A one-day itinerary which will show you some of the wonderful treasures Dublin has to offer, all within easy reach as you travel through classical Georgian Dublin.
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There’s so much to see and do in Dublin that it can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate, here’s a one-day itinerary that will show you just some of the wonderful treasures that Ireland and its artists and craftspeople have made to the world.
From stunning prehistoric gold ornaments to the 9th century illuminated Book of Kells to modern and contemporary art – via some heroes of 20th century design and music – this itinerary will give you a taste of why Ireland’s culture is among the richest in the world. And it’s all within easy reach as you travel through classical Georgian Dublin.
Nearest airport: Dublin Airport
Distance: Approximately 12.5km
Start your day exploring the work of a true giant of 20th century design, Eileen Gray, at the National Museum for Decorative Arts in historic Collins Barracks beside the River Liffey. Gray was hugely influential in design and architecture; she was the first furniture designer to use chrome, later famously used by Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. The museum has wheelchair access, although there is a steep incline outside both entrance gates. Groups are welcome but booking is advised. To book a group visit, call +353 1 648 6453. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Follow up with a visit to IMMA, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, 1.5km away in the imposing Royal Hospital Kilmainham, which holds work by Ireland’s modern masters, such as Mainie Jellet and Sean Scully, alongside Picasso, Wolfgang Tillmans and Lucien Freud. Admission is free, but the museum is closed on Mondays, except bank holidays. Groups of over 10 should book well in advance both for guided tours (these last about 30 minutes and take place 9.30-11.30am Tuesday-Friday), and self-guided tours. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For some different famous Irish artists, see U2: Made in Dublin at The Little Museum of Dublin, a 3.3km drive into the city centre. It’s curated by fans and has all kinds of memorabilia. The Little Museum really is little – big bags stay in the cloakroom and admission is with a guided tour, on the hour, every hour, seven days a week from 9.30am. These sell out, so booking is essential. Admission (with tour) is €10 for individuals, but there’s a discount for groups. Call +353 1 661 1000 to find out more.
Head to the basement – your admission gives a 10% discount in Hatch & Sons, the excellent Irish restaurant below The Little Museum. Phone +353 1 661 0075 or email email@example.com
Thus fortified, it’s a 10-minute walk – less than 1km – to Trinity College, where you’ll find the Old Library and the Book of Kells, the richly decorated 9th century illuminated manuscript of the gospels. Tours are self-guided with leaflets available in 10 different languages, or audio guides in several languages that cost €5, and take 40 minutes to 1 hour. Online booking for groups is strongly recommended, to get the time slot you want, and groups get a discount of €9 per person.
Just a short 4-minute walk away is the National Museum of Archaeology, home to a breathtaking display of ancient Irish gold – one of Europe's most important prehistoric gold collections. The ancient pins, brooches, rings, hair ornaments, torcs, earrings, bands range in date between 2200 BC and 500 BC, but still glow as if new. Many of them are from hoards found across the country, often preserved in bogs. Admission is free but all groups must be booked, and the museum is closed on Mondays.
Our next stop is within easy walking distance: the Museum of Natural History on Merrion Square, where the exhibits are in beautiful old-fashioned cabinets. The birds, animals, fish and insects of Ireland are here, along with some giant Irish deer skeletons at the entrance. Admission is free but space is limited, so groups must be booked in advance (though not on Saturday afternoons and Sundays – it’s too busy). The museum is closed on Mondays, and there are no cloakroom facilities, so travel light!
You’re just a four-minute (350 metre) walk from the National Gallery on Merrion Square. Pick up a free audio guide and browse the quiet galleries of work by Irish artists such as Jack B Yeats, Daniel Maclise, Paul Henry and Helen Mabel Trevor, and international artists such as Vermeer and Goya. The climax of any visit is the prize of the collection: Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ. Admission to the permanent collection is free, but certain exhibitions charge. Open seven days a week.
Stroll through Georgian Dublin and stay at the Hilton overlooking the Grand Canal on Charlemont Place. Phone +353 1 402 9988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a sample itinerary to offer suggestions and ideas for planning trips. You can contact your local Tourism Ireland representative here for further information. Please note, any mention of specific product on this itinerary is meant to be used only as an example and does not represent an endorsement of that product by Tourism Ireland.