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Trinity College

Ireland's most prestigious university, retaining a tranquil collegiate atmosphere in the midst of the city.

TravelCurious Tip

Only a limited number of people are allowed inside the library at a given time, and this can lead to queues - try to head there early to beat the rush.

Walking through the grounds of Ireland’s oldest university, it is easy to forget that you are in the middle of a modern capital city. Spread out over almost 50 acres, its wide-open grassy spaces and ancient quads provide a welcome break from the bustle of central Dublin and manage to combine a friendly, student-driven atmosphere with a strong sense of history. Elizabeth I founded Trinity in 1592 as part of an effort to prevent promising young Dubliners heading to Europe to pursue a university education. Since then, it has developed into one of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions, and can boast alumni such as Oscar Wilde, Francis Bacon and Jonathon Swift.


The Pages of History

Foremost among Trinity’s attractions is its library. A masterpiece of 17th century architecture, its original building would once have towered over the rest of the university. Even now, surrounded by building of comparable size, the old library dominates the view of the university from Nassau Street. Inside are housed no fewer five million books. The most famous of these is the Book of Kells, a 1200-year-old illuminated gospel manuscript widely regarded as one of Ireland’s finest historical artefacts. The old library also features the gorgeous Long Room, whose polished two-storey shelves stretch back a full 65m, interspersed with marble busts of historical figures associated with the university.


Bad luck of the Irish

Another of Trinity’s most important structures is the Campanile, a 30m belltower located in the centre of the university campus. Its size and form are impressive from any angle, but beware walking beneath it - legend has it that anyone passing under the tower when the bells begin to ring will be doomed to a lifetime of bad luck.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Dublin
General Post Office
The capital's last great Georgian public building, and the headquarters of the Easter Rising in 1916.
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.
The Book of Kells
Ireland's most treasured medieval manuscript, dating back to the 9th century.
Merrion Square
A grand Georgian garden square with serious literary pedigree.

Related Tours

Dublin’s Literati: a Walking Tour
Ireland is famed for its rolling landscapes and tranquility, so it is no surprise that many famous literary figures grew up in Ireland, and based their novels of such settings.  

  • Visit the famed Trinity College Library where notable Dubliners, like Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker, studied
  • Wander Merrion Square, where dozens of famous Dubliners called home, including Yeats and Wilde
  • Stop by St. Patrick's Cathedral where Jonathan Swift is buried
  • Stop for a pint in Davy Byrne's pub, famous for its appearance in James Joyce's Ulysses
Dublin: City of Literature

UNESCO recognises Dublin as a City of Literature, reflecting the city’s rich and varied history of writers and writing. During your tour, you will meander  through the streets, libraries and book stores woven into the stories and lives of Ireland's most  celebrated Irish thinkers. From Nobel Literature Prize winners WB Yeats, GB Shaw and Samuel Beckett to its beloved James Joyce, Dublin is brimming with stories of its favourite authors waiting to be heard. 

One of your tour's highlights includes a visit to the famed Trinity College campus, Ireland's first and most acclaimed university. Here you will learn about the college’s numerous treasures, as well as lesser known tales of some of its most renowned alumni, like Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde.  Your campus tour culminates with a special visit  to the Old Library where an ancient Irish masterpiece, the Book of Kells, can be seen. 

Ireland’s Literary Greats


In Merrion Square, where many houses have plaques detailing the rich and famous who once lived in the area, you will learn more about the life of Dublin’s most famous son, the writer and dramatist Oscar Wilde. At St Patrick’s Cathedral, you will hear about the illustrious writer and satirist Jonathan Swift, who had a lifelong connection to the cathedral's Dean. Whilst pausing at his tombstone, you will hear about some of Swift's triumphs and greatest controversies. 

Next, find yourself stepping back into the 18th century with a visit to Marsh’s Library. Unchanged for three centuries, this perfectly preserved library of the early Enlightenment—with its original oak bookcases— houses more than 25,000 rare and obscure books.

Lastly, your literary tour of Dublin would not be complete without a visit to Sweny’s Pharmacy and a literary pub such as Davy Byrne’s. Both made appearances in James Joyce’s Ulysses and are bursting with interesting tidbits about the famous novelist and poet.

We built this tour because Dublin played an influential role in the writings of many renowned literary figures. 
Dublin's Private Full Day Highlights Driving Tour
This full day driving tour will whisk you through Dublin's highlights, and give you great insight into Ireland and its people.

  • Enjoy the comfort of a private car for your excursion.
  • Learn about Dublin's extensive history with your private driver guide. 
  • Snap photos of landmark sights, including Trinity College, O'Connell Street, and Dublin Castle.
  • Visit the historic St Patricks Cathedral.
  • Venture towards the  Georgian Henrietta Street. 
As you travel, your driver-guide will inform you about Dublin’s 1,000 year history from the first Viking settlers to the Norman arrival and the building of the city into what you see today. Highlights of this tour include the beautiful Georgian squares and parks of Dublin, the Grand Canal Dock, Trinity College area, Templebar, O’Connell Street, the Guinness and Jameson areas, the historic Phoenix Park, Dublin Castle, St Patricks Cathedral and much more.

On your tour, you will have the opportunity to visit the historic St Patricks Cathedral which dates back to 1211 AD and was lovingly restored in the 1800's by the Guinness family. From St Patricks Cathedral, you will make your way across Dublin to the perfectly preserved Georgian Henrietta Street dating from the mid 1700's to visit this historical townhouse telling the story of Dublin in the 1800's. This site is closed on Monday and Tuesdays so alternatively one can enjoy a tour of Glasnevin Cemetery which has a fascinating history and is very much a who's who of Irish history. 
Private Walking Tour of Dublin with a Local
Travel isn’t just about travel, it’s people, faces, food and cultures, fresh perspectives, discoveries and different ways of life - it’s about uncovering the city’s soul. It’s about connection. On your private, guided tour of Dublin with a local: 

  • Enjoy meaningful insights and Irish humor with a Dubliner. 
  • Hear how locals describe Dublin - the experiences that have shaped their worldview, including Brexit and the tenuous ‘open-border’ question.
  • Spend a few hours walking around the city’s highlights - including St Stephen's Green and O'Connell Street, with a private, local guide.
  • Pick up invaluable recommendations on off-the-beaten-tracks pubs, advice, and tips on finding the best whiskies.
  • Finish your tour over a pint of Guinness - or a coffee or tea- in your local guide’s favorite haunt.
Ireland’s compact capital - with its vibrant, historical and beautiful streets - has witnessed everything from the Great Famine to the fight for Irish Freedom. A city made for walking, easily navigable districts make orientation a breeze, but even if you get lost, the locals are some of the friendliest you will find in the world. The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade attracts millions of revellers to Irish folk songs and Celieh dancing, but in Dublin there are free-flowing pints of “the black stuff” and live music year-round in lively watering holes.
 
Enjoying a private, guided tour with a local will help you discover the side-streets and stories often missed. Hear the intriguing backstories and learn the backstories and neighborhood rumors which bring Dublin to life, from the revolution over a century ago to the country’s current relationship to mainland Europe and the United Kingdom. There are no substitutes for anecdotes and first-hand insight – which is why we’ve built this tour: so that you can have a Dubliner's knowledge to  help you swerve tourist traps, lengthy queues and over-priced nonsense. While you walk the city, you’ll uncover its authenticity through the eyes of a Dubliner. Your tour is immersive - bringing meaningful and like-minded interesting people together that would never meet if you stuck to the main tourist drag. Experience the world-famous Irish humour, the lilt in the local accent, and great ‘craic’ over a beer or coffee at a local pub, and then jot down your guide’s version of “must do Dublin.” 
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