Top 10 free and cheap things to do in Dublin

On a budget? Here are our top 10 free and cheap things to do in Dublin.

Top 10 free and cheap things to do in Dublin

Ireland may be one of the best holiday destinations in the world. Nature, history, the people, and the craic all make it popular among tourists year-round.

Unfortunately, however, a trip to Ireland is by no means a low-budget jaunt, being one of the most expensive cities in the world, Dublin is not known as one of the most cheap places in Europe to travel to.

At Ireland Before You Die, we pride ourselves in researching only the best for our readers, so we have compiled a list of things to do in the capital that won’t break the bank.

Here are our top 10 free and cheap things to do in Dublin city and the surrounding areas.

Ireland Before You Die’s tips for visiting Dublin:

  • Book your flights and accommodations in advance to get the best deals.
  • If you’re on a budget, check out our fantastic list of free things to do. such as museums, parks, and walking tours!
  • Make use of public transportation, such as the DART, Luas or Dublin bus.
  • Consider staying in a hostel or shared accommodation instead of a hotel.

10. Street art and performers – for original talent

Irish people are renowned for their creative spark and musical flair with many showcasing their talent on the streets of Dublin. Grafton Street is awash with buskers of all ages.

Simply saunter down the cobbled street and you will be treated to mix of musical genius as you go. To admire some fantastic street art, head to Crown Alley in Temple Bar. Here you will find some superbly intricate wall murals and graffiti art.

9. St. Stephen’s Green – to feed the ducks

St. Stephen’s Green is a lovely park at the top of Grafton Street with an old-world feel and a pretty duck pond.

The bandstand often offers lunchtime concerts during the summer with lots of space to enjoy a picnic as one of the best cheap things to do in Dublin when the sun shines.

In one corner of the park, there is a flower garden for the blind with sweet-scented plants labelled in braille for visitors. The children’s playground is well maintained and has something for all younger and older kids.

Address: St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

8. National Botanic Gardens – to stop and smell the roses

Just a short bus ride from the city centre to Glasnevin you will find a haven of beauty at the National Botanic Gardens. It is famous for its stunning glasshouses awash with a sea of colourful plants and flowers.

Among some of the cheap things to do in Dublin, tickets for guided tours are available to buy online or you can simply admire the gardens at your leisure for free.

Address: National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, D09 VY63

RELATED: Dublin budget tips top 10 ways to save money.

7. Vintage shopping – to bag a bargain

Vintage joy at Lucy’s Lounge

Everyone loves a bargain and Dublin has some great vintage shops to chose from. Temple Bar is awash with vintage greatness with some classic stores dating back as long as I can remember.

An all-time favourite is Lucy’s Lounge, previously known as SeSi. This is an Aladdin cave of gorgeous vintage clothes, shoes and bags where you are sure to find that one-off piece at a bargain price. Just bear in mind it is open Thursday to Sunday only.

Address: Lucy’s Lounge, 11 Fownes Street Upper, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

6. Hike in Howth – for stunning views


Ireland is perfect for scenic walks or longer hikes and Howth is a gorgeous spot to explore on foot. Head to the summit and take the cliff walk for stunning views.

The fresh sea air and rich aroma of heather only enhance the invigorating experience. Pop into the Summit Inn for a well-earned pint on the way back or continue down the hill towards the harbour to eat in one of the many restaurants.

Address: Howth head, Co. Dublin

READ MORE: Howth cliff walk, route and important info.

5. Swim in the Irish Sea – to awaken your senses

Swimming in the sea is an invigorating experience and there are lots of spots around Dublin to take a dip. Either Dollymount beach or Portmarnock beach are probably the safest places to swim in the northside.

For the thrill-seekers, the Forty Foot in Sandycove is a famous spot of Dublin Bay where people are known to leap from into the Irish sea all year round. Suitable attire varies from swimwear to birthday suits although a wet suit is advisable during winter months.

Address: Sandycove, Co. Dublin

RELATED: Top 10 best wild sea swimming spots in Ireland ranked.

4. Phoenix Park – to spot wild deer

Even in the city, the wonders of nature are never far away and Phoenix Park is the perfect example. More than 1,700 acres of land and stately homes including Áras an Uachtaráin, the official home of Ireland’s President.

Since the 17th Century, the park has also been residence to a herd of fallow deer and they can often be spotted in their natural habitat. Normally gathered at the Fifteen Acres area of the park, it is advisable not to feed the wild deer or get too close.

Address: Phoenix Park, Dublin 8

There are many galleries to visit in Dublin but the National Gallery is one of our favourites. It has so much to offer with a huge range of exhibitions, themed tours, quiet nooks and activities for children.

It is located in a gorgeous part of the city and is open 7 days a week with late night Thursday. Best of all, it is absolutely free to enter.

Address: Merrion Square West, Dublin 2

2. Trinity College – to step back in time

Trinity College is a landmark in Dublin and has so much to offer visitors. Stroll the cobbles and stunning grounds, admire the architecture and soak up the atmosphere of the campus – all for free!

The science gallery is also free to enjoy and offers a great educational experience for any budding scientists. Visit the famous library and see the Book of Kells Exhibition and the Old Library for a small fee of 14 euro per adult with kids under 12 admitted free.

This is by far one of the best cheap things to do in Dublin.

Address: Trinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2

1. Free gig at Whelan’s – for the ultimate night out

Mingle with true Dubs at Whelan’s on Wexford Street for a fantastic night of live music in the heart of the city. Keep an eye on the website in advance to spot a free event and plan your trip around it.

Whelan’s has been showcasing some of Dublin’s finest musicians for 25 years and it really knows how to host an evening. If music is your thing, bagging a free gig here is definitely worth it. All you’ll need is your beer money!

Address: Whelan’s, Wexford Street, Dublin 2

Your questions answered about free and cheap things to do in Dublin

In this section, we’ve compiled some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions and popular questions that have been asked online about this topic.

Are museums free in Dublin?

Yes, many museums in Dublin offer free admission. The National Museum of Ireland offers free admission to all visitors.

Is Dublin a cheap place to visit?

Dublin can be an expensive city to visit, but there are ways to save money and explore Dublin on a budget.

How many euros should I take to Dublin?

The amount of euros you should take to Dublin depends on your budget and spending habits, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases.

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