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Chester Beatty Library
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Dublin Historical Highlights Walking Tour
Ranked #9 of 540 things to do in Dublin
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: With free admission and described by the Lonely Planet as 'not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe,' the Chester Beatty Library is a must-see on any Dublin visitor's itinerary. As the only museum in Ireland to win 'European Museum of the Year' and rated consistently in the top 6 of TripAdvisor's list of 'Top things to do in Dublin', the library's rich collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / lift, Lockers / storage
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2012

It's a museum of books. Not for kids, but I was thoroughly impressed. If you are going to Dublin Castle, go in sign up & pay for your tour. You might have to wait an hour. Walk around the back of the castle and tour this place. It's free.

Visited February 2012
Thank sullivankzs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,159 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Greater Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Hidden gem in the grounds of Dublin Castle”
Reviewed 20 February 2012

When most tourists think of Dublin, Ireland they do not think they will see an superb collection of manuscripts, images, miniature paintings, ...etc from a wide rang of Asian, North African & European countries. Everything from a fantastically illustrated book of hours to a collection of beautiful Korans ...a wide collection of items from a wide collection of countries and cultures in one small library. You can spend an hour or a day!
This library is a MUST see for those folk who want to see something different! The memories of these beautiful items will stay with you for a long time after you leave!

Visited March 2011
Thank bodmor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Intellectually Stimulating”
Reviewed 15 February 2012

This relatively hidden building is located round the corner from Dublin Castle, yet it always houses great exhibitions!
Current exhibitions include one about books from Ancient worlds, one on religions and traditions and a photographic exhibition of China through the lens of a late 1860s Scottish photographer.
I would very much reccommend this to anyone visiting Dublin, and best of all it's free!

Visited February 2012
Thank SallyOday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ski Municipality, Norway
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“A treasury of books and illustration”
Reviewed 14 February 2012

This was number one on our list of sights to see in Dublin, and we were not disappointed. The main exhibition is divided into two parts, one is about the evolution of writing and the other about the main religions, and both are backed by excellent pieces from Chester Beattys extensive collection. It is a wet dream for anyopne interested in writing, books, history, etc. and it trumps anything I have ever seen elsewhere. They also have a great museum shop and a cafe, so don't even think about it, just go there.

Visited February 2012
2 Thank DSS11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Don't miss this incredible collection”
Reviewed 13 February 2012

A panel in this library says "in Islamic Religion it is believed that the first thing God created was a pen". You will believe this after you see this marvellous collection of books and manuscripts donated by private book collector extraordinaire Chester Beatty. Located in the precinct of Dublin Castle, this library has no admission charge, and to my mind is the finest attraction in Dublin. There are Egyptian papyrus manuscripts here that are 3000 years old, as well as Islamic, Chinese and Japanese materials. (Apparently, the Asians were centuries ahead of Europeans in the use of paper). Here you will find many beautiful "illuminated" books similar to those in the the Book of Kells at Trinity College. We heard from a number of sources that the Chester Beatty is actually more satisfying than paying to see only two pages from the Book of Kells and fighting off all of the tourists. The beautifully bound books on display have very intricate illustrations in gold and rare pigments, and the tiniest writing! My husband is a book lover, and he said he had never seen anything like it. It is amazing to think that one man could ever have amassed all of this material in his lifetime. If you are in Dublin, don't miss this incredible collection.

Visited August 2011
Thank Claudia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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