Dublin is a fantastic holiday destination. It's famous for many things: culture, music, literature, beer and the craic (as the Irish call having a good time). Unfortunately, a trip to the Irish capital can be expensive, but it is perfectly possible to have a great time in Dublin without spending a lot of money.
The following five things are all part of the real Dublin experience and completely free.
Listen to the buskers on Grafton street
Some of the greatest bands of the world have started their careers on the streets of Dublin. U2, for example, busked on Grafton Street back in their school days. Ireland is known for its music and you'll find world class performers exercising their art for free. Although, of course, if you can spare a few Euro to throw into the hat, it will be greatly appreciated.
Visit a park
Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle, and its capital is full of greenery. There are some excellent public parks in Dublin.
Smack bang in the middle of the city centre there's the famous St. Stephen's Green. It's a wonderful place to have a picnic, and you can feed the ducks or go for a stroll among the flowers. If you're travelling with little people, a visit to the playground is a given.
Located to the west along the Liffey Valley lays the largest urban park in the world. Stretching some 700 hectares, the Phoenix park is home to Dublin Zoo, a large obelix, the residence of the Irish president, and several herds of deer.
Visit a museum
Admission to the three branches of the National Museum of Ireland is completely free of charge. The archeological museum on Dawson Street displays the treasures of Ireland's early Christian and Celtic history, as well as an impressive collection of bog bodies. The natural history museum is fondly referred to by Dubliners as the 'Dead Zoo'. Going inside is like stepping back into Victorian times. Collin's Barracks museum has an impressive collection of more contemporary Irish art and culture.
Take a picture with someone famous
Dublin is full of public statues, and it can be lots of fun to scout them out. Molly Malone with her cart full of cockles and mussels embodies the history and culture of the Dublin people.
Famous author Oscar Wilde lounges on a rock in the Merrion Square Park. His colourful statue reflects the love of beautiful things he had in life.
Singer Phil Lynnot of rock band Thin Lizzy poses with his guitar in Harry street. He represents the more recent generations of Dubliners who have made their name worldwide.
Go for a cliff walk
Get out of the hustle and bustle of the city for a few hours. The cheap and frequent DART trains will bring you to Howth in just half an hour. This wonderful fishing village has a lovely food market on Saturdays and Sundays, and it is also the starting point for a number of looped cliff walks of varying lengths and difficulties. Just ten kilometers from the city centre, you'll think yourself in the rugged wilds of the Irish countryside.
The above five ideas are just a small sample of what Ireland's capital has to offer. So pack your umbrella and your walking shoes, and come visit the Fair city on the Liffey. One thing is for sure: you won't get bored, even on a small budget.