Tag Archives: dublin

Take 20: Unique Things To Do In Dublin For Free

5 Feb

Dublin gets a lot of stick for being one of the most expensive cities in Europe, if not the world. Transport, admission fees, pints and food can all seem exorbitant for people visiting and might even put people off. What many people don’t know is that there are endless things to do in Dublin that won’t cost you a cent. From free museums, to beautiful parks and botanic gardens, to beaches, lighthouses and music gigs, if you know where to go you really can have an incredible time in Dublin on a very small budget!

This list was compiled thanks to a collaboration with some other bloggers here in Ireland along with my friends who have loved here for years and know all the best spots. Without them, this post would certainly not be as comprehensive as it is, so thanks to everyone who contributed!

20. Go to a Free Music Gig


Dublin is famous for its music, but that doesn’t mean you should have to pay to hear it. You can either go to the tourist trap bars in the Temple Bar region and listen to some free cheesy Irish music or head to some of the spots locals go to such as Sweeney’s on Dame street or Whelan’s up on Camden street. Both attract big numbers of music fans each week, and lots of great up and coming musicians. Doyles, near to Trinity College is another great option for free live music.

19. Search for Street Art

dublin street art

Dublin has some pretty amazing street art – some more obvious such as the murals in and around Temple Bar and the Italian Quarter, and others hidden away on back streets and down side alleys. You could dedicate an afternoon to doing a fun, and free, photo tour of Dublin to find all the best street art.

18. Go for a Cycle

Bike to Work

Darren McAdam O Connell says:

“Cycle out along the canals and have a picnic on the lawn in the quad in Maynooth or in Phoenix Park where there is so much to do.” Note: Once you sign up to Dublin Bikes, the first half hour of each journey is free, This means you can virtually get anywhere in the city for free and bikes are the best way to get around!

17. Visit the Garden of Remembrance


This beautiful garden in the heart of the city was designed by Daithi Hanly and dedicated to the memory of all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom.  The large sculpture by Oisin Kelly is based on the theme of the “Children of Lir”.  The garden is intended as a place of quiet remembrance and reflection and is a beautiful place to stop by while in Dublin.

16. Check out the Irish Jewish Museum

irish jewsish museum

Suggested by Lisa Iadevaia Devlin

Another of Dublin’s free museums,The Irish Jewish Museum stands on the site of Dublin’s Walworth Road Synagogue, which was once in the heartland of “Little Jerusalem,” the densely populated Jewish enclave off the South Circular Road. The area was once filled with Jewish kosher butcher stores, Jewish bakeries, Jewish grocery stores, Jewish tailors, Jewish bookstores and many other stores and businesses owned by Jews. It was actually opened by the Irish born former President of Israel Dr. Chaim Herzog on the 20th June 1985 during his State visit to Ireland.

15. Have a picnic at the National Botanic Gardens


This one is a little out of the city, but totally worth the half hour walk or short bus ride. Located about 3 km North of the city centre, the National Botanic Gardens are an oasis of calm and beauty, and like all the others, entry is free. A premier scientific institution, the gardens also contain the National Herbarium and several historic wrought iron glasshouses. A great place to go in the summer for a picnic or just to try and chase all the cheeky squirrels!

14. A Walk on Dollymount Strand


Mike O’Keeffe says:

“Go for a walk along Dollymount beach out in Clontarf, with the beautiful view of Dublin Bay, Howth Head and all the way out to Dun Laoghaire, followed by a stroll around St Annes park…great spot for a picnic.” The beach is over 5km long, so a round trip to the end and back would be a pretty great Sunday stroll. If you don’t feel like exercising, you could just spend a few hours watching the skilled kite surfers that flock here when the wind is right.

13. A walk in St Stephens Green

st stephens green

Rachel Hally says:

“If you’ve heard of Grafton street in Dublin then you will know about Saint Stephens Green. This is a very picturesque park in Dublin city centre. The park is gorgeous in spring and summer covered in many different types of colourful flowers. It’s a peaceful place found in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Dublin. It is the perfect place to take children to feed the ducks and swans or play in the grass or even have picnics. It is also a very peaceful place to lay in the sun with friends or read a book against a tree. It is a stunning place and of course it is completely free.”

12. See the wild deer in Phoenix Park


Eoin Kernan says:

“For my penny’s worth… go and visit the fallow deer in Phoenix Park. Yes, you can go to the Zoo just down the road and see lots of unusual animals, but at a price. For free, you can see 350 wild ‘Bambi’s’ in their own home, surrounded by wonderful parkland.”

11. Go for a stroll around the city centre 


Katie Brennan says:

“There are so many beautiful walks to go on around Dublin. Killiney Hill, Dun Laoghaire pier, Marley Park, Dollymount Strand. It’s perfect on a lovely day! I also love wandering around the city centre and doing some window shopping on the weekends. There’s always people busking and performing and a real buzz in the air!”

10. Witness a Court Case


Fiona Sherlock says:

“If you’re lucky enough to have a few days off during the week, why not head down to see justice being administered in public? Most court cases are held in public (family hearings are usually In Camera), and a quick look at  the legal diary will let you know what’s coming up.”

9. Check out the IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) 


Lorna Garety says:

“The 17th century Royal Hospital Kilmainham is home to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the entrance to which is announced by a fabulous giant sculpture of a hare banging a drum. In the 20th Century it fell into disrepair until restored by the State in 1984, its 300th Anniversary, and became the home of IMMA in 1991. It is now surrounded by avenues and ancient chestnut trees, dotted with sculptures from IMMA’s collection.”

8. View some art at the National Art Gallery

national art gallery

Stephen Hackett Says: “The National Art Galleryexhibits fine art from Ireland and around the world, has a pretty nice cafe and of course it’s free!! It’s also not too far from Trinity College.”

Giselle Campbell says: “National gallery great for kids too. Loads of free workshops, a tour pack and kids corners. Brought my son their last summer. He was only just 2 and we’d a great time!”

7. Host a ‘Supper Club’ instead of eating out

supper club dublin

Karolina Badzmierowska says:

“On a sunny and warm evening in June of last Summer, we hosted our first Supper Club dinner. Some of you might be familiar with this concept; in a nutshell, think fine dining meets casual banter in the safety of your own surroundings. As you send out the invites to friends (or strangers), the only rules are the BYOB and BYOF. Try it yourselves, invite friends, or friends of friends, or strangers. Come up with a menu. Experiment, enjoy and have fun!”

6. Visit the dead at Museum of National History

Exhibition galleries

Russell O Connor says:

“The Dead Zoo (aka Museum of Natural History), is a small building packed full of all of the excitement of nature. Its a great way to experience what animals are like up close without the fear of them eating you!”

5. Stop by The Little Museum

little museum dublin

Dearbhla McCreesh says:

“The Little Museum on St Stephens green is fab. It’s not always free but there are times during the week when it is. It has lovely staff, interesting artifacts and tidbits..definitely worth the visit.” This museum is a real hidden gem in Dublin and captures the history of Modern Dublin like no other.

4. Walk to the South Wall Lighthouse

south wall lighthouse

Vinnie Glennon says:

“Walk out to the South Wall lighthouse. It took 50 years to make it and few people know it.” While the wall built to shelter Dublin harbour wasn’t completed until 1795, the lighthouse was actually ready in 1768 and initially operated on candlepower, reputedly the first in the world to do so. The Great South Wall on which Poolbeg Lighthouse stands, extends from Ringsend over 4km out to sea. It was the world’s longest sea-wall at the time of it’s construction and remains one of the longest to this day in Europe.

3. Do some reading in the Chester Beaty Library


Described by Lonely Planet as not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe, this great free museum should be a must-see for anyone living in or visiting Dublin. Established in 1950, to house the collections of mining magnate, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, the Library is one of the premier sources for scholarship in both the Old and New Testaments and is home to one of the most significant collections of Islamic and Far Eastern artefacts.

2. Pay your respects at Glasnevin Cemetary


It might be a bit strange listing a graveyard as a top thing to add to your bucket list, but Glasnevin Cemetery is no ordinary cemetery. Almost 200 years old, over 1 million Dubliners have been laid to rest here and it is home to many historically notable monuments. The graves of many of Ireland’s most prominent national figures such as Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, and Éamon de Valera can all be found here.

1. Enjoy a midnight picnic in the Temple Bar Square

midnight picnic

Liane Hurray says:

“A fun thing to so is to have a midnight picnic on the square in Temple Bar to watch the ladies in high heels try to walk over the wet cobblestone on a night out!” Struggling girls aside, I really like this idea of having a midnight picnic. I bet there are lots of great spots around Dublin for an alcohol free midnight picnic!

Posts you should read:

Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Ireland

Irish Abroad: Top 10 Foods We Miss

Best Places To Visit In Ireland

31 Jan

I love to travel. I love finding cheap flights. I love running away from Ireland. However, at the end of the day, Ireland is my home and I absolutely love it here. Sure, it rains a lot, and we don’t really get a proper summer like most other countries, but when the sun shines there really is no place I would rather be.

From the rugged West coast, to the stunning national parks up North to the long, white sand beaches dotted along the East coast, Ireland has SO much to offer both locals and tourists. In this post, I have asked a handful of brilliant Irish bloggers to write about their favourite places around the country. Here’s what they had to say.

West Clare 


Suggested by Denise Sweeney

“My favorite place in Ireland is West Clare! From the endless beaches to the Traditional Music to the amazing scenery and many tourist attractions, West Clare has it all! It’s a place that anyone can enjoy,young or old! Its a place filled with happy memories and I always feel nostalgic when I’m there!”

Altamont Gardens, Carlow

altamont gardens

Suggested by Dee Sewell

“My favourite place is Altamont Gardens in County Carlow. From the formal rose walk and herbaceous borders, to the water lily filled lake, boulder strew stream and river walk. Open all year with free entry, garden centre, picnic area and tea rooms, it’s a wonderful place to visit for all ages.”

Galway City

galway city streets

Suggested by Sean Burke and Amy Loonam

“Galway City for me as it feels like a blend of different cultures with the Spanish arches and tourists from all over the world.”

“I’ve been living here as an art student for 3 years now and it’s my second home,everyone is so friendly, it has such lovely little shops, and it’s just full of music and culture.”

Dunfanaghy, Donegal

dunfanaghy donegal horses

Suggested by Karen Sloane Gribbon

“Dunfanaghy is the diamond in the hills of Donegal. The perfect place for people of all ages. The perfect family haven for us. In the morning, take a dander along the beautiful beach, surf the waves or gallop along the sand dunes on horseback. Then meander through the little tiny square in the afternoon with its dreamy boutiques full of handmade gifts then go have fun in The Workhouse play park. Finish the day crab fishing, then go explore the undiscovered walking trails. Finally top it all off with delicious grub, a tasteful Guinness and a few live tunes.”

Clare Glens, Limerick


Suggested by Darragh Bourke

“My favourite place in Ireland is the beautiful picturesque Clare glens just outside of Murroe in Co. Limerick. With dozens of waterfalls it makes for a beautiful walk. A fantastic pathway leads you up to a bridge which crosses right by the main falls with a breathtaking trek back down which in parts leaves you standing on the edge of a cliff with nothing preventing a 75ft drop to the Rapids below. Beauty of nature combined with a MAX adrenaline rush.”

Duncannon, Wexford


Suggested by Sinéad Fox

“20 years after I left my home place of Duncannon on the Hook Peninsula has established itself as my favourite place. I now appreciate the stunning views, the beach, the fresh sea air and the friendly faces in a way my teenage self wouldn’t understand. There’s so much to do in the locality, especially with children and a choice of great places to eat, you should visit!”

Copper Coast, Waterford

Copper Coast

Suggested by Catherine Drea

“I’d have to say the Copper Coast in Waterford. It’s a quiet hidden gem of beaches, wild cliffs and beautiful off the beaten track boreens and I’m lucky enough to live here in the middle of it!”


ha penny bridge

Suggested by Lorna Garety

“The jewel in the crown has to be my hometown – Dublin. The world’s friendliest city, beautiful architecture, lively cultural scene, deer roaming through one of Europe’s largest city parks, sea and mountains on our doorstep.”

Killaloe, Clare


Suggested by Margaret Griffin

“My favourite place is Killaloe in Co. Clare on the Shannon and Lough Derg. Cross the bridge and you are in Ballina, Co Tipperary. A foodie paradise on water. Fabulous cafes, restaurants, craft shops, scenery. Absolutely wonderful for a summer weekend or longer.”

Skellig Michael, Kerry


Suggested by me

“Skellig Michael is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to one of the oldest Christian Monastic settlements in the world – founded sometime between the 6th and 8th century. It is also home to a vast range of wildlife, including Puffins, Seagulls and over 50,000 gannets. It is one of the most magical places you will ever set foot on. Not bad for a tiny island off the coast of Kerry!”

How To Monetize Your Travel Photos – The Lowdown

15 Oct travayl mobile travel app

travel richer
I have been blogging for almost 5 years, but until now have never successfully been able to find a way to make money from my blog.

Sure I have been offered numerous, and sometimes attractive, monetary packages. But as with everything in life, with the good comes the bad. In order to get the cash, I would have to display some seriously ugly adverts in a prominent position on my homepage, and the adverts would be by far-from-ideal companies such as Casinos and Penis enlargers! Thanks, but no thanks.

I have also been contacted by PR agencies who are willing to write guest posts on my blog, which will include subtle links to extremely irrelevant products, in return for some cash. Again, I was not willing to lose readers and fans, who I knew would probably hate the ‘Guest articles’, just to make a quick buck. Thanks, but no thanks.

I have been offered free press trips to various luxury hotels, from Scotland to Ibiza, and while everyone LOVES a free trip, it always seemed to be a destination at the other side of the world from where I currently was. Oh, and often the flights were not even included! Also, no remuneration was involved. Thanks, but no thanks. I have had companies try to send me products, like travel towels and gadgets, extensions for GoPro cameras or some sort of protein shakes. As all were totally and utterly irrelevant to this blog, I said (yes, you guessed it!!) – Thanks, but no thanks!!

So the question is, How am I supposed to make money from my blog?

travayl mobile travel app

Travayl.com appears to be the answer…at least for bloggers with a great collection of travel photos. The site, which is a social travel platform that is a mix between ‘Tripadvisor’ and ‘Instagram’, hopes that travelers will come to the site, be inspired by the large collection of travel photos and will continue on to book flights, hotels and holidays. The site will even tell you how long it takes to get from country A to country B, how much the taxi, flight, train etc will cost and where are the best places to stay once there. All the hard work is done for you, you just have to sit back and enjoy the view! 

Sound’s pretty good, right? RIGHT! But how can I, the blogger, make money from this lovely concept? Well right now the site is looking to partner with bloggers from all over the world. Before they launch the website to the public and the media in 2 months, they need as many travel bloggers and photographers as possible to sign up, create a profile, and upload all their incredible travel snaps.

Once the site is officially launched, people can browse through the photographs, search for hashtags that interest them, create ‘bucket-lists’ of the places they hope to go and can even book their holiday through the site. That’s where the $$$ comes in. If a user decides to book something after being inspired by your photograph, you will get a small cut. Every time a user decides to book something after looking at your travel pics, more money will come into your account. 


If you are a travel blogger like me and want to be a partner, sign up HERE.

If you’re just an armchair traveler and want to check out the site, you can do so HERE.

Masters Graduation

5 Sep

I was very sad to miss my Masters Graduation ceremony back home in Ireland this week, but as flying over 9,000km from Korea to Dublin for 1 day was definitely not an option, I just had to get on with my days work teaching cute little Korean kids their A,B,C’s!

I think the principal of the school felt a little sorry for me, so she spent the entire day today photo shopping my head onto other people graduation photos, then uploaded them into facebook. You can imagine my surprise and delight after a long days teaching, logging on to facebook to see these hilarious yet brilliantly photoshopped images of myself at my Graduation! She even got the colors right and somehow added the University crest to one of the photos too!

I may have missed the actual graduation ceremony, but at least I have some photos from the occasion! :D

Oh look, there I am at my University!

Oh look, there I am at my University!

There I am, looking the wrong way!1

There I am, looking the wrong way!1

With a lovely James Joyce quote!

With a lovely James Joyce quote!

I'm looking well! haha

I’m looking well! haha







The Kindness of Strangers

1 May

I was talking to some friends last night about solo travel and the enormous benefits bestowed on people who are brave or adventurous enough to set off on their travels alone. I thought I could use my blog to share some positive experiences I have encountered with total strangers but mainly I wanted to use this post to hear your stories!

Have you ever experienced the kindness of strangers while on your travels??

Be it someone who helped fix your puncture in the Australian Outback or a young kid who helped you find your hotel through the winding streets of Venice??

kindness of strangers

On my way to Australia last November I had a great experience where I befriended a stranger on the plane from Cork, who turned out to be an extremely well off but more importantly very inspirational business man who employed over 800 people in a Tech company in China. He taught me many a thing that I still keep with me today, and also treated me to a delicious meal while waiting for my nest flight. An experience that can be read about here.

Almost a year later and as my trip to South Korea began, I found another stranger putting a smile on my face. After a short flight from Cork to London Heathrow, I had another dreaded 5 hour stopover. As all the restaurants were super busy I was asked to share a table with a few other travellers. No problem. I got talking to the guy opposite me, mainly because the cocktail he was drinking looked interesting so I decided to order the same(!), and he turned out to be a very good-looking and interesting Irish guy (if you are reading this…HELLO!).

We had a great conversation about work, travel and life, as he asked me why I had decided to jet off to Korea for a year. We chatted for a while and then he bid me farewell as he had to run to catch his flight. As he stood up to leave, he informed that he had been so intrigued listening to me talk and was so sad that he had to depart that he had paid for my meal and drink as a farewell gift. I was actually speechless but secretly delighted.

I’m sure we have all been that kind stranger too, at one stage or another. One memory I have, which while not entirely a ‘kind’ gesture, is certainly something that put a smile on the face of many strangers.

It was a day I will never forget…the day I got naked with a few thousand other brave souls in Dublin harbour as part of a Spencer Tunick Art Installation!

Standing knee-deep in the freezing, Irish sea or laying down on the hard, cold rocky pier back to back with naked strangers, as a ship sails in from England (no doubt full of puzzled passengers!) was a morning I’m not going to forget anytime soon! I can’t begin to imagine what was going through those passengers minds as they saw a few thousand naked Irish people welcoming them into Dublin Port at 5 o’clock in the morning! “Welcome to Ireland, the friendliest nation on Earth!”

Giving out FREE HUGS to bewildered students in a trendy shopping area in Seoul, South Korea was also a great way of spreading job to strangers! That, and the day I spent dressed as a clown and face painting kids for free in Dublin, Ireland.

Nothing can put a smile on your face like the kindness of strangers.

Please share your stories in the comments below! x

Zombie, Zombie, Zombie!

4 Aug

Some photos I took at the Dublin Zombie Walk today, where about 10,000 people, both young and old, dressed like the living dead and took to the streets in search of brains! Such a crazy, fun experience with amazingly creative people! And…all in support of charity!

Zombie Official

Zombies in Dublin

Zombie Nurse

A rainbow of color at the Dublin Zombie Walk

The (Irish) Sea of Nakedness

20 Mar

I will never forget the day I got naked with a few thousand other brave souls in Dublin harbor. It was for a Spencer Tunick Art Installation and was right up there with some of the wackier things I have done in my life.

Standing knee deep in the freezing, Irish sea or laying down on the hard, cold rocky pier back to back with naked strangers, as a ship sails in from England (no doubt full of puzzled passengers!) was a morning I’m not going to forget anytime soon! I can’t begin to imagine what was going through those passengers minds as they saw a few thousand naked Irish people welcoming them into Dublin Port at 5 o’clock in the morning!

“Welcome to Ireland, the friendliest nation on Earth!” ;)

"Welcome to Ireland!" A sea of nakedness!

It's a wee bit cold...a sea of nakedness!

Flash Mob – As Gaeilige!

13 Mar

I thought I would share this video as St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and hearing this beautiful song in my native Irish tongue(as gaeilige) puts a smile on my face and sends shivers down my spine…in a good way of course. Although I am quite sad I wasn’t in Dublin to see it first hand!

3 days until Paddys Day…bring on the madness!

Temple Bar Trad Festival

30 Jan

I went out to meet a Spanish friend for lunch yesterday and ended up staying out til past midnight, thanks to all the free TradFest events in Temple Bar. I met up with a load of awesome couchsurfers and spent hours walking around from pub to pub listening to all the great traditional Irish music and even had a free Irish dancing lesson in The Arlington Hotel!

We drank, we danced on the street, we danced in the rain, we laughed, and I guess we all made some new friends!


Here is a little video I made of our Sunday Session! Yeehaaaaw!

Cycling in Dublin

30 Jan

This is my first ever video post, taken with my new GoPro camera that I got for my birthday! It’s a bit random and has an epic fail (very bad editing!!) about half way through but I’m pretty happy with it none-the-less!

In other news…I’m moving to Holland tomorrow so will be sure to update you all on my new adventure very soon!

Janet :)



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