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.

Opening Hours:
The Casino is open from 17th March to 6th November.
The parkland around the Casino is open 7am to 6.45pm.
Access to the building by guided tour only, tours at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm.
Maximum capacity per tour is 25.
School or larger group tours at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.
No online booking, call or email for booking enquiries.

Contact & Pricing:
casinomarino.ie
casino.marino@opw.ie
Tel: 01 833 1618
Casino Marino, Cherrymount Crescent, Malahide Road, Marino, Dublin 3.
Adults €5; concessions

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 Hours:
Mon – Sat: 9.45am – 5.30pm; Wed: late opening – 8pm
Sun: 12pm – 5.30pm
Free public tours take place every Wednesday at 5.30pm, Saturday at 11am and Sunday at 3pm. Suitable for individual visitors, families and small groups (under 15 participants).
Booking required only for groups of 7 or more.

Closed on Monday for the months of November-February inclusive.
Closed January 1; Good Friday; December 24-26

Contact & Pricing:
chesterbeatty.ie
Dublin Castle, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 407 0750
Admission free; suggested donation €10

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 Hours:

Mon, Wed and Friday and Sat: 9.30 am – 6pm
Tues and Thurs: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Sun: 12:30pm – 3pm and 4:30pm – 6pm
Opening times may vary seasonally.
Please see here for current opening hours, and for exceptions to regular opening hours.

Admission includes a self-guided tour of the cathedral & crypt, and an audio guide. Audio guides are available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian.

Group tickets can be purchased in advance.
Please note that guided group tours must be pre-booked.

Contact & Pricing:
christchurchcathedral.ie
welcome@christchurch.ie
Tel: 01 677 8099
Christchurch Place, Dublin 8
Adults €11.50; concessions

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.

Opening Hours:
The venue is open from 10:30am – 11pm or later 7 days a week.
Self-guided tours are from 10:30am until 5pm.
You can use this leaflet (in a variety of languages) to guide you through your visit.
Persons under 21 will not be permitted on the premises at any time without a guardian.

Contact & Pricing:
www.thechurch.ie
reservations@thechurch.ie
Tel: 01 828 0102
Junction of Mary St & Jervis St, Dublin 1

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. The stadium tour is on hold pending a return to normal routines post-pandemic.

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 Hours:
Tours usually run 7 days a week 11am – 3pm, but frequency varies depending on day and month. Tours may be restricted on match days.
There are 3 tour options:
GAA Museum Only – €9.50
Stadium Tour & GAA Museum –  €17
Skyline Tour & GAA Museum –  €23

The Skyline Tour includes access to the stadium roof, therefore on health and safety grounds, there are some restrictions on who can participate.

To check times and book tickets visit: bookings.gaamuseum.ie

Contact & Pricing:
www.crokepark.ie
info@crokepark.ie
Tel: 01 819 2300
Croke Park, St Joseph’s Avenue, Dublin 3
Adults from €9; concessions

Custom House

Custom House Visitor Centre

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.

James Gandon’s architectural masterpiece now houses a fully reimagined exhibition created by award-winning designers whose previous work includes exhibitions at Killarney House and Dublin Castle, with contributions from leading Irish historians and academics, featuring a narrative journey revealing a story with many layers, of people, heritage and history, spanning over 200 years.

The exhibition flows and develops chronologically using each space to tell a chapter in the story, taking visitors from Dublin in the late 1700s through to the 21st century and giving them the unique and authentic experience of being inside the walls of one of the city’s most iconic buildings.

The new visitor experience takes visitors on a narrative journey through the building itself, highlighting the magnificent architecture and using first-hand accounts, personal stories, and artefacts to tell the story of the building and the city from the 1700s up to the present day.

The exhibition shows how the building witnessed some of the most momentous events in Irish history, from the 1916 Easter Rising to the birth of the Irish Free State and eventually the Republic of Ireland. The fulcrum of this story is the burning of the Custom House in May 1921; this event is brought to life though captivating audio visual interpretation and artefacts from the period.

Opening Hours:
Open 7 days a week (including Public Holidays) from 9.45am – 5.30 pm.
The Centre is usually open from 28 – 30 December.
Closed 24 – 27 December, 31 December and 1 January.

Contact & Pricing:
heritageireland.ie/places-to-visit/custom-house-visitor-centre/
customhousevc@opw.ie
Tel: 046 940 7140
Custom Quay, Dublin 1
Adults €8 (guided tour); Adults €6 (self-guided); concessions
Credit/Debit card required to purchase tickets.

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.

Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri 10am – 6.00pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Sat, Sun & Bank Holidays 11am – 6.00 pm
Open until 6pm in June, July & August.

Special events, tours and prices vary seasonally.
Advanced online booking is recommended.
Entry to the Heritage Centre is included in the guided tour price.

Contact & Pricing:
dalkeycastle.com
info@dalkeycastle.com
Tel: 01 285 8366.
Castle Street, Dalkey, Co. Dublin.
Adults starting from €16; 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.

Opening Hours:
Weekdays only.
Mon – Thurs: 9am – 4pm, last tour at 3pm
Fri: 9am – 1pm, last tour at 12pm
Tours on the hour every hour, starting at 10am.

Access to the castle and grounds is by guided tour only.
Pre-booking by phone is required; pay on arrival.

Contact & Pricing:
drimnaghcastle.org
drimnaghcastle@eircom.net
Tel: 01 450 2530.
Long Mile Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12.
Adults €9; concessions. Cash only.

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.

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.

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.

Opening Hours:
Open seven days a week 9.45am – 5.45pm, last admission 5.15pm.
The State Apartments, the Undercroft and the Chapel Royal are open during these hours. Guided tours run hourly from 10am-4pm, with tickets available online and at the venue. Self-guided or group tours can be booked in advance.
Revenue Museum is open weekdays from 10am to 4pm.
Garda Museum and Archives are open to the public weekdays from 10am to 2pm.

All attractions on this site are closed Good Friday,  25 – 27 December & 1 January.
As Dublin Castle is a working Irish Government building, security, access to rooms and opening arrangements may be subject to change at short notice.
Please check the website for updates before visiting.

Contact & Pricing:
dublincastle.ie
dublincastle@opw.ie
museum@revenue.ie
museum@garda.ie
Tel: 046 942 2213 (General enquiries)
01 863 5601 (Revenue Museum)
01 666 9998 (Garda Museum)
Dame Street, Dublin 2
Adults from €8; concessions

Dublin City Hall

Dublin City Hall

Dublin City Hall was built between 1769 and 1779 (designed by Thomas Cooley). It is the headquarters of Dublin City Council and is the place where the Lord Mayor and City Councillors hold meetings to discuss present and future plans for Dublin.

City Hall was originally built as the Royal Exchange and was used by the merchants of Dublin as a financial centre until Dublin Corporation bought the building in 1851. It was renovated and re-opened in 1852. The building underwent a major refurbishment programme in 1998-2000 and has been restored to its former 18th century glory.

Situated in an historic quarter of Dublin, City Hall is neighbour to Christ Church Cathedral and Dublin Castle.

Noteworthy features of the building are the magnificent Hall and Rotunda (an elegant space with a circular dome, like a small-scale version of similar buildings in Rome); statues of Daniel O’Connell, Thomas Davis, Henry Grattan, Charles Lucas and Thomas Drummond; and a set of twelve paintings representing scenes from the history and mythology of the city. There is a detailed brochure available in the lobby explaining the various art works.

Twelve columns support the dome of the Rotunda, with a mural between each one. There are twelve murals in total, eight of which depict a famous legendary or historical scene, such as St Patrick baptising the King of Dublin. The remaining four show the Coat of Arms of the four provinces: Ulster, Leinster, Connacht and Munster. In the centre of the floor, directly under the dome, a mosaic depicting the Coat of Arms of Dublin is encircled by four statues. These four statues are of figures that played an important role in the development of Irish society.

The Rotunda is impressive, not only for its elegance and beauty, but for its rich and vibrant history. Admission to the entrance hall is free and it can also be hired for events such as civil wedding ceremonies, book launches and fashion shows.

Opening Hours:
Open Mon to Sat: 10am – 4pm
Closed Sun, Bank Holidays, St Patrick’s Day, Good Friday, 24 – 26 Dec & 1 Jan
May be closed to the public when booked for private events and wedding ceremonies.

Contact & Pricing:
dublincity.ie/residential/arts-and-events/city-hall
cityhall@dublincity.ie
Tel: 01 222 2204
Dame Street, Dublin 2
Admission free