Hidden gems – A guide to some lesser-known Dublin museums

The city of Dublin is home to many secrets hidden around every corner. A city steeped in history and myth, with stories woven into the tapestry of each cobblestone and brick. The best way to get acquainted with someplace is to learn its history, and a quick pot stop by a Dublin museum is one of the best ways to do just that. Now, while you could stop by one of the bigger names such as The National Museum of History or The National Art Gallery, both fine installations of culture, we here at Babylon would like to draw your attention to some of the smaller collections that dot our fine city. The hidden gems so many look over or walk past, just waiting to be explored, brimming with so much to offer.

Irish Jewish Museum

As you can guess from the name, the Irish Jewish Museum is dedicated to the preservation and documentation of the Irish Jewish community. The museum is founded in what used to be the Jewish quarter of Dublin, home to many Jewish refugees from the late 1800s. The museum aims to educate people about the contribution of Jewish people to Irish culture, as well as the history of Jewish tradition. There are many valuable lessons to be learned about the history of Jewish persecution in Europe.

The Jewish Museum is also always looking for volunteers to help with its fundraising efforts, which can be a great way to get involved with the local community.

Location: 3 Walworth Road, Portobello, Dublin 8

Opening hours: Sunday, 10:30am – 2:30pm

Cost: Free

Little Museum of Dublin

A quaint little museum found on Stephen’s Green, the Little Museum of Dublin is just that. The exhibitions in this museum frequently rotate but they all have a connection to Irish history or culture. The museum is currently partnering with the National Museums of Northern Ireland to host some of their collections. These collections explore the concept of “Irishness” in relation to the country’s shared and often complex history. Another exhibit focuses on the history of women in Ireland.

They also offer guided tours, walking tours of Stephen’s Green, French tours, and more.

Location: 15 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 10:00am – 05:00pm

Cost: €10, €8 for students and senior citizens or €25 for families (two adults and up to three children)

Chester Beaty Museum

Sir Chester Beaty (1875- 1968) was a renowned American mining engineer, philanthropist and collector. While The Chester Beaty Museum started life as Beaty’s personal, private library today it is one of Europe’s predominant holders of rare books and manuscripts. Working to preserve the teachings and expressions of many different cultures from around the world. 

The museum is full to the brim with ancient texts, manuscripts, artefacts and paintings from Japan, Egypt, Ireland and more. The museum offers many different types of tours, including audio tours and 3D tours which can be accessed at home.

Location: Dublin Castle, Dublin 2

Opening hours: Mon – Tue, 09:45am – 05:30pm.

Wed, 09:45am – 08:00pm.

Thur – Fri, 09:45am – 05:30pm

Sat, 09:45am – 05:30pm

Sun, 12:00pm – 05:30pm

Cost: Free

Irish Whiskey Museum

The Irish Whiskey Museum offers guided tours through the history of, well, Irish Whiskey. A walkthrough of the different stages of Ireland’s history and the role Whiskey played in forming the cultural landscape of the nation. The museum also has a built-in bar, of course, and offers tastings.

Location:119 Grafton Street, Dublin 2

Opening hours: Varies by tour, usually every 30 minutes

Cost: Varies by tour, starting at €20 for adults, €18 for students/seniors, and €10 for a child

14 Henrietta Street

Henrietta Street is home to some of the most intact Georgian buildings in Dublin, and 14 Henrietta Street offers a guided tour through the life of one such building. Its goal is to tell the full story of urban life in Dublin for over 300 years of the city’s history, through its exhibitions, guides and collections. The house itself is a real beauty to behold and walking through its halls truly feels like stepping back into the past

Location: 14 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1

Opening hours: We – Sun, 10:00am – 04:00pm

Cost: €10 for adults, €8 for students/seniors, €6 for a child and €0 for a young child (under 5)

Museum of Literature

The Museum of Literature is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the works of one of Ireland’s most famous writers, James Joyce. The museum is home to the National Library of Ireland’s Joyce collection and offers guided tours of the man’s works, history and influence.

The museum also frequently hosts workshops spotlighting contemporary writers from here in Dublin. 

Location: UCD Naughton Joyce Centre, 86 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

Opening hours: Tue – Sun, 10:30am – 06:00. Also open bank holiday Mondays till 05:00pm

Cost: €10 for adults, €8 for students/seniors/children

Dublin is home to so many wonderful treasure troves of art, culture and history. So don’t be afraid to dig in!

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Ross Farrell

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