Make a proper day out of your visit to the National Gallery.
I've loved going to the National Gallery of Ireland for years, ever since I was quite little. It's free entry, and you could spend hours wandering in and out of the different rooms. Some of the exhibitions aren't free, but they're well worth the money if you love art.
With that said, if you want to plan a day around a visit to the National Gallery, there's no shortage of spots for food and drink, or even more museums to visit. All the following spots are within a 10 minute walk from the gallery, so you don't need to traipse all over Dublin. Whether you're in Dublin on a city break, or you're a full-time local, here are the best spots to hit up following a trip to the gallery.
Featherblade - 7 mins away
If you're looking for a good feed, Featherblade is one of Dublin's best steak restaurants, for a more affordable price. While there's not much for vegetarians (beyond roast celeriac) Featherblade has a range of steak cuts as well as burgers on offer.
Zakura - 5 mins away
Just five minutes away from the National Gallery is Zakura, a BYOB sushi restaurant on Upper Baggot Street. There's a ton of options, everything from ramen, to poké bowls, to sushi rolls.
Tang - 9 mins away
For some delicious breakfast or lunch food, Tang is the place to be. They do quirky versions of the classics, such as buckwheat pancakes, shakshuka eggs (one of my personal faves), as well as delicious flatbreads and salads.
Carluccio's - 7 mins away
If you're looking for a full on feed, or simply a pastry and a coffee to keep you going, why not try Carluccio's? They're right beside Hodges Figgis, one of my favourite bookshops, if you're looking to wander in somewhere afterwards.
Meltdown - 10 mins away
Looking for some seriously good toasties near the National Gallery? Meltdown's Leeson Street café is 10 minutes away, but well worth it. A word of warning; these toasties are super messy, but they don't cheap out on the cheese and they have options for meat eaters as well as vegetarians and vegans.
Bread 41 - 8 mins away
Pearse Street's Bread 41 is a good spot if you're making an earlier trip to the National Gallery. They close at 3pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends, but their amazing baked goods sell out fast, so get down there early to avoid disappointment.
Beanhive - 9 mins away
There's a ton of cafés near the National Gallery, but if you're feeling inspired from your visit, our top recommendation is Beanhive. Known for their seriously cool latte art, Beanhive on Dawson Street is ideal for a post gallery caffeine fix.
O'Donoghue's Bar - 4 mins away
Can't go wrong with an early pint at O'Donoghue's after a long day of looking at art.
Glovebox - 10 mins away
You'll definitely need to book this one, but if you're an avid art lover, then you'll want to check out Glovebox. This spot is a bar/art gallery, so it's the perfect follow on from the National Gallery. We did a full review of it HERE.
Café en Seine - 9 mins
And a classic for good music and good drinks; Café en Seine. A glamorous way to end your day we think.
Stephen's Green - 6 mins away
As the weather gets better (if the random rain showers could just give over that would be stunning) it's great to enjoy it as much as possible. I never get tired of walking around Stephen's Green, particularly when the sun is out. Or if you're worn out from walking around the national gallery, find a bench, sit down for a while, and just enjoy the lush green surroundings.
Merrion Square Park - 6 mins away
Merrion Square Park is essentially right beside the National Gallery of Ireland and is a beautiful spot to unwind.
Hodges Figgis - 6 mins away
In my opinion, a visit to the local bookshop is the perfect pairing to a visit to the art gallery. Whether you're in the market for a specific book, or just browsing, Hodges Figgis never disappoints.
National Library of Ireland - 4 mins away
Can't get enough of learning? If the National Gallery didn't satiate your hunger for knowledge, check out the National Library which is right around the corner. In particular we recommend the Seamus Heaney exhibition.
Oscar Wilde House - 2 mins away
Pay Oscar Wilde's previous abode a visit as you're making your exit from the gallery.
The Little Museum of Dublin - 8 mins away
This spot opens daily from 10am to 5pm, and they have a range of tours, including the 'You Say You Love Me But You Don’t Even Know Me' which reintroduces Northern Ireland to the people of Dublin. You can check out all of their exhibitions HERE. Plus it's just eight minutes from the National Gallery.
As you can see, there's tons to eat, drink, and do around the National Gallery of Ireland, so make a day out of it.
Header image via Instagram/nationalgalleryofireland