Francis Bacon Studio - Hugh Lane Gallery

In 1998, over 7,000 items from Francis Bacon’s London studio were removed by a group of archaeologists and conservationists and placed in identical fashion inside the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. No detail was spared – even particles of dust were brought over from the original studio and catalogued in an exhaustive database, which holds a picture and factual description for each item. The relocation of the studio was unprecedented in the museum world, and allowed for close study of the brilliant artist’s chaotic working space.

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  • Charlemont House
    Parnell Square North
    Dublin 1

Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

This contemporary art gallery sits in the beautiful dove-grey shell of the old Royal Hospital Kilmainham – an elaborate 17th-century building partially inspired by Les Invalides in Paris. Its collection stretches from the 40s to the present day. After you’ve meandered through its warren of corridors and pootled about the surrounding grounds, peek inside the Freud Project just next door which is home to a rolling programme of Lucien Freud-related exhibitions.

Stella Cinema

The newly restored Stella Cinema is stiff competition for Dublin’s Light House Cinema and the Irish Film Institute. The Stella, located in Rathmines (just outside the immediate city centre) has adopted a 20s aesthetic – almost a carbon copy of Soho House’s Electric Cinema in London’s Notting Hill. Sumptuous leather chairs and mirrored side tables make for a comfortable movie watching experience. Popcorn, nachos and pick ‘n’ mix are available at the lobby bar on your way in, while larger food and drinks orders will be delivered right to your seat. Post-film, pop upstairs to the Stella Cocktail Club, housed in a glass atrium. It has the decor and vibe of its sister property, the Vintage Cocktail Club, along with a menu to impress.

National Gallery of Ireland

Ireland is known for producing great writers, but you shouldn’t overlook the eminent artists that come from the island: Hugh Douglas Hamilton, James Barry, William Orpen, John Lavery and Jack Butler Yeats (yes, that’s W. B. Yeats’ brother) are featured in Irelands’ National Gallery. Don’t miss Johannes Vermeer’s Woman Writing a Letter With Her Maid, The Cottage Girl by Thomas Gainsborough and Caravaggio’s Taking of the Christ.

Guinness Storehouse Tour

This is about as touristy as it gets for Dublin, but it’s also incredibly fun. Inside a building centred around a giant pint-glass like structure, the tour will take you through the process of stout making – including a huge waterfall to symbolise the most important ingredient (water) and as you go farther up the pint glass, the packaging, history and health benefits of a Guinness (including reducing the risk of blood clots). A free pint is included in the ticket, which you can enjoy in the Gravity Bar (expect crowds).

Kilmainham Gaol Museum

Vestiges of the atrocities that occurred in this jail between 1796 and 1924 are palpable as you walk through the damp and narrow corridors that zigzag around cells here. The prison is famous for its former occupants, which included many of the leaders of rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916. You can only view the gaol by guided tour, which will offer you insight into the lives of many of the occupants. Top tip: get here early as tickets sell quickly and you may need to wait up to an hour for the next tour.

Chester Beatty Library

Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, an American mining magnate and prolific collector of manuscripts, prints, icons and paintings left behind an incredible collection of human history when he died in 1968. Stand in awe over Egyptian papyrus texts, rare copies of the Qur’an, the Bible and an impressive selection of snuff bottles from Japan. Don’t miss the Chester Beatty papyri, which includes a 3rd-century Greek papyrus manuscript of the Gospel of Luke.

Chester Beatty Library

National Gallery of Ireland

Francis Bacon Studio

Guinness Storehouse

Kilmainham Gaol

Books Upstairs

The Stella

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