National Gallery of Ireland

#8 in Best Things To Do in Dublin
National Gallery of Ireland picture1 of 2
National Gallery of Ireland2 of 2
Courtesy NGI

Key Info

Merrion Square West

Price & Hours

Mon-Weds, Fri-Sat 9:15 a.m.-5:30 p.m. | Thurs ...


Museums, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

If you're an art lover, make sure to save some time for this extensive (and free!) museum, which has housed Ireland's national art collection since 1854. Here you'll find numerous works by such renowned artists as Caravaggio, Vincent van Gogh and the French impressionists. But the main attractions are works from some of Ireland's masters, with an impressive collection of works by notable residents as William Leech, Roderic O'Conor and Jack B. Yeats. The National Gallery also hosts notable traveling exhibitions as well as concerts and lectures.

Recent visitors called the museum outstanding and well worth a visit. If you're a fan of the arts, previous travelers recommended you set aside several hours to tour the museum. You'll also want to grab a map at the entrance as its collections are spread out, according to reviewers.

The National Gallery of Ireland sits just a few blocks northwest of St. Stephen's Green and is within walking distance of Grafton Street and Trinity College. Several bus routes, including nos. 4, 7 and 8, offer stops near the museum. It's open Monday through Wednesday and Friday through Saturday from 9:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (with extended hours on Thursdays) and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free, so don't worry about trying to pack everything in to one day, you can always come back; however, special exhibits may cost extra. For more information, check out the gallery's website

See all Hotels in Dublin »

More Best Things To Do in Dublin

Trinity College and The Book of Kells1 of 16
St. Patrick's Cathedral2 of 16
Time to Spend
#1 Trinity College and The Book of Kells

Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity College is Ireland's oldest and most notable college. Among its alumni are such renowned writers as Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde. Today, visitors from around the world come to explore the college's verdant campus and towering Gothic-style halls.

But the real reason to visit is to take a gander inside the Old Library. These hallowed halls house an amazing collection of literature. Of all the books at the Old Library, the most famous and priceless one is the "Book of Kells." This illustrated version of the gospels was created around A.D. 800 by Celtic monks. The manuscripts' pages come to life with vibrantly hued depictions of Christ and his followers, bordered by intricate Celtic knots and other designs. Whether or not you're religious, previous visitors agreed that seeing the "Book of Kells" in person is truly a sacred experience. Although some visitors complained of crowds in the library, most agreed the "Book of Kells" is a must-see.

Read more
Federica Grassic/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Dublin »

Explore More of Dublin

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.


The 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World

Let these gorgeous destinations inspire you to travel more.

Holly JohnsonJanuary 16, 2020

50 Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

From relaxing weekend getaways to epic adventures, these honeymoon trips will help couples create memories to last a lifetime.

Kyle McCarthyJanuary 8, 2020

The Cheapest Days to Fly: A Guide to the Best (and Worst) Times to Travel

Use these tips and tricks to get the best deal on your next flight.

Lyn MettlerDecember 23, 2019

30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways

Spend sun-filled days exploring Florida's beautiful beaches, cities, parks and small towns.

Gwen PratesiDecember 9, 2019

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019