January gets a bad rap as a boring month. People want to save after splurging over Christmas, most of our friends are doing dry January or are attempting a diet, so no one wants to go out for drinks or food and everyone just seems to be in hibernation mode.
We get it. In January a lot of us want a fresh start and a chance to work on ourselves – but that doesn’t mean we can’t try new things and have fun, right?
No matter what your budget is, you’ll be able to try out some of these free activities and tours in Dublin City this weekend, so rustle up the gang and get going!
National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology
Are you into archaeology and history? Then how have you not booked a free ticket to Ireland’s national museums, where you can see displays in all these topics and more?
Located in a beautiful complex that’s less than ten minutes’ walk from Phoenix Park, The National Museum of Ireland’s Archaeology museum is one of four free museums under the national museum’s name. Visit Ancient Egypt, the monasteries at Glendalough and even Viking Ireland through their exhibitions for an amazing and interesting day out! Cultural and educational!
Phoenix Park is the perfect day out for anyone looking to get a little fresh air right in the middle of the city. Full of pretty, wooded paths, ponds, monuments and walled gardens, there’s plenty to see and do completely for free around the vast area.
Hang out with the deer that roam freely or catch a glimpse of the President’s dogs, Bród and Misneach as you pass by the Áras and Úachtaráin as you wander these 700 hectares of pure natural beauty.
National Gallery of Ireland
Located in the picturesque Merrion Square right in the heart of the city, the National Gallery is well worth a wander if you’re looking to pass an afternoon in the city. Open seven days a week, you do need to book a ticket in advance so they can keep track of numbers.
Featuring art from the 14th right up to the 20th century, you’ll find true variety here and plenty to entertain the senses. The perfect spot for an impromptu photoshoot, or even just to wander and lose yourself in some beautiful artwork for a couple of hours.
Chester Beatty Library
Less than ten minutes away you’ll find the Chester Beatty library right behind Dublin Castle, which has an incredible collection of religious and artistic works. This is one that you’ll wan to have your reading glasses with you for as you’ll get totally engrossed in the detailed explanations of where the art came from and how it came to be in Ireland.
A history and art major’s dream, you could lose hours there lost in the incredible life of the man who collected all these items. Sir Alfred Chester Beatty was one of the greatest collectors of the twentieth century, and an extraordinary friend to Ireland, you’ll discover with the amazing collection he donated to the city of Dublin.
National Botanic Gardens
Enclosed in the same complex as Glasnevin cemetery – which isn’t free, but is well worth a visit – the National Botanic Gardens are a stunningly aesthetic day out. Live out your lady of the manor dreams with beautiful and botanically rich and diverse garden waiting for you to explore it.
While January may not be the best time to check it out, come spring, the place will be alive with a huge range of flora and possibly some fauna too! Be sure to check out the restored glasshouses while there for the perfect picture and maybe grab a coffee or hot chocolate in their cute café!
Poolbeg Lighthouse walk
A twenty minute drive from the city centre, the start of the walk out to Poolbeg Lighthouse is on the Great South Wall and offers up two walks depending how much time you have to kill. If you have a couple of hours, start from Sandymount strand , but if you just want a 40 minute walk, try parking at Pigeon House Road instead.
It’s a beautiful walk out into the sea along the way, but be warned that most of the year it can be pretty windy, so wrap up well! Walk it at sunset or on a clear day to really get all the stunning views – and pictures!