Chester Beatty Library
While in Dublin, make sure you go and visit the Chester Beatty Library. Set in the grounds of Dublin Castle, the museum’s home to impressive collections of manuscripts, texts and artefacts accumulated by mining engineer Sir Alfred Chester Beatty. Free to visit and very informative, the museum is one the city’s most well-loved attractions.
Beatty’s huge collection of books, paintings and costumes span two floors. On the first floor you’ll find the Artistic Traditions Gallery with personal items exploring Beatty’s life, alongside collections from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Look out for the ornate medicine boxes, and an impressive array of Chinese jade books.
Moving on to the second floor, you’ll come to the Sacred Traditions Gallery, home to artefacts exploring Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism. The illuminated Qur’ans are simply beautiful, with some texts dating back to the 9th century. You’ll also spot love poems written on papyrus from ancient Egypt, Burmese artwork, and one of the oldest biblical fragments ever discovered.
Next, go to the Reference Library to see the lacquered ceiling created by Beatty in his London home. There are also regular events here, including workshops, talks and exhibitions, so check the calendar for what’s on before you arrive.
Before leaving the Library, make sure you visit the Japanese rooftop garden and try the Middle Eastern food at the Silk Road Cafe. Then make your way over to Dublin Castle to explore the Medieval Undercroft, State Apartments and Chapel Royal.