Explore Dublin's Literary Gems: A Comprehensive Tour Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 11 min read


  1. Explore the James Joyce Centre
  2. Visit the Dublin Writers Museum
  3. Stroll through the George Bernard Shaw Birthplace
  4. Check out the Oscar Wilde House
  5. Browse Swan River Press
  6. Experience the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl
  7. Discover the Book of Kells at Trinity College
  8. Walk the Wilde Walk
  9. See the Bram Stoker Dracula Experience
  10. Visit the Irish Writers Centre

If you're a book lover planning a trip to Ireland, the literary tours in Dublin are a must-see. This vibrant city is rich with literary history, and our guide is here to help you make the most of it. We'll point out the places where great writers found their inspiration, where iconic characters came to life, and where you can soak up Dublin's unique literary atmosphere. So, lace up your walking shoes—it's time to hit the streets and explore Dublin's literary gems.

Explore the James Joyce Centre

Starting our journey through Dublin's literary history, we find ourselves at the James Joyce Centre. This dedicated space is all about celebrating one of Ireland's most famous authors—James Joyce. If you've ever read "Ulysses" or "Dubliners," you're probably familiar with Joyce's work. If not, don't worry—you will still enjoy the rich history and vibrant storytelling that fill the walls of this former dance hall turned literary museum.

  • The Museum: It's a place where you can really immerse yourself in the life and works of Joyce. Here, you will learn about his influence on Dublin, his struggles and triumphs, and how he broke new ground in literature.
  • Guided Tours: The Centre offers guided tours for those keen to learn more. These tours can give you a better understanding of Joyce's work, his life in Dublin, and his impact on literature.
  • Exhibitions: Throughout the year, the Centre hosts various exhibitions. These may focus on specific works by Joyce, key periods in his life, or wider themes in his work. It's a great way to delve deeper into Joyce's world.

After a visit to the James Joyce Centre, one thing is for sure—you'll leave with a deeper appreciation of this literary giant and his significant contribution to the world of literature. So, when planning your literary tours in Dublin, make sure to add the James Joyce Centre to your list.

Visit the Dublin Writers Museum

Next on your literary tours in Dublin should be a visit to the Dublin Writers Museum. Located in a stunning 18th-century mansion, this museum is an absolute treasure trove of Irish literary history. Here, you'll find a collection that spans over 300 years of literary achievement, with everything from rare first editions to personal items of famous writers.

  • The Collection: The museum boasts a comprehensive collection of books, letters, portraits, and personal items. It's like stepping into a time machine and being transported back to the times when these literary giants were creating their masterpieces.
  • The Writers: The museum pays tribute to a wide range of Irish writers, from the well-known, like Oscar Wilde and James Joyce, to the less familiar, like Lady Gregory and Brendan Behan. You'll get to know their works, their lives, and their impact on literature.
  • The Gallery of Writers: This is a special area of the museum dedicated to modern writers, showcasing the ongoing vitality and variety of Dublin's literary scene. It's a great way to discover new authors and add to your reading list.

Whether you're an avid reader or a casual browser, the Dublin Writers Museum is sure to fascinate and inspire. It's a must for anyone interested in Irish literature and a key stop on any literary tour in Dublin.

Stroll through the George Bernard Shaw Birthplace

After the Dublin Writers Museum, another gem on your literary tour in Dublin is the birthplace of George Bernard Shaw. This charming house, located in the quiet Dublin suburb of Portobello, is where the Nobel Prize-winning playwright was born and spent his early years.

The house has been wonderfully preserved, giving you a glimpse into what life was like in the late 19th century. Each room tells a story, filled with family photos, period furniture, and Shaw's personal items. You can see the room where Shaw was born, the kitchen where his mother prepared meals, and even the garden where young Shaw might have played.

  • The Tour: The guided tour is a treat in itself. You'll hear stories about Shaw's childhood, his family, and how his early life in Dublin influenced his later works. And who knows, you might even leave with a few witticisms to add to your repertoire.
  • The Exhibits: The house also hosts temporary exhibits about Shaw's life and works. These give you deeper insights into Shaw's thoughts, his influences, and his contributions to literature and society.
  • The Bookshop: Don't forget to stop by the bookshop on your way out. It's a great place to pick up a copy of "Pygmalion," "Man and Superman," or any of Shaw's other works. Plus, the sales go towards preserving this important piece of Dublin's literary heritage.

Whether you're a fan of George Bernard Shaw or just curious about Dublin's literary history, the Shaw Birthplace is a wonderful place to visit. So why not take a stroll through this literary landmark on your Dublin tour?

Check out the Oscar Wilde House

Next up on our literary tour of Dublin is the Oscar Wilde House. This grand Georgian house isn't just a feast for the eyes; it's also the place where one of Ireland's most famous writers, Oscar Wilde, spent his childhood. And trust me when I say, it's as flamboyant and charming as Wilde was himself.

The house, also known as No. 1 Merrion Square, has been carefully restored to its 19th-century glory. From the sumptuous drawing rooms to the grand staircase, every inch of the house is a testament to the elegance of the period. And the beautiful garden, where Wilde likely spent hours daydreaming, is a peaceful haven in the middle of the city.

  • The Tour: The guided tour around the house is a must. You'll step back in time as you explore the rooms where Wilde lived, played, and honed his writing skills. You'll also get to see a collection of Wilde's personal items, including letters, photographs, and first edition books.
  • The Exhibits: The house also has exhibits on Wilde's life, his family, and his works. These not only provide a deeper understanding of Wilde as a person and a writer but also highlight his lasting influence on literature and culture.
  • The Wilde Statue: A visit to the Oscar Wilde House wouldn't be complete without seeing the Wilde statue in Merrion Square Park. The colorful statue, with its cheeky grin, perfectly captures Wilde's wit and flamboyance.

So if you're looking for a unique way to experience Dublin's literary heritage, make sure to check out the Oscar Wilde House. It's a fitting tribute to a writer who was, in his own words, "born to be a legend."

Browse Swan River Press

Ready for a real treat? Let's head over to Swan River Press. Nestled in the heart of Dublin, this unique publishing house is the perfect spot for any book lover. It's not just a place to buy books; it's an experience in itself, especially for those on literary tours in Dublin.

Swan River Press specializes in literature of the gothic, fantastic, strange and supernatural. These guys know their stuff and are dedicated to preserving and promoting Irish literature in these genres. It's like walking into a treasure trove of rare and unusual books that you won't find anywhere else.

  • The Collection: The selection at Swan River Press is vast. Whether you're into ghost stories, Irish folklore, classic horror or modern fantasy, you're sure to find something that tickles your fancy. The best part? Many of the books include introductions and notes by experts in the field, which adds a whole new layer of richness to the reading experience.
  • The Atmosphere: There's something really special about the atmosphere at Swan River Press. It's cozy, welcoming, and filled with that old-book smell that bibliophiles love. Plus, the staff are incredibly knowledgeable and always ready to share their passion for literature.
  • The Events: Swan River Press also hosts a range of events throughout the year, from book launches to author readings. These are great opportunities to meet like-minded literature lovers and immerse yourself in Dublin's vibrant literary scene.

So next time you're planning literary tours in Dublin, make sure to include a stop at Swan River Press. It's not just a bookstore; it's a celebration of Irish literature in all its strange and wonderful forms.

Experience the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl

Now, let's mix things up a bit. How about combining two of Ireland's most beloved pastimes — literature and pub hopping? Yes, you heard it right! Welcome to the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl!

This is not your ordinary pub crawl. It's a journey through the heart of Dublin's historic literary quarter, led by professional actors who bring the city's literary history to life. With the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, you're not just visiting pubs; you're stepping into the rich tapestry of Dublin's literary heritage. And yes, it's as fun as it sounds!

  • The Route: The crawl starts at the Duke Pub and takes you to some of Dublin's most famous literary haunts. Along the way, you'll learn fascinating stories about Dublin's literary giants, from James Joyce to Oscar Wilde, and see the places that inspired their works.
  • The Performances: The actors leading the crawl are not only knowledgeable guides but also talented performers. They'll keep you entertained with dramatic renditions of classic Irish literature. Imagine hearing snippets of Ulysses or The Importance of Being Earnest right where they were written!
  • The Pubs: Of course, no pub crawl would be complete without the pubs! You'll visit some of Dublin's most iconic and historic pubs, each with its own unique charm. Who knows, you might even find your new favorite pint!

So, when you're planning literary tours in Dublin, don't miss the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl. It's a unique combination of history, literature, drama, and good old Irish hospitality. Cheers to that!

Discover the Book of Kells at Trinity College

Next stop on our literary tour in Dublin is the awe-inspiring Trinity College, home to the world-renowned Book of Kells.

The Book of Kells is more than just a book; it's a national treasure. This illuminated manuscript, created by Celtic monks around the year 800, showcases the artistry and talent of Ireland's ancient scribes. And it's not just a pretty face either! The Book of Kells is a copy of the four Gospels in Latin, making it an important piece of religious history as well.

  1. What's there to see? Don't let the term 'manuscript' fool you, the Book of Kells is an impressive sight. The intricate details, the vibrant colors, and the sheer workmanship visible in every page are simply breathtaking. You'll need more than one visit to fully appreciate it!
  2. The Long Room: Once you've marveled at the Book of Kells, it's time to step into the Long Room. This stunning library, home to over 200,000 of Trinity College's oldest books, is enough to make any book lover's heart skip a beat. It's not only a feast for the eyes but also a vivid reminder of Ireland's long-standing love affair with literature.
  3. The Experience: Exploring the Book of Kells and the Long Room is like stepping back in time. You'll not only learn about Ireland's literary history but also experience the sense of awe and wonder that comes from being surrounded by such ancient beauty. It's a must-do for any literary tour in Dublin.

So, when planning your literary tours in Dublin, make sure to set aside ample time to explore the treasures of Trinity College, especially the Book of Kells. It's a genuine piece of Ireland's literary legacy that you won't want to miss!

Walk the Wilde Walk

Now let's lace up those walking shoes and hit the pavement for a truly unique part of our literary tours in Dublin — the Wilde Walk. Yes, you guessed right; this walk is all about the celebrated Irish author Oscar Wilde.

Oscar Wilde, known for his wit, flamboyance, and literary genius, left an indelible mark on Dublin. The Wilde Walk gives you a chance to step into his shoes and see Dublin through his eyes.

  1. Starting Point: Our journey starts at Oscar Wilde's childhood home on Merrion Square. The beautiful Georgian house holds many stories and sets the tone for our walk. You might find it hard to move on, but there's so much more to see!
  2. The Wilde Statue: A short stroll away, you'll find a colorful statue of Oscar Wilde lounging on a rock. Crafted from different types of stone, the statue is as flamboyant as Wilde himself and a great spot for a photo op.
  3. Final Destination: Our walk ends at Trinity College, where Wilde studied classics. It's a fitting end to our journey, connecting Wilde's past with the present-day literary culture of Dublin.

So, are you ready to walk the Wilde Walk? Remember, it's not just about the destinations, but also about the journey. Take a moment to soak in the atmosphere, imagine Wilde's life, and feel the pulse of Dublin's literary scene. It's an experience that will surely make your literary tours in Dublin more enriching and memorable.

See the Bram Stoker Dracula Experience

Let's shift gears a bit and dive into the darker side of Dublin's literary history with the Bram Stoker Dracula Experience. Bram Stoker, the mastermind behind the iconic novel 'Dracula,' was a Dublin native, and his city honors him in a way that's sure to give you a thrill.

  1. The Clontarf Area: Begin your experience in Clontarf, where Bram Stoker was born. The area, with its historic buildings and haunting beauty, will surely transport you back in time.
  2. The Bram Stoker Castle Dracula: Next, you'll head to the Castle Dracula. This museum and entertainment house offers you a chance to learn about Stoker's life, his inspirations, and the impact of his work. Be prepared — there are some surprises in store!
  3. The Stoker's Dracula Walking Tour: Finally, join the Stoker's Dracula Walking Tour. As you walk through Dublin's dark and winding streets, you'll learn about the city's history, the places that inspired Stoker, and the real-life characters that appear in 'Dracula.'

Make no mistake, the Bram Stoker Dracula Experience is no ordinary part of literary tours in Dublin. It's a thrilling tribute to one of the most influential horror writers in history. So, are you brave enough to step into the world of Dracula? Just remember, there are no garlic or wooden stakes provided, so bring your own if you feel the need!

Visit the Irish Writers Centre

As our literary adventure in Dublin continues, let's make our way to the Irish Writers Centre. As you might guess, this place is all about supporting and promoting literature in Ireland.

  1. Historic Georgian Building: Nestled in a beautiful Georgian building on Parnell Square, the centre has been a sanctuary for writers and literature enthusiasts since the 1990s.
  2. Support for Emerging Writers: The Irish Writers Centre plays an integral role in nurturing new talent. They offer workshops, courses, and events that cater to writers of all levels. If you're an aspiring writer, this might just be the place to spark your creativity!
  3. Literary Exhibitions and Events: The centre regularly hosts literary exhibitions and events that celebrate Ireland's rich literary heritage. From poetry readings to book launches, there's always something exciting happening.

Visiting the Irish Writers Centre is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the contemporary literary scene. It's a testament to Dublin's enduring love for the written word and a vibrant part of the literary tours in Dublin. So, why not drop by? You never know, you might just catch a glimpse of the next Seamus Heaney or Sally Rooney!

While you're exploring Dublin's literary gems, why not consider creating your own illustrated book inspired by your travels? Check out Siobhan Gallagher's workshop, 'How to Pitch an Illustrated Book.' This workshop will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to pitch your illustrated book project to publishers, capturing the essence of Dublin's literary scene in your own unique way.