With summer fast approaching you may be planning a couple of city breaks to make the most of the weather. And with Ireland ranked as one of the top tourist destinations, it is a great place to start.
The cities on the Emerald Isle have lots on offer for the ultimate get-away but to make the most of a weekend it is best to have an idea of what you want to see. Each place has its own unique qualities with popular historical sites and hidden gems all within reach.
Starting with the capital, here is a 2-day Dublin Itinerary which includes some ideas to pack out your two days and make it a weekend to remember.
Breakfast in Bewley’s
If you like to start your day with coffee then Bewley’s on Grafton Street is where your weekend should begin. Their traditional full Irish breakfast is a great way to keep you going with any of the alternative options equally satisfying.
Bewley’s first opened its doors in 1927 and has been a firm favourite among literary and creative icons ever since. The building on Grafton Street is a delightful spot to sit amidst stunning stained glass windows and the rich aroma of Bewley’s signature blend in the air.
Bewley’s story is a fascinating journey and kept alive with tours every Saturday morning from 9 am. For early risers, the café is open from 7.30 am Monday – Friday or 8 am on Saturday.
Address: 78- 79 Grafton Street, Dublin, D02 K033, Ireland
St. Stephen’s Green
After breakfast take some time to enjoy Grafton Street before the crowds. Wander up the cobbles toward St. Stephen’s Green where you can soak up the morning atmosphere in 22 acres of Victorian Park.
The lake is a great spot to feed the ducks and there is also a children’s playground and a waterfall. Not to mention rows of stunningly maintained flowerbeds and shrubbery.
Address: St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
Trinity College Library
Head back out of the park for the next ‘must-see’ in the capital. St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre is to your left if you fancy a browse. Otherwise, continue back down Grafton Street towards Trinity College.
Step back in time as you enter the 18th-century gates of the world-famous university before taking in the Old Library and The Book of Kells. Exhibitions are usually held in the Long Room, home to 200,000 books displayed on solid oak shelves.
Address: College Green, Dublin 2
Once you have absorbed enough academic energy, cross the road towards Dublin’s Central Bank and make your way to Temple Bar. A regular haunt for local musicians and global stars, Temple Bar oozes character and cool city vibes.
Bag yourself a bargain in one of the many fantastic vintage shops. (Lucy’s Lounge in Fownes Street is one of our favourites and opens from 12 pm Thursday – Saturday and from 2 pm Sunday)
At this stage, you might be in need of a watering hole so head to The Temple Bar for a well-earned drink and a bite to eat. Feast on oysters, smoked salmon or gourmet sandwiches (all locally sourced) while tapping your toes to the traditional live session going on in the background.
Address: 47/48 Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 N725
The Guinness Storehouse
If you can resist sitting in the pub all day then push on through Crown Alley and onto the Quays. You will see the Ha’penny Bridge in front of you where it used to cost (yes, you’ve guessed it) half a penny to cross.
No need today though. Take a left down Merchants Quay and walk or bus it to the holy grail of breweries…The Guinness Storehouse at St James’s Gate. Admire the architecture of the building while learning about 250 years of brewing Ireland’s favourite pint.
Tours take place from 9.30am until 5 pm every day and you even get to enjoy a free pint of Guinness in the Gravity bar over-looking the wonderful city.
The Guinness Storehouse is a must-see on your 2-day Dublin Itinerary.
Dinner and a show
Dublin is a great city for a night at the theatre. The Gaiety, Olympia, Abbey or Gate Theatre are all fantastic venues to catch a show. They encompass the authentic culture enjoyed in this fair city for centuries and productions are always top class.
For pre-theatre dinner, The Trocadero on St Andrew’s Street is a classic choice. They are experts in offering a superb menu and excellent ambience to start an evening out. Or if you would rather eat later they have a supper menu to chose from after the show.
Address: 4 St Andrew’s Street, Dublin, D02 ET32
Start the second day of your 2-day Dublin Itinerary on the other side of the River Liffey with breakfast at the Lemon Jelly Café on Millennium Walkway. They open at 8.45 am at the weekend and have a delicious menu ranging from a full Irish to tasty crepes.
The location of the Café is perfect to explore this side of the city so take your time over a pot of tea and enjoy a spot of people watching.
Address: Millennium Walkway, North City, Dublin 1, D01 Y027
National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland
Ok, so this might make any culture vultures recoil in horror, but it is just around the corner on Jervis Street and lots of fun for any children travelling with you (big or small!)
Ireland was built from mythical stories and legendary characters and this is a fun way of learning a thing or two about our heritage and folklore. Take a tour, listen to stories and indulge your inner quest for that pot of gold.
Address: Twilfit House, Jervis Street, Dublin 1
Next on your 2-day Dublin Itinerary, head towards O’Connell Street to see some historical landmarks. The Daniel O’Connell monument stands at the south end of the street with visible bullet holes from the 1916 Easter Rising.
The General Post Office (GPO), most famously known as the rebel base during the Rising, sits halfway up the street, with under the clock at Cleary’s a popular meeting point for generations.
Charles Stewart Parnell, Jim Larkin, Father Theobald Mathew, Sir John Grey and William Smith O’Brien will guide you up O’Connell Street toward the Spire. A somewhat controversial structure, standing 150 meters tall constructed to celebrate the new millennium.
To some Dubliners, it is more representative of the economic struggles of the city with many referring to it as ‘The Spike’, ‘The Stiletto in the Ghetto’ or ‘The Binge Syringe’, among other less than tasteful nicknames.
Hop on the DART, Dublin’s train line, and head North to the fishing village of Howth. The journey is a great chance to catch a glimpse of Dublin in its everyday glory.
Howth is the last stop on the DART line so there is no need to worry about missing it. Once you arrive, the pier is directly beside the station and is a lovely place to stretch your legs, inhale some fresh sea air or even spot a friendly seal bobbing up and down in the harbour.
There is a fantastic selection of restaurants and cafes along the pier with seafood options particularly delicious. Crabby Joe’s is a great spot for an affordable lunch before catching a bus to the summit.
Travel through the quaint village before reaching the hill of Howth where you can admire awesome sea views and take the cliff walk as far as time will allow.
Before heading back to the city why not have a cheeky pint in The Bloody Stream? The lively pub is right under the DART station so it’d be rude not to.
The Grand Finale
For your last evening of your 2-day Dublin Itinerary, there is only one thing to do and that is to visit some of the best pubs in the world. Heading back to Temple Bar will feel like going home. Enjoy a drink in one of the world famous pubs along the cobbled streets before choosing a restaurant for some vital soakage.
The Elephant and Castle restaurant in Temple Bar has the most delicious buffalo wings you will ever eat in your life. Or for a super vegan and vegetarian menu head to Cornucopia on Wicklow Street for a big feed.
Once your stomach is suitably lined, grab a pint in the Hairy Lemon on Stephen Street Lower before ending the night at a live gig in one of Dublin’s best venues, Whelan’s on Wexford Street.
Whelan’s is fantastic for live music events most nights of the week with Saturday sessions particularly popular so book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Open until 2 am mid-week and 3 am over the weekend, this is one night you won’t forget. Although it might take you a while to recover!
Address: 25 Wexford Street, Portobello, Dublin, D02 H527