Dublin can be an expensive city to visit, particularly when you’re visiting various museums and tourist sites.
For example The Jameson Whiskey Distillery, which is by no means a good recommendation for whiskey lovers, is €20 for adults after the morning; the Guinness Storehouse is €18.50 as of now but that increases to €25.50 towards the end of the year; the Dublin Castle is €7 if you want to do a self-guided.
But it doesn’t limit from experiencing the joys and wonders of the city. There are various attractions and activities you can do without breaking the bank.
So for this “5 To Do” I decided to make the Dublin edition a guide om free things for reasons given above.
Here are five free things you have the unearned privilege of doing in Dublin:
1. Walk along the River Liffey
Catch some views walking along the banks of Dublin’s main river, which splits the city into the Northside and Southside.
It can be a very relaxing and casual activity to do freely whether it’s to kill some time, see the city on foot or to wind down after a long, exhausting day and to take in everything that’s happened and that’s around you.
Activities such as kayaking, boat trips and cruises are often done along River Liffey.
You’ll catch glimpses of one or two buildings and walls covered in graffiti that are photo-worthy for the gram or snap. They really add some color to Dublin. Whilst walking the length of the river you can catch famous attractions such as the Epic museum, Ha’penny and Samuel Beckett Bridges, again don’t forget to take more than one picture of the strikingly superb pieces of architecture.
2. See The Temple Bar
Located not far from the River Liffey, closest to the Ha’penny Bridge. The Temple Bar is Ireland’s most famous and historic pub/bar.
Known to be a bar for tourists, The Temple Bar is buzzing with live music and sports and brings out a very lively nightlife. Drinks wise it provides a collection of whiskey rarely sold elsewhere.
This was the first attraction I planned to see when prepping for my trip to Dublin and I could see why it was so revered and discussed. My only regret was not going there to check out the nightlife there when I was wandering for pubs to mingle and socialise on the Saturday night I was here for.
Side Note: The bar gets mega packed on weekends! There can literally be queues outside to get in not to mention secure a seat. Try not to take your best shoes either 😉
3. Go On A Yellow Umbrella Walking Tour
Free walking tours around Dublin are given to tourists and residents during different times of the day.
There are two main Yellow Umbrella walking tours: one is for the Southside of Dublin and the other is for Northside. Southside is more for the famous attractions and monuments you may here of if you’re considering a visit to the city. Whilst Northside, which was the one I ended up doing, delves more into the history of the city and isnt often discussed by the casual person.
Do both and you’ll be getting the complete experience of Dublin. This was the very thing that got me exacrly clued up on Dublin and really enriched me in terms of knowledge and understanding of what the city, as small as it is, has been through over the last few decades.
The meeting point for both tours are at the Spire Of Dublin on O’Connell St. Southside tours happen from 11am everyday. Northside tours are at 3pm. There’s also options to do private tours, hiking tours around the mountains and hills just outside of Dublin and a traditional pub tour.
4. Ride Around Via A Dublin Bike
Dublim have their own version of London’s Santander Cycles (or Boris Bikes as previously dubbed) called the Dublin Bike, a cycling intiative that allows people to cycle around the city for the limited amount of time depending they’ve paid.
Obviously this is not exactly free a free thing you can do but it can be a fun leisure activity to do that’s close enough to being cost-free as the first half hour spent pedalling around is not charged.
For an hour riding it’s only a minuscule 50 cent, €1.50 for 2 hours. There’s also 3 day tickets and annual cards available at €5 and €25 respectively. Ridiculously cheap!
It’s a unique way to go about exploring the city, not to mention it’s a great way to encourage people to exercise. It’s even better if you’re not the most enthusiastic when it comes to walking too
5. Tour The Hugh Lane Gallery
Right next door to the Irish Writers Museum and opposite the Garden of Remembrance (love how convenient everything in Dublin seems to be) is The Hugh Lane Gallery, or Dublin City Gallery.
Loads of historic and contemporary art exhibtions, studios and mini documentary projection rooms that tell the story of many Dublin artists and their creations, including Francis Bacon.
One cool thing is that the gallery get opera and classical musicians to perform mini concerts regularly in their concert hall just near the entrance. At the time I visited there was an opera performance going on and decided to sit and watch for a little while. I’m not the biggest fan of opera or classical music not gonna lie, but I did enjoyed listening to a few of his pieces. It’s times like this that with an open mind you appreciate the talent, passion and energy they bring to their work and their productions.
Honorable mentions go to walking Phoenix Park near Dublin Castle, exploring the city centre on O’Connell street, visiting the Trinity College campus and National Gallery Of Ireland.
Have I missed out any Dublin-based activities that you know can be done without breaking the bank? What are your thoughts on my suggestions? Feel free to comment below.
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Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures