Dublin Museums

(Dublin, Republic of Ireland)

The friendly and rather cultural city of Dublin comes with a plethora of museums, allowing you to learn more about the city's rich Irish heritage, whilst also providing plenty to do on a rainy day. Situated on the north side of Parnell Square, the Dublin Writers Museum is one to look out for and is actually the former home of George Jameson, a member of the famous Jameson whiskey family.

Especially enjoyable is the National Wax Museum, which relocated to Foster Place in 2009, moving from the northern end of O'Connell Street and now standing on the left-hand side of the Irish Houses of Parliament, within the trendy Temple Bar area. Also very much of note is the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, the Custom House Visitor Centre and the Dublin National Museum, which is situated in the city centre and is home to a large collection of Irish artefacts, many dating from 7000 BC, right up to the present day.

Dublin Writers Museum

Address: 18 Parnell Square North, Dublin, Ireland
Tel. +353 (0) 1872 2077
Ireland is very famous for its many writers and this renowned Writers Museum celebrates that notoriety, with collections of rare first editions, manuscripts, diaries and letters representing the works of W. B. Yeats, Joyce, Wilde and Beckett, amongst others. This vast 18th-century town house has been beautifully restored and at the centre is an enormous drawing room, which is full of wonderful paintings. Books on display include an 1804 edition of Swift's 'Gulliver's Travels' and an 1899 first edition of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. There is also a bookshop, café and a highly rated restaurant in the basement.
Open hours: daily
June to August - Monday to Friday 10:00 to 18:00, Saturday 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday 11:00 to 17:00
September to May - Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday 11:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Custom House Visitor Centre

Address: Custom House Quay, Dublin, Ireland
Tel: +353 (01) 878 7660
This museum is situated next to the River Liffey and was built between 1781 to 1791 by James Gandon. It is probably one of Dublin's finest buildings and was gutted in 1921 and then completely restored. The Custom House Visitor Centre is a five-minute walk from O'Connell Bridge.
Open hours: daily
Mid-March to November - Monday to Friday 10:00 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday 14:00 to 17:00
November to mid-March - Wednesday to Friday 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday 14:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, group rates available
Nearest DART: Tara Street / Connolly

National Wax Museum

Address: 4 Foster Place, Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland
Tel: +353 (01) 671 8373
This traditional wax museum is full of realistic famous figures, including Irish leaders, politicians, actors, writers and musicians. Exhibits are spread around the scary Chamber of Horrors, a Children's Fantasy Hall, the Vaults of Irish History, the Writers Room, the Hall of Irish Legends, the Irish Heroes of Discovers and the Grand Hall. Especially popular with visitors is the Wax Factor studio, a green room allowing you to superimpose yourself in a pop video or other background. Getting here is easy, with the nearest Dart Station being Tara Street, and a large car park located at Fleet Street.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 19:00
Admission: charge

Bank of Ireland Arts Centre

Address: 2 Foster Place, Dublin, Ireland
Tel: +353 (01) 671 488
This building was the home of the Irish Parliament until 1800 and now houses an interesting museum which leads you through the history of Irish banking. You can also visit the Irish House of Lords Chamber and this is free. It is opposite Trinity College, next to the Bank of Ireland on College Green. Guided tours are available on Tuesdays, mid-morning and early afternoon.
Open hours: Tuesday to Friday 10:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge - pre-booked tours of five or more are free

National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology

Address: Kildare Street, Annexe, 7-9 Merrion Row, Dublin 2, Ireland
Tel: +353 (01) 677 7444
Opened in 1890, the National Museum is an elegant building exhibiting the largest collection of Celtic antiquities in the world, boasting marble columns, mosaic floors, detailed ironwork and ornate balustrades. This includes a wide range of gold jewellery, bronze tools, weapons and carvings. Other displays include The Treasury Collection, featuring some of the museums best known, priceless relics and The Road to Independence Room, which is full of items from the 1916 Easter Uprising and the War of Independence (1919-21), such as weapons and uniforms. Upstairs there is a permanent and fascinating exhibition about the Vikings.
Open hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday 14:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History

Address: Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin, Ireland
Tel: +353 (01) 677 7444
With extensive collections of silver, glass, furniture, jewellery and many other decorative arts, displays include over 200 years of Irish costumes and also a 2,000-year-old Japanese ceremonial bell. The Collins Barracks museum is best known for its exhibitions of military history.
Open hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday 14:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

National Museum of Ireland - Natural History

Address: Merrion Street, Dublin 2 7, Ireland
Tel: +353 (01) 677 7444
With an exhaustive collection of zoological specimens, 10,000 exhibits in all, visitors will definitely find something of interest at the 'Dead Zoo'.
The Natural History Museum, which has been in existence since 1857, has an area on the ground floor dedicated to animals indigenous to Ireland, whilst mammals found throughout the world, some extinct like the Quagga, are found on the first floor. The Upper Gallery has a collection of ocean dwelling animals and invertebrates and exhibits of birds can be found in the Lower Gallery.
Workshops and tours of the museum are also available.
Open hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday 14:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

James Joyce Martello Tower

Address: Sandycove, Dublin, Ireland
Tel: +353 (01) 280 9265
Built in 1804, when Napoleon's invasion appeared imminent, the tower was one of 34 Martello towers around Ireland's coast. They were all demilitarised in the 1860s and this tower now houses the James Joyce museum, which was founded in 1962. James Joyce, a famous writer, once stayed here in 1904 and the exhibition includes many of his first editions and even some of his clothes.
Open hours: daily
April to October - Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 17:00, Sunday 14:00 to 18:00
November to March - by appointment only
Admission: charge