Sights in Dublin

Dublin is a lively capital with many noteworthy sights such as Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Phoenix Park, and Merrion Square. It is an old city that is certainly worth taking a trip to although you may need a week to see everything the city has to offer its visitors.

  • Baily Lighthouse—a lighthouse built in 1814 that provides great views across the Irish Sea and the parking lot above the lighthouse looks out over the bay and Dublin; Howth Summit
  • Bank of Ireland—located across the street from the west façade of Trinity College is this striking building that was formerly the home of the Irish Parliament and has a pedimented portico; inside is the original House of Lords with an oak-panel nave, a 1,233 drop Waterford glass chandelier, and tapestries that depict the battle of the Boyne and the Siege of Derry; 2 College Green
  • Chester Beatty Library—deemed a library but actually more like a museum, this collection assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty is considered to be one of the most significant collections of Islamic, Early Christian, and Far Eastern art in the Western world with exhibits including clay tablets from Babylon that date back to 2700 BC, Japanese wood-block prints, Chinese jade books, early papyrus bibles, and Turkish and Persian paintings with a second floor dedicated to the major world religions that includes 250 manuscripts of the Koran from across the Muslim world and an early Gospel; Castle Street
  • Christ Church Cathedral—a Dublin landmark that was first built in 1172 by Strongbow, a Norman baron and conqueror of Dublin from England and finished constructed in 1222; major reconstruction occurred in the late 19th century due to the deterioration of the church and added a bridge that connected the cathedral to the old Synod Hall which is now home to a Viking multimedia exhibition called Dublinia; the crypt has 12th and 13th century vaults and is Dublin’s oldest surviving structure and the most noteworthy feature of the cathedral with an exhibition called “The Treasures of Christ Church” that has manuscripts, various historic artifacts, and a tabernacle used when King James II was a worshipper; Christ Church Place and Winetavern Street
  • City Hall—this building that was once the Royal Exchange is at the southwestern corner of Temple Bar and is now the seat of Dublin Corporation, the governing body of the city, that was designed by Thomas Cooley with 12 columns that encircle a central rotunda and 12 frescoes that show Dublin legends and ancient Irish historical scenes and inside is a multimedia exhibition that features artifacts, kiosks, graphics, and audiovisual presentations that trace the evolution of Dublin; Dame Street
  • Custom House—a beautiful Georgian building that was built by James Gandon, an English architect, between 1781 and 1791 with a statue of Commerce atop the copper dome and statues based on allegories on the main façade and a visitor center that recounts the history of the building and the life of Gandon; Custom House Quay
  • Dublin Castle—the seat and symbol of British rule of Ireland for over 700 years and is used today for Irish and European Union governmental purposes with a large Great Courtyard that allegedly is the site of the Black Pool (Dubh Linn) from which Dublin got its name; the Record Tower which is the largest remaining relic of the original Norman buildings built by King John between 1208 and 1220; the clock tower building that houses the Chester Beatty Library; and the State Apartments which are now used by the president of Ireland to host visiting heads of state and EU ministers; Castle Street
  • Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane—Francis Bacon’s studio that was reconstructed exactly as the artist left it upon his death and has a beautiful façade with two half-moon arcades and was built as a town house for the Earl of Charlemont in 1762 and is now an art gallery named after sir Hugh Lane, a nephew of Lady Gregory, W.B Yeats’s aristocratic patron, who collected impressionist and 19th century Irish and Anglo-Irish works; Parnell Square North
  • Dublin Writers Museum—a museum situated within a restored 18th century town house on the north side of Parnell Square that features the Gallery of Writers which includes rare manuscripts, diaries, posters, letters, limited and first editions, photographs, and other mementos and a room dedicated to children’s literature; 18 Parnell Square North
  • Dublin Zoo—founded in 1830 and the third-oldest public zoo in the world that went through a major renovation completed in 2007 and is home to animals from tropical climates, Arctic species that swim in lakes near the Reptile House, lions, an African Plains section, a safari, and a primate area; Phoenix Park
  • Farmleigh—a 78-acre Edwardian estate located northwest of Phoenix Park that includes Farmleigh House which has antique furnishings and historic art and accommodates visiting dignitaries; a working farm; walled and sunken gardens; picnic grounds; an organic food market; and a restaurant in the boathouse; Castleknock
  • GAA Museum—the main stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association as well as a museum that explains the four Gaelic games (hurling, football, camogie, and handball) and has high-tech displays that allow visitors to learn about the history and highlights of the games; St. Joseph’s Avenue, Croke Park Stadium
  • Gallery of Photography—the premier photography gallery in Dublin with a permanent collection of early 20th century Irish photography and monthly exhibitions of works by modern Irish and international photographers; Meeting House Square South
  • Garden of Remembrance—a garden in Parnell Square that honors those who died fighting for Ireland’s freedom and at the entrance has a large plaza with steps that lead down to the fountain area where there is a swan sculpture; Parnell Square
  • General Post Office—a rebuilt post office building with a long history that dates back to the early 19th century when it was built by the British as a communications center and was used by Irish rebels in 1916 during the Easter Rising when Irish Republican forces stormed the building and issued the Proclamation of the Irish Republic; it was rebuilt and reopened in 1929 becoming a working post office in 1929; O’Connell Street
  • Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum—the most well-known burial ground in Dublin that is the site of the graves of many Irish leaders including Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins as well as the late 19th century poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and Daniel O’Connell who helped fight for Catholic emancipation which was achieved in 1829 and also includes a museum with a “City of the Dead” permanent exhibition that delves into the burial practices and religious beliefs of the 1.5 million people buried in Glasnevin and a gallery with exhibits on significant historical figures buried there; Glasnevin
  • Guinness Storehouse—Ireland’s top brewery founded by Arthur Guinness in 1759 and once the largest stout-producing brewery in the world that covers a 60-acre area west of Christ Church Cathedral and is the most popular tourist destination in Dublin with a museum housed in a 1904 cast-iron and brick warehouse spread out over six floors built around a central glass atrium shaped like a giant pint glass; under the glass floor of the lobby is Arthur Guinness’s original lease for the site for 9,000 years and the exhibition in the museum explains the brewing process and its history with antique presses and vats; a glimpse into bottle and can design over the years; a history of the Guinness family; an archive of Guinness advertisements; and a chance to pull a perfect pint with the main attraction being the top-floor Gravity Bar with 360-degree floor to ceiling glass walls that provide a great view out over the city; St. James’ Gate
  • Irish Jewish Museum—a museum opened in 1985 by Israeli president Chaim Herzog and dedicated to the European Jews who fled pogroms of Eastern Europe to Ireland in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that features a restored synagogue and a display of photographs, letters, and personal memorabilia from Dublin’s most prominent Jewish families as well as exhibits that explore the Jewish presence in Ireland dating back to 1067 and references to Jews in Ulysses; 3-4 Walworth Road
  • Irish Museum of Modern Art—situated within the Royal Hospital Kilmainham this art museum focuses on the work of modern Irish artists, has international exhibitions, displays works by non-Irish artists such as Picasso and Miro in addition to more current artists like Damian Hirst, and hosts touring shows from major European museums; Kilmainham La
  • Iveagh Gardens—a garden designed in 1865 by Ninian Niven in an “English landscape” style that has a rustic grotto and cascade, sunken lawns with fountains, a blooming rosarium, and wooded areas as well as a waterfall with rocks from each of Ireland’s 32 counties; Clonmel Street
  • James Joyce Centre—a center devoted to James Joyce housed in a restored 18th century Georgian townhouse that was once the dancing academy of Professor Denis J. Maginni (a figure in Ulysses, just one of Joyce’s celebrated novels), and features an extensive library and archives, exhibition rooms, a bookstore, and a café with the collection including letters from Beckett, Joyce’s guitar and cane, and an edition of Ulysses illustrated by Matisse; 35 North Great George’s Street
  • Little Museum of Dublin—an eclectic museum with a singular purpose to tell the history of Dublin in the last hundred years through objects and stories from residents with a collection including art, photography, ads, letters, objects, and other items relating to life in Dublin since 1900; 15 Stephen’s Green
  • Malahide Castle—a castle that was occupied by the Talbot family from 1185 to 1976 when it was sold to the County Council and has a large expanse of parkland around the castle with over 5,000 different species of trees and shrubs clearly labeled, a three-story tower house dating back to the 12th century, walled gardens, and the only medieval great hall in Ireland kept in its original form; an addition includes a visitor center, Avoca restaurant, and a shop; 6 miles north of Howth on Coast Road, Malahide
  • Marino Casino—an architectural landmark built between 1762 and 1771 from a plan by Sir William Chambers that has a china-closet boudoir, a huge golden sunset in the ceiling of the main drawing room, and the signs of the zodiac in the ceiling of the bijou library, and a mysterious amount of rooms; Malahide Road, Marino
  • Marsh’s Library—Ireland’s first public library with a collection of 250 manuscripts and 25,000 books from the 15th to the 18th centuries that has been restored with attention to its original architectural details; St. Patrick’s Close off Patrick Street
  • Merrion Square—a beautiful square lined on three sides by well-preserved Georgian townhouses and on the west side are Leinster House, the National Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery; also, in the square are flower gardens, evergreen grounds with sculptures and winding paths, and the south side which has the Church of Ireland St. Stephen’s Church
  • National Botanic Gardens—this botanic garden dates back to 1795 and has more than 20,000 varieties of plants, a rose garden, and a vegetable garden as well as the Curvilinear Range that are 400-foot-long greenhouses designed and built by a Dublin ironmaster, Richard Turner, between 1843 and 1869; Glasnevin Road
  • National Gallery of Ireland—an art museum that has over 2,500 paintings and 10,000 other works including pieces by Caravaggio, Van Gogh, and Vermeer with highlights that include a major collection of paintings by Irish artists from the 17th to 20th centuries with works by Roderic O’Conor, Sir William Orpen, and William Leech and a Yeats Museum section with works by members of the Yeats family including pieces by Jack B. Yeats, brother of W.B. Yeats, and the most well-known Irish painter of the 20th century; Merrion Square West
  • National Library—a library that includes works by W.B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, and Seamus Heaney and features first editions of every major Irish writer including works by Jonathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, and James Joyce, and almost every book ever published in Ireland housed within the library along with a great selection of old maps and a large collection of Irish newspapers and magazines; Kildare Street
  • National Library Photographic Archive—a significant photographic resource with regular exhibitions and a collection that has 600,000 photographs many of which are Irish and provide a visual history of Ireland; Meeting House Square
  • National Museum of Archaeology—this museum which is one of four branches of the National Museum of Ireland has a vast collection of Irish artifacts dating from 7000 BC to the present with the largest collection of Celtic antiquities in the world including gold jewelry, carved stones, bronze tools, and weapons; the Treasury permanent collection with the 8th century Ardagh Chalice, a two-handled silver cup with gold filigree decoration, the bronze St. Patrick’s Bell, the oldest surviving example of Irish metalwork (5th-8th century), the 8th century Tara Brooch made of white bronze, amber, and glass, and the 12th century jewel-encrusted Cross of Cong; an exhibit on Vikings with a life-size Viking skeleton, swords, leather works recovered in Dublin and surrounding areas, and a replica Viking boat; location: Kildare St. Annex 7-9, Merrion Row
  • National Museum of Decorative Arts and History—the National Museum’s large collection of glass, silver, furniture, and other decorative arts located within the Collins Barracks named after the assassinated Irish Republican leader, Michael Collins, and featuring one of the best collections of Irish silver in the world and Irish period furniture; Benburb Street
  • National Museum of Natural History—one of the four branches of the National Museum that is Victorian in nature with an Irish room that features skeletons of the extinct giant Irish elk; the International Animals collection with a 65-foot whale skeleton suspended from the roof; and the Blaschka Collection with detailed glass models of marine creatures; Merrion Street
  • National Transport Museum of Ireland—a museum that houses a tram that once traveled from the railway station in Howth over Howth Summit and back to the station and other vehicles such as horse-drawn bakery vans; Heritage Depot, Howth Demense
  • National Wax Museum—an engaging museum with famous figures from Irish history and literature in wax form, figures from children’s cartoons, and movie characters as well as a green-screen room where music videos can be recorded; The Amoury, Foster Place
  • Newbridge House and Farm—a stately Irish home built between 1740 and 1760 for Charles Cobbe, archbishop of Dublin, that is still home to the Cobbe family although the municipal government took over the house in 1985 and features the Red Drawing Room which is Ireland’s most luxurious 18th-century salon with Old Master paintings, Corinthian columns, and a rococo-style plaster ceiling and 366 acres of parkland, a restored 18th century animal farm, and a well-regarded coffee shop; Donabate, 5 miles north of Malahide, signposted from N1
  • 29—a refurbished home dating back to 1794 that is in line with the lifestyle of the middle class in Dublin between 1790 and 1820 with period furniture, paintings, carpets, curtains, paint, wallpapers, and bell pulls; 29 Fitzwilliam Street
  • Phoenix Park—Europe’s largest public park that extends about 3 miles along the Liffey’s north bank and has 1,752 acres of green lawns, woods, lakes, and playing fields with old-fashioned gas lamps lining both sides of Chesterfield Avenue, the main artery of the park, Victorian-era tea rooms, a flower garden, a visitor center, a café, and a walled garden
  • Royal Hospital Kilmainham—the most important 17th century building in Ireland that was commissioned as a hospice for disabled and veteran soldiers and completed in 1684 surviving into the 1920s as a hospital but then falling into disrepair until its renovation and includes a beautiful Baroque chapel with unique plasterwork ceiling and wood carvings and the Irish Museum of Modern Art; Kilmainham Lane
  • Science Gallery—a family-friendly museum/gallery with rotating exhibitions that allow art and science to interact with hands-on experiments and a sister shop on a neighboring street with a walk-in area where visitors can join in workshops on a variety of topics from robotics to clockmaking; Pearse Street
  • Patrick’s Cathedral—the largest cathedral in Dublin and the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland which was built in honor of Ireland’s patron saint and dedicated in 1192 in an early English Gothic style; it is the longest church in the country at 305 feet and has the Choir of St. Patrick’s with medieval banners and the tomb of Jonathan Swift, the most famous of St. Patrick’s deans, who held office from 1713 to 1745, the 17th century Boyle Monument with many painted figures of family members, and the monument to Turlough O’Carolan, one of the country’s finest harpists; located on Patrick Street
  • Stephen’s Green—a year-round 27-acre square that was once a private park and renovated in 1880 under the patronage of Sir Arthur Guinness and includes flower gardens; formal lawns; a Victorian bandstand; an ornamental lake with waterfowl; and winding paths with many statues throughout the park including a memorial to W.B. Yeats and another to James Joyce
  • The Ark—a children’s cultural center with creative activities such as music, poetry readings, film, dance, painting, interactive exhibitions, and other activities; 11a Eustace Street
  • The Old Library and the Book of Kells—home to Ireland’s largest collection of books and manuscripts with its most treasured work, the Book of Kells, which is considered to be one of the greatest masterpieces of early Christian art dating back to the 9th century and bound in four volumes in 1953; other treasures in the library are the Long Room which is the main room of the library with 200,000 of the 3 million volumes in Trinity College’s collection, a series of marble busts including one of Jonathan Swift, and the carved Royal Arms of Queen Elizabeth I (the only surviving relic of the original college buildings; Front Square, Trinity College
  • Trinity College—Ireland’s oldest and most well-known college founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I that has had a host of famous alumni including Jonathan Swift; Oscar Wilde; Bram Stoker; and Samuel Beckett and is spread out over 40 acres with many of the buildings built in the 18th and early 19th centuries including the West Front which has a classical pedimented portico in the Corinthian style, faces College Green, and is across from the Bank of Ireland; a cobblestone quadrangle called Parliament Square usually referred to as Front Square; Examination Hall which dates back to the mid-1780s and has an interior designed by Michael Stapleton and an organ recovered from an 18th century Spanish ship and an oak chandelier from the old House of Commons; and a bell tower erected in 1853 that is at the center of the square
  • Wall of Fame—the front wall of the Button Factory music venue that has a huge mural dedicated to major Irish rock musicians such as U2, Sinead O’Connor, and Shane McGowan; Curved Street

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