Dublin is an excellent city steeped in culture and history, so do not be surprised when it greets you with many great museums and galleries. Fortunately, most of the top museums are concentrated in a small district in the south of the city center. Here are some of the must-see Dublin museums and galleries.
National Museum of Ireland
The Archaeology and History part of the National Museum of Ireland is located on Kildare Street, Dublin 2. It was previously the home of the Dublin Museum of Science and Art that opened in 1890. This museum houses 2 million archaeological artifacts found in Ireland, many dating from 7000 BC to the 20th century. It exhibits the outstanding prehistoric gold objects in Western Europe, the finest metalworks from the Celtic Iron Age, and many more.
The Decorative Arts and History section, situated at Collins Barracks, in Benburb Street, Dublin 7, is the museum’s administrative headquarters. Opened in 1997, it houses an amazing range of artifacts, including furniture, weaponry, ceramics, silver, and glassware. You will also find here great examples of costumes and folklife.
The Natural History portion is located at Merrion Street, Dublin 2. Opened to the public in 1857, it is the ideal place for a wet afternoon. It displays about 10 thousand animals, drawn from its collections of more than 2 million specimens. The collections have been mounting up for more than 200 years.
Dublin Writers Museum
The Dublin Writers Museum is one of the more popular Dublin museums. It is a must-see if you want to discover or simply enjoy the city’s rich literary heritage. This museum brings to life literary figures from the past 3 centuries through their letters, books, portraits, and other personal items.
James Joyce Museum
This Dublin museum is located in a seaside tower (Martello Tower). The British built the tower as a defense structure against Napoleon. The museum is situated in the beautiful seaside Sandycove suburb, about 8 miles from the city center. It is accessible by DART and bus. The museum features some of Joyce’s photos, letters, and other personal possessions.
National Wax Museum
This museum offers a fun outing for families and kids in Dublin and is relocating to Grafton Street in summer 2007. It has an impressive range of scenes and figures across history, from mythology to contemporary global celebrities.
The national Wax Museum is one of the more child-friendly Dublin museums. Kids will love the Fairytale Kingdom specifically tailored for them. One of the fun parts is the search for a genie and his magical lamp. It also features a classic Punch & Judy show four times everyday. If you are a fan of all things spooky, you will enjoy the Chamber of Horrors.