Sitting pretty on the River Liffey and surrounded by rolling green hills, the capital of the emerald isle is an intimate city. Dublin offers a warm welcome to travelers who come to explore the buzzing historic streets, with traditional pubs and hipster cafés never too far away.
To really get to know this vibrant Irish city, free walking tours in Dublin are a good bet. Here’s how they work.
How do free walking tours in Dublin work?
Free tours in Dublin are the latest exciting concept to hit the city streets. Hop on the bandwagon and reap the rewards as you explore this popular Irish destination with an expert.
For these excursions, the price is not set upfront. Instead, it’s determined by the traveler after the tour. You decide how much to tip the guide, depending on the quality of the experience.
Reservations are free of charge. Just take some cash for the tip on the day.
How much should you tip for a free walking tour in Dublin?
It’s easy to suggest that you should decide how much to tip for free walking tours in Dublin. However, we understand that can be a bit daunting.
So, we can reveal that most participants give between €10 and €15 per person. If you have really enjoyed the experience, feel free to offer more.
The trick is to take the tour length into consideration, as well as the knowledge of your guide.
What are the best free walking tours in Dublin?
There are several types of walking tour to choose from in Dublin, each with a different theme. Read on to discover which most takes your fancy. You can always book more than one if you have the time.
Classic Dublin free walking tours
Discover the iconic landmarks, neighborhoods, and stories that make the city so popular on one of these traditional free walking tours in Dublin. You’ll mostly be exploring the south side of the city.
Your first stop is the Temple Bar District, famed for its cobbled lanes, pub folk music, and craft boutiques. Next up is Trinity College, where you’ll have your fill of elegant Georgian and Victorian buildings and quaint squares. It’s the oldest university in Ireland and one of the most-visited sights in the country!
Other highlights include two majestic cathedrals - St. Patrick’s and Christ Church – as well as a stroll over the charming Ha’penny and O’Connell Bridge. The City Hall and the Old House of Parliament at College Green feature on several tours too.
Finish your walk in the historic heart of the city at Dublin Castle and its beautiful gardens. Once a stronghold, today the castle is a major government complex. Some excursions end with a glass of locally made Guinness at a local tavern.
North Dublin free walking tours
Across the other side of the River Liffey lies the northern part of Dublin, the site of some of the city’s most significant historical episodes. It was here that the Easter Rising of 1916 took place, as well as the emergence of the infamous Irish Republican Army.
As you wander the streets you’ll go on a journey through time, taking in stunning architecture along the way. Top buildings of note include the Bank of Ireland and the Customs House – the latter is an 18th-century Neoclassical gem.
Swing by Silicon Docks, which were built to energize the economic recovery of Ireland. Then stop at the Liffey River memorial to learn about the Great Irish Potato Famine. It left over a million dead and forced countless others to emigrate to the United States.
The free tour finishes at the General Post Office, which was the scene of the Easter Rising. You’ll go away with a greater understanding of past events that have left their mark on the capital today.
Legends and mysteries free walking tours
On these intriguing free Dublin walking tours, your guide will tell you tales of the Celts, Christians, and Vikings who have shaped the identity of Dublin through the centuries. You’ll feel like you are walking in their footsteps as you wander through the city.
Hear spooky stories of unsavory characters and grisly happenings that took place right here in these neighborhoods. You will be visiting lesser-known sights like Darkey Kelly’s Pub, named after a local brothel madam and serial killer who was burned at the state in 1761. Today the inn is famed for its traditional Irish music.
Other highlights of the free tour include Jonathan Swift’s Alley, which was once the stomping ground of the famous Dublin author. Finish up with a pint at the world-renowned Brazen Head pub – it’s the oldest watering hole in Dublin!
In which languages are free walking tours in Dublin operated?
Most free tours in Dublin are conducted in either English or Spanish so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding a suitable excursion. More languages, like German, French or Italian, may be added in the future as the popularity of this type of tour increases.
Where do free walking tours in Dublin start?
You'll find that classic free walking tours in Dublin usually begin at The Spire in the center of the city. Some also start from beside the Molly Malone statue in Bernardo Square, or at the intersection of Foster Place and College Green. One excursion asks you to meet at the Wolfe Tone Sculpture by the entrance to St. Stephen’s Green.
For both the North Dublin tours and the legends and mysteries walks, you will need to make your way to Bernardo Square.
How long do free walking tours in Dublin last?
Dublin walking tours generally last around 2.5 hours, although if you are tight on time there are some excursions that take just 1 hour and 15 minutes. Meanwhile, a couple of tours run for 3 hours, giving you ample time to really soak up the sights.
When is the best time to join a free walking tour in Dublin?
Free walking tours in Dublin operate throughout the day, with more options available in the morning. This is the quietest time in the city, meaning your group can move more easily through the streets.
Some excursions take place during the afternoon and early evening if you prefer a later start to the day.
Try and book a walking tour for your first day in town – it’s a great introduction to Dublin and will help you to find your way around.
Should Dublin free walking tours be booked online?
Dublin is a very popular destination so it’s always a good idea to book excursions in advance of your visit. Places do fill up fast so planning ahead is key to a successful visit.
Having a prior reservation also saves you research time when you are in the city. It means you can just relax and enjoy your trip without having to search for tours while you are there.
No pre-payment is required to book free walking tours in Dublin, and you can cancel without charge if your schedule changes nearer the time.