We all know that surviving in Dublin sometimes seems like an impossible task. Yes, salaries are great, but life in Ireland is very expensive and we have many bills! Every month we have to keep in mind the costs of food, public transport, electricity bills, mobile phone, Wi-Fi, gym, health insurance, English school, etc., etc. Not to mention the high costs of leisure activities such as having a few beers with your colleagues, going to dinner with your best friend, or other forms of socialising.

The expenses are constant and it seems that at the end of the month you have no money for any cultural activity, which are probably not among your top priorities. Well, let me tell you that in Dublin there are many places you can go completely free and enjoy a beautiful and interesting day of cultural recreation. Do you want to find out more? Keep reading!

Natural History Museum

Popularly known as “The Dead Zoo”; the fascinating Natural History Museum holds a huge collection of Irish wildlife as well as countless animal species from all over the world. Among the animals presented, you will discover sadly extinct animals, like the impressive giant Irish deer or Irish elk

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm / Sunday 2pm- 5pm / Closed Mondays (including Bank Holidays), Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Where to find it: Merrion Street, Dublin 2.

Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

Housed in the beautiful Royal Hospital Kilmainhan, a British military hospital from the 17th century with fine gardens, the IMMA is the best modern art museum on the island. It houses interesting expositions not only of Irish artists, but has creations from all over the world.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday: 11.30am – 5.30pm / Saturday: 10am – 5.30pm / Sunday: 12noon – 5.30pm / Monday: Closed

Where to find it: Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8

Chester Beatty Library

It is not only a library, but also a museum which houses a unique collection from countries across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Antique books, manuscripts, papyrus texts, paintings and drawings, among others artifacts are presented. The displays present an incredibly wide and varied mix of cultures and religions.

Opening hours: March to October = Monday to Friday: 10am – 5pm / November to February = Tuesday to Friday: 10am – 5pm (Closed Mondays) / Saturday: 11am to 5pm (All year) / Sunday: 1pm – 5pm (All year) / Closed 1 January; Good Friday; 24, 25 and 26 December; and Monday public holidays.

Where to find it: Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.

Gallery of Photography

Supported by the Arts Council and Dublin City Council, the Gallery of Photography is a not-for-profit organisation and the National Centre for Contemporary Photography in Ireland. If you are a photography lover, you can’t miss it. The expositions are changed and updated on a regular basis.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 11am – 6pm / Sunday and Monday: 1 – 6pm.

Where to find it: Meeting House Square, Temple Bar.

National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology

The National Museum of Archaeology holds fascinating exhibitions which span millennia. Exhibitions include; treasures, weapons, artifacts and everyday items which belonged to Ancient Irish people, Celts, Vikings and Normans. There is also an ancient Egypt section and much, much more. Enjoy an unforgettable experience, completely free, learning about unique antiques from Ireland as well as around the world.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm / Sunday 2pm- 5pm / Closed Mondays (including Bank Holidays), Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Where to find it: Kildare St, Dublin 2

Science Gallery

The little-known Science Gallery is a very interesting place inside Trinity College where you can find exhibitions of all kinds, obviously always related to the science world. Inside you won’t find any permanent exhibitions; they are always changing. In this way the Science Gallery always assures variety, creativity and innovation.

Opening hours: vary depending on if they are running an exhibition. It is usually from Monday to Sunday from 12 – 8 pm.

Where to find it: Trinity College Dublin, Pearse Street, Dublin 2

Walking Free Tour

The city of Dublin is full of fascinating and free walking tours that you simply shouldn’t miss! With them you will learn the whole story behind the city as you walk around it and enjoy the views. One of the best known companies is Sandemans, who run tours every day of the week. Please remember that there are many companies out there, so keep your eyes open and enjoy your walks around the city.

Although they are free, when the tours ends participants usually give a tip corresponding to the level of satisfaction. No matter how much you give them, the tour guides will always be grateful.


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