Dublin tip: Free castles and modern art
When visiting any city, we’re always relieved to find free activities to take the burden off our wallet. We’re happy to report that enchanted, moody Dublin offers a wide-range of high class sightseeing opportunities that won’t cost you a euro-cent. Our three faves:
For die-hard history buffs, reaching the Dublin Castle is like reaching the legendary pot of gold. The impressive stone castle is perched high atop the center of Dublin, overlooking the city. Tour the 13th-century Norman Tower and take a trip through the halls of its medieval prison. Free guided tours of all buildings on the castle grounds are available daily. Check out this historical landmark’s web site, with its interactive maps, 360-degree panoramic photos, and bite-sized history lessons.
Tip: Leave time for the gift shop where crystal jewelry and one-of-a-kind Belleek china pieces abound.
Old meets new at the impressive national modern art museum, housed in the 17th-century Royal Hospital Kilmainham, once home to retired soldiers. The museum was founded in 1990 and has been an artfully-big hit in Dublin ever since. As a result of generous donations and grants, its doors open daily for free. (cue: applause) A bit off the beaten path—it would take you about 40 minutes on foot—we highly recommend hopping on a bus and heading west of the city to take advantage of this collection.
Tip: Guided tours are free, but fill up quickly. Phone ahead or email the museum at least three weeks in advance to book a spot.
Less of a gallery and more of a giant art consortium, this collection offers masterpieces by Irish superstars and European masters, alike. Free tours and lectures are offered daily and are often pegged to national themes. (Recent offering have included Turner’s influence on 20th-century artists, and the significance of Yeats and his diverse body of work.) The National Gallery is centrally located just off Merrion Square.
Tip: Stick around for a concert! Offerings range from chamber orchestra to quartets highlighting Irish composers. Many, but not all, of the concerts are free.