Tourism in the Liberties

Photo: April Keogh

Photo: April Keogh

One of Ireland’s biggest and busiest tourist destinations is the Guinness storehouse, bringing over 1,269, 371 visitors to the liberties in 2014 alone but the Storehouse is not the only reason why tourists are flooding into this vibrant part of Dublin. The Liberties has been known as the heart of the city for a long time but its reputation changed when it became synonymous with social problems and issues. That is no longer the case, and the Liberties is once more a hot spot for tourism in the capital.

Vicar street – 58 Thomas Street, Dublin 8

Vicar Street has showcased countless musicians and comedians. The famous venue has a cool vibe with drinks flowing for the entire evening. The concerts held here appeal to tourists because they are so intimate, with just over 1,000 seats, so that you are near the stage no matter where you are. The venue will be buzzing this March with such stellar acts as Al Porter, Al Murray, the Meteor Music Awards, PJ Gallagher and Mary Black. The full list of events and gigs are on the Vicar Street website.

St Patrick’s Cathedral – St Patrick’s Close

St Patrick’s Cathedral is very famous and rightly so, as it is said that the well outside was where St Patrick himself baptised converts when he was in Dublin. It is now an Anglican church but is open to any visitors.  There are still services and seminars in the cathedral but it now also hosts music events. There are lunchtime recitals from choirs and musicians throughout the month of March and bigger events happening all through the year. The list of events is available here…

The Tivoli theatre – Francis Street

The Tivoli has been open since 1987. It has undergone refurbishment and now has two floors; the upstairs theatre where all the productions happen and the downstairs theatre where many bands have played. The theatre can also be rented to host one’s own events. The Tivoli is the place to be at Christmas time with the Christmas Panto, but shows are also on all year round. This month, ‘All Shook Up’ – which is based on William Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth night’ and is set to the music of Elvis Presley – headlines. Tickets and information are available on the Tivoli’s website.

Marsh library – St Patrick’s Close

The Marsh Library has not changed for three centuries with original bookcases housing over 25,000 rare books. The library is open to visitors to explore the rich history, but they also hold events. ‘James Joyce: Apocalypse and exile’ is currently running until June 29th. Tickets are €3 for adults and free for children, those on job seekers or social welfare. The seminar examines what Joyce himself read in that very library. More information on this and other events is available on The Marsh Library’s website.

Kilmainham Gaol is one of the largest unoccupied jails in Europe and held some of the most historical figures in Irish history such as Charles Stewart Parnell, the 1916 Rising leaders and Eamon de Valera. The gaol is undergoing renovation until the end of the year with various wings closed. Although unable to hold big crowds such as school trips, the gaol remains open for personal visits. This month, the opening hours are from 9:30am to 5:30pm Monday – Saturday. The gaol is located on Inchicore road, Dublin 8. More information is available on the Heritage Ireland website.

Irish Modern Art Museum – Military Road, Kilmainham

The goal at IMMA is to make contemporary art available and enjoyable for the people of Dublin. Admission to the museum is free and you can also see the formal gardens while you are there. They display a variety of exhibitions, collaborations, tours and events. March is a big month for the museum with the Duncan Campbell exhibition, the Primal Architecture exhibition and talks with famous artists like Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler. Times and events are available on the IMMA website.

Dublinia – Christchurch Cathedral

This attraction is a little different to most. It takes you back in time to experience life in Viking and Medieval Dublin. The exhibition gives tourists a taste of life in another time with life size reconstructions. Tourists can visit an excavation site, a Viking house and a medieval fair depending on which tour they decided to take. Dublinia opens from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm and costs €8.50 for adults and €5.50 for children. You can plan your own trip online, tailored to what you want to see.

The National College of Art and Design – 100 Thomas Street

NCAD is not just for students, but rather it is open to one and all. They have their own art gallery which helps to develop and promote young Irish artists. The Gallery is open Monday to Friday with exhibitions and events changing all the time. There are constantly lectures, screenings and viewings all available in the gallery. Anyone who enjoys art and design will not be disappointed after a trip to NCAD.

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