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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