Top Free Things to do in Dublin City

Exploring the magical city of Dublin doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, the city is packed with many fun and interesting activities, which won’t cost you a cent! There is so much to see including important landmarks in Irish history, beautiful gardens, museums, art galleries and lots more! If you like what you are hearing, read on below to see our list of top free things to do in the city.

Dublin Castle

20-minute walk from hotel


There is no better place to get a feel for the history of Dublin than Dublin Castle. It is quite possibly one of the most iconic and important buildings in Irish history. Located at the heart of the city, just a 20-minute walk from Maldron Hotel Smithfield.

The castle was erected in the early 13th century on the site of a Viking settlement and served for centuries as the headquarters for the English and British administration in Ireland. Following Irish Independence in 1922, Dublin Castle was handed over to the new Irish government, where it is now a major government complex and tourist attraction.

The Tower and Medieval Undercroft’ remain from the original 13th century Castle, however, they are not open for visitors. The castle contains a fine collection of art and antiques including paintings, sculptures, china, glassware and prints. The Dublin Gardens are also a popular spot with visitors, which contain many lovely gardens including the Garda Memorial garden, a tribute to the Irish police who lost their lives on duty.

Garden of Remembrance

15-minute walk from hotel

The Garden of Remembrance is located on Parnell Square, just a 15-minutes’ walk from Maldron Hotel Smithfield. This beautiful garden is a place of quiet remembrance and is dedicated to the memory of all who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom. The garden was officially opened on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1916 Rising.

The garden was designed by Dáithí Hanly, with the main attraction being a wonderful sculpture by Oisín Kelly, based on the legend of the Children of Lir, representing transformation. Behind the sculpture, on a wall, you will find Liam Mac Uistin’s poem called “We Saw A Vision” written in English, French & Irish.

The garden represents the ideal place for escaping the busy city streets.

Natural Museum of Ireland – Natural History

15-minute drive from hotel

The Natural History Museum, also known as the “Dead Zoo”, was first opened to the public all the way back in 1857. Situated on Merrion Street, 15-minutes’ drive from Maldron Hotel Smithfield, the museum is home to a wide-ranging and comprehensive zoological collection of more than 10,000 exhibits. This is collection is possibly one of the finest and most complete collections across the world!

Visitors can learn more about the mammals, fish, birds and insects of Ireland through the fabulous Irish Fauna exhibit. Discover skeletons and stuffed specimens of non-Irish animal species, from elephants to whales in the Mammals of the World exhibit.

The museum also offers a year-round programme of workshops, talks and tours for all ages.

Visit Temple Bar

15-minute walk from hotel

A walk around Temple Bar is a must-do for anybody visiting Dublin. Temple Bar is best known as Dublin’s cultural quarter, located within 15-minute walking distance from our Maldorn Hotel Smithfield. One of the most well-known areas in Dublin, the famous cobbled streets are jam-packed with numerous pubs, restaurants, quirky clothes boutiques and craft stores.

The atmosphere around Temple Bar is incomparable to anywhere across Dublin, with live traditional Irish music filling the streets, day and night, from the surrounding pubs. The traditional Irish bars, many have been open in the same locations since the 18th century, are known to serve the best pint of Guinness in the world.

The most famous pub in the area, and possibly Ireland is in fact Temple Bar. The unmissable red building is home to Ireland’s largest collection of rare whiskies, offering over 450 varieties. If you can, grab a drink from this famous pub and experience the electric atmosphere from the inside.

Christ Church Cathedral

15-minute walk from hotel

With Ireland’s strong roots in religion, Christ Church Cathedral remains one of Dublin’s most important and popular landmarks. It is seen as the spiritual centre of Dublin city, with 1000 years of history.

Christ Church, Dublin’s oldest working structure, is located on Wood Quay, 15-minutes’ walk from Maldron Hotel Smithfield. The cathedral is renowned for its architectural beauty and is home to the famous 12th Century crypt, one of the oldest and largest in Britain and Ireland.

The cathedral’s deployment of 19 bells, ranging in weight from a quarter of a ton to two and a quarter tons, represents a world record of the number of bells available for full-circle ringing. The oldest bells still in use here date from 1738.

Note, to enter and explore the cathedral itself you must purchase a ticket.

Explore O’Connell Street 

18-minute walk from hotel

O’Connell Street is one of the city’s busiest and most recognisable streets, connecting O’Connell Bridge to the south with Parnell Street to the north and is roughly split into two sections bisected by Henry Street. It is also the city’s widest street and home to some of Dublin’s most iconic landmarks such as The Spire, the General Post Office (GPO) and monuments celebrating major figures from Irish history.

The GPO is located on O’Connell Street and is truly a must see for all tourists. It is described as one of the most fascinating buildings in Dublin’s history, acting as the main stronghold of the Irish volunteers in the Easter Rising of 1916.

A walk along O’Connell Street is worth it for the monuments alone. The street is filled with statues that story Ireland’s history, politics, and spirit. Highlights include the William Smith O’Brien statue – a leader of the unsuccessful rebellion of 1848, the Jim Larkin statue, the Daniel O’Connell monument at the southern end of the street which contains bullet holes from the 1916 Rising, and much more!

Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane

15-minute walk from hotel

The Hugh Lane Gallery is an art museum located in Charlemont House, 15-minutes’ drive from Maldron Hotel Kevin Street, since 1933. The gallery’s original collection of modern art was presented by Sir Hugh Lane in 1908 and has, over the last century been enhanced by notable bequests, gifts and acquisitions including Francis Bacon’s Studio and Archive and Sean Scully’s gift of paintings.

Make sure to visit the stained-glass room, which is next to the reception desk. Here you will find the remarkable and ever popular Harry Clarke piece The Eve of St. Agnes as well as work from other 20th century stained-glass artists.

Maldron Hotel Smithfield

Looking for a place to stay during your visit? Look no further than Maldron Hotel Smithfield!

Our hotel is a comfortable, spacious and affordable 4-star accommodation, located just a short walk from Dublin city centre and its many attractions.

Our guest bedrooms are all designed to ensure you have an excellent night’s sleep, while in Grain & Grill restaurant we pride ourselves on offering great food with friendly surroundings.

What are you waiting for? Book your amazing Dublin adventure today!

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Common Questions

  • General Hotel Information

    What time is check-in?

    Check-in is officially from 3.00pm on the day of arrival. In the case of earlier arrival, we try our best to accommodate our guests where possible. Please note that an earlier check-in is subject to room availability and that additional charges may apply. Please contact our hotel team for more information or to enquire.

    What time is check-out?

    Check-out is at 11.00am on the day of departure. In the case of earlier arrival, we try our best to accommodate our guests where possible. Please note that a late check-out is subject to room availability and that additional charges may apply. Please contact our hotel team directly for further details on our various late departure options.

    Do you hold luggage before check-in or after check-out?

    Yes, you can leave your luggage with the reception until your room is ready or you are ready to depart.

    Does the hotel offer free WiFi?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel Smithfield is pleased to offer complimentary high-speed WiFi broadband in all public areas and bedrooms.

    Is there a laundry service available?

    Yes, we do offer dry cleaning services provided by our dry-cleaning partners.

    What do I do if I accidentally left some items in the hotel?

    Should you by accident leave any belongings in our hotel, our accommodation team would collect it and store it in lost property storage waiting for you to claim it back. You will be asked to send us an email to with all details and we will happily assist you with postage of your belongings.

    Are pets permitted in the hotel?

    No, pets are not allowed in the hotel, with the exception of guide and assistance dogs.

    Is the hotel reception desk open 24 hours a day?

    Yes, the reception desk is operating 24 hours day,  7 days a week.

    What is the hotel’s smoking policy?

    We practice strong non-smoking policy at Maldron Hotel Smithfield. We do have a designated outdoor smoking area at the front of the hotel to accommodate guests who smoke. A deep cleaning fee of €150 will be charged to guests who are found to be in breach of our no smoking policy or €3000 if in breach of fire, health and safety regulations.

    Is the hotel accessible?

    Yes, we are proud to be verified as offering very good levels of accessibility throughout our hotel. Please click the button below for full details or contact us if you would like any additional information.

    Hotel Accessibility

    Do you sell gift vouchers?

    Yes, gift vouchers are available to purchase at the hotel reception desk or online. Gift vouchers can be used in all Maldron Hotels, in our sister brand, Clayton Hotels and selected partner hotels, The Gibson Hotel, The Belvedere Hotel and Hotel 7, meaning a choice of over 40 hotels in Ireland and the UK.

    Do you provide printing facilities for boarding passes?

    Yes, we will be happy to print any boarding passes or any other small project. Larger scale printing or photocopying will be chargeable at an additional cost.

    Does the hotel offer currency exchange?

    No, we don’t offer currency exchange at the hotel, but we will be happy to direct you to the nearest facility.

    Do you supply travel adapters?

    Yes, travel adapters are available at reception.

    Do you have any special family hotel deals or packages?

    Yes, we do specially tailored offers for families. Please phone +353(0)1 485 0900 or email directly to for further details.

    Does the hotel offer spa or gym facilities on-site?

    No, but we will be happy to direct you to the nearest facility.

  • Location & Parking

    How far is the hotel from Dublin city centre?

    Maldron Hotel Smithfield is located in Dublin 7, just a 15 minutes’ walk from O’Connell Street and therefore within close proximity to the city centre, all main tourist attractions, hospitals and Dublin’s legal district. Our hotel is the perfect base for guests who are looking for stylish and comfortable accommodation with Dublin city at their doorstep. For more information, visit our location page.

    How far is the hotel from Dublin Airport?

    Maldron Hotel Smithfield is located just 12km and a 25 to 30-minute drive from Dublin Airport.

    We recommend taking the Airlink Bus 747 which stops on O’Connell Street and it is a 15-minute walk from the hotel. Fares are approx. €12 return or €7 single for an adult. The journey time is approx. 40 minutes. Alternativity, taxis are available outside arrivals in both terminals. Journey time and fares depend on traffic.

    Are there any shopping areas nearby?

    Maldron Hotel Smithfield is ideally located for a shopping break in Dublin city, with Grafton Street and Henry Street being within an easy walking distance from the hotel.

    How close are public transport links to the hotel?

    The LUAS red line Smithfield stop is located just 2 minutes’ walk from the hotel. When you arrive at the Smithfield stop you will see Smithfield square behind you. Maldron Hotel Smithfield is located at the top of the square next to the Fresh Supermarket. There are also several bus routes just a short walk from our hotel

    What is there to see and do around the hotel?

    With countless visitor attractions right on our doorstep, exploring Dublin and all the city has to offer has never been easier. Take a walk in Phoenix Park and stop by Dublin Zoo, or along the Liffey for a view of the Guinness brewery. Visit The Jameson Distillery, Kilmainham Gaol and finish your day with a movie at the Lighthouse Cinema. Maldron Hotel Smithfield is also an ideal choice when attending one of Dublin’s sporting or music venues, including 3Arena, Croke Park, Vicar Street or The Olympia Theatre. We are also nearby popular shopping areas, such as Henry Street and Grafton Street in Dublin City Centre, which are both accessible by foot from the hotel.

    Is there a car rental station near the hotel?

    We would always suggest booking your car rental at the airport as it would be very convenient for collection and then drop off at no extra cost.

    Is car parking available at the hotel?

    For your convenience, the multi-storey car-park adjoining Maldron Hotel Smithfield can be accessed from Queen Street and hotel residents receive special discounted parking rates from just €18 for 24 hours.

  • Rooms & Amenities

    What room types does the hotel offer?

    Maldron Hotel Smithfield boasts 93 well-appointed, comfortable hotel rooms. Depending on your needs, you can choose between 7 different room types, including Double Rooms, Twin Rooms, Triple Rooms, Family Rooms, Balcony Rooms, Executive Rooms and Suites. We also have a number of interconnecting rooms available for families who want to have a bit more space.

    Are there wheelchair accessible rooms available?

    Yes, we have 5 designated accessible rooms available in the hotel.

    Does the hotel have family rooms?

    Yes, we are one of the unique Dublin city hotels to offer large family rooms which sleep up to 6 people in each. We also offer quadruple rooms with two double beds or double single for your convenience. Interconnecting rooms are available as well should you wish to have two separate rooms interlinked in between each other.

    Can I get a cot or camp bed in my room?

    Yes, cots and camp bed can be arranged (subject to availability). Please let us know in advance at the time of your booking to reserve one, should you wish to avail of this service.

    Do the bathrooms have a shower or a bath?

    All our rooms have an en-suite bathroom with a shower. Baths are available in some of our bedrooms.

    Does the hotel offer wake-up calls?

    Yes, we do offer wake-up calls. Please contact our reception team at arrival or any point of your stay and we will be happy to arrange this for you.

    What amenities are included in the room?

    All hotel rooms have international a multi-channel TV, in-room safe, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities as well as toiletries.

  • Dining

    What dining options are available at the hotel?

    Our Grain & Grill bar and restaurant serves up the finest local produce to enjoy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Does the hotel offer breakfast?

    Yes, we are renowned for a great selection of breakfast options available each morning. Choose from traditional grilled breakfast items as well as healthier and nutritious options to kickstart your morning. Breakfast is served at our Grain & Grill restaurant 7 days a week from 7am to 10am weekdays and from 8am to 11am at weekends and bank holidays (for those who like to have a lie-in).

    Maldron Hotel Smithfield offers room only and bed & breakfast rates. Room only rates do not include breakfast. However, you can always add breakfast on when you arrive at reception or just on the day itself.

    What are the opening times of the Grain & Grill restaurant?

    Lunch is served at our Grain & Grill restaurant from 12 noon to 3pm, and dinner is served from 5pm to 10pm Monday until Sunday. The residents’ bar is closing at 2am in the morning.

    Does the restaurant cater food for allergies?

    Yes, all allergens are noted in our food and drinks menus. Please inform your waiter if you have any allergies, vegetarian or dietary requirements and our kitchen team will be delighted to assist.

    Does Gain & Grill offer a dedicated kid’s menu?

    Yes, we do offer a dedicated menu for our little ones.

    Do you provide room service?

    Yes, we do provide room service. Room service can be availed at any time during the Grain & Grill bar and restaurant operating hours.

    Is there a reservation for dinner required?

    Yes, but walk-ins are also accepted. Please give us a call on +353(0)1 485 0900 or send an email to to book a table.

    Do you cater for large groups? Can I book a private dining space for a special occasion?

    Yes, we cater for large groups and special occasion. However, this must be prebooked in advance as it requires extra preparation. Please phone +353(0)1 485 0900 or email directly to for more information or to enquire.

  • Meetings & Events

    Are there meeting and event room facilities available at the hotel?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel Smithfield has two flexible meeting rooms available, the Kings Suite and Chancery Suite, suitable for small meetings, interviews, training days or courses.

    How many people do your meeting rooms accommodate?

    Depending on the meeting room layout, our meeting rooms can accommodate up to 25 delegates in theatre style.

    What equipment is included in the meeting rooms?

    All our meeting rooms are equipped with flipcharts, stationery, paper, water and a projector if applicable. In addition, free high-speed WiFi will be provided complimentary in all meeting rooms as well as air conditioning. 

    Are there food and beverage options available?

    Yes, we have a variety of dining options as well as customised menus available for meetings to suit your budget and requirements. For more information, please contact our meetings team via phone on +353 (0)86 4102 291 or email

    Do you have corporate rates available?

    Yes, corporate rates are available. Please phone +353 (0)86 4102 291 or email directly to for further details or if you wish to inquire about setting up a preferred agreement.

  • Booking & Cancellation

    What is Make It Maldron and how do I sign up?

    Signing up and being part of Make it Maldron means you can save €10/£10 per room per night every time you book directly on our website (excludes selected sale and promotional special offers). To sign up, visit our ‘Make It Maldron’ page and join in 3 simple steps to ensure your discount is applied to all future online bookings.

    Can I claim back on the Stay and Spend Tax Credit Scheme?

    Yes, we are delighted to confirm that all Maldron Hotels are registered for the Stay and Spend Tax Credit Scheme. That means if you stay with us between 1st October 2020 and 30th April 2021 you can claim up to €125 under this scheme, please see for more information and details.

    What is the best way to make a reservation?

    The best way to book is online on our website where you can easily see our best rates and what exclusive offers and packages are available. Alternatively, you can call us on +353 (0)1 485 0900 or email

    What should I do if I haven’t received a booking confirmation?

    Most of the time when it happens, it most likely went into your Spam folder. If you cannot find it there, please contact our reservations team ringing the hotel directly +353 (0)1 485 0900 or by sending us an email and our team will be happy to help or resend the confirmation email.

    What payment methods does the hotel accept?

    At Maldron Hotel Smithfield, we accept cash and card payments. If you paying cash, please note it must be Euro currency and deposits might be required.

    What is the hotel’s credit/debit card policy?

    A valid credit/debit card is required to secure all bookings made online or over the phone, unless in cases where this is otherwise stated. Please note nothing is charged to the card at booking stage when booking directly with the hotel (with the exception of advance purchase offers or bookings that require a deposit. This will be clearly noted on the booking offer).

    For all rooms that are being paid for in cash must be accompanied with photographic ID. No rooms will be let unless payment is guaranteed.

    What age are children for the purpose of hotel packages?

    Children aged 14 or more are counted as adults.

    How do I make a group or multiple room booking?

    Please contact our reservations team ringing the hotel directly +353 (0)1 485 0900 or by sending us an email and we will be delighted to assist you with your group or multi-room booking.

    Are there any age restrictions when booking a hotel room?

    Yes, we only accept reservations made for over 18s only. All under 18s must be accompanied by a guardian or parent.

    Can I show up at the hotel without a booking?

    Yes, you can, however, we would always recommend to call ahead to the hotel or booking online prior to arriving to secure your reservation and to avoid disappointment. Also, the check-in process might take longer than normal.

    Can I extend my stay?

    Yes, depending on availability, we’ll be happy to accommodate you for further nights at an additional cost. Extending your reservation directly with the hotel is always advisable due to flexibility and simplicity. Please contact our reception team at any stage during your stay and we will happily arrange the rest for you.

    How can I amend or cancel my booking?

    If you have booked directly with the hotel, you can amend or cancel your booking by visiting the ‘Manage Booking’ section on our website by using your confirmation number and email address. Alternatively, you can simply call our reception directly on +353 (0)1 485 0900 or email and we will arrange the rest.

    How can I cancel my reservation if I booked via a third-party website?

    If you have booked via a third-party website, you will need to contact the third-party website directly to amend or cancel your booking as we cannot do that on your behalf. Please note that they have their own cancellation policies, so please refer to your confirmation email.

    What does our “no show” policy entail?

    If you do not show up on the day of your booking or didn’t cancel the reservation successfully, you will be charged the full amount for your first night’s stay. If you have booked our “advanced purchase” or “prepay and save” rates, you will incur a 100% penalty charge for the entire duration of your stay.

    What is the cancellation policy?

    If you have booked the reservation directly with the hotel over the phone or online, Maldron Hotel Smithfield offers free cancellation up to 24 hours prior to the day of arrival unless advance purchase non-refundable rate was selected. Please note that some special offers and key dates outlined in the terms and conditions may specify a special cancellation policy applicable to that offer and date.

    What are the room rates at Maldron Hotel Smithfield?

    Room rates vary from season to season, day to day and for special events. All room rates quotes include taxes and charges. For the best available rate always book directly with Maldron Hotel Smithfield. Give us a call +353 (0)1 485 0900 or email us


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