 and is housed in a gorgeous 18th-century mansion. Dublin Writers Museum pays tribute to Irish writers—the playwrights, poets, and authors who compriseDublin‘s strong literary heritage.
The displays and exhibition are laid out chronologically, starting with the origins of the Irish storytelling tradition, which features a facsimile of the Book of Kells and progresses from there.
Some notable items on display include an early edition of Gulliver’s Travels from 1804, programs from the openings of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband from 1895, and Brendan Behan’s typewriter.
Address: 18 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin, D01 T3V8, Ireland
Opening Hours: 9:45 am to 4:45 pm daily
2. EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum
The Irish Emigration Museum chronicles the tales of the ten million people who left Ireland in search of better economic chances and new opportunities overseas, from 500 AD to the 1800s.
The Museum offers a self-guided tour of its twenty galleries, each of which features cutting-edge technology to provide an immersive experience. Explore Ireland’s immigration period and witness stories come to life about why individuals left, the hardships they encountered, where they went, and how they made a difference.
Address: CHQ, Custom House Quay, Dublin, D01 T6K4, Ireland
Opening Hours: daily from 10 am to 5 pm
3. Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
Due to its location outside the city centre, Glasnevin Cemetery Museum is one of Dublin’s under-appreciated museums. Still, there is a great deal of history to be found in this Museum. In total, the cemetery covers 124 acres of parkland, making for an expansive trip. More than 1.5 million people have been buried there since it opened in 1832.
Visitors should not miss the O’Connell Tower. There are 198 stairs up to the top, and those that make it will be rewarded with stunning views of Dublin
Address: Glasnevin Cemetery Finglas Road Glasnevin Dublin 11
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm | Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
4. Guinness Storehouse
Despite its price, the Guinness Storehouse is one of Dublin’s most comprehensive museum tours. For those who want to learn more about how Guinness is manufactured and how it has been depicted in popular culture, this tour provides an opportunity to view the process in action.
Gravity Bar, with its 360-degree city views, is the true draw of the Storehouse building. Relax and take in the scenery while enjoying your freshly poured pint of Guinness.
Address: St. James’s Gate, Dublin 8, D08 VF8H, Ireland
Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Friday and Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Buy your ticket online here.
5. Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
The beautiful 17th-century Royal Hospital Kilmainham, with a cobblestoned courtyard and gardens, serves as the backdrop for modern art at IMMA. Over 3,500 artefacts are in the collection, with around 250 on view at any given moment.
IMMA is also just within walking distance to Kilmainham Gaol, another fascinating place to see if you want to know more about Dublin’s rich history.
Address: Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 – 5:30 p.m.
6. Irish Whiskey Museum
Learn about the history of Irish whiskey at the Irish Whiskey Museum, and try a few different varieties while you’re there!
During the tour, you will pass through four separate chambers, each of which represents a different period in the history of Irish whiskey.
The tours are participatory, and there are several anecdotes that newbies to whiskey could find interesting.
Address: 119 Grafton Street, Dublin, D02 E620, Ireland
Opening Hours: daily from 10 am to 6 pm
7. Kilmainham Gaol
This emblem of Irish nationalism was previously a jail that was gradually converted into a museum. Kilmainham Gaol (prison) opened in 1796 and remained operational until 1924, during a period of significant Irish rebellions.
Numerous leaders were imprisoned here, as well as many civilians, including children. Within these stone walls is a great piece of history, visiting Kilmainham Gaol is a dramatic and evocative experience that provides intriguing, if not horrific, insight into prison life.
Address: Kilmainham Gaol Museum Visitor Centre, Kilmainham Courthouse, Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland. D08 RK28
Opening Hours: daily from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
8. Little Museum of Dublin
The Little Museum of Dublin is a quirky museum set in a lovely Georgian townhouse on the outskirts of Stephen’s Green. The exhibitions here will not bore you with history. The tour guides are enthusiastic and delightfully eccentric, but very knowledgeable.
The tour follows a set route. On the first floor, you’ll learn about the 1916 Easter Rising, followed by the modern history area, replete with souvenirs. Then there’s the U2 room or the Editing Room, a reproduction of an Irish Times workplace from the early twentieth century.
Address: 15 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, Ireland
Opening Hours: daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm
9. National Gallery of Ireland
The National Gallery of Ireland, in Merrion Square, is home to 14,000 works of art, including 2,500 oil paintings, 5,000 drawings, 5,000 prints, sculptures, and furniture.
The huge collection of artworks spans the periods from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries, faithfully representing all major schools of painting.
Everyone is welcome in Ireland’s grandest gallery – painting aficionados, art historians, and anybody interested in learning more about historical painting and drawing skills.
Address: Merrion Square W, Dublin 2, Ireland
Opening Hours: daily from 9:15 am to 5:30 pm
10. National Museum of Ireland of Archaeology
Under this museum’s elegant Palladian dome, you’ll find a diverse collection of antiquities dating back to prehistoric periods and the emergence of Irish civilization. While the artefacts are spectacular, the structure never ceases to amaze.
The size of this museum, with its eight major permanent exhibitions, might be intimidating, so plan your approach ahead of time if you have something specific in mind. Don’t miss the exhibition Kingship and Sacrifice, which exhibits Bog Bodies—human remains uncovered in Ireland’s Iron Age boglands.
Address: Kildare St, Dublin 2, D07 XKV4 Ireland
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 am-5 pm, Sunday & Monday 1 pm– 5 pm. Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday
11. National Museum of Natural History
Despite its diminutive size, Dublin’s National Museum of Natural History plays an essential role in educating and enlightening its visitors.
The building, which dates back to 1856, is stunning, and it’s loaded with exhibits of bones and taxidermied creatures. “Museum within a museum” is a common term for this place, which hasn’t altered much since it initially opened.
Only the first two stories are open to the public because there are no emergency exits on the balcony levels.
Address: Merrion St Upper, Dublin 2, Ireland
Opening Hours: Open daily except Monday from 10 am to 5 pm
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Hi, I’m Christine – a full-time traveler and career woman. Although I’m from the Philippines, my location independent career took me to over 40 countries for the past 8 years. I also lived in 3 continents – from the Caribbean, South East Asia to Africa. But despite living in several countries, my love for Ireland remains the same. A country that had been a part of my life since I was 14 because of my love for Irish music and bands. Ireland Travel Guides was born because of this passion and hopefully, in some little ways, this website will be able to help you on your next trip to Ireland.