Even if you are travelling to Dublin on a budget there is still lots to do around the city for free. Check out our list below of some of the best things you can do around the city that won’t make your purse strings any tighter!
1. Out and About
To really appreciate the city of Dublin the best place to be is out on the streets exploring the selection of historical buildings, outside spaces and things to do.
Free Walking Tour
There is a fantastic free walking tour that starts at 11am and 1pm everyday from City Hall (Dame Street). Pick-ups can be arranged from your A Star Hostel. The Walking Tour is a great activity to discover Dublin and its rich history, with a fun, informative guide and best of all its absolutely free! Speak to the guys on reception to find out more.
While it does cost money to visit the interior of Dublin Castle, you can check out the building’s impressive exterior completely free of charge. The Castle, which began its life back in the 13th century, acted as the seat of the English administration in Ireland for around 700 years. Today it is used for State functions and it’s also where the President of Ireland is usually inaugurated.
Location: Palace Street, off Dame Street.
Covering almost 710 hectares, Phoenix Park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin city. Phoenix Park is one of the largest city centre parks in the World and is also home to Dublin Zoo (Which you do have to pay for). Why not take a stroll around and look at the impressive monuments, flower beds and beautiful green areas that the park has to offer.
Location: Main entrances at Parkgate Street & Castleknock Gate.Opening hours: Main gates are open 24 hours.
Discover Dublin Centre
A visitor attraction in its own right, the Discover Dublin Centre is located in the former St. Andrew’s Church and both the building and the site have a rich history. Come visit the building and also get some ideas and suggestions for your time in Dublin from their travel advisors in English, French, Irish, Italian and Spanish.
Location: Suffolk Street, Dublin 2
Trinity College Dublin
Founded in 1952 as Dublin’s answer to Oxford or Cambridge, it is fascinating to walk around the spectacular buildings and cobbled grounds of Trinity College.
Location: College Green, Dublin 2
St Stephens Green
St Stephens Green can be a lovely escape from the city. Located right in the city centre, at the top of Grafton Street, you can find beautiful flower beds, large lawns and central lakes with ducks. It’s perfect for a lazy stroll or for a quick retreat.
Location: St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
Take a walk and view the many statues that Dublin has to offer
For more info on Dublin’s statues and their stories check out our blog post here.
Why not go for a cycle around the city centre, with 44 Dublin bike points around the city, its free for the first 30 minutes, after that a service charge applies, but there is nothing to stop you using your free 30 minutes, replacing the bike and renting another one to get another 30 minutes. The bikes are available to rent from 5.00 am until 00.30am and are returnable 24 hours. You will need to find a Dublin bike station that accepts credit cards to rent a bike. Most visitors use the 3 day ticket which costs 2 Euros. A list and map of the stations can be found here
2. Museums and Galleries
Investigate some of Dublin’s rich history and culture without spending a penny by visiting Dublin’s impressive selection of free museums and galleries. It’s a sure way to keep you entertained during your stay in Dublin, especially if you are on a budget. All of the museums and galleries listed below are located within the central districts of the city which make them very accessible from your A Star Hostel in Dublin.
National Museum of Ireland – Archeology
At the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Kildare Street, you’ll find artefacts dating from 7000BC to the 20th Century exhibited in seven galleries including one of the largest and most important gold collections in Europe and anexhibition which includes recently found bog bodies.
Location: Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Opening Hours: Tues- Sat 10.00-17.00 Sun 14.00-17.00
Decorative Arts & History Museum
The Decorative Arts & History Museum is really easy to get to as it is right beside the Museum stop on the Red Line of the LUAS. It’s definitely worth a visit as the collection includes a wide range of objects, which include weaponry, furniture, silver, ceramics, glassware and examples of Folklife and costume; alongside a number of displays covering The Easter Rising. It has recently reopened after extensive renovations.
Location: Collins Barracks, Benburb Street
Opening Hours: Tues-Sat 10.00-17.00 Sun 14.00-17.00
Natural History Museum
The Natural History museum features an extensive collection of animals from both Ireland and abroad including mammals, birds and plenty more.
Location: Natural History – Merrion Street.
Opening hours: All branches share same opening hours – Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 2pm-5pm, closed Mondays.
Cheater Beatty Musuem
With free admission and described by the Lonely Planet as not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe, the Chester Beatty Library is a must-see on any Dublin visitor’s itinerary. As the only museum in Ireland to win ‘European Museum of the Year’, the library’s rich collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.
Location: Dublin Castle, Dublin 2
Opening Hours: 1 May – 30 Sept Mon-Fri 10.00-17.00 / 1 Oct-30 Apr
Described as a place where science and art collide, Science Gallery is a world first. A new type of venue where today’s white-hot scientific issues are thrashed out and you can have your say. A place where ideas meet and opinions collide. Since opening in 2008, over one million of you have visited the Science Gallery in Dublin – ranking it amongst the top ten free cultural attractions in Ireland. The Gallery however is closed in between exhibitions so be sure to check the dates on their site below for current exhibitions.
Location: The Naughton Institute, Trinity College, Pearse St, Dublin 2
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri 12.00-20.00, Sat-Sun 12.00-18.00, Closed Mondays
Makeshop by Science Gallery
The Makeshop is a new collaborative workshop space where you can learn everything from DIY robotics to 3D printing. Created by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, this pop-up experiment in making is for everyone from novices to advanced makers, young to old.
To find out the latest workshops that are running check out the Makeshop’s Facebook page
Location: Makeshop,Lincoln Place,Dublin 2,Ireland
Opening hours: Sun-Fri 11:00-18:00 / Sat 10:00-18:00
Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane
Located in Dublin’s city centre, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, originally called The Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, houses one of Ireland’s foremost collections of modern and contemporary art. The Hugh Lane offers weekly tours and public lectures.
Location: Hugh Lane Gallery, Charelmont House, Parnell Square N, Dublin 1
Opening hours: Tues-Thurs 10.00-18.00 Fri-Sat 10.00-17.00 Sun 11.00-17.00
Irish Museum of Modern Art
The Irish Museum of Modern Art is Ireland’s leading national institution for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art. The Museum presents a wide variety of art in a dynamic programme of exhibitions, which regularly includes bodies of work from its own collection and its award-winning Education and Community Department. It also creates more widespread access to art and artists through its Studio and National programmes. The Irish Museum of Modern Art is housed in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the finest 17th-century building in Ireland. The Royal Hospital was founded in 1684 by James Butler, Duke of Ormonde and Viceroy to Charles II, as a home for retired soldiers and continued in that use for almost 250 years.
Location: Royal Hospital, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10.00am – 5.30pm except Wednesday: 10.30am – 5.30pm Sunday and Bank Holidays: 12noon – 5.30pm Monday, Good Friday and 24 – 26 December: Closed