Places to visit: Dublin A to Z

Casino Marino Wiki

Casino Marino ***

The Casino (meaning “small house”) was designed by Sir William Chambers in the late eighteenth-century as a pleasure house for James Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont. It is widely acknowledged as the most important example of neoclassical architecture in Ireland.

One of only a handful of buildings in Ireland designed by Chambers, the most celebrated architect of his time, the Casino is full of architectural tricks, devices, and secrets. Although it looks like a one-room Greek temple from the outside, there are actually three floors and sixteen finely decorated rooms hidden inside.

The Casino is the last remaining building of Lord Charlemont’s once-spectacular demesne at Marino in Dublin which, until the late nineteenth century, extended from modern-day Collins Avenue south to Marino Mart in Fairview. The story of the demesne and the Casino itself is told through maps, models, images, and letters on display throughout the building.

The House is accessed via guided tours only. Tours are on the hour every hour. [Private tours can also be booked; these run every hour on the half-hour].

The Casino is open seven days a week from March to October.
Open 10.00 am-5.00 pm (March, April, May, October)
Open 10.00 am–6.00 pm (June, July, August, September)

Due to ongoing maintenance works, the Casino is currently closed – possibly reopening in 2019. 

www.casinomarino.ie

www.heritageireland.ie

Casino Marino, Cherrymount Crescent, Malahide Road, Marino, Dublin 3.

Tel: 01 833 1618.

Adults €7; concessions. Free admission on the first Wednesday of every month.

A new exhibition, “Tunnel Vision”, tells the story of a series of secret tunnels constructed by James Caulfeild, the purpose of which is not clearly understood. It is now known that the tunnels were used by 1921 revolutionaries (including Michael Collins) for shooting practice. Visitors can access the tunnels as part of the regular House tour on Thur-Sat only (from April 13th to November 5th).

ChesterBeatty-Scroll

Chester Beatty Library *****

With free admission and described by the Lonely Planet as not just the best museum in Ireland but one of the best in Europe, the Chester Beatty Library is a must-see on any Dublin visitor’s itinerary. Both an art museum and a library, it features rich collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, and opens a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.  If time permits, visit the rooftop garden, a secret Dublin gem. 

Manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and decorative arts complete this amazing collection, all the result of the collecting activities of one man – Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968). Egyptian papyrus texts and beautifully illuminated copies of the Qur’an, the Bible, European medieval and renaissance manuscripts are among the highlights on display. In its diversity, the collection captures much of the richness of human creative expression from about 2700 BC to the present day.

Opening Times
Mon-Fri: 10.00 am-5.00 pm (March-October)
Tues-Fri: 10.00 am-5.00 pm (November-February); closed Mondays Nov-Feb
Saturdays: 11.00 am-5.00 pm (all year)
Sundays: 1.00 pm-5.00 pm (all year)
Closed Bank Holiday Mondays, Good Friday, 24-26 Dec, 1 Jan

Free guided tours are available at 1 pm on Wednesdays, and at 2 pm and 3 pm on Sundays. Tours are on a first-come, first- served basis with no booking required. In the past, tours have been restricted to 15 visitors per tour. 

www.cbl.ie

Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01 4070750.

Admission free.

Chocolate Warehouse

Chocolate Warehouse

Take a unique and special journey through the history and joy of making chocolate. A 25 minute film explains in detail the story of chocolate and how the cocoa beans are grown and harvested. The film shows the journey of the cocoa beans from country of origin to the factory and the process the cocoa beans go through to create modern chocolate.

Visitors are given a demonstration on how both chocolates and Easter eggs are made. They are shown the machinery needed to make chocolate. The “hands on” session involves visitors putting on aprons, coating chocolates, adding toppings and hand piping with white chocolate. All participants get to decorate and package their own chocolate to take home.

Fun for both children and adults. Booking essential.

www.chocolatewarehouse.ie

Mulcahy Keane Industrial Estate, Greenhills Road, Walkinstown, Dublin 12

Tel: 01-4500080

Adults €12.50; concessions

Christchurch Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral (founded c.1028) is the spiritual heart of the city, and one of the top visitor attractions in Dublin. Enjoy the cathedral’s beautiful interior and fascinating medieval crypt.

Explore the crypt – Follow the steps that bring you beneath the cathedral and explore the medieval crypt, one of the largest in Britain and Ireland, and the earliest surviving structure in the city. The crypt houses fascinating memorials, the cat and the rat, the Treasury (an exhibition of manuscripts and treasures), an audio visual presentation, the cathedral shop and the cathedral café.

Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims – Christ Church Cathedral was a major pilgrimage site in the medieval period, with an important collection of relics ranging from a miraculous speaking cross to a piece from the crib of Jesus. Today, it is still possible to see one of these relics, the heart of Laurence O’Toole, patron saint of Dublin.

Visit the ‘Cat & the Rat’ – A mummified cat and rat are the most unusual inhabitants of the crypt and are mentioned by James Joyce in “Finnegan’s Wake”.

Experience Evensong – The choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, enjoys an enviable reputation as one of Ireland’s finest choirs, and is constantly in demand to perform in concerts, on tours and on radio broadcasts nationwide. Tracing its origins to 1493 with the founding of the choir school, the cathedral choir has always been highly regarded in Dublin’s musical life and took part in the first performance of Handel’s Messiah in Dublin in 1742.

Opening Times Mon-Sat:
March, October 9.30 am-6.00 pm
April-Sept 9.30 am–7.00 pm
Nov-Feb 9.30 am-5.00 pm
Opening times Sundays:
March, October 12.30 pm-2.30 pm, 4.30 pm-6.00 pm
April -Sept 12.30 pm-2.30 pm, 4.30 pm-7.00 pm
Nov -Feb 12.30 pm-2.30 pm

Closed 26 December

www.christchurchdublin.ie

Christchurch Place, Dublin 8.

Tel: 01 677 8099.

Adults €7; concessions.

Guided tours of the cathedral, which now all incorporate the belfry, take place at 12.10 pm, 2.00 pm, and 4.00 pm Monday – Friday; and at 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm on Saturday. All guided tours give you the opportunity to visit the belfry and ring the bells of Christ Church Cathedral yourself. The tour costs €4 (on top of the €7 normal visitor fee).

One can also enjoy the Christ Church Cathedral Belfry Tour on weekends, gaining an insight into the culture of ringers (campanologists) by a practising ringer and teacher of the art. These weekend tours take place at 11.30 am and 1.15 pm on Saturdays and at 1.15 pm on Sundays. The tour costs €4 (on top of the €7 normal visitor fee).

The Church

The Church **

The former St. Mary’s Church of Ireland is one of the earliest examples of a galleried church in Dublin. Built at the beginning of the 18th century, it boasts many outstanding features, such as the Renatus Harris built organ and a spectacular stained glass window. Important historical figures associated with St. Mary’s include Arthur Guinness, Sean O’Casey, Wolfe Tone, John Wesley, Jonathan Swift and George Frederic Handel.

St. Mary’s closed in 1964 and lay derelict for a number of years. Beautifully restored, it is now a café, bar and restaurant.

A self-guided tour is available in The Church everyday between 11.00 am and 4.00 pm.

www.thechurch.ie

The Church Café, Bar and Restaurant, Junction of Mary St & Jervis St, Dublin 1.

Tel: 01 828 0102.

Croke Park

Croke Park Stadium Tour and GAA Museum ****

Croke Park is an iconic stadium, steeped in history, and has been at the heart of Irish sporting and cultural life for over 100 years. Enjoy an unrivalled state-of-the-art interactive visitor experience and find out more about Ireland’s unique national games – hurling and Gaelic football.

The Croke Park Stadium Tour offers an access-all-areas trip through the home of Irish sport. Walk in the footsteps of legends as you visit the team dressing rooms before going pitchside and taking a seat in the VIP area. Enjoy panoramic views from the top tier of the stand – 30 metres above the famous pitch.

Explore the museum with its new exhibition galleries that vividly illustrate the story of Gaelic games from ancient times to the present day. Test your own hurling and football skills in the interactive games zone. (An added option is the Ericsson Skyline Tour – see more information at the end of this entry).

Opening Times

January – May and September – December
Monday-Friday: 11.00 am, 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm
Saturday: 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm
Sunday & Bank Holiday: 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm

June
Monday – Friday: 11.00 am, 1.00 pm, 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm
Saturday: 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm, 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm
Sunday & Bank Holiday: 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm

July and August
Monday – Saturday: 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm, 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm
Sunday & Bank Holiday: 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm

Check website for match day information (when restrictions apply).

www.crokepark.ie

Croke Park, St Joseph’s Avenue (off Clonliffe Road), Dublin 3

Tel: 01 819 2300

Adults €14; concessions

Located in the heart of the city, the Ericsson Skyline Tour is a thrilling rooftop walkway on Dublin’s highest open-viewing platform.  This guided tour offers breathtaking panoramic views and highlights all of the capital’s main landmarks, while giving you an insight into its history. Adults €20; concessions. See www.crokepark.ie

Custom House

Custom House

A masterpiece of European neo-classicism, the building of a new Custom House for Dublin was the idea of John Beresford, who became first commissioner of revenue for Ireland in 1780. In 1781 he appointed James Gandon as architect, after Thomas Cooley, the original architect on the project, had died. This was Gandon’s first large scale commission.

The new Custom House was unpopular with Dublin Corporation and some city merchants who complained that it moved the axis of the city, would leave little room for shipping, and was being built on what at the time was a swamp. Purchase of land was delayed and proved exorbitant. The project was dogged by protests. 

When it was completed and opened for business on 7 November 1791, it cost £200,000 to build.  The four facades of the building are decorated with coats-of-arms and ornamental sculptures (by Edward Smyth) representing Ireland’s rivers. Another artist, Henry Banks, was responsible for the statue on the dome. 

As the port of Dublin moved further downriver, the building’s original use for collecting custom duties became obsolete, and it was used as the headquarters of local government in Ireland. During the Irish War of Independence in 1921, the Irish Republican Army burnt down the Custom House, in an attempt to disrupt British rule in Ireland. Gandon’s original interior was completely destroyed in the fire and the central dome collapsed. A large quantity of irreplaceable historical records were also destroyed in the fire.

After the Anglo-Irish Treaty, it was restored by the Irish Free State government. Further restoration was done in the 1980s.

For quite a few years, the Custom House Visitor Centre was closed but it re-opened in March 2017. Current exhibitions are:

  • The Custom House and 1916 – the story of staff dismissed for participating in the Rising, Bureau of Military History statements regarding prisoners held in the Custom House after the Rising, and activity in the area of the Custom house during the Rising
  • The development of scientific meteorology in Ireland with a special focus on the weather of Easter Week 1916 and the weather on the 25th of May 1921, when the Custom House was attacked
  • Gandon – the story of the architect, James Gandon, and the construction of the Custom House
  • The Custom House Fire of 1921 and the subsequent restoration.

Visitor Centre open 7 days including Public Holidays from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm from 17 March to 31 August inclusive.

www.archiseek.com

www.housing.gov.ie

Custom Quay, Dublin 1

Tel: 01-888 2000

Admission free

[Historical summary provided by Wikipedia]

Dalkey Castle

Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre

Dalkey Castle is one of the seven fortified town houses/castles of Dalkey. The castles  were built to store goods off-loaded in Dalkey during the Middle Ages, when Dalkey acted as the port for Dublin. From the mid-1300s to the late 1500s, large Anglo-Norman ships could not access Dublin, as the river Liffey was silted up. But they could anchor safely in the deep waters of Dalkey Sound. The castles all had defensive features to protect goods from being plundered. These are all still visible on the site.

On site you will find a medieval castle/fortified townhouse, an early Christian Church, a state of the art Heritage Centre, and a Writers’ Gallery with portraits and interactive screens featuring the work of 45 writers and creative artists. Climb to the battlements for panoramic views of sea and mountains. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the early Christian Church and Graveyard, dedicated to Saint Begnet. Browse the interactive time line from early Christian through Viking, Medieval, Victorian and modern times.

Guided living history tours – Professional actors bring history to life with a fun theatre performance as part of the guided tour. Travel back in time and be enthralled by the work of the Archer, the Cook and the travelling Barber-Surgeon. Actors from Deilg Inis Living History Theatre Company involve you in their lives, their work and their stories. It is wise to book the tour in advance online (Adults €9.50; concessions). Entry to the Heritage Centre is included in the guided tour price.

Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 10.00 am-5.00 pm
Sat-Sun 11.00 am-5.00 pm
Closing time variable: open till 6.00 pm in the high season
Closed Tuesdays

See the Centre’s website for details of other events such as guided literary walks and low season offerings.

www.dalkeycastle.com

Tel: 01 285 8366.

Castle Street, Dalkey, Co. Dublin.

Adults €9; concessions.

Drimnagh Castle

Drimnagh Castle

This feudal stronghold is the only remaining castle in Ireland surrounded by a flooded moat. You can visit the restored great hall, the battlement tower, the stable, the coach house, and the formal 17th Century  gardens.

Open Mon-Thur 9.00 am-4.00 pm; Fri 9.00 am-1.00 pm. Weekends by appointment.

www.drimnaghcastle.org

Long Mile Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12.

Tel: 01 450 2530.

Adults €5; concessions.

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle *****

Dublin Castle operated in the past (for 700 years) as a military fortress, a prison, a treasury, the courts of law and the seat of English administration in Ireland.

The State Apartments dominate the south range of the Great Courtyard. They were built as the residential and public quarters of the Viceregal Court and were the seat of the executive and focus of fashionable and extravagant social life. Today the Apartments are the venue for Ireland’s Presidencies of the European Union, for Presidential inaugurations and for prestigious functions.

The Undercroft is sited at lower ground floor level in the Lower Castle Yard, opposite the Chapel Royal. The city walls join the Castle at this point. Here, the archway allowed small feeder boats to land provisions at the postern gate, from larger boats moored on the Liffey. The double archway and postern gate are still visible. Also on view here is the Viking defence bank, within the butt of the Norman Powder Tower. The original Tower was five stories high – the top storey being occupied by the Lord Deputy during the 16th century.

The Chapel Royal is a gothic revival building designed by Francis Johnston. It is famous for its vaulting, its particularly fine plaster decoration and carved oaks and galleries. Admission to the Chapel Royal is free.

A guided tour of the State Apartments, the medieval undercroft and the Chapel Royal is available (Adults €10 for a  guided tour or €7 for a self-guided visit; concessions). Free admission on the first Wednesday of every month. The tour is about 70 minutes long.

The State Apartments, the Undercroft and the Chapel Royal are open seven days a week from 9.45 am to 5.45 pm (last admission 5.15 pm).

Also on this site, in the Revenue Museum one can experience a unique window on the many and varied activities of the Revenue Commissioners, from tax collection to customs controls, over several centuries. In addition to exhibits old and new, the Museum (located in the Crypt of the Chapel Royal) contains audio-visual displays and instructive video games. See if you can find hidden contraband or guess the parts of a house that were subject to tax in days gone by.

Among the many exhibits are the first set of Exchequer Returns for Saorstát Éireann, a poitín still, a stamp duty machine, examples of counterfeit goods and endangered species seized at ports and airports, early computer technology, and a wide range of beautiful measuring instruments. All of these are housed in the atmospheric crypt of the Chapel Royal. Open on weekdays from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. Admission free. For more information about the Revenue Museum, phone: (01) 8635 601.

The Garda Museum and Archives are located at the Treasury Building, Dublin Castle. Here visitors will find an interesting exhibition about the history of An Garda Síochána and information on policing in Ireland before 1922.   The museum exhibits include photographs and documents outlining the history and development of policing in Ireland in the 19th/20th centuries.  The Museum is open to the public Monday to Friday from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm. Admission is free (phone 01-6669998).

All attractions on this site are closed Good Friday,  25-27 December & 1 January.

www.dublincastle.ie

www.revenue.ie

www.garda.ie

Dame Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-645 8813