If youre travelling on a budget, like I always seem to be doing, finding free things to do in a big city can sometimes be tough! Luckily, I managed to have a great time in the city of Dublin and see a lot of the historical sites and buildings, completely free of charge! Read on to see my top ten favorite free things to do in Dublin.
- Dublin, like London, is full of beautiful parks. My absolute favorite is St. Stephens Green, which is locatated at the top of Grafton Street. This park is free to enter and covers around 9 hectares. There are benches to sit on spread throughout and in the warm weather, there are ducks all around to feed. This park is located right in Dublin city Center and is opened Monday-Saturdays starting at 7:30 am and Sunday beginning at 9:30am (closing hours vary according to daylight hours).
- Dublin has TONS of free galleries to visit that are absolutely free of charge. Two of my favorites? The National Gallery of Ireland and The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). The National Gallery of Ireland includes a collection of pieces from the 14th-20th centuries, housing artworks by both irish and international artists. Some noteable artists? Jack. B Yeats, Monet and Caravaggio (too bad photography is not allowed in this place)! This is locationed at Merrion Square West and Clare Street and is opened Monday-Wednesday & Friday-Saturday 9:30am-5@30pm, Thursday 9:30am-8:30pm and Sunday 12noon-5:30pm. The IMMA has a 4,500 piece collection that is focused on modern art and includes paintings, photography and sculpture. This museum is located at Royal Hospital, Military Road in Kilmainham and is opened Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5:30pm and Sunday 12noon-5:30pm
- Trinity College: While you will have to pay a small fee to see the Books of Kells in Trinity’s College’s old library, it won’t cost you a cent to wander around the college itself and check out the old buildings and lively atmosphere. Fun fact: There is only ONE entrance to the whole college.
- Wander through the Chester Beatty Library: This library is located in the gardens of Dublin Castle and is also free to visit. It is one of Irelands top Museums and also has one of the best collections in Europe! Throughout the library, you’ll come across artifacts from a large selction of cultures and religions around the world, including Hinduism, Cathoilicsm and Budhims. You’ll also find items on display such as Egyptians paprus, medievual manuscripts and copies of the Qur’an. Chester Beatty is located on Palace Street off Dame Street and is opened May-September Monday-Friday 10am-5am, Sunday 1pm-5pm and Octuber-April Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 11am-5pm and Sundays 1pm-5pm. Free tours are also available Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1pm.
- Check out Dublin Castle: While this past trip to Dublin, this particular Castle was closed, I have seen it in my previous visit and it was breathtaking. While it does cost money to visit the interior of Dublin Castle, you can check out the buildings impressive exterior completely free of charge. The Castle, which was built back in the 13th centuary, acted as the seat of the English Administration in Ireland for around 700 years! Today, it is used for State Functions and it is where the President of Ireland is typically inagurated.
- Wander along O’Connell Street! This is Dublins main streets and is one of the widest streets in Europe. While walking you’ll see the towering Spire, plus numerous statues dedicated to important figures in Irish history. You will also see the famous GPO, which is Dublins main post office and was teh headquarters of th eIrish provisional government during the 1916 Easter Rising.
- Take a free walking tour: If you read my previous blog, youll see that my lovely host (and friend) was not the best tour guide. Luckily, there were free ones being offered! Sandeman’s New Dublin Walking Tours offer free walking tours around Dublin. This tour lasts around three hours and the guides give tons of Irish history. Some of the more famous sites we saw were Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral and Temple Bar. Tours meet beside City Hall on Dame Street and are delivered daily at 1pm and 3pm.
- Take a stroll around Dubh Linn Gardens, located on Dame Street. This garden is hidden behind Dublin Castle, and is filled with colorful and bold artworks, such as ceramic tiles nesteled around a bird bath, a giant glass snake and a memorial to the 2003 Special Olympics. Quite the site to see and a perfect place for aspiring photographers. Also a great memorberial for those people who are related or know someone with special needs.
National Photographic Archive: This houses aphotographic collection of te National Library or Ireland, of over 600,000 phogoraphs. Exhibitions run throughout the year and it is completley free to enter.
- Dublin City Center: This area is a visitor attraction on its own! Located in the former St. Andrew’s Church, it has a rich history and many historic buildings. Walking down this area youll find countless travel advisors for ideas and suggestions on how to spendyour time in Dublin (free of charge) and in the warmer weather youll also see street preformers!
No big city on it#s own is cheap, but if you look hard enough, its actually quite simple to find cheaper things to do! Dont want to spend money at a resturant? Every day that I was in Dublin I saw street vendors selling traditional Irish food, whether it was fish n chips or lamb kabobs! There are also at least ten other museums that are free of charge that I did not have time to see! See below for names and locatinos!
- National Museum of Archeology located on Kildare Street
- Pearse Muesum: A former school run by Patriot Patrick Pearse, it is now a museum set in beautiful grounds. Attractions include exhibitions, a nature study room with attractive displays on Irish Flora & Fauna.
- National Gallery of Ireland: Includes over 2,500 paintings and 10,000 other works in different media including watercolors, drawigs, prints and sculptures.
Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane: Hosts modern and contemporary Art
- Graphic Studio Gallery: Oldest gallery in Dublin dealing exclueively in original fine art prints. Gallery stock includes etchings, lithographs, woodblocks, screen-prints, mono-prints and carbourumndum prints by over 150 Irish and international artists.
- Temple Bar Gallery and Studios: Publicly funded, non-profit making ortanizsation witch hosts a high profile programme of Irish and International Art.
- Merrion Square Art Exhibition: Located in Merrion Square and opened every Sunday 10:30am to 6:30pm, this outdoor exhibition hosts over 200 artists.
- Irish Traditional Music Archive: Reference archive and resource center for the trandtional song, instrumental and dance of Ireland
- The Science Gallery: A new type of Venue where science and art come together. Science Gallery aims to involve and transform minds through science while creating art.
- The best Irish Coffee I’ve ever had (lovetravelnamaste.com)
- 24 hours in Dublin – A 24 hour travel guide to Dublin Ireland (essentialtravel.co.uk)