If you are visiting Dublin, you are no doubt coming for the fantastic people, our world-renowned beer and whiskey distilleries as well as our world famous craic agus ceol. Dublin has centuries of fascinating history which has helped shape the city into what you see today. We’ve picked out some of our favourite museums which we feel give you a sense of who are as a nation.
Based in the centre of the city, Ireland’s national museum contains some of the oldest treasures in our varied history. Although the emphasis is on national treasures and archaeology, there are also some fascinating international pieces. They have different departments for Archaeology, Decorative Arts & History, Country Life and Natural History, each of which gives an idea of how the country has evolved from times past. The highlight of the visit for many is their collection of medieval ecclesiastical objects and jewellery. They often have themed events so check their website to see what’s on while you’re here.
This is one that will fascinate adults and children alike. Nicknamed the dead zoo (we didn’t make that up!) the museum is home to a huge array of stuffed animals, skeletons and other specimens which both delight and fascinate lovers of animals and those wanting to learn more. Their exhibits include a variety of mammals, birds and fish from Ireland and around the world. As soon as you walk in you will be amazed by the giant deer skeletons and the vast collection of bugs, spiders and flying creatures on the third floor. Enter at your own risk!
If you are more interested in visual history, our National Art Gallery is on the same block as the two above so it’s very easy to pop in for a visit. The gallery boasts a rich and diverse programme of world-class exhibitions from both Irish and international artists. If you hurry you can see a fantastic exhibition on the works of Van Gogh, among the hundreds of other works that are on display year-round. They say great art is good for the soul and the peaceful, quiet atmosphere in this gallery is a perfect example.
A little outside the city in an area steeped in history lies Dublin’s largest modern art gallery, IMMA. Before you step foot in the building, visit the breath-taking rose garden, bush maze and Bully’s Acre Forest and marvel at the beauty of the building itself which was once a military hospital for English Soldiers. Inside, the ever-changing exhibitions are usually themed and utilise a number of mediums including video, paint and 3D sculptures. The gallery is very child-friendly and there are often workshops and talks with the artists to enjoy.
The best thing about Dublin’s museums and galleries? They’re all free! Some ask for a small voluntary contribution at the door but we believe in educating our visitors without a big price tag. If you are looking for the perfect base to stay while exploring Dublin, a place that also offers great value and comfort, visit Aspect Hotel Park West. Check our website for our best available rates and fantastic year-round offers.