You’ve heard right, Dublin is quite an expensive city but there is still plenty that you can do in Dublin for free.
Temple Bar Markets
Temple Bar is renowned for its bars and clubs. This is where tourists and locals congregate to enjoy a pint of Guinness or enjoy live Irish music. Over the weekends, Temple Bar houses various markets selling baked goods, books, cheese, seafood and handmade Irish crafts. You can simply have a wander and a browse. Hey, window shopping is still a popular pastime…besides, taking in the decorative bars themselves is quite an enjoyable experience.
Phoenix Park is absolutely huge, and it houses endless attractions and marvels including Dublin Zoo and the Presidents House. If you’re lucky, you may even come across the herd of wild deer who call the park home. Phoenix Park has the distinctive honour of being one of Europe’s largest parks so be prepared for a lot of walking. The closest I could compare it to would be Richmond Park but you’re definitely more likely to site deer at Richmond Park!
National Gallery of Ireland
If you’re caught out by Ireland’s temperamental weather (it’s not called the Emerald Isle for nothing…it’s frequently battered by rain), then dipping into a gallery can be a fun and educational way to whittle away an evening. The National Gallery dates back to the mid-19th Century and houses endless art and sculptures.
Merrion Square Park
Calling all Oscar Wilde fans, Merrion Square Park is a fascinating and quirky little park which houses an intriguing reclining statue of Oscar Wilde himself. The park falls at the foot of the house that Wilde once called home and literature fans will be particularly drawn due to this beautiful green park. On Sundays, open art air exhibitions take place which draws artists from all over.
You don’t need to go inside every building to appreciate it and Dublin Castle is no exception. The formidable exterior is quite impressive, and the surrounding area is very quaint and pretty making a wander of the area quite an enjoyable prospect.
Chester Beatty Library
If you’re anything like me, you love a library. Fewer places are so peaceful, calm and collected and it feels like you can disappear into a different world of fantasy with every book you open. The Chester Beatty Library houses an impressive collection of books from the West, the Orient and the Middle East. The entire collection was gifted by Chester Beatty himself. There are some interesting permanent exhibitions here including the ‘Art of the Book’ and ‘Sacred Traditions.’
For those who aren’t so much a fan of books, there’s a gorgeous Oriental roof-top garden to enjoy.
Irish Museum of Modern Art
Taking a guided tour of this museum is a wonderful way to explore the impressive splendour of the building itself as well as the works that comprise the heart and soul of the museum. There are also wonderful views of Phoenix Park enabling you to enjoy a picnic afterwards and scout out some deer.
Again, although there is much to see and do inside, you can enjoy a lot simply by wandering around the old-world cobbled streets surrounding the college. The building itself is incredibly picturesque. Trinity College is Ireland’s leading university and boasts famous alumni including Bram Stoker and Samuel Beckett. In fact, Dublin’s literary history is enormously impressive.
National Botanic Gardens
Ireland’s National Botanic Gardens are historic and provide a serene and calming atmosphere if you need to destress. Located north of the city centre, you can easily eat away at your time here.
For those of you who enjoy long weather-permitting walks, you can embark on a 1km walk to the Poolbeg Lighthouse and enjoy exquisite views of Dublin Bay. This is an activity that might be worth doing on a pleasant spring or summer day rather than in the dead of winter!
St Stephens Green
St Stephens Green is the busiest of Ireland’s parks and very much a tourist attraction. It’s the perfect place to go if you enjoy people watching.
Science galleries are always the interactive galleries. To an extent, you can get your hands dirty and learn how things work. There are many exhibitions that you can delve into and naturally this is a family friendly spot for those with young children.
Confession: I can’t ride a bike.
I have failed at one of life’s earliest milestones.
If you can ride a bike, then taking in the city in this way is hugely recommended. There are 450 bikes available and 40 locations. If you return the bike within 30 minutes you get it for free. You can then simply exchange it for another bike and keep on going.
Ha’penny Bridge (Liffey Bridge)
Is it weird to say that I’m a fan of bridges? I like the feeling of ‘crossing over.’ Anyway, enough of my weirdness. The Ha’penny Bridge, known officially as the Liffey Bridge, is so named because initially passers by had to pay a ha’penny to cross it.
So you see, there is still plenty to see and do in Dublin, even if money is an issue.
All my love