Explore the culture and history of Dublin.
As one of Europe’s most historically important cities, Ireland’s capital packs enough art, culture and character to fill a month-long itinerary and still leave you wanting more. Plus, the city’s almost entirely walkable.
Dublin Writer’s Museum
The Irish literary tradition is one of the most illustrious in the world. Famous for four Nobel Prize winners and for many other writers of international renown. The Dublin Writers Museum opened it’s doors in 1991 with the aim to house a history and celebration of literary Dublin. Take the Luas red line from outside the hotel to Abbey Street and the museum is a short walk away. Here visitors will find artifacts and manuscripts from the likes of Oscar Wilde, Maria Edgeworth, James Joyce and our very own Samuel Beckett. This museum is appropriately located in Dublin a UNESCO World Heritage Site for Literature. The Dublin Writer’s Museum is a wonderful introduction to Irish writers, their history, and their contributions made to Irish literary.
The Irish Emigration Museum
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, located in Dublin’s Docklands, covers the history of the Irish diaspora and emigration to other countries. It voted as “Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction” at the 2019 and 2020 World Travel Awards. Visitors hear the stories of Ireland’s 10 million emigrants and learn how they shaped today’s world. This interactive museum shows how Irish people have influenced global literature, infrastructure, music and other areas of life. Epic also offers genealogy services within the museum.
The Abbey Theatre’s cutting-edge shows often tackle controversial subjects, which is unusual for a national state theatre. The theatre was opened in 1904 by WB Yeats and Lady Gregory with the manifesto “to bring upon the stage the deeper emotions of Ireland”. Abbey productions triggered riots in 1907 and 1926. Gain an exclusive insight into the history and behind-the-scenes work of Ireland’s national theatre on the guided backstage tours.
Access areas rarely seen by the public as the knowledgeable tour guides lead you through the many aspects that come together to make Ireland’s national theatre, exploring the fascinating challenges of each new production.
Book of Kells
One of Ireland’s most important artefacts, The Book of Kells, housed in Trinity College, is a ninth-century manuscript of the new testament with astounding calligraphy. You’ll also gain access to the Long Room, one of the world’s most beautiful libraries and home to 250,000 of Trinity College’s most ancient books.
Whilst exploring the Long Room, get a close-up view of the Brian Boru Harp, Ireland’s oldest surviving harp and a rare original copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, a seminal text in Irish history that influenced the foundation of the Irish Republic as a sovereign independent state.
The Science Gallery
The Science Gallery, also known as the public science centre at Trinity College, is sure to spark curiosity and conversation. Unlike most museums they don’t have a permanent collection instead their themes change every few months. Please check the What’s On guide on their website before planning a visit. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday noon to 4pm.
National Gallery of Ireland
Ireland’s National Gallery is home to over 16,000 works of art, representing all the major European schools; Monet, Rembrandt, Turner and Picasso. The gallery also includes the works of Jack Butler Yeats, one of Ireland’s most important 19th-century painters. Entry is free to the permanent collection and you can pre-book a timeslot online.
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre is a performing arts venue, located just across the River Liffey in Grand Canal Dock. Bord Gais offers the best of Broadway and the West End alongside new, niche and local productions.
Hear the story of Ireland’s rebellion in Kilmainham Gaol. The former prison holds a monumental place in Ireland’s history particularly around the time of the 1916 rebellion. Visits to Kilmainham Gaol are led by expert tour guides sharing the stories of the men, women and children that were held there. Peek inside the cells and read the original lyrics and words written by Ireland’s freedom fighters over 100 years ago. A visit to Kilmainham Gaol is a must.
Built in the early 13th century, Dublin Castle was handed over to the Irish government in 1922 following Ireland’s independence. Nowadays, this government complex is open to tourists looking to learn more about Dublin’s history and hosts regular exhibitions. Informative guided tours of the medieval undercroft and state apartments are an exciting and enlightening activity, especially on a rainy day!
Guinness Storehouse is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions – and rightly so. Located in the heart of St. James’s Gate, the Guinness Storehouse building was once the fermentation plant of the brewery, it now offers a Guinness experience. Here you can learn about the ingredients, history and culture behind the Guinness story.
At the end of your tour enjoy panoramic views of Dublin city from the Gravity Bar and enjoy a pint of Guinness or one of the new experimental brews from the Guinness Open Gate Brewery.
If you want to keep exploring, slightly less known is its experimental brewery at St James Gate, the Open Gate Brewery is just around the corner.
Jameson Whiskey Distillery
Founded in 1780, Jameson makes the biggest-selling Irish whiskey in the world. Although distilling no longer takes place onsite, the interactive tour more than compensates for the lack of working stills. You will get to learn about the founder, John Jameson, view lab benches showing the progress from barley to bottle and finally the all-important tasting where you will finally understand the difference between bourbon, scotch and Irish whiskey. The downstairs bar is perfect for a post-tour cocktail.
The Teeling Whiskey Distillery
Situated in the historic Liberties area of the city, Teeling Whiskey Distillery is the first new distillery to open in Dublin city in over 125 years. Experience the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a fully operational distillery on the guided tour, followed by a range of tasting options to suit all tastes from whiskey beginners to connoisseurs. Guided tours include a tasting of three whiskeys or a handcrafted whiskey cocktail.
The National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland has three buildings in Dublin: the Museum of Archaeology, Museum of Decorative Arts & History and Museum of Natural History (also known as the ‘Dead Zoo’ for its vast range of taxidermied animals). All are free to enter and contain a wealth of historical artifacts, costumes, zoological models and more.
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With easy access to the best things to keep you entertained around the city, The Samuel Hotel is the perfect location for your Dublin city break.
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