Although small in size, Ireland hosts numerous attractions ranging from natural wonders to archeological and historical sites belonging to ancient eras. The country also has many museums and galleries whose unique collections attract large crowds. One of the best things about the country is that many of its top attractions can be visited for free. Here is a list of Ireland’s top free visitor attractions:
The Farmleigh is the 10th most visited free visitor attraction in Ireland. Formerly a home of the Guinness family, the Farmleigh currently serves as the official guest house of the Irish State. It is located in Castleknock, a suburb of Dublin. The estate features large areas of private gardens, a boating pond, out offices, etc. The property was opened to public visits in 2001.
9. Science Gallery At Trinity College Dublin
Located at the Trinity College in Dublin, the Science Gallery is a public science center. It was opened to the public in 2008. Interestingly, it is one of the few science centers to host only temporary exhibitions. The Science Gallery was set up with the aim to engage students with science and technology. 407,529 visitors were recorded at this venue in 2017.
8. National Museum Of Ireland, Kildare St
A branch of the National Museum of Ireland is located on Kildare Street in Dublin. It is dedicated to Irish archeology and history. Its exhibits include prehistoric Irish antiquities, treasures from ancient churches, and other artifacts from Viking and medieval times. The displays at the museum also feature foreign objects including items from Cyprus, ancient Rome, and Egypt. One can learn a lot about Irish history at this museum. Some of the Bronze age gold items are also present here. One of the most interesting exhibits at this museum include the bog bodies.
7. Doneraile Wildlife Park
The seventh most visited free attraction in Ireland, the Doneraile Wildlife Park, recorded 480,000 visitors in 2017. The park encompasses an area of 166 hectares. Deciduous tree groves, beautiful water features, and deer herds enhance the appeal of this park to the public. It is a popular recreational area where visitors enjoy long walks amidst nature.
6. Irish Museum Of Modern Art
This museum is one of the country’s most popular attractions. It is famous for its contemporary and modern art collections. The museum is based in Kilmainham, Dublin and was founded in 1990. It houses more than 3,500 works of national and international artists. The museum received 489,295 visitors in 2017.
5. DLR Lexicon1
The fifth most visited free attraction in Ireland, the DLR Lexicon1 received 525,708 visitors in 2017. It is located in Dún Laoghaire. The DLR Lexicon1 is a building which hosts a cultural center and a public library. The building offers a wide variety of facilities to readers including audiovisual lending libraries, history reference libraries, small reading rooms, open spaces, workshop venue, art gallery, etc.
4. National Botanic Gardens
The fourth most popular free visitor attraction in Ireland, the National Botanic Gardens, is located in Glasnevin. The Gardens was established in the 18th-century by the members of the Dublin Society and is today owned by the State. There are over 20,000 living plants and millions of dried specimens of plants at this venue.
3. Glendalough Site
This free attraction in Ireland is famous for its natural beauty and historical significance. It is a glacial valley in County Wicklow that hosts a monastic settlement that was established in the 6th century. St Kevin was the founder of this settlement. Today, only a few buildings of the ancient settlement still stand tall.
2. Castletown House Parklands
The second most visited free attraction in Ireland, the Castletown House and Gardens is located in County Kildare. This beautiful place is the largest and oldest Palladian-style estate in the country. It was built between 1722 and 1729 to serve as the residence of the country’s wealthiest commoner, William Connolly. Visitors to the site can learn a lot about life in 18th-century Ireland. The site was visited by 666,541 visitors in 2017.
1. National Gallery Of Ireland
The most popular free attraction in Ireland, the National Gallery, was visited by 1,065,929 visitors in 2017. It hosts an extensive collection of Irish and European art. The gallery is located in the center of Dublin city. Founded in 1854, the National Gallery was opened to the public in 1854.