Dublin, Ireland doesn’t have to be an expensive city to visit. The twisting, winding streets of the city centre are easily walkable, so you don’t have to spend a lot on transportation, and there are plenty of ways to explore the city for free. Here are seven free things to do in Dublin so you can save all your money for a pint or two at the pub:
1. Take a Walk Around Trinity College
It’s completely free to walk the cobbled lanes of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland’s oldest college. You can sit on the green, try to blend in with the students, and pretend you’re one of the famous playwrights that have graduated from here, like Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, or Oliver Goldsmith.
2. Watch Buskers Perform on Grafton Street
Grafton Street is a pedestrian shopping street, and it’s one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world, so maybe just stick to window shopping. Grafton Street is also great for watching buskers and street performers sing, dance, play music, and perform stunts and is one of the best places to get free entertainment in the city.
3. Stroll Through St Stephen’s Green
At the top of Grafton Street is St Stephen’s Green, a 22 acre park with a large lake, a playground, statues and memorials, and picturesque gardens, including a garden for the blind with fragrant plants and Braille labels.
4. Admire the Serenity of Merrion Square
Rows of Georgian houses where Dublin’s rich and famous used to live line Merrion Square, and on the west side are the National History Museum and the National Gallery. You can brush up on your history of Dublin’s notable residents by finding the plaques on the houses where Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, Daniel O’Connell, Sybil Connolly, and so many more used to live. In the middle of the square sits Merrion Square Park, a once private residential park that was opened to the public in the 1960s that still maintains that private serenity.
5. Learn the Nicknames of Dublin’s Statues
Dublin has so many statues, and Dubliners have a great sense of humor. The city’s residents have given their famous statues cheeky nicknames from the “Erection at the Intersection” to the “Hags with the Bags”. Taking a tour of Dublin’s public art is a great way to see the city and learn more about its history. Start your statue tour here!
6. Hear Irish Music in the Pubs
The Temple Bar district is a popular hot spot for nightlife and entertainment where you can find a mix of traditional pubs, gastropubs, and modern clubs. Go pub hopping to listen to traditional Irish music, local musicians, and acoustic sets of popular songs. Just be ready to hear “The Irish Rover” and “Galway Girl” multiple times throughout the night — the musicians know this is what really gets the tourists going!
7. Take a Walking Tour of Dublin’s Top Sights
You can take in the city’s history and see Dublin’s main sights all in one day with a walking tour of the city. Trinity College, Dublin Castle, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, and Temple Bar, as well as the sights listed above, are all within walking distance of each other and can all be seen in a single day. Click here to see more of Dublin’s sights!
What’s your favorite free thing to do in Dublin? Let me know in the comments!