Dublin City Museums
Dublin is the cultural as well as political capital of the Republic of Ireland, and provides travellers with constant reminders of the fact. Touring the museums lining the River Liffey alone could take days, and planning the itinerary is easier with car rental in Dublin City.
The National Gallery of Ireland on Merrion Square has more than 25,000 individual works of art from all over the world representing the history of art. Admission is free.
Collins Barracks on Benburb Road in Smithfield is home to the National Museum of Ireland's Decorative Arts and History Exhibit. The former British Army garrison was turned over to the emergent Irish state in the early 1920s and converted to the museum in 1997. The permanent collection at the Barracks includes fine crafts and military artefacts and occasionally hosts special exhibits.
The National Museum of Ireland has two additional buildings in Dublin. The Archaeology repository on Kildare Street holds more than two million artefacts from ancient Ireland. The Natural History branch on Merrion Street also boasts two million specimens but of animals from around the globe.
The Kilmainham Gaol National Monument, originally built in the 18th century, is now a museum commemorating many of the Irish nationalist figures who were imprisoned here. Several films have shot on location here. The former jail is located on Inchicore Road south of the river.
The Irish Museum of Modern Art is also situated in an historic Kilmainham building, this being the Royal Hospital dating back to the 1600s. IMMA's permanent collection focuses on Irish artists but includes international figures as well. A special collection of more than 2,000 prints from works by Old Masters such as Rembrandt, Goya and Dürer is also on display.