It’s finally beginning to feel a lot like summer! While we might not be able to travel abroad just yet we are lucky to have so many gems right here in Ireland. And the best part is many of them cost nothing at all! Here’s 10 free places you can visit for free this summer.
Did you know we have Europe’s largest public park right here in Ireland? You could easily spend a day in the Phoenix park walking, cycling with friends, having a picnic, the list is endless! The park is also home to Dublin Zoo, the Victorian flower gardens, and Aras an Uachtaráin. You never know you might be lucky enough to get a glimpse of the President himself and his gorgeous dogs!
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2.The National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin Dublin
The National Botanic Gardens are located in Glasnevin, Dublin. The garden is famous for its restored planted glasshouses which are opened all year round. The garden is usually filled with beautiful flowers that are definitely Insta worthy. Wander around for long enough and you’ll forget your even in Dublin city!
3.The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
The National Gallery of Ireland is home to country’s national collection of Irish and European art. It’s located in the centre of Dublin. There’s always new and fascinating exhibitions happening in the gallery.
At the moment, there’s an exhibition called ‘Something From There’ running in the gallery. This exhibition was created with people living or formerly living in Direct Provision and explores the idea of home. The exhibition runs until June 20th.
This is just one example of the many brilliant exhibitions held at the National Gallery of Ireland and the best part is its all free. All you have to do is book a free ticket online to guarantee entry.
4.Kilarney National Park
Killarney National Park is one of the most scenic places in Ireland. It’s free to enter and you can cycle or walk around the beautiful grounds for as long as you’d like. The views are spectacular and the park is so big you could easily spend a sunny day wandering around and watching the wildlife and the surrounding mountains as you go!
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Embrace your inner Bridgeton by visiting Kilkenny Castle this summer. The castle includes a library, drawing room, a picture gallery, nursery, and bedrooms with all the fancy splendour you’d expect. It’s set in an extensive parkland so there’s lots of outdoor exploring to do too. The castle is free to visit until the end of 2021. All you have to do is book a free ticket online to guarantee entry.
Newcastle Woods could be described as a hidden gem of the midlands! The woods are located in Ballymahon, Co. Longford. There are 28km of walkway throughout the forest which a mixture of forest roads and trails. The forest is usually full of wonderful wildlife including swans, deer and sometimes the odd mink. If you like taking photos of nature this is the perfect place to visit and brush up on your skills.
7.Dun Na Sí Amenity Park
Located in Moate, Co Westmeath, Dun Na Sí Amenity Park is the perfect place to meet up with friends for a walk and a catch up. The park is also a 2-minute walk from the Old Rail Trail which links Moate to the town of Athlone. You can cycle to Athlone along the trail in about an hour. Sounds like the perfect way to spend the day!
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8. Galway’s Farmer’s Market
Galway’s Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday (8:30am-6:00pm) and Sunday (2pm-6pm) by St Nicholas’ church in the centre of Galway city. It’s also opened on Bank Holidays between 8:30am and 6:00pm. And you’re in luck because there’s a bank holiday right around the corner on June 7th! You’ll find gorgeous fresh food like crepes, handmade chocolates, and sushi. While it might cost money to buy the fresh food and local crafts it costs nothing to walk around listening to the music and the hustle and bustle of the market. The dream!
9. Limerick Milk Market
Is there anything better than wandering around a market sampling the fresh and local produce from stalls? Even if you don’t buy anything markets such as the Limerick Milk Market can give you great inspiration for recipes and treats you could try make at home.
10. Lahinch Beach
We couldn’t complete a list of free places to go without mentioning a beach! Lahinch beach is one of Ireland’s best-known attractions. There’s endless enjoyment, you can relax on the sand, go for a swim in the sea and the best part is it costs nothing at all! Lahinch is also a brilliant town with a great atmosphere. If you enjoy people watching this is the perfect place for you! There’s always so much happening especially during the summer.
Do you have a car? Why not consider a road trip around Ireland this summer! Here’s two road trip ideas from Carzone to get you started.
Keem Bay, Achill Island to Leenane, Connemara via Doolough Valley
The drive from Keem Bay in Achill Island, to Leenane in Connemara is one of the most scenic in Ireland and a great choice for a summer road trip. The drive is 115km and is best enjoyed if you are spending some time in either Mayo or Galway. Make sure to stop at Keem Bay for a day at the beach, which was named Ireland’s best beach by Lonely Planet this year.
Glencree to Glendalough via the Sally Gap
The drive from Glencree to Glendalough via the Sally Gap is one of the most popular in Ireland and will suit many as it can also be started in Bray or Enniskerry. Both of these starting points will also bring you onto Old Military Road which runs across the spine of the Wicklow Mountains. Once you reach the Sally Gap crossroads, you can continue south towards Glendalough, drive west to Blessington Lakes or East to Roundwood. The latter will also bring you to Glendalough, but via the stunning lakes of Lough Tay and Lough Dan.
We hope this guide gives you some ideas of how to spend your time this summer without breaking the bank!
By Lauren Allen