Sitting on the north bank of the River Liffey, the copper-domed neoclassical Dublin Custom House was erected in the 18th century as part of a city-wide project to enhance and beautify Dublin. Originally headquarters of the Commissioners of Custom and Excise, it now houses local government offices and a visitor center tracing the history of the building.
Custom House is one of Dublin’s finest neoclassical buildings. Many visitors catch sight of the landmark during walking tours of North Dublin, which typically include other nearby sights such as the Great Irish Famine Memorial, Liberty Hall, and the Jeanie Johnston tall ship. Others see Custom House while en route to the nearby EPIC Irish Emigration Museum, which is just a 5-minute stroll down the riverfront.
In addition to admiring the grand building from outside, visitors can explore the Custom House Visitor Centre. Exhibitions focus on architect James Gandon and the construction of the Custom House; its role in the 1916 Easter Rising; and the events of 1921, when—during the Irish War of Independence—the building was occupied and set on fire by the Irish Republican Army.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Custom House is a must-see for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts.
- Bring a camera to take photos of one of Dublin’s most prominent landmarks.
- Wheelchair users can make advance arrangements to access the visitor center through the main reception on Beresford Place.
How to Get There
Custom House is situated on Custom House Quay in the Dublin Docklands. Ride the DART or train to Tara Street or Connolly Station. The Luas Red Line tram and all intercity and regional buses stop at Busáras station, just a 3-minute walk from Custom House.
When to Get There
Though Custom House can be seen at any time of the year, it’s perhaps most photogenic on a clear, sunny summer day when its copper dome is reflected in the water of the Liffey. The Custom House Visitor Centre opens from mid-March through August.
Best View of Custom House
Though it’s situated on the north side of the River Liffey, Custom House is best viewed from George’s Quay on the south side. From the benches here, you’ll be treated to a full view of the facade, including the central dome, which is topped with a 16-foot-high (5-meter-high) statue of Hope, and the sculpted keystones beneath the frieze, which represent the main rivers of Ireland.