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What are the Best Free Activities in Ireland?

Admit it, we all love a bargain! And the best kind of bargain is one that costs absolutely nothing. They say the best things in life are free, and we have to agree. That’s why we include as much as possible in our Small Group Ireland Tours, so you have nothing to worry about during your trip.

To give you an idea of what’s possible on your Ireland vacation, we have put together a list of five fun things you can enjoy for free!

Have any questions for us? Just get in touch for the answers you need.

Watch a Gaelic Football and Hurling Match in Ireland

What: Gaelic football and hurling are our national team sports in Ireland. The passion of the players and supporters is something everyone must experience at least once in their lives. These sports have been compared to warriors fighting it out on the battlefield rather than playing a team sport!

Where: Every county, village, and town has a football and hurling team. You are bound to find a match on your tour of Ireland, just keep your eyes peeled!

When: Senior and minor matches are played throughout the year up and down the country. The All Ireland Championship matches are held during the summer with the two best county teams in both Gaelic football and hurling battling it out in Croke Park, Dublin in September. If you are lucky enough to secure an All-Ireland Final ticket, it will be an experience you will never forget.

Eat Ice Cream and Artisan Cheese for Free in Ireland


What: Many artisan food shops have a try-before-you-buy policy! Two of our favourites are Sheridans Cheese Mongers in Galway and Murphys Ice Cream Shop in Kerry. The wonderful staff in both shops will talk you through their vast selection of delicious treats and make sure you taste and pick the perfect cheeses and ice cream. My mouth is watering at the thought of a scoop of Caramelised Brown Bread ice cream or Cashel Blue with Sheridans’ own-brand cheese chutney!

Where: Sheridans Cheese Mongers have locations in Galway, Meath, Dublin, and Waterford. Murphy’s Handmade Dingle ice cream shops have popped up in Killarney, Kildare, Wicklow, and, of course, in the capital city of Dublin.

When: Hail, rain, or shine, there is always time for some ice cream and cheese on your Ireland tour!

Watch Pig Racing at a Country Fair on Your Tour of Ireland

What: It is traditional in country towns and villages to have a fair or heritage day each year. One of the most entertaining activities we have seen is pig racing on Heritage Day in one of our favourite towns along the Wild Atlantic Way. Small saddles and toy jockeys are attached to pigs and they are released down the street for the race. Local bettors set the odds and people lay down a couple of Euro to see the best pig win! It’s so much fun cheering on your pig!

Where: Belmullet, Co Mayo. Although many fairs take place across Ireland during the summer, each has its own quirky traditions and activities. Another famous fair is the Puck Fair in Kilorglin, Co Kerry. Here, the Goat is crowned King or the Matchmaking Fair in Lisdoonvarna where hundreds come to find love and meet with Ireland’s only matchmaker.

If all this sounds like your idea of fun, we think you’ll love reading our picks for the best small villages in Ireland to visit.

When: August 15

Free Traditional Music and Dancing in Ireland

What: While there seems to be an infinite number of pubs in Ireland, we know our guests want to experience some traditional Irish music and dancing while sinking a pint of the black stuff. We have found some of the best free traditional sessions throughout Ireland and, of course, they are free.

You can find even more great local insights about budgeting for your Ireland vacation in our blog What is the Cost of a Trip to Ireland?

Where: Tigh Cóilí in Galway City have two trad music sessions every day and we highly recommend an Irish Dancing extravaganza at Fitzsimons in Temple Bar, Dublin. Throughout your trip, there will be ample opportunity to experience Irish music and craic in every town and village!

When: Every night!

Visit an Authentic Claddagh Thatched Cottage in Galway, Ireland

What: This authentic cottage has been restored to reflect how people lived in the famous fishing village of Claddagh. Guests are invited to step through the half door, take a look around the cottage, and learn about the history of the area. The cottage is a two-minute walk from the Latin Quarter of Galway City.

Where: The Claddagh Village, Galway City.

When: Katie’s Claddagh Cottage is open to visitors each day from 10:00 – 19:00.

Now you’re nearly finished here, we think you’ll appreciate reading our Ultimate Guide to Getting Around Ireland next.

Start Planning Your Tour of Ireland!

We hope this blog has inspired you to start planning your own Ireland vacation. Find out more about our small-group tours of Ireland and find the perfect trip for you. If you’re more of an independent spirit, check out our Ireland self-drive tour packages.

For more information about any of our offerings, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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