9 Stunning Historical Houses to Visit in Dublin

towering townhouses, treacherous tenements and Imposing mansions

If Dublin’s city’s historic structures could speak, they would tell a story of the changes in its fortunes and county.

Fortunately, many of the capital’s most important and interesting buildings are open to the public. They invite visitors to explore them through free walking tours and exhibits.

Phoenix Park is where you’ll find two of the most impressive buildings: Áras a tUachtarán (the President’s official residence) and Farmleigh House (an elegant Georgian and Victorian confections).

For literary fans, a visit to the childhood home of Oscar Wildes is an enjoyable way to spend some time; for historians, visiting the former residence of a wealthy gentleman who lived during the 18th and 19th centuries is fun.

Áras an Uachtaráin

Aras na nUachtarán is the official residence of An Taoiseach (Prime Minister). It was built in 1751 and is located in Phoenix Park in County Meath. Free guided visits take place every Saturday at 11am.

The “Irish Whitehouse”, or Áras an Iarainn, was designed initially by park rangers and amateur architects Nathaniel Clements. It consisted of 95 rooms and was acquired in 1938 by the viceroys who ruled Britain in Ireland. Since then, it has been the official residence of the President of Ireland. Numerous world leaders have stayed here.

The formal garden was designed in 1840. It contains many Victorian elements, including ceremonial trees, a woodland, a parkland, paths, ornamental lakes, and a walled garden that provide fruit, veg­etables, and flowers for the áras (the official residence of the President). The walled garden, managed sustainably and having organic status, is used to grow fruit, veggies, and flowers for the President’s private use.

Visitors can come on Saturdays to see the house where our head of state lives. They open every Saturday. You’ll get a ticket if they have any free slots left. Their office is just across the road. Bring your photo ID.

Location: Castleknock (part of Phoenix Park), Dublin 8, Co. Dublin, D08 E1W3, Ireland

Website: https://heritageireland.ie/visit/places-to-visit/aras-an-uachtarain/

Cost: Free

Opening hours:

Visit Duration

We recommend planning to spend 1 to 1 hour 30 minutes here.

Ardgillan Castle and Gardens.

Ardgillan castle and garden is a hidden gem in beautiful parklands overlooking the Irish sea. It offers visitors stunning views of the Mourne mountains and Lambay island.

Ardgillan Castles and Demesnes is a beautiful place in County Dublin, Ireland. It is one of the best places to visit if you love nature and history. The property consists of 194 acres of parkland, woodland and gardens. 

The main building is an impressive 18th-century stone mansion surrounded by a moat. The grounds also include several outbuildings, including a stable block, stables, coach houses, a barn, a garage, a dovecote, a greenhouse, a walled garden, a folly, a summerhouse and a water tower.

Originally called Prospect House, the central block was built by Robert Taylor around 1738, with the western and eastern wings added later. Ardgillan castle also has a permanent exhibit of 17th-century Down survey maps of Ireland created by Thomas Taylor, Robert’s grandfather.

The original garden is an attractive example of what can be achieved with imagination and creativity. In addition to the castle, the estate also includes a Walled Garden, a Rose Garden, and an extensive collection of rare plants. The Walled Garden contains several unusual architectural elements, including an elaborate Alcove Wall.

Today the demesnes are beautiful visitor attractions with a range of facilities, from castles and gardens to theatres and cafés, as well as a fairy trail for kids and an adventure park for adults.

Location: Ardgillan Demesne, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, K32 WX87, Ireland

Website: https://ardgillancastle.ie/

Opening hours: Open 7 days, 9am to 5pm

We recommend planning to spend up to 2 hours here

Casino Marino

The casino is a miniaturised architectural masterpiece. The casino, meaning “small house,” was commissioned by Lord Charleton in the mid-18th cen­tury. It is a Palladio neoclassical garden shoppe only 5 kilometres north of Dublin city centre.

Casino Marino is a fantastic building in terms of structural and historical value. Sir William Chambers designed the casino as a pleasure house for Lord Charlemont, near his home in what was then the countryside. It is a gem among 18th-Century neoclassical architectural styles. In fact, it’s one of the finest casinos in Europe.

The building looks like a temple, with exquisite carvings and sculptures on its four sides. Within, the visitor marvels at the inventive use of space and architectural techniques defying reason.

Location: Cherrymount Cres, Marino, Dublin 3, Ireland

Website: https://heritageireland.ie/places-to-visit/casino-marino/

Farmleigh House

Farmleigh House in Dublin, Ireland, is known for its Georgian-Victorian architectural style, art galleries, and beautiful gardens. It was once owned by the Guinness family, who built the mansion in 1832. Today, the house is open to the public during non-visiting hours and hosts many cultural events and outdoor festivals.

Farmleigh is located in the northwest corner of Phoenix Park and is adjacent to the Chapelizod and Castleknock areas of Dublin City. It covers an area of 78.5 hectares and includes many beautiful structures, including the main building and sunken and walled gardens. There is also a famous clock and a lake.

Farmleigh House offers premier accommodations and facilities for official visits by essential visitors from across the globe. It has been designated an official meeting place for important national and international events. Tours of the building are available to the public.

The Farmleigh Gallery is an extension of the original house, designed to complement the existing architecture and create a new space for contemporary art. The gallery provides a venue for artists to exhibit their work and hosts various community and cultural activities throughout the year. The gallery stages temporary exhibitions, crafts fairs, and outdoor cinema screenings during the summer. In addition, the gallery offers a range of educational workshops and courses.

You’ll enjoy a light fare of Irish and Italian cuisine at the Boathouse restaurant beside the ornamental lake.

The ground level of the building is entirely accessible for people who use wheelchairs. It is advisable to reserve tours at least one month in advance.

You can join one of their knowledgeable guides at any time during the year for a guided tour of Farmleigh House.

Location: Farmleigh, Castleknock, Co Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Website: https://farmleigh.ie//

Opening hours: Open 7 Days, 10am to 5pm

We recommend planning to spend 1 to 2 hours here.

14 Henrietta Street

14 Henrietta Street in Dublin is a must-visit for anyone interested in the city’s history. It offers a unique insight into Dublin’s past through its architecture and stories told by the building itself.

Named for the European Museum of the year 2020, 14 Henrietta St. brings together over 300 yrs. of history into one address. Guided tours take visitors through the homes’ grand Georgian origins to their 10ement dwellings.

Built in 1720s, Henrietta Street was once home to an affluent Dublin family who had over 800 residents living there. By 1911, over 100 were living alone at 14 Henrietta Street.

At the heart of every visit to Dublin lies the story of the people who once inhabited the city. It’s our chance to learn about these individuals and share their memories. And it’s an opportunity for visitors to step into the shoes of others who once walked its streets.

14 Henrietta Street is only accessible by guided tour. Pre-booking is advised.

Location: 14 Henrietta St, Dublin 1, D01 HH34, Ireland

Website: https://14henriettastreet.ie/

The James Joyce Centre

Located in Dublin City, Ireland, the James Joyce Centre aims to foster an understanding of Joyce through exhibitions, educational programs, and public events. The centre also hosts the annual Bloomsday celebrations on June 16th.

Located in the heart of Dublin city centre, the James Joyce Centre offers visitors an immersive experience into the world of one of Ireland’s most famous writers, James Joyce. With a permanent interactive exhibit on his novel Ulysses, the James Joyce Centre introduces the author and his writing.

The original door from number seven Eccles street, the home of Leobald Bloom in Ulysses, is on display at the centre. It is one of many exciting things on offer there. There are free guided audio walks through Dublin city, regular talks, events and education courses.

The James Joyce Centre organises the annual Bloomsday festival every June 16th. You can check out its website for more info.

The centre is open on weekdays from 9am to 5pm (except for public holidays) and on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm. It is not open on Sundays, bank holidays or during winter months (October to March). Wheelchairs are available on the ground floor but cannot be used upstairs.

Location: 35 N Great George’s St, Rotunda, Dublin, D01 WK44, Ireland

Website: https://jamesjoyce.ie/

Opening hours: Open Mon to Sat 10:30am to 3:30pm

Leinster House

The house where the Irish parliament meets is located at College Green in Dublin City Centre. Tours of the building are free for the public.

Since 1922, Leinster House in Dublin has been the seat of government of the Irish Free State. It was formerly known as the Parliament Buildings until 1937, when it became the official residence of the President of Ireland.

The centrepiece of Leinster Houses was originally the ducal palace of the Dukes. First built in 1745–1848 by the Earls of Kildare. No other mansions match Kildares for its sheer size or prestige. When the earl became the first Duke of Leinster in 1766, his Dublin residence was named Leinster house. Its first and second floors were used as floor models for the white house exterior. Many additions have been added over the years.

Location: Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas, Kildare Street, Dublin City, Co Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Website: http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/visitsevents/

Cost: Free Public tours are available on days when the Dáil and Seanad are not sitting.

Tours begin at 10.30am, 11.30am, 2.30pm and 3.30pm.

The Mansion House

The Mansion House has served as the official residence of the Lord Mayor (or Lord Mayoress) of Dublin for nearly three centuries. Located in the city centre, it is not usually open to the general public except during Culture Night in September and on special available days. A visit to the Live Animal Crib at the Mansion House is a popular Christmas custom.

The Mansion House has served as Ireland’s official seat of government since 1715, hosting the meetings of both houses of parliament (Dáil Éireann) and the British Parliament before independence. Since 1919, it has hosted the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade through O’Connell Street. 

In 1921, it became the temporary headquarters of the Provisional Government during the War of Independence and again in 1924, when Eamon de Valera was elected President of the Executive Council. During the Civil War, the building was used as an armoury by the anti-treaty forces. 

After the war, it was restored to its original function as the official seat of the state. Today, the Mansion House serves as the administrative heart of the city, housing the offices of the Lord Mayor, the City Corporation, the Department of Finance, the Central Bank of Ireland, the Revenue Commissioners, the Office of Public Works, the National Lottery Commission, the Department of Justice, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Protection, the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Office of Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland, the Department of Defence, the Department of Justice and

The Mansion House is usually open to the general public during Culture Night and Open House events. To book a guided tour of the building, please get in touch with the office of the Lord Mayor

Location: Dawson St, Dublin 2, Ireland

Website: https://www.dublincity.ie/council/your-city-council/lord-mayor-dublin/mansion-house

Marsh’s Library

Located in Dublin City, Marsh’s Library is an exquisitely maintained structure. It is among the few libraries in Ireland still used for their original purpose. Since it was established in 1709, it has held 25,000 rare and exciting books and 300 manuscript collections.

Some famous readers include the Irish writer Jonathan Swift, Bram Stokers, and James Joyce. If you visit Dublin Castle, you can view some of these things.

Children are especially welcomed at the museum and love the miniature art hunts through the galleries. Check out its website for details on current exhibitions and its online resources and activities.

Location: St Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8, Ireland

Website: https://www.marshlibrary.ie/

Newbridge House and Farm

Newbridge House is a historic Georgian mansion just a 15-minute walk from Dublin Airport. It has been beautifully restored and offers visitors a chance to experience the splendour of Ireland’s past.

Newbridge House is a magnificent 18th Century Georgian Mansion located on 370 acres of stunning parkland, which includes a beautiful play area for kids, a café, and a wide variety of seasonal events. It’s an excellent place for families to visit!

It was built in 1747 for the Archbishop of Dublin, Charles CoBe. It has been open to the general public since 1986. Newbridge Estate is located in County Kildare, Ireland. It consists of 370 acres of gently undulated pastureland, woodland walk, wildflower meadow, and traditional Irish farming land. At its heart is a fine Georgian country manor, built in 1747 for the Archbishops of Dublin.

One of the finest Georgian houses in Ireland, the Red Drawing Room has been restored to its former glory. It was once the residence of the O’Donoghue clan, who lived here from 1770 until their departure in 1815. The museum contains some of the most important collections of Irish antiquities and curiosities. The ornately decorated plasterwork throughout the house is particularly noteworthy. An apartment is still maintained for members of the current generation of the O’Donoghue clan.

Newbridge Farm is a working farm where visitors can see various breeds of livestock, including pigs, sheep, horses and donkeys. There is also a small café serving hot drinks and snacks. Visitors can participate in activities such as milking cows, feeding lambs and riding horses.

Oscar Wides House

Visit the house where Oscar Wilde was born, grew up, and lived for most of his life. Listen to the fantastic stories of the Wildes’ lives.

If you’re ever in Dublin, visit the childhood home of Oscar Wilde. It was here that young Oscar took his very first few strides and where he spent the first ten years of school.

Oscar attended Trinity College Dublin when he was young. He grew up in an illustrious family, which included poets and artists. Their house was one of Dublin’s most cultured homes for twenty-one consecutive years.

If you want to know more, book your visit now. They’re a non-profit organisation, and all profits go towards restoring the building.

Location: American College, 1 Merrion Square W, Dublin, D02 NH98, Ireland

Website: https://oscarwildehouse.com/

Cost: Free

Opening hours: Open 7 days, 11am to 5pm

Visit Duration

We recommend spending 1.5 to 2 hours here.

11 Amazing Parks To Visit In Dublin


Parks and Gardens to visit in Dublin

Dublin is not a concrete jungle; it has many green spaces where you can walk, take a break from the hustle and bustle, and enjoy Ireland’s natural beauty.

St Stephen’s Green

St Stephens Green is one of Dublin’s most evocative parks in the heart of town. It was initially built during the 17th-Centuries and is home to many historical memorials, such as statues of famous people, including James Joyce and Sir Arthur Guinness. Take a stroll through the beautiful gardens and admire the colourful flowers and trees. You can also enjoy watching ducks, swans and moorhen swimming around the ornamental lakes. In the northwest section of the Park, take a trip to the Famine Memorial, where thousands of people died from starvation during the Great Hunger.

Walk the pathways through St. Stephens Green.

Location: St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

Opening times: Mon-Sat 7.30am; Sun and Holidays 9.30am; closing times according to daylight hours; open Christmas Day 10am-1pm.

Admission Fees: Free entry.

Parking: You will need to pay a fee to access private city parking or street parking.

Facilities: St Stephens gardens are located in the centre of Dublin, so there is a range of shops, cafés and restaurants nearby.

St Patrick’s Park

If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, head out to Phoenix Park. It’s a beautiful place to relax, take a break, and explore some of Dublin’s best green spaces. You can grab a cup of tea at the Tram Cafe near the park entrance and then take a leisurely stroll through the Park. You can also visit the Literary Parade, built in honour of Irish poets and writers who live here. See the Liberty Bell sculpture, which is a reminder of the neighbourhood in which the Park is situated.

It has a lot of history, but there’s some fun stuff too.

Phoenix Park Gardens

Phoenix Park is just two kilometres from Dublin’s central business district. Getting to the Park is accessible by public transportation, such as buses, trams, or cars. The Park covers an area of 1,750 acres, so visitors can easily spend several hours exploring the grounds. The Park also includes large grassy fields, wooded forests, and paved walkways. A highlight of the Park is the herd of wild Irish Feral Red and Fallow Deers who roam freely through the Park. Visitors should keep in mind that the Park closes at sunset.

The park sights also include:

Aras an Úachtarán – the Irish President‘s residence. Tours are available on Saturdays.

The original building was initially used by the chief bailiff of County Kerry; it later became the official residency of the US ambassador to Ireland.

The Papal Cross is an iconic symbol of the Catholic Church. It’s a large white cross that was built during the papacy of Pope John Paul II.

The Magazine Castle: This castle marks where Phoenix lodge was built by Sir Edward fisher in 1611. In 1734 the building was knocked down when the duke of Dorset ordered a powder magazine to be constructed. An additional wing was built in1801 for soldiers.

The Wellington Testimonium stands nearly 63 metres high and comprises four bronze plaquettes from cannonballs taken at Waterloo. It was built to tribute Arthur Wellesley, 1st Marquess of Wellington, born in Ireland.

Location: Dublin 8

How to get there using Dublin public transport:

By bus: No’s 37, 38, 39, 46A, 66, 67 from the city centre.

By Luas: Red line to Heuston Station, 10-minute walk to the park entrance on Chesterfield Ave.

Opening times: Open 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, all year round. The side gates to the Park are open from 7am-11pm.

Admission Fees: Free entry.

Parking: Free parking.

Facilities: There is a café by the Zoo and formal gardens and a café at the visitors centre in the heart of the Park.

St Audoen’s Park and City Walls

The Park lies within the medieval walled town of Dublin. Here, you’ll discover St Audoen’s Arch – the final surviving entry point into the old city. The Park features an exciting collection of historical artefacts, including the remains of the ancient church of St Audoen’s. You’ll also be able to enjoy a drink at the nearby Brazen Head Pub, Ireland’s oldest pub.

Located in a suburb west of downtown, British architectural firm Sir Edwin Lutyens designed the Irish National War Memo­rial Gardens to remember Ireland’s 49,400 dead during WWI. It’s a beautiful park with a classical design. It is arranged from north to south with sunken flower gardens at each end and an internal stone wall. An excellent way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Herbert Park

With its beautiful gardens, lakes, and bandshell, Ballsbridge’s 32-acre Herbert Gardens offers visitors a chance to escape city life’s hustle and bustle for a few hours. On Sundays, the garden transforms into one of Dublin’s best food markets. You can enjoy freshly baked bread, cheese, and produce from local farmers.

The second largest municipal green, St Anne’s Green, stretches over 240 acres in what was once an Irish estate belonging to the Guinness family in Dublin’s north side. This vast open land is home to wildlife like wild boars, hares, squirrels and foxes who live alongside several follies, including a Herculanean temple, a Pompeian water temple and a Roman viewing tower. There are ten, to be exact, around the River Naniken, which runs through the grounds. You’ll find a Hilarican Temple, a Pompeian Aqueduct and a Roman Tower overlooking duckponds. Suppose you’re here during weekends between 10am and 5 pm. In that case, you can enjoy these unusual sites while tasting homemade chocolates, artisan cheese, and handmade jams at the market stalls of the St Anne’s Green Market.

People’s Park

If you’re seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, take a trip out to the countryside. A short drive from Dublin, People’s Park is located just minutes from the shores of Dún Laogháirí (Dún Lough Harris). With its beautiful Victorian architecture, this Park offers visitors a chance to relax and unwind. Locals sell crafts and food at the weekly farmers’ market on Sundays. Take your kids along, too – they can play on the swings, slides and sandpit.

Marlay Park

If you’re looking for a challenging walk, then Marlay is definitely worth visiting. It has a 9-holed golf course, a tennis court, a dog play­ground, two kids’ playgrounds and a miniature train. And if you enjoy walking, this trail starts at Marlay and goes up into the mountains.

Bushy Park

It’s been there since 1700, but Bushy Park has been transformed into an international market village. You can enjoy local produce, artisanal foods, craft beers and wines, and live music every Saturday.

National Botanic Gardens National Botanic Gardens

In Glasnevin, just 3 km from Dublin’s city centre, grows a head-spinnin’ 15,000 species of flower. The restored 19th-century glasshouse, however, is even more impressive. Using computer controls to replicate environments around the world, the glasshouse contains different species, from wild Irish White Dryads to exotic palm trees. Join a Guiding Tour to learn more about the garden and the 300 rare flowers.

War Memorial Garden

This beautiful Park is located in the Dublin suburbs of Islandbridge and is one of my favourites. It’s surprisingly less busy than most parks in Dublin. It provides an ideal spot for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city.

It was built to commemorate the deaths of 49,400 Irish men who fought for their country during World Wars 1 and 2. Their names are inscribed in the beautiful stained glass windows in the buildings surrounding the memorial garden.

Sir Edwin Lutyens, an English landscape artist, created these beautiful Irish garden designs. He was best known for his architecture. He has been called “the greatest British designer since William Morris.” His most famous works include the Houses of Parliament in London and New Delhi.

The Park has beautiful views of Dublin Bay and offers a lovely riverside path. You can also enjoy picnics at one of the many cafes located here.

Location: South Circular Rd, Islandbridge. The entrance is from Con Colbert Rd and South Circular Rd (Phoenix Park end).

How to get there using Dublin public transport:

By bus: 51, 68 and 69 from Aston Quay.

By Luas: Red line to Heuston Station, 25-minute walk to the entrance.

By train: 25-minute walk from Heuston Station.

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 8am, Saturday – Sunday 10am. Gardens close according to daylight hours.

Admission Fees: Free entry.

Parking: Free car park onsite.

Facilities: None.

Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Formal Gardens

This stunning formal Park, also known as the Master’s Gardens, is located on Dublin’s historic Royal Hospitals Kilmainham site. Built-in 1662, the Royal Hospitals were built to care for sick and wounded soldiers during times of war. Today, the buildings house the Irish Museum of Modern Arts (IMMA) and provide a peaceful setting for visitors and locals alike.

The formal gardens date back to 1732. A pretty cottage at the end of the gardens is named “The Lodge”. It is believed to be designed by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, who created the House of Commons in London. The gardens feature lovely sculptures and statues.

Location: Military Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8.

How to get there using Dublin public transport:

By Luas: Red line to Heuston Station, 8-minute walk to Museum entrance on Military Road.

By bus: Buses to Heuston Station (8 minutes walk via Military Rd): 145, 79 and 79a from Aston Quay. Buses to James St (8 minutes walk via steps to Bow Lane onto Irwin St and Military Rd): 13, 40, 123 from O’Connell St and Dame St.

By train: 8-minute walk from Heuston Station.

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 11.30am – 5.30pm; Saturday: 10am – 5.30pm; Sunday and Bank Holidays: 12pm – 5.30pm; Monday: Closed

Admission Fees: Free entry

Parking: Paid parking onsite.

Facilities: Bookshop and café.

National Botanic Gardens


Ireland’s National Botanic Gardens in Dubail is renowned for its wonderful botanical collection, housing over 15,000 plants from all over the globe. Its exquisite glasshouse was built by the Irishman Richard Turner, who also worked on the glasshouse at Kew Gardens and the Glasshouse at Belfast. These stunning glass houses were awarded the Europa Nostra prize for excellence in conservational architecture.

Visitors can enjoy the herbaceous border, rose garden, Alpine garden, pond area, rock garden and Arboretum. Conservation is an integral part of the Botanical Garden’s life. It is home to over 200 endangered plants around the globe, among six already extinct in nature.

Location: 3.5 km north of Dublin city centre, Botanic Road, Glasnevin.

How to get there using Dublin public transport:

By bus: It’s a bit too far to walk from the city centre, but the National Botanic Gardens can be reached by taking either Dublin city bus 4 or 83 from O’Connell Street.

Opening times: Winter opening times (October 27th to February) are Monday to Friday, 9am-4:30pm; Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, 10am-4:30pm. Summer opening times (March to October) are Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, 10am-6pm. The glasshouses close at 4.15pm in winter.

Admission Fees: Free entry.

Parking: Onsite parking is available for €2.

Facilities: Restaurant / Tearooms open daily in summer, 9am – 5pm and in winter, 10am – 4pm.

Iveagh Gardens

The Iveagh gardens are among the best and most well-kept of Dublin’s city parks and gardens. Designed by Ninian Niven in 1865 as an intermediate style between French and English landscapes, they demonstrate his artistic skill and show a unique collection of garden elements, including rustic grottoes, cascades, sunken formal panels, fountain centres pieces, wildernesses, woodlands, maze, rosaries, archery grounds, rockeries and rooteries.

The gardens began their restoration in 1995, and they’ve since been fully restored. Some features include the maze, box hedge, sundial, cascade, exotic trees, Victorian roses, and rosarium.

These parks often become inaccessible during the summer due to events held there.

Location: Access from Hatch Street. Disabled access to Clonmel Street and Hatch Street.

Opening Hours: Open all year Monday – Saturday 8am; Sunday and Bank Holidays: 10am; gardens closing times: December – January: 3.30pm; February and November: 4pm; March – October: 6pm.

Admission Fees: Free entry.

Parking: You will need to pay a fee to access private city parking or street parking.

Facilities: Iveagh Gardens are located in the centre of Dublin, so there is a range of shops, cafés and restaurants nearby.

Merrion Square Gardens


The Merrion Square garden has been designed using a “Jardin Anglais” approach. It features formal lawns, informal groups of trees and shrubs, curves and sunken paths, and perimeters planted with ornamental flowers and herbs.

There are a variety of interesting sculptures in these gardens, including one called “Oscar Wilde Reclining On A Rock”, which was designed by Sir Edward Maufe.

Surrounds the parks on three sides are grand Georgian houses. On the other side are Leinster house and two museums. Many of the homes have plaques documenting the rich and famous who used to live in them, such as Daniel O’Connell and William Butler Yeats. On Sunday, you’ll also see an art market showcasing talented artists who hang their artwork on the railings around the gardens.

Location: Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Opening Hours: Open 7 days a week during daylight hours.

Admission Fees: Free entry.

Parking: You will need to pay a fee to access private city parking or street parking.

Facilities: Merrion Square is located in the centre of Dublin, so there is a range of shops, cafés and restaurants nearby.

Galleries And Museums Of Dublin


Dublin’s museum scene is nothing if not diverse.

More than 100 museums and galleries are spread across the capital, allowing visitors to delve deep into the Irish psyche – real or imagined – and learn about Irish culture and history.

A city of writers and revellers, artists and emigrants, Dublin’s curators have a rich archive to draw from. Alongside many of the country’s most notable collections – the National Museum (for archaeology, decorative arts, military history and natural history), the National Gallery (for art) and the National Library (for rare books), many of Dublin’s best museums draw from esoteric inspiration. 

Explore your Irish roots at EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum. Travel back to the Viking era in Dublinia. Relive the complexities of the Easter Rising at the GPO on O’Connell St. Revel in literary brilliance at MoLI, Museum of Literature Ireland or sample a dram of whiskey at The Irish Whiskey Museum. Dublin’s museums are filled with thrilling treasures from Bronze Age gold to priceless international art.

The Science Gallery

The Science Gallery is a public science centre at Trinity College, Dublin. Opened in 2008 and housed in Trinity’s Naughton Institute, the city’s newest Gallery offers a refreshingly lively and informative exploration of the relationship between science, art and the world we live in.

The Museum features regularly changing exhibitions that are entertaining and informative and strike a balance between outlining some really remarkable facts and figures in a casual, highly visual and easily digestible way.

The exhibitions are led by friendly and well-informed guides who take you through the interactive, hands-on tour as you explore a new type of scientific venue where today’s white-hot scientific issues are thrashed out. You can have your say in one of Dublin’s most unique and informative tourist attractions.

Contact Details:

Address: The Science Gallery, Naughton Institute, Pearse Street, Trinity College, Dublin 2

Tel: +353 1 896 4091

Getting There:

Hop off the CityScape Tour at Stop 22 Dawson Street (see Route Map)

Archaeology Museum – The National Museum of Ireland

The National Museum of Ireland is dedicated to showcasing Irish Art, Culture and Natural History. The Archaeology Museum is the most impressive of the three branches of the Museum. It holds the best-known and most exciting exhibits featuring Ireland’s archaeological treasures.

The shows contain a mix of Europe’s finest collection of Bronze- and Iron-Age gold artefacts, the most complete collection of medieval Celtic metalwork in the world and vital and exciting items from Ireland’s fight for Independence.

The Treasury is the most prominent part of the collection. Its centrepieces are Ireland’s two most famous crafted artefacts, the Ardagh Chalice and the Tara Brooch. The 12th-century Ardagh Chalice is the finest example of Celtic art ever found.

At the same time, Tara Brooch is equally revered, having been crafted as a white bronze clasp around AD 700. Elsewhere in the Treasury is the exhibition Ór-Ireland’s Gold, which features stunning jewellery and decorative objects created by Celtic artisans in the Bronze and Iron Ages alongside a 15m log boat, which was abandoned and then pulled out almost perfectly preserved 4000 years later, from a peat bog.

On the same level is the fascinating Road to Independence exhibition, which features the army coat worn by Michael Collins on the day he was assassinated and the cap purportedly worn by Collins on that fateful day, complete with a bullet hole in its side. However, the authenticity of the hat is contested.

Suppose you can handle even more history upstairs. In that case, you will find Medieval Ireland 1150 – 1550 and Viking Age Ireland exhibits alongside the aptly named Clothes from Bogs in Ireland exhibit.

Fun Fact

The Ardagh Chalice was not discovered by archaeologists but by a farmer digging for spuds in his field. Once again, deepening the inherent love for potatoes in Ireland!

Contact Details:

Address: Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Tel: +353 (0)1 6777444

Getting There:

Hop off the CityScape Tour at Stop 22 Dawson Street (see Route Map)

Collins Barracks

One of the most exciting and informative things to do in Dublin, the National Museum of Ireland is a must-see. Originally the oldest army barracks in Europe, the buildings were re-opened in 1997 with a new purpose as the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History.

The barracks and central square are named after Michael Collins, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Free State Army, who was killed at Béal na Bláth, Co. Cork, four months before the barracks were surrendered to the Free State Army. General Richard Mulcahy formally accepted the handover and immediately named the site after Collins.

At Collins Barracks, there are so many things to see and do. Irish haute couture garments, furniture, silver, jewellery, ceramics, and detailed exhibitions exploring Irish military history from 1550 to the 21st century, including an exciting and informative exhibition detailing the events leading up to, during and after the 1916 Easter Rising.

In the Museum, you will also find one of the largest collections of silver in the world (unfortunately, you can’t take any) as well as exhibitions showing the development of fashion in Ireland from the 1700s onward and Dublin’s very own Asian Art collection.

Contact Details:

Address: Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 7

Tel: +353 1 6777444

Getting There:

Hop off the CityScape Tour at Stop 5 Wolfe Tone Quay (see Route Map)



Richmond Barracks

The fallout of the Easter Rising didn’t all happen at Kilmainham Gaol. In the nearby neighbourhood of Inchicore, over 3,000 rebels—men and women—were held at Richmond Barracks, a British military base being used at the time as a training centre for Irish-born soldiers shipping off to fight in World War I.

In the crowded barracks, the Rising leaders—including the 14 later executed at Kilmainham—were separated from rank-and-file rebels, court-martialed, and sentenced on the spot.

Then, from Richmond Barracks, they were marched through the streets to Kilmainham Gaol, where crowds of angry locals jeered and spit at them—the Rising wasn’t initially popular, as more civilians were killed in the fighting than Irish rebels and British soldiers combined.

The barracks sat long unused and crumbling until community interest and funding came through during the 1916 Centenary celebrations.

In May 2016, it opened to the public as a museum remembering its days as a British base of operations, an impromptu processing centre for the men and women of the Rising, its handover from the British to the Irish armies after Independence, and its final chapter as government tenement housing and a Christian Brothers school.

The tour will include the 1916 exhibit in the gymnasium, where those arrested after the Rising were processed and sentenced; a re-creation of one of the classrooms from its time as a school (with a fine collection of original furniture found in storerooms and donated by families); and an example of the living quarters for the soldiers—and later, the families—who called the barracks home.

Those who go for the guided tour (recommended) rather than the self-guided tour will take a guided walk through Goldenbridge Cemetery nearby.

Many vandalised and weatherworn markers have been restored thanks to an extensive renovation alongside Richmond Barracks.

If time and budget allow, a tour of Richmond Barracks would pair well with a visit to Kilmainham Gaol; you could follow in the footsteps of the executed Rising leaders from the Barracks to the old Garrison Church—still a functioning Catholic church—to Kilmainham Gaol and then across the river to their burial site in Arbour Hill Cemetery. Look for more developments in future updates of this book and on their website 

Contact Details:



Adult – €8.50

Children (under 12) – €2.50

Student/Senior citizen – €3.50

Getting There:

Hop off the CityScape Tour at Stop 24 Lord Edward’s Street (see Route Map)

Dublin Castle

Originally built in the 13th century on a site previously settled by the Vikings, Dublin Castle had functioned as a military fortress, a prison, a Treasury, a court of law and the seat of English Administration in Ireland for 700 years until it was finally handed over to the new Government of the Irish Free State in 1922. Dublin Castle is now a major governmental complex used for critical State receptions and Presidential Inaugurations.

Dublin Castle was built in 1204 as a defensive fortification on the orders of King John of England sometime after the Norman Invasion of Ireland in 1169. It later evolved into a royal residence, resided in by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland or Viceroy of Ireland, the representative of the monarch and would serve as the seat of British rule in Ireland for over 700 years up until the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922.

Following the War of Independence and the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty 1921, the rebel military commander Michael Collins arrived in the Upper Yard of Dublin Castle on 16th January 1922 and received the handover of the Castle, from the last Lord Lieutenant FitzAlan, on behalf of the new Irish Government.

The State Apartments, Undercroft, Chapel Royal, Craft Shop, Heritage Centre and Restaurant are open to visitors. Admission is by guided tour with a self-guiding option available.

Fun fact

Dublin Castle has appeared in numerous films, including Barry Lyndon, Michael Collins, Becoming Jane and The Medallion, and the television series The Tudors, where it doubles as the Vatican in the pilot.

Contact Details:

Address: Dublin Castle, Dame Street, Dublin 2

Tel: +353 (0)1 645 8813


Adult – €4.50

Children (under 12) – €2.00

Student/Senior citizen – €3.50

Getting There:

Hop off the CityScape Tour at Stop 24 Lord Edward’s Street (see Route Map)

National History Museum – The National Museum of Ireland

One of the three branches of the National Museum of Ireland, the Natural History Museum is located between Government Buildings and the House of the Oireachtas on Merrion Street. First opened in 1857, the Museum has been virtually unchanged since its opening, bar some restoration work in 1909 and 2007 after the grand stone staircase was deemed unsafe.

The Victorian-style Museum is home to a fascinating collection of over 2 million species situated in a building full of old Victorian charm and scientific wonderment.

The ground floor is dedicated to Irish wildlife featuring the mammals, sea creatures, birds and some butterflies that could have been found in Ireland at some point, with the centrepiece being the skeleton of the now-extinct giant Irish elk.

The upper floors of the building feature the World Animals Collection, which is dedicated to animals found worldwide. There you will find an exhibition that jumps from continent to continent and includes outstanding examples of animals found throughout the history and far reaches of the world.

The Museum has no admission charge, and visitors are welcome to explore the collections by themselves at their own pace. The Museum of Natural History is one of the top things to do in Dublin for any history buffs or anyone looking to see Dublin on a budget.

Fun Fact

Some of the large exhibits face away from the entrance. This is due to a new entry being constructed at the east end of the building facing Merrion Street in 1909. This reversed the direction from which visitors approached the exhibitions and explained why some of the large exhibits still faced away from the entrance; it was too difficult to turn the whales and elephants around to meet the new entry.

Contact Details:

National History Museum, Merrion St Upper, Dublin 2

Tel: +353 (0) 1 677 7444

Getting There:

Hop off the CityScape Tour at Stop 20 Merrion Street (see Route Map)

National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland is a must-see for any visiting Dublin art lovers. Situated in Merrion Square near the National Museum at Kildare Street, the Gallery is an underrated attraction that is not to be missed. The Gallery boasts a collection of more than 2 500 paintings and over 10 000 other artworks, including watercolours, drawings, prints and sculptures.

Founded in 1854 by an Act of Parliament and opened to the public in 1864, the Gallery houses the nation’s collection of Irish and European fine art, spanning the period circa the 1400s to 1950s. The National Gallery is unique thanks to its collection of exhibitions which documents the story of Irish art from the seventeenth century to the present day with critical works by Nathaniel Hone, John Lavery, William Leech, Roderic O’Conor, Paul Henry, Sean Keating, Jack B. Yeats and Louis le Brocquy.

The Gallery is also home to several of Europe’s most renowned masterpieces, including works by Fra Angelico, Rembrandt, Poussin, Goya, Picasso, Bonnard, Van Gogh and a recently discovered Caravaggio.

Free permanent collection tours take place every Saturday at 12.30 pm and every Sunday at 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm. Guided tours of the collection may be booked for private groups, schools and university groups, special interest groups and individuals. A minimum of 2 weeks’ notice and a small fee are required.

Fun Fact

Caravaggio’s ‘The Taking of Christ, a painting recorded in contemporary biographies on the artist but long believed to be lost or destroyed, was discovered in a Jesuit house of studies in Dublin. The picture remains in the Gallery on indefinite loan from the Jesuit fathers.

Contact Details:

Address: Merrion Square West & Clare Street, Dublin 2

Tel: +353(0)16325133

Getting There:

Hop off the CityScape Tour at Stop 19 Merrion Square West(see Route Map)

Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol is one of the largest unoccupied jails in Europe. Now turned into a museum, the gaol has witnessed some of the most heroic and tragic events in Ireland’s emergence as a modern nation from the 1780s to the 1920s, with many of the leaders of Irish rebellions imprisoned within its walls.

Dublin’s Kilmainham Gaol is in the heart of modern Irish history and has held some of the most famous political and military leaders in Irish history, such as Robert Emmet, Charles Stewart Parnell, the 1916 Rising leaders and Eamon de Valera. From when it opened in 1796 to when it closed in 1924, the leaders of 5 Irish rebellions between 1798 and 1916 were detained and, in some cases, executed in gaol.

Attractions include a major exhibition detailing the political and penal history of the prison and its restoration. The tour of the prison includes an audio-visual show which gives the visitor a dramatic and realistic insight into what it was like to have been confined in one of these forbidding bastions of punishment and correction.

For anyone visiting Dublin, this is one of the must-see attractions if you are either interested in learning about the infamous gaol, which has played a prominent role in Irish history or if you would like to experience what it was like to be put in an almost 300-year-old prison without the generally less pleasant experience of having to actually be incarcerated.

Fun Fact

Kilmainham Gaol has a history of being haunted, with several reported ghost sightings over the last century.

Contact Details:

Address: Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8.

Tel: +353 1 453 5984

Getting There:

Hop off the CityScape Tour at Stop 28 Military Road (see Route Map)


Adult – €6.00

Senior/ Group – €4.00

Child/ Student – €2.00

Family – €14.00

Irish Museum of Modern Art

The Irish Museum of Modern Art, or “IMMA”, is Ireland’s leading national institution for collecting and presenting modern and contemporary art. Attracting over 400,000 visitors a year, the Museum is Ireland’s most important collection of modern and contemporary Irish art. It is housed in the elegant Royal Hospital at Kilmainham, recognised as the finest 17th Century building in Ireland.

The Royal Hospital Kilmainham was designed by the talented William Robinson (who also designed Marsh’s Library) and was built between 1680 and 1687 as a home for retired soldiers. It continued in that use until 1928. The building was then left to languish for over 50 years. The Government eventually restored the building in 1984 and made it into the popular tourist attraction it was today in 1991.

The Museum presents a wonderfully wide-ranging combination of old and new exhibitions, which regularly include works from contemporary Irish artists such as Louis Le Brocquy, Sean Scully, Barry Flanagan, Kathy Pendergrass and Dorothy Cross, as well as paintings from artistic giants Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró.

Contact Details:

Address: Royal Hospital, Military Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8

Tel: +353-1-6129900


Tue-Sun: 2.30 pm


Tue & Thu-Sat: 10 am-5.30 pm

Wed: 10.30 am-5.30 pm

Sun: 12 pm – 5.30 pm

Getting There:

Hop off the CityScape Tour at Stop 28 Military Road (see Route Map)

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is a state-of-the-art interactive experience located in the beautiful vaults of the 1820 Custom House Quarter building in Dublin’s Docklands, the original departure point for many of Ireland’s emigrants. It will inspire and guide you on a journey to discover the stories of Irish emigration around the world, from early times to the modern day.

Over the centuries, some 10 million people have left the island of Ireland. At EPIC, you can step through 20 themed galleries to discover why people left, see how they influenced the world they found, and experience the connection between their descendants and Ireland today.

Immerse yourself in the stories of some of the most remarkable tales of sacrifice, endurance, adventure, and discovery the world has ever known. EPIC brings these amazing stories to life uniquely and spectacularly.

Contact Details:

Address: The CHQ Building, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1

Tel: +353(0)1 906 0861

Web: epicirelandchq.com

Getting There:

Hop off the CityScape Tour at Stop 11 Custom House Quay(see Route Map)


Dublinia is a heritage centre in the heart of Dublin City. Located at the crossroads of St Michael’s Hill, Patrick St, and High Street, Dublinia is fast becoming one of the top attractions in Dublin, with almost 125 000 visitors a year. There are three exciting and interactive exhibitions to be seen at Dublinia.

The first is ‘Viking Dublin’, which takes the visitor back to life in the city in Viking times. Here you will see what life was like on board a Viking warship. You will visit a Viking house, stroll down a Viking street and even try on Viking clothes!

The second exhibition is ‘Medieval Dublin’, where you learn about warfare, crime and punishment, death and disease and even medical remedies of 700 years ago. See the city as it would have looked then in a display featuring a busy medieval market, a wealthy merchant’s house and a noisy medieval street.

The third and final exhibition is the ‘History hunters’. In this exhibition, you will see genuine Viking and Medieval artefacts, including those of a medieval skeleton found in Dublin. The collection even includes an excavation site and a lab to discover more and test your newfound archaeology skills.

A visit to Dublinia is a must-see to learn all about Dublin’s long and colourful history and is a fun day out for visitors of all ages.

Contact Details:

Address: St Michael’s Hill, Christ Church, Dublin 8, Ireland

Tel: +353 (0)1 6794611

Getting There:

Hop off the CityScape Tour at Stop 25 Christ Church Place (see Route Map)

Why Visit Ireland in April and May?


Why Visit Ireland in April and May?

As naturalist John Muir says, “The mountains are calling…, and I must go.”

Enjoy images of some of the Wild Atlantic Way mountains and hills in this photoblog to whet your peak-bagging appetite.

Spring it!

Here’s why you should visit Ireland in spring. Have you thought about visiting Ireland in April or May? Check out why you should plan next year’s trip during the Irish spring season.

1. The Flowers are Blooming

Fresh flowers blooming in Adare, Co. Limerick

Ireland in Spring - Adare, Co. Limerick

In Ireland, Mother Nature creates her bouquets, and flowers are in vivid abundance. Bright, new leaves have sprouted, filling out Ireland’s impressive green forests and parks. If you choose to visit Ireland in spring, you’ll get the chance to experience Irish flowers at their very best during springtime!

Irish wildflowers and manicured gardens are newly-bloomed in April and May, blanketing the ground in vibrant yellows, pinks, blues and purples. The forest floors are covered in a layer of bright bluebells, old stone walls become home to wildflowers and weeds, and the gardens of Ireland’s grand manors explode in blooms.

One of the best places to see Irish wildflowers would be in the Burren National Park. This exposed limestone landscape erupts in a quilt of colour, growing and sprouting out of the cracks in the craggy landscape. The Burren is incredibly diverse for wildflowers, with flowers that typically sprout from the Arctic to the Mediterranean, blanketing the landscape.

2. Enjoy the Freshest Air in Europe

The Wellington Statue, Phoenix Park Dublin

The secret’s out – Ireland has some of Europe’s freshest air as it flows off the Atlantic Coast! And our lovely fresh Irish air is best enjoyed in springtime. Take a break from the stuffy city air, replacing the din and commotion of urban life instead of with the clear, fresh air of the Emerald Isle.

The combined odour of fresh flowers, soft rain, new grass and the last of this season’s chimney smoke is one of the best perfumes Mother Nature has created – and is a reason to hop over to the Emerald Island.

While all of our trips are perfect for getting fresh air, you might like Island Hopping in Cork & Kerry, as you’ll get the fresh island breeze while sailing to and hiking around each island.

Hiking by Killarney’s lakes during spring

3. Avoid the Summer Crowds

Bushmills Distillery Tours

For those who prefer to travel off the beaten path, you’d probably choose to visit in the off-peak season to avoid the crowds – which is why you should visit Ireland in spring. The silence of spring lets you best enjoy nature the way it was intended and makes it more enjoyable to hike and bike your way through Ireland. You’ll also be able to get the best prices – and you’ll have a better chance of meeting with the locals!

Visit famous tourist attractions in the pre-season for a new perspective.

4. New Life (and Lambs)

baby seal Ireland

Baby seals are just one of the wildlife you might find in Ireland!

Ireland is known as a rural and agricultural country. Indeed, most of Ireland’s most unique and sought-after destinations are in the countryside. It’s also a place known for its sheep and cows. Not quite as fluffy or white as cartoons and children’s books would have you believe, sheep are still quite cute. Spring is the best time to visit because it’s lambing season, and the fields will be full of bouncing fluffy bundles of joy! In other areas, you’ll find adorable calves.

Of course, lambs and calves aren’t the one baby animal in spring. The island is buzzing with life as all of the little critters come out of hiding. From baby seals to returning migrating birds, there’s no better time to explore Ireland’s natural beauty to meet the island’s wildlife than in April and May!

The best time to see puffins is also spring and early summer – April, May, and June are the best months to see puffins. Frequently, islands serve as bird havens. Find these fantastic birds in a place like the Skellig Islands in Kerry, Wexford’s Saltee Islands or Northern Ireland’s Rathlin Island.

Find some other Irish wildlife spots here

In spring, you might like to visit popular sites like:

5. Better Availability

Ashford Castle in spring

Ashford Castle in spring is simply magical!

As fewer fellow tourists travel in April and May, you’ll have more flexibility and choice. Have a specific accommodation in mind? You’ll have a better chance of getting that particular accommodation and type of room if you travel earlier in the year.

This goes for popular activities, such as boat trips in Killarney or especially out to the Skellig Islands, or more local activities like sheep demonstrations, foraging experiences or exclusive visits. Prices are often better as well!