City Hall
Architectural BuildingsHistory MuseumsGovernment Buildings
10:00 AM - 5:15 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:15 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:15 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:15 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:15 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:15 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:15 PM
About
City Hall was built between 1769 and 1779. The build took ten years to complete. When they decided to build City Hall a competition was advertised and 62 submissions were made. The winner of this Competition was Thomas Cooley, a young architect from London. At the time, James Gandon would have been the primary architect in Dublin, but his designs came second in the competition. Thomas Cooley was also tendered to build the Four Courts, however at 44 years of age, he fell ill and died and therefore James Gandon became the primary architect in the building of the Four Courts. If you look to the ceiling you will see that there is a stained glass dome, initially this was meant to be left open, in the same vein as the Pantheon, however given that we are in Ireland and it rains so often, they decided to cover it in. The stone work was done by a German man called Simon Vierpyl, and the stuccodore responsible for the gilded work was a man called Charles Thorpe. Initially when City Hall was built, it was built as The Royal Exchange. This was where you would have come to exchange Irish Punt into English Sterling. This was where merchants and guildsmen gathered to discuss their trading affairs. If you look out the West door onto Castle Street, that was where the banks were located and if you look out the windows to the east, where the trading happened. Over by the Olympia Theatre was where debts were collected. This really was an epicentre of trade in Dublin for the later part of the 18th Century. The Wide Streets Commission used the building in the late 1780s and 1790s to meet to discuss the planning of the city. If you walk around the outer ring of the Rotunda, you will notice that there is a distinct echo, this was done intentionally. When Thomas Cooley was designing the building, he designed it so that the echo would muffle private conversations that were had when walking around the room. Upstairs, in what are now the Council Chambers, there were coffee rooms. Coffee House Culture in the Dublin in the 18th and 19th Century was quite popular. Coffee was a luxury item and therefore very expensive to buy, and this made it very fashionable in those days. In 1800 the Act of Union was introduced and this had a devastating effect on the economy in Dublin, and by 1827 the currency was amalgamated. The building fell into disuse and was then rented out. This was actually where O’Connell gave his first public address on the Act of Union and it is one of his most famous addresses. In 1852 this building was bought by Dublin City Council, and they had partitions put up for privacy. Since then, in 1998- 2000 Dublin City Council restored the building to it’s original state as part of a refurbishment plan for the millennium.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: South City Centre
How to get there
  • Jervis • 6 min walk
  • Four Courts • 7 min walk
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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

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles339 reviews
Excellent
107
Very good
163
Average
58
Poor
9
Terrible
2

David S
25 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Couples
Visited today, 20th September, having checked out website only to be told by a disinterested security guard that it was closed today for a function. We were able to view the dome from a roped off area just inside door. Asked if we could visit tomorrow but again told “no there’s a function.” Again checked calendar on website to see nothing scheduled and encouraging visits.
If they genuinely want visitors to admire the building please ensure information is up to date.
Went next door to Dublin Castle and had a wonderful guided tour
Written September 20, 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.

AthanasiaGreece
Athens, Greece4,614 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
Impressive building (Georgian architecture, inspired by Ancient Greece) , beautifully lit at night, central location next to Dublin Castle... We passed by the City Hall several times during our trip in Dublin. I liked the ceilings and floors inside, the Rotunda entrance hall, the vaults, "The story of the Capital" exhibition (the sword, medieval manuscripts, costumes). Free admission!
Written November 14, 2018
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.

ElleL2016Cheshire
Warrington, UK52 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Friends
Monday 15 July 2019

I was disappointed that the City Hall didn’t offer a Guided Tour, as Belfast’s is really interesting.

But anyway, the entrance is the style of a rotunda, with a marble floor and high stone walls. It was designed by Thomas Cooley, it was built between 1769 and 1799, and it is Georgian architecture.
Written July 29, 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.

Stacy
29 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Friends
We stumbled across this by accident but were pleasantly surprised. It’s was free to enter and walk round. We were warmly welcomed by the staff. It’s a beautiful place to visit and provides a great over view of the history of City. You can sit down and watch short videos of the history of the city and how they have maintained the building.
There is a lovely little place to grab a snack and drinks as well as a small sitting area and toilets.
The building it’s is truly beautiful and well looked after.
Written July 1, 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.

copmedic
Texas City, TX410 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Couples
The Dublin City Hall is right next to Dublin Castle.

They offer free tours or you can do it on your own.

The Free Guided tour schedule is limited, so check it first. I always learn more listening from an expert rather than doing it on my own.

The building is of course an awesome architecture.

If you miss the guided tour, make sure to go down the basement as they have an exhibit there.

There is also a coffee shop on the basement level.
Written October 18, 2016
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.
Thanks for reviewing City Hall and our exhibition, you can pre-book guided tours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Ciara
Written February 10, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tribe93
Manassas, VA632 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Friends
Still an active City Hall building where they hold meetings, it's worth a few minutes to see the rotunda and how well they've restored the building to it's neoclassical glory.
Written July 16, 2016
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.
Thanks for taking the time to review City Hall! Ciara
Written March 24, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

BonnieNimmo
Marble Falls, TX1,179 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Couples
This imposing structure is so gorgeous, particularly the ceiling of the rotunda. I also love the 6 huge columns on the front of the beautiful building!
Written July 6, 2016
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.
Glad you got to experience the Rotunda, hopefully you got some lovely photos! Ciara
Written March 24, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

QuickWhitTravel
Washington DC, DC3,797 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Friends
This building has some interesting history, but some even more amazing architecture. It's definitely worth stopping in, or even just stopping by to see it from the outside if you're pressed for time.
Written May 18, 2016
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.
Thanks for taking the time to review City Hall! Ciara
Written March 24, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

mc_eeyore
Cobourg, Canada97 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Couples
The rotunda and entrance to City Hall are stunning! Well worth seeing. For a fee there is a fairly extensive exhibit on the ground floor that has a lot of information about the city of Dublin and the workings of government - both present day and historically.
Written October 14, 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.
Thanks for reviewing us :) Ciara
Written April 26, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

chowhoundkc
kansas city75 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Family
The Old City Hall is located in front of Dublin Castle. The building was constructed between 1769 and 1779 as the Royal Exchange. The main floor has a beautiful rotunda, which is free to visit. On the lower level is "The Story Of The Capital" which costs a few euros. This is a well-planned exhibit, which will take at least an hour or two to appreciate. There is also a cafe and a gift shop.
Written June 5, 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.
Thanks for your review :) Ciara
Written April 26, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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City Hall, Dublin

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