Last week I went on a five day trip to Dublin with my friends. We did so much in the short time we were there, but as we are all English students we managed to fill the time with literature based tourism!
Instead of a day to day summary, I thought I would give a overview of my thoughts on some of the things we did.
Dublin Writers Museum
This was the perfect place to start our literary adventure! The exhibitions and displays had a huge amount of information on a wide variety of Irish writers, different periods of literature and the influences of these eras. The free audioguide also gave even more information!
Price: €6.30 for student. A great place for a comprehensive guide to Ireland’s rich literary heritage.
National Library & Chester Beatty Library
At the National Library there was an exhibition on W.B.Yeats which was great – James Joyce is usually the most celebrated Dublin writer, so it was nice to experience something different. At the Chester Beatty Library there were some gorgeous exhibitions on about religions, different books from around the world and their history, etc. We only stumbled upon this place after visiting Dublin Castle but it is by far the most interesting library I have been to.
Price: National Library – free, Chester Beatty Library – free. If you’re looking for interesting and unique displays on the Irish writer or world literature go to these.
Trinity College Old Library & Book of Kells Exhibition
I didn’t think the Book of Kells exhibition was as impressive as I expected it to be, given the price – although well set out, it was surprisingly small. (However, its likely I thought this uninteresting because I didn’t know anything about the book.) On the other hand, the old library is stunning.
Price: €9 for student. Unfortunately, you can’t go to just the library. To miss the queue go in the afternoon, from after 3pm.
This was my favourite place we visited; it was really interesting, especially as the guided tour is the only way to look around. There is a big museum as well, which is interactive and full of things to look at. Although it was not specifically about literature, I still found it fascinating to learn about the history of Ireland and the struggles it has faced, such as its fights for independence and the famine.
Price: €3 for students. The place to go for a greater appreciation of Irish history.
We stayed in a hostel in the Temple Bar district, and I would recommend visiting if you go to Dublin: it’s in a great location towards the centre of the city, for vintage shops during the day and the pubs and bars at night. In my opinion it’s the best place to experience the lively atmosphere and entertainment so readily available in Dublin.