If you are in Dublin and feel to learn something about the history of the city and Ireland in general, you find multiple options. The Dublinia museum, however, might be a rather interesting option, especially if you to digest the learning in a comparably entertaining way. A key focus of the museum is about the Viking era. I did so in February 2023 and share my thoughts with you.
Dublinia – Location & Admission
The Dublinia is located right West of Temple Bar and North of St. Patrick’s Cathdral. The picturesque Christ Church Cathedral is just across the road, both buildings are connected with a stone bridge (the one you see in the pictures above)… If you are in Central Dublin anyway, you can likely walk, but some adequate bus stations are Hight Street (buses 13, 123, G1, G2) or Winetavern Street (G1, G2 only). Using the tram system Luas just makes limited sense as there are neither Green Line nor Red Line stops nearby.
During my visit, the Dublinia opened daily, from 10:00 to 16:00. I went for a walk-in ticket including the adjacent Christ Church Cathedral , which is only available at the museum’s desk and costs roughly 20 EUR. The Dublinia-only adult ticket is 15 EUR.
Dublinia – The Visit
The museum is in general documented in English. However, there are quite a lot of audio stations and interactive touch screens, which allow you to listen in other languages (typically French, German, Italian, Spanish or similar). Another key feature of the museum is that they illustrate history with actors. However, during my visit in February 2023, there was just one Viking-stlye character, who has not been that entertaining.
The displays are made very well, though. Dublinia does have original items, but the key focus is definitely to make you understand and feel how life in different stages of Irish history has been. The first section is the Viking Age, where you can also look into the structures of a Viking house or learn that in these days you tended to use moss as toilet paper. That also illustrates that the pictures might suggest that the Dublinia is some sort of slightly upgraded wax museum – but in fact you really learn quite much. I also very much enjoyed walking through the museum and explore life in the Middle Ages, going through some market booths or learn about the impact of leprosy and plague.
Illustrated Development of Dublin
The museum is also very illustrative in the development of the city of Dublin. I for example liked the city model you see on the pictures above. The upper floor also features a movie, which is telling you about life in Dublin during these days, based on the story of a person living there.
At the end of the visit, you also have the opportunity to climb 96 steps to St. Michael’s Tower. I am sure it is great – but I am generally not the best person for that kind of thing and felt very weak on the Saturday I visited the Dublinia, so that I had to skip that. You exit taking the stone bridge across the street to the cathedral, which is really cool.
Dublinia – Services
Towards the end of the visit, right before you cross the bridge to the cathedral, you enter the souvenir store, which has all the typical traveler’s stuff. The same area also features a cafe which felt to be a really cute and nice place.
Dublinia – My View
I really liked visiting the Dublinia museum. It is very educative, but still very entertaining. However, the signature feature, live characters, was really sparse during my visit. The museum works well without it. As there are many Dublin sights around, I would definitely recommend to have a look and add it to your Dublin travel plans. The price is a bit too high maybe, if there are hardly any actors around.
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