Home to dozens of famous writers, poets, and essayists, Dublin is a literary hub. Dublin has many pubs, streets, and buildings named after famous literary figures and many literary spots to visit.
There is literary history in Dublin. There are many literary spots to visit in Dublin where writers lived, worked, or frequented. You can walk in literary characters’ footsteps or see the places that inspired your favorite books.
These are only eight of many amazing spots in Dublin that have a literary connection. If you love books, you’ll love these spots!
1. Dublin Writer’s Museum
The Dublin Writer’s Museum is one of the best literary spots for book lovers in Dublin. The museum celebrates the lives and works of famous Irish writers from the past three hundred years. Jonathan Swift, George Bernard Shaw, and James Joyce are just a few of the writers featured in the Dublin museum. Books, letters, portraits, and personal items make up parts of this outstanding collection.
2. James Joyce Centre
The James Joyce Centre in Dublin is one of my favorite literary spots. Dedicated entirely to James Joyce and his books, this museum is perfect for fans both casual and obsessed. One highlight is their walking tours, where you can walk in the footsteps of some characters from Joyce’s books or see the sites that inspired his locations.
3. Book of Kells
What book lover doesn’t love a really, really old book? The Book of Kells at Trinity College Dublin is an illustrated manuscript that dates back to 800AD depicting the four gospels in Latin. There are 340 folios—680 individual pages—that are constantly in rotation in the museum. Likely done by three different artists over time, the illustrations are extensive and stunning. The history surrounding the book is fascinating and told through various exhibits.
4. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
You might wonder why a cathedral is on this list: what literary connection could it have? St. Patrick’s in Dublin is connected to Jonathan Swift, best known as the author of the book Gulliver’s Travels. But did you know he was also the Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral from 1713 until his death in 1745? In this spot, his grave sits inside the cathedral, with an epitaph on the wall opposite his final resting place.
5. Oscar Wilde Statue
Another great literary spot is at the corner of Merrion Square Park in Dublin. The Oscar Wilde statue sits across from Wilde’s childhood home at no. 1 Merrion Square, Dublin. Wilde is best known for his essays, poems, and his singular book, The Picture of Dorian Gray. The statue has Wilde in an eccentric green and pink coat, an ode to the writer’s colorful personality.
6. Sweny’s Pharmacy
Sweny’s is possibly my favorite of all the literary spots in Dublin. In James Joyce’s book Ulysses, the main character Leopold Bloom visits this spot in Dublin to get lemon soap for his wife while running errands in Dublin. The spot closed as a pharmacy in 2009 but is still open to Joycean fans who come for the soap or for a reading of some of Joyce’s famous works.
7. Kennedy’s Pub
Kennedy’s Pub is a literary spot across from Trinity College Dublin. This pub prides itself on its literary connections to Dublin. The front of the pub was formerly a grocery shop where Oscar Wilde worked, stacking shelves on Saturday afternoons. Both Samuel Beckett and James Joyce frequented the pub during their years at Trinity College Dublin.
8. Trinity College Library Long Room
The Long Room at Trinity College Library in Dublin is perhaps the most stunning literary spot on this list. Housing over 200,000 books, this spot is a sight to behold. You can spot many little details the longer you look for them while in the room. Some of my favorites are the marble busts and the detailing on the bookshelves, especially toward the ceiling.
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