10 Free Places Everyone NEEDS To Experience In Ireland

No one can deny the allure of the word ‘FREE.’ You will be amazed at the huge variety of free attractions available up and down the country. Are you squeamish about science? Do you dare make your way through the Gruffalo Trail? Read on to discover some of Ireland’s interesting and most importantly, FREE attractions.

1. Galway City Museum – Galway

Situated right beside the Spanish Arch in the middle of Galway, this museum is laden with history, ranging from Prehistoric Galway to contemporary art based on Ireland’s 1916 Rising, it is the opportunity to gain more knowledge about a city rich in culture. People of all ages will be fascinated by the wide array of artefacts on display, and it is a place you can easily return to, again and again.

2. Science Gallery – Dublin

Visit an exclusive world first – a place where you can discuss scientific issues and a place to see both art and science combine to create an immersive experience. A thought provoking exhibition named “Humans Need Not Apply” shows us what a world controlled by machines would be like. The Science Gallery is certainly a place to stimulate your brain.

3. Colin Glen Forest Park and Gruffalo Trail – Belfast

This magical adventure is sure to go down well with the little ones. Beautifully crafted sculptures of characters from the world-famous book “The Gruffalo” are dotted throughout the forest park. As well the trail, you can test your skills at raft building, kayaking, zip lines and so much more. This is fast becoming one of the most popular free attractions in Belfast.

4. Croagh Patrick – Mayo

Credit: walkingandhikingireland.com

Said to be the sacred mountain of St Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, the mountain boasts magnificent views of Clew Bay. Teach na Miasa, the visitor centre is where you’ll find crafted goods to take home as souvenirs. Every year on the last Sunday in July, on what is known as “Reek Sunday” people trek the two-hour climb, some barefoot, to pay tribute to St Patrick. You’ll appreciate being out in the clean air.

5. Limerick Milk Market – Limerick

What better way to sample fresh and local produce than trawling through the stalls at the Milk Market? Running since 1852, the market is home to excellent local food, music and products of all types. It is sure to be a lovely atmosphere and always something new to sample. Stalls include The Edge Clothing, Rose Cottage Fruit Farm, Wilde Irish Chocolates and so much more.

6. Irish Museum of Modern Art – Dublin

Are you a fan of the weird and the wonderful? This museum of modern art showcases contemporary art by talented artists hailing from all over the world. Upcoming exhibitions include “93% Stardust” by Irish artist Vivienne Dick and William Crozier’s “The Edge of the Landscape”. This is most certainly a way to celebrate the work of talented Irish artists.

7. Slieve League Sea Cliffs – Donegal

via Failte Ireland

These are one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe. Leave your car behind in the carpark and delve into nature. There are different experiences to choose from: boat tours along the coast, walking tours and guided tours. “The Gobbins” is a unique coastal walk that takes you on a journey under bridges, through dark tunnels and boasts magnificent views. The best part? All of this is natural beauty.

8. SeaFest – Galway Harbour

SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival, takes place this year in Galway on Friday 30th of June to Sunday 2nd of July. Visitors will be treated to PowerFly’s flyboarders – world champions who will perform aerial acrobatics. Famous tall ship The Phoenix will be docked and those interested can explore the 1929 ship. Children can learn about marine animals from the exhibitions and get an insight into the mysterious world of the ocean. For confessed food lovers, there will be seafood demonstrations.

9. The National Botanic Gardens – Wicklow

Just 3km from Dublin City and known as Ireland’s “Secret Garden”, the National Botanic Gardens are home to 5,000 acres of beautiful plants from all over the world. Visitors will be in awe at the huge iron glass houses. A key attraction in plant conversation, the gardens were visited by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales in May of this year.

10. Crawford Art Gallery – Cork

The attraction welcomes over 200,000 visitors a year to its location beside the Opera House in Cork City. A collection of Greek and Roman sculptures were introduced to the gallery in 1818 and are a main focal point. The attraction encourages budding artists to work at their craft, hosting teen painting programmes. “Summer Animation Programme” is an initiative encouraging children aged from 8 – 12 to try out the art of animation.