Built in the late 18th century as Dublin’s Royal Exchange, this grand Georgian building was designed by renowned architect Thomas Cooley. Nowadays, it hosts Dublin City Council meetings and a multimedia exhibition in the basement, which follows the development of the Irish capital over the centuries.
Visitors to Dublin City Hall can step inside to admire the interior, which features columns, a rotunda, and a statue of Daniel O’Connell, the first Catholic mayor of Dublin and a champion of Catholic emancipation. The Story of the Capital exhibition is located in the vaults and chronicles Dublin’s growth from Viking times to the present day.
Many history-themed walking tours make stops at Dublin City Hall, as do hop-on hop-off bus tours. Because of its connection to the Hellfire Club—the notorious 18th-century secret society associated with Satan worship and sex was supposedly founded on the site where Dublin City Hall now stands—it sometimes features on haunted history tours of the city too.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Dublin City Hall is a must for history and politics buffs, as well as for architecture enthusiasts.
- Allow 30–60 minutes to fully explore the building and the basement exhibit.
- Dublin City Hall is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Dublin City Hall is situated in the city center, at the intersection of Dame and Parliament Streets, not far from Dublin Castle and Christ Church Cathedral. Several Dublin bus routes (including 27, 54a, 56a, 77a, 123, and 150) stop nearby. The nearest Luas tram stop is Trinity (Green Line), which is less than 10 minutes away on foot.
When to Get There
Dublin City Hall is open Monday to Saturday. It’s typically busiest in the afternoons between 12pm and 3pm, so if you want to avoid the crowds, come early in the day before most others arrive.
Landmarks Near City Hall
Dublin City Hall is within walking distance of several important city attractions. Christ Church Cathedral, an 11th-century church with a medieval crypt, is just a 3-minute walk away, as is Dublinia, a museum showcasing Viking and medieval-era Dublin. Dublin Castle, the former British seat of power in Ireland, is also just a 5-minute stroll away. The castle now houses the Chester Beatty Library, which holds a collection of more than 20,000 books, manuscripts, and rare objects.