National Gallery is Ireland's most popular free attraction

Dublin is home to nine out of top ten most-visited places

The National Gallery of Ireland has once again topped the list of the country's most popular free attractions, recording almost 650,000 visitors in 2013. The results were based on data compiled by Fáilte Ireland, the state tourism body.

In second place came the National Botanic Gardens in the Glasnevin district of north Dublin with 550,000; Farmleigh House in the capital's Phoenix Park, with 435,000 visitors; and the National Museum of Ireland on Kildare Street in the city centre with 404,000 visitors.

In fifth place came Newbridge Silverware in Co. Kildare just south of the capital with 350,000 visitors. Known for its Museum of Style Icons containing movie star memorabilia, it is the only non-Dublin attraction in the top ten.

Next came the Science Gallery at Trinity College in sixth place (339,000); the Natural History Museum on Merrion St (284,000); the National Library of Ireland on Kildare Street (260,000); the National Museum at Collins Barracks (251,000); and in tenth place the Chester Beatty Library Dublin (250,000).

Meanwhile Ireland's top ten paid-for attractions in 2013 was also headed by a Dublin venue: the Guinness Storehouse at St James's Gate (1,157,000 visitors), putting Dublin Zoo in second place for the third year in a row (1,026,000).

In third position are the stunning Cliffs of Moher in the south-west county of Clare (960,000), followed by the National Aquatic Centre (858,000) in the west Dublin suburb Blanchardstown; the Book of Kells at Trinity College (588,000); the potato crisp-themed Tayto Park just north of the capital in Co. Meath (435,000); and Dublin's St Patrick’s Cathedral near Christchurch (410,000).

The southern county of Cork hosts the eighth and ninth spots respectively: Fota Wildlife Park with 365,000 visitors, and Blarney Castle with 365,000. Finally Dublin's Kilmainham Gaol near Heuston Station comes in at tenth position with 326,000 visitors.