Chester Beatty Library

Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle is an art museum and library which houses the great collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings.

Beatty Library exhibitions open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. Its rich collection from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe offers visitors a visual feast. Chester Beatty Library was named Irish Museum of the year in 2000 and was awarded the title European Museum of the Year in 2002.

Egyptian papyrus texts, beautifully illuminated copies of the Qur’an, the Bible, European medieval and renaissance manuscripts are among the highlights of the collection. Turkish and Persian miniatures and striking Buddhist paintings are also on display, as are Chinese dragon robes and Japanese woodblock prints. In its diversity, the collection captures much of the richness of human creative expression from about 2700 BC to the present day.

The Chester Beatty Library is situated in the grounds of the historic Dublin Castle, which was the seat of British rule in Ireland until 1922. A castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland; however, most of the buildings date from the eighteenth century. 

Dublin Castle complex of buildings is usually open to the public, except during state functions.

They have updated the activity packs based on your valuable feedback! A newly designed booklet with activities, puzzles, crosswords and a colouring book are available for 5-11 years and colouring activities for under 5s.

Packs are available the first weekend of each month on Saturdays and Sundays from 13.00 – 16.00 and are free of charge. 


Chester Beatty Library Admission Is Free


Chester Beatty Opening Times

  • 1 May to 30 September: Monday to Friday, 10.00  to 17.00.
  • 1 October to 30 April: Tuesday to Friday, 10.00  to 17.00.
  • Saturday, 11.00  to 17.00. (All year)
  • Sunday, 13.00  to 17.00.. (All year)
  • Closed 1 January; Good Friday; 24, 25 and 26 December; and Monday public holidays.


Chester Beatty Guided Tours

Chester Beatty Library offers a variety of tours including:

  • public tours – Wednesdays at 1 P.M. and Sundays at 3 and 4 P.M.;
  • group tours – must be booked in advance.
  • E-guide
  • There is a shop  located on the ground floor of the Library. A wide selection of books and gifts are available to be purchased during your visit


The Library is a wheelchair-friendly building and, with their new e-guide and audiovisual presentations, access to the collection is facilitated.

Many of the most important exhibitions are placed at a comparatively low height to facilitate viewing by those  visitors who are wheelchair-bound.

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

To Find More About    Chester Beatty Library Events


Chester Beatty Library Roof Garden

The roof garden of the Chester Beatty Library is divided into a series of different surfaces: stone, hardwood, gravel and ornamental grasses. These lead from the door of the garden to a high point where a large silver birch becomes the focal point. The timber trellises around the garden’s perimeter heighten the feeling of enclosure and reduce the sense of exposure we normally associate with a rooftop After a tour it is a place to rest for a while and enjoy the tranquillity. 


The Silk Road Café

Their  food is Middle Eastern and Mediterranean and they have a wide selection of vegetarian main courses and salads and you can find both gluten and dairy free food

They are open

  • Tuesday to Friday 10 – 4.30
  • Saturday 11 – 4.30
  • Sunday 1 – 4.30



Directions To The Chester Beatty Library

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

The library 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, 16, 19, 123 (from O’Connell St)