National Library of Ireland
National Library of Ireland © YvonneM
The highlight of this historic library is the great domed reading room, which has been home to many Irish students, including James Joyce. This is a light-filled, peaceful and inspiring place to work, write or read and should be on every scholar's bucket list. The reading room is open from 9.30am to 7.45pm between Monday and Wednesday, 9.30am to 4.45pm on Thursday and Friday, and 9.30am to 12.45pm on Saturday. Anybody is allowed to enter but they are strict about the observance of silence and this is an area for work.
The library also contains a heraldic museum, which exhibits coats of arms and banners, but of most interest to tourists may be the genealogical office, where staff can help trace any Irish roots. Its consultation service on ancestry is available Monday to Wednesday 9.30am - 5pm, and Thursday to Friday 9.30am - 4.45pm. It's a free service and no appointment is required.
One of the library's most famous and popular attractions is the award-winning Yeats exhibit: The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats. The exhibit is magical and compelling, taking visitors through Yeats' fascinating life. The collection includes rare material which has been generously donated by Mrs George Yeats, the poet's wife, and Michael Yeats,his son, over several years. The library hosts other wonderful temporary exhibitions but the Yeats exhibit has been on show since 2006 and has become a permanent addition due to popular demand. There is also a cafe on the premises.
Address: 2 Kildare Street
Telephone: +353 1 603 0200
Opening times: Monday to Wednesday 9.30am-7.45pm; Thursday and Friday 9.30am-4.45pm; Saturday 9.30am-12.45pm.