Chester Beatty
Chester Beatty
4.5
9:45 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
9:45 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
9:45 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
9:45 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
9:45 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
9:45 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
9:45 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:30 PM
About
FREE Admission. Described by Lonely Planet as ‘not just the best museum in Ireland but one of the best in Europe’ - and the only Irish museum to ever win European Museum of the Year - the Chester Beatty’s extraordinary collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe span centuries, continents and cultures and offer visitors a fascinating view of global artistic heritage. Donated to the Irish nation, American mining magnate and philanthropist Sir Alfred Chester Beatty's bequest is considered one of Ireland's greatest gifts. Open late on Wednesdays until 8pm. Download the Chester Beatty app, for audio tours in 13 languages, virtual walk-throughs, online collections and more!
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Tours & experiences
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Top ways to experience Chester Beatty and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighborhood: South City Centre
How to get there
  • St. Stephen's Green • 7 min walk
  • Jervis • 8 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • Victoria
    168 contributions
    Wonderful free museum
    Fascinating museum near Dublin Castle. Chester Beatty collected manuscripts from around the world and left them to the Irish state when he died. This museum showcases his collection. It was a wonderful selection of sacred texts - all very rate - from all over the world, spanning millennia. I would recommend watching the informational video near the entrance for added context. Added bonus - it's FREE! A can't miss museum for fans of rare and sacred texts. There's also a quaint little cafe attached to it, which was a relaxing place to have a coffee and relax.
    Visited January 2023
    Written January 31, 2023
  • Dan Hyams
    Manchester, United Kingdom30 contributions
    Amazing for a FREE Museum! Packed with Unique Ancient Arabic Artefacts - Largest anywhere in the world!
    This Museum is a real gem with some unique artefacts from Ancient cultures and some of the earliest texts from Arabia and the Far East. Chester Beatty is a shrine to all things literature; from the first ever forms of text, scripture and the most basic steps to present day writing. The history from the first marks on walls/blocks from across the world is represented in some form in this museum. The museum holds the largest collection of such artefacts anywhere in the world so a truly exceptional collection! The 2nd floor is dedicated to world faiths with origin stories and artefacts from throughout the world again. There is a tranquil roof garden with views out to the castle. On the ground floor is a lovely Lebanese cafe with drinks, fresh salads, international cakes and snacks. Well worth a visit and a truly fascinating museum - worth paying good money for so it's a real gift that entry is free!
    Visited February 2023
    Written February 21, 2023
  • Danica_smile
    Portland, Oregon12 contributions
    Hole in the Wall
    Thank you JESSE My fiance and I went to visit Dublin Castle. We were wandering around trying to kill time until our dinner reservation when we saw the Chester Beatty exhibit outside Dublin Castle. We had never heard of it and this place never even came up when we were researching the top places to visit in Ireland. We went inside and was going through the exhibit and Jesse stopped us. He went through explaining the whole 1st exhibit with us and we learned A LOT. He was so knowledgeable and we were so grateful we ran into him. The only disappointment we have was that by the time we got done with the 1st exhibit, we didn't have time to go through the other 2. It was also our last night in Ireland :( We hope to visit again and maybe run into Jesse again. 10/10 deserves a raise
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 10, 2023
  • Bernie K
    Galway, Ireland8 contributions
    Amazing Place!
    The permanent exhibition is simply eye opening - so many unbelievable interesting and beautiful artefacts. And if that wouldnt be enough, it is free, they have events and courses that are mostly free. Staff is just wonderful and really friendly - particularly to kids! And finally: the cafe has the most amazing food, wonderful staff and great coffee! I will go as often as I can
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 15, 2023
  • Quill2005
    Ocala, Florida188 contributions
    See the One of the Earliest Surviving Copies of the Gospels
    Very near Dublin Castle, itself worth a visit, the Chester Beatty Museum (free entrance) houses a very interesting collection of objects from around the world. Not to be missed are the some of the oldest surviving copies of the Gospels and some of the letters of St. Paul, truly awesome. It's worth a visit to this museum just to see those!
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 7, 2023
  • Evelyn K
    Graz, Austria32 contributions
    This museum belongs to the people of Ireland - not the state!
    Unique thing: Chester Beatty gave his collections to the people of Ireland instead of givin them to the national bodies. So it is still a kind of self lead institution, with a deep will to give people an opportunity to learn and to grow. Wonderful place with sensational objects from various cultures. Highly awarded.
    Visited September 2022
    Written April 11, 2023
  • Caity F
    9 contributions
    Great and free!
    So nice to see a free museum, this place was a great stop on our trip. They had lots of nice exhibits and are surrounded by the most lovely gardens. Right next to Dublin Castle, we stumbled onto it. Definitely worth checking out. I imagine artists and writers just hang out there in the gardens all day to work - that's what I would do if I lived nearby!
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 13, 2023
  • Stefan S
    24 contributions
    free entrance and excellent presentation of exhibits
    pleasant surprise! The presentation of the exibits is fantastic. Great variety and all is nicely arranged. There is no entrance fee and it's so much better than many other museums. The book of Kells was disappointing and this was a nice surprise.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written May 7, 2023
  • Skier9175
    Pembroke, Massachusetts467 contributions
    A nice museum off the beaten path
    The Chester Beatty Museum is a nice museum that is a bit off the beaten path as it is next to Dublin Castle but appears to be often over looked. It is free but accepts donations. The collection is nice and a visit to the museum is worth a couple of hours. Lastly, there is a nice cafe on site if you want a quick bite to eat.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 12, 2023
  • snoozermoose
    Boston, Massachusetts163 contributions
    A real gem of a museum
    What a wonderful museum! So many treasures are inside, and the exhibitions are beautifully done. We couldn't believe it was all free. The museum staff were also very passionate about their jobs and very helpful in directing us to areas we wanted to see. The cafeteria inside is also top-notch as far as museum cafeterias go. While it might not be top of the list in terms of must-see museums in Dublin for most people, I'd definitely recommend it.
    Visited September 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 29, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

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breandanoscanaill
clifden county Galway72 contributions
Jan 2020
On a recent trip to Dublin I revisited the Chester Beatty Library and was very moved by the wonderful exhibitions. It is a very calm place with low lighting but full of the most beautiful books and illustrations, mostly from Asia and the Middle East. Each display is a wonder by itself, but when they are all added up the sum is truly amazing. What is also great is that this is the collection of one man, Chester Beatty, and that he presented this collection to the Irish Nation. We were extra fortunate on our visit as we had a guide from the museum who gave us so much information. Jesse, was full of knowledge and was well able to pass this information in a lively way, without loosing the facts. His explanation of the amazing Dragon Robe was a wonder. The food in the cafe is great and don't miss out the roof garden.
Written January 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John N
Leeds, UK151 contributions
Mar 2020
This little gem has a really calm atmosphere and a whole host of ancient treasures. I was particularly impressed with the exhibition featuring all of the major religions on earth and an overview of their history.
There is a roof terrace which I would imagine on a warm sunny day would be a perfect place to meditate. Unfortunately it was a little bit fresh on the day of our visit.
The photography exhibition on Siam was very unusual and is worth twenty minutes or more of anyone's time.
Top tips
1. The cafe in the late morning is very quiet and the coffee is delicious.
2. For those on a budget there is no entry charge but a donation to the upkeep is requested.
Written March 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

victoriafoody
Victoria, Canada311 contributions
Aug 2019
We decided to check out this museum as our daughter has been learning about calligraphy. We spent most of time in the Islamic and Chinese calligraphy collection. It is a fantastic collection that is worth taking the time to explore. Each exhibit is a piece of art in it's own right. There is lots of information on the history of the collections, explanation of the different calligraphy styles and how they developed over the years and on the materials used to created the calligraphy. Our daughter was inspired to try her hand at calligraphy herself.

There is also an excellent bookshop which has books and gifts not seen elsewhere, let alone Dublin.

In some ways this museum was more interesting than the Book of Kells.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Niamh
Dublin, Ireland40 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
Hidden behind the grounds of Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty library is a beautiful place you must visit. Filled with ancient stunning antique’s and historic pieces, there is so much history within these walls. There is no cost either! It’s completely free for you to walk in and take as long as you like to browse the collections and pieces.
Written March 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Taisteal
Dublin, Ireland110 contributions
Nov 2019
This free museum is in the heart of the city in Dublin Castle. It is the lifetime collection of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty. The works are from the 3rd century onwards. There are many extraordinary pieces around the world. Most are priceless. Some of the rooms are darkened to protect the valuable exhibits. But the lighting is perfectly to allow you view these rare pieces.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jack Wilmith
Dublin, Ireland110 contributions
Aug 2020
An exceptional collection of Middle and Far East objects of religious art that we haven’t seen in any other museum in Europe, finely put together with an eloquent and highly interesting accompanying descriptions. We were stunned to see the oldest discovered manuscripts of St Paul’s Letters and other ancient Biblical texts dating back to C 3rd AD! For such a place to have a free admission is just a dream come true! An during the current Covid times it’s so quiet too- we’ve passed by 4 other persons during our 2h visit!
There is also a very quiet roof terrace, with almost no noise coming in from the city- you almost feel like in a sanctuary. Would recommend to anybody having a free afternoon in the city centre!
Written September 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mari P
Lancaster, Pennsylvania3 contributions
Jan 2022 • Couples
We spent about five hours in here and would have stayed longer if our feet weren't so sore! This is one of Dublin's finest gems and an absolute delight to visit. The significance and quality of the collection is on par with major global museums. We were visiting on a slow day and one of the staff, Jesse, pulled us and another nearby couple into an impromptu tour - and it ended up being one of the best museum experiences I've ever had! He was so passionate and we loved listening to him talk about various pieces in the collection. Absolutely recommend a visit (or several) to the Chester Beatty and also highly recommend a tour with Jesse!
Written January 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kiron R
Liverpool, UK122 contributions
May 2023 • Couples
A quiet place despite being very busy. We didn't know anything about it but I heard a very good free tour guide at Dublin Castle recommending it the day before, and my wife saw it recommended in the Rough Guide to Dublin and wanted to visit the garden in front. We very much liked the high quality if expensive cafe serving food for all dietary requirements with Middle Eastern and Asian options. Also cakes and a good range of drinks. The history of Chester Beatty and his collection was probably more interesting than the actual limited selection of items on display. The higher floors were less crowded. There is much information about the major world religions, different branches of them, and associated cultures. This included a lot that I didn't know before about Islam and Hinduism for example. Lovely examples of art and bookbinding. Historic manuscripts and maps. The information signage is very good in English and usually Irish, and the shop has a good range of books, postcards and souvenirs to suit all pockets.
Written June 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Philrost
Sheffield, UK6 contributions
Jan 2020 • Solo
This is an absolute gem. It houses all of, and beautifully displays some of, the vast collection of early manuscripts put together by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty and given to the Irish nation in the 1950s. The parts of the collection on display include staggeringly lovely scrolls and codices from the middle and Far East and Europe. They include the earliest known manuscript of letter of St Paul to the Thessalonians, some sumptuous early Qu’rans and some quite breathtaking Chinese and Japanese painted scrolls. The collection is beautifully and informatively displayed in a brilliantly repurposed part of Dublin Castle. I was transported.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ficie
Reykjavik, Iceland470 contributions
Feb 2020
A must do in Dublin! The Chester Beatty collection is quite impressive. The art works on display are all interesting, and their relevance is well explained on plaques across the museum. I try to visit museums with different art styles in my travels, and this is one of the most interesting ones I have come across. Despite being compact, it's varied, and not repetitive. Entrance is free, so there really is no reason not to pop in and take a look. You will find something that sticks with you (I personally loved the Japanese stories with monsters, and the minutely decorated copies of the Quran).
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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