{Ireland} The Little Museum of Dublin

May 2, 2016


100 Museums Challenge: Museum No.28

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Everyone I asked, everywhere I looked, when I was preparing for my trip to Dublin in April, The Little Museum of Dublin seemed to be the number one recommendation to see, in terms of Dublin museums. Apparently they are also the top museum in Ireland on Trip Advisor, and were named as Dublin’s best museum experience by The Irish Times. It was a no brainer that I had to go there first!

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The Little Museum of Dublin tells the story of the Irish capital, from the visit of Queen Victoria to the phenomenal global success of the band U2, and everything in between. What makes the museum extra special, is that it has been entirely created by public donations or, as our guide so nicely put it, “by the people of Dublin”. A museum from the city, for the city.

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I mention our guide. Visits to the museum are by guided tour, however, you are allowed to stay on at the end to look around some more at your own pace, and to see any rooms not covered in the tour. Our tour lasted around 40 minutes, and our guide was really enthusiastic and engaging. She started off the tour by asking some of the kids to help her crank up the WW2 air raid siren, to gather everyone together. On a bit of a whirlwind tour of history, we then heard about Queen Victoria’s visit to Dublin, famous local writers – James Joyce’s Ulysses is left open on the last page, so everyone can say they’ve read the end, the Easter Rising which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and is hard to miss if you walk through town, American presidents, Millennium milk bottles, and gold covered Monster Munch crisps!

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After the tour, there was a whole further floor of permanent displays to discover, including a ‘Editor’s Office’ covering the history of the Irish Times, a small exhibit about Alfie Byrne – much beloved mayor and local hero of Dublin in the 1930s and 1950s, and, of course, the U2 room. On the ground floor, there was also a temporary exhibition included in the admission, which changes periodically. They also have worksheets for kids, and fun little touches such a sweetie jar you can help yourself to, or stamps you can use on the editor’s desk.

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With the warm welcome, the interesting collection of objects, the colourful history and the engaging patter from our guide, I have to say The Little Museum of Dublin is well deserving in all its praise. Just leaves me to add my praise as well. Go see it!

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The Little Museum of Dublin is open seven days a week, with late opening on Thursdays. Admission is, as mentioned, by guided tour. You can buy tickets on the desk, but the tours often sell our so it’s advisable to book your tickets in advance online – you get a little discount on the admission price too if you do it that way. You can find the up to date opening times on the museum website, where you can also book your tickets. Unfortunately, since the museum is located in an old Georgian house, it is not really wheelchair accessible but they hope to create universal access shortly. In the mean time, some assistance is available for visitors with wheelchairs, and if you have a stroller you can leave it in the cloakroom. Opposite the museum is the beautiful St Stephen’s Green park, so on a sunny day, why not grab a sandwich from one of the nearby cafes and follow up your museum visit with a picnic in the park!

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