Our guide to the perfect 24 hours in Dublin.
Dublin packs quite the punch when it comes to things to do. The city is steeped in history and there is an abundance of museums, memorials, cathedrals and churches, venues, restaurants, cafes and centres, each offering a slice of insight into what makes Dublin, and Ireland as a whole, so darn special.
With tourism soaring like never before the streets are buzzing with those eager to experience our Celtic culture, which is renowned worldwide.
So, whether you’re a tourist about to take on the capital city, or a local looking to experience Dublin in a new way, check out our guide on how to spend 24 hours in Dublin.
Start out early with a cup of coffee from one of Dublin’s most reputable speciality coffee shops. As the coffee trend sweeps the globe, top-notch brews are now available in abundance; seek out Kaph on Drury Street or Clement & Pekoe on South William Street to be impressed.
Once you’ve got that pep in your step, walk through George’s Street Arcade – Europe’s and Ireland’s oldest shopping centre – in the Creative Quarter, to Dublin Castle before moving on to St Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s most-impressive national cathedral.
After, grab breakfast in Two Pups – a rustic little café favoured by locals. With its chilled Irish charm and scrumptious plates of avocado and eggs, French toast or freshly baked scones, you’re bound to leave happy. Note: Two Pups is – as you may have guessed – dog-friendly.
Once your stomach is satisfied head back to the streets of Dublin in pursuit of the Guinness Storehouse – Dublin’s number one tourist destination. As a fundamental cornerstone of our culture, a trip to Dublin would not be complete without a visit here!
The St James’s Gate factory produces over 30 millions pints a day and by the end of the tour, when the thirst has kicked in, head on up to the Guinness 360 rooftop Gravity Bar where you get to pull your very own pint of “the black stuff” (as the locals call it!).
In the afternoon, walk or bus the short distance to Kilmainham Gaol and be spooked with stories of prisoners and their wicked pasts, as well as learning about many Irish revolutionaries who fought for our independence.
En route you will pass IMMA (the Irish Museum of Modern Art), a fantastic museum with stunning grounds and well worth a look if time permits!
Afterwards, hop a bus back towards the city and have lunch in Queen of Tarts, just off Dame Street on Cows Lane. This cosy little café offers a stunning selection of sweet treats, lunch dishes and fresh food for those on the go.
Next up, head towards Trinity College – Ireland’s most prestigious university where the likes of Oscar Wilde and Francis Bacon studied – to see the Book of Kells, one of Ireland’s most significant pieces of cultural history.
This impressively decorated 9th-century manuscript, which depicts the life of the four gospels and Jesus Christ, is a treasure and symbol of our legacy and one of the most visited tourist destinations in the heart of Dublin. Open seven days a week, this is an experience best booked in advance due to the sheer number of eager beavers waiting to catch a glimpse of our past.
In the evening head towards Temple Bar – Dublin’s Cultural Quarter – for some live music, cold pints and a great offering of Irish fare.
First up, start in the aptly named pub The Temple Bar for a pint of Guinness. After today’s experience at the Storehouse, we can guarantee you’ll be converted to “the black stuff” for good. Live music will ensue and a good time all round is guaranteed. They also have the only licensed garden in the quarter making it an even more ideal place to have a pint.
Head towards Gallagher’s Boxty House to try your hand at boxty – a traditional Irish dish – in a modern Irish restaurant before walking under the famous Temple Bar archway that leads out on to the River Liffey and the famous Ha’Penny Bridge (the perfect Dublin city Instagram-moment).
There you will find a great lively bar called Merchant’s Arch which boasts some of the best live music in the city, a nice crowd and friendly staff who are always up for a chinwag.
It is there that you can then reflect on what has been a great day pounding the pavement in Dublin city and exploring a culture celebrated worldwide.