How to See the Best of Dublin in 48 Hours

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Domed building with a river in foreground
The Custom House over the River Liffey, Dublin

Dublin is perfect as a weekend break, but also a starting point for you to visit Ireland.

When booking your accommodation, plan to stay at least 3 nights to ensure you visit the many iconic and interesting places in Dublin.

And if you love walking, then that is a great way how to see the best of Dublin city.

Download DUBLIN Self-Guided City Walk to plan your way around the iconic places of Dublin City. Get your Self-Guided City Walk here.

But first, here are a few tips to know before you go.

Quick Tips for Visiting Dublin

  1. Take the bus from the airport to the city centre for €12 return
  2. Try the Guinness in Dublin – it’s way better than anywhere else in the world
  3. Buy yourself a Dublin Pass for discounts for more than 30 attractions
  4. Visit the Book of Kells at lunchtime for smaller queues
  5. Bring a raincoat, even in summer



Things to Do in Dublin City Centre

Whatever time of the year you plan your visit to Dublin, these things to do in Dublin will give you a great overview of this fabulous city.

And if Dublin is the start of your Ireland experience, it is a great place to start.

Just remember to bring a light jacket.

1. Guinness Storehouse at St James Gate Brewery

Man and Woman behind a bar with a row of bottles behind them
Enjoy the Guinness Storehouse brewery

Even if you don’t drink beer, you will still love the experience of a Guinness Brewery Tour.

Tickets are best booked online, where you can choose your visiting time. While the tour is self-guided, you do get to learn the history and brewing methods from the various displays.

The precision required in the brewing, even down to the smoked barrels, to avoid tannins leaking into the product. Amazing.

However, the best part of your brewery tour is the Academy, where you learn the six stages of pouring the perfect pint.

And then drink your pint of Guinness on the observation floor with 360-degree views of Dublin City.

Book your tickets online here: Guinness Storehouse Brewery


2. Dublin Castle

Two tier building with tower
Courtyard of Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle was built in the 13th century by King John of England on an old Viking settlement.

In 1684 a fire destroyed most of the medieval castle. It was rebuilt in the Georgian style, but you can still see Viking and medieval structures on a tour of the castle.


3. St Stephen’s Green

Pond with trees and scrubs
St Stephen’s Green, Dublin

Finding a park in a large city is always appealing when you want to take a break from seeing all the points of interest.

St Stephen’s Green is a 9-hectare Victorian Park with an ornamental lake. With beautiful shrubs, trees and flower beds, it makes the park popular all year round.

FREE to enter with the opening time at 7.30 am and closes at 7 pm.

4. Shopping on Grafton Street

Shopping at St. Stephens Mall top of Grafton Street

Having a pedestrian-friendly street to shop and walk is a great asset in Dublin.

Along Grafton Street, you have many high-end shops as well as top brands. And if it starts to rain, Stephen’s Green Shopping Mall has cafes and shops to keep you busy.

For souvenirs, look for Carroll’s Irish Gifts at Stephen’s Green Shopping Mall.  The selection is extensive. Or, if you want to keep your carry-on luggage light, you can shop online at Carrolls Irish Gifts.

Look for the Molly Malone Statue on Suffolk Street, just off Grafton Street near St Andrew’s Church.

4. Trinity College

3 storey stone building, people walking in front
Trinity College, Dublin

While you can wander through the gates of Trinity College for FREE and view the various buildings, your best option is to book a guided tour.

Guided tours from a university student tell you an interesting history of the college as you walk the campus area.

The various stories will amuse you, intrigue you and leave you with a better appreciation of Trinity College. A sister college of Oxford University and Cambridge University.

The tour ticket price of €15 (2019) also includes entry to the Old University Library, where the Book of Kells is held.


5. Book of Kells in Old Library Building

High wooden ceiling with two levels of book shelves
Old Library, Trinity College

The old library of Trinity College holds the medieval gospels known as the Book of Kells. The two illuminated New Testament books date to 800 AD.

Tickets for the Book of Kells can be purchased for €13 (2019) at the entrance. But, if you already have a Trinty College tour ticket, find the separate line to enter.

Trinity College’s old library is absolutely amazing. The beautiful interior of dark wood lined with shelves and rows of books is stunning.


6. Leinster House

Three stain glass windows
Inside the National Library of Ireland

Kildare Street lies between Trinty College and St Stephen’s Green.

Leinster House, now the Irish Parliament, was once home to the Duke of Leinster, who was apparently a bit of a hoarder.

So, on either side of Leinster House is the National Library of Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland.

These buildings, built-in 1885, hold the collection of books and artefacts collected by the Duke of Leinster.

Take a look inside, even if just to view the beautiful interiors.


7. Walk along the River Liffey

Tall ship on River Liffey
Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship, Dublin

Dublin wouldn’t be complete without a walk along the River Liffey. When you have finished shopping on the City Quay, take a walk across Ha’Penny Bridge to see the following points of interest in Dublin.

  • Custom House
  • Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship
  • EPIC – Irish Immigration Museum
  • Famine Statues
  • O’Connell Monument
Upward curve bridge across a city river
Ha’Penny Bridge, Dublin. So named as there was once a toll of half a penny to cross the bridge

8. General Post Office Witness History Centre

6 column two level stone building
General Post Office, Dub

The Georgian building of the General Post Office has one of the newest museums in Dublin. Inside you can explore the GPO Witness History to learn about the 1916 Easter uprising.

For ticket prices, click here at GPO Tour.

9. Irish Whiskey Museum and Jameson Distillery

Basrrels on 3 levels containing whiskey
Irish Whiskey Museum, Dublin

Do you love whiskey? Have you always wanted to taste whiskey?  Here’s your chance.

Take a tour of the Irish Whiskey Museum. Here you can learn more about the process as well as tasting some of the iconic brands and more.

But if you already love an iconic brand …

Jameson Distillery, Bow St, has been making whiskey since 1780 with tours for you to learn more about their process and taste a fine whiskey.

For both places, you will need to book tickets for a tour.

10. National Leprechaun Museum

National Leprechaun Museum

For a uniquely different experience, visit the National Leprechaun Museum on Jervis Street.

If you have a love of storytelling, listening to stories, and Oh Leprechaun, check out times and prices here at National Leprechaun Museum.


Things to Do in Dublin at Night

Red building
Temple Bar, Dublin

1. Enjoy Guinness at Temple Bar

Temple Bar, cobblestoned streets with an afternoon market and pubs featuring Irish music. It’s a real buzz of Dublin city you need to experience even once.

Nearby, try to find “Love the Lane” for some interesting reading of events and people of Ireland.

2. Cosy Mulligan’s Bar

For a quiet drink and chat, Mulligan’s Bar is a cosy wee pub. Established in 1782, it is a popular place to drink for Trinity College students, journalists and theatregoers.

3. The Bank on College Green

Have you ever felt like you needed a drink after a visit to your bank?

Now you can at The Bank on College Green.

The opulence is breathtaking. The drinks menu is extensive. And even an award for the  Best Pub with Food in 2017.

Maybe before your order, check your bank balance first. LOL.

4. Dinner at the Highest Pub near Dublin

Johnnie Foxes is a drive out of Dublin City. Famous for its Hooley Nights (Dinner and Irish Dancing Show).

Cosy, warm, quirky with great Guinness and pub food, especially the bowl of mussels as a starter. And make sure to add a plate of Soda Bread as a side order.


Grab Yourself a Dublin Pass

Two storey white building with green dome
Custom House Dublin

Discover Dublin with the Dublin Pass giving you entry to over 30 attractions in Dublin. It also includes the 24-Hour Hop on Hop Off Bus tour. 

Another benefit is the fast-track entry, plus additional discounts and a guidebook.

The Dublin Pass can be purchased for 1, 2, 3 or 5 Days with the price marginal for each day added.

To buy your ticket, click here at Dublin Pass.

Getting To Dublin

Ryanair from London Gatwick, Luton and Stansted (but not Heathrow) to Dublin, Shannon or Cork.

Irish Ferries have a service for foot passengers, cars and motorhomes from the UK and France.

View above clouds from airplane window with wingtip
Ryanair, a low-cost airline, flies to many destinations

Where to Stay in Dublin

Staying in Dublin, we chose IFSC Dublin City Apartments. The apartment was within easy walking distance of the main attractions.

The apartment had lift access and a well-equipped kitchen with plenty of supermarkets and cafes close by. Plus, only a 5-minute walk to the Airport bus stop.

To book IFSC Dublin City Apartments: to receive a 10 % discount. Yes, it’s worth it., where after your 10th night is booked, your next night is free based on your average stay rate. How cool is this?

Airbnb for kitchens and more room when staying longer in one place.

Best Of Dublin City

Four column building with dome top
Government Buildings Dublin

Dublin is a vibrant city to explore, easy to get around and perfect for a weekend break.

Whatever the weather, pubs are always cosy, Guinness awaits you, and music keeps you entertained.

With a mix of old and new architecture, there is something for everyone to see the best of Dublin city.

A perfect start on your journey to see more of Ireland.