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A walking tour of some of the best museums and galleries in Dublin

By Rory Cashin

September 23, 2020 at 11:36am

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If you're looking for something fun and different to do, then we highly recommend this!

Dublin is home to some amazing museums and art galleries, but sometimes the sheer amount on offer can be a little overwhelming. You might plan to visit one or two, but if you time your days out just right, you could visit a lot of what the city centre has to offer over the course of two days, provided you've got your walking shoes on!

We've split the walking visits over two days (and even provided the maps you'll need to follow), with Day One covering less ground, while Day Two will bring you across a wide stretch of the centre of the city.

All museums and galleries may need pre-booked tickets for entry, some are free and some come at a cost, and they all have their own unique opening and closing hours each day. But if you do find yourself with a full day off and not sure what to do, then why not culture yourself with one of these two museum walking tours!

DAY ONE

Starting point - EPIC: The Irish Immigration Museum

Winner of multiple tourism awards, including "Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction" at the 2019 World Travel Awards, you'll start at this Custom House Quay museum, looking back over the history of the Irish diaspora and emigration to other countries.

walk 900m (12 mins) to National Gallery of Ireland

Cross over the Liffey to this Merrion Square-based art gallery, which displays the national collection of Irish and European art. This is the place to go if you want to check out some Rembrant or Picasso works.

walk 200m (3 mins) to National Museum of Ireland - Natural History

Right around the corner is what is locally called "The Dead Museum", or where you go if you want to see the skeletons of the smallest and biggest animals ever to exist. Yes, there is a T-Rex.

walk 650m (8 mins) to the Little Museum of Dublin

One of the smallest museums in Europe can be found facing Stephen's Green, situated entirely in a single Georgian house. It will give you a complete history of Dublin in just 30 minutes, with a big highlight including the Italia 90 World Cup!

walk 650m (8 mins) to Irish Whiskey Museum

If you enjoy a tipple, then this is the best place to end your first day of museum wandering. If you don't, then you might still be interested to know the history of one of the world's most popular alcoholic products, and how it is that Ireland came to be so good at making it.

DAY TWO

Starting point - Irish Museum of Modern Art

Right beside Heuston Station you will find Ireland's museum of modern art, with a constantly changing line-up of art and artists spread out over the museum's impressive grounds. Even the decorative garden outside the galleries themselves is worth a look.

walk 1.5km (19 mins) to the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History

Cross over the Liffey to what was once an army barracks and you'll find another impressive space, this time home to a collection of silver, ceramics, glassware, furniture, clothing, jewellery and coins, as well as a military history collection which tells of Ireland’s military and revolutionary past.

walk 2km (26 mins) to the Hugh Lane Gallery

Just beyond the reach of O'Connell Street in the city centre, this gallery is famous for housing the Francis Bacon studio and archive, as well as focusing on modern and contemporary art from Irish artists.

walk 950m (12 mins) to the National Leprechaun Museum

Located on Jervis Street, this privately owned museum doesn't simply focus on the fictional (or are they?) green gold-lovers, but on Ireland's world-famous love of folklore and mythology.

walk 650m (8 mins) to National Wax Museum

And then you can end the day on the high of seeing Father Ted next to Jedward next to Batman next to James Joyce next to the Chamber Of Horrors next to... eh... Donald Trump.

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