Dublinia is the best way to experience Viking and medieval Dublin in a dynamic three-story museum located at Christ Church, the crossroad of Dublin’s medieval city. This is the type of museum that anyone can enjoy regardless of their age; it’s easy to travel back in time to the medieval era here. We often see Vikings as bloodthirsty invaders but, in reality, many of them were just traders and merchants. In this museum, you can try on Viking clothes, learn about their warfare, participate in the medieval market, play medieval games, visit a Viking house and write hundreds of messages by learning the Viking runic alphabet. Learning about Ireland’s history was never this fun! If you are visiting Dublin’s medieval area you won’t regret visiting the Dublinia Museum.
Perfect location for tourists
Dublinia is located at the Christ Church Cathedral in the Dublin City Centre, which is considered the Viking or Medieval area of the city. It is easy to walk through Dublin’s streets without getting lost, and its location is perfect for tourists who don’t want to waste time walking from one attraction to another. The Tailors Hall, the Dublin City Castle, the Franciscan Library, and the City Hall are all within a 5 minute walk; and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Four Courts, the Wax Museum, and Trinity College are all within a 10 minute walk.
The museum is located next to High Street, one of the most important streets in the city. You can find plenty of bus lines, restaurants, gift shops, and tourist information offices that will improve your experience even more!
The Viking Exposition on the first floor
It is easy to travel back in time from the moment you enter the museum; one of the first things you’ll see is a huge Viking ship at the entrance and the helpful staff will introduce you to the museum. It doesn’t matter what part of the world you come from; all the animations are available in six different languages. This exposition will teach you how they used their ability as sailors, soldiers, artisans and merchants in order to build a settlement in Dublin. Learn how Vikings built their houses, and how the famous battle of Dublin contributed to their demise. There are several clothes you can try on, but beware of the heavy chains that some of them have! You can take several pictures in the model Viking houses, which is for sure the funniest part of the building, especially when it gets to learning how they managed their hygienic habits.
Medieval Dublin at the second floor
A gigantic scale model of Dublin will welcome you to the second floor. It is easy to admire the urban organization and the aspect that the city could have had at the 15th century. After Dublin was taken in 1170 by the Anglo-Normans and by Leinster’s king, it became the capital city of a British colony that expanded rapidly.
This floor is the most dynamic and interesting of all. You’ll walk into the narrow, dirty, crowded streets that surrounded Peter Higley’s house, a rich merchant from the late medieval period. Visit an 8th century pier to understand more about medieval trading of goods such as clothing, wool, salt and wines. Wear the merchant’s clothing and learn salesmanship in the big fair, which was celebrated once a year at Fair Green, located outside Dublin’s city wall.
During medieval times, life expectancy was 30 years (before the Black Death arrived) due to wars, violent feuds and several illnesses. Learn about how they treated the most common diseases with medicinal herbs. You can even be punished at Dublinia to learn how quarreling was solved through special courts called “piepowder courts!”
History Hunters and the gift shop on the third floor
Except for the gift shop, the third floor is part of the Christ Church Cathedral and photos are forbidden on this floor. This exposition is not about Vikings or medieval times; it’s more about the discovery of archeology under the streets and buildings of Dublin. You’ll be able to visit a cottage, an archeological site, a library that served as aid for several investigations and the most interesting of all: the laboratory. It is amazing to learn how they calculated the ages of buried bodies and how they could learn about their lifestyle, gender, diet and cause of death by just analyzing their skeletal remains. You can become an archaeologist and use the microscopes and current technologies of the profession.
If you enjoyed your stay at Dublinia, don’t hesitate to buy a wonderful souvenir at the gift shop; there are plenty of options you can choose from such as postcards, DVD’s, jewelry, books, or fun costumes. I’m sure you can find something wonderful and not expensive.
You can purchase your ticket online from 8.50 EUR (approximately 9.6 USD) and a children’s ticket from 5.50 EUR (approximately 6.2 USD), or you can buy them on the day of your visit. The third floor connects Dublinia with the Christ Church Cathedral by a Neo-Gothic archway (in the first photo Christ Church is at the right and Dublinia at the left). Even if the museum is considered part of the church, the entrance fee is not included, however, I recommend you buy a discounted combined ticket to continue your journey.
Time travel in Dublinia
If you are the type of traveler that is interested in the history of the city you are visiting and you want to do it in a very fun way, don’t hesitate to visit Dublinia.
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