If you’ve always dreamed of visiting Dublin but don’t think you can afford it, know that this friendly city and its unique culture offers plenty of places to visit that won’t cost a cent.
National Museum of Ireland
Merrion Square is located on the south side of Dublin city center and is thought to be one of the city’s finest Georgian squares. Several notable buildings face the square, including the Leinster House (seat of the Irish parliament) and the Natural History building of the National Museum of Ireland which invites you to learn about the different aspects of Ireland’s past.
- Archaeology: A visit to the National Museum of Ireland lets visitors stroll through history dating back to 7,000 BC. Visit the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibition which features recently found bog bodies, or the Ancient Egypt exhibition with the gilt and painted cartonnage case of the mummy Tentdinebu, or the Viking Ireland exhibition which shows off Dublin excavation finds discovered between 1962-1981. This museum opened its doors in 1877 and since that has collected and preserved examples of Ireland’s portable material heritage and natural history.
- National History: The National Museum of Ireland has recently reopened the National History collection starting with the ground floor which is dedicated to Irish animals. Here you’ll have the opportunity to see the 11,000-year-old skeleton of the Irish giant deer.
- Decorative Arts & History: This museum is also home to a wide range of historical objects from Folklife and costumes, to ceramics, glassware, furniture and even weaponry. It’s a great way to learn about Ireland’s economic, social, political, and military progress through history.
For a unique look at Irish history visit the Pearse Museum. It was formally a school run by patriot and educationalist Patrick Pearsewho believed the British education system taught Irish boys to be good Englishmen and took steps to change that with the establishment of St. Enda’s.
The emphasis of its curriculum had heavily Irish nationalist tones which encouraged many of its students to subsequently take up arms in the 1916 Rising and the Irish War of Independence. Among the exhibits the Pearse Museum, you’ll enjoy a nature study room concentrating on Irish flora and fauna, and the audio visual show “This Man Kept a School” about Pearse and St. Enda’s.
Take time to stroll the lovely grounds while you’re there to enjoy stunning landscape including a waterfall and a walled garden.
Other Museums Free of Charge
There’s a whole list of museums you can visit in Dublin that don’t charge admission. These institutions are a great way to spend the day, learn about this stunning city, and not spend a lot of money.
Be sure to include the 1 km walk out to the Poolbeg Lighthouse along the South Wall that stretches into Dublin Bay. It offers a unique perspective of Dublin and provides a breathtaking photo op when the evening sun is getting ready to set.