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Dublin, Ireland is home to numerous iconic sights and historic attractions – and the best way to see them is on a Dublin Walking Tour. We have devised a go-at-your-own-pace Free Self Guided Walking Tour of Dublin that features the best of the city.
The top places to visit in Dublin are clustered together in the heart of the city center, which allows guests the opportunity to explore on foot. Travelers can use our easy-to-follow Self-Guided Dublin Walking Tour to navigate to the top sights…for free! We even include a helpful Dublin Walking Tour Map to help you make your way.
Free Walking Tour Dublin, Ireland
Our free walking tour of Dublin is a self-guided adventure to top attractions. The walk focuses on downtown Dublin and is an easy, flat stroll through the city center. Our Dublin sightseeing tour, without any stops, should take about 2 hours at a casual pace.
How To Use Our Free Walking Tour Dublin
For each sight on our Dublin free tour, we provide a brief introduction, as well as some background information. Additionally, we include directions from one sight to the next. You will find our helpful map of Dublin tourist attractions – plus a printable Dublin, Ireland tour map – at the end of the article.
The route includes 15 Must-See Dublin Attractions, many of which can be entered. Some sights are free, while other require a ticket (we indicate if there is an admission fee). If you plan on entering several sights, the Dublin Pass will likely save you money and so will our article covering 50 Free Things To Do in Dublin!
Why Use Our Dublin Walking Tour Free Route
If you only have one day, this free walking tour of Dublin, Ireland will surely get you acquainted with the city, as it includes stops at all the top things to see. Visitors can complete the walk of Dublin highlights in just 2 hours, but those who are entering attractions can plan a full day of sightseeing.
Those with 2 days in Dublin – or more – can use our Free Tour Dublin Walk on the first day of their trip to get oriented. We also offer recommendations for more things to do in Dublin at the end of the article.
Free Tours Dublin: What You Need To Know
Our Free Tour of Dublin, Ireland is as advertised: absolutely free! Visitors simply follow our step-by-step tour as outlined below to the top sights. Our self-guided tour allows travelers to experience Dublin at their own pace and enter attractions as desired.
Walking Tour Dublin: Free & Guided
Visitors will see touts for many Free Tours in Dublin that are guide-led. However, it is essential to understand that a Guided Dublin Free Walking Tour is not, in fact, free. These Free Walking Tours Dublin are tip based – and guides expect (and hopefully deserve) tips.
While we have outlined our Best Free Walking Tour of Dublin, visitors may opt to join one of the many guided tours. There are many themed guided walks in Dublin, including historical walking tours, street art tours and Dublin food tours. We feature a few of the highly-rated Dublin walking tours – that are guided and require a fee – at the end of the article.
Save, Pin or Bookmark our Free Dublin Walk to use during your trip to Ireland!
Dublin Walking Tour: 15 Sights To See
Our self-guided, free tour of Dublin begins at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Use the provided links or the downtown Dublin Map at the end of the post to navigate from sight to sight.
#1 St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland
The first sight on our city tour of Dublin is the iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It was on this site that in 450 AD St. Patrick baptized the first Irish converts. St. Patrick’s Cathedral was completed in 1191 and is the largest church in Ireland. The spire reaches 140 feet.
The cathedral is one of the top attractions in Dublin and visiting requires an entry ticket. Buy your ticket now and download it to your phone!
Map Directions from St. Patrick’s Cathedral to St. Stephen’s Green.
#2 St. Stephen’s Green
The second attraction on our Dublin, Ireland sightseeing tour is St. Stephen’s Green. The 22-acre park in the center of Dublin was created in 1664 and has been open to the public since 1880. St. Stephen’s Green features a pond, a bandstand, memorials, statues, several paths and green lawns. If you wish, you can visit the official site for more information about the park.
If there is time in your Dublin itinerary, consider having a relaxing picnic in the park. Alternatively, explore the area directly north of St. Stephen’s Green. Top attractions in the vicinity are museums (The Little Museum of Dublin, The National Museum of Ireland Archeology, The National Gallery of Ireland), the Irish parliament building (called Leinster), the historic Mansion House (the residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin) and Merrion Square Park.
Map Directions from Saint Stephen’s Green to Grafton Street.
#3 Grafton Street
The pedestrian-only shopping district, Grafton Street, is the next stop on our tour – and one of the must-see sights in Dublin. Grafton Street leads from St. Stephen’s Green to Trinity College and features long-standing stores, recognizable brands, and historic cafes.
Sights to look for are the Brown Thomas Department Store (opened in 1849), Weir & Sons jewelry store (opened in 1869) and Bewley’s Café (opened in 1927).
Grafton Street is also popular with street performers and musicians that entertain the passers-by. In fact, even U2’s Bono has performed on Grafton. No Dublin visit is complete without strolling the iconic street.
Map Directions from Grafton Street to Irish Whiskey Museum.
#4 Irish Whiskey Museum
Whiskey is firmly part of Irish history. Today, distilleries dot the city landscape – each one offering their own story and tastings of their product. At the Irish Whiskey Museum, however, visitors get an unbiased version of the history of Irish whiskey…plus a chance to taste the product from several distillers.
The Irish Whiskey Museum is conveniently located on Grafton Street – making it a popular stop on walking tours in Dublin, Ireland.
While tickets are required for the tour and tasting experiences at the Irish Whiskey Museum, visitors are free to stop in and check out the bar and shop. If you are skipping the guided tour, brush up on your Irish whiskey history.
Map Directions from Irish Whiskey Museum to Trinity College.
#5 Dublin Trinity College
The famous Trinity College is the next stop on our Dublin walk (and it’s just across the street from the Whiskey Museum).
Established in 1592, Trinity College is Ireland’s oldest university and a must see in Dublin. The official name is College of the “Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin”, but is just called Trinity College for short.
Some of the college’s famous attendees are Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, Samuel Becket and Courtney Love. The 47-acre campus has buildings arranged in squares around a bell tower and the library houses the Book of Kells (buy your fast-track ticket).
Map Directions from Trinity College to the Irish House of Parliament.
#6 Irish House of Parliament
Directly opposite the main entrance to Trinity College is the former Irish House of Parliament, and today houses the Bank of Ireland. The building is both architecturally and historically significant, which is why it is an important stop on walks around Dublin.
Built in the mid-1700s, the Irish House of Parliament was the first ever specifically designed parliament structure, in that it featured an interior with a dual chamber – one for the House of Lords and one for the House of Commons. It’s a design that is still used today in bicameral government buildings around the world.
In the year 1800, however, it was inside the building that the parliament voted (under bribery and threat of King George III) to abolish itself in order to unite Ireland and Britain under as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It was a relationship that only lasted 22 years.
One odd thing to note about the building is the absence of windows. While there are places for windows, glass panes were never installed as there was a Window Tax that would have driven up the cost.
Want to take a fun detour? Just around the corner from the House of Parliament is one of the most famous statues in Dublin – the Molly Malone Statue (MAP). Walk past the front of the Parliament House and turn left on Church Lane and walk about a block to find the famous Molly Malone. She is a character in an Irish song – a fishmonger by day and prostitute by night. The statue is often referred to as ‘The Tart with the Cart’ and visitors rub her bosoms for good luck.
Map Directions from Parliament Building to O’Connell Street.
#7 O’Connell Street and The Spire
Continue your Free Dublin Walking Tour by making your way north to the O’ Connell Street Bridge. Standing on the bridge, look up the stretch of O’Connell Street as it leads north from the River Liffey. The street has been the site of massive protests, the annual St. Patrick’s Day parades, shellings during the 1916 Easter Rising and a bombing of the Nelson Pillar in 1966.
The street is named after the influential Daniel O’Connell (who is called The Liberator for his part in the Catholic Emancipation and his efforts to repeal the 1800 Act of Union). His statue stands at the north end of the bridge.
Further along the street are many other statues featuring some of Ireland’s most celebrated figures – as well as the Spire of Dublin. Officially called Monument of Light, the Spire was built on the site of Nelson’s Pillar and reaches a height of 390 feet. The needle-like monument stands as a symbol of Dublin.
Map Directions from O’Connell Bridge to Ha’Penny Bridge.
#8 River Liffey and the Ha’Penny Bridge
The next sight on our free Dublin Tour is the River Liffey. The river runs through the center of Dublin, dividing the city into north and south. The river has been an important part of the city’s trade since the time of the Vikings.
Several bridges span the river, including three that are designated pedestrian-only, which makes for nice walks in Dublin. The most popular footbridge is the Liffey Bridge, which dates to 1816 and is better known as the Ha’ Penny Bridge for the 1/2 pence toll once required to cross it.
Map Directions from River Liffey to Temple Bar District.
#9 The Dublin Temple Bar District
Every Dublin itinerary should include one or two stops at a traditional pub! The energetic Temple Bar District on the south side of the river is chock-full of Irish pubs, restaurants and tourist shops – and is one of the Dublin areas most visited by tourists.
Enter the district through the Merchant’s Arch, directly across from Ha’Penny Bridge and turn right onto Temple Bar. It’s fun to simply roam, but Temple Bar Street is not to be missed!
The Temple Bar District is one of the best places in Dublin for a Pub Crawl (like this one!). Several of the bars have a line-up of live music starting mid-day and going late into the night. Our favorite pubs in the district are The Temple Bar and The Quays.
Map Directions from Temple Bar to Dame Street and the Olympia Theater.
#10 Dame Street Dublin and The Olympia Theater
The next stop on our free tour of Dublin is Dame Street, a major thoroughfare through the heart of Dublin City Centre. Lined with a mishmash of architectural styles, the street is home to numerous banking institutions, restaurants and shops.
That said, the still-operating Olympia Theater is, perhaps, the most prominent landmark on the street. Opened in 1879, The Olympia Theater is the premier theater and concert hall in the Dublin city center.
The stage has seen a slew of famous acts from Charlie Chaplin to Mumford & Sons. The theater underwent a major overhaul in the 1970s and the original iron and glass awning had to be completely restored after a truck crashed into it in 2004. For more about the history – and upcoming events – visit the official website.
Map Directions from Olympia Theater to Dublin City Hall.
#11 Dublin City Hall
Built as the Royal Exchange in the mid-1800s, the building was transferred to the city government and renamed Dublin City Hall in 1850. The building is still used by the Dublin City Council today.
It is free to visit Dublin City Hall. Step inside the rotunda, where giant columns support the domed ceiling. The murals on the walls of the rotunda tell the story of Dublin’s history, which the tiled floor mosaic depicts the city’s Coat of Arms.
Map Directions from Dublin City Hall to the Dublin Castle.
#12 Dublin Castle
Next up on our Dublin historic walking tour is the grand Dublin Castle. The Dublin Castle was built between 1208 and 1220 as the residence of viceroys.
Although the castle is now used as a conference center and event complex, the buildings of Dublin Castle represent some of the oldest architecture in the city. It remains one of the top tourist attractions in Dublin. It is free to walk on the grounds, but a ticket is required for admission inside, where they also offer tours of Dublin Castle. Get more details for you visit.
Map Directions from Dublin Castle to Christ Church Cathedral.
#13 Christ Church Cathedral of Dublin
The Christ Church Cathedral is the next stop on our tour. One of the top attractions in Dublin, Ireland, the Christ Church Cathedral dates to Medieval times.
The church was built around the year 1030 – making it older than St. Patrick’s and one of the best places to visit in Dublin for a history lesson. It was expanded in 1171, but most of the current structure was built between 1871 and 1878. An entry ticket is required for admission, unless you are there to pray. Visit the official Christ Church website for more information.
Map Directions from Christ Church Cathedral to John’s Lane Church.
#14 John’s Lane Church
Although lesser-known than St. Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedral, we think the John’s Lane Church is one of the Dublin hidden gems, which is why we include it in our free Dublin walking tour.
The church was built on the previous site of St. John’s Hospital between 1862 and 1895. The French Gothic steeple reaches over 200 feet and is the tallest in Dublin – however, it is the colorful interior that is most striking. John’s Lane Church is one of the churches you can enter in Dublin for free.
Map Directions from John’s Lane Church to The Brazen Head Pub.
#15 The Brazen Head
Claiming to be Ireland’s oldest pub, The Brazen Head is said to have origins dating back to the year 1198. The classic Irish pub features quaint rooms, three bars and live music.
The traditional Brazen Head pub is a perfect place to stop for a pint at the end of a Dublin Self-Guided Walking Tour. For more information, read our article about The Brazen Head and be sure to also check out our Guide to Dublin’s Best Pubs!
MAP OF CITY CENTER DUBLIN, IRELAND
When embarking on Self Guided Walking Tours of Dublin, Ireland, a map is a must! We provided map links to each sight on our free Dublin walk, but we have a few more maps that will help you get from the first to the last stop!
Walking Route for Self Guided Tours in Dublin
Use this link to Google for a Dublin sightseeing map that has turn-by-turn directions for our Self-Guided Walking Tour Dublin, Ireland. Note: While the map does not list every sight, the route is inclusive of all the stops on our tour.
Interactive City Center Map: Dublin, Ireland
Use this link to a Interactive Downtown Dublin Map to help route your way to the sights and attractions listed on our Self-Guided Dublin Walking Tour.
Dublin, Ireland Self-Guided Walking Tour Map PRINTABLE
This is a printable map of Dublin. To print our Dublin, Ireland must-see map, first click on the map to enlarge it, then right-click and select Print.
More Tours and Guided Walks in Dublin
Our above outlined free tour of Dublin is a great way to see the city. In fact, we think it is the Best Free Walking Tour Dublin that allows visitors to see the city at their own pace.
However, visitors who want to learn more about the history of Dublin and meet fellow travelers may want to consider joining a Dublin tour guide for their walk.
The guided tours in Dublin range in price and duration – and focus on specific themes.
Dublin Historical Walking Tour
The history of Dublin is fascinating. Join one of the easy 2-hour walking tours of Dublin that focuses on that vibrant history. Led by a local guide, participants are guided through the city while listening to the interesting facts and information that shaped Dublin. Get the details!
Dublin Pub Crawl
When we think about things to do in Dublin, the first thing that comes to mind is drinking in pubs. We could have easily spent our days in Dublin doing nothing more than sipping pints of Guinness goodness; it really does taste better in Dublin!
However, then we would have missed out on Dublin sightseeing – and we weren’t going to visit Dublin and not see the top tourist attractions!
After a day of Dublin city sightseeing, however, visit the best pubs in Temple Bar on one of the entertaining Dublin night tours to the best bars! Book this tour!
Dublin Dark Side Walking Tour
There is a dark side to Dublin – as evidenced by gruesome stories of the past. On the Dark Dublin Tour participants will learn about the brothels and witches and the Hellfire Club while waltzing through back alleys and dark city streets. Book it…if you dare!
Ghost Tour Dublin
Join one of the Dublin guided tours to the spookiest spots in town! Learn the haunted history of Dublin on a spooky Gravedigger Ghost Tour. Note: This is a bus tour…which will give your feet a much-needed rest. Find out more!
Dublin Literary Pub Crawl
Follow in the footsteps of Ireland’s most famous writers…to the pubs, of course! On this Dublin Literary Tour, listen to stories of the great writers and learn about Dublin’s pub culture. Book the Literary Pub Crawl!
1916 Tour Dublin
The 1916 Tour is a Dublin history tour that focuses on the events of the Uprising. The 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour includes visiting key locations, re-enactments and multi-media presentations for a unique experience. Learn more!
Pro Tip: Looking for free walking tours about the Easter Rising? Use the Self Guided Dublin Walking Tour audio guide podcast for a basic intro.
Food Tour in Dublin
Join a guide for a grazing tour of Dublin on this highly rated Food Tour. Learn about the history and local cuisine while feasting your way past city sights. Reserve your space!
Alternatively, embark on a journey to experience the contemporary food culture with the best bites at a few of the top restaurants. Get the details!
Street Art Tour Dublin
The city of Dublin has a vibrant street art scene. Visitors interested in learning more about the alternative side of Dublin can join the Street Art Tour to find off the beaten path local haunts. Book it!
Dublin Private City Tour
Those who want a personal introduction can join one of the Dublin Private Walking Tours. On this private tour, visitors get to see Dublin with the help of a local guide. Get the details!
For more themed Dublin walking tours, check out these of Dublin City Tours.
More Fun Dublin, Ireland Tours
Once you have the lay of the land, indulge in a few essential Dublin experiences and tours.
- Visit Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse for a connoisseur tasting
- Head to the Jameson Distillery for a lesson on Irish whiskey
- Take a River Liffey cruise
Hop On Hop Off Dublin Tour Bus
Visitors interested in sightseeing without all the walking can catch a ride on one of the Dublin Bus Tours. The Dublin sightseeing bus routes make stops at (or near) all of the top attractions. The bus tickets also include other perks, like on-board commentary, discounts at top sights and a guided Dublin walking tour.
Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off Bus Dublin
The classic, red Hop On Hop Off Tour in Dublin has two routes that stop at 28 places of interest – plus two walking tours included in the price. Visitors can opt for a 1- or 2-Day Pass.
Green Do Dublin Hop On Hop Off Bus
Do Dublin is another tour company that offers a Hop On Hop Off Dublin, Ireland bus service. In addition to the 24- and 48-hour bus tickets, the Dublin tour company tickets also include transportation to and from the airport, as well as use of all Dublin city bus routes – plus free admission to The Little Museum of Dublin.
Top Tip: A Dublin City Bus Tour is also included in the Dublin Pass, which can save money on entry into sights, too!
Tours and Day Trips From Dublin, Ireland
Use the city as a base and explore Ireland on one of many Dublin day trips. Visitors can explore on their own or join one of the highly rated tours that explores the region outside of Dublin City Center.
One of our favorite getaways is a short jaunt to the coastal village of Howth. Visitors can easily plan their own Day Trip To Howth – or book a guided trip. Other simple day trips from Dublin include the beachside community of Bray and the lovely village of Malahide.
Other popular day tours from Dublin include seeing the stunning Cliffs of Moher (with a stop in quaint Doolin), Visiting Galway or making a trip to the Blarney Castle (and kissing the Blarney Stone, of course!).
Dublin day tours are offered by many companies. Read reviews from fellow travelers to find the best Ireland tours from Dublin on Viator!
Travel Tips For Your Dublin Trip
We have just a few final tips for your trip to Dublin! Planning an Ireland trip can feel a bit overwhelming – so we are outlining the essentials below – like where to stay, how to get there and what to pack.
As you make your plans, you will find that staying organized is key. To stay on top of all the details, use our Printable Travel Planner, which includes 25+ pages of travel organization!
Where To Stay in Dublin, Ireland
We think the best place to stay in Dublin, Ireland is in the center, where it is easy to access the top sights and attractions on foot.
That said, during the summer tourist season, top value hotels book up quickly – so you will want to make sure you secure Dublin accommodations in advance of your trip. Before you start your search, read our tips for Booking the Best Hotels.
Two of the highly-rated Dublin hotels are Leonardo Dublin Christchurch and Temple Bar Inn. Budget travelers can search for Dublin Hostels – like Garden Lane Backpackers. Finding a vacation rental through Airbnb is another option on your vacation to Ireland.
Getting To Dublin, Ireland
Dublin can be reached by plane, train, bus, or ferry. Our preferred method of getting anywhere is by flying, we are JetSettingFools, after all! When we do need to purchase cheap plane tickets, we start our search for the best deals on airline fares on Skyscanner.
Flying to Dublin from the US is easy, with direct flights from DC, Philadelphia, Boston, NYC, Chicago, and SFO. Additionally, DUB is well-connected with all major European hubs like London, Frankfurt, Paris, Madrid, Lisbon and Amsterdam!
To get between destinations when flights are not possible, we usually rely on public transportation and take trains or buses. Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann provide bus transportation services in Ireland.
Dublin Walking Tours: What You Will Need
Now that you know all about the Best Walking Tours of Dublin – plus other fun activities and essentials – it’s time to get ready for your sightseeing!
Although Downtown Dublin, Ireland is a very walkable, travelers will want to ensure they pack comfortable city walking shoes. I like to wear lightweight, rubber-soled shoes, like Columbia shoes or NB Trainers. Kris prefers wearing Merrell trail shoes, even in the city!
Ireland Weather Attire
The weather in Dublin is always unpredictable. It’s best to bring along a packable raincoat or travel umbrella for your free walking tour of Dublin. For those sunny moments, don’t forget sunglasses, sunscreen and a wide-brimmed travel hat.
Whether you travel with a backpack or a suitcase, you will also want to have a great day bag to organize all your daily travel essentials. When we explore a city on foot, we like to wear small backpacks where we can stow our wallets, keys, map, jacket and umbrella.
On walking tours of Dublin, Ireland visitors see heaps of top sights. While many travelers use their phone, we believe it is best to invest in an actual travel camera that will take high-quality photographs. We carry a Canon Rebel with a 18-135mm lens. This DSLR is a perfect budget camera for beginner photographers – as it comes bundled with heaps of accessories and is easy to use!
In our free Dublin Walking Tour, we include map links to get from sight to sight. However, in order to use those links, you will need a WiFi Connection. While many US cellphone providers offer temporary international data packages, they can be expensive! Instead, we recommend purchasing a WiFi Mobile Hotspot.
Not only can we connect up to ten devices at one time (which is perfect for families or friends traveling together), but we purchase an eSIM in advance and are connected the minute we touch down off that long-haul flight. We would be lost without it – literally! That said, we still think it is also a good idea to carry a paper Dublin map and/or guidebook.
Ireland Travel Insurance
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