Literary Dublin - Guide to Dublin’s Favourite Literary Attractions
Dublin's Best Literary Attractions
Dublin is famously the home of Yeats, Beckett and Wilde, the capital city of a country world renowned for its writing and poetry. The Irish tradition of storytelling has been around since the time of the Celts, so it really is no wonder that this skill transferred itself to paper.
Exploring the Irish literary tradition gives a fantastic insight into Irish society and psyche, both today and historically, and Dublin is home to some of the world’s best literary attractions.
MoLI- Museum of Literature Ireland
***Opening September 2019*** Cited as ‘a museum of literature for the world’s greatest storytellers’ MoLI is a brand new museum dedicated to literature and already set to become a cultural landmark. The name itself, MoLi, draws inspiration from the character is Joyce’s seminal work, Ulysses. MoLI aims to bring Ireland’s internationally-renowned literary culture and heritage from the past to the present, and through immersive multimedia exhibitions, priceless artefacts, lectures, performances, cutting-edge children’s education programmes, historic house tours, digital broadcasting, and research. The museum is located on St. Stephen’s Green and has a café secret garden that connects to one of Dublin’s most beautiful parks, The Iveagh Gardens.
Hop off your DoDublin tour at stop No. 12 at St. Stephen’s Green to explore Ireland’s rich history of storytelling.
National Library of Ireland
The National Library of Ireland is a treasure of Dublin. It houses an estimated 8 million items, from books, maps, manuscripts, music, newspapers, periodicals and photographs. The National Library is free of charge and open to all who wish to view their collections, receive assistance from their genealogy advisory service and to visit some award winning exhibitions. Current exhibitions include World War Ireland: Exploring the Irish Experience, YEATS: The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats (described in The Irish Times as “one of the most important literary exhibitions yet staged internationally )and the award-winning Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again ( This NLI Exhibition is taking place in the Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, Westmoreland Street). After your visit you can enjoy a bite to eat in Café Joly.
Hop off your DoDublin Tour at stop No.13 to discover the vast collections and Exhibitions of the National Library of Ireland.
The Dublin Writers Museum
The Irish literary tradition is one of the most illustrious in the world, famous for four Nobel Prize winners and for many other writers of international renown, many of whom were native Dubliners, or lived in the city in their later years. The museum was opened in 1991 as a celebration of literary Dublin. The building in which the museum is housed is a magnificent Georgian mansion that dates back to the 1700s. Swift, Sheridan, Shaw, Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett are among those presented through their books, letters, portraits and personal items.
The museum itself holds exhibitions, lunchtime theatre and readings and has a special room devoted to children's literature. The Dublin Writers Museum is an essential visit for anyone who wants to discover, explore or simply enjoy Dublin's immense literary heritage.
Hop off at stop No. 2 on our DoDublin tour to witness 300 years of literary history under one roof.
Next on our list is a hidden gem that not even most Dubliners will know about: Marsh’s Library. Marsh’s library was the first ever public library in Ireland, and opened in the year 1707. Today the original oak bookcases house over 25,000 rare and precious books. The building is over 300 years old and one of the few early modern / Georgian buildings still being used for its original purpose. Famous lovers of the Library include Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, and James Joyce. The library’s work focuses now on conservation and research, and visitors are very welcome!
Hop off at stop No. 20 to step back in time in Marsh’s Library
The Book of Kells and Trinity Long Room
The Book of Kells Exhibition is a must-see on the itinerary of all visitors to Dublin. Located in the heart of the city centre in Trinity College Dublin, the Exhibition displays the Book of Kells, a 9th century manuscript that documents the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ. The Book of Kells is Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. Each page is adorned with beautiful 9th century illuminations and inspired the Oscar nominated film, ‘The Secret of Kells’ (2009)The Exhibition also features access to the Long Room, one of the world’s most beautiful libraries, that houses 200,000 of Trinity College’s oldest books. =
Hop off at stop No. 13 Nassau Street to visit the world famous Book of Kells and Trinity College
The Famous Bookshops of Dublin
Dublin is famous for its beautiful and quaint bookshops and they’re dotted all around the city (which also happen to be a UNESCO City of Literature.) On the Northside you’ll find the Winding Stair, Chapters (great for a second hand find) and of course Eason on O’ Connell Street. The Southside of the River Liffey boasts some gorgeous bookshops as well, from Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street, Books Upstairs on D’Olier Street and the more modern Gutter Bookshop in Temple Bar.
Literary Tours of Dublin
With such an immense literary history, it's little wonder Dublin City has so much to offer in terms of literary attractions. Whether you want to visit the best literary attractions by hopping on and off DoDublin's award winning tour, or planning your own visits, or maybe even choosing organised tours like the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl (one of the first of its kind worldwide), you'll be spoiled for choice exploring the old haunts of Dublin's literary giants.
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