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How to have a day out in Dublin without spending a cent


An exhibit in the Political Ephemera Exhibition in the National Print Museum.

An exhibit in the Political Ephemera Exhibition in the National Print Museum.

An exhibit in the Political Ephemera Exhibition in the National Print Museum.

An exhibit in the Political Ephemera Exhibition in the National Print Museum.


It’s the weekend and suddenly you realise you’re skint. It’s fine, relax. Without any money your weekend can actually be even more fun-filled, because we’ve figured out how to spend an entire day in Dublin city without spending a cent. Here's how

10am – Merrion Square Art Gallery

Kick off the day with a little culture, fresh air and an appreciation for some of our countries most talented amateur and professional

artists. This is window shopping with a difference: feast your eyes on the cluttered railings of scenic landscapes, portraits and untitled

quirky artistic creations. Bring a hot coffee in a screw top flask, to fit in with the resident arty set.


10.30am - The Iveagh Gardens

Walk, skip, jump, run or crawl across to the sanctuary of arguably Dublin’s most exquisite gardens. If you choose to crawl, please do not

let anyone you know see you. Hidden behind stone walls – and the National Concert Hall – is this secret haven of beautiful water

features and manicured lawns. A must-see for Sunday morning strollers (or crawlers.)


11am – Temple Bar Book Market

Book worms won’t want to miss out on second-hand book bargains. A rare first edition gem might be lurking somewhere beneath all this musty

odour – along with a signed copy of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. That book seems to show up everywhere.


12 Noon – The National Gallery, Merrion Square West

Your confidence in art has now grown since the public gallery at Merrion Square so it’s time to aghast at the stunning masterpieces at

The National Gallery. The free tour begins at 12.30 where you can learn how Caravaggio’s The Taking Of Christ went incognito on Leeson

Street for years. It’s now on indefinite loan to the gallery from the kind Jesuit folk who didn’t realise their living room painting was actually priceless.


2pm – National Museum, Kildare Street

Go straight downstairs to the impressive exhibition on The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats, and learn about Yeats’ wonderful way

with words and his unorthodox relationship with Maud Gonne, and her daughter Iseult.


3pm – The National Print Museum, Haddington Road.

At this time on Sundays the museum offers a free guided tour of the permanent collection, with no prior booking required. A panel of

active retired printers and typesetters demonstrate traditional letter press printing which has been around for centuries.


4pm– Chester Beatty Library: Dublin Castle

Aside from the library’s prized exhibits, manuscript collections and artistic treasures Chester Beatty also boasts a trendy roof garden that

would blow Dermot Bannon’s contemporary mind. It’s worth a peek. Incidentally, Chester Beatty is described by the Lonely Planet as one

of the best museum’s in Europe.


5pm  – The Science Gallery, The Naughton Institute, Pearse Street,

Trinity College

Now, for the science part: from life logging exhibitions to state-of-the-art installations to understanding the science of life

and how, as humans, we are all connected there really is something for everyone at The Science Gallery. FYI – This is a four-star tourist

attraction on Trip Advisor.


6pm – Saucy Sundays, The Grand Social

Seven new acts take to the stage every Sunday – and acts to have performed here include The Strypes and the Hot Sprockets. Or if Jazz is more your scene see below:


6.30pm – Sweeney’s Dixieland Jazzmen, Sweeney’s pub Dame Street.

The best of jazz in Dublin, located on the pub’s ground floor. Sweeney’s website advises to get in early to get a good seat. Finishes

at 8.30pm. However, if the chaos of high energy jazz makes you feel slightly queasy then see below:


7pm – Creative Arts Slot, Accents Café, Stephen Street Lower

It’s a creative arts slot, so anything goes. Expect some chilled out live acoustic performances though. Oh, and Accents Café dish out free

cake to customers on their birthdays! Is today your birthday? (wink wink). This night runs most Sundays, but not every Sunday, I’m told,

but most. If none of the aforementioned evening slots are of interest to you then how about a religious experience that could change your

life? See below


7.30pm – Gardiner Street Gospel Choir, Gardiner Street Church.

This church slogan reads: “The mass with a difference, that makes a difference.” Offering a different kind of liturgy, the soul’s of these

mass goers will feel fuller from the rapturous sounds of the Gospel Choir, funky band and the complimentary coffee, tea and biscuits at

the gossipy gathering afterwards. Yes, this church feeds its parishioners, but can its priest turn the water into wine?


8.30pm– The Comedy Crunch, The Stags Head, Dame Court

A free comedy night which offers free ice cream! A laugh and a lick sensation at the same time. The Comedy Crunch recently celebrated its

500th show and due to popular demand the night runs on Mondays and Tuesdays too – with ice cream. Did we mention the free ice cream?!


11pm – BeepBeep’s BopShop, Grand Social, Liffey Street

We’re back at the Grand Social, just in time for a rockabilly bop with DJ Beep Beep McQ. Enjoy!


Getting around on the cheap:
If you’re already a Dublin bike member, avoid any charges by reaching each destination within 30 minutes.

For free events alerts: Log onto http://www.dublineventguide.com and sign up for the site’s email of regular free events not to be missed.


More freebies!

Accents Café

* This quirky city centre coffee shop runs a weekly Saturday night stand-up comedy event called Numinous, performed by Robert Coyle (8pm

– 9.30pm)

* Accents also host a monthly Sunday night variety show of comedy, poetry and music performances called A-musing and is created and

hosted by Dave Hynes (7pm – 9pm on the last Sunday of every month.)


The International Bar

This alternative night of rip roaring comedy and spoken word is titled A-musing @ the circle sessions and runs every Monday night downstairs

from 8pm until 11pm.


Jack Nealons, Capel Street

A special night of spoken word and comedy, Mixed Messages is a quality night of entertainment and happens again on Friday 13th March. This

night is free in but don’t be surprised if you see the organiser walking around with a donation jar at the end of the night – give a voluntary donation of €5 if you feel like it.


Stags Head, Dame Court

The Whiskey Session happens every second Wednesday of every month and features some excellent homegrown musicians performing eclectic covers and original songs also. The next one happens on March 11th.