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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 04 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Nicola Brady

Ireland’s National Museum is the nation’s premier cultural institution, dedicated to the preservation of Irish heritage, with an emphasis on art, culture and natural history.

The archaeological collection is the highlight, boasting artifacts from prehistoric, Viking and medieval times. There is a massive decorative arts section too, containing one of the world’s largest collections of silver and artifacts such as the famous Ardagh Chalice and the Tara Brooch.

Don’t miss 

Come face-to-face with your ancient ancestors with the Archaeology collection’s 2,300-year-old Iron Age ‘bog bodies’. One was preserved so perfectly that the discovery sparked a police murder investigation before archaeologists were called in.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The museum is spread across four sites in central Dublin. The main Archaeology section is on Kildare Street. A Decorative Arts & History is on Benburb Street and a Natural History on Marrion Street. The fourth site – Country Life – is a 40-acre site where you can see objects, rare archive photography and film that explores Ireland’s rural past. 

A downloadable guidebook to the archaeology collection is available on the museum website. 

When to do it

Open Tuesday to Sunday all year round. Closed Mondays. 

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Shelbourne Hotel

Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland[0.2 miles]

Taste old world glamour and socialise with Dublin’s glitterati at the city’s most iconic hotel.

Official star rating:

The Merrion Hotel

Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland[0.2 miles]

Old-world glamour and romanticism linger at this luxury, 5-star hotel just steps from Merrion Square in the city centre.

Official star rating:

Wilder Townhouse

Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland[0.9 miles]

Set in a Georgian townhouse, this hotel is all about eclectic style in a blissfully peaceful corner of the city.

Official star rating:

Dylan Hotel

Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland[1.1 miles]

A gorgeous boutique hotel that oozes style, blending bold design with superior service and a fun vibe.

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Dublin

County Dublin, Ireland

Medieval history, literature, art and culture marry epic nightlife and dining in a charming urban village.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Trinity College Dublin

Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland[0.4 miles]

Birthplace of Oscar Wilde, and originally built in 1592, Trinity College is Dublin’s hallowed seat of learning, and home to the world-famous Book of Kells.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

Guinness Storehouse

Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland[2.2 miles]

Dublin is the birthplace of the legendary pint of Guinness – Ireland’s national drink. This fun and interactive museum tells the story…

Best for ages: 18+ | £15

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