7 Can’t-Miss Museums in Dublin for Whiskey Tastings, Celtic Art, and Archeological Treasures
If you had planned to spend all the time you have in Dublin touring the city’s best pubs, and nothing else, you may want to alter your schedule a little. While Dublin’s drinking holes are certainly worth spending time in, travelers would be remiss to ignore what the rest of the city has to offer, specifically its many museums. There are cultural institutions for everyone in the Irish Republic’s capital: For those who like art, for those who want to learn more about Ireland’s history, and for those who like their museum visit to end with a whiskey tasting. Here are seven museums in Dublin that you should check out, in between pub visits, of course.
- Where are the best museums in Dublin located?
- Museums in Dublin for history
- Museums in Dublin for art
- Museum in Dublin for traditional drinks
- Where to stay in Dublin to be near the city’s best museums
Where are the best museums in Dublin located?
Museums in Dublin for history
The Little Museum of Dublin
The Little Museum of Dublin tells the story of the city in the 20th century. Enjoy looking at the thousands of objects donated by the public that now make up the museum’s permanent collection. The permanent collection is located on the first floor of the beautiful Georgian building that the museum call home, while the second floor hosts an exhibition on the Irish rock band U2.
Address: 15 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, D02 Y066, Republic of Ireland
Hours of operation: Daily from 9 AM to 5 PM
Cost: General admission is $21.70 (20 €). Your ticket allows you to enter the museum at any time between 9 AM and 5 PM without needing to make a booking and includes a guided tour. There are cheaper guided tour visits, but those require advance booking online for a specific day and time. There are also themed tours and special events that carry a separate charge.
EPIC — The Irish Emigration Museum
Dive into the fascinating stories of Ireland’s emigrants at EPIC — The Irish Emigration Museum, and discover why such a small country has had an immense impact on the world. Learn about the 10 million Irish people who left their homeland over centuries past; explore what made them go, where they went, and how much richness this diaspora brought to us all.
Address: CHQ, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1, Republic of Ireland
Hours of operation: Daily from 10 AM to 6:45 PM
Cost: It is cheaper and recommended to book your visit online in advance. Adults pay 19$ (17.50) online or 20$ (18.50 €) at the door; teenagers (between the ages of 13 and 17) pay $12.50 (11.50 €) online or $13 (12 €) at the door; children (between the ages of six and 12) pay $9.20 (8.50 €) online or $9.70 (9 €) at the door; children under five enter for free. Other discounts may apply; please check the website to see if you can benefit from them. Your ticket is valid for two visits within a 30-day span.
National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland is split into four locations: One museum (Country Life) is in County Mayo while the other three (Archeology, Natural History, and Decorative Arts & History) are in Dublin.
At the National Museum of Ireland — Archaeology, visitors can enjoy a diverse selection of archeological artifacts and treasures that span 9,000 years. Discover iconic Irish archeological items such as the Ardagh Chalice, the ‘Tara’ Brooch, or the Derrynaflan Hoard. Marvel at bog bodies and prehistoric gold along with a unique early Medieval Christian book known as the Faddan More Psalter.
The National Museum of Ireland — Natural History is located in a beautiful Victorian building that was built back in 1856. Take the time to look at the incredible 10,000 exhibits ranging from Irish mammals to birds and insects from around the world. Marvel at skeletons of Ireland’s extinct giant deer and be amazed by the beautiful taxidermized badger family.
The National Museum of Ireland — Decorative Arts & History has two diverse collections — The decorative arts aspect of the museum includes silver, glassware, clothing, coins, and more, while the other focuses on the country’s military history.
- National Museum of Ireland — Archeology: Kildare Street, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland
- National Museum of Ireland — Natural History: Merrion Street, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland
- National Museum of Ireland — Decorative Arts & History: Collins Barracks, Benburb St, Dublin, D07 XKV4
Hours of operation: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM. Sunday and Monday from 1 PM to 5 PM
Cost: Admission is free
Museums in Dublin for art
National Gallery of Ireland
The National Gallery of Ireland, established in 1854, houses an expansive collection of European art, as well as a diverse selection of Irish paintings. The National Gallery of Ireland is home to a number of well-known paintings, including Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ and J.M.W. Turner’s A ship Against the Mewstone. The collection also includes masterpieces from artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Picasso, and Claude Monet. Visitors can also enjoy works from Irish artists such as William Orpen, Jack B Yeats, Mainie Jellett, and more.
Address: Merrion Square W, Dublin 2, D02 K303, Republic of Ireland
Hours of operation: Monday from 11 AM to 5:30 PM; Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:15 AM to 5:30 PM; Thursday from 9:15 AM to 8:30 PM; Friday and Saturday from 9:15 AM to 5:30 PM; Sunday from 11 AM to 5:30 PM
Cost: Free admission to the permanent collection and some temporary exhibitions. Some exhibitions carry a separate charge and require advance booking.
The Book of Kells and the Old Library
Although not strictly a museum, the permanent exhibition dedicated to the Book of Kells, deemed Ireland’s greatest treasure, is a must-see. The Book of Kells is a highly decorated religious manuscript that is believed to date back to the year 800. The 340 vellum pages of the book bear incredible Celtic and Irish art that make it uniquely precious. The exhibition is located on the campus of Trinity College in the city center and the ticket includes a visit to the famously beautiful Long Room of the Old Library.
Address: Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland
Hours of operation: April to September: Monday to Saturday from 8:30 PM to 5 PM and Sunday from 9:30 AM to 5 PM. October to March: Monday to Saturday from 9:30 AM to 5 PM and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Cost: General admission is $20 (18.50 €); students/seniors (60 plus) pay $16.30 (15 €). Other discounts may apply; please check the website to see if you can benefit from them.
Museums in Dublin for traditional drinks
Irish Whiskey Museum
If you don’t have enough time to visit Ireland’s main whiskey Distilleries, make sure to pay a visit to the Irish Whiskey Museum to compensate. With interactive exhibits, guided tours led by knowledgeable and entertaining experts, and tastings, you’ll learn about the history of Irish whiskey and production techniques, and hear stories from whiskey makers.
Address: 119 Grafton Street, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland
Hours of operation: The one-hour experience and the Classic Tour run every 30 minutes from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM, while the more expensive, extended, full-on tour is only available at 4 PM and 6 PM. Booking online in advance for a specific day and time is strongly recommended.
Cost: There are three tours available at the Irish Whiskey Museum, all at various price points. The cheapest tour is the one-hour experience with three Irish whiskey tastings and costs $23.80 (22 €) for adults; $21.70 (20 €) for seniors/students; $17.30 (16 €) for non-drinking adults, and $10.80 (10 €) for children between the ages of five and 12; Children under the age of four enter for free. Online booking may include substantial discounts. Soft drinks are offered to children and non-drinking adults.
Guinness Storehouse is a vast museum takes you on a journey throughout the history of Guinness brewing in Ireland. Be sure to check out their replica of Arthur Guinness’ famous 9,000-year lease signed back in 1759 and explore all five levels as you learn more about what makes this iconic stout unique — from its dark-roasted barley to the craftsmanship that goes into each pint. Every ticket includes one complimentary pour so don’t forget to enjoy a pint of the “black stuff” at top-floor Gravity Bar.
Address: St. James’s Gate, Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 10 AM to 7 PM; Saturday from 9:30 AM to 7 PM; Sunday from 10 AM to 7 PM.
Cost: Guinness Storehouse has four different experiences available, all at different price points. The cheapest is the Guinness Storehouse Experience and cost $28.30 (26 €) for adults; $23.90 (22 €) for seniors (65 plus) and students; $10.90 (10 €) for children between the ages of five and 17; children age four and under enter for free. Booking online in advance is strongly recommended.
Where to stay in Dublin to be near the city’s best museums
We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend in Dublin! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.
The Merrion Hotel
Possibly the most famous and the fanciest of all the hotels in Dublin, The Merrion Hotel is a five-star property located in the city center. The gorgeous Georgian building is home to 142 rooms, a restaurant with two Michelin stars, an infinity pool, and an amazing spa, among many other luxurious amenities. The decor is extremely elegant, yet comfortable. The Merrion Hotel is a five-minute walk from to two of the three Dublin locations of National Museum of Ireland (Archeology and Natural History), as well as The National gallery of Ireland, The Little Museum of Dublin.
The Clarence Hotel
The Clarence Hotel, famously owned by Bono, lead signer of the Irish rock band U2, is a boutique hotel located in the heart of the city. The decor is tasteful with a modern but comfortable vibe. The Clarence Hotel is located on the bank of the river Liffey, in the neighborhood of Temple Bar and its many pubs and restaurants. The Clarence Hotel is within walking distance of the Irish Whiskey Museum, and Trinity College where you can visit the Old Library and see the magnificent Book of Kells.
Duplex Penthouse with skyline views
This stylish Airbnb located in Dublin 1 is just a couple of minutes walk to EPIC — The Irish Emigration Museum. The decor is a mix of modern and elegant retro with gleaming parquet floors, leather sofas, mid-century furniture, a wrought-iron spiral staircase, a contemporary stainless-steel kitchen, and other unique features. This Airbnb can accommodate up to six guests in two bedrooms and two bathrooms. There is an outdoor space with patio furniture to take in the views of the city.