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Dublin Must-Dos

Our experts recommend the top attractions in and around Dublin—with advice on how to get the most out of your visit.

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Spanning the Liffey River, the late-18th-century O’Connell Bridge is a primarily granite structure that was widened in 1882.

Chester Beatty Library
Extraordinary collection of ancient manuscripts and art; rare finds from Western, Middle Eastern, and Far Eastern cultures. Tip: Check out Dublin Castle while you’re there. Clock Tower Building, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2; tel. 353 0 1 407 0750.

Dublin Writers Museum
Kate O’Brien’s typewriter, Yeats’ programs, letters from Brendan Behan—all conspire to create an intimate look at Ireland’s literary heritage. 18 Parnell Square, Dublin 1; tel. 353 0 1 872 2077; fee.

Hugh Lane Gallery
Strong collection of Impressionist works as well as the complete studio of Francis Bacon moved here from London; compact and easy to navigate. Parnell Square North, Dublin 1; tel. 353 0 1 222 5550.

Kilmainham Gaol Historical Museum
Moving, compelling museum inside the notorious jail, which held thousands of Irish rebels from the 1780s to the 1920s. Somber, knowledgeable guides tell the tragic stories of the men, women, and children who spent years imprisoned here, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising who were executed onsite. Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8; tel. 353 0 1 453 5984; fee.

National Museum of Ireland-Archaeology and History
Houses treasures from Ireland circa 7000 B.C.; Celtic Iron Age gold, jewels, and artifacts; more than two million ancient finds. Kildare Street, Dublin 2; tel. 353 0 1 677 7444.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral
National Cathedral of Ireland; built on what’s claimed to be the oldest Christian site in Dublin; houses the grave of Jonathan Swift, permanent Living Stones exhibition, and other historical treasures; daily services with music (except Saturday) free and open to the public; check online calendar for special concerts. St. Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8; tel. 353 0 1 475 4817; fee.

Trinity College
Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I; ivy-covered stone university has educated everyone from Bram Stoker to Oscar Wilde. Home of the Book of Kells, the ancient, illuminated biblical manuscript considered one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. College Green, Dublin 2; tel. 353 0 1 896 1000.

Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church
19th-century church draws young lovers to make wishes by the relics of St. Valentine in a casket. 56 Aungier Street, Dublin 2; tel. 353 0 1 475 8821.

General Post Office (GPO)
Arguably Ireland’s most political site; in 1916, Patrick Pearse stood on the steps to read a proclamation declaring a free Ireland. The columns out front still have bullet holes. O’Connell Street, Dublin 1; tel. 353 0 1 705 7000.

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