Top Best Ways to Explore Dublin Like A Local

Take a Library Tour

Trinity College – Dublin has three incredible libraries, two of which are widely known and one which is less heard of by tourists (more on this in the Go Dark section). Trinity’s Long Library is probably the most popular as it’s home to the permanent Book of Kells exhibit as well as traveling exhibits. I’ve seen many exhibits in there however, one of my favorites was the Chidren’s Fairytale Exhibit.

The Chester Beatty Library – This library is a marvelous sight and is just across the Dublin Castle (one of the places on the Bram Stoker Trail). Home to one man’s ( Sir Alfred Chester Beatty) collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and decorative arts, it’s been described by Lonely Planet as not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe.

 

Get Up Close to Heritage, Magic and Myth

The Boyne Valley: Home to six plus ancient passage tombs, also home to labyrinths and beautiful rolling hills, the Boyne Valley holds some of Ireland’s most ancient and mystic legends. With megalithic cairns older than the pyramids of Egypt and steeped in mystery.

The Monastic Settlement of Glendalough: One of the jewels of the Ancient East in Ireland, this settlement is where the earliest known Irish legends were transcribed as Christians converted pagan beliefs into myths.

Glendalough: Monastic Settlement at Glendalough.

Dublinia: Learn all about Dublin’s medieval heritage and its period of Vikings at this kid friendly center. Located at Christ Church, the crossroads of Dublin’s medieval city.

Malahide Castle: Explore heritage, walled gardens and a fairytale-like castle.

National Folklore Collection: Explore books, periodicals and off-prints on Irish and comparative folklore, ethnology and related fields contributed by any of the many thousands of storytellers, collectors and correspondents over the years.

 

Be a Bookworm

There are loads of places tied to famous authors and books. Writers like W.B. Yeats, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh, Seán O’Casey, Bram Stoker and Brendan Behan have all staked claim in the city of Literature.

The Dublin Writer’s Museum – This is an essential on any bookworm’s list of things to do. Featuring the lives and works of some of Dublin’s most notable literary names over the span of the past three hundred years. Names like Swift, Sheridan, Shaw and Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett are preserved here through letters pictures and personal effects all in a pristine Georgian house.

James Joyce House of the Dead – The Setting of Joyce’s famous story “The Dead” can be visited for dinner! This is not a restaurant but more of an experience, a “Dead Dinner” to be exact!

A Walk Around the City – You’ll spot placards and statues all over the city! Here is a good guide to a walking tour.

The Bram Stoker Trail – Self made and in desperate need of getting some real tourism funding, this trail takes you to the places historically tied to the famous Gothic novelist and where his legacy lives.
The James Joyce Museum – An entire museum dedicated to the world-famous author. The collection here includes letters, photographs, first and rare editions and personal possessions of Joyce, as well as items associated with the Dublin of Ulysses.

 

Get Political

Like many big cities Dublin has its share of statues. Many of these are political figures and many of which you can see on O’Connell Street. But what may be the most important of all these political sights to see is that of Daniel O’Connell’s tomb in Glasnevin Cemetery.

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