Although it has a bit of a reputation for being expensive, there are plenty of fun free things to do in Dublin without being a budget traveler. The capital of the Republic of Ireland has excellent museums, beautiful architecture and lots of history that visitors can enjoy without spending a single Euro. Spend a weekend (or longer) getting to know Dublin without breaking the bank or feeling like you’re missing out!
With its relatively compact size and flat terrain, Dublin, Ireland is a fantastic quick trip. The Irish capital city is full of history, a lovely landscape, Irish charm and, yes, pubs! With great museums (some of which are free!) and a bonafide castle in the of town, it’s not difficult to fill up a long weekend (plus maybe a few extra days) in Dublin. In fact, the difficult part might be limiting yourself to only a weekend in the Emerald Isle!
I’ve put together a travel guide for how to spend a long weekend in Dublin with some of my favorite spots from my recent trip!
If Howth is the Dublin day trip to experience a quiet seaside village, then a day in Dún Laoghaire is one for experiencing true Irish life. Dún Laoghaire is home to a bustling city center; a waterfront area complete with a harbor, promenade, and piers; not to mention the Irish National Maritime Museum.
Where Dublin is a busy, congested and rowdy capital city, just a short rail ride away in Howth it is like a different world. A peninsula along Ireland’s jagged eastern coast, Howth juts into the Dublin Bay. It seems worlds away from Dublin.
Pretty sailboats dot the marina while larger fishing vessels go in and out of the harbor. Charming homes and businesses in pretty pastel colors line the streets which get steadily steeper as you head towards the peninsula’s interior. But it is the cliff walk along the edge of the sea that stole my heart and, quite simply, took my breath away.
Whether you simply want to sit quietly along the windy coast and watch the seagulls gliding effortlessly over the crashing waves and the odd frolicking seal; or take a hike along Howth’s cliffs, no visitor to Dublin should miss the chance to visit Howth, if only for a single day’s escape.
A church built on a rock surrounded by the sea and only easily accessible only at low tide. Prehistoric pile-dwellings on a lake in the Alps. A tea plantation not in India, China or elsewhere in Asia but the continental United States. So many of My Must See highlights are man-made.
But how incredible are the naturally occurring phenomenon that surround us? This month’s featured Must See is located in Ireland. Giant’s Causeway is a unique stone formation along the Irish coast made by volcanic eruptions. But what is amazing is that the formation is roughly 40,000 basalt columns. It might look like a pathway carefully crafted by human hands. But it’s not! It is just Nature doing its thing.