12 Fun and Free Things to Do in Dublin's City Centre

12 Fun and Free Things to Do in Dublin's City Centre

If you’re looking for the perfect city to explore on your next holiday, consider a trip to Dublin. Filled with historical monuments and tourist attractions, this beautiful Irish capital offers something that no other city can - an immersion in culture and history so deep you may never want to leave. From its architectural wonders like the Trinity College Library, which has been around since 1592, to its bustling markets featuring handmade crafts from local artisans, there are endless opportunities for entertainment and exploration all within easy reach of the city centre. And when it comes to nightlife? Let’s just say you won't find another city quite as alive! No matter what age or stage you may be at in life, one thing is sure – Dublin will fill your eyes with wonder.

In this blog post we:

  • List the best places to visit for no charge at all
  • Show all places on an interactive map to help you locate each place easily.

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Dublin has many options for places to visit without an entry fee. You could check out over 16,000 pieces of artwork at The National Gallery of Ireland, experience the atmosphere on the streets at Temple Bar or gaze at the monuments throughout St Stephen's Green. Click on each name to be taken straight to the blog post for that place.

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    Other Blog Posts From Dublin

    We write lots of blog posts from each individual area and have a few more from the city of Dublin. Have a look at our other blog posts by clicking the buttons below:

    Museums and Galleries

    free activities in dublin

    National Gallery of Ireland

    The National Gallery of Ireland holds an incredible array of Irish visual heritage, with its collection boasting over 16,000 pieces of art. Founded in 1854, the gallery has been part of the cultural lifeblood of the capital for nearly two centuries and is still as popular today as it has ever been. From hundreds-year old portraits depicting Irish historic figures to more avant-garde pieces far ahead of their time, a trip to the National Gallery provides a resplendent journey through the varieties of Irish visual culture.

    National Museum of Ireland Archeology

    Those looking to explore the history of Ireland won't want to miss out on a visit to the National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology. Founded in 1890, this expansive museum is home to an incredible collection of archeological relics that spans back as far as 7000 BC, from tools and jewellery to furniture, pottery, clothing, manuscripts and more. Not only does the museum offer remarkable insight into the past of Ireland, it also houses permanent exhibitions such as Ancient Egypt and Viking Ireland that shouldn’t be missed.

    Chester Beatty

    Located in the heart of the city, the Chester Beatty is one of Dublin's most beloved cultural attractions. The museum boasts an impressive collection that showcases a huge range of art and artefacts dating back centuries. From ancient Chinese scrolls to Indian miniature paintings and Middle Eastern manuscripts, there is something to grab your attention. Allow around 2 hours to get round the museum as there’s lots to see.

    free things to do in dublin

    National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History

    Opened in 1890, the museum is home to some of the most exciting pieces of Irish history. You'll have the chance to explore numerous galleries covering Ireland’s social and economic progress throughout the years. The museum also highlights Ireland’s military history and is housed in Collins Barracks (named after the famous Micheal Collins), which was home to Irish and British forces for hundreds of years.

    Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane

    When it comes to immersing yourself in art and culture, there's no better place in the city than The Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. Established over a century ago, the gallery claims the distinction of being Ireland’s first public art gallery showcasing modern art. You’ll find a variety of international and Irish works from modernist masterpieces to contemporary artwork along with regular special exhibitions. The gallery also has one of the largest collections of French Impressionists anywhere in Ireland and boasts an impressive permanent collection.

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    National Print Museum

    Located in the former Garrison Chapel of Beggars Bush Barracks, the National Print Museum is an amazing place to visit during your next voyage to the Irish capital. Founded in 1996 and having recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, the museum is dedicated to documenting and preserving the history of printing for generations to come. The museum is spectacular in both its size and scope, with collections totalling over 10,000 items, which feature a number of artefacts from across Ireland and beyond. It's more than just a glimpse into the past; it's an accessible way to explore how printing has shaped our lives over many centuries and how it will continue to shape our lives into the future. There’s also a shop and café at the museum for a cup of tea after a few hours spent looking at the exhibits.

    Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again

    If you're looking for an educational, inspiring and informative experience the next time you visit Dublin, then you must explore the Seamus Heaney Listen Now Again museum! This interactive exhibit was constructed to honour the life and legacy of Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney. It celebrates both his native Irish culture and his real world impact as a Nobel Laureate of Literature. As you walk through this unique museum, you'll be inspired by hands-on exhibits that bring his work to life, allowing you to trace Heaney's influential journey from childhood all the way through to the highlight of his lifetime achievement.

    National Museum of Ireland Natural History

    The National Museum of Natural History is a remarkable place filled with insight and fascination. It first opened in 1857 and has been dedicated to showcasing the best of Ireland’s nature ever since. From its history of dinosaur bones to its glass cases full of unique bugs and birds, there is something magical in it that visitors are drawn to every year. With over 2 million specimens to see, a visit here will give you an appreciation for the flora and fauna Ireland has to offer the world, including endangered species that are intricately preserved in their museum walls.

    Free things to do in Dublin FAQ's

    Many museums in Dublin are free to enter, while others charge an admission fee. Some examples of free museums in the city include the National Gallery of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, and the National Print Museum. Other museums, such as the Guinness Storehouse charge an admission fee. It's best to check the website of the specific museum you are interested in visiting to find out about their admission policies.

    There are several things that can be done in Dublin without spending any money. These include: Visiting the city's many parks and green spaces such as St. Stephen's Green and Phoenix (these parks offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city and are great for picnics, walks, or just soaking up the scenery), exploring the city's rich cultural history by visiting its many free to enter museums and galleries, taking a stroll along the city's historic streets and landmarks, such as the Ha'penny Bridge and the Spire (these landmarks are free to visit and offer a glimpse into the city's past).

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    History and Culture

    temple bar

    Temple Bar

    The Temple Bar area in Dublin is one of the most unique experiences you will find in the city. Featuring cobblestone streets, traditional pubs and vibrant street performers, it's no wonder why this part of town has been a hot spot for tourists and locals alike since the 1980’s. From its origins as a Viking settlement to its modern-day party scene, Temple Bar offers something for everyone. Whether you enjoy sampling classic Irish fare at a lively pub or browsing independent boutiques selling handmade souvenirs, there's no better place to explore Irish culture than in Temple Bar sipping a Guinness or two!

    Walks and Nature Trails

    free things to do in dublin city centre

    National Botanic Gardens

    Established in 1795, this scenic attraction has been captivating locals and visitors alike for centuries. The versatile grounds span 48 acres of greenhouses, lawns, ponds and other breathtaking plantscapes. On a stroll here, you'll be treated to an array of colourful blooms throughout the spring, summer and autumn seasons. With more than 15 thousand plants hailing from every corner of the world, these botanic gardens offer not only beauty, but also a fascinating journey through history.

    St Stephen's Green

    After the park reopened in 1880, it has become one of the most beautiful and popular parks in Ireland. It is also home to many famed historical monuments such as The Three Fates statue, Fusiliers’ Arch and The Wolfetone and Famine Memorial. Within the 22 acre park, you can find various species of birds among the trees and gardens which are laid out in the park’s classic Victorian style.

    Phoenix Park

    Dublin's Phoenix Park is a truly majestic place, a vast urban oasis shrouded in trees and natural beauty. Not only is it one of the largest enclosed parks on the European continent, but it also has a fascinating history dating back centuries. Whether you're interested in the flora and fauna, the park’s historic stories or simply looking for that perfect picnic spot close to the River Liffey, Phoenix Park has something special for everyone.


    Use the map below to locate all the places mentioned above before you travel. Click on the icons for further information on each place.

    Open Google Maps to see distance information between locations and directions on how to get to each place.

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