Are you a bargain hunter like me? Are you on a budget trip? Then this list is just for you!
While there are plenty of things to see in Dublin (and many free things too!), not all of them have to be expensive. It’s not about being stingy, it’s about being clever and making the most out of your money.
In this list, I’m classifying “cheap” as anything under than or equal to €10 based on adult prices! Let’s make your wallet go that extra mile. So let’s get going! Here are the top cheap things to do and see in Dublin.
Please note that anything with an asterisk means that they are seasonal prices or day dependent.
The James Joyce Centre
Set in an 18th Century Georgian building, the centre is dedicated to promoting understanding of the life and works of James Joyce. Set over three floors, it covers his life, with a permanent interactive exhibition on Ulysses. There are also free audio tours of the building. Entry is €5. They also do tours of the city but they cost a bit more between €8 -€10.
The original castle dates back to the Elizabethan period and was built for Archbishop Adam Loftus, an ambitious Yorkshire clergyman. The castle with its four flanker towers is an excellent example of the fortified house in Ireland and holds the Berkely Costume and Toy Collection. Entry is just €5.
Have a real pint of Guinness
Sure, you could fork out to visit the Guinness Storehouse but there’s nothing like taking a breather with a pint of the black stuff in the local pub. If you’re looking for real authenticity, head along to The Gravediggers next to Glasnevin Cemetery, Toners or Mulligans. According to other sites, some pubs that serve the pint for €4.50 or under in the capital include: The Royal Oak, McGarry’s Bar, Shanahan’s, Peadar Browns, Kenny’s Lounge, The Portobello Bar, The Fifty One and two other Kavanagh’s – one in Stoneybatter, the other in Clanbrassil Street.
The National Aquatic Zone*
Slides, rides and plenty of water fun! Prices vary depending on the season but as of right now [November 2018], it costs €6 for adults for the 10am slot. Prices rise to €16 during weekends, bank holidays and national holidays.
[Note as of November 2018 – it is closed for maintenance]
Entry for the Casino is just €7. It was designed by Sir William Chambers as a pleasure house for James Caulfield, 1st Earl of Charlemont. It is described as being one of the finest 18th-century neo-classical buildings in Europe. Though it means “small house”, it actually surprisingly contains 16 finely decorated rooms.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
A memorial to Ireland’s historic past, the admission fee of €7 goes towards the restoration and maintenance of the cathedral. You can also download a free app that provides Service Times; a Brief History of the Cathedral; an Audio Guide for the building; “Cathedral Tales” and videos about Saint Patrick’s. They also have guided tours.
Glasnevin Museum and Cemetery
The museum-only tour it will cost you €6.50 and you will also receive €5 worth of credit to perform genealogy searches on the cemetery’s extensive records. But if you want to combine it with a tour it will cost you €13. Read more about Glasnevin here.
From the founding of the first Celtic settlement in the 1st century AD to every presidential inauguration, the site has stood witness to some of the most pivotal events in the country’s history. Tours of the State Apartments, Medieval Undercroft and Chapel Royal will cost visitors €10 for guided tours and €7 for self-guided tours.
Steeped in history, the Gaol is accessed by guided tour only with a maximum of 35 people per tour. Walk-up tickets are €9, whereas if you book online they’re €8 (discounts available for students, OAPs, children, and families).
€8.50 when you book online, learn about life during the medieval and Viking period in Dublin and see a medieval view of a modern city from Dublinia’s tower!
Newbridge House and Farm
It’s not in the city centre, but Newbridge House and Farm in Donabate is worth the visit, especially if you have children. From flower meadows and a gorgeous Georgian Mansion to an 18th century working farm and adventure playground, there’s plenty to do and see. Separately, the house tour costs €7 and the farm costs €5.50 or you can get a combined rate of €10! (Discounts available for families, students, OAPs and children).
St. Michan’s Church
If you’re looking for more of the macabre, St. Michan’s crypts and mummified bodies date back centuries. Aptly located on Church St. in Dublin 7, it costs €6 per person (discounts available for students, children, and OAPS).
Little Museum of Dublin
This little museum showcases what’s great about the Irish capital. Housed in a beautiful Georgian building, the Dublin collection was created by public donations. Standard admission including a guided tour is €10 (with online discounts sometimes) online.
Christ Church Cathedral
One of Dublin’s oldest buildings, Christ Church Cathedral has been a place of pilgrimage for almost 1,000 years. The cathedral is closed to sightseers ahead of and during services but visitors are welcome to join in the worshipping ceremony, for which there is no cost of entry. Self-guided tours at €7 include admission to the crypt and the ‘Treasures of Christ Church’ exhibition and you are welcome to bring your own guide (guided tours cost €11).
Comprised of a fortified townhouse, an early Christian church, a modern Heritage Centre and Writers’ Gallery, Dalkey Castle has a bit of everything. There are guided tours all day and the visitor experience includes an interactive live theatre performance with costumed actors. Tours costs €9.50 for adults.
Open all year round, Ardgillan is an 18th-century country-style house. Visitors will get the chance to explore the castle and enjoy the same atmosphere that its occupants, experienced from 1738 right up to 1962 when it was eventually sold. Castle tours are €6.50.
Head out of the city to Skerries Mills where the guided tour will show you the history of milling. You can try your hand at stone grinding flour, then see the water wheel in action turning the sieves, shakers, blowers. You can go up inside the four sail windmill then onto the five sail Great Windmill of Skerries. Entry is €8.
House Number 29
[Currently closed for renovations and is expected to be completed in 2020. However, you can check it out virtually!]
The museum highlights life in Georgian Dublin in the period, from 1790 until 1820. Number 29 is open primarily on a self-guided basis for you to walk through and enjoy the museum. The morning tours are at 11.00am and are reserved for groups, which must be pre-booked by booking form. The afternoon tours are at 3.00pm and people are welcome on a first come basis. Entry is €6 and children 12 years and under go free.
On the estate, you will find many features including a heritage experience in the Overend family home, the display garage for the Rolls Royce and vintage cars, a working farmyard and dairy as well as three acres of food gardens, woodland walks, nature play area and Overends Restaurant. Entry is €10.
Trying to make the most out of “free”? See my in-depth list of free things to do in the city here.
Are there are other cheap things to do in Dublin that I’ve missed out on? Let us know in the comments below. Did you enjoy this piece on cheap things to do and see in Dublin? You can connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat.
Prices quoted as correct on 26/11/18. Please check the linked websites for up-to-date information. A mention doesn’t necessarily mean an endorsement.