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36 Hours In Dublin Travel Guide

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Fáilte to Dublin! I ran away to this city right after graduating college and had a blast exploring it and the rest of Ireland. I knew we had to add Ireland to our list of stops during our honeymoon. With a bit of knowledge under my belt already, and more after this second trip, I had to put together a Dublin city guide for first-timers. Read on to find an itinerary of activities, or scroll to the bottom for quick lists and recommendations for what to pack! 

Read on to find an itinerary of activities, or scroll to the bottom for a Google map, quick lists of eats/things to do and also recommendations for what to pack!dublin travel guide


Day One


*Make sure to land in Dublin no later than 2pm to follow this itinerary.

How to get from the airport to Dublin city center: Skip Uber or a taxi as it’ll run you easily 60 Euros. Instead, follow the signs for the bus and take the Airlink into town. You can buy a one-way pass for 7 Euros with a credit card at the bus stop. The bus has wifi and takes you right into town in about 30 minutes.

Where to stay: Find a hotel near Temple Bar, Trinity College or Stephens Green. This is the downtown area and everything will be in walking distance. If you have a high budget, stay at the Westin Dublin. Middle budget, The Lombard or at an Airbnb – use THIS link for $40 off your stay! Low budget, head to Abigail’s Hostel (stayed here my first time to Ireland and loved it!)

3pm: Checkin to your hotel! Use this time to freshen up and change into something comfortable to get a big day of exploring in. The sidewalks aren’t always even, so wear comfy shoes and bring a jacket as the weather can change quickly. I recommend walking up and down the river and around Temple Bar to get your bearings and take in the sights. On a nice day, walk all the way to Phoenix Park.


temple bar woman white sweater black pants
temple bar woman white sweater black pants

4:45pm: Grab a Guinness at Temple Bar (the big red one that a lot of tourists will be taking a photo of) or go for a Whiskey tasting next door – you had a long flight, you deserve it! The staff at the whiskey bar are incredibly friendly and you can get a flight for about 10 Euros. Guinness will run about 6 Euros at the Temple Bar, and most places around Dublin. Stay for a few songs, there is usually live music playing.

5:30pm: For dinner, head to Cleaver East to hit up their happy hour special. You’ll get a great discount off food, almost 50%. We dined on a deliciously fancy meal for a fraction of the price. The decor in here is great – think hipster butcher. It’s just a few minutes walk from the Temple Bar.

7:30pm: walk back through Temple Bar or across the river for more beer and live music. You are in Ireland, after all! Click here for information on a live music tour.

9-11pm: Bedtime (have to adjust to that time change!)


Day Two


9am: For breakfast, walk over to the Bakehouse along the river. They have an excellent homemade breakfast, plus the decor is very cute! Stop in the cafe next door for a Guinness hot chocolate or the donut shop a few stores down for some seriously good donuts. Dubliners are obsessed with donuts – I swear we walked by over 20 during our time there.

10am: After breakfast, walk across the river over to Trinity College. There is a walking tour you can take that is 14 Euros (I believe) and this covers your admission to the Book of Kells. Tickets are that much just for the books, so you might as well get a good tour in first! The campus is huge and has so much history. If it’s not raining, make sure to take the tour. The Book of Kells is worth it for the library alone – it makes you feel like you walked into Hogworts. Very magical.

the bakehouse dublin
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book of kells

trinity college camel coat woman
trinity college camel coat woman
dublin whiskey tastingdublin whiskey tasting
dublin whiskey tasting
dublin whiskey tasting
aran sweater market dublin
stephens green park ireland
stephens green park ireland blue shirt woman

11:30am: After getting your fill of history, head across the street for a Whiskey Tasting and shopping at the Aran Sweater Market. There is the Whiskey Museum, where you can take a tour or simply buy a glass or flight like we did. They have a great view of the street below. After, head a few doors down to the Aran Sweater Market to shop Irish wool goods. The Aran Islands are beautiful islands off the coast of Galway (I spent a week there when I first visited Ireland) and they are known for their amazing wool clothing. We picked up a sweater and some gifts.

1pm: Stephens Green is a beautiful park near the heart of Dublin. There’s a few ponds and lots of grass to lay out in. Make sure to walk around at the least. If it’s sunny, bring some cheese, breads, etc and picnic here for lunch!

2:00pm: Around this point in the day, start walking towards St. James Gate for your Guinness tour. Leave some time to explore the city along the way. If you haven’t had lunch yet, swing by the Cornish Pasty shop in Temple Bar for a takeaway pasty. There’s a cool church along the way you can stop in along with shops.

3pm: Guinness Storehouse Tour! We loved our tour! Make sure to buy tickets ahead of time, though the time doesn’t really matter as you have free reign of the brewery. Instead of checking tickets, you can redeem them for beer – either at one of the bars or at the Guinness school. We chose the school so we could learn how to properly pour a beer (and drink it after) They have a sky bar, which has the most stunning view of Dublin. It gets crowded in the afternoon, so perhaps go in the morning if that’s important to you. Don’t forget to try a Guinness pale ale while you are at the brewery, which is only available in Dublin so it’s rare! Robin and I loved our tour here. They have 7 floors of things to see and do. Set aside at least 2 hours, more if you want to have a few beers.

guinness storehouse dublin ireland

guinness storehouse dublin ireland

guinness storehouse dublin ireland
guinness storehouse dublin ireland sweater

5:30pm: After your tour, walk back towards Temple Bar/ Trinity College area and find a pub either along the way or in the area to grab a pub dinner in. You can trip and land in a pub here, so find one that suits your mood.

Late Night Snack: Donuts for dessert. City is full of shops, it’s a Dublin thing I think. Pick one close to your hotel and take them back to your room. On that note, they also have more Starbucks in a 6 block radius than Seattle,  I swear.


Day Three


8am: Grab a traditional Irish breakfast this morning. Try Queen of Tarts Cow Lane for a hearty breakfast!

9am: Use this time to explore anything you missed yesterday. Stop by Cornish pasty for to-go if you didn’t try them yesterday – they are very, very good here and make a great traveling lunch!

11am: Checkout! Time to head to Southern Ireland?

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dublin ireland
trinity college globe


 

Best Pubs + Tasting Rooms

Temple Bar

Temple Bar Whiskey Tasting Room

Mulligan’s

Guinness Storehouse Skybar

Vintage Cocktail Club

37 Dawson Street

 

Best Eats

Cleaver East

The Bakehouse

Forest & Marcy

The Pig’s Ear

 

What To Pack


I hope this guide helps you plan your visit to Dublin, Ireland! If you have any tips or questions, leave a comment below!

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Erica D Ardali
    October 26, 2017 at 11:07 am

    I saw a very inexpensive vacation package to Ireland and always wondered what’s there to see? Thanks for sharing all the neat things to do in Ireland.

    • Reply
      Kara
      October 26, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      You should book it! There’s so much to do in Ireland!

      Kara

  • Reply
    Courtney Blacher
    October 26, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Abigail’s Hostel is $15 per night? If it is, wow, it’s really cheap!! And I most say, your outfit here is absolutely gorgeous!

    • Reply
      Kara
      October 26, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Courtney! It was pretty darn cheap and at least 8 years ago was a good bang for your buck!

      Kara

  • Reply
    Tanvi Rastogi
    October 26, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I have been meaning to visit Ireland for last 2 years – your post makes me want to book it sooner than later. Loved all the pictures.

    ❥ tanvii.com

  • Reply
    swikriti
    October 27, 2017 at 1:16 am

    i love to travel but at less expense . I am glad you did so many things in dublin within budget.I must say its a perfect guide who are planning to travel dublin

  • Reply
    Preet
    October 27, 2017 at 2:52 am

    What a beautiful place Dublin is. Your post came at the right time, and breaking it down by day and time is so helpful. You look very pretty!

  • Reply
    Thena
    October 27, 2017 at 4:13 am

    Looks like you had a great 36 hours and made the most of it. Never been but looks really neat. Great pics!

  • Reply
    Shubhada Bhide
    October 27, 2017 at 5:05 am

    It looks like a great place to visit. I really love the pictures, it seems that you are having a great time there in Dublin. I will definitely put this on my bucket list to our next family travel.

  • Reply
    Candy Rachelle
    October 27, 2017 at 7:18 am

    This is such a beautiful place to visit. That picture makes me want to go in Ireland immediately. Lol!! I will pin this.

  • Reply
    Sue Tanya McHorgh
    October 27, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Dublin is definitely a place i would love to visit. Your pictures are so great.

  • Reply
    Amy Dong
    October 27, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    That Bakehouse looks divine. The library would be a dreamy place to hang out at. And the breweries – of course! They look magnificent! How fun to do all those tastings and flights.

  • Reply
    pj
    November 3, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Your photos are gorgeous! They made me want to hop on a plane and go to Dublin immediately! Thanks for the great hotel information and where to go!

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