Delightful Dublin is a popular cruise port that appears on many British Isles and staycation cruise itineraries. The Irish capital is home to some of the world’s finest Georgian buildings and is the birthplace of many incredible writers. From delving deep into Dublin’s history to spotting deer in the wild, here are the top free things to do in Dublin:
Browse Chester Beatty
Promoting the appreciation and understanding of world cultures, the Chester Beatty holds manuscripts, rare books and other treasures from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. Established in 1950 to house the collections of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, the museum has been described as “the best in Europe,” by Lonely Planet. Sir Alfred Chester Beatty was one of the greatest collectors of the twentieth century and the museum provides a fantastic opportunity to browse a diverse array of manuscripts, religious texts, artworks and artefacts from around the world.
Visit the Irish Museum of Modern Art
Once home to the Royal Hospital, the Irish Museum of Modern Art is a piece of art in itself. Part of the National Gallery, the museum connects audiences and art, “while providing an extraordinary space where contemporary life and contemporary art connect, challenge and inspire one another.” It houses a fine collection of art from contemporary Irish artists as well as some impressive pieces from the likes of Picasso and Miro. The museum, also known as the IMMA, welcomes 400,000 visitors each year.
Spot deer in Phoenix Park
Phoenix Park is the largest urban park in Europe. Spanning 707 hectares, it is a beautiful slice of nature hidden in the depths of the city centre. Brimming with natural beauty and stately homes, the park has been home to a large group of fallow deer (around 500) since the 17th century. Phoenix Park is an easy walk from the centre of Dublin and is a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
Peruse Temple Bar Markets
If you’re visiting Dublin during the weekend, a trip to Temple Bar Markets is a must. A weekly farmer’s market is held under Meeting House Square’s permanent canopies from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm every Saturday. Here, you’ll find stalls selling cheese, baked goods and seafood - hang around long enough and you may even get a free sample! The Temple Bar Book Market is held on both Saturday and Sunday’s offering vintage books and vinyl.
Wander around Trinity College
Follow in the footsteps of famous alumni Samuel Beckett, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde and Mary Robinson (Ireland’s first female president) by wandering around Trinity College. The university is Ireland’s oldest and most prestigious educational institution and covers 47 acres of land. Enter through the wrought iron gates to see the famous cobblestone walkways and historic Georgian buildings.