Best permanent collection
Trinity College Dublin
College Green, Dublin 2
tcd.ie It's one of life's ironies that art tends to be best enjoyed outside the museum, so Trinity College's art collection comes up trumps for its setting alone. Pre-dating the National Gallery by more than 150 years, the collection was injected new life in 1959 by George Dawson, who was founder of the college art-hire scheme.
Recent acquisitions include a photographic print fromthe 2013 Venice Biennale representative Richard Mosse, and works from the likes of Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, Robert Ballagh and Ellsworth Kelly are all accessible to the public.
Honourable mentions: the Hugh Lane, the Chester Beatty Library, the National Gallery of Ireland RA
Best spoken word
Milk & Cookies at The Exchange
Exchange Street Upper, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
milkandcookiestories.com For evocative tales without the booze that often comes with them, Milk & Cookies has provided a friendly, all-ages setting for would-be yarn spinners since 2009. The inclusive, open environment makes tale telling less intimidating.
Honourable mentions: PettyCash, Brownbread Mixtape, New Dublin Press, Nighthawks, Dublin Yarnspinners RA
Best special interest
The Listening Room at The Joinery
6 Rosemount Terrace, Arbour Hill,
Stoneybatter, Dublin 7
thejoinery.org Story-telling radio is enjoying an internet-age renaissance, with shows like This American Life, Radiolab and Love+Radio giving the format a new lease of life. The Listening Room turns the dial on its favourite productions at its monthly residency in the Joinery, recreating the long-forgotten atmosphere of a family gathered round the wireless, lights low.
Honourable mentions: Banter, City Intersections, The Emerald Warriors, Velocoustic DG
Best urban festival
10 Days in Dublin
10daysindublin.ie Battered wellies and Penneys sunglasses, mud and brimstone; festival season can take its toll. 10 Days in Dublin may still be in its infancy, but it's already made its mark on the arts calendar. With an emphasis on helping the inexperienced bring their nascent ideas to life, this not-for-profit festival helps artists, musicians, film makers, scriptwriters, or anybody with an iota of vision, to find a platform for their work. Open format is the order of the day, and the programme is a stew of the good, bad and pretentious, but risk-takers will find something to love when the festival hits town again from July 4th this year.
Honourable mentions: Tivoli Jam, Africa Day, Dublin Fringe Festival, Bodytonic Beatyard, Live Collision DG
Best museum experience
The Little Museum of Dublin
15 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2
littlemuseum.ie It may look like the dust-eaten contents of your grandparents' attic has taken over the first floor of a Georgian building, but the Little Museum has quickly become the most intriguing archive on the map. The Dubliner former chief Trevor White's intimate knowledge of 20th century Irish culture and irrepressibility as a host help navigate the mountains of tat and treasure. Nostalgia can be bittersweet and the stories that flesh out the ephemera within the museum capture the reality of the last 100+ years in Dublin in its full spectrum of emotions.
Honourable mentions: Jewish Museum, Glasnevin Cemetery, Dead Zoo (Natural History Museum), National Print
Best film club
Hollywood Babylon at the Light House Cinema
Market Square, Smithfield, Dublin 7
lighthousecinema.ie "Movies best seen after midnight" is Hollywood Babylon's motto. Cinema becomes pantomime here, to a chorus of groans, cheers and ironic applause. Hollywood Babylon's screenings, now a regular fixture at Smithfield's beacon of cinematic excellence, the Light House, have included screenings of Miami Connection and The Apple , prom contests, photo booths, warehouse after-parties and rebooted film posters. Early booking is highly recommended.
Honourable mentions: Portobello Picture Club, Fashion Screen Dublin, Slum Cinema, Wild Strawberries DG
Le Cool walking tour
lecoolwalkdublin.tumblr.com The Le Cool Experience benefits from focussing as much on the transient present as the unmoving past, offering a roadmap to pop-up shops, secret pubs and a dozen other quirks, which both fresh-faced tourists and lapsed Dublin culture hounds will find invaluable. This walking tour shares a wealth of trivia, offset with some special one-off events.
Honourable mentions: Abbey Theatre Backstage Tour, Fabulous Food Trails, Liberties Historical Walking Tour DG
Lincoln Place, Dublin 2
sciencegallery.com/makeshop Doodlebots, DIY electronics and 3D printing – Science Gallery spin-off, Makeshop, is all about putting the tools for basic engineering back in the hands of the uninitiated. With a programme of walk-in workshops as well as bookable masterclasses, the Makeshop team are working to reshape Dublin's consumption of
Honourable mentions: Cooks Academy, James Joyce Centre Workshops, Wine Tasting at Instituto Cervantes,
3FE Barista Class DG
Rathmines Folk Mass
Church of Mary Immaculate, Rathmines Road Lower, Dublin 6
rathminesfolkgroup.org If you're shopping around for a new sermon, Dublin has a wealth of strange services. The Rathmines Folk Mass has been translating hymns to folk music for 40 years, singing on RTÉ during the Eurovision and bringing mass to prisons .
Honourable mentions: St Kevin's, Harrington Street, Latin Mass at the Pro Cathedral, Brazilian Mass at Dominick Street Chapel, Choral Evensong at Christ Church DG