The General Post Office (GPO) is intricately connected to Ireland’s battle for independence, having been attacked by Republican rebels during the 1916 Easter Rising, and also damaged by crossfire during the Irish Civil War. Still a working post office, the GPO also houses the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre, featuring interactive exhibits.
While many sightseeing tours of Dublin pass by the GPO, exploring the Witness History Visitor Centre is the best way to understand the historical significance of the building. Exhibits document the events that unfolded inside the GPO during Easter 1916 through interactive displays and games, as well as authentic artifacts. Some Dublin sightseeing passes also include admission to the GPO. Audio guides are available, and guided tours are offered at select times for an additional cost. Book admission in advance so you can skip the line upon arrival.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The GPO Witness History Visitor Centre is a must for anyone who wants to understand Irish history.
- Leave bulky bags at home as there are no storage facilities for visitors to the GPO.
- The facility is wheelchair-friendly, with lifts and accessible toilet facilities on-site.
How to Get There
The GPO is situated on O’Connell Street in the heart of Dublin’s city center. Take the Luas Green Line to the GPO stop, or take the Luas Red Line to Abbey Street and make the 3-minute walk from there.
When to Get There
The GPO Witness History Visitor Centre is busiest during the peak summer tourist season, from June through September. To avoid the crowds, come before noon, when the exhibits are usually pretty quiet. If you want to join a guided tour, time your visit to coincide with a scheduled time: Tours take place at 3:30pm, Monday–Friday and Sunday, and 11am on Saturday.
What to Expect from the Exhibits
Opened in 2016 to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising, the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre features a range of state-of-the-art interactive exhibits. Visitors can imagine themselves in the thick of the action in the immersive semicircular cinema, explore reconstructed settings, and send Morse code messages. The center also houses artifacts from the time of the Rising, including one of the few remaining original copies of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.