Things to do in Dublin: 5 Free Activities

The capital city of the Republic of Ireland has a lot to offer, but it can be hard to find things to do in Dublin on a budget. A few days in Dublin can do a lot of damage to someone’s wallet. We are here to tell you about some of the free activities you can do in Dublin that are priceless! 
This list is here to tell you about options that you might not have otherwise heard about. It’s in no particular order.

1) Ukulele night at the Stag’s Head
If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Dublin city on a Tuesday night, then you can check out one of the most unique things in the city. A Ukulele night. While this may seem out of place, it fits into Ireland’s long culture of live music sessions in traditional pubs.
If you go anywhere around the country you will find musicians of all ages and different skill levels meeting up and performing musical acts in public houses. The Ukulele night at the Stag’s Head offers a different take on the tradition. With an easier instrument to play, more people can join in the fun. With modern popular music taking the place of traditional Irish ballads.
You can join in too!
Irish culture can be a little impenetrable at times. Singing songs that are not well known overseas, accompanied by music that many are not familiar with. The Ukulele night allows people from all over the world to gain access to a little bit of traditional Irish culture. And all in one of the best pubs in Dublin.
How to see it:
-Every Tuesday, 8pm. Show up early to get a place. Seats are reserved for players.
-Location is the Stag’s Head Pub on Dame Lane. One of the best pubs in Dublin city.
2) Wandering through Dublin’s Georgian Streets
Some of the famous Georgian doors of Dublin
The old Georgian areas of Dublin are some of the city’s most beautiful. Especially when compared to the concrete grey of modern Irish buildings. The Georgian period was between 1714 and 1832 when four King Georges sat on the British throne. It is also the name given to the architectural style that was popular at the time.
None of this naming is very clever.
At the same time as the Founding Fathers of the United States declared independence, some of the most beautiful buildings in Dublin were built. They were originally townhouses for the wealthy ruling ascendency of Ireland. Many of them owned by the parliamentarians who worked at the first ever purpose-built parliament building in the world.
The former residence of the Viceroy of Ireland
These buildings fell on hard times when Ireland did. There was a period of several hundred years of economic and societal decline. With Irish entry into the United Kingdom, the later famine and the independence movement. Many of these buildings became decrepit slums and were destroyed.
But the remaining Georgian buildings offer a great opportunity for you to wander around beautiful, leafy boulevards and canals. You can show off on social media when you get home after a visit to these areas near the city centre.
How to see it:
Just wander around the Grand Canal in Dublin city or St.Stephens Green city park.
3) Live traditional Irish dancing in O’Neills
There are lots of traditional dancing shows in Dublin city. Most of them will perform live acts every single night. They can be a lot of fun and they seem to attract people to them every night, but Irish people tend to avoid them. They also cost money and so will not go on this list.
Irish dancing culture is often less about watching the performance and more about getting involved. Seeing someone dance on stage while you’re sitting at a table with a meal is often not the best way to see it.
You have to get stuck in yourself!
Every night in one of the oldest pubs in Dublin there is a dancing show. Run by some of the best young dancers in the city, you can immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere with people from all over the world, there for a bit more of the authentic Irish atmosphere. If you’re up for it they might even ask you to join in.
One of the best pubs in Dublin city
Every evening the dancers will perform in one of the most popular traditional Irish pubs in Dublin city, O’Neils on Suffolk street. The place can be maze on the inside. If you find the whiskey bar upstairs, get yourself a seat before the place gets too busy and wait for a free live show.
How to see it:
-The band starts at 8.30pm. But show up early to get a seat!
4) Authentic Irish Music Session at the Cobblestone Pub
If you’re a little hesitant to check out dancing in a pub, but you still want to check out something authentically Irish, then head to the Cobblestone pub. Every evening they have some of the best live music in the city. The Irish music session is one of the oldest traditions in Irish culture and one that is well worth checking out while you’re here.
Anyone who can play Irish music heads to music sessions throughout the country to play, in an informal setting, with other musicians. Its kind of like a jamming session, but in a pub and anyone is welcome to join. The only caveat is that you have to be respectful and follow the general etiquette of the Irish music session.
You can find a full description of the etiquette here.
If you don’t want to play though, you don’t have to. Get a drink, sit back and enjoy some of the best Irish traditional musicians in Dublin in their natural habitat. The music they play might not be well known outside of Ireland, but it is generally of a high quality and will always be worth the visit.
Video of Billy Connolly playing there.
How to see it:
-The music usually starts after 5.30pm
5) Visit the Chester Beatty Library
There are many different museums in Dublin city, the Chester Beatty Library is my favourite. Chester Beatty himself was an American industrialist in the first half of the 20th century, who collected a vast amount of religious art from around the world. Upon his death he left the collection to the people of Ireland on the condition that it would be free for the public to enjoy forever.
That has remained the case ever since.
The collection is owned by the Irish people and we, very generously, allow people from all over the world to enjoy it. The library contains Ancient Egyptian papyrus, artwork from east Asia and the second largest collection of Qurans in the world, among many other things. The full collection is never displayed at any one time, so its always worth a visit every few months. Inside you can learn about Chester himself and there is a café inside also.
If anyone has an hour or so to spare in Dublin, I always recommend that they check this place out.
How to see it:
-It is located within the grounds of Dublin Castle.

Opening Hours

March to October: Monday to Friday, 10.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M.

November to February: Tuesday to Friday, 10.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M (Closed Mondays).

Saturday, 11.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M. (All year)

Sunday, 1.00 P.M. to 5.00 P.M. (All year)

Closed 1 January; Good Friday; 24, 25 and 26 December; and Monday public holidays.


Jack Redmond has been a tour guide in Ireland for the past decade. Having received a national guiding qualification, he has brought thousands of travelers all over the island of Ireland.

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