The 10 best museums in Ireland, ranked

The Emerald Isle has an array of museums to discover, here are the ten best museums in Ireland to check out.

Ireland is renowned for having a fascinating history among many other things. So, what better way to get to know the country than to spend some valuable time in our very best museums?

Irish history stretches back centuries, and touches on all walks of life, from politics to literature, and art to sport. Thankfully, we have the museums to commemorate it all.

There are so many to choose from, so we are here to give you an overview of the best ones to start with. Here are the ten best museums in Ireland, ranked.

10. Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Co. Dublin – discover the resting place of the Irish legends

Glasnevin is home to one of the best museums in Ireland.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Located in Glasnevin on Dublin’s north side, this is a place to discover the burial place of many of Ireland’s great legends, such as Daniel O’Connell and Michael Collins.

There is a café here, a museum with historical exhibits, and a whole cemetery to walk around. A definite must in Dublin.

The Glasnevin Museum was voted the best museum in Ireland in 2016, while it also won the best international museum at the Museum and Heritage Awards for Excellence. 

Address: Finglas Rd, Glasnevin, Dublin, D11 H2TH

More info: HERE

9. The Irish Whiskey Museum, Co. Dublin – discover the taste of Ireland

This Irish Whiskey Museum in Dublin is another of the best museums in Ireland.

Ireland is famous for its world-renowned whiskey, and here on Grafton Street, you can learn how it’s made and try a few samples.

This is a great way to spend time in between shopping.

Address: 119 Grafton Street, Dublin, D02 E620

More info: HERE

8. Irish Museum of Country Life, Co. Mayo – look back on the old way of life in Ireland

This is a free to enter museum not far from Castlebar, Mayo.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

This free museum located close to Castlebar is one of the best museums in Ireland, due to its array of exhibitions.

You can easily spend the whole day discovering Irish life and history here, without spending a dime.

Address: Turlough Park House, Gortnafolla, Castlebar, County Mayo, F23 HY31

More info: HERE

7. Chester Beatty Museum, Co. Dublin – there is more to discover at Dublin Castle

Chester Beatty is free and is one of the best museums in Ireland.
Credit: chesterbeatty.ie

This free museum, complete with religious and historical exhibits, is based in Dublin Castle and has been called one of the best museums in Europe and in Ireland.

This is definitely worth a visit on your next trip to the capital if you are interested in Irish history. 

Address: Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, D02 AD92

More info: HERE

6. National Archeological Museum of Ireland, Co. Dublin – a step back in time

This is the place for you if you are into ancient history.
Credit: museum.ie

If you are into ancient history, this is the museum for you, with findings from the Vikings, medieval times, and the Bronze Age.

This is undoubtedly one of the best museums in Ireland to explore with its selection of exhibits. 

Address: National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

More info: HERE

5. The Little Museum of Dublin, Co. Dublin – discover the life of Dubliners

The Little Museum of Dublin is one of the best museums in Ireland.
Credit: Flickr / William Murphy and Flickr / Heather Cowper

One of the best museums in Ireland has to be this museum exhibiting the life and times of Dubliners over the years and it is one of the underrated tourist attractions in Dublin.

A great experience when exploring the capital.

Address: 15 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

More info: HERE

4. Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Co. Dublin – for awesome art exhibits

The IMMA is the home of art in Dublin and Ireland.
Credit: Flickr / William Murphy

The Irish Museum of Modern Art is the place to go to find some epic works of art and is one of Dublin’s free museums and galleries.

It is housed in a building from 1684, which is to be admired in its own right. Both the building and art can boast of a rich history with literary heritage. 

Address: Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, County Dublin

More info: HERE

3. Kilmainham Gaol, Co. Dublin – uncover this fascinating prison museum

Kilmainham is one of the best museums in Ireland.

This prison museum is by far one of the best museums in Ireland.

It captivates Irish and international visitors with its amazing stories of ex-political prisoners from the 20th century and more, such as the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. One not to be missed for sure.

Address: Kilmainham Gaol, Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, County Dublin D08 RK28

More info: HERE

2. Titanic Belfast, Co. Antrim – discover the story of the famous Titanic

Located in Belfast, this is the museum depicting all things Titanic, from its build to its maiden voyage to its disaster at sea.

This interactive museum is an absolute must when you are visiting Belfast or on your Ireland Road Trip Itinerary.

Address: 1 Olympic Way, Queen’s Road, Belfast BT3 9EP

More info: HERE

1. EPIC Museum, Co. Dublin – an epic experience in Dublin

EPIC tops our list of the best museums in Ireland.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

This is undoubtedly one of the best museums in Ireland. It has so much to offer that you will spend a day or even more here, just reading all the information about Irish emigration.

It is a fantastic museum with an overall view of Ireland, its history, and so much more.

A truly epic experience, that follows the incredible history of Ireland’s relationship with emigration over the years. This is not to be missed if you have an interest in this topic and want to learn more. After all, the Irish have truly left their mark around the world.

Address: The Chq Building, Custom House Quay, North Dock, Dublin 1, County Dublin

There is no doubt that there are so many museums to choose from and hopefully you will have the time to discover them all and bring history to life.

Notable mentions

These are among the best museums in Ireland.
Crumlin Road Gaol and the Ulster American Folk Park.
Credit: crumlinroadgoal.com and geograph.ie

Crumlin Road Gaol: A recently established museum now sits in the former prison, offering an interactive guide to the story of the prisoners once housed there. 

Ulster American Folk Park: This is an open-air museum outside Omagh in County Tyrone, which tells the detailed story of Irish emigration. 

James Joyce Museum: This museum is dedicated to the life and works of the famous Irish writer. 

Croke Park Museum:This is a GAA museum at the iconic Croke Park in Dublin, which offers tours and discusses the heritage of Ireland’s native sport. 

FAQs about the best museums in Ireland

Credit: YouTube / Science Gallery Dublin

Are there free museums in Ireland? 

Yes. There are plenty in Dublin city centre that are free. For example, there is The Science Gallery at Trinity College. 

How many museums are in Ireland? 

There are approximately 205 museums in Ireland, north and south. They explore a range of topics, such as natural sciences, medieval history, natural history, traditional crafts, and prehistoric artefacts. They can boast of an impressive collection of life stories and interactive exhibits. 

What are other museums in Ireland? 

These would include Ballycastle Museum, Dublin Civic Museum, Fermanagh County Museum, and the Foyle Valley Railway Museum. There is also the Kerry County Museum, Armagh County Museum, and Swords Museum. 

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