Dublin City Hall

A masterpiece of the civic Georgian architecture for which Dublin is renowned.

TravelCurious Tip

The rotunda is sometimes booked out for weddings on Saturdays – if you are unlucky enough to arrive on such an occasion then be prepared to have your access limited.

A Den of Vice

This site next to Dublin Castle at the top of Parliament Street was not always occupied by so prestigious and grand a building as the City Hall. In the mid-1700s a tavern called The Eagle became the sordid hangout of the Earl of Rosse’s infamous Hellfire Club, whose drunken, debaucherous and occasionally diabolical revelries became the stuff of Dublin legend. These days, the sex and satanism have been toned down but the location is no less widely renowned.

A Celebrated Restoration

Designed by Thomas Cooley and completed in 1779, Dublin City Hall marked the introduction to Ireland of the European neoclassical architectural style, and remains an exquisite example of it. When it was converted into a government building in the mid-1800s, the team tasked with overseeing the alterations to the building created a number of unsightly additions to the structure which ruined its overall aesthetic effect. Thankfully, an award-winning restoration program in the early 21st century has returned City Hall to its former Georgian splendour.

Trading Places

After paying a €4 entry fee, you are admitted into the rotunda, a spectacular entrance hall crowned by a large dome, which is supported by 12 marble columns. You can wander between the columns, over the gorgeous floor mosaics and around the ambulatory surrounding the rotunda, and your footsteps will follow those of the merchants who once discussed business in this place over 200 years ago.

In the vaults downstairs there is a multimedia exhibition detailing the history of Dublin from the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1170 to the present day. For an entry of only €2, it is well worth a visit.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Dublin
Ha’penny Bridge
An elegant icon of Dublin, the first pedestrian bridge to cross the Liffey.
Temple Bar
A lively cultural and creative quarter on the south bank of the River Liffey.
Irish Houses of Parliament
Today a branch of the Bank of Ireland, the old Irish Parliament buildings were a radical Neoclassical creation.
Dublin Castle
Originally built to defend Norman Dublin, this handsome castle is now the city's historic heart.
Christ Church Cathedral
Dublin's photogenic eldest cathedral has been a place of worship for nearly 1000 years.
St Patrick's Cathedral Dublin
Founded in 1191, it remains the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland.

Related Tours

Historic Highlights of Dublin, Private Walking Tour
 Discover the culture and vibrancy of Ireland between the rolling landscapes and foggy skyline, by taking a historical highlights tour.

  • Stroll historic O'Connell Street 
  • Snap photos of Ireland's most famous university, Trinity College
  • Admire Dublin's famous architecture, which spans several centuries and styles
  • Explore Dublin Castle's grounds, and Christ Church Cathedral,  as you learn about its exciting Viking heritage
  • Finish your tour in one of Dublin's most social neighbourhoods: Temple Bar

Celtic Pride and Irish Independence

Dublin has a rich 2,000-year-old history, spanning from the Celts to the modern day; this curated walking tour will bring that history alive. Your tour will begin with a walk along the famed O’Connell Street, where you will see The Spire, Daniel O'Connell and James Joyce statues and the General Post Office. This is the very spot where the crowds gathered for the Declaration of Irish Independence and which became inspiration for poetry and literature of the era. You will hear all about the many writers and rebels from you knowledgeable local guide. 

Stepping on the Ha’penny Bridge, a beautiful pedestrian bridge that once charged the eponymous half penny to cross, we will cross the River Liffey to walk within the hallowed campus of the famed Trinity College, Ireland’s first and most acclaimed university. Here you will hear about the college’s numerous treasures and tales of renowned past students, including Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker. 

Classical Dublin

Continue your turn about the city with a dive into some of Dublin's most famous architectural buildings, including the Neoclassical 18th century former House of Parliament and the Georgian-style City Hall. 

In the courtyard and garden of Dublin Castle, you will explore the castle’s 800-year history. Near old Christ Church Cathedral you will learn about the area's history as a Viking settlement, and view the site of the world’s first performance of Handel’s Messiah.

You will also visit the famous Temple Bar, Dublin’s cultural and entertainment quarter and one of the liveliest nightlife areas that preserves its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets.
The Road to Independence Private Walking Tour
The Easter uprising was a definitive moment in the history of the Emerald Isle. The rebellion took place in the middle of World War One and was brutally suppressed by the British army. It paved the way for the election of Arthur Griffith as the president of a new nation six years later. 

  • Visit the General Post Office, the headquarters of the rebels and the site of their final surrender
  • Learn about the uprising’s failed attempt to capture Dublin Castle at the start of the conflict
  • Relive the intense struggle that took place in the City Hall
  • Stop by the Gardens of Remembrance, where the lives of all the Irishmen who died in the struggle for independence are commemorated
In this three hour walking tour, you will explore the most significant sites of the uprising. From the General Post Office—the headquarters where the rebels declared Ireland a republic and raised the flag shown in the tour images below—to the City Hall where fierce fighting took place. You will learn about the failed rebel attempt to capture Dublin castle at the start of the conflict. Your tour will conclude with a visit to the Garden of Remembrance, where the lives of all the Irishmen who fought for freedom are commemorated.
Dublin's Best Whiskey Tasting Experience; Group Tour
Adventure towards the historical drinking hubs of Dublin social life, and experiment with some of Irelands finest whiskies. 

  • Visit three historical pubs 
  • Learn about the social culture of drinking in Dublin 
  • Sample five tasting whiskies 
Irish whiskey dates back more than 1,000 years, when Irish monks began making their own “uisce beatha”.  In 1608, The Old Bushmills Distillery in Co Antrim became Ireland first licensed distillery. By the middle of the 18th century, there were more than 1,000 registered distilleries in Ireland, as demand for whiskey reached saturation levels. In the 19th century, Irish whiskey sales were badly hit by the Temperence movement and the Great Famine. Whiskey exports thrived, however, and America in particular was fast falling in love with the smooth nectar from the ould sod. In the early 20th century, Ireland was fighting a War of Independence, and Irish whiskey became a major casualty. Prohibition in the US also badly hit exports.  Scottish distillers were quick to seize the opportunity, and Scotch soon overtook Irish as the world’s favourite whiskey. In 1987, John Teeling launched Cooley Distillery, the first independent distillery in 100 years, marking the beginning of a renaissance for Irish whiskey. 

Irish whiskey is now the fastest-growing premium spirit category in the world, and Whiskey tourism is growing in Ireland, too, with 814,000 people visiting Irish whiskey attractions in 2017. 


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