My 24 thousand steps free day

A blog by @mircwalsh

My 24 thousand steps free day


How many times have you turned down a day in the city because you have no money?  A fun day out doesn’t always have to revolve around money. On 18 March I decided to spend a “free day” in the city. With a budget of €0 I had to find my way into the city, find food and find things to do for 10 hours all for free.

Finding stuff to do for free is not as daunting as it first sounds. Think of it like this, what would you do if you were a tourist in your own town? There are parks, museums, galleries and more that are all free to visit.img_2173

Starting off the day and finding your way into the city for free can be challenging. Just think of any friends or family that may be working or studying and grab a lift off them. Arrange a time to meet them in the afternoon and you may even have your life home. Sorted!

Getting food is another big challenge. No day should be started on an empty stomach so getting breakfast is top priority. Chambers swap shop on Washington St is a great place to start. Taking in unwanted clothes they offer credit, which can be used in exchange for food or other clothes and accessories. It is important to note that depending on the swap shops need at the time they may not take all clothes so it is good to bring a variety of clothes. On the day I visited they didn’t want tops or jeans but settled for a skirt, which gave me enough credit to buy a cup of tea and a scone. The swap shop is open daily from 10am – 7pm. In a situation where you may be left with some clothes that they didn’t take why not take a trip to North Main St where there are many charity shops who would be delighted with your contribution.

Fed and happy it is now time to explore the city. Why not head to UCC. The Glucksman, which has free entry often, holds exhibitions the current exhibition Grin and Bear it opened at the end of March and runs until June. The gallery is closed on Mondays but open every other day. Why not give them a call to check the times. Other art exhibitions can be seen at The Crawford in Emmet Place.img_2181

After the Glucksman Fitzgerald’s park is only minutes away. You can enjoy a nice river walk or sit and feed the ducks; with a play ground for the kids it is a good way to pass time. Also in park is the Archaeology museum, which is the home to artifacts throughout the ages.

Heading back into the city a good place to stop is the English Market. After a busy few hours in the gallery and the park this is a great place to get a snack. Many of the merchants offer free tasters of cheese, chocolate and nuts a good way to explore new foods and take a break. Along the way why not walk through Bishop Lucey Park. Supermarkets like Tesco are also good to check out. This week they  were giving out free samples of a new Muller light product. 

Food is not the only free sample you can get in the city. Many beauty and cosmetic stores offer free samples, Great if you don’t know what you are looking for or if your not sure about a product or like on this occasion you are having a free day.  Lush on Oliver Plunkett St will offer free samples of most of their products as well as free demonstrations and the odd hand massage. It is quite pricey to try some products if you’re not sure so asking for a sample is a good idea. Asking for a new vanilla body lotion the sales assistant presented me with a small tub to try at home. Enough for a few uses I could decide if I liked the product or not. Make up stores like Debenhams and Brown Thomas offer the same opportunity to try out their products.img_2218

If you’re interested in the Arts places like the Granary and The Triskel arts centre, and the Firkin Crane in Shandon often hold free exhibitions including One Book, One Shandon on 1 April in The Firkin Crane.The Firkin Crane centre is not the only place to go in Shandon St. Why not consider ringing the Shandon Bells. It is surprising how many Cork people have never tried to play three blind mice on the bells.

Looking back I had a fun day and it didn’t cost me a cent. Wearing a pedometer I calculated walking over  24343 steps/ 15 kilometres so comfy shoes over heels would be a good recommendation. Hours of fun can be had in the city, from the parks to the bells so next time you put your hand in your pocket for food or the cinema consider the alternatives.