A trip to Ireland doesn’t have to break the bank, especially when you can take advantage of these awesome free things to do in Dublin!
Many Ireland getaways include time in the country’s capital city of Dublin, and for good reason! With historic landmarks, unique pubs and breweries, and cool attractions, the city has something for everyone. But not everyone wants to spend a fortune on exploring Dublin and luckily the city understands and has a plethora of free activities.
From sightseeing in the city to visiting the famous museums and exploring Ireland’s past, there are many ways to experience Dublin for free.
Ready to save some Euros when checking out some of Dublin’s best travel experiences? Read on to learn more about the best options of Dublin’s free things to do!
Top 13 free things to do in Dublin
1. Free tours of Dublin
Stop by many of the major landmarks on this free self-guided sightseeing tour of Dublin! You’ll start at St Patrick’s Cathedral, pass St Stephen’s Green, Trinity College, Temple Bar, Dublin Castle, and Guinness! If you just want to cut to the chase and drink your way through Dublin, this self-guided pub tour might be a better option.
Another free walking tour of Dublin is offered by Sandeman’s and has three departure times during the day. While it does cost nothing upfront, tips are greatly appreciated for your energetic and informed guides.
2. Dublin Castle
Explore Dublin Castle’s grounds and surrounding free museums, like the Garda Museum, without spending any Euros. You can see the exterior of the castle completely free of charge if you just want to stop by for a moment and then move on to your next activity. If you want to discover the castle on your own, it’s only €8 or €12 for a guided tour.
3. Chester Beatty Library
This free Dublin museum shows off the great collection of scrolls and ancient books of Alfred Chester Beatty. Discover the fantastic pieces from around the world in the collection on your own or join a free guided tour. Public tours are offered every Wednesday at 1 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. The tours run for an hour and are limited to 20 people on a first-come, first-served basis. The library is on the grounds of Dublin Castle, making it an easy two-for-one freebie in Dublin!
The museum also hosts specialty classes and film screenings throughout the year, but those do come at a cost.
4. Ha’Penny Bridge
It won’t cost you a penny to cross the Ha’Penny Bridge over the River Liffey. The first pedestrian-only bridge in Dublin opened in May 1816 and made it easier for Dubliners to cross the river without battling for space with horses and carriages. It was the only pedestrian bridge in the city until 1999! It’s estimated that today more than 30,000 people cross it each day.
5. National Museum of Ireland
Dive into Ireland’s history at the National Museum of Ireland and explore the exhibits and collections for free. There are four main exhibitions that are free to visit: Decorate Arts & History, Country Life, Natural History, and Archaeology. Learn about Vikings in Ireland, see medieval jewelry, or view ancient skeletons at this free museum in Dublin! The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday, and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday.
6. National Gallery of Ireland
Another free way to spend your time in Dublin is inside the National Gallery of Ireland and take in the amazing works of art and sculptures housed within. There’s a free audio guide as well as a free guided tour on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, depending on how you want to visit the gallery.
7. Irish Museum of Modern Art
Another indoor activity! Head inside the Irish Museum of Modern Art and view the works of art for free! The IMMA is home to more than 3,500 pieces and the building itself was the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, founded in 1684, and gives a nod to the style of Les Invalides in Paris. The gardens are also spectacular and worth a visit when exploring the museum.
8. Trinity College
Pretend to be a student again and enjoy the grounds of Trinity College for free! Check out the courtyards and take in the beautiful architecture of Ireland’s famous university. Stop by Queen’s Gate and you can get a look at the Great Court for free.
9. Garden of Remembrance
Dedicated to those who have lost their lives fighting for Irish freedom, the Garden of Remembrance is a moving and inspiring work of art that’s free to visit in Dublin. The peaceful garden is located in Parnell Square and worth a stop during your time in the city.
10. Phoenix Park
Discover Europe’s largest inner-city park in Dublin that’s also home to the President, gardens, and a herd of wild deer. Aras an Uachtarain, the House of the President, is free to visit but tickets are required and handed out first-come, first-served style. You can enjoy a walk around the park, plan a picnic, or if you want to spend a few Euros, the Dublin Zoo is nearby.
11. National Botanic Gardens
The National Botanic Gardens bloom with color and create a splendid oasis in Dublin, as well as offer free entry. The gardens house more than 300 endangered species and have themed gardens like: Wild Ireland, the Rose Garden, the Fruit and Vegetable Garden, the Arboretum, the Sensory Garden, and the Rockery. The gardens are open daily with the exception of Christmas Day.
12. Catch some free live music
Just walking along Grafton Street you’re sure to hear the free musical stylings of street performers but you can also pop into many pubs throughout the city for free entertainment with your pint.
13. Discover Dublin’s monuments
Plan your own scavenger hunt through Dublin to find the monuments of famous residents and some unique public art, like the Sphere within Sphere at Trinity College. Find Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square Park, Molly Malone on Suffolk Street, Anna Livia in Croppies Memorial Park, and James Joyce on North Earl Street.
Did we miss any fun free things to do in Dublin? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!