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Arts and Culture in Dublin

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The Irish Republic’s fair capital city is steeped in culture stretching back to the days of the Vikings. It’s both historic and timeless, with glorious medieval churches and colleges on one hand, and a constantly innovative arts scene on the other. This is a city filled with music, creativity, and spirit.

 

Landmarks

 

It's no wonder Dublin has inspired writers and artists for generations, when the landscape itself is so stimulating to take in.

 

Trinity College

 

The hallowed halls of Dublin’s prestigious university certainly inspire intellectual pursuits. It was opened as a centre of learning in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, and today, the cloistered corridors and peaceful gardens make a beautiful setting for a morning wander, while the Old Library holds rich treasures like the ornate Book of Kells.

 

College Street, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 1 896 2320

 

Trinity College website

 

Dublin Castle

 

You can chart Dublin’s history in the walls of its castle, from the intact medieval tower to extravagant Victorian additions. Different wings contain small museums, and you can tour the lavish state apartments. In the centre of the castle complex, you’ll find the Dubh Linn Gardens, and the dark pool from which Dublin takes its name.

 

Dame Street, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 1 645 8813

 

Dublin Castle website

 

Religious sites

 

Dublin has functioned as a centre of religious importance since the days of the Vikings, and it has preserved its ancient relics admirably, withstanding fires, storms, and Oliver Cromwell. Just to highlight its saintliness, Dublin has not one, but two cathedrals, St. Patrick’s and Christ Church. Both will leave you awe-struck.
Christ Church Cathedral

 

Not only Dublin’s oldest cathedral, but the oldest building still standing in the whole city. With soaring, vaulted ceilings and breathtaking medieval architecture, this has been a place of pilgrimage for a millennium. Visit the 12th century crypt, where, among other curios, are a mummified cat and rat.

 

Christchurch Place, Dublin 8. Tel: +353 1 677 8099

 

Christ Church Cathedral website

 

Museums

 

With such a wealth of history and heritage to preserve, it’s no wonder that Dublin has a vast collection of museums. From smaller nooks dedicated to great literary figures such as James Joyce, to vast art galleries, there’s enough to keep you busy for weeks.

 

National Museum of Ireland

 

With collections so huge that they are spread over a number buildings across the city, Dublin’s National Museum does its best to cover Irish culture and heritage. There are costumes, weaponry, and jewellery on display in the Decorative Arts and History building, for example, while the Natural History building is probably the most exciting draw with its giant deer skeletons and taxidermy monkeys.

 

Merrion Street, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 1 6777444

 

National Museum of Ireland website

 

Parks and gardens

 

With a strong connection to the natural world around it, Dublin is blessed with some beautiful urban parks too. Many parks and gardens have existed here for centuries, giving the city a sense of peace and balance. So when you’ve had your fill of museums and churches, escape to one of Dublin’s outdoor retreats.

 

Phoenix Park

 

Stretching across 1,750 acres, Phoenix Park is one of the largest walled parks in Europe. Among the endless green spaces, which invite picnics and tranquil strolls, there are ornamental Victorian gardens and towering monuments. Come at sunrise or sunset for the park’s most magical experience – spotting deer at the reserve.

 

Phoenix Park, Dublin 8. Tel: +353 1 821 3021

 

Phoenix Park website