With Easter just around the corner and a long weekend ahead for many of us, thoughts will soon be turning to activities to fill the time during the Easter holidays. Dublin is the most popular city in Ireland for both domestic and international tourists, so whether you’re planning a day trip to our nation’s capital, or a short stay in the ‘fair city’, here are 16 free things you can do over the Easter period.
16 Free Things to Do in Dublin
1. Experience Temple Bar
First up, head along to the popular Temple Bar area and take in the great atmosphere of this part of the city (expect things to be a tad quieter than normal on Good Friday). If you’re visiting Dublin on Easter Saturday or Sunday, be sure to swing by the Temple Bar Food Market.
2. Stroll through Trinity College
Take a stroll around the stunning cobbled grounds of Trinity College in the heart of the city. Perhaps the most famous college in Ireland, Trinity attracts huge crowds to its grounds throughout the year. You can also go inside the college and check out the famous Long Room and Book of Kells, although you will have to pay for this.
3. Marvel at Phoenix Park
For those of you who have never visited Phoenix Park before, you may find it hard to believe that the park is twice the size of Central Park in New York, and at over 1,700 acres, is the largest enclosed park in Europe. There is plenty for you to explore on foot with highlights including Aras an Uachtaran, Farmleigh House, Ashtown Castle and Wellington’s Monument.
4. Visit North Bull Island
Head out of the city towards Clontarf and check out the stunning UNESCO Nature Reserve at Bull Island.
5. Enjoy a Picnic at Dollymount Strand
While you’re out at Bull Island take the time to enjoy the golden shores of Dollymount Strand. Enjoy a walk along the beach and relax with a picnic at Dollymount Strand before spending a little time enjoying the sights and sounds of Clontarf.
6. Discover Howth
Staying out along the coast, enjoy a cliff walk at Howth and marvel at the splendid views of Dublin Bay.
7. Check Out Malahide
If you’re looking for another area outside the city centre to visit, then look no further than the popular coastal town of Malahide. From Malahide Castle & Gardens, The Botanic Gardens and the kid’s playground, to the nearby Velvet Strand Beach in Portmarnock, there are lots of great things to do in Malahide.
8. Visit National Museum of Ireland
Find out more about the history of Ireland at the National Museum of Ireland which is free to enter all year round. Among the most popular artefacts on display are the collection of ancient Celtic treasures, while the exhibition of the 1916 Easter Rising is also worth checking out.
9. Relax in St Stephen’s Green
One of the most popular spots in the city centre, St Stephen’s Green is a great spot to escape from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding streets. Take yourself away from it all and relax with a picnic while you watch the world pass you by. You can also enjoy a number of lovely walks around the park, and if you have kids with you, keep an eye out for some ducks to feed after your picnic.
10. Visit the Stunning Botanic Gardens
Another stunning garden area in Dublin to explore, head out of the city towards Glasnevin and marvel at the stunning grounds of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland.
11. Discover the National Gallery of Ireland
Located on Merrion Square, the National Gallery of Ireland is free to enter and is home to the national collection of European and Irish fine art. There are numerous open tours of the gallery available during the Easter period.
12. Explore Merrion Square
Upon leaving the National Gallery, set off and explore the Georgian heartland of the city that is Merrion Square. With stunning Georgian architecture and a picturesque garden area, take your time to stroll around the area taking in the beauty of the area.
13. Visit Dublin Castle
Lying in the heart of the city, and the centre of historic Dublin, the grounds of Dublin Castle are free to explore. Tours of the castle will set you back anything from €7 – €10, while the adjoining gardens are great to just relax in.
14. Stroll along Grafton Street
No trip to Dublin would be complete without a walk along Grafton Street. Take in the great sounds of buskers and street performers as you check out the shops that Grafton Street have to offer. While it doesn’t cost anything to window shop, you’ll do well to go in and out of Grafton Street’s many shops without spending money.
15. Enjoy a Free Walking Tour
If you’re a first-time visitor to Dublin, the best way to explore the city is on foot, and what better way than the free Dublin City walk tour with Sandemans? With tours every day, you’ll take in the famous sights of places like Dubh Linn, Temple Bar, Trinity College, Leinster House and Chester Beatty Library.
16. Stop by at Christ Church Cathedral
Located in the Viking Quarter of the city (known as Dublinia), Christ Church Cathedral is a stunning 12th-Century church founded by the Vikings. Famous for its underground crypt, Christ Church is free to enter although tours will cost you money.
Plan Your Trip to Dublin Today
With so many stunning destinations to see for free, and lots happening in the city over the Easter period, start to plan your Dublin getaway today by checking out our latest Dublin hotel deals.
Images via Fáilte Ireland