With almost as many museums in the city as pubs, Dublin’s reputation as a cultural center remains secure, but the best thing about the city’s impressive art and science exhibits is that a huge number of them are absolutely free.
All of Dublin’s National Museums offer free admission, the most popular of which are the Archeology Museum, which houses a set of Egyptian Mummies and a Broighter gold boat among its incredible collection of artifacts, and the Natural History Museum, with its vast selection of animal skeletons (including a Humpback Whale skeleton suspended from the roof) and stuffed and embalmed creatures.
Art fanatics can take advantage of the free admission at the National Gallery of Ireland with its collection spanning from the 14th century to modern day, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, where works by everyone from Jack B.Yeats to Rembrandt liven up the walls. Other freebies include the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar and the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, housing the art collection of its namesake in a beautiful 18th-century building.
Those hoping to unravel Dublin’s love affair with literature have a number of options that won’t break the bank. The Chester Beatty Library displays a vast collection of rare works (around 22,000 items), including an ancient copy of the Acts of the Apostles, some 17th-century hand-painted Japanese scrolls and the National Library has a fascinating permanent Yeats exhibition. Don’t forget to pay a visit to Dublin’s landmark buildings too, where the city’s architecture can be traced back through the decades. The grounds of the renowned Trinity College are free to visitors, although an admission fee is charged for entrance to the Book of Kells, and the Bank of Ireland, once a parliament house, showcases fine tapestries and glittering chandeliers on its weekly tours. The ‘Number 29’ house museum is a stunning example of Georgian architecture, filled with artifacts from the era.