Places to visit: Exhibitions

National Photographic Archive

National Photographic Archive

The National Photographic Archive houses the photographic collections of the National Library of Ireland (5.2 million photographs). There is a reading room and a gallery which showcases a programme of regularly changing exhibitions. Over 20,000 glass plate negatives (1870-1954) have been digitised and are viewable online.

The reading room in the NPA is open to researchers, by prior appointment only, Tues-Thur from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and Wednesday from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm. You can make an appointment by phone at 01-6030373 or by emailing

From Ballots to Bullets, Ireland 1918-1919 – At the start of 1918, Ireland was at war – fighting for Britain in World War I. By the end of 1919, Ireland was at war with Britain – fighting for independence. The exhibition – From Ballots to Bullets – invites the visitor to share in a selection of events and stories from these turbulent years.

Open every day: Monday to Saturday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm and 12.00 pm to 5.00 pm on Sundays.

Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01 603 0200.

Admission free.

National Print Museum

National Print Museum ***

The National Print Museum is a museum of printing craft skills. It has a collection of over 10,000 objects that covers the whole range of the printing craft in Ireland. The collection consists of printing machinery and artefacts including printing blocks, metal and wooden movable type, ephemera, photographs, books, pamphlets, periodicals and one banner. The collection policy covers from the introduction of movable type to Ireland (in the 16th century) to the present day.

Open all year Mon-Fri 9.00 am-5.00 pm; Sat-Sun 2.00 pm-5.00 pm.
Closed Bank Holiday weekends.
Closed 21 Dec-Jan 1.

Self-guided tours. Also guided tours for individual visitors and pre-booked groups. The tour takes you through the history of printing, and the museum’s three part print-shop style exhibition (composing, printing and finishing areas). Caution – parking on site is very limited and parking “clampers” are active.

Free tour every Sunday at 3.00 pm (excluding Bank Holiday weekends). No booking required.

Daily guided tours at 11.30 am and 2.30 pm, Mon– Fri. No afternoon tours on Wednesdays.

Garrison Chapel, Beggars Bush Barracks, Haddington Road, Dublin 4.

Tel: 01 6603770.

Adults €5; concessions.

Number 29 Fitzwilliam St

Number Twenty Nine Fitzwilliam Street Lower

Number Twenty Nine Fitzwilliam Street Lower is a Georgian House Museum. You go on a self-guided tour from the basement to the attic. The rooms are furnished with original artefacts from 1790-1820, illustrating how life was lived in the late Georgian era by upper middle-class Dublin families. The museum is sponsored by the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) in partnership with the National Museum.

The Museum is temporarily closed to facilitate the construction of a new ESB Head Office Complex. This construction work will be completed in late 2020.

Open mid-Feb to mid-Dec Tues-Sat: 10.00 am-5.00 pm.
Closed Sun, Mon.

Guided tours (on a first come, first served basis) each afternoon at 3.00 pm; group tours are on a pre-arranged booked basis (11.00 am).

Fitzwilliam Street Lower, Dublin 2.


Adults €6; concessions.

Pearse Museum

Pearse Museum

The Pearse Museum was once a school run by Patrick Pearse (of 1916 fame). Set in attractive grounds, the museum houses an exhibition, with an audio-visual show entitled “This Man Kept a School”.

Open Nov-Jan every day 9.30 am-4.00 pm.
Open Feb every day 9.30 am-5.00 pm.
Open Mar-Oct every day 9.30 am-5.30 pm.
Open Sundays and Bank Holidays at 10.00 am (the closing time varies, as per the seasonal opening hours above).
Closed over the Christmas period.

St. Enda’s Park, Grange Road, Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin.

Tel: 01 493 4208.

Admission free. Café on site.

Royal Hospital Kilmainham

Royal Hospital Kilmainham ***

The Royal Hospital Kilmainham is a 17th Century building modelled on Les Invalides in Paris as a home for old, sick and disabled soldiers. The building contains the Master’s Quarters, the Great Hall, the Chapel, a magnificent Courtyard and a Vaulted Cellar. There are notable formal gardens. The Royal Hospital is now home to the Irish Museum of Modern Art/IMMA (please click here for more information about IMMA).

There is a small but excellent exhibition – “Old Man’s House” – about the history of the Hospital and its pensioners.

Heritage guided tours are provided on request only (please email to enquire).

You can read a full account of the Hospital’s fascinating history at

Military Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8.

Tel: 01 612 9900.

Admission free.

Science Gallery

Science Gallery

The Science Gallery is a venue promoting current areas of science and art-science collaborations. It is noted for its knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff. There are 4-6 temporary exhibitions each year, as well as lectures and other events.


OPEN LABS is a Science Gallery Dublin first, a group exhibition curated by the Office of Life +Art, featuring work from Art Science Bangalore (IN), Bioart Society (FI), Hackers & Designers (NL) and Public Lab (US), as well as Science Gallery Dublin’s OPENSHOP (IRE). These labs celebrate collective curiosity and challenge the expectations of what a lab can do and why it should exist.

This exhibition showcases surprising projects and experiments from around the world that can help us imagine the many directions independent creative research can take in the future. Artists and designers are accessing and hacking emerging technologies, or co-creating technologies that are inspired by their political convictions, personal obsessions or just a sense of fun and wonder.  The exhibition looks at how the tools we have can be used in new and different ways to potentially improve or unearth new truths about the world we live in. OPEN LABS is in Beta-mode, experimenting, showing and telling, with a goal of creating new ideas and new solutions.

It is essential to consult the Gallery’s website for detailed current information.

Opening hours –
Tuesday – Friday 11.00 am to 7.00 pm; Saturday & Sunday 12.00 pm-6.00 pm; Closed Mondays.

Quirky gift shop.

Naughton Institute, Pearse Street, Trinity College, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01 896 4091.

Admission free.



Trinity College

Trinity College Dublin *****

Trinity College Dublin  was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I and is an atmospheric 40-acre site in the heart of the city. Treasures on view include the Book of Kells; the Books of Durrow and Armagh; and an early Irish harp. All are displayed in the Treasury and the Old Library/Long Room (which houses 200,000 rare books).

The Book of Kells is Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and is the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. The 9th Century book is a richly decorated copy of the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ.  A must-see is the  Book of Kells “Turning Darkness into Light” exhibition.

Opening Hours
Mon – Sat (Oct – Apr) 9.30 am – 5.00 pm
Mon – Sat (May – Sept) 8.30 am – 5.00 pm
Sun (Oct – Apr) 12.00 pm – 4:30  pm
Sun (May – Sept) 9:30  am – 5.00 pm
Easter Opening Times may vary from this: check the Trinity website for up-to-date details.

Trinity Library, College Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01 896 1000.

Online prices: Adults €11 (off-peak) or €14 (peak). You avoid queuing by booking online. It is unclear from the website if a higher admission price applies when you do not book online.

See separate entries for the Science Gallery & the Zoological Museum.

Enjoy student-led walking tours through the four historical squares of the campus, providing a history of the university, its buildings and its historic context. Tours in the high season (June-September) depart from the front gate daily from 9.15 am (last tour 3.40 pm, last tour on Sundays/Bank Holidays at 3.15 pm). The tour schedule displayed at the Front Gate always takes precedence over information available on the website.

Tour ticket €6. Combination ticket (Tour and admission to the Book of Kells and the Old Library) €15. These tour tickets can only be bought in person (they are not available online). In the low season, regular tours take place on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays only. You must check the Trinity website for accurate details about tour times ( No tours on St Patrick’s Day (March 17th).

Trinity College Zoological Museum

Zoological Museum (Trinity College)

Getting your picture taken through the jaws of a shark and feeling the might of a crocodile’s teeth are just some of the thrills on offer at Trinity College’s Zoological Museum. This 250-year old collection houses 25,000 specimens. Despite over two centuries of disruption and change, much of the collection remains intact and provides a vital undergraduate teaching resource for the Department of Zoology.

The Zoological Museum holds some of the most amazing creatures on the planet.

  • Don’t miss the tragic tale of Ireland’s Last Great Auk. Extinct since 1844, only a handful of these beautiful birds survive in museums today.
  • Meet Prince Tom, the ‘Royal’ elephant who travelled the world with Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Alfred.
  • Have your photograph taken through the jaws of a Great White Shark.
  • Admire the world-renowned delicate glass artworks of sea creatures crafted by father and son team Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka in the 19th century.
  • Keep clear of the giant Gavial – Is it as fierce as it looks?
  • Hold one of the world’s strangest teeth – What animal do you think it’s from?
  • Look out for the Tasmanian wolf – Is it really extinct?

Open Mon-Sun 10.30 am-4.00 pm (1 June to 31 August only).

Zoological Museum, School of Natural Sciences, Department of Zoology, Trinity College, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-8961366.

Admission €3.


Battle of the Boyne

Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre

The Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre is located in the recently restored 18th century Oldbridge House, which is on the battle site. The Battle of the Boyne between King William III and his father-in-law, King James II, was fought on 1 July 1690 (11 July according to our modern calendar).

Both kings commanded their armies in person. William had 36,000 men and James had 25,000 – the largest number of troops ever deployed on an Irish battlefield. English, Scottish, Dutch, Danes and Huguenots (French Protestants) made up William’s army (Williamites), while James’ men (Jacobites) were mainly Irish Catholics, reinforced by 6,500 French troops sent by King Louis XIV. At stake were the British throne, French dominance in Europe and religious power in Ireland.

William’s camp was on the north side of the river. James’s was on the south side with the two armies facing each other. William’s battle plan was to trap the Jacobite army in a pincer movement. He sent 10,000 men towards Slane which drew the bulk of the Jacobities upstream in response. With 1,300 Jacobites posted in Drogheda, only 6,000 were left at Oldbridge to confront 26,000 Williamites. All the fighting took place on the south side of the river, as the vastly outnumbered Jacobites defended their position against the advancing Williamites. William himself crossed at Drybridge with 3,500 mounted troops.

The pincer movement failed. King James’s army retreated across the River Nanny at Duleek and regrouped west of the Shannon to carry on the war. Approximately 1,500 soldiers were killed at the Boyne.

There is an admission fee to the House. There is free access to the battle site, to the parklands and to the formal gardens. One can also visit displays of original and replica 17th Century  weaponry, exhibitions, an audiovisual programme, and a walled garden.

‌Oldbridge House was built in the 1740’s by either John Coddington or his nephew Dixie Coddington. It is believed to have been designed by George Darley, a local mason architect who also designed the renovated Dunboyne Castle, Dowth House and The Tholsel in Drogheda, Co. Louth. To the left of the house there is a cobble stone stable yard with fine cut stable block. This originally contained coach houses, stables, tack and feed rooms. To the right of the house is a small enclosed courtyard which contains the former butler’s house which is not open to the public.

The Victorian walled garden has been recently restored, along with a glasshouse and a unique sunken octagonal garden. There is a Garden Exhibition in the Bothy. The garden facilities are open daily all year round and admission is free.

Optional self guiding walks are available through the core battle site and Oldbridge Estate. The use of these walks is free of charge. Several orientation panels and maps are located at the start and access points to the walks.

Self-guided tours.

Group tours (for ten or more persons) can be booked.

Open May-Sept daily 9.00 am-5.00 pm;
Oct-Apr daily 9.00 am-4.00 pm.
Closed from 24 Dec-Jan 2.

Oldbridge, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Tel: 041 9809950.

Adults €5; concessions. Free admission on the first Wednesday of every month.

Car Park and Main Gate locked two hours after above closing times.