Chester Beatty Library

One of Europe’s Best Museums and the only museum in Ireland to win 'European Museum of the Year'. The library's rich collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.

Open March to October. 

Admission is Free.

Dublin Castle, Dublin 2 (See Map Below)


The Chester Beatty Library is a must-see on any Dublin visitor's itinerary, and admission is free. Housed in an eighteenth-century Clock Tower Building in the gardens of Dublin Castle, it is one of Ireland’s best cultural attractions and is the only museum in Ireland to win 'European Museum of the Year'.

Chester Beatty’s library has been described as the finest collection of manuscripts and books made by a private collector in the 20th century. It includes representative samples of the world’s heritage (artistic, religious and secular) from about 2700 BC to the present century.

The collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.

Manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and decorative arts complete this amazing collection - all the result of the collecting activities of one man - Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968).

The venue houses a conservation laboratory, reading room, lecture space, an audio-visual theatre as well as three exhibition galleries and a roof garden. A restaurant, shop and ground-floor concourse provide facilities for visitors and for a variety of activities.


Wonderful Treasures

The Western treasures of the Library include some of the earliest sources on papyrus for the bible and a great library of Manichean texts. The Biblical Papyri, dating from the second to the fourth century AD, consist of the earliest known copies of the four gospels and Acts of the Apostles, the Letters of St Paul, the Book of Revelation and various very early Old Testament fragments. Armenian and Western European manuscripts from medieval, Renaissance and modern times, prints, early and fine books and bindings complete a remarkable conspectus of the arts of manuscript production and printing from many cultures and periods.

Over 6,000 individual items, mainly manuscripts and single-page paintings and calligraphies, make up the Islamic Collections. This includes more than 260 complete and fragmentary Qur’ans, some dating from the late eighth and ninth centuries and including the work of the leading calligraphers of the Islamic world.

The East Asian Collections include a fine series of albums and scrolls from China, the largest collection of jade books from the Imperial Court outside China and a large collection of textiles and decorative objects. The Japanese holdings contain many superb painted scrolls from the 17th and 18th century, woodblock prints by Hiroshige and Hokusai and many others as well as decorative art objects.


Welcoming Young Visitors

The Library welcomes young visitors. They can explore the Library through specially designed activities for 3+, 5+ and 8+.  These include, puzzles, crosswords and a colouring book. Worksheets are available at the Library or download them from their website. A Creative Corner, located in the first floor lobby of the Library, gives all ages an opportunity to respond to the exhibitions through art. Please also check the Library's public online programme on 



The Chester Beatty Library is situated in the gardens of Dublin Castle in the heart of the city centre.

It is a two-minute walk from Dame Street (via the Palace Street Gate of the Castle) and close to Christchurch Cathedral (enter via the Ship Street Gate of the Castle).

Nearest LUAS stops: Jervis & St Stephen's Green

Nearest DART station: Tara Street.

Bus routes: 13, 40, 123, 27, 77a, 150, 151, 156, 49, 54a

Chester Beatty Library Location:

Sir Alfred Chester Beatty - this amazing collection is the result of his spirit and generosity

Alfred Chester Beatty was born in New York in 1875 and graduated as a mining engineer from Columbia University.

He started work shovelling rock in mines in Denver, Colorado and, working hard, progressed and soon built an international reputation as a mining engineer, establishing a highly successful mining consultancy in New York in 1908.

Suffering from ill health, Beatty left the busy world of mining in the USA and founded a new consultancy in London. He travelled widely and became an avid collector of European and Persian manuscripts, and a journey to Asia in 1917 added Japanese and Chinese paintings to his interests.

In 1950, Chester Beatty moved to Ireland and built a library for his art collection on Shrewsbury Road. In 1957 he became Ireland's first honorary citizen. Upon his death in 1968, the collection was bequeathed to a trust for the benefit of the public.

His priceless collection lives on as a celebration of his great spirit and generosity.

Always Check Opening Times

The opening times on this website are as provided to us.These can change. It is ALWAYS advisable to check open days and times directly with the attraction before you visit.

Visitor Information

Chester Beatty Library
Dublin Castle, Dublin 2
T. +353 (0)1 407 0750

Best Price Guarantee


Open Year Round
March to October
Monday - Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00
Sunday 13:00 - 17:00
November to February
Tuesday - Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00
Sunday 13:00 - 17:00

Closed: December 24 to 26 and January 1. Closed Mondays public holidays and Mondays November to February.

Last admission one hour before closing time.

Approx Visit Duration:  60 to 90 minutes

Opening Times may be subject to change; check their website for updates.


  • All admissions are FREE. No tickets are required. Enjoy!


Visitors generally self-guide through the library. There are some scheduled free public tours on Wednesdays at 13:00 and Sundays at 15:00 and 16:00. These tours are on a first-come, first-served basis and are restricted to 15 visitors per tour. Tours at other times by prior arrangement, please check under 'plan a visit'. 


Leaflets available in Irish, English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic.  


The Silk Road Café, on the ground floor, offers a range of mouth-watering menus from Afghanistan, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Morocco and Palestine, as well as Ireland.  


The shop offers wide selection of books and gifts, including a quality range of Chester Beatty Library merchandise from scarves and jewellery to pocket diaries and jigsaw puzzles. 


Nearest public carpark is the 'pay' 'Q-park at Christ Church, Werburgh Street, Dublin 8. Limited coach parking on Castle Street. 


The Library is a wheelchair/buggy-friendly building. Many of the most important exhibitions are placed at a low height to facilitate viewing by visitors who are wheelchair-bound. Wheelchairs are available free of charge.

A Braille copy of the Library's main information leaflet is available at reception.

Bathroom facilities are available for visitors with impaired mobility.

The lecture theatre is fitted with a loop system. 

Indoor (all weather) Family Friendly Wheelchair Access Restaurant Tea Rooms / Coffee Shop Dining for Groups Baby Changing Guided Tours Assistance / Guide Dogs Permitted Gift Shop Free WIFI
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