Dublin is a big city that’s filled to the brim with art, culture, history, architecture, and a vibrant nightlife. While the Irish capital is known for being one of the most expensive cities in Europe, exploring the city doesn’t have to be.
You can still enjoy everything the city is known for—the buskers, the historic buildings, the trad sessions, and more—without breaking the bank. Speaking of not breaking the bank, did you know that Maldron Hotel Pearse Street is the choice of travellers who want value for their money?
It is such a convenient location to explore the city as well since it’s near the Dart station and there are plenty of bus stops just outside its doors!
Now here are the eight things to do in Dublin that won’t cost you a penny…
Enjoy the Buskers on Grafton Street
Grafton Street is one of the main shopping streets in Dublin but the best way to experience it is to enjoy the street performers. Buskers, including musicians, poets and mime artists commonly perform for the shopping crowd between 11 am and 11 pm.
Hunt for the City’s Best Graffiti
Street art and murals are such an intrinsic part of the Irish capital that it almost makes the city an open-air art gallery of sorts. You can find inspirational graffiti, electric artwork, and thought-provoking murals scattered across Dublin.
Some of the best spots to find street art and murals include Drury Street, Tivoli Car Park, Temple Bar, Love Lane, and Richmond Street. You can even find graffiti in unexpected places like Trinity College on College Green, the oldest surviving university in Ireland.
Have a Picnic at the National Botanic Gardens
If you’re looking for a pocket of greenery in this bustling city, enjoying a picnic at the National Botanic Gardens is a great and free option for you! Located at Glasnevin 5 km from the city centre, you can also relish the lush view offered by the amazing plants growing all around the garden and in the historic greenhouses.
Bask in the Splendour of Dublin’s National Exhibits
Dublin is home to many government-run museums and galleries that visitors can enjoy for free. You can revel in the sublime taxidermy display at the Natural History Museum on Merrion Street or the ancient Irish artefacts at the National Museum for Archaeology located on Kildare Street.
If you’re looking for some fine art, hop on over to the National Gallery of Ireland on Merrion Square. Here, you can peek at the impressive Caravaggio, Monet and Turner exhibits and more. Later, you can witness an extraordinary display of contemporary pieces at the Irish Museum of Modern Art situated in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Military Road in Kilmainham.
Seek Out Famous Monuments and Statues
Dublin is peppered with statues and monuments dedicated to famous people and historical events. In fact, Dubliners even use them as landmarks to give directions to visitors regularly that they’ve earned amusing nicknames.
For example, locals like Oscar Wilde’s statue in Merrion Square Park, the “The poof on the pouf”. You can hear Anna Livia’s statue in Croppies Memorial being called “the floozie in the jacuzzi” and the Spire of Dublin in O’Connell Street as the “stiletto in the ghetto”.
Other famous monuments and their quirky nicknames include:
- Molly Malone’s statue on Suffolk Street— “the tart with a cart”
- The Sphere within a Sphere in Trinity College— “the half-eaten Malteser”
- James Joyce’s statue on North Earl Street— “the prat with a hat”
- Phil Lynott’s statue on Harry Street— “the ace with the bass”
- Patrick Kavanagh’s statue on the Grand Canal— “the crank on the bank”
Visit the Poolbeg Lighthouse
Poolbeg Lighthouse, located at the mouth of the River Liffey, near Poolbeg, Dublin is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city.
Built in 1767, the original lighthouse ran on candle power for 20 years before switching to oil in 1786. The lighthouse was redesigned and rebuilt in 1820 into the familiar structure we see today.
This classic fire-truck-red lighthouse is a welcome treat after an 800-meter stroll along the Great South Wall. You’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the bay and the city that’s best enjoyed at sunset or on a clear summer evening.
“Meet” the Most Important People in Irish History at Glasnevin Cemetery
Glasnevin Cemetery on Finglas road is Ireland’s largest and most historically important burial site. Established in 1832, it serves as a final resting place for more than one and a half million people.
It also contains the monuments and graves of prominent Irish national figures including Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera, Arthur Griffith, Maude Gonne, Kevin Barry, Roger Casement, Constance Markievicz, Michael Collins, and more.
This Victorian Garden cemetery also has the largest collection of Celtic crosses in the world.
Experience the Historical Heart of the City at Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle was built in the 13th century and has since served as a military fortress, prison, treasury, court of law, and the seat of British Administration in Ireland until 1922. Located on modern-day Dame Street, the castle is the historical heart of the city. Today, it serves as a major Irish government complex, conference centre, and tourist attraction.
You can roam for free around the main areas of the castle and take a gander at the marvellous historic architecture. There are also public exhibits where you can see regal state rooms and inspiring artwork. You can also take plenty of photos in the courtyard and enjoy the greenery at the Castle Gardens.
Your Base For Free Things To Do in Dublin
With so many fun things to do and see in Dublin, you’ll want a cosy base to rest after a day of exploring the city. Check out our accommodation in Dublin city centre and get planning your trip to Dublin today!