National Gallery of Ireland#8 in Best Things To Do in Dublin
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.
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#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.
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