Ireland Travel Itinerary

10 things to see in Dublin for Free that tell the city

By on 15 December 2018

Available in: itItaliano

Like many European capitals, Dublin could become quite expensive. But there are some places that tell its story and are free. Small tips for a Low Cost trip.

Dublin is the starting point for every trip to Ireland. Now it’s always easier to find cheap flights to Dublin, making it the perfect base from which to explore the emerald island.

During my trip to Ireland many people I met along the way told me that Dublin is not Ireland. And it’s true, Dublin is beautiful but it can be considered as a different reality from the rest of the country.

Indeed, the Irish capital is a multicultural, lively and dynamic city, more and more modern. But it does not renounce its stronger traditions. It is his cordial and friendly soul that has enchanted me and pampered me despite the cold.

10 things to see in Dublin for Free you can not miss!

Indeed, the Irish capital is a multicultural, lively and dynamic city, more and more modern. But it does not renounce its stronger traditions. It is his cordial and friendly soul that has enchanted me and pampered me despite the cold.

That’s right, it’s also famous for the crazy and cold weather but I can guarantee you that they have a very valid antidote: it’s called Guinness. There’s always a good reason to go to the pub and have a nice beer in the company.

A holiday in Dublin, however, like many European capitals, could be quite expensive. That’s why I wanted to write this little Dublin guide for those coming for the first time and looking for solutions for his Low Cost trip to Ireland.

You can better see the location of the various attractions on the map of the historic city of Dublin here

What to see in Dublino

1. Dublin Symbols

The Spire

Here we are, the tour of what to see in Dublin for free starts here. It is now one of the symbols of modern and dynamic Dublin, located on O ‘Connell Street and has been a much discussed monument. Similar history of the Eiffel Tower, hated and despised at the beginning of the twentieth century but which has now earned its place in the hearts of all Parisians and tourists.

The Spire (“the Spire”) stands where before stood a statue dedicated to the English Admiral Nelson. The latter was destroyed by a bomb placed by the IRA in the 60s. The current monument The Spire is 120 m tall and symbolizes Ireland’s struggle for independence.

Molly Malone

Another symbol of Dublin and Ireland, Molly Malone is a legendary fishmonger whose story is told by the homonymous song. It is practically considered the unofficial anthem of the city, although no definite evidence of the existence of this woman has ever been found.

It is certain, however, that there was a song dedicated to her in the eighteenth century thanks to a print exhibited at the Dublin Writers Museum.

The legend tells of this woman from Howth (a village near Dublin) who sold the fish to the market with her wheelbarrow but who had to sell her body in order to live. It is a testimony of the profound poverty that this land has lived many times.

Oscar Wilde

I don’t think he needs any introduction. One of the most famous and beloved writers of the nineteenth century, born in Dublin in the area of Merrion Square. It is precisely here that his places are still kept today: his house, the park he loved to frequent and where his memorial now stands.

Travel in Dublin

A group of sculptures formed by a giant quartz boulder on which Oscar Wilde leans, deliberately in color. The statue depicting the writer is composed of precious marbles from Canada and Norway, and was designed in color to reflect the eccentricity of the character.

James Joyce

Another symbolic statue of the city, its history and one of its most famous writers. But in reality it is appreciated only by tourists, but citizens have nicknamed it “The idiot with a stick“. A rather bad name but perhaps due to the love-hate relationship that linked James Joyce to his hometown.

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2. Grafton Street

This is the street window of the city, full of shops and nightlife. It is a totally pedestrian street and is also the heart of Dublin shopping. The thing that I loved about this street is certainly not the shops, including many great international brands, but its atmosphere.

Christmas in Dublin

@Ben Askins

The whole street is occupied by elegant four-floors Georgian houses that give a unique atmosphere. To enrich even more this place are the numerous street performers of excellent skill.

And if you are here at Christmas everything becomes even more magical with Christmas decorations. I still remember that when I was in Dublin on Christmas Eve, Bono Vox along with other singers improvised a show right here pretending to be a simple street artist.

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3. Saint Stephen’s green

This park is right at the end of Grafton Street and is a little gem within the city. A classic English Victorian garden with a central pond inhabited by gulls and swans. A place that still seems enchanted today.

It is one of the oldest parks in Ireland, was built in 1664 on a pasture land (then outside the city) and has since attracted high-society buildings to its borders.

Things to see in Dublin

@Michael Foley

It is the ideal place for a romantic walk to relax a moment before taking back the city tour. Do not miss the Saint Stephen’s Green Shopping Center, which is located opposite the park’s main entrance. No, I’m not crazy, I do not love shopping but it’s a building with an incredible bohemian charm!

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4. Phoenix Park

To put it shortly: it is the largest urban park in Europe. You will notice it only when you are there, you enter from a very elegant avenue and as you go inside it the park widens out of all proportion. Its name has nothing to do with the Phoenix, as it might seem, but it derives from the English transposition of its name in Gaelic “fhionn-uisce”.

This is the ideal place to forget about the city, to meet more curious fallow deer and maybe eat a picnic lunch on the lawn. For sure is one of the most exiting attraction to do in Dublin.

Things to do in Dublin

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5. Ha’ Penny Bridge

Its official name is Liffey Bridge but as you will have already understood the Irish love the nicknames. Nobody calls him by his name, now he has gone down in history like the Ha’Penny Bridge. A name that derives from the toll that had to pay pedestrians to cross it.

In fact, it was built in 1816 to calm the protests of the citizens tired of the bad conditions in which they had to cross the river with the ferries.

Itinerary Dublin

The owner of the shipping company William Walsh was forced to choose: clean and fix ships or build a bridge. He chose the second option and obtained the authorization to pay a “half penny” toll for a century.

Today it is one of the attractions of the city, with its elegance lends itself very well for a romantic setting to your holiday in Dublin!

I forgot, do not worry, now it’s free!

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6. Temple Bar

Until now I had never met a neighborhood that would bear the name of a pub. Or is it the pub that has chosen the name of the neighborhood in which it is located? I do not know, according to some, the name of the neighborhood comes first. The name should derive from a noble rector of Trinity College, one such Sir William Temple.

Dublin what to see

But I do not care, especially when you find yourself in its streets and alleyways. It is the hub of the city, where there are numerous pubs, clubs and cultural sites. Walking through its alleys is already an experience with many street artists who act as a soundtrack.

Obviously, you can not come to Dublin and do not go to the Temple Bar, a real Irish institution. It’s among the things to see in Dublin you must have in your itinerary. Maybe it may seem a bit ‘too touristy, for sure you will not find in the Irish that goes to the pub to get a pint after work. But the festive atmosphere and the environment are certainly great for a night on the town. If you are looking for a local experience you have to go to other pubs not frequented by tourists.

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7. Trinity College

Trinity College is Ireland’s most prestigious university and you can already tell from the building that houses it. It is a fabulous beautiful building that you can visit for free in its central courtyard but you pay for a guided tour that takes you to see the famous Book of Kells.

It’s a bit ‘to think that initially only Protestant students were allowed, Catholics were allowed only since 1793. Echo of a religious division that still today discusses the north of Ireland.

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8. General Post Office

The general office of the Post Office in Dublin is not a simple post office is much more. It is considered a national monument to Irish independence. Also this is among the things to see in Dublin that tells a peace of its history and you wont pay any ticket to see it.

It was the palace where the Irish Republic was proclaimed during the Easter uprising of 1916 and was repeatedly the scene of conflicts during the war of independence. You can enter for free as in any post office, but guided tours are also organized.

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9. National Photographic Archive

I happened to visit him one morning without having planned anything. I was walking around the Temple Bar and I came across this small, lovely little square, Meeting House Square, and I saw this building. A temporary exhibition on Dublin in the early twentieth century was promoted and I could not resist.

I was happy to discover that admission is free and I lost myself among the beautiful pictures of a Dublin completely different from the one I was discovering around me.

If you like photography like me, this is the place for you.

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As you can see, Dublin is a particular city. Everything tells its difficult story and brings back to times of conflict and division. But you never end up crying about what has been, rather you hold the mug of beer well and sing for joy all night. This is Dublin, you can not fall in love with it.

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alberto branca why not travel blog
Benvenuto su Why not?

Sono Alberto, un creatore di Itinerari, appassionato di Fotografia e Viaggiatore lento.

Why not? è un contenitore di esperienze che si evolve insieme a me. Mi piace costruire il mio viaggio, studiare e trovare la vera essenza dei luoghi e delle persone che incontro lungo la mia strada.

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