This former prison is one of Dublin's most historic buildings. Dating back to 1796, the Kilmainham Gaol is a massive building that housed men, women and even child prisoners. Most notably, the Gaol is known for incarcerating famous rebels and prisoners of war. Today the building serves as a museum with exhibits, artifacts and docent-led tours.
Located at Stephen's Green, this little non-profit museum revives 20th Century Dublin for visitors. The little museum focuses, among other things, on the cultural transition that took place during the entire existence of the nation. There's a surprising amount of things to discover here, such as the Golden Age of Dublin, contribution of women in significant socio-economic movements, and a special exhibit dedicated to U2, Ireland's biggest rock band. Overall, it is a great way to acquaint yourself with how far the great city has come, and it is highly recommended to join one of their super engaging tours.
The National Concert Hall sits imposingly close to St Stephen's Green. This large building was formerly home to University College Dublin but became the city's main concert venue in 1981. There are two halls. The acoustics in the main auditorium are not the best by any means, but the John Field Room next door offers better sound and a more intimate setting. The Hall attracts the best of classical performers to the city. The fine National Symphony Orchestra and National Concert Orchestra also perform here regularly. If you don't have time for an evening performance, you might be able to squeeze in a lunchtime recital at this attractive and comfortable venue.
An architecturally and culturally iconic venue in the city, the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre (formerly Grand Canal Theatre) is the brainchild of Mike Adamson, CEO of LiveNation. The need for such a theater arose because numerous international theater groups were yearning to perform in the city, but save for the O2, there wasn't a venue prominent enough to host them, and the O2 couldn't accommodate all of the performances in its schedule. Thus, an initiative for another first-rate theater was taken, and with the approval of the Dublin Dockyards Development Authority, the construction of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre began in 2007. Opened in March 2010, this theater has hosted a passel of cultural events, including ballets, plays, operas, concerts and much more. With a capacity of 2111, this is one of the premier venues for major events in the city.
This private house and one-time fortress is located on acres of lush parkland in Malahide. The interiors are done up beautifully with plush drawing rooms and portrait paintings of the Talbot family, while the facade is flanked by beguiling Gothic Revival turrets. Standing strong for about 800 years, this old home has seen it all; wars, good times and memories of the family it sheltered. One of the country's oldest castles, the magnificent Malahide Castle not only chronicles the legacy of the Talbots, but it has also been a catalyst in framing the course of Ireland's medieval history. Now a major attraction, the main hall plays host to private celebrations and banquets, while guided tours in French, Spanish and Dutch are available for tourists. The restaurant is quite popular with the locals, who drop in for a hot traditional breakfast of baked scones, with homemade jam and cream.
First established in the late 1960s, the Project Arts Center was 'the' place to see fringe and visiting theatre performances in Dublin, and was also one of the few organizations brave enough to establish itself in the then-derelict Temple Bar area. The Project was not without its shortcomings, however; it was cramped, acoustics were poor and its infamous tin-roof seemed like it would literally fly off when the wind rose during performances. The four-storey Project boasts two spacious performance studios, numerous spaces for art exhibits, and a cafe/bar, the Project is set to become a focal point for the performing arts in Dublin. See their website for details for forthcoming events.