Every city and town has free things to do, the main question is, are they any good. People-watching and strolling around the cobbled streets can only get you so far. Dublin is one of my favourite cities (Not bias at all), it has a lot to offer and plenty to do and see. I’ve come up with five things to do in Dublin for free that I think everyone would enjoy. I’ll keep the people watching to a minimum.
Five things to do in Dublin for free
Visit the Chester Beatty library and Dublin castle
A library I know Zzzzz-but hear me out. The Chester Beatty library isn’t your typical library and only contains a few books, most of which you can’t read or touch. Chester Beatty was a wealthy industrialist who spent his wealth collecting rare artefacts and manuscripts from around the world. These books are beautifully decorated and contain cultural and historical works from around the world. Entrance is free, as per the wishes of Chester Beatty himself. It is located on the grounds of Dublin castle.
You can have a picnic in front of the library or look around the former seat of the British administration in Ireland. Entrance to areas of the Castle requires booking in advance.
Search for deer in the Phoenix Park
Enclosed in one of the largest parks in Europe are over 400 deer who roam free thanks to an old law which protects their right to graze on the land. Definitely, on top of my list of five things to do in Dublin for free, all you need to do is bring a sense of adventure and some patience. I usually found the deer located between the Wellington monument and the GAA pitches as you make your way towards Dublin Zoo. Initially afraid they tend to calm a little once you stay in one place. Avoid feeding them and getting too close. I guarantee you will still get some astounding pictures. Following this, you can spend the rest of the day in the park, visiting the zoo or maybe catching a glimpse of the president.
Pay your respects at Glasnevin cemetery
Although I think this is best as part of a tour, if you’re unfamiliar with Irish history, it is quite possible to do by yourself. The cemetery is located in north Dublin a short bus ride away from O’Connell St. This is the final resting place of many of Irelands most prominent and famous citizens including Michael Collins, Daniel O’Connell, and Brendan Behan. Prominent points are Daniel O’connels round tower and dedication to victims of the Irish famine. Although a little sombre, a visit to Ireland wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a cemetery so why not the most important one in Irish history. Be sure to check the opening times here, I had to return a number of times because I didn’t check. Asscemeterycemetary doesn’t close was my mistake.
Just around the corner is the Royal Botanic gardens, also worth a visit if the weather permits. A nice location to be attacked by squirrels and to rest up before more adventures.
Feed the birds in St. Stephens green
My favourite park in Dublin and a place which makes it onto every list of free things to do in Dublin is St.Stephens green. Located at the bottom of Grafton Street, it is the ideal place to rest up after a day of shopping or to check out while you have some free time.=Plenty of small monuments are located around the park for you to discover. Along with these monuments are plenty of birds which you can feed while you unintentionally people watch.
Visit Collins barracks
This probably the best museum in Dublin if not Ireland in my opinion. Located on the grounds of Collins barracks the museum contains exhibits detailing Irelands move towards independence. This is a great way for you to learn about key areas in Dublin that you will later see while you are exploring. Many of the exhibits also commemorate Ireland’s involvement with the UN and WW1.
A walk along the river Liffey towards the museum is also a great way to see outside the city centre.
Walk along Dun Laoghaire harbor-Involves a bus/train ride.
Visit Arbour hill cemetery-This is the final resting place of most of the 1916 rising leaders.
Temple bar- there are plenty of buskers and markets on different days to keep you occupied.
Trinity college-Another great area to stroll around and also the home of the book of Kells.
Lowering the flag-At 6.00pm every day the Tri-colour is lowered on O’Connell street.
Although classed as a very expensive city, there are plenty of free things to do in Dublin. With a little research, you can do a whole lot in a short space of time. Let me know of any other things to do in Dublin for free, in the comments below.
Check out my Irish section for more Irish inspiration.