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By Jessica Colley—
Dublin might have a rainy reputation, but this city has many free museums where you can leisurely wait out a storm. Travelers might automatically be drawn to free art museums, but there are also fascinating literature and science exhibits, too.
The center of Dublin is packed with free museums–the following three options are less than a five-minute walk apart.
The National Gallery of Ireland
Merrion Square West, Dublin 2
When you first enter the National Gallery of Ireland, get yourself a map and head straight for the Jack B. Yeats gallery. These vibrant paintings hardly seem Irish–their intense colors seem to belong in another country. This gallery does an incredible job of showing how the artist progressed through the years.
After wandering through the many other galleries (check out the temporary exhibitions too) stop in the gift shop on the way out. Here you will find cheap postcards of the Jack B. Yeats paintings you can send to friends.
The National Library of Ireland
2 Kildare Street, Dublin 2
The National Library offers an exhibit devoted to a different Yeats brother: W.B. Yeats. Any fan of literature or poetry–or anyone looking to delve deeper into Irish culture–will want to explore this multimedia exhibit. Not only does it include artifacts (including the poet’s passport, handwritten poems and other memorabilia) but it also includes recordings, videos and more.
The most exciting part of the exhibit is an interactive experience. Walking up to a touch-screen, visitors have the chance to flip through the pages of the poet’s journals. You can zoom in, turn the page and try to decipher the Nobel Laureate’s scribbles. All for free.
The Natural History Museum
Merrion Street, Dublin 2
In Dublin, the Natural History Museum has a nickname: the Dead Zoo. This museum transports you back in time. The two floors of this ancient-feeling museum are packed with a huge variety of species–many indigenous to Ireland. The total collection of this museum reaches over two million specimens.
Some favorite exhibits include the Giant Irish Deer with massive antlers, stretching to 12 feet. Seeing the skeleton of this extinct species is striking when you first walk into the museum. Also be sure to check out the hundreds of butterflies, displays of birds you will find along Irish shores, and gaze up at the whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling.
More free museums