Going through my hard drive recently brought me back to our trip to Dublin. And inevitably so, to the most magical place in Dublin, the Library of Trinity College. Having taken so many photos back then, I thought I would write a blog post about this charming place. And at the same time, go down memory lane while reminiscing about my favorite spot in Dublin.

trinity college library long room ceiling

You’ll find this magnificent library inside Trinity College in Dublin. However, it’s not your usual library open to the public. You need to buy a ticket to visit and let me tell you, it’s definitely worth it! It dates back to the 16th century and is absolutely breathtaking.

gallery bookshelves at trinity college library
antique books at trinity college library

With over 7 million volumes, this is the biggest library in all of Ireland. The well-known Long Room that you can see here showcases around 200,000 texts. And frankly, it looks magical. Rows of seemingly endless bookshelves under a vaulted ceiling. Arranged on two separate floors, the bookshelves are filled with antique books. And the ones on the top floor are mesmerizing. In short, it looks like something out of a dream!

the long room at trinity college library

The visit starts off with the Book of Kells and its history, continuing onto the famous library room. 65 m long, The Long Room is often mistakenly referred to as a filming location for the Harry Potter movies. Understandably so because it looks equally magical as Hogwarts. However, nothing was ever filmed there. Even though I can imagine it as a filming location for so many movies!

the long room,  trinity college library

Many marble busts are lined up in front of the many bookshelves. They portray College patrons, famous writers, and philosophers. The tall windows between the bookshelves let the light pour in. It’s a spectacular sight! Not to mention the spiral staircases leading to the upper floor. The wood-paneled walls make the room feel so cozy and inviting. Every single detail in this room is alluring!

marble busts at trinity college library dublin

Visiting the Library of Trinity College Dublin

Visiting this stunning library goes hand in hand with seeing the Book of Kells. This illuminated script from the 9th century is one of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures. The tickets include seeing both wonders and the great thing is that you can switch between the two rooms. There is no strict direction to the visit. Which is a great thing if you wish to return to the library every now and again, in the hopes of crowds clearing out.

When you buy the tickets, which you should always do in advance, you choose a time slot. I picked the earliest one, at opening time. Looking back on that, I would suggest you opt for a late afternoon slot instead. Certain group tours start first thing in the morning so the library is not as empty as you would expect it to be. If you prefer, you can also join a guided tour of the college that includes the library.

window between bookshelves at trinity college library

Every bookworm’s dream, the Library of Trinity College was an utter delight. If you’re wondering why they have so many books, there’s an explanation for that. The library got the status of a legal deposit library back in 1801, meaning they can claim a copy of any book printed in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

If you’re visiting Dublin, you have to visit the Library of Trinity College Dublin. I was dying to reach for those beautiful leather-bound books. The entire room is a dream and I still can’t believe I got to see such beauty with my own eyes. Sometimes I feel like I travel in order to find stunning libraries and bookshops. And this library is one of those extraordinary and unforgettable places that everyone should see!

the long room at trinity college library
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