Dublin is home to a wide range of museums. From literature to leprechauns, one thing all these museums have in common is that they will try to make your visit as pleasurable as possible (ever hear of that Irish hospitality).
The Irish Whiskey Museum
Opened in 2014, the Irish Whiskey Museum is focused on the story of Irish whiskey. The museum is situated on Grafton Street just opposite the front gates of Trinity College.
Tours are guided as the tour takes you through multiple rooms each centred on a certain part of the history of Irish whisky. Sit and listen as your tour guide explains the theme of each room with the help of visual aids. At the end of the tour you are brought to the tasting bar where you get to sample 3 whiskeys (4 if you go premium) and are guided through the taste and smell each one by an expert.
Not interested in a tour, have a browse of the gift shop or enjoy a coffee at the bar.
National Museum of Ireland
- Archaeology – Kildare Street, Dublin 2
- Decorative Arts & History – Collins Barracks, Benburb St, Dublin 7
- Natural History – Merrion Street, Dublin 2
- Country Life – Turlough Park, Co. Mayo
Each of these sites specialises in an area of culture or science.
Admission into all 4 sites is free, so it is a great attraction for those who are interested in Irish culture and are short on change. As well as the permanent exhibitions, there are always temporary ones popping up in all 4 sites, so be sure to check out the website to see what’s on at the moment.
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
Opened in 1832 by Daniel O’Connell, Glasnevin Cemetery is home to over 1.5 million people and counting. Located 2.5km outside of the city centre, Glasnevin spans an area of 124 acres. It is also situated beside the Botanical Gardens.
Follow your tour guide as he/she takes you through the cemetery; stop by the graves of famous historical figures as your tour guide tells you of their exploits and lives. Highlights of the tour are Daniel O’ Connell’s tomb, a re-enactment of the oration made by Patrick Pearse at Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral and Michael Collins grave.
The museum has exhibitions that tell the history of Glasnevin cemetery and the people buried there. In the basement, you can find interactive displays that show different religious beliefs regarding the afterlife and how Glasnevin cemetery kept the records of the dead, which is very interesting and easy to follow.
You can also search the genealogy records kept there as Glasnevin has been scrupulous in its record keeping which dates back to 1832.
National Leprechaun Museum
First things first if you are going to go to this museum you need to have a sense of humour and leave your serious side at the door (it’s a leprechaun museum) otherwise you will not have a good time.
While it is a museum in name, it is more of a theatrical storytelling by very entertaining storytellers. Follow your storyteller through different rooms that have their own stories. You will find that each room is unique and creative, as you climb giant furniture and pass through rainbows.
This museum is great for kids and there is also a night time tour for adults only.
Dublin Writers Museum
Located on Parnell Square behind the Rotunda Hospital, the Dublin Writers Museum is a great stop for those who are interested in Irish literature. The museum only features writers who are deceased so don’t be shocked that there are no modern writers here.
The museum is inside a beautiful Georgian building and is filled with artefacts, manuscripts and first editions of many of Ireland’s most notable writers. You’re given an audio guide and can set your own pace which is nice as there is a lot of information to process. There are placards for each display which gives a detailed summary of the life of each writer. The upstairs of the building is beautifully decorated and is lined with paintings of writers. There is also a room for children’s literature.
Some of the memorabilia on display are Samuel Beckett’s phone, a first edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Jonathon Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels as well as letters, diaries, photographs and posters of many writers.
All of the museums above are a great way to spend an hour or two. Just be sure to check ahead to see if there are any offers or special events on.