St. Patrick's Cathedral#2 in Best Things To Do in Dublin
St. Patrick's Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Dublin and the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland. Built on the site where St. Patrick is said to have baptized converts some 600 years earlier, this massive cathedral was erected between 1220 and 1259 with major restorations beginning in the 1860s. It remains one of the few buildings still standing from medieval Dublin.
Today, this is one of the most renowned and beloved churches in the world, hosting about 500,000 visitors annually. While you're here, make sure to spend plenty of time admiring the towering vaulted ceilings and the delicate details that accompany the Gothic style. Another must-see here is the tomb of famous author Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver's Travels."
Recent visitors said the cathedral is not to be missed thanks to its beautiful architecture and rich history, though they do warn that it can get crowded and loud if you don't visit in the morning before the tourist crowds descend.
St. Patrick's Cathedral sits just west of Dublin's central core. Still a working church, the cathedral is open to the public every day; hours vary depending on the season and the day. Generally, the cathedral is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. on Saturday with varying hours on Sunday to accommodate worship services. Admission is 7 euros (about $8.25) for adults and 6 euros (about $7) for students. Families with two adults and two children 15 and younger pay 17 euros (around $20). If you purchased a Dublin Pass, your admission fee is waived. You can take a self-guided tour at your leisure, or you can request a free guided tour (a recommendation from past visitors) on the cathedral's website. Along with restrooms, there is also a gift shop on-site.
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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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