Top Ten Free Things To Do In Dublin

Top Ten Free Things To Do In Dublin

We’ve already had two ‘Ten things to do in Dublin’ recommendations lists recently, but there’s still so much to see and do in the Irish capital that we just couldn’t stop there; this time though, we’re bringing you our top ten things to do in Dublin for free, to make sure you have the best visit to the city possible, while saving more money for pints!


Join a lovely local for a Free Tour

Free walking tour in Dublin

The ideal start to your trip is a Free Tour in Dublin. Friendly, knowledgeable & authentic local guides take you through Dublin to experience the sites, sights, and sounds of this charming city while filling you in on the rich history, culture, heritage & traditions of Ireland and the capital. It's an invaluable source of honest local hints & tips, and perfect for getting orientated with the city, our local quirky oddities, and a deeper understanding of the place you are visiting. And it is a lot of fun thanks to the enthusiastic local guides, each a purveyor of that famous Dublin wit & charm.


Treasure hunt at The Chester Beatty Library

The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin


Built-in 1950 and located in the grounds of Dublin Castle, The Chester Beatty Library houses a vast array of treasures accumulated by mining magnate, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty. It includes ancient artifacts, manuscripts & rare books, decorative artworks, paintings, prints & drawings from great cultures and religions from countries across the Middle-East, North-Africa, Asia and Europe.

It is a truly remarkable collection of creative expression dating back to circa 2700 BC and makes this museum one of the best in Europe. Admission is free too!


Enjoy contemporary art at The Hugh Lane Gallery

The Hugh Lane Gallery


This gallery of contemporary and modern art was established in 1908 and houses a fantastic collection of Irish and international visual arts, including many notable pieces such as Francis Bacon's Studio & Archive and works from renowned artists including Sean Scully, Louis Le Brocquy, Dorothy Cross, Monet and many more.

As well as a rich permanent collection, there are also regular temporary exhibits and collections as well. Open Tuesday – Thursday 10 am to 6 pm, Friday & Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday 11 am to 5 pm and closed on Mondays, admission is free.


Be amazed at The Science gallery

Science gallery in Dublin, Ireland
Art fused with science is pretty much the essence of The Science Gallery at Trinity College. A place where one's curiosity can be nurtured in creativity and discovery through an ever-changing program of events and exhibitions dealing with living art experiments, science materials, the future of the human species and even the future of play - the Science Gallery is a one of a kind.

All in all, it's a very interesting, interactive and enjoyable experience and worth a visit. Open Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 to 19:00 (18:00 Sat. & Sun.) and entry is free.


Go Deer-spotting in the Phoenix Park

Deer in Phoenix Park, Dublin
The largest walled park in Europe, Dublin's Phoenix Park is 707 hectares of grassland, gardens and tree-lined avenues which not only houses the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, Dublin Zoo (dating from 1831) and several monuments & statues, but also a herd of wild fallow deer.

The lineage of the deer herd goes back to the 17th Century in the park and they still roam freely today, grazing and enchanting onlookers. The Phoenix Park is another old, old part of Dublin town which is steeped in fascinating history and is still very much in popular use today. A perfect place for walking, jogging or just escaping the bustle of the city.


Explore The National Gallery

National Gallery in Dublin
Here you can visit the national collection of Irish and European fine art, more than 15,000 works ranging from paintings, sculptures, works on paper and objects d'art from the early 13th to mid-20th Century, including masterpieces by some major European artists such as Caravaggio, Gainsborough, Goya, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet and many, many more.

Open Sunday & Monday 11:00 to 17:30, Tuesday to Saturday 9:15 to 17:30 (Thursday ‘til 20:30) and entrance is free.


Drop in on a Traditional Irish Music Session

Traditional Irish Music Session


Dublin is awash with the music of all genres, but traditional Irish music & song is what most visitors expect to hear. In Temple Bar music & songs are pumped out of almost every pub, however, it is, for the most part, very tourist-aimed performances rather than an authentic open-session. Trad sessions proper can be a truly fantastic experience, loved by locals and far removed from the more touristy renditions. Nightly in The Cobblestone (Smithfield) & O'Donoghue's (Merrion row) are two stalwarts of the session scene, while Wednesday nights in McNeil’s on Caple Street offers a wonderful pub session too.


The National Museum of Ireland

National Museum of Ireland

The National Museum is in fact four separate museums, three of which are in Dublin – Archaeology, Decorative Arts & History, and Natural History; so this is actually three things to do for free in Dublin.
Archaeology houses over 2 million artifacts including amazing treasures from Prehistoric and Viking & Medieval Ireland. The Iron Age ‘bog-bodies’ are fascinating.

Decorative Arts & History exhibits a broad range of objects including furniture, weaponry, ceramics and items of folk-life & costume, while the Natural History Museum is a fascinating, unique display of animals from Ireland & worldwide - an incredible place containing 2 million+ specimens, including a massive Blue Whale skeleton and many now-extinct species.

Each is open from 10 am – 5 pm Tues. - Sat., 1 pm – 5 pm Sun. & Mon. Entrance to each is free.


Smell the flowers at The Botanic gardens

The Botanic gardens in Dublin

North-west of Dublin city centre lies the national botanic gardens, a beautifully landscaped 19.5 hectares expanse of formal gardens, naturalistic sections, a Victorian palm house and arboretum containing more than 20,000 living plants. Ideal for an escape from the urban concrete in a relaxing environment, this is not just the preserve the botany enthusiast. It is a marvelous piece of old Dublin and is still enjoyed today by tourists and locals alike; indeed, it is the second most visited free attraction in Ireland!


Get on yer bike!

Bike tours in Dublin

You can explore Dublin by pedal-power, and it can be done for free! Dublin Bikes is a scheme making bikes available for the public to rent from over 40 stations strategically placed around the city. Once you sign up, at no cost, the first 30 minutes of each journey is free and with so many stations you'll easily be able to park up and begin a new journey before each 30-minute free time expires, wherever you are in the city. Dublin is a cycle-friendly city, with many cycle lanes and designated cycle routes to enjoy.

There you have it, dear curious Dublin-bound traveller, our top ten free things to do in Dublin that will make your time here both memorable and affordable. Keep a look out for more of our recommendations for must-sees, touristic attractions to visit, and lesser-known hidden gems in Dublin soon.
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