Studying Abroad can be very expensive. Although we may have scholarships for our programs, we must also support ourselves while living in another country. Sure, you’ll spend money on eating out, souvenirs and traveling on the weekend, but when you want to take a break from all the spending, here’s what you can do in Dublin:
Visit Any of the National Museums
Located near the Department of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) near Merrion Square, are free National Museums. This includes the National Museum of Ireland, the National Gallery, and The Natural History Museum. The National Museum of Ireland takes you through the ages of Ireland’s history, showing you many important artifacts along the way. Each artifact is representative of an important event, culture, or person in Irish History. The National Gallery has a gorgeous collection of classic art, spanning from the 14th to the 20th century. Lastly, the Natural History Museum, which is often referred to as the “dead zoo,” is full of skeletons, skulls and stuffed and mounted animals from Ireland and all over the world. A little bit farther from the city center are the National Botanical Gardens, which house plant species from all over the world. The best part: all of these museums are FREE!
Explore Dublin’s Gorgeous Parks
For a fun free outing, I have enjoyed taking strolls through Dublin’s many parks! We’ve been blessed with great weather, plus Dublin is a fairly small city, so it’s an easy walk to most of the city’s parks. Whether we pack up a picnic, or bring a camera for an Instagram photoshoot, I’ve had a great time exploring places like St. Stephen’s Green, Merrion Square Park, and Phoenix Park.
Rent Bikes from DublinBikes
I’m going to be honest, I have yet to rent a DublinBike. BUT, that is only because I just found out that 30-minute rides are free! Similar to Indego Bikes in Philadelphia, DublinBikes allows you to rent a bike at one of their kiosks scattered around the city, and return it to any kiosk location that you wish. The fare is €0.50 for an hour, and €1 for up to two hours. However, the first 30 minutes is always free! This could be a great way to ride around and see some Dublin landmarks, and I can’t wait to try it.
Check Out Dublin Castle and Trinity College
Just a few minutes walking distance from one another are the gorgeous landmarks that are Dublin Castle and Trinity College. Dublin Castle was once home to the British government when Ireland was under the rule of England. Because of this, it has some lovely Georgian architecture, and it’s a great spot to get touristy photos. I know this because I have accumulated quite a few photos while living down the street from the place. It just amazes me every time! While you can’t go in the castle, you can walk all around the grounds and take photos. Dublin City Hall, which you can walk in and explore for free, is just next door to the castle. Right down the street from Dublin Castle is Trinity College Dublin, Ireland’s oldest university, and one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland. For free you can visit the grounds of the school. There are a great deal of statues and monuments, as well as absolutely beautiful architecture. You can visit the Book of Kells for a fee, and most say it is a must-see attraction in Dublin. The Book of Kells dates back to the 9th century and contains the four books of the gospel. It is known for being very well preserved, and is decorated with intricate and lavish illustrations. Each day, the pages that are for viewing change, so the experience is never the same as the last day’s visitors!
There are so many free and affordable things to do in Dublin, and these are just a sampling of what I have enjoyed so far. Something that really surprised me is that there are student discounts almost EVERYWHERE. Chain stores, museums, local businesses, and most restaurants will offer student discounts with ID, so I have really appreciated how student-friendly Dublin is!