National Gallery of Ireland
Located in Merrion Square, the National Gallery of Ireland is a haven for art and culture lovers. Boasting works such as ‘The Liffey Swim’ by Jack B. Yeats and ‘Still Life with a Mandolin’ by Pablo Picasso, the National Gallery of Ireland is home to the country’s collection of European & Irish art.
Whilst the permanent collections (and most temporary collections) are free to visit with no booking required, there may be a charge to visit some new exhibitions - we advise checking the website for the most up to date information on exhibitions and pricing.
Garden of Remembrance
A peaceful place of reflection located on Dublin’s Parnell Square, The Garden of Remembrance is a memorial garden dedicated to those ‘who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom’. The Garden of Remembrance was opened in 1966 to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Upon entering the garden, your eyes will immediately be drawn to its main focal point - a sculpture by Oisín Kelly based on the Irish mythical story of ‘The Children of Lir’.
Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
Home to the country’s collection of contemporary and modern art, IMMA features over 3,500 pieces of art by Irish and international creators and artists. Once you have spent some time browsing the museum, you can look forward to enjoying the beautiful grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, within which IMMA is located. The Royal Hospital Kilmainham is brimming with history itself and is the oldest classical building in the country.
Cross The Ha'penny Bridge
For a free thing to do in Dublin city, which won’t cut into your sightseeing time, take a stroll across Dublin’s famous Ha'penny Bridge, which, depending on what side of the River Liffey you are on, will take you from southside Dublin to northside Dublin, and vice versa. As the first pedestrian bridge in Dublin city, when you cross The Ha'penny Bridge, you are quite literally walking in the footsteps of local people throughout history.
Originally named The Wellington Bridge, and officially called The Liffey Bridge today, this Dublin landmark is still commonly known as The Ha'penny Bridge, as a nod to how much pedestrians were charged to cross the bridge up until 1919.
Chester Beatty Library
Located in the grounds of Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty Library was once named by Lonely Planet as ‘one of the best (museums) in Europe’. Home to rare books, manuscripts and unique treasures from Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and Europe, The Chester Beatty Library boasts informative and well-displayed exhibitions. During your visit, spare some time to enjoy a bite to eat in the Silk Road Café in which you will be spoilt for choice with the delicious array of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine that it offers.
Dublin’s Phoenix Park is one of the largest walled off parks in any capital city in the whole of Europe, which is not surprising given that it is home to Dublin Zoo, Áras an Uachtaráin (the home of the President of Ireland), An Garda Síochána Headquarters, the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, plus much more.
If you are looking for a fun activity in Dublin which is absolutely free, then make your way to Phoenix Park and venture around the many monuments, gardens, and pathways that can be found throughout its vast 1,750 acres. Our top tip? Bring your camera and have it ready for when you encounter the herd of wild Fallow Deer, although be sure to keep your distance and refrain from feeding them.
Trinity College Campus
Positioned in the heart of Dublin City, and spread over 47 acres, the historical Trinity College Campus is filled with beautiful cobbled pathways and squares, perfectly manicured lawns and numerous historic buildings. Whilst the grounds are free to walk around and explore, whilst there you can opt for a paid attraction or activity such as The Book of Kells, The Old Library or a guided tour of the campus.
Hugh Lane Gallery
A favourite amongst contemporary art fans, The Hugh Lane Gallery houses the oldest collection of modern and contemporary art in Ireland. Located on Parnell Square, The Hugh Lane Gallery is situated within an impressive neo-classical building known as Charlemount House. A favourite exhibition with those who visit is that of Francis Bacon’s studio, which includes all of the original objects and fittings, such as canvases, doors and walls.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin city centre, then make your way to the Dublin Mountains, which are home to a host of walking trails and impressive viewpoints that offer a chance to immerse yourself in the outdoors and experience another side of Dublin.
Pull on your hiking boots and explore trails which will bring you through spots such as Ticknock Forest, Barnaslingan Woods and the Two Rock moorland. For a more challenging adventure, take on the Dublin Mountains Way, a 42.6 kilometre marked trail which crosses the Dublin mountains, beginning in Shankhill and ending in Tallaght.
North Bull Island
North Bull Island is a low lying island located on the northside of Dublin which is popular with locals for walking, birdwatching and wildlife appreciation. The wooden bridge to the island is particularly beautiful to cross during sunrise and sunset, however, the island can also be reached by car via the causeway.
North Bull Island is also home to Dollymount Strand, a pretty 5 kilometre stretch of sand dunes dotted along an airy beach. This is also a great free activity for visitors with mobility restrictions, as both North Bull Island and Dollymount Strand offer a free beach wheelchair service.