36 Hours In Dublin Travel Guide

36 Hours In Dublin Travel Guide

Fáilte to Dublin! I ran away to this city right after graduating college and had a blast exploring it and the rest of Ireland as a teenager. So I was thrilled to take my new husband, Robin, back to Ireland as part of our long European honeymoon road trip! 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 put together a 36 hours in Dublin city guide for first-time visitors! Read on to find a detailed day-by-day itinerary of things to do in Dublin, or scroll to the bottom for quick lists of eats/activities and recommendations for what to pack! 

dublin travel guide

Got any Dublin questions? DM me on Instagram @thewhimsysoul or leave a comment below – I’m happy to help!

Read on to find an itinerary of activities and general trips to Dublin tips! Or, scroll to the bottom for a Google map of places to visit, quick lists what to do in Dublin, and also recommendations for what to pack!


BEST HOTELS IN DUBLIN IRELAND


Find a hotel near Temple Bar, Trinity College or Stephens Green. This is the downtown area and everything will be in walking distance.

Westin Dublin: A beautiful upscale hotel in the center of the city.

The Lombard: Just steps from Trinity College and over a pub.

Airbnb: If you need more space, we love using Airbnbs while traveling! (Use THIS link for $40 off your stay!)

Abigail’s Hostel: I stayed here my first time to Ireland and loved it! It’s one of the best hostels I’ve been to in the world.


DAY ONE IN DUBLIN


*Make sure to land in Dublin no later than 2pm to follow this itinerary! If you land earlier, modify as you see fit. 

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 downtown in about 30 minutes! Pretty much everyone on the bus will be lugging a suitcase and there is plenty of luggage racks to store your bag for the duration of the ride.

3pm

Check in to your hotel or Airbnb! Use this time to freshen up after your long flight from the United States 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.

3:30pm

I recommend taking time right away to get your bearings and do some quick explore. Try walking up and down the River Liffey and around Temple Bar district to get a feel for the place. 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 Pub – it’s the big red one that a lot of tourists will be taking a photo of. Yes, it’s a bit “touristy” but it’s a LOT of fun and a really great way to kick off your 36 hours in Dublin. 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.

Or go for a Whiskey tasting next door. The staff at the whiskey bar are incredibly friendly and you can get a flight for about 10 Euros. You can travel to Dublin, Ireland without trying some Irish whiskey!

5:30pm

For dinner, head to Cleaver East to hit up their happy hour special. You’ll get a great discount on food and craft beer, almost 50% off! We dined on a deliciously fancy meal for a fraction of the price. The decor in here is great – think hipster meets butcher. It’s just a few minutes walk from the Temple Bar and after your flight, you’ll be starving.

7:30pm

After dinner, walk back through the Temple Bar district or across the river for more beer and live music at any pub that piques your interest. You are in Ireland, after all! Click here to book a really fun live music pub crawl tour!

9-11pm

If you have energy, stay out at pubs listening to live music. Or, head back to your hotel to get some rest!


DAY TWO IN DUBLIN


9am

For breakfast, walk over to the Bakehouse along the river. They have an excellent homemade breakfast, plus the decor is very Americana 1950’s style diner 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 shops 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 Book of Kells, 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 Hogwarts. Very magical.

11:30am

After getting your fill of history at The Book of Kells, 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 views of the street below. (Buy tickets in advance here!)

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 on the islands when I first visited Ireland! They are known for their amazing wool clothing. We picked up a sweater and some gifts.

the bakehouse dublin
pink house dublin ireland
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

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. Take a walk around this park! If it’s sunny, bring some cheese, bread, etc and picnic here for lunch! Or, head a few blocks down to Merrion Square near Kildare Street for more fun places to walk!

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. Munch it on your way to Christ Church Cathedral, a really beautiful church that’s on your way to St. James Gate.

3pm

Guinness Storehouse Tour! We loved our tour! Make sure to buy tickets ahead of time so you c can skip the line. The exact time doesn’t really matter as you have free reign of the brewery, just make sure to not book the last time slot of the day! 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.

Pro tip: 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 to sip without the crazy crowds. 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. It’s a one of the best places to visit in Dublin!

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 a nice, cheap pub dinner in. I love Irish pub food after a long day of exploring. If it’s raining out, literally nothing makes me happier than a hot strew, a cold beer and an Irish pub. 36 hours in Dublin requires at least one pub stew!

Late Night Snack

Donuts for dessert! This city is full of donut 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. The Irish love their donuts and coffee!


DAY THREE IN DUBLIN


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, Scotland or England, eh?

(Read my Scotland travel guide here, my London city guide here and my Roadtripping Ireland guide here!)

dublin church denim jacket
dublin ireland woman chocolate
dublin ireland
trinity college globe

TOP DUBLIN IRELAND THINGS TO DO


Grab at beer at the Temple Bar Pub

Go Whiskey Tasting

Tour Trinity College

See The Book of Kells

Go Shopping on Grafton Street

Walk along River Liffey

Explore Phoenix Park

Feed ducks at Stephens Green

Cross the Penny Bridge

Tour the Guinness Factory

Eat hot pub stew!

Visit the National Museum

Visit the Christ Church Cathedral

Live music pub crawl

 


BEST TASTING ROOMS + PUBS IN DUBLIN


Temple Bar

Temple Bar Whiskey Tasting Room

Mulligan’s

Guinness Storehouse Skybar

Vintage Cocktail Club

37 Dawson Street

 


BEST RESTAURANTS IN DUBLIN


Cleaver East

The Bakehouse

Forest & Marcy

The Pig’s Ear

Klaw

Terra Madre Cafe

Fish Shop

WILDE

 

What To Pack

I hope you enjoyed my Dublin travel guide! 36 Hours in Dublin is short, but also enough time to see all the fun things in this Irish city. If you have any tips or questions, leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram @thewhimsysoul!

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13 Comments

  1. October 26, 2017 / 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.

    • Kara
      Author
      October 26, 2017 / 3:31 pm

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

      Kara

  2. October 26, 2017 / 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!

    • Kara
      Author
      October 26, 2017 / 3:32 pm

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

      Kara

  3. October 26, 2017 / 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

  4. October 27, 2017 / 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

  5. October 27, 2017 / 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!

  6. Thena
    October 27, 2017 / 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!

  7. Shubhada Bhide
    October 27, 2017 / 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.

  8. Candy Rachelle
    October 27, 2017 / 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.

  9. Sue Tanya McHorgh
    October 27, 2017 / 12:45 pm

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

  10. October 27, 2017 / 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.

  11. November 3, 2017 / 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!