From bog butter to golden treasure hoards, The National Museum of Ireland - Archeology has something for everyone. The free admission also means visiting the museum's treasures is easy on anyone's pocketbook.
The museum's collection of Bronze Age gold objects -- delicate spiral necklaces, heavy intricately decorated dress fasteners, and beads as large as baseballs -- is one of the finest in Europe and the reason many people visit the museum.
There is more than gold here to delight the eye, however. The museum's Treasury exhibit traces the development of Irish art from the arrival of Celtic peoples with their knowledge of ironworking to masterpieces of the early Middle Ages. Even the Vikings who first settled Dublin influenced the development of the Celtic designs so popular today.
There is also an exhibition on what scientists have learned from "bog bodies," well-preserved Iron Age human remains, probably sacrifices, discovered in bogs.
It turns out that the low-oxygen conditions of bogs are great for preserving many different things, even large wooden buckets of butter placed in the cool bogs for storage. Pity the poor housewife long ago who misplaced her butter.
After touring the museum, stop by Brambles, the museum cafe, where you can enjoy eating soup and brown bread or a sweet by the light of a shimmering crystal chandelier.
The museum is within easy walking distance of Trinity College and its two floors of exhibits can easily be toured in a few hours.