Discover it all at the National Library of Ireland

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) is a must-visit cultural institution for any visitors to Dublin who are interested in exploring their family tree and finding out more about Ireland’s rich history.

Visitors can enjoy lively events and exhibitions, consult the collections, avail of free genealogy advice and drop by the Library’s café for a quick coffee or relaxing lunch. Particular highlights at the main library building on Kildare Street are the NLI’s award-winning Yeats exhibition and magnificent Victorian reading room.

Visit the Library’s major Seamus Heaney exhibition which celebrates the life and works of one of Ireland’s finest poets at the Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, Westmoreland Street.

The NLI’s National Photographic Archive is located at Meeting House Square, Temple Bar and hosts a range of photographic exhibitions throughout the year.

All locations are FREE to visit and within a short walking distance of the Grafton Street shopping area.

  • Lively programme of exhibitions and events for all ages, the majority of which are FREE
  • Award-winning Yeats exhibition
  • Seamus Heaney Exhibition ‘Listen Now Again’
  • Free genealogy advisory service
  • Magnificent reading room (accessible with free Reader’s Ticket)
  • Free wi-fi for members
  • Intimate Café Joly, serving delicious treats Monday – Saturday

Open Year Round

Main Manuscripts Reading Room, Kildare Street
Monday to Wednesday: 09:30-19:45
Thursday and Friday: 09:30-16:45
Saturday: 09:30-12:45

Readers Ticket Office, Main building, Kildare Street
Monday: 10:30-12:30; 14:00-16:00; 17:00-19:45
Tuesday to Friday: 10:30-12:30; 14:00-16:00
Saturday: 09:30-12:45

Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, Westmoreland Street
Seamus Heaney exhibition: Monday to Saturday 10:00–16:00, last admission 15:30



Admission Prices 2020

Library and exhibition admission is free

Useful Information

Check out their range of facilities, services, accessibility, and other useful information.

LANGUAGES: Leaflets are available, free, in Irish and English.

DINING / REFRESHMENTS: Café Joly, named after the National Library’s first donor, is situated in a bright spacious sun-filled room complimented by crisp modern design and contemporary artwork. Michael & his team who offer a seasonally based menu showcasing the best of Irish produce.

PICNICS: A number of tables and chairs are located in front of the main Library building

PARKING: There is parking at Setana Place, Molesworth Street, approx 2 minutes walk from the National Library of Ireland

ACCESSIBILITY: for Wheelchair Users and Visitors with Reduced Mobility. Most of the National Library is accessible to wheelchair users, in some cases via the lift. There are steps up to the room housing the genealogy advisory service. There are accessible toilets. To assist readers with hearing difficulties, hearing loops are available. Assistance dogs may be brought into all public areas of the Library. Further information on accessibility is available by emailing

GROUPS: Group tours available (free). Pre-booking required.

SCHOOL / EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES: The collections of the National Library constitute a unique learning resource for students of all aspects of Irish history and culture. They have devised a broad educational programme to maximise this potential, providing a wide range of services for primary, post-primary, third level students, lifelong learners and educators. For all enquiries contact

Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi is available in the reading rooms to registered readers.

ACCOLADES & AWARDS: Winner of an eGovernment Award in the category ‘Promoting Ireland Overseas’ (2016).

Getting There

The National Library of Ireland’s main building is located at 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, beside the Dáil. The Library has a further exhibition space at 3 Kildare Street, Dublin 2 and The National Photographic Archive is located at Meeting House Square in Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

All are within a short walking distance of the Grafton Street shopping area and St. Stephens Green. All locations are well serviced by public transport (bus, Luas and Dart).

Map Location: 53.341098, -6.254482
Contact National Library of Ireland

Kildare Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

Eircode: D02 P638
T: +353(0)1 603 0200
‘Your Daily Adventure’ is Ireland’s #1 Visitor Guide… by Smiles! It’s also FREE.

‘Your Daily Adventure’ is loved by visitors. There is so much to enjoy, we’ve had to create six regional editions to cover every part of Ireland.

Each FREE edition is packed with up-to-date information on all there is to do, see and enjoy around Ireland.  Watch out for them in your travels, or ask for them by name ‘Your Daily Adventure’. They are stocked in most places visitors’ frequent – particularly visitor-friendly accommodation!

Always Check Opening Dates and Times

It is always advisable to check the opening dates and times of any attraction or business you intend to visit. Check their website or give them a call.