8 fun activities that actually are free in Dublin

By Katy Thornton

August 30, 2021 at 3:23pm

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Haven't you heard, Luas means free in Irish.

Only kidding. If you're one of the many who was tricked by the whole "the Luas is free" trend, then this article is for you. You may still have to top up your Leap Card and tap on and off, but there is tons to do in Dublin without breaking the bank.

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. 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 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.

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. Kilmainham Gaol

You do have to book to gain admission into Kilmainham Gaol, but it is absolutely free to do so. If you're looking to spend a morning or afternoon absorbing knowledge, then Kilmainham Gaol is the spot for you. Perhaps most notably Kilmainham housed many of the rebels from the 1916 Easter Rising, and was the site where they were executed. 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?

Lead Image via Instagram/LovinDublin

READ ON: Five things to do in Dublin on a miserable day

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