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9 genuinely fun things to do for free in Dublin this January

For broke and dry January.

JANUARY IS BLEAK. Loads of people aren’t drinking, the holidays are over, and payday seems about ten years off.

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That’s why it’s time to do some free stuff, preferably on the dry… well, alcohol does cost money doesn’t it?

Here are a few tips that cost next to nothing.

1. Take a cycle to Howth Head via Malahide

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If you have a bike, excellent. If not, you can get a three day Dublin bike subscription for just €3. That’ll hardly break the bank. Uphill cycling from Malahide Castle and down the Coast Road offers amazing views of Dublin Bay. Don’t stop until your legs are in a heap. Find a map and video of the route over on, or pick out one that suits you better.

2. Scope out a gig

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Upstairs in Whelan’s is usually free if you get in before 10.30pm, especially during the Midnight Hour where the city’s freshest new bands put on a showcase. If you can resist the temptation of beer, Doyle’s also features a bunch of new bands with no entry fee. Others to try include Sin É, Sweeneys, and the Turks Head.

3. Visit the IMMA

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If you’re not interested in modern art, you’ll at least get a baffled laugh out of some of the more unusual exhibits. Admission is free and you don’t even have to go inside to get a taste of what the IMMA has to offer, which outdoor exhibitions taking up most of the grounds. The Royal Hospital Kilmainham is also a good place to sit with some food or a good book, just clean up after yourself, yeah?

4. Rate Dubin’s buskers

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Do a busker tour of Dublin, starting at the end of Grafton street, up O’Connell Street, over the bridge through Westmoreland street into Temple Bar and up Grafton street to the big finales around Stephen’s Green. Even if they’re brutal, they’ll give you something to smile abou

5. The Little Museum

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Make January the month you see a bit of the city instead of sitting in with Netflix and tea. The Little Museum is about the most danity and interesting museums in the city. It’s just off Stephen’s Green and the best place to start if you want to visit a museum and not be bored to tears.

6. Soak up a festival

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The Temple Bar Tradfest kicks off on January 27. Some events like The Dublin Legends, The Tradfest Music Trail, and The Fureys are completely free, but you’ll have to get tickets first. Go FULL TOURIST.

7. Have some craic in the Phoenix Park

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Pack up with car with a picnic and take some sports equipment of choice up the Phoenix Park. You’ll feel amazing after the exercise and tea just tastes better outdoors and from a flask.

8. Do a walking tour of Dublin

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You can either go anti-social and download a Dublin Tourism iWalks podcast which will guide you around, or Sandeman’s Walking Tours are completely free and last about three hours.

9. Enjoy a comedy gig

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Keep an eye out for a free or seriously cheap comedy gig in the city. The Patriots Inn in Kilmainham has a monthly night, Inn Jokes, absolutely free of charge. While The International hosts the comedy cellar every Tuesday for a €2.50 per person if you get on their mailing list, featuring some of the best rising talent in the country. Keep an eye on The Stag’s Head and The Woolshed for free gigs popping up throughout the month, too.

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