Ireland is a spectacular country where you can find a range of things to do from viewing the vast and incredible landscapes to checking out the historic monuments or visiting the long list of places of incredible cultural value. Unfortunately, in this country it rains a lot. Too much I would say. Sometime going to visit natural landscapes in the depths of the country is too far outside our comfort zone. Most of us are not made for the rain.
Therefore, in my opinion, it is very useful to know some places where you can enjoy a unique experience in Ireland, even on rainy days. Museums, galleries or exhibitions of high cultural value that house catalogues of must see items found right in the middle of the city.
The most famous former prison in Ireland, Kilmainham Gaol, is a must-see on at least one of the many rainy days in this country. And it is, by the way, a visit that you will never forget. Why? Because this building once imprisoned and saw the execution of many Irish revolutionaries, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, such as Robert Emmet and Charles Stewart Parnell. This is a very interesting museum that will show you an important part of the history of Ireland.
Chester Beatty Library
Founded in 1950 by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, it is not only a library, but also a museum which houses a unique collection from countries across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Antique books, manuscripts, papyrus texts, paintings and drawings, among others, are presented to display an incredibly wide and varied mix of cultures and religions. The place is the only museum in Ireland to win the ‘European Museum of the Year’ and is described by Lonely Planet as ‘not just the best museum in Dublin, but one of the best in Europe’. In summary, a visit that you cannot miss and the entry is completely free!
The Book of Kells Exhibition and Trinity College Library
You have probably heard about the absolutely stunning Trinity College Library. Constructed in the 18th century, it is the oldest library and the largest research library in Ireland. However, at the back of the library you can also find a museum with one of Ireland’s greatest treasures: the Book of Kells – also known as the Book of Columba-. It is a manuscript written in the 9th century and it contains the four Gospels of the New Testament. In addition, it is one of the most beautifully illustrated manuscripts in the world. The tickets are priced from 10-13€ if you buy them online, which gives you access to both experiences.
National Museum of Archaeology
Open since 1980, the National Museum of Archaeology holds interesting exhibitions about treasure, Vikings, kinship and sacrifice, ancient Egypt and much more. Enjoy an unforgettable afternoon, completely free, learning about unique antiques from around the world.
National Leprechaun Museum
Irish myths and folklore have a unique place to meet: the National Leprechaun Museum. It is located in Dublin city centre, on Jervis Street, and it is a place where you can discover everything about fairy tales and the world of leprechauns for only 12€. Don’t miss it!
Museum of Modern Art Ireland
If you are an art lover, you must visit this contemporary and modern art museum. The IMMA maintains a core collection and holds various exhibition programmes that focus not only on Irish artists but artists from all over the world. It is located just in front of Kilmainham Gaol and has within its grounds a beautiful garden and medieval burial ground which are worth a ramble around. The entrance is usually free for students.