Wondering how you can conquer Dublin in a day? Okay, maybe not conquer - but at least see a healthy mix of sights to make it feel like you were actually THERE, not just passing through?
Let’s just say we've speed-dated more than a city or two. And we’re here to help you, too, get a well-rounded experience in the capitol city of Ireland. We would have loved to have spent more time in Dublin, but we had to head to TBEX in Killarney.
While there are plenty of ways to enjoy a single day in Dublin, here is how we spent our 24 hours there! It's in no way an exhaustive list but it will at least give you a general guideline if you only have a short period of time to spend in Dublin.
Our Day in Dublin
1. Get Your Caffeine Boost at Nick's Coffee
First thing's first: Get the day started with an espresso beverage at Nick’s Coffee in the Ranelagh neighborhood, a cute little coffee stand that’s popular with the local to-go set.
2. Have a Hearty Brunch at Dillinger's
Next, grab some top-rated American-style brunch at Dillinger’s, featuring huuuuge stacks of French toast and fluffiest pancakes you’ll ever see stacked with generous portions of bacon between every layer. And if you’re craving something more savory, the Huevos Rancheros or Steak and Eggs are just as yummy and #instagrammable!
OH, and they make their own ginger beer here - try it!
3. Visit the Historic and Holy: Saint Patrick's Cathedral
Walk off your food baby and head north to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the surrounding gardens, a must-visit landmark absolutely steeped in Irish history, dating back to 1220. We opted out of waiting in line and paying to go inside the Church due to time constraints (and honestly, we were perfectly content seeing the outside), but that is totally up to you.
4. Peruse Around Dublin Castle
Heading closer to the River Liffey is Dublin Castle, another must-see. Walk around the grounds, snap some photos, and soak up the history. If you only have one day, you'll probably want to opt out of any guided tours so you can go at your own pace.
5. Have a Pint at Guinness Storehouse
We highly recommend that you visit either the Guinness Storehouse or the Jameson Distillery for an immersive tour through the history of these iconic Irish alcohol brands. With our limited amount of time, we chose the Guinness Storehouse as it seemed to be so intrinsic to the history of Dublin. It was a fun and informative way to spend an afternoon - whether you’re a drinker or not. The self-guided tour is completed with a trip to their sky bar with panoramic views of the city!
And yes, it’s true - Guinness does taste better straight from the source!
6. Take a Stroll Along the Temple Bar Neighborhood
The historic neighborhood of Temple Bar is where you will find endless traditional pubs with live music, spread amongst charming cobblestone streets and along the River Liffey.
Walking along the River Liffey, you can view the iconic Ha'penny Bridge that was constructed over 200 years ago.
7. Enjoy a Storytelling Dinner at Brazen Head (But Make Reservations!)
We were hoping to have an immersive storytelling dinner experience at Brazen Head, Ireland's oldest pub, but unfortunately tickets were long sold out. While we didn't get to have this experience yet, we fully intend to next time and figure it would be a shame to leave it out of our post.
We did, however, end up eating at The Shack Restaurant in Temple Bar, and the fish chowder and cottage pie were delicious!
8. Of Course, Head to an Irish Pub for Live Folk Music
Since no Dublin evening is complete without a sing-along at the pub, you’d be doing a disservice not to find live Irish folk music…which isn’t very difficult, particularly in the Temple Bar neighborhood.
Perhaps you could choose the iconic Temple Bar itself, which is quite large and charming - but crowded.
If you prefer to avoid the crowds, you could venture around the neighborhood and step into any number of pubs featuring live music to enjoy.
We ended up in Bad Ass Temple Bar and had a great time singing along to popular songs performed live by a two-man show.
If you’re looking for a slightly less “traditional” route and a slightly more hip one to complete your night, you may want to give the Workman’s Club a try. Total hipster vibe with multiple rooms of music and bars as well as different food stands within the venue.
9. Nightcaps: Enjoy Late Night Music at The Globe
Our nightcap was found at The Globe, a late night bar and music venue that is open til at least 3am every night. We wandered into The Globe after hearing what sounded like a jukebox playing 50s music — turns out, it was a live Jukebox Trio! It was a very unique and fun experience.
While there are endless ways to experience a city, we hope this peek into our day in Dublin helps you plan your bite-sized tour of Baile Átha Cliath!
Have more Dublin travel tips to share? Go ahead, let us know in the comments - we're by no means Dublin experts, just happened to have a day to spend in Dublin!
Looking to learn more about Ireland? We did a self-drive tour through Ireland and wrote about it! We also have a whole bunch of posts on Europe if you'd like to learn more about traveling through this diverse, historical part of the world!