A Walk with Famous Irish Writers, Dublin (Self Guided)

Check out this unique tour to learn about the lives of famous Irish writers, such as Oscar Wilde and James Joyce. You will visit places from their daily life, as well as monuments, museums, a birth place, and even a final resting place. Follow this tour and learn more about Dublin’s literary background.
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A Walk with Famous Irish Writers Map

Guide Name: A Walk with Famous Irish Writers
Guide Location: Ireland » Dublin (See other walking tours in Dublin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 km
Author: max
Oscar Wilde House

1) Oscar Wilde House

The Oscar Wilde House is located on Merrion Square, one of the last great Georgian squares in Dublin. You can visit it only by guided tour, booked in advance.

Oscar Wilde’s father William, a noted surgeon, moved into the house at N°1 Merrion Square in 1855, when Oscar was a year old. William had his consulting room in the house and today it has been restored and you can see several antique surgical instruments on display, lent by the Royal College of Surgeons. He had his own operating theatre in the basement, which is now a café.

William Wilde died in 1876, leaving his widow deep in debt. She sold the house and moved to England. The house continued to be a family residence for many years until it was turned into small flats and one-room studios. In 1971 the building was in such bad repair that it was boarded up for over 20 years.

In 1994 the American College of Dublin took on the building and completely renovated it, bringing a new shine to the ancient wood floors, restoring the magnificent cornices, hanging antique mirrors in the halls, the dining room and the drawing room.

Students have classes on the top two floors of the house. The other rooms are used for art and sculpture exhibitions, lectures given by local and visiting artists, conferences and private functions. Each room has been decorated as it would have been in Wilde’s time with exquisite antique furniture and fine rugs.

2) Mulligans

Leopold Bloom, famous protagonist of James Joyce's Ulysses, often visited this establishment. James Joyce spent most of his life in France, but he remains the only writer to write exclusively using Dublin as a setting. Generations of journalists, writers and politicians have visited this old haunt. Today, cultural pilgrims around the world continue to come in this pub where very little has changed for over a century.
James Joyce Centre

3) James Joyce Centre

This venue is dedicated entirely to James Joyce and instils great imagination and enthusiasm for all things Joycean. This cultural centre has a bookshop, a library, a meeting room where various workshops take place, plus an exhibition space. The Centre also houses the Guinness Library which holds a rich collection of Joyce's texts and translations into foreign languages. There is a whole section dedicated to Joyce's Irish contemporaries. Among the exhibits of The James Joyce Centre is the door of No.7 Eccles Street, the fictional address of Joyce's Ulysses hero Leopold Bloom. Visitors to the Centre may also take advantage of the many walking tours available, following the steps of Leopold Bloom throughout Dublin.
Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday: 12 – 5 pm.
Dublin Writers Museum

4) Dublin Writers Museum

The Dublin Writer’s Museum is housed in a beautifully restored 18th century Georgian mansion with sculptured plasterwork, stained glass windows and an air of timelessness. You really shouldn’t miss a visit to this important museum.

The museum opened in 1991 with the aim of promoting Irish literature and authors. The wonderful collection is set out on display in two rooms – in Room 1 you will find books dating from the 17th century to the end of the 19th century. Room 2 is dedicated to writers of the 20th century, but no living authors.

You will be able to admire first editions of Jonathon Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” and Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” among other old and sometimes rare tomes.

In the Writer’s Gallery, which is used for temporary exhibitions and receptions, you will see various portraits and busts of the Irish writers whose books you have been admiring in the exhibition rooms. There is also a collection of postcards, papers, pens, pipes and other items belonging to Yeats, G.B. Shaw, Oliver Gogarty and others.

The museum has a very good bookshop where you will find copies of the books in the museum, souvenirs and handmade gift items. You can enjoy a meal in the museum cafe, which serves full meals, snacks, salads and excellent home-made scones, jam and cream.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Brazen Head

5) The Brazen Head

The Brazen Head originally opened back in the medieval ages. Today, this establishment retains its original look and atmosphere despite all the changes that it has been through. The Brazen Head’s decor reflects the bar's long history, earning its place in Irish history. Remarkable Irish people like James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh and Brendan Behan frequented this old haunt. The live traditional Irish music and Guinness are never ending here.
The Grave of Jonathan Swift

6) The Grave of Jonathan Swift

You will find the grave of Jonathan Swift in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on the junction of Patrick Street and Upper Kevin Street.

The grave, to the right of the entrance to the cathedral, is very simple, consisting of a gated off area on the floor, with little to distinguish it other than two plaques, one for Jonathan Swift and the other for his life-long companion and friend, Esther Johnston, or “Stella” as he called her. To the left of the entrance there is a bust of Swift and his epitaph, which he wrote himself.

Don’t be too disappointed by the simplicity of this grave, because although Swift was a great man, he was also a simple one at heart. He had a strong sense of justice and his satirical essay “A Modest Proposal”, in which he suggests that the children of the poor be fattened up for the rich to eat, was an attack on the heartless attitude of the Irish rich towards the poor.

He was a writer, poet and a priest – serving as Dean of St Patrick’s between 1713 and 1742. A lot of his work was published under a pseudonym; e.g. Gulliver’s Travels was first published under the name of Lemuel Gulliver.

Swift had a great fear of death; it was thought that for most of his life he suffered from Méniére’s disease, and it is possible that towards the end of his life he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease; many considered him insane, with his outbursts of violence and his sudden speech problems. He died in 1745 and left his money for funding an establishment in Ireland for the mentally ill, for, as he said: “If there was ever a country in need of such an institute, it is this one”.
George Bernard Shaw's Birth Place

7) George Bernard Shaw's Birth Place

His birth place was a simple two story house near the Grand Canal. His parents were not affluent, but nevertheless, George Bernard Shaw went on to represent the golden generation of Irish writers. His novels and plays are part of the world literary heritage. He was very successful and his genius was recognized during his lifetime. Today, Dublin carries on his legacy with honor.

Walking Tours in Dublin, Ireland

Create Your Own Walk in Dublin

Create Your Own Walk in Dublin

Creating your own self-guided walk in Dublin is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Center Souvenir Shops

City Center Souvenir Shops

It would be a pity to leave Dublin without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts which are unique to Dublin and can be purchased in the wonderful souvenir shops around the City Center.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Nassau St. Gift Shops

Nassau St. Gift Shops

It would be a pity to leave Dublin without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts which are unique to Dublin and can be purchased in the wonderful souvenir shops along Nassau St.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.5 km
Pub Crawl

Pub Crawl

Dubliners and the Irish in general are known for their passion for whiskey and beer. The Irish and the Scots are constantly at odds as to who makes the better whiskey and who could imagine St. Patrick's day without some famous Irish green beer ? Check out this amazing tour, that will guide you trough an area packed with pubs, and find out first hand what an Irish pub crawl means.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
A Walk along Liffey River

A Walk along Liffey River

Take a walk among the places where Irish history was made and is kept alive for the generations to come. This part of town is a place where the past meets the present and the future is defined. There is no better place in Ireland for a tourist to learn more about Irish culture and its rich, colorful history. Don't hesitate to spend a few hours exploring the banks of Liffey River in the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Art Galleries Tour

Art Galleries Tour

Dublin's city center is home to several prominent galleries, like the The National Gallery of Ireland, which is a must see for any art lover. Dublin has a varied and rich art-scene, from classical to contemporary, from domestic to international, it offers something for everyone. Take the following tour to discover the most popular and prominent art galleries in Dublin.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Daily Life Tour

Daily Life Tour

The real life of Dubliners is hidden away from the main tourist attractions. Those who live in Dublin and breathe its air daily, live an interesting and complex life. Take this tour to feel what it is like to be a Dubliner. Walk off the beaten track, shop alongside Dubliners, perhaps even go to an opera at The National Concert Hall.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Distinctively Irish Things to Buy in Dublin

16 Distinctively Irish Things to Buy in Dublin

The birthplace of many artistic talents, such as Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde, Dublin is the show-window of Ireland, a small country renowned for its rich cultural scene encompassing music, writing, poetry, dance, craftsmanship and more. The food & drink scene of Dublin (much as the whole of...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Dublin for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Dublin has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Dublin's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Dublin Pass or Dublin Freedom Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Dublin's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Dublin hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Westin Dublin, Temple Bar Hotel, The Morgan Hotel.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Dublin, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Dublin typically costs somewhere between US$20 and US$30 or more per person:

- A Historical Walking Tour is a must for a city like Dublin that wears on its sleeve a great deal of history spanning from the times of Viking settlement to modern days! This is more than just a sightseeing walk but a brief examination of the key periods of Irish history.

- Combine educational with recreational on the entertaining crawl through Dublin's pubs that have inspired great Irish writers. This walking tour is a great introduction to Dublin's rich literary heritage complete with a chance to enjoy a few pints along the way.

- A good story and glass of whiskey is the combination hard to beat! And to learn the story of Jameson Whiskey' rich heritage is what one may definitely want to do, whilst in Dublin, on a tasting tour of Jameson Distillery, the home of Ireland's best-selling whiskey.

- If you feel like partying, why not throw yourself into a traditional Irish house party for a deeper understanding of Dublin's culture with a great deal of fun in a warm and friendly atmosphere! Good food, lively and lovely music to dance and listen to are all added to the equation.

- If you love for music commands you to go out, feel free to do so and discover Irish music in the traditional pubs of Dublin on a 2.5-hour pub crawl through historic Temple Bar. Let professional musicians take the lead and reveal to you the story of Irish music in the most suitable Irish pub setting!

- Pedal your way around Dublin on a guided bike tour to feel the city's energy and unique atmosphere, see its great sights while stopping at some of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city's history and distinguished citizens from a knowledgeable group leader.

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in Dublin, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, Northern Ireland, Kilkenny and Glendalough, or Titanic Belfast Visitor Experience and Giant’s Causeway. For as little as circa US$40+ to US$80+ per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites including famous rock formations, castles, caves and cloisters, discover the best of Ireland’s dramatic coastline with cliffs, historically significant monastic settlements, gain insight into Irish folklore and history, relive the tragic yet captivating story of the Titanic, and see many other landmark sites worth visiting. For any of these tours you will be picked up straight from your hotel in Dublin and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach/minibus to the destination of your choice and back again.