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14 Best Museums in Dublin (2024 Edition)

14 Best Museums in Dublin (2024 Edition)

In search of the best museums in Dublin? You’ve landed in the right spot.

When it comes to mighty museums Dublin punches well above its weight, but there’s a problem.

Many of the finest museums in the city get overlooked, with a few (understandably!) stealing the limelight.

And, while the Museum of Natural History and IMMA are both wonderful places to spend an afternoon, Dublin is far from a ‘one-horse-town’ when it comes to museums, as you’ll discover below.

The best museums in Dublin

Chester Beatty

Photos courtesy of Chester Beatty via Ireland’s Content Pool

The topic of the best museums in Dublin is one that stirs up a fair bit of debate online, and rightly so.

In this guide, I’ve included Dublin museums that I’ve visited and loved along with ones that have racked up consistent rave reviews online.

1. The Dublinia Museum


Photos courtesy Dublinia via Ireland’s Content Pool

I’d argue that Dublinia is one of the best museums in Dublin if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the city’s Viking past.

From creating the first Irish trade routes to constructing what’s arguably Ireland’s most famous cathedral (Christ Church Cathedral), the Vikings had quite an impact in Ireland.

Visitors can experience Viking life with a visit to a Viking warship and learn warrior skills while also immersing themselves in Medieval Dublin’s bustling city, exploring crime, punishment, and remedies of the time.

It’s worth visiting to see the building alone. The museum is housed in Synod Hall – a 19th century structure designed by George Edmund Street, the man that led the restoration of Christ Church.

If you’re looking for unique museums in Dublin that pack a punch, carve out time to visit Dublinia!

2. 14 Henrietta Street

14 Henrietta Street

Bottom right: Fionn McCann. Others: Antoinette Reilly

I’m fresh off the back of a visit to 14 Henrietta Street. Now, before visiting, I wouldn’t have classed this as a museum, but it’s described as a ‘social history museum of Dublin life’, and it tells the story beautifully.

The minute you step onto Henrietta Street, you get a sense of what’s coming – the street itself is almost like stepping back in time.

The tour here is delivered by passionate guides who offer an insight into the history of the area and how it went from a once affluent corner of Dublin to a place where people lived hand-to-mouth.

This is one of the more unique Dublin museums, and the combination of storytelling, visual displays, 3D renderings and room reconstructions grip your attention from beginning to end.

3. The Chester Beatty

Chester Beatty

Photos courtesy of Chester Beatty via Ireland’s Content Pool

The Chester Beatty is one of a handful of free museums in Dublin. I’ve been here on several occasions and it never fails to deliver an enjoyable experience.

Sir Alfred Chester Beatty was one of the greatest collectors of the 20th century. During his lifetime, he collected thousands of artefacts, including everything from Egyptian Books of the Dead to contemporary Chinese woodblock prints.

In his later years, Beatty (and his collection) relocated to Dublin. A chunk of his incredibly impressive collection is now housed in the Chester Beatty in Dublin Castle.

The only issue that I’d have with the Chester Beatty is that I found it hard to read some of the information placards, as they were very low down. If you need glasses, bring ’em!

4. The Museum of Natural History

The Dead Zoo

Photos courtesy James Fennell via Ireland’s Content Pool

A visit to the Museum of Natural History, AKA ‘the Dead Zoo’, is up there as one of the best free things to do in Dublin (especially when it’s lashing down!).

Now, although the nickname sounds a bit morbid, this is one of several Dublin museums that’ll fascinate both young and old.

You’ll find this place tucked between Leinster House and the Attorney General’s Office where it’s home to over 10,000 species of taxidermied animals.

Fascinatingly, it was opened over 160 years ago, in 1857, making it one of the oldest museums in Dublin.

5. EPIC Museum

EPIC Museum

Photo left: Eileen Coffey. Others: Ros Kavanagh (via Fáilte Ireland)

The EPIC museum is one of the newest museums in Dublin City Centre, having only opened its doors back in 2016. However, even though it’s relatively new to the scene, it’s already become a go-to for tourists.

A visit to the EPIC museum takes you on a journey to uncover what it really means to be Irish (see reviews and ticket prices).

Those that visit will hear the stories of Irish emigrants who became scientists, politicians, poets and even outlaws all across the globe

Recently crowned Europe’s leading tourist destination, the museum has welcomed everyone from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Justin Trudeau through its doors.

You’ll see this place ranking high in our guide to the best things to do in Dublin for good reason.

6. The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

Irish Museum of Modern Art

Photos via Shutterstock

Next up is the Irish Museum of Modern Art (also known as IMMA). You’ll find this place nestled in 48 acres in the heart of Dublin 8, a 15-minute walk from both Kilmainham Gaol and the Guinness Storehouse.

IMMA boasts a wide variety of art and an exhibitions programme that change regularly, ensuring there’s always something new to have a gawk at.

You can join one of the guided tours for free and get to known IMMA and the exhibitions in more detail via the words of an experienced guide.

If you’re a fan of modern art, few Dublin museums should tickle your fancy as much as IMMA!

7. The Glasnevin Cemetery Museum

Glasnevin Cemetery

Photos via Shutterstock

The Glasnevin Cemetery Museum is arguably one of the most overlooked of the many Dublin museums, mainly as it sits just outside the city.

However, if the location puts you off, keep in mind that you can combine a visit here with a trip to the Botanic Gardens and The Gravediggers, where you’ll get some of the best Guinness in Dublin.

The Glasnevin Cemetery Museum is home to a wealth of history. In fact, since waaaaaaay back in 1832, a staggering 1.5 million people have been laid to rest within its walls.

The Cemetery is sprawled over an impressive 124 acres of parkland and the tour here is top-notch. The highlight, in my opinion, is the O’Connell Tower.

Those that climb the 198 steps to the top can enjoy breath-taking views out over Dublin City and beyond. This is widely regarded as one of the best museums in Dublin for good reason.

8. The Little Museum of Dublin

Little Museum of Dublin

Photos via Tourism Ireland

The award-winning Little Museum of Dublin tells the story of Ireland’s capital, from the visit of Queen Victoria to the global success of U2 (see reviews and ticket prices).

Set in an old Georgian mansion just off Grafton Street and right across from St Stephen’s Green, this gorgeous Dublin museum is packed with an endless number of things to discover.

From James Joyce to John F Kennedy, you’ll be immersed in countless stories and tales. There’s also plenty of weird and wonderful little artefacts and bits of random memorabilia on show.

This is one of the more unique museums in Dublin and, while it won’t take you long to get around it, it’s home to plenty of interesting bits and bobs to keep you entertained.

9. The GPO Museum


Photos via Shutterstock

The GPO 1916 tour is excellent. I did it a couple of years back and I’ve been banging on about it to people since. When you walk into the GPO 1916 tour, you nearly feel like you’ve stepped out onto a battlefield.

From the minute the tour begins, you feel completely immersed in the action. The exhibition puts you right inside Dublin’s GPO during Easter Week in 1916.

It’s highly visual and conveys the events in an easy-to-digest, dramatic manner that’ll leave you with a totally different perspective of the General Post Office and O’Connell Street forever more.

10. The National Museum of Ireland (Archaeology)

Archaeology Museum

Photos via National Museum of Ireland on FB

The National Museum of Ireland (Archaeology) is one of the most popular museums in Dublin City Centre. The fact that it’s home to some mummies (yes, mummies!) helps.

The preserved remains you’ll find as part of the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland are a little spookier than those resting in the vaults at St. Michan’s.

These leathery-looking remains were human sacrifices that were then mummified by the Irish bogs they were buried in.

There’s plenty of other interesting artefacts to have a nosey at here and, like some of the other Dublin museums, it’s free!

11. The Irish Whiskey Museum

Irish Whiskey Museum

Photos by Brian Morrison via Failte Ireland

The Irish Whiskey Museum is a fine spot to learn about the history of Irish whiskey (you get to sample several types, too!).

The tour takes you through 4 different rooms, each of which represents a different period in Irish history.

In 2013, there were only 4 whiskey distilleries in Ireland and five visitor centers. Now, there are 24 operational distilleries and 28 more in different planning stages.

The Irish Whiskey Museum remains independent from all whiskey distilleries and provides an insightful and impartial insight into the world of whiskey in Ireland.

The tours are interactive and there are some tales that whiskey novices like myself should find interesting (see reviews and ticket prices).

12. National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History

National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History

Photos courtesy of 256 via Fáilte Ireland

The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History is located at Collins Barracks in Stoneybatter, around a 10-minute walk from the Jameson Distillery.

Housed in a former military barracks, this museum showcases an extensive collection of decorative arts, fashion, furniture, and historical artifacts which offer an insight into the daily lives of Irish people over the centuries.

As you step into the vast exhibition halls, you’ll encounter an impressive array of items, including intricate silverware, delicate ceramics, and stunning textiles that reflect the artistic and creative achievements of Ireland’s past. 

One of the museums highlights is the “Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising”  exhibition which explores the pivotal events of the Easter Rising.

13. The Irish Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum Experience

Next up is one of the most unusual museums in Dublin City Centre – the Irish Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum.

You find this place in Temple Bar, where it’s welcomed artists like Christy Moore and Rihanna over the years (see reviews and ticket prices).

Those that step inside its doors will discover all things weird and wonderful related to the Irish music industry. 30 years of musical history come together in one big experience.

Visitors will receive an access all areas pass that’ll provide entry to the backstage area at the renowned Button Factory venue, behind the Wall of Fame and to the recording studios where Glen Hansard’s Oscar award-winning film Once was filmed.

14. MoLI – Museum of Literature Ireland

Museum of Literature Ireland

Photo top right: Gareth McCormack. Others: Antoinette Reilly

We’ve saved one of the best museums in Dublin City Centre till last – MoLI – Museum of Literature Ireland (see reviews and ticket prices). It’s within theses walls that you’ll discover Ireland’s rich literary heritage.

There’s immersive exhibitions, beautiful gardens and plenty more to discover here. Although it’s a while since I last visited, I remember the Historic House Tour as the highlight.

It’s here that you explore Numbers 85 and 86 on St Stephen’s Green. These are examples of Georgian architecture at it’s finest.

Dublin museums: Which ones have we missed?

I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant Dublin museums from the guide above.

If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!

FAQs about the best museums in Dublin City Centre

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Which Dublin museums are free?’ to ‘What are the most interesting museums in Dublin?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

What are the best museums in Dublin to visit this weekend?

Personally, I think it’s hard to beat EPIC, 14 Henrietta Street, Kilmainham Gaol and The Chester Beatty Museum.

What Dublin museums are free to enter?

The Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Natural History and The Chester Beatty are all free to enter.

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Gary Hufford

Wednesday 22nd of June 2022

I totally agree with your review. We had visited Epic two weeks ago We visited 14 Henrietta and Chester Beatty today based on your recommendation Perfect call for all

Thanks gary

California and Washington

Keith O'Hara

Wednesday 22nd of June 2022

Cheers Gary! Glad you enjoyed!


Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Hi Keith! My wife and me will be in Dublin for the 1 April's weekend. We intend to visit one museum ( no time for more). I was curious about henrietta street and the little museum. What should be the right option for a senior visitant in his first time in Dublin. Thank's and congrats for your text. António Portugal

Keith O'Hara

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Hey Antonio! So, one thing about both of the museums that you've mentioned is that there's several steep staircases to climb in both. This might not be a problem, but I wanted to flag it for you, just in case. Having visited both museums recently, I'd lean towards Henriatta St. Another good option is the EPIC Museum on the Quays. Have a great trip!

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