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Touring Dublin City

River Liffey at Dublin by Christine Matthew courtesy Geograph Ireland Dublin city walls and gate by Harold Strong courtesy Geograph Ireland Dublin is Ireland’s capital city. It’s on the banks of the river Liffey with its port downstream on the shores of Dublin bay. Like all big cities, Dublin has companies that offer historical walking tours and hop-on-and-off bus tours. This option is probably a good way to become familiar with the city. Allow four to five days to take in the major sites and the ambience of the place.

Grafton St Dublin by Joseph Mischyshyn courtesy Geograph Ireland Temple Bar pub by Barbara Ballard The city centre is where the majority of attractions are located. For shopping, Grafton Street’s pedestrian precinct is user friendly. For other shops, live music, and cafes try the Temple Bar area.

Waterways Centre by Barbara Ballard Dublin canal view from Waterways Centre by Barbara Ballard The Waterways Visitor Centre, on the Grand Canal Quay, has an exhibition on inland waterways, their historical background and modern uses. There are also examples of art and literature related to the waterways and working models of engineering features. Navigation charts and guides are for sale.

Dublin Castle exterior by Barbara Ballard Dublin Castle room ceiling by Barbara Ballard Dublin Castle was built by the English in 1204 to rule the Irish and serve as a prison. The original castle was destroyed by fire; the new one was completed in 1688, then redone in the 1750s. On view by tour are the state apartments with a grand staircase, plasterwork ceilings, an Apollo room, drawing room, throne room, picture gallery and ballroom. In the grounds is a church castle hall (not open to the public).

Dublin City Hall by Philip Halling courtesy Geograph Ireland Ha’penny Bridge courtesy Dublin Tourism Dublin’s City Hall, a neo-classical building of 1779, puts on a multi-media presentation on the city’s history and government. The civic regalia is exhibited. The Ha’penny bridge, a cast iron footbridge and one of the earliest of its kind, was built in 1816 to cross the river Liffey.

Custom House by Barbara Ballard On Dublin’s North Bank is the 18th century Rotunda Hospital Chapel, a rococo building with stained glass. The Custom House has a central dome and was completed in 1791 to a design by James Gandon. A display gives the history of the building.

Trinity College courtesy Dublin Tourism Trinity College was founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I. Thirty minute tours are offered. The library is particularly attractive. The Book of Kells, the illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels, is its most famous book. There’s a fee to see it that includes the tour and an exhibit. Other books of note are the Book of Durrow, similar to Kells, and the Book of Armagh, which has the complete text of the New Testament. The oldest Irish harp in the country is another prized possession. It dates from at least 500 years ago.

Chester Beatty Library by Harold Strong courtesy Geograph Ireland The Chester Beatty Library has a collection of eastern art and manuscripts of international standing. Another library of interest is Archbishop Marsh’s. It was built in 1701 and is the oldest public library in the country. Its interiors have not been altered. Collections of books relate to the 16th, 17th, and early 18th centuries.

Christ Church cathedral by Barbara Ballard St Patrick’s Cathedral interior by Barbara Ballard Christ Church Cathedral is a combination of styles: the Romanesque and Early English Gothic. Begun in 1172, it is the seat of the Anglican bishop of Dublin and Glendalough. There have been many buildings on the site and many changes and restoration result in the interior being a mix of periods. St Patrick’s Cathedral was built in 1254 and has been much altered. St Audoens, on High St, is one of Ireland’s oldest.

Houses of Parliament by Barbara Ballard Bernard Shaw House music room by Barbara Ballard Dublin’s Georgian section is the result of the peaceful times in the 18th century when trade boomed. Merrion Square is one of the planned squares built during this time. A collection of government buildings are on Upper Merrion Street and guided tours are offered. Oscar Wilde lived on Merrion Square at No. One and his house can be viewed. The birthplace of another famous writer, George Bernard Shaw, can also be visited. It’s a terraced Victorian home.

St Stephen's Green by Richard Croft courtesy Geograph Ireland Georgian doors courtesy Dublin Tourism St Stephen’s Green is flanked by more elegant buildings. Several Georgian homes are open to view and include No 29 and Newman House. Newman House is known for its plaster decoration. No 29 was a middle class house filled with period furniture and artefacts. A guided tour puts you in the picture.

Dublin National Museum by Barbara Ballard Georgian Dublin is also home to a number of museums and galleries. The National Museum of Archaeology and History houses antiquities, historical material, and decorative arts. An AV presentation gives information on some of the Irish art found in the collections, among them the famous Tara brooch. Of particular interest is a large group of bronze age gold in addition to Celtic art and Viking artefacts.

Dublin Writers’ Museum courtesy Dublin Tourism The National Museum of Decorative Arts and History is another arm of the National Museum. It gives the background of Ireland's economic, social, political, and military history. On display are artefacts that include silver, ceramics, glassware, weaponry, furniture, folk life, and costumes. The Dublin Writers’ Museum, in an 18th century mansion, is a history of the city’s writers. Exhibitions include personal artefacts.

The National Museum of Natural History houses two million species—mostly insections. Irish wildlife is also showcased. The National Gallery displays over 2000 works. Paintings are from Ireland, Britain and France. The Civic Museum gives the history of Dublin in maps, prints, postcards, photos. The Heraldic Museum displays banners of Irish families, arms of the civic areas, banknotes, glass, porcelain, silver, and other items related to heraldry.

Phoenix Park shelter by P L Chadwick courtesy Geograph Ireland  Phoenix Park fountain by P L Chadwick courtesy Geograph Ireland Out from the city centre are other interesting sites. Phoenix Park, once the site of a priory, is now home to deer, gardens, various monuments, and a zoological garden. It has a visitor centre with all the details. In the park’s north-west corner is Farmleigh House, a fancy bed and breakfast for visiting bigwigs. It sits in 79 acres that include gardens and a lake.

Kilmainham Jail courtyard by Joseph Mischyshyn courtesy Geograph Ireland Kilmainham Jail interior by Joseph Mischyshyn courtesy Geograph Ireland Kilmainham Gaol Museum on Inchicore road, displays information related to Irish political struggles. There’s a video and an hour long tour of the jail. It’s strictly for those interested in the history of Irish rebellion.


Irish Museum of Modern Art by Rosemary Nelson courtesy Geograph Ireland Kilmainham Hospital on Military Road was founded in 1680. There are four buildings around a courtyard, and they are now used as museums and a concert venue. Here is the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The Museum has a large collection of late 19th and 20th century work and some Immpressionist paintings.

Botanic Gardens palm house by Peter Gerken courtesy Geograph Ireland Ireland’s National Botanic Gardens are beside the river Tolka. There’s a great palm house, walks, bog and peat gardens, and an arboretum.

Dublin Attractions

For opening times and full details of attractions see the Attractions section of our website.

Abbey Theatre
26 Lower Abbey St, Dublin
Tel. 0 1 878 7222
Web: Abbey Theatre

An Post Museum
O’Connell St, Dublin 1, in General Post Office Bldg
Tel. 0 1 705 7000
Web: History and Heritage Museum

Archbishop Marsh’s Library
St Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8
Just behind St Patrick’s Cathedral
Tel. 0 1 454 3511
Web: Archbishop Marsh’s Library

Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
Grand Canal Square
Docklands, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 677 7999 for general enquiries; 0818 719 377 (tickemaster)
Web: Grand Canal Theatre

Carmelite Church
Whitefriar St
Tel. 0 1 475 8821
Web: Carmelite Church

Casino Marino
Cherrymount Crescent, Dublin 3
Off Malahide Rd after Griffith Ave, 5km from city centre
Tel. 0 1 833 1618

Chester Beatty Library
Dublin Castle, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 407 0750
Web: Chester Beatty Library

Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Place, Dublin 8
Tel. 0 1 677 8099
Web: Christ Church Cathedral

Custom House
Custom House Quay, Dublin 1
Tel. 0 1 888 2538

Dillon Garden
45 Sandford Rd, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 (south of city centre)
Web: Dillon Garden

Dublin Castle
Dame St, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 677 7129
Web: Dublin Castle

Dublin City Gallery-The Hugh Lane
Tel. 0 1 874 1903
Web: Hugh Lane

Dublin City Hall
Cork Hill, Dame St, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 672 2204

Dublin Writers’ Museum
18 Parnell Square North, Dublin 1
Tel. 0 1 872 2077

Dublin Zoo
Phoenix Park, Dublin 8
Tel. 0 1 474 8900
Web: Dublin Zoo

Dublinia
In former synod building; St Michaels Hill, Christ Church, Dublin 8
Tel. 0 1 679 4611
Web: Dublinia

Farmleigh House and Gardens
Phoenix Park, Castleknock, Dublin 15
Tel. 0 1 815 5900
Web: Farmleigh House

GAA Museum
St Joseph’s Ave, Croke Park, Dumcronda, Dublin 3
Tel. 01 819 2323
Web: GAA Museum

Glasnevin Museum
Glasnevin Cemetery
Finglas Rd, Dublin 11
Tel. 0 1 882 6550
Web: Glasnevin Museum

Government Buildings
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 662 4888

Irish Museum of Modern Art
Royal Hospital, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Tel. 0 1 612 9900
Web: Irish Museum of Modern Art

Iveagh Gardens
Clonmel St, (behind Newman House)
Tel. 0 1475 7816

James Joyce House of the Dead
15 Usher’s Island, Dublin 8
Tel. 01 86 163 5285

Kilmainham Gaol Museum
Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Tel. 0 1 453 5984

Little Museum of Dublin
15 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 661 1000
Web: Little Museum of Dublin

National Aquatic Centre
Snugborough Rd, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
Web: National Aquatic Centre

National Botanic Gardens
Glasnevin, Dublin 9
Tel. 0 1 857 0909
Web: National Botanic Garden

National Concert Hall
Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 417 0000
Web: National Concert Hall

National Gallery of Ireland (Art)
Merrion Square West and Clare St, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 661 5133
Web: National Gallery
add

National Leprechaun Museum
Jervis St, Dublin 1
Tel. 0 1 873 3899
Web: National Leprechaun Museum

National Museum of Archaeology and History
Kildare St, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 677 7444
Web: National Museum of Archaeology and History

National Museum of Decorative Arts and History
Collins Barracks, Benburb St, Dublin 7
Tel. 0 1 677 7444
Web: National Museum of Decorative Arts and History

National Museum of Natural History
Merrion St, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 677 7444
Web: National Museum of Natural History

National Print Museum
Garrison Chapel, Beggars Bush Barracks
Haddington Rd, Dublin 4
Tel. 0 1 660 3770
Web: National Print Museum

National Wax Museum
Foster Place, off Dame St, Temple Bar
Tel. 0 1 671 8373
Web: Wax Museum

Newman House
85-86 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 617 67422

No 29
Fitzwilliam St Lower, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 702 6165

Oscar Wilde House
No. 1, Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 662 0281

Phoenix Park and Visitor Centre
Phoenix Park Dublin 8
Tel. 0 1 677 0095
Web: Phoenix Park

Royal Hibernian Academy Gallagher Gallery
15 Ely Place, Dublin 2
Tel. 01 661 2558
Web: Royal Hibernian Academy

Shaw Birthplace
33 Synge St, Dublin 8
Tel. 0 1 475 0854

St Audoen’s Church and Park
Cornmarket, High St, Dublin 8
Tel. 353 1 677 0088

St Mary’s Abbey
Chapter House, Meetinghouse Lane
Off Capel St, Dublin 1
Tel. 353 1872 1490

St Mary’s Pro Cathedral
83 Marlborough St, Dublin 1
Tel. 01 874 5441
Web: St Marys Pro Cathedral

St Michan’s Church
Lower Church St, Dublin
Tel. 0 1 872 4154

St Patrick’s Cathedral
Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8
Tel. 0 1 475 4817
Web: St Patrick’s Cathedral

Trinity College Library
College St, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 608 2320

Waterways Visitor Centre
Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2
Tel. 0 1 677 7510
Web: Waterways Ireland

Official Dublin Tourism website: Visit Dublin
Official Dublin Bus website: Dublin Bus

Photos of Christ Church cathedral, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin castle, Dublin castle interior, Houses of Parliament; Bernard Shaw house interior, Temple Bar pub, Dublin National Museum, Custom House, Waterways Centre, view of canal from Waterways Centre © by Barbara Ballard
Photos of Ha’penny Bridge, Trinity College, Georgian door, Dublin Writers’ Museum courtesy Dublin Tourism
Other photos courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland as follows:
River Liffey at Dublin by Christine Matthew; Dublin city walls and gate, Chester Beatty Library by Harold Strong; Dublin City Hall by Philip Halling; St Stephen's Green by Richard Croft; Phoenix Park shelter; Phoenix Park fountain by P L Chadwick; Kilmainham Jail courtyard; Grafton Street, Kilmainham Jail interior by Joseph Mischyshyn; Botanic Gardens palm house by Peter Gerken; Irish Museum of Modern Art by Rosemary Nelson

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