9 Hidden Spots In Dublin That Will Pique Your Curiosity
Think you know Dublin? Think again...
It's no secret that Dublin is full of hidden gems, secret spots and finely detailed folklore. But who knew that there were so, so many curious places that even us Dubliners were only acutely aware of.
These 9 spots cover all the best Dublin has to offer, from knowledge and literature to love and drinks. AND they won't have huge queues. Winning.
1. The Science Gallery, Pearse Street
Located in arguably Dublin's most popular tourist hub, Trinity College, the Science Gallery is a hidden gem in which art and science collide.
Past exhibitions have included robotic art, vampire content and the science of bursting. And the best bit? Admission to the exhibitions is free. Before visiting do yourself a favour and check their website, as opening hours change depending on the exhibition.
“It may have ‘science’ in the title, but each exhibition at the gallery proves it to be the most creative, innovative and artistic venue in Ireland” – Shane Hegarty, Irish Times, April 2011
2. Vintage Cocktail Club, Temple Bar
The Vintage Cocktail Club is located on Crown Alley in Temple Bar, and is the ultimate secret spot for classy food and drinks lovers in the city. Part of its charm is the fact that you need to ring the bell to get in, on the door that simply has VCC on it.
Their old-style cocktails are phenomenal, and the speakeasy vibe makes you feel like you've just stepped back in time to the Roaring Twenties.
3. Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church, Aungier Street
While Dublin is home to many famous faces and names, here's one you may not expect - St. Valentine. Yes, the remains of the patron saint of happy marriages and Hallmark cards (and oddly, epilepsy and bee keepers) lie in the Carmelite Church on Aungier Street.
So, yes, we can confirm that love is infact real, and its epicentre is in Dublin. Dreamy.
4. The James Joyce Centre, North Great George’s Street
You'd think that Dublin's homage to the nation's greatest writer would be easy to find, but no, not so much.
The James Joyce Centre is tucked away nicely into number 35 North Great George's Street, which was saved by demolition from Senator David Norris himself, a Joycean scholar nonetheless.
The Centre itself is definitely worth a peek, be you a literary fan or not, but its secret courtyard is the real winner here - it contains the original door from No. 7 Eccles Street, Leopold Bloom’s address in the internationally famous Ulysses.
5. The Hell Fire Club, Montpelier Hill
The Montpelier Hill building, a hunting lodge built around 1725, is known more commonly as The Hell Fire Club and is dripping in badass Irish history. The wealthy hooligan members of The Hell Fire Club used here as their meeting place, and legend has it that they practised devil worship inside its walls.
Cursed from the very beginning, the aristocratic members of The Hellfire Club used this place as a headquarters for their wild debauchery. And these rich young men liked nothing better than sex and drinking.
Riddled with ghosts and poltergeists, this spot is only for the brave of heart. Also great for off-lead dog walks.
6. Father Pat Noise Plaque. O'Connell Street Bridge
Mysteriously cropping up one day in 2004 on Dublin's most central bridge, a commemorative plaque claims to mark the spot where a Father Pat Noise had drowned after plunging into the River Liffey in 1919 under 'suspicious circumstances'.
Turns out the whole thing is a hoax by two Dublin brothers, go figure. They claimed it's a tribute to their dad - 'Father Pat Noise is a corruption of 'pater noster', Latin for 'our father''.
Dublin City Council had plans to remove it, but when people started leaving floral tributes on the bridge, they decided it was too gas to take away. Oh, Ireland.
7. Dublin Flea Market, Newmarket Square
The Dublin Flea Market opened its doors for the first time in November 2008 and since then has been absolutely thriving.
Tucked away in the Co-op in Newmarket Square, Dublin 8, the market is on during the last Sunday of every month, meaning it has a cracking buzz every time. The Flea boasts an amazing range of stalls, food and coffee AND is one of the best people-watching spots in all of Dublin.
Note: Get yourself some falafel. Trust us.
8. Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2
The Iveagh Gardens is a public park located between Clonmel Street and Upper Hatch Street in Dublin 2.
It's widely recognised as Dublin's best kept secret, as a tranquil setting right in the heart of the city, much quieter than Dublin's other far busier parks.
It has a magical atmosphere with gorgeous fountains, rose gardens, sun dials and waterfalls to boot, and in recent years it has held several successful events such as the Vodafone Comedy Festival, Damien Rice and Bell X1 gigs and several Shakespearean plays.
Not to mention the best spot for an al fresco lunch, ever.
9. Huguenot Cemetery, Merrion Row
Definitely the most hidden on the list – you've walked past this millions of times and never even noticed it.
The Huguenot Cemetery is a small cemetery dating from 1693, located right beside The Shelbourne Hotel. Buried there are the descendants of the Huguenots, a family who fled persecution in France following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes which had guaranteed religious freedom.
Although the cemetery not open to the public, it is visible through the railings and a list of 239 surnames of those buried is inscribed on the wall plaque to the left. These include relatives of the one and only Mr Samuel Beckett, if you don't mind.
And not forgetting: the Chambers of the Curious
There is, of course, one more curious location in Dublin that we need to talk about.
As we reported earlier in the month, visitors "will be taken on a journey over the tempestuous plains of the cerebellum to the volcanic wilderness of their curiously named ‘Fissure of Rolando’, and invited to reawaken these essential creative parts of the mind, coaxing up a greater sense of interest in the world, and a renewed inquisitive vigour."
Well. Colour us intrigued.
Chambers of the Curious will take place on November 26-28. All tickets are now sold out, but for more information and further updates click here.
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