Howaya! So, there are heaps of museums in Dublin. Some are good, some are great and some, well, some are worth dodging altogether.
If you’ve had a nosey at our guide to what to do in Dublin (a locals guide!), you’ll have seen a handful of the museums in Dublin that you’re about to discover below.
From the brilliant Little Museum of Dublin to EPIC HQ, we’ll take you to a mix of paid and free museums in Dublin that are well worth visiting.
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The best museums in Dublin
Ireland’s capital boasts a wealth of history. If you’d like to dive into it, you can do so via one of many finely curated museums in Dublin City and beyond.
In the guide below, we’ll show you what we think are the best museums Dublin has to offer. Have one you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments section!
1. The Little Museum of Dublin
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.
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.
If you’re looking for things to do in Dublin when it’s raining, the Little Museum of Dublin is well worth a visit (especially as it’s near to some of the best restaurants in Dublin, so you can grab a feed after!).
2. The Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
Next up is a museum in Dublin that doesn’t get half the credit that it deserves, mainly due to the fact that it lays a little bit outside of the city.
Glasnevin Cemetary 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. Well worth visiting!
3. EPIC Museum Dublin
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. 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.
4. Kilmainham Gaol (the best museum in Dublin according to Tripadvisor reviews)
A visit to Kilmainham Gaol is an experience and a half. Kilmainham’s Gaol opened in 1796, serving as the County Gaol for Dublin City and the wider county.
It’s within the walls of Kilmainham that leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848,1867 and 1916 were detained and, in several cases, executed.
Many members of the Irish Republican movement during the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21) were also detained in Kilmainham while being guarded by British troops.
There’s a reason why Kilmainham Gaol ranked so high in our guide to the best things to do in Dublin – the museum tour here packs a punch.
5. The Irish Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum Experience
Next up is one of the most unusual museums in Dublin – 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.
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.
6. The Museum of Natural History (one of the best free museums in Dublin)
If you read our guide to the best free things to do in Dublin, you may recognise the Museum of Natural History, AKA ‘the Dead Zoo’.
Now, although this sounds a bit morbid, it’s well worth dropping in to. Those that ramble inside will discover over 10,000 species of taxidermied animals on display.
You’ll find this place tucked between Leinster House and the Attorney General’s Office, where it’s been tipping away for around 160 years, which makes it one of the oldest museums in Dublin.
7. Learn about Ireland’s turbulent past on The GPO 1916 Tour
The GPO 1916 tour is excellent. I did it a couple of years back and I’ve been recommending 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 forevermore.
8. See the mummies at the National Museum of Ireland
Who knew Dublin had so many mummies?! The preserved remains you’ll find as part of the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland (not the one pictured above) are a little spookier than those resting in the vaults at St. Michan’s.
These leathery-looking remains were human sacrifices who were then mummified by the Irish bogs they were buried in. The best part: A visit to the National Museum of Ireland won’t cost you a cent, making it one of the top free things to do in Dublin.
9. The Croke Park Museum and Skyline Tour
If you’re looking for a museum in Dublin that punches well above its weight, get yourself to Croke Park. Visitors here can head off on a museum/skyline tour combo.
First, take some time to step back in time and discover the rich history of sport in Dublin and across Ireland (interesting even if you’ve no interest in GAA).
Then make your way up to the skyline where you’ll ramble along Dublin’s highest open-viewing platform where you’ll be treated to mighty views of the city’s landmarks from beginning to end.
10. Get inspired at the Irish Museum of Modern Art
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 (there are some nice walks nearby!).
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, this place should be right up your street.
11. The Dublin Writers Museum
Last but by no means least is the Dublin Writers Museum. You’ll find it located in a beautiful decorated 18th-century mansion in Dublin City, a stone’s throw from the Garden of Remembrance.
Inside, you’ll discover a collection that boasts the works of Dublin’s literary heavyweight (Shaw, Wilde, Yeats, Joyce, Beckett and more).
The museum tells their story through books, letters and personal items, with highlights from the museum including everything from Samuel Beckett’s phone to fascinating exhibitions.
The best museums in Dublin: Which ones have we missed?
As always, I’ve no doubt that there are other museums in Dublin that we’ve unintentionally left out of the guide above. Have somewhere to recommend?
Let me know in the comments below and we’ll check it out! Cheers!