The 5 Best Irish Museums That You Really Don’t Want to Miss

Visiting Irish museums on your trip over here is a brilliant way to dig deep into Irish history, culture and talent, and really understand what makes this small country of 4.6 million tick.

However, there are so many great Irish museums to choose from which makes it really hard to narrow down which one you should add to your Irish itinerary this trip.

So we’ve done all of the hard work for you and come up with a list of our favourite five museums that we think you absolutely must see on your trip to Ireland.

They’re scattered across the country and will offer everything from gaol tours, social history, folklore, uprisings, emigration, Vikings, medieval life and much more.

Take a look at our list and add them to your Irish Bucket List!

1. Kilmainham Gaol (Dublin)

This cold-looking and scary museum holds the key to much of Ireland’s history and struggle for independence, so it really is a must-see when you’re visiting the capital.

Built around 1792, it held many of the leaders from the uprisings of 1798 to 1916 and even staged many of the executions that took place here too. If you want to really understand Irish history, don’t miss it!

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2. National Museum of Ireland- Country Life (Castlebar, County Mayo)


This photo of National Museum of Ireland – Country Life is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Life in the Irish countryside between 1850 and 1950 was often brutally hard. You can find out all about what this was like when you visit the national folk museum, Natural Museum of Ireland- Country Life.

It details so much about real rural life in Ireland, including basket weaving, agriculture, fishing and hunting, clothing and textiles, furniture and fittings, trades and crafts, transport, calendar customs, leisure and religion from the perspective of an everyday person. And honestly, you’ll find it completely fascinating!

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3. Dublinia (Dublin)

dublinia ireland

Ever since my parents took me to the Viking Museum in York, England, I’ve been fascinated by historical reenactment museums. And Dublinia certainly doesn’t disappoint!

Expect to see what life was like on a Viking warship, learn the Viking runic alphabet and even stroll down an authentic Viking street

And when you’ve done that, you can then explore medieval Dublin, breathe in the sights and the smells and learn the horrors of medieval punishments. Eek!

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4. Cork City Gaol & Museum (Cork)

cork city gaol ireland

If you’ve ventured out of Dublin and you want to experience just how harsh life was life as a prisoner in Ireland in the 1800s and 1900s (and you want to scare any kids travelling with you into behaving! ), make sure you pay a visit to Cork City Gaol & Museum.

I love their evening tours, and the small details and stories they share that really make history come to life. Get yourself down there!

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5. EPIC: Irish Emigration Museum (Dublin)

epic ireland

EPIC takes you on a colourful, interactive tour through the history of emigration from Ireland, from the early days right through to the present.

Learn about Irish creativity and culture, relive the achievements of over 70 million Irish people across the globe and really celebrate what it means to be Irish.

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So when you come on your next trip to Ireland, make sure you visit at least one of these awesome museums! Is it a deal?

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