Take advantage of the free entertainment on offer on some of Dublin’s streets – there are lots of buskers, especially on Grafton Street, in this music-minded city. Enjoy traditional music for free at a real Irish pub like the Cobblestone in Smithfield, where talented musicians (including the pub’s owner) play tunes every night. Whelan’s is Dublin’s legendary live music venue, where many massive stars of today started out. Besides bands, there are stand-up comedy nights and music showcases. You have to buy tickets to the actual gigs, but you can also just have a drink and soak up the atmosphere. Classical music lovers on a budget should drop into the Sunday@Noon concerts at the Hugh Lane Gallery, in the beautiful sculpture gallery. They run every weekend from June to September, and are free beyond a suggested donation of €2.
Theatre in Ireland is a bargain compared with most other countries. You can get free tickets to the Abbey (the national theatre) when they are previewing a show, but even so, tickets at smaller theatres can be as cheap as €15-€20. There are often free events and festivals too, such as the City Spectacular festival, which features Irish and international street performers, or Heritage Week, when many of the city’s buildings open their doors for events such as story-telling and pop-up exhibitions. Even if you don’t get lucky with a festival, Dublin’s Talking Statues will tell you the stories of 12 Dublin greats, via an app that is free to download to your phone.
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