8 free activities in Dublin to get you through a long January

By Katy Thornton

December 31, 2021 at 10:25am

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We wish the Luas actually was free, because January is here, and we're all broke.

You may still have to top up your Leap Card and tap on and off, but there are tons of activities to do in Dublin without breaking the bank. Which is ideal because January is a long and penniless month for most of us!

1. The National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland located on Merrion Square is a free gallery for their permanent collection, which is extensive. You do have to book a free ticket in advance so make sure you do so on their website. This same rule also applies to other galleries in Dublin, so check some of them out here.

2. Parks

There is no shortage of parks in Dublin, no matter what side of the city you're on. On a beautiful Irish day, a walk in the park can be just what the doctor ordered. There's the well known ones, Phoenix Park, always worth a visit to see the deer, Marlay Park if you're on the Southside. Bushy Park and Herbert Park are great spots too if you're looking for a shorter walk, or to take a picnic with you.

3. Go To The Beach

Pack your towel, your bikini, your swim trunks, and your phone to get a cool time lapse, and head out to the Vico Baths in Killiney, or Seapoint in Monkstown. Also it's absolutely freezing, so make sure you have a hot water bottle or a ton of layers to wrap up in if you're braving the sea. If a swim isn't your thing, a day walking the Dollymount Strand is just as satisfying. Get yourself some fish and chips at Fishbone or Fish Shack after for some hearty sustenance.

4. Self-Guided Street Art Tour

Dublin boasts some beautiful artwork, either in the form of graffiti or sculptures, and they're worth checking out. Whether it's "The Children of Lir" sculpture by Oisin Kelly in the Garden of Remembrance, or some wall art in Portobello or Love Lane, there's a plethora of creativity that's fantastic to see and doesn't cost a thing. Dublin's street art is ever changing, so this is an activity you can do again and again. Try to find some hidden gems out there.

5. National Botanic Gardens

All you need is yourself and a phone to take some Instagram worthy content. There are free daily tours available if you are looking to learn more about the plant life. Check out their website for details on their tours and opening hours.

6. Dublin Free Walking Tour

If you'd rather a guided tour, there are plenty of free options for that too. This company does specific walking tours all over Dublin, with free routes that explore historical landmarks such as Trinity College, Temple Bar, Christ Church, the GPO, and The Custom House. They hold other tours also that you can check out here.

7. Collins Barracks

The National Museum of Ireland otherwise known as Collins Barracks, is well worth a visit. There's plenty of visual art and historical exhibitions, the team also run a whole pile of once-off events from the Benburb Street spot. While it's free of charge, visitors need to book before heading, you can check out more information on booking here.

8. Chester Beatty Library

Located at Dublin Castle, entry into the Chester Beatty Library is free, and that's just one of a few reasons why you might want to check it out. There's always plenty of exhibitions to see; currently, they have a stunning one on Japanese Art called "Edo in Colour". Lonely Planet also once described this museum as not only one of the best in Ireland but in all of Europe. If that's not a good enough endorsement, I don't know what is. You can check out all their exhibitions here.

Which free activity tickles your fancy the most? We hope these spots give you something to do in January when you're a bit skint.

Header Image via Instagram/nationalgalleryofireland

READ ON: 10 restaurants, cafes and bars we said goodbye to in 2021

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