National Library of Ireland

National Library of Ireland

National Library of Ireland
4.5
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Visit the National Library of Ireland (NLI), where Ireland’s story is an open book. Enjoy the NLI’s lively programme of events and exhibitions, consult its collections, get help tracing your family tree. Particular highlights at the main library buildings on Kildare Street are the award-winning Yeats exhibition. The NLI’s National Photographic Archive, where regular exhibitions explore Irish life through remarkable photographs, is situated in Temple Bar. All locations are FREE to visit and within a short walking distance of the Grafton Street shopping area and St. Stephens Green.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: South City Centre
How to get there
  • St. Stephen's Green • 7 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • retireeVancouver
    Vancouver, Canada1,836 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Yeats display is worth a short visit
    Be at the library entrance before 4:30pm to see the Yeat's display in one of the rooms. To walk through this impressive display took us about 20-30 minutes. I was dazzled by the displays in several cases which showed his original pages of poetry with his corrections on the poetry lines in his own handwriting. The display also included an area showing what Yeats'writing studio would have looked like with photos on the wall of people important in his life. There also was a collection of his works on display. Display is free and next to the National Museum of Archaeology.
    Thank you so much for your wonderful review
    Written August 23, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 31, 2023
  • md1mm
    Sheffield, United Kingdom1,611 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good WB Yeats exhibition
    This is the national library on Kildare Street. It is a beautiful building. You need a ticket to enter the reading rooms. If you are Irish it is worth registering for these online as they are free - you can not register on the day. As a tourist the areas you can visit are limited. Currently there is an exhibition about WB Yeats which is very interesting. You will learn a lot more about the man that you are likely to have known. Before you leave the library make sure you visit the toilets as they have not been changed for probably 100 years.
    Thank you for visiting our Yeats exhibition, we are delighted to hear that you enjoyed it
    Written October 11, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 6, 2023
  • V8405Z
    Manchester, United Kingdom10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    National Library, Dublin - WB Yeats exhibition
    Great exhibition on WB Years currently, well worth a look. Admission is FREE. The Library is centrally located in Kildare Street and right beside Leinster House, the seat of government. Could be combined with a visit to the National Museum of Ireland - Archeology, which is close by
    Thank you for your 5 star review and great comments about our Yeats exhibition.
    Written October 11, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 7, 2023
  • Madan Gopal M
    Bengaluru, India4,629 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A repository of knowledge.
    Located in a heritage building, the National Library of Ireland at Dublin is a repository of more than 12 million items. Established in 1877, this is one of the oldest libraries in the world. This is a reference library with a large quantity of books, manuscripts, journals, maps, newspapers and photographs. The ambience in the place is conducive to learning and accumulation of knowledge. Though we could not visit reading rooms and other rooms, we had the opportunity to see a wonderful special exhibition in W B Yeats. The imposing structure with aesthetic design, this National Library is a must visit for every book lover anywhere from the world.
    Thank you for your 5 star review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your visit so much.
    Written January 15, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 14, 2024
  • Bradlenin
    London, United Kingdom121 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic FREE exhibition on WB Yeats!!
    Fascinating building, full of treasures of Irish literature, but at the moment it is worth beating a path tro the NLI's door just to visit the FREE exhibition on WB Yeats - beautifully curated and planned out, with a great number of original manuscripts and First Editions, the best thing about it is the presntation of his poems, his politics, his lovers, his mysticism and his theatriclity, which all get dedicated areas and presentations. To understand this complex man you have to take a deep dive into all these aspects, and with this superbly mounted installation, you can do just that in about an hour and a half. Mind, you'll want to go back for more!!
    Thank you for your 5 star review. We are delighted that you enjoyed the exhibition so much.
    Written March 4, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written February 29, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles572 reviews
Excellent
311
Very good
185
Average
51
Poor
17
Terrible
8

Stefan
Province of Leinster, Ireland1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
I visited this establishment on the 3rd of November, as part of my college curriculum, and while the majority of the staff were well versed in there duties and adequately professional, the receptionist however (a short older lady with pink shoes) was extremely rude to the other visitors. Calling them names in a taunting bully-like fashion and raising her voice while suggesting to one "act your age or get out" referring to a 30yo woman who just so happened to be standing in the wrong place of a queue.
In due course after an abrupt altercation the lady left, admittedly it was extremely poor service and the surrounding crowd were duly shocked at the manner in which the member of staff was behaving.
From my perspective an unjustified arbitrary display of power, resulting in layer of awkward silence as we watched on waiting to be belittled next.

Although a sour taste was left in my mouth, the rest of my visit was smooth sailing and quite enjoyable due to other highly skilled and knowledgable staff members.
Written November 7, 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.
We are sorry to hear that your visit to the NLI was disappointing. Please contact us at info@nli.ie and we can discuss further.
Written December 14, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bradlenin
London, UK121 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
Fascinating building, full of treasures of Irish literature, but at the moment it is worth beating a path tro the NLI's door just to visit the FREE exhibition on WB Yeats - beautifully curated and planned out, with a great number of original manuscripts and First Editions, the best thing about it is the presntation of his poems, his politics, his lovers, his mysticism and his theatriclity, which all get dedicated areas and presentations. To understand this complex man you have to take a deep dive into all these aspects, and with this superbly mounted installation, you can do just that in about an hour and a half. Mind, you'll want to go back for more!!
Written February 29, 2024
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.
Thank you for your 5 star review. We are delighted that you enjoyed the exhibition so much.
Written March 4, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Madan Gopal M
Bengaluru, India4,629 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Located in a heritage building, the National Library of Ireland at Dublin is a repository of more than 12 million items. Established in 1877, this is one of the oldest libraries in the world. This is a reference library with a large quantity of books, manuscripts, journals, maps, newspapers and photographs. The ambience in the place is conducive to learning and accumulation of knowledge. Though we could not visit reading rooms and other rooms, we had the opportunity to see a wonderful special exhibition in W B Yeats. The imposing structure with aesthetic design, this National Library is a must visit for every book lover anywhere from the world.
Written January 14, 2024
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.
Thank you for your 5 star review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your visit so much.
Written January 15, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

V8405Z
Manchester, UK10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
Great exhibition on WB Years currently, well worth a look. Admission is FREE. The Library is centrally located in Kildare Street and right beside Leinster House, the seat of government. Could be combined with a visit to the National Museum of Ireland - Archeology, which is close by
Written October 7, 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.
Thank you for your 5 star review and great comments about our Yeats exhibition.
Written October 11, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Phil C
Liverpool24 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Solo
I visited on a Wednesday early afternoon in June as I was visiting Dublin for the first time, am a photographer and had seen pictures of the reading room.

I wanted to see & photograph the room myself, but was told that I couldn't. I had to be studying and only studying.

That is not good. I have been to many reading rooms in other cities - they are inclusive and accessible by all - the nli website says that their buildings can be enjoyed by all. They clearly can't.

Okay, if I make a racket, I am happy to be shushed or ejected if my behaviour is in some way offensive. I can assure you, it wouldn't be, and never has been

Come on nli, this is really not good enough.
Written June 2, 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.

Flybj450
Belfast, UK14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Family
Quite simply the most mesmerising small museum in Ireland. The ambiance, architecture, food and situation are second to none. The WB Yeats area is beyond what anyone can reasonably hope for and should be a place of pilgrimage for all who appreciate the works of the Greatman.
However it is a museum i will never revisit. Nor for that will my wife, my family nor any of my friends ever take the time to visit. The reason is simply the outrageous rudeness, aggression and downright ignorance of the brute who on our October 2014 visit, masqueraded as a receptionist. In my almost 50 years of visiting museums throughout Europe, this man was in a class of his own. His tirade of abuse to my daughter and me was beyond belief. My personal thoughts are that there was the vestige of anti Northern Irish and hence anti British in his behaviour but this was denied by the Curator to whom i complained. She explained that it was clear from the video that a "Conflictional Situation" existed between this man and us, but that it was unclear what the genesis of it was nor was it clear what a "Conflictional Situation" is
I hope that you visit this museum. It really is special. Just be careful not to look up the stairs at the stained glass window. This does appear to have been what set this man into action.
You have now been both encouraged and warned so you have no excuse
Written March 16, 2015
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.

MsIreland2
Dublin, Ireland205 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
Looking through the archives was very enjoyable. I really did not think we would spend much time here but we started to look through the old files. I was amazed at the old archives available. Definitely going to go back and do more research. Down stairs, there was a fantastic display on William Butler Yeats. Well worth dropping into. Upstairs is a fascinating reading room. Really useful if you want to do genealogy research.
Written October 27, 2019
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.

HappyTravelerFromNYC
New York City22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
Even if you are a minor fan (or have limited knowledge) of Ireland’s great literary figures, you will find this exhibition about William Butler Yeats fascinating. The design of this exhibition in and of itself is impressive, but the back story of Yeats’ life (through texts and video), artifacts, and a media display of passages of his poems narrated by famous individuals, is thoroughly engaging and enlightening. With all the major historic sites and other attractions that Dublin has to offer, this exhibit truly added to the richness of our Dublin experience.
Written October 22, 2019
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.

LitsaE
Geelong, Australia126 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
This afternoon we visited the elegant National Library of Ireland, opened in 1890. The interior features, especially the stained glass windows surrounding the rounded lobby and the large window on the landing of the central staircase leading up to the domed reading room, were particularly beautiful. I was much taken with the ‘Ladies’ and have included quite a few images of this beautifully tiled and furnished facility. We spent a couple of hours in the WBYeats exhibition, listening to his poetry and viewing the extensive collection of written manuscripts written by him or about him. Some good videos also were included on various aspects of his life. A great exhibition 👍
Written September 15, 2019
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.

Maggi713
Baltimore, MD12,096 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Couples
We were drawn in by the beauty of this building. It was designed by Thomas Newenham Deane. We were told that the mission of the library is “To collect, preserve, promote and make accessible the documentary and intellectual record of the life of Ireland and to contribute to the provision of access to the larger universe of recorded knowledge.” The library is only a reference library, so you cannot borrow books. You can come and use the library free of charge. The library has the most comprehensive collection of Irish documentary material in the world; thus offering an invaluable representation of Ireland’s history and heritage. When you visit, make sure that you go up and visit the reading room. You can take pictures if you stand off to the side. It was lovely especially being able to see the dome. Also, the ladies room is quite enchanting.
Written May 15, 2019
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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