My guidebook has promised me owlish academics, cricket matches and Pimm's parties on the lawn - a chance to step back in time to a quieter, gentler era.
It has promised me, in short, the ideal respite from the bustling streets - charming though they are - of modern Dublin.
And certainly, leaving the hubbub of the city centre and entering Trinity College through its arched main entrance, the atmosphere changes.
As I walk along a broad cobbled path to a large open square, the hustle of the city fades.
Ahead of me, students cluster on the steps under the columns of the Examination Hall to one side and its mirror image, the Chapel opposite.
Small groups of tourists wander, admiring their surroundings in the late afternoon light.
I continue towards the graceful form of the 30m-high campanile, or bell tower, at the centre of the square. It is one of the university's most famous structures and superstition holds that any student who passes underneath its arches when its bells toll will fail their exams.
I'm taking a photograph of one of the statues flanking the bell tower - of historian W.E.H. Lecky - when my temporary reprieve is shattered by the roar of a jigsaw.
In seeking tranquillity, it seems I've unwittingly stumbled across a construction site.
Founded in 1592 with the blessing of Queen Elizabeth I in the hope of preventing young Irish Protestants from being "infected with Popery" at European institutions of learning, Trinity is Ireland's oldest university.
It was modelled after Oxford and Cambridge universities and, like them, was off-limits to Catholic students for a considerable chunk of its history, first at its own insistence and later because of restrictions by the church itself, which only lifted its official ban in 1970. Catholics now make up the majority of the student body.Today, the university is well known as the alma mater of Irish luminaries such as Oscar Wilde, Dracula author Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift and Samuel Beckett, and - as I am rapidly learning - is one of Dublin's most popular tourist attractions.
Exemplifying this mix is Fellows Square, which incorporates some of the university's newest and oldest buildings.
It is dominated by modernism - the Trinity Long Room Hub, opened in 2010, alongside the brutalist Berkley Library and the rather less appealing Arts and Social Sciences Building, the latter two designed by the firm responsible for the ill-fated 1980s extension to London's National Gallery described so infamously by Prince Charles as a "monstrous carbuncle".
Offsetting them are the elegant curves of the 1937 Reading Room and the solidly elegant Old Library, both built in the 1700s.
Despite the pack of tourists milling around the front, I head for the latter, which houses one of the college's biggest drawcards for visitors, the Book of Kells.
A lavishly decorated manuscript depicting Old Testament gospels and some related texts, it was produced by monks on the remote island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland, around the year 800.
This makes it one of the oldest books in the world and a great Irish treasure.
It also means that even this late in the day the exhibition rooms are crowded, so I content myself with a cursory look at the accompanying historical exhibit and a few moments gazing at the book's richly decorated pages, on show in a display cabinet.
Entrance to the Old Library's Long Room is also included in the price of admission to the Book of Kells exhibition and, to me, justifies the cost all on its own.
Nearly 65m long with a vaulted ceiling and rows of ornate timber bookcases dotted with marble busts of prominent figures, it contains some 200,000 of the library's oldest books, but a tiny fraction of the college library's total collection of nearly three million.
In many ways, it encapsulates the idea of Trinity College that many of us have come here to see - of hallowed halls of learning populated by monkish academics and serious-faced students.
No small irony, then, that's it's populated today by a pack of camera-toting tourists, the click of our cameras disrupting both the peace and the romance of the room, despite our hushed tones and best intentions.
And so I head to the one place on campus where I am sure to find a little peace: its modern art gallery, the Douglas Hyde Gallery, tucked in an obscure corner of the Arts and Social Sciences Building across the square.
Here, walking past the silent receptionist into the gallery's restful, dimly lit interior, I find the oasis of calm I had sought.
The blissful silence is ruffled only by the quiet, industrious hum of the staff members seated at their desks on the mezzanine above the exhibition space.
The work on display - a selection of oil paintings, watercolours and sculpture by Dublin artist Eoin McHugh - is diverting and a little macabre. I am the only visitor; I guess contemporary art is not on most people's agenda when visiting an ancient university. I am very pleased.
Twenty minutes later, I feel thoroughly refreshed. As I walk out of the door, I pass a pair of Chinese tourists going in the opposite direction.
I hold the door open for them and one smiles and says "xie xie", Mandarin for "thank you".
I think perhaps they're seeking sanctuary too, until I realise they're drawn inside by the wholly understandable urge to take a photograph of a striking installation in the lobby depicting a pond surrounded by stuffed ducks.
As they click away, the silent receptionist finds her voice.
"You can't take photos in here," she says in hushed tones, pointing to a sign to that effect on the wall. The couple either don't understand, or feign ignorance.
"No photos please!" she repeats, a little louder. They continue snapping away. She is clearly getting annoyed.
And so I leave them to it and head back into the hubbub, relaxed and ready to face the city crowds once more.
Entry to the Trinity College grounds is free, although guided tours are available for €5 ($7.20). The Old Library and Book of Kells exhibition is open seven days; admission is for €9 adults. Tickets combining the exhibition and a tour are €10. tcd.ie/visitors.
About five minutes walk from the university on the banks of the River Liffey, The Morrison Hotel has rooms from €139 (about $200) per night. morrisonhotel.ie.
For information about visiting Dublin and Ireland, go to ireland.com.Gemma Nisbet was a guest of Tourism Ireland.