We all know Dublin is a costly city to visit, so when you’re staying here, no doubt you’ll be looking to cut costs where you can. And, what better way to do so than by taking advantage of all the free things to do in Dublin?

Popular attractions are nice to visit, and you have to do some of them when you’re here, but they can seriously drain your pockets, especially if you’re traveling on a budget.

We’ve constructed this list of fun, free things to do in Dublin so you can cut some costs and get away with not spending a penny.

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Free Things To Do in Dublin

Howth Coastal Walk

Experience The 6km Howth Coastal Walk takes you along the cliffs, and the views over the Irish Sea and Dublin Bay are absolutely breathtaking. You’ll go past Baily Lighthouse, and see the whole way across to Ireland’s Eye and Lambay Island, as well as a tiny hidden beach! You might even spot some grey seals whilst you are here!

The Howth Coastal Walk can get busy during the summer months, so try and do the walk in the morning to avoid the crowds.

Howth is located 30 minutes on the train from Dublin Connolly Train Station (€6.25 return). The walk itself is a fun activity for all the family, young and old.

The Howth Coastal Walk starts and ends at Howth Railway Station, and there are lots of cafes and pubs at the harbour and seafront nearby, so make sure to treat yourself to some delicious food after the walk!

Hike To The Top Of Killiney Hill

If you’re looking for a place to go when money is scarce, Killiney Hill is the one.

It’s a moderate hike located on the fringes of Dublin and has some of the most incredible views from the top. Once you’re up there, you can look at the hill’s key sights, like the oddly shaped Obelisk and the Pyramid of Dublin. If you walk around every level of it, face out to sea, and make a wish, legend says it’s destined to come true.

There are several ways to get there, but I recommend you take the Killiney Hill Car Park Route. It’s straightforward compared to the others. Getting to the top is mildly strenuous but well worth it.

Snap Some Street Art In Various Pockets Of The City 

Go on a self-guided hunt for the best street art in Dublin. The city is full of it, from tiny fairy houses to professional murals that line the streets near Temple Bar. Truthfully, you can find artwork throughout the city, so start exploring as soon as you step outside.

To make the most of your time, grab a coffee from a local roaster and sip it while you walk. Ireland is known for its rainy and chilly weather most of the year, so bundle up before exploring the city. Don’t skip the area near Dame Street and South Great George’s Street, where you may be able to see a mural titled “Forgive Your Enemies” located near the gates to Dublin Castle.

If you need help locating interesting murals, step into a pub and ask the staff for help. They can direct you toward a nearby art piece or at least redirect your search. As for more minor works of art, be prepared to look high and low. Consider creating a folder of all the little gems you find on your phone.

Get Your Photo Taken At Umbrella Street

Umbrella Street in the city centre is another brilliant free thing to see.
The street’s official name is 34 Anne’s Lane, but Dubs know it as Umbrella Street. As you can probably already guess, the charming alleyway is decorated with dozens of colourful umbrellas.

So that’s where it gets its name. Many people have this place on their list when they visit Dublin but struggle to find it. It can be a bit of a pain to locate, but we’ve written a whole post to show you the exact way.

Take On The Donabate To Portrane Cliff Walk

Not the most popular cliff walk in the county, but definitely, one where there’s a big chance you could have it to yourself is the Donabate to Portrane Cliff Walk. This beautiful 2 kilometre one-way stroll provides strollers with an escape from the city’s chaos. Soak up fabulous seaside views and dramatic cliffs while getting your dose of fresh air. After your stretch, you can roam between the two coastal villages to learn about the local lifestyle.

See Trinity College With Your Own Eyes

Like all of the best places in Europe, Dublin has so much free stuff to see, including Trinity College. This historic university is located in the heart of Dublin, Ireland. Founded in 1592, it’s the oldest university in Ireland and one of the oldest in Europe.

The campus is home to many notable attractions, including the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript from the 9th century that is on display in the Old Library. Visitors can also tour the Old Library and the Long Room, which houses over 200,000 of the library’s oldest books. This is where you can view the stunning Book of Kells (there is an admission fee of 19 euros). Other popular attractions on campus include the Science Gallery and the Berkeley Library.

Trinity College Dublin has produced some incredible minds over the years, including Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett. Guided tours of the campus are available, and the college is open to visitors year-round. Be sure to take a good look at the Campanile of Trinity College. It’s a stunning piece of architecture with intricate details.

Appreciate Some Art At The National Gallery Of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland is a must-do when you’re here. Open 7 days a week (although opening times vary each day), this is a popular sight amongst tourists that want to learn more about Ireland and its extensive history.

The gallery is full of Irish-themed exhibits and artwork from various artists that created these paintings all throughout history.

One painting you can’t miss is the Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife by Daniel Maclise Portrait, which was painted in 1854. It represents a marriage between a Norman knight and an Irish princess during the pivotal moment of the Norman conquest of Ireland, which was highly significant in Ireland’s history. The famous painting can be interpreted in so many ways that people love to come and see this in real life!

Walk Through Love Lane

A list of free attractions in the capital wouldn’t be complete without Love Lane.

Love Lane is a tiny alleyway in Crampton Court, hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. But what makes it so unique? It used to be a no-go area among locals, but the city council devised an idea called “Love The Lanes.”

This was an initiative to clean up Dublin’s lanes where the rough congregate by decorating them with various forms of street art. Now, when you walk through, you can see messages of love and fabulous street murals.

Find out how to get to Love Lane.

Check Out The Georgian Doors

The Georgian Doors of Dublin have long been a famous city symbol. For anyone who doesn’t know, Dublin underwent a Georgian development phase during the 18th and 19th centuries. As a result, many of the homes designed back then still stand tall today in the city and are now one of the many free activities you can do.

Finding these charming homes is easy. They can be found in all city corners, including St. Stephen’s Green, Merrion Square, and more!

Join A Free Walking Tour

A free walking tour lets you see a city and its main attractions, and wow, does Dublin have some great ones available. Having a guide also lets you learn a bit of history and some facts about Dublin as you tour some of the most popular things to see. Not to mention Dubliners are amicable people, so there’s no doubt your guide will be good craic!

A free walking tour is best booked through FreeTours. You have to check out the Original Dublin Free Tour,” one of their most popular excursions worldwide. You see sights such as Dublin Castle, Trinity College, Temple Bar, and more!

Although the tour is free, guides usually expect a tip for their time, but €2-3 would be enough. For a 3-hour tour, it’s definitely good value for money. The free walking tour of Dublin has 2000 reviews which average 9.2/10; it’s hard to believe such an in-depth and highly rated tour of Dublin is free! The tour alone makes Dublin worth visiting. 

Admire Poolbeg Lighthouse

Located at the end of the Great South Wall is the glorious Poolbeg Lighthouse. Built in 1768, it’s a walking hub for locals looking to get a walk in on a Sunny Sunday. There are several routes to take out there, but everyone tends to take one from the Great South Wall Car Park. It’s a 4-kilometre loop trail and promises some fantastic coastal views and some other fun things to do nearby, like checking out the area’s chimneys and grabbing some shots of the admirable street art.

Relax At St.Stephen’s Green

Another lovely (and free!) point of interest is St. Stephen’s Green. The park is situated in central Dublin, close to many attractions like Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Dublin Castle. So it makes for a great break after hours of touring around the city!

St. Stephen’s Green has A LOT of history, and you can amble around checking out statues and plaques commemorating various events such as the 1916 Easter Rising and people such as rebel leader Robert Emmet.

The park is about 22 acres and has over 2 miles of pathways to walk through. Flora and fauna are in abundance. Just take some time to sit and gaze while you enjoy some ice cream or a coffee from a nearby cafe.

The country, in general, is well-known for its green spaces (especially along the west coast of Ireland), but Dublin often gets overlooked when it comes to nature lovers.

Hear Interesting Stories At The National Museum Of Ireland

Who doesn’t love a free museum, right? Well, Dublin has got A LOT of them.

The Royal Dublin Society established the National Museum of Ireland in 1877 as the Museum of Science and Art. It currently functions as four separate museums. Three branches are located in Dublin, while a newer branch is at Collins Barracks.

The museums are Decorative Arts and History at Collins Barracks, Country Life at Turlough Park, Archaeology at Kildare Street, and Natural History at Merrion Street. Among these four, the Kildare Street building of Archaeology is the oldest. The Country Life branch houses the National Folklife Collections in its gardens.

All four branches allow free admission to visitors. They provide extensive knowledge about the life and culture of Irish people. The Archaeology museum mainly focuses on ancient times. You can see various items from the Viking and medieval periods here.

The Decorative Arts and History museum is home to valuable furniture, ceramics, and other household items. The Country Life and Natural History museums focus more on modern history with their collections of artifacts.

These museums provide enlightenment and amusement to curious people of all ages. There are several guided tours available for all four locations. Book one of these in advance to enjoy an in-depth experience of the National Museum of Ireland.

Climb Up To See The County’s Most Haunted House, The Hellfire Club

Are you a fan of paranormal activity? If so, you need to visit the Hellfire Club. Embedded deep in the Dublin Mountains on top of Montpelier Hill, this spooky attraction is as free as can be but comes at a mysterious cost.

If you’re a fan of this kind of thing and manage to take on the 4-kilometre loop, I recommend you go when it gets dark to truly experience it. Be warned. There have been numerous reports of ghost sightings in the past. Go at your own risk.

Spend A Day At The Phoenix Park

The Phoenix Park is ideal for a fun free family day out, especially for first-time visitors. Firstly, it is one of the largest urban parks in Europe, covering over 707 hectares and providing ample space for visitors to explore.

It is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, including a herd of fallow deer that can be seen grazing in the Park. It is, however, recommended to keep your distance and not feed them.

Various landmarks are lucky enough to call the Phoenix Park home, such as the Victorian People’s Flower Gardens, the Wellington Monument, the Magazine fort, the Irish President’s residence, and the US ambassador’s residence. It’s a place locals love to hang out and play sports or take part in recreational activities such as football or rugby, as well as walking, jogging, cycling, or picnicking.

The Phoenix Park is a great location for visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the beauty of nature right in the heart of the Irish Capital. If you have a bit of a budget, you may want to visit the city’s zoo, which is located on the south part of the Park, or grab a drink at one of the tea rooms or pubs within the Park or nearby.

It’s worth noting that Phoenix Park is located on the west side of Dublin’s city centre and is well-serviced by public transport. Depending on where you are staying, you can either walk, cycle, drive or take the bus/train. In fact, bus routes 37 and 38 frequently stop right outside, but you can also take the Luas (tram) or train to Heuston Station, which is only a few minutes away.

Cross The Ha’Penny Bridge

See where the north side meets the south side. The Ha’Penny Bridge has been assisting locals with crossing from both sides since 1816. Yes, it’s that old. Before its construction, a ferry service transported people, but thankfully that stage is over.

Tourists who have previously visited have brought small padlocks, written a cute message, and locked them on the bridge. It has been a lovely tradition that has been going on for years.

Wander Through The Temple Bar Farmers’ Market

Farmers’ markets are all over Dublin. Check out the one over at Temple Bar. It’s usually held on Saturday mornings, but you must get there early to find the freshest goods. You’ll be spoiled for choice, whether you want a nice loaf of Irish brown bread or a warm croissant for your breakfast.

Learn Some Irish History At Glasnevin Cemetery

If you’re looking to delve deep into Irish history, visit and explore Glasnevin Cemetery. It’s a large cemetery located just outside Dublin city centre and an important historical site.

The cemetery is known for its historical significance as it holds the graves of many notable figures in Irish history, including Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, and Countess Markievicz. The cemetery is also famous for its architecture and landscaping.

There’s also a museum inside the cemetery, the Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, which tells the story of Ireland’s history, and the people buried there through interactive exhibits, tours, and genealogy services. The museum also offers a range of tours that explore different aspects of the cemetery’s history and culture, such as the “Political Tour,” which focuses on the graves of Irish political figures, and the “Genealogy Tour,” which helps visitors trace their family history.

Check on the Memorial Wall at Glasnevin cemetery. It’s a wall for those who died in the Irish rebellion. You may also explore the nearby National Botanical Garden in Glasnevin and Glasnevin’s Watch Towers.

If you want something free to do outdoors in Dublin, visiting Glasnevin Cemetery is a good choice.

Pay A Visit To The Garden Of Remembrance

When you’re walking through the city’s north side, pop your head in to pay your respects are the Garden of Remembrance. It’s a memorial garden devoted to those who fought for Ireland’s freedom.

If you’re walking past, go inside for a couple of minutes and admire the work that has been put into the area and honoring the country’s fallen heroes. Admission is free.

Dive Into The Vico Baths

Dublin’s Vico Baths have long been popular among active sea swimmers who love an odd dip in the mornings. They’re located just off Vico Road in Killiney and hidden away below some moderately sized seaside cliffs.

The baths are a swimming spot that has been visited since the Victorian times, and boy, have they been well-liked ever since.

The best time to visit is during the week around lunchtime because, in the mornings and evenings, they do be mobbed with people swimming before and after work.

Take A Look At The Molly Malone Monument

Anyone looking to do a bit of free sightseeing in Dublin should include a stop at the Molly Malone Statue only around the corner from Trinity College on Suffolk Street.

Molly Malone is a historical figure in Irish history. She was a fishmonger who died during a cholera outbreak in Dublin in 1699. The famous song “Cockles and Mussels” was dedicated to her. I recommend you listen to it before you visit Dublin.

Watch The Sun Go Down At Ticknock

Ticknock is an area in the Dublin Mountains near the city consisting of 10 kilometres of walking and hiking trails as well as breathtaking views of the whole region. You can spot places like Bray Head in Wicklow from the top.

Keep an eye out for Three Rock Mountain’s three large rock formations. They’re weathered remains, considered man-made, where you can sit and enjoy the panoramas after a strenuous trek.

Spend Some Time In Dún Laoghaire

Dún Laoghaire is a coastal town in south Dublin with a gorgeous harbour, adventurous water activities, and an array of lovely cafes. Head out to the East Pier and gaze at the luxurious yachts coming and going while sitting in an old Victorian Shelter. After, you can grab a cheap coffee and follow on to the well-maintained People’s Park to blend in with locals getting their daily exercise in.

Look At Dublin Castle From The Outside

Built in the 13th century, Dublin Castle was a motte and bailey castle. It was constructed because of its strategic location, which was the highest point in the city at one time.

In the past, it had been under the control of the British before it was given back to the Irish government after the fight for independence. If you want to tour the castle, it costs a few quid, but you can walk around the grounds and see the structure from the outside free of charge.

Get Lost In Temple Bar After Dark

We all know that Temple Bar can be a bit wild sometimes. If chaos is your thing, walk through the district at night time to get a real feeling for the hustle and bustle.

Admire the charming cobblestone streets and take some pictures of the street lights igniting the puddles of water that often form rainfall that Dublin is known for.

Scout Out The Iveagh Gardens

There are plenty of free parks around Dublin, but one that you should check out if you’re a fan of seclusion is the Iveag Gardens. Yes, it’s a city park, but it gets less attention than its neighbour, St.Stephen’s Green.

Find your space on one of the benches and watch the world go by while listening to the sound of the waterfall crashing down in the background.

Pay Your Respects At The Famine Memorial

Ireland’s famine was one of the most catastrophic events in the country’s history. A potato blight caused it in the mid-1800s, and it’s estimated that around 1 million people died because of it.

On the north side of the Liffey, down by the Quays, you’ll find a memorial for all people that passed away during the famine. The statues there is a stark reminder of the country’s horrid past. It’s one of the free places you have to go to when you’re in Dublin.

Have A Picnic In Merrion Square Park

Merrion Square Park is situated in the city’s historic Georgian Squares. It has had a revamp to design it back into its historical layout over the years.

Boasting handy little walking trails and a playground for kids, it’s an ideal spot for a family picnic over the weekend if the sun happens to shine.