Saint Patrick’s Day is around the corner. If you’re planning to celebrate the most Irish day of the year in Dublin, you’d better get your flights and hotel room quick because the prices aren’t getting any cheaper. Dish out on travel but at least save with sightseeing. Here’s our guide to visiting Dublin for free.
There’s no chance you can get into the Trinity College library to see the Book of Kells for free but there is a whole lot of Dublin that can be discovered without pulling out your wallet. Here is our choice of sights, museums and the like to explore and visit while you’re on holidays in Dublin.
Can you believe this college was founded all the way back in 1592? It’s the oldest university in Ireland and is definitely worth checking out. Wander inside via the main entrance and pretend you’re a student as you walk the campus. Head over to the cricket pitches in the afternoons to watch a game for free. If it’s the Book of Kells you’re after, be prepared to pay €9 to see it.
Chester Beatty Library
This museum won the prize for European Museum of the Year in 2002 and houses an impressively large collection of art, books and historic manuscripts including the Biblical Papyri, one of the oldest known copies of the four gospels, 17th century Japanese scroll paintings and the largest collection of Jade books outside of China. Admission is free but the €3 tour is well worth the price.
Irish Museum of Modern Art
The IMMA is housed in the former Royal Hospital Kilmainham and boasts a collection of 4,500 pieces of art from the likes of Jack B. Yeats, Rebecca Horn, Marina Abramovic and others as well as some pieces from the old masters like Rembrandt, Goya and Hogarth. Admission is completely free and the museum is open to visitors Tuesday to Saturday from 10-5:30pm (10:30 on Wednesdays).
Free walking tours
Podcasts are brilliant and what we love even more are podcast city tours. Dublin Tourism has their own series of iWalks designed to take visitors and locals alike on guided walks around the city while they listen to the commentary on their iPods, iPhones and other devices. There are guided podcast tours for the Croke Park Museum, a tour of Dublin’s Georgian buildings, a Guinness tour, Viking and Medieval Dublin, from Temple Bar to the Docklands as well as tours covering the city’s castles and cathedrals. All podcasts are free although some venues may require an entry fee.
No trip to Dublin is complete without a walk down Grafton Street. The street performers and buskers make this an absolute treat for free entertainment. Please, don’t judge the city based on the talent (or lack thereof) you may find here. For something outdoors, head to Howth Head for a walk along the coastal path. The route takes between 2-3 hours so make sure you’re covered in case it does decide the rain. From the beach, the path takes you past Howth Castle and out to Wicklow Mountains.
Have you been to Dublin? Will you be going to St. Patrick’s Day?