Art Galleries Tour, Dublin (Self Guided)

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.
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Art Galleries Tour Map

Guide Name: Art Galleries Tour
Guide Location: Ireland » Dublin (See other walking tours in Dublin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Author: max
The National Gallery of Ireland

1) The National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland stands on Merrion Square West and really is a must for all art lovers.

The gallery houses over 15000 objets d’art, paintings and sculptures from the 13th to the 20th century, classified in several sections according to the country of origin. It is a wonderful collection, thoughtfully displayed in an interesting manner so that you can enjoy one painting without being distracted by the one next to it.

In the British and American Paintings gallery the works cover the British period from Tudor times to the Modern, with a slight emphasis on the 18th century. Illustrious names include Reynolds, Lawrence and Turner and Sargent. The Dutch Paintings gallery centers on 17th century painters such as Van Ruisdael and Pieter Lastman.

The Netherlands and Flemish Paintings gallery offers superb panel paintings by Gerard David and canvases by Peter Paul Rubens and Van Dyck. In the French Paintings gallery you will admire works from the 17th to 19th century such as four religious and mythological paintings by Poussin and fine examples of works by Lorrain and Vouet.

The German Paintings gallery houses 16th century panel paintings, portraits by Wolf Huber and religious canvases by Lucas Cranach and the 20th century Impressionist, Emil Nolde. The Irish Paintings gallery holds the most widespread collection of Irish art in the world.

The Italian Paintings gallery focuses on the Early Renaissance, the Baroque and the Neo-classical periods with magnificent works by Titian, Tintoretto and Caravaggio. In the Spanish Paintings gallery you will find panel paintings by Nicolas Francés, tableaux by El Greco, Murillo, Zuberan and de Ribera. The Modern European Paintings gallery includes works by Bonnard, Van Dongen and Picasso.

Another section of the gallery houses the collection of fine sculptures, with marble statues by Piamontini, Cavaceppi and Canova. There is also a great collection of bronze statues, mostly of Hercules in various postures. The last gallery displays prints, topographical drawings, streets-capes, sketches and watercolors.

Opening hours: Monday - Saturday: 9.15am - 5.30pm;
Thursday: 9.15am - 8.30pm;
Sunday: 11am - 5.30pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Oriel Gallery

2) The Oriel Gallery

Located in Clare Street, The Oriel Gallery is Dublin's long-established independent gallery specializing in 18th to 21st Century fine Irish Art. Founded in 1968 by Oliver Nulty, the Oriel Gallery takes its name from the ancient Irish kingdom of Oriel which encompassed the present-day town of Drogheda from which Oliver hails. By happy coincidence the word Oriel translates from the Irish as 'window' and from the Welsh as 'gallery'.

Also the oldest independent gallery in Ireland, the Oriel was established at a time when Irish art was all but virtually discounted. With Dublin as his blank canvas, Oliver set out to exhibit, promote and sell quality Irish paintings. He acquired premises at 17 Clare Street in the form of a large Georgian house which today happily sits cheek-by-jowl with the National Gallery.

Operation Hours Monday - Friday: 10:30 am - 5:30 pm; Saturday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Chester Beatty Library

3) Chester Beatty Library (must see)

The Chester Beatty Library is housed in the 18th-century clock tower on the grounds of Dublin Castle and is a wonderful museum to visit.

The library opened in 1950 and holds the vast and varied collection of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, a mining millionaire and collector of Oriental books and artifacts. The museum has two sections: “Artistic Traditions” and “Sacred Traditions”.

You will find a magnificent collection of manuscripts and papyruses covering over 4000 years of religious culture. There are, of course, Christian Bibles, copies of the Koran, Chinese jade books and Japanese woodblock prints. Also on display are the priceless “Life of the Prophet” and “The Gospel of Mani”, which is possibly the last remaining Manichaeism artifact.

You can also admire Turkish and Persian miniature paintings, Chinese Dragon robes, Buddhist paintings and European medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, prints, drawings, a collection of rare books, as well as Islamic, East Asian and Western decorative art and a wonderful display of East Asian carved snuff boxes.

It isn’t unusual to find students in the museum, as it is one of the most important sources for religious studies. As well as the permanent collection, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions of Islamic law texts, photos of China and its people over the decades, and Japanese art.

Why You Should Visit:
There are lots of great book & antique art collections in the world but the preservation techniques used by the Chester Beatty is amazing.
Has been described as one of the best museums in the world, let alone Ireland.

Free one-hour tours are available on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Don't miss the classy Silk Road café is full of yummy Middle Eastern cuisine.
And, as an extra, there are a rooftop "meditation" garden as well as the gardens out the front with great views to the Castle.

Opening Hours: Monday - Friday: 10am - 5pm; Saturday: 11am – 5pm; Sunday: 1 - 5pm.
Closed 1 January; Good Friday; 24, 25 and 26 December; and Monday public holidays.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Irish Gallery Of Photography

4) Irish Gallery Of Photography

The Gallery was opened in 1978 and has succeeded in becoming Ireland's premier venue for photography. It hosts contemporary exhibitions of many major names in photography. The Gallery moved to a new location in Meeting House Square in 1995. The Gallery belongs to the Arts Council and Dublin Corporation, but due to the rise in maintenance costs it is sustained financially by its members and sponsors.

Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 11 am – 6 pm; Sunday: 1 pm – 6 pm.
Hugh Lane Gallery

5) Hugh Lane Gallery (must see)

This wonderful gallery was founded in 1908 by Hugh Lane, an avid art collector, and was the first public gallery of modern art in the world. The gallery houses temporary and permanent exhibitions of mainly Irish paintings and sculptures, although you will find a marvelous sculpture by Rodin and Impressionist works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Degas. There are over 2000 works to admire on three floors.

In the Stained Glass Room, you will see “The Eve of Agnes” by the famous Irish stained glass artist Harry Clarke, as well as other fine examples of this beautiful art. In the Sean Scully Gallery, there are seven paintings donated by the Irish/American artist.

Of particular note is the fully reconstructed studio used by Francis Bacon. The room held over 7000 items which are stored and can be viewed on the museum’s database. You will see details of 570 books, 1500 photos, 70 drawings and 100 slashed canvases belonging to the artist. In the studio, you can see how Bacon lived and worked, with half-finished canvases, dirty paintbrushes, dusty bottles of alcohol and books and magazines.

Entry to the permanent exhibitions is free, but if you like you can make a donation. If you visit the museum on a Sunday, you can take part in the “Sundays at Noon” music recitals, which feature jazz and classical music sessions.

Why You Should Visit:
To enjoy a good mix of modern art and some more traditional exhibitions.
The little collection of Harry Clarke Stained glass stands out, as does the Bacon studio and exhibit. The free Sunday concert at mid-day is also worthwhile.

Make sure you visit the Garden of Remembrance close to the Gallery.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Thu: 9:45am-6pm; Fri: 9:45am-5pm; Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun: 11am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

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.
Nightlife Tour, Part 2

Nightlife Tour, Part 2

Dublin at night is a buzzing Mecca of nightclubs, restaurants, bars, and night-time attractions. If you want to have an unforgettable night out, this walking tour is definitely what you need! We offer you a walk around the heart of the Irish capital, with stops at some of the most popular clubs and bars in this fascinating city.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km
Nightlife Tour, Part 1

Nightlife Tour, Part 1

Dublin at night is a buzzing Mecca of nightclubs, restaurants, bars, and night-time attractions. If you want to have an unforgettable night out, this walking tour is definitely what you need! We offer you a walk around the heart of the Irish capital, with stops at some of the most popular clubs and bars in this fascinating city.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 km
Old City Walk

Old City Walk

After the 1950s, Dublin went through a series of reconstruction and remodeling. Old buildings were taken down to make way for modern architecture. Despite the trend, the Old City area was preserved to keep the cultural legacy of Ireland’s history alive. Take this amazing tour to discover some of the most important venues in the Old City of Dublin.

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 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
Temple Bar Entertainment

Temple Bar Entertainment

Temple Bar is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin, Ireland. Unlike the areas surrounding it, Temple Bar has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets. It is promoted as Dublin's cultural quarter and has a lively nightlife that is popular with tourists, with locations proving to be traditional Irish hotspots

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 km
Places of Worship Tour

Places of Worship Tour

This tour will give you a glimpse of Dublin's religious life. There are many churches located in the old town of Dublin, a place unaffected by the city’s radical modernization of the 1960s. They are the guardians of Dublin’s spiritual side as well as architectural history. Take this tour to familiarize yourself with some of the city’s most holy places.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 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.