Dublin has a rich history and heritage to be discovered and it’s documented through a range of fascinating museums dedicated to Dublin’s literary culture and social history. If you’re looking for some edifying stimulation and want to learn more about Dublin and its formative past we recommend these top five Dublin museums. Dublinia The clue is in the name! Dublinia is a museum dedicated to Dublin, but the Dublin as it was in the Viking and Medieval ages. Go back in time and experience life as a Viking Dubliner in the 840s and learn a thing or two about the long voyages they made across the seas, as well as their brutal battle skills and life as a Viking slave. You can even try and learn the Viking alphabet and learn about the legacies the Vikings left behind. Fast forward a few centuries to the Medieval age when Strongbow and the Reformation were in full swing. Visitors can experience the horrifying diseases which spread through the city, as well as what it would be like to be a prisoner with a death sentence. Finally, in the Hunters Exhibition you can see the tools with which our ancestors lived and even see old medieval skeletons, too! Dublin Writers Museum As Ireland is famed for its literary culture, having produced a long list of Nobel Prize winning authors and literary works, it’s not surprising that the Dublin Writers Museum is one of the top museums in the capital and a must-visit to appreciate this important part of Dublin’s history. Focussing on Ireland’s key writers over the past three hundred years, visitors can expect exhibitions on Wilde, Joyce and Swift among others. A visit to the museum will open your eyes to the history of Irish literature from 1700s up to the present day, touching on radical writers and the Literary Revival. The Gorham Library is stocked full of priceless books and first editions of some of the most influential and critical works; and the Gallery of Writers is worth a visit to see the personal artefacts including typewriters and pens of some of the great Irish names. Chester Beatty Library This famous historic library was the result of a private collection of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty and contains a diverse collection of historic artefacts from all around the globe, dating back to 2700 BC. For those who are interested in national history and socio-progression, the Chester Beatty Library is a great place to go for some fascinating finds with free tours to take part in. Some of the museum highlights include the Islamic Collection, made up of manuscripts from the 8th century – classed as some of the finest in the world – hailing from Turkey, Iran and India. Other collections include the Ancient Egyptian collection of papyri and rolls which go as far back to the Pharaoic and Greco-Roman times, including more recent European prints and drawings of the 18th and 19th centuries. Glasnevin Museum & Cemetery For something a bit more interactive, the Glasnevin Museum holds an award winning tour of the famous historic cemetery where visitors can learn about past life in Dublin including harrowing stories of death and grave-robbing. With over 1.5 million people buried in Glasnevin, it’s one of Dublin’s most historic sites, but known formally as Prospect Cemetery. Take part in the engaging tour to learn about some of the souls buried in the grounds and the history of burial rites and traditions over the ages. In the museum there are exhibitions including a WWI Centenary Exhibition, as well as the Milestone Gallery, City of the Dead Exhibition and Prospect Gallery. With the Dublin Pass, holders can also warm up after a tour with 10% off at the museum café, too! James Joyce Centre One of the most celebrated Irish writers of all time, James Joyce is one of Dublin’s most famous names and is as popular today as he was with his contemporaries in the 19th century. The author of the novels Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake, he is a character well worth getting to know. The James Joyce Centre documents his life and is a great place to go to learn about life in Dublin during the times Joyce wrote, as well as his personal influences and the legacy he left behind. The museum is housed in a stunning Georgian house which includes his study, personal artefacts including the original door of No. 7 Eccles Street and the furniture upon which he discussed and wrote Finnegan’s Wake. Take part in a tour of the museum and learn about James Joyce’s life and the Dublin in which he lived. You can visit all of the above Dublin museums FREE with the Dublin Pass. Just turn up and you won't be required to pay any further costs to enter as entrance is included in the pass. Learn more about what you get.
Discover Dublin's Best Museums