Established in 1592, this venerable higher learning institution can boast that famous literary alumni such as Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker and Samuel Beckett walked its hallowed halls. As Ireland's oldest and most famous college, the prestigious Trinity College Dublin, officially The University of Dublin or, more commonly, TCD, is a masterpiece of Georgian architecture and landscaped gardens.
Built on the former Priory of All Hallows in the now centre of Dublin, the over 400-year-old Trinity College has many sights for visitors to peruse, the most famous being the Old Library and the Book of Kells. This gloriously illustrated 9th-century gospel manuscript is housed in the 18th-century Old Library's Long Room with the college's other literary antiquities and treasured volumes. Admission to the Old Library and Book of Kells Exhibition is €9 and free for children under 12 years. The exhibition is open from Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 5pm and on Sundays from May to September from 09:30am to 4:30pm, and from October to April from 12pm to 4:30pm.
Other notable buildings and sights on the 16-hectare grounds include the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing, which houses the School of English, and Samuel Beckett Theatre. The free Douglas Hyde Gallery showcases Irish and international contemporary art, and another popular drawcard onsite is the Science Gallery with innovative exhibitions where art and science collide, which also offers free entry. For history and science buffs, the Geological Museum collection contains 80,000 specimens dating from 1777 with a selection on display. Around the grounds you can stroll around and admire the mostly 18th and early 19th century edifices and the cobblestoned Parliament Square from the mid-1780s.
Trinity College offers campus tours guided by students for €10, which includes admission to Old Library and Book of Kells exhibition, daily between 10:15am and 3:40pm from mid-May to September. The 30-minute tour offers an overview of the history, architecture, famous alumni and an intro to the Old Library and Book of Kells. To visit the college, the closest DART station is Pearse Street. From here, it's an 11-minute walk down Pearse Street.