2 Days in Dublin—The Ultimate Itinerary

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Spending 2 days in Dublin? Check out this itinerary for the ultimate visit!

Despite being one of Ireland’s largest cities, 2 days in Dublin gives you plenty of time to explore the top spots. Most of the city is extremely walkable, making it easy to get around. 

I had such an amazing time on my visit to Dublin. The first two days I spent in Dublin and the third day I took a day trip to Wicklow Mountains National Park and the surrounding areas. Dublin and the rural areas around the city are gorgeous, so if you have the time, check it out!

Dublin was one of my favorite places I visited in Europe so far. I’m enjoying reliving my time there with this guide, and hope it helps you plan the ultimate Dublin trip! 

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2-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Day 2

Day 1

Start your day by exploring the city center and some of the best museums and shopping in the area. Ending your first day in the nightlife and bar scene is also a must. 

Trinity College and the Library 

Trinity College is one of the oldest universities in Europe and has been around since 1592. You’re free to go into most of the buildings, although most of the people visit the college to see the library. 

In the popular summer months, you can expect to stand in a long line to see the inside of the library. It’s worth the wait, though. There are over 200,000 books spread across two floors. 

You will also be able to see the Book of Kells. It dates all the way back to the 9th century. It’s a beautiful illuminated manuscript and piece of art of the four Christian gospel books. 

Trinity College is located at College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland. The library is open for visits Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is 14 euros (about $17 US). 

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Trinity College library

Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre 

Most people actually visit for the architecture and not to shop. The interior of Stephen’s Green is made of glass and steel, and the building itself is pretty incredible. It almost looks like the inside of a train station. 

I recommend exploring some of the shops, though, if you have time. They have everything you can think of, from clothes shops to cute little boutique shops with locally made items. 

There are also tons of food and drink options to check out, including pastry shops, Asian options, and a few vegan food vendors as well. 

Stephen’s Green is located at St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, D02 HX65, Ireland. They are open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Temple Bar District 

Even if you don’t love to party, a visit to the Temple Bar District is a must when in Dublin. You will find it’s mostly tourists rather than locals, but it’s still an amazing experience. There are endless options of pubs, and you’ll hear live Irish music coming from every pub window. 

You can’t go wrong with any of the pubs, and we visited the places that looked the most lively and fun. Temple Bar is the most common destination for tourists. 

Some of the other most popular bars include The Auld Dubliner and Bad Bob’s Temple Bar. They both have live music, traditional food, and beer of course. 

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Day 2

The first two stops during day two are some of the best things to do in Dublin for families. Adults and young kids will love exploring the castle and learning the history of Ireland. Complete your day at the famous Guinness Storehouse (if you don’t have kids). 

Dublin Castle 

While it might look like a castle from the outside, especially the Round Tower, Dublin Castle is actually home to many different government buildings. It also has a few museums inside, including the Garda Museum and Chester Beatty Library Museum

You can go inside the main castle and see all the different government state departments. They also offer guided tours if you would prefer to hear more about the history. 

Both the museums are free to enter and worth checking out once you’ve toured the castle. 

Dublin Castle is located at Dame St, Dublin 2, Ireland. They’re open every day from 9:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Self-guided tickets are 8 euro (about $11 US). 

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Christ Church Cathedral 

This cathedral dates all the way back to 1028, making it the oldest cathedral in Dublin. If you’re a fan of shows like The Tudors, you might recognize it. It’s a popular filming spot for many TV shows that take place during medieval and Renaissance times. 

Christ Church Cathedral has many different things to see and do. They also have traditional church and worship services. I recommend booking your tickets in advance, whether it be a self-guided audio tour or a tour led by a volunteer from the church. 

Christ Church Cathedral is located at Christchurch Pl, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are 10 euros (about $13 US). 

Guinness Storehouse 

The Guinness Storehouse is one of the most popular attractions in Dublin, especially for those who love a cold pint of Guinness. You need to book your tour in advance as it can get very busy during the summer and holiday months. 

The storehouse is huge, and the tour will take you across all seven floors of the building. You’ll learn about the history of Guinness and how it has played such an important role in the history of Ireland. 

Your ticket includes a free pint which you will get at the end of the tour. The seventh floor also has amazing views of the city where you can enjoy your pint. Get your ticket in advance with a free pint here.

The Guinness Storehouse is located at St. James’s Gate, Dublin 8, D08 VF8H, Ireland. They’re open Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and every other day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are 17 euros (about $21 US). 

If you’re traveling with kids and want to skip the Guinness Storehouse, there are still plenty of things to see and do around the city. Check out The Ark, a cultural and art experience with fun interactive exhibits. You might also want to go to Butler’s Chocolate Experience where you can sample sweets and learn how chocolate is made. 

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Bonus Day-Wicklow National Park! 

If you’re looking to get out of Dublin for a few hours to experience the Irish countryside, don’t miss Wicklow Mountains National Park. You can plan a hiking trip through the park, or visit all the small Irish towns along the way. 

Some people also book tours to ensure they see the best of the park. Tours also usually stop along the way in some of the small towns where you can visit a local pub and make friends with the residents. 

Wicklow Mountains National Park is by far one of the best things to do in Dublin (and around) for couples. It’s colorful, romantic, and secluded. It’s also home to the famous bridge from the movie P.S. I Love You with Gerard Butler. 

If you’re looking to maximize your time and spend a half day, check out this Wicklow Mountains area tour.

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Photo Credit: Natalie Castle

Wicklow National Park Itinerary

Here is how I recommend spending the day in Wicklow National Park if you have a car:

  • See the Glendalough ValleyMy friend started our day by stopping to show me the Glendalough Valley. Although we didn’t do any hiking, many people start their walking or hiking journey here. 
  • Head to Sally Gap next. It’s a winding road through the mountains, so be prepared to feel a little carsick. The landscape and views are amazing. 
  • Drive to the P.S. I Love You Bridge. You can skip this part if you’re not a huge fan of the movie. The scenery around the bridge is stunning, including the small waterfall just underneath. 
  • See Lough Tay. This stunning lake is just a short drive from Sally Gap. The fields and flowers surrounding it are gorgeous. Some say the color of the lake even looks like Guinness Stout! 
  • Walk to the Glenmacnass Waterfall. We drove here and left the car in a small lot just above the waterfall. You can then take a short hike to the waterfall. 
  • End the day at Enniskerry Village Square. You’ll pass through this small town before heading back to Dublin. Grab a coffee at Poppies and enjoy the small Irish town life. You might recognize this small town from the movie Leap Year. 

You can easily spend between half a day and a full day (or more) in this area, especially if you do some hiking. If you book a tour, most companies offer full or half-day trips. 

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Photo Credit: Natalie Castle

How to Get to Dublin

Most people fly into Dublin International (DUB) to visit. Ryanair offers some cheap flights if you’re already in Europe, but almost every European and international airline flies into Dublin. 

Dublin is more expensive than flying into larger cities like London. I met a few people that flew into London and spent a few days there before going on to Dublin. 

Dublin can also be reached by ferry if you are coming from Liverpool or Holyhead. From other parts of Ireland, you can take a bus. 

How to Get Around Dublin

The best way to get around Dublin is walking. You can take a bus to and from the airport, and there are buses if you want to cut back on your walking, but it’s an easily walkable city. Dublin has an extensive transportation system with over 136 routes. 

Check here for more information on Dublin’s buses. There is no metro or underground in Dublin, so the route times will always be subject to traffic. 

For walking, I recommend using Google maps and setting it to walking directions. It was pretty accurate, so I had no problem getting from one place to another. 

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When to Visit Dublin

The only bad thing about Dublin may just be the weather. I visited in August and still had to wear pants, a jacket, and a scarf. June through August is still considered the warmest months and the best time to visit. 

There are also tons of fun summer festivals during these months. Dublin is magical during the holidays as long as you don’t mind the colder weather. 

Dublin sees rainfall the majority of the year because of its coastal location. No matter when you visit, make sure to bring a rain jacket. 

Where to Stay in Dublin 

Budget—Gardiner House Hostel: This is a great place to stay if you’re traveling solo. The dorm rooms allow you to make friends easily! Private rooms are also available at a low cost. They have free hot breakfast and a kitchen if you want to save money and make your own meals. 

Mid-range—Premiere Inn Dublin City Centre (Temple Bar) Hotel: This is the best hotel to stay in if you want to be close to everything. A bus stop is only a 6-minute walk away, and you can reach Dublin Castle in less than 10 minutes. There’s a restaurant on-site with great breakfast and pizza. 

Luxury— Harcourt Hotel: This great hotel is on a side street from the city center giving you access to everything but still peace and quiet. They have an on-site restaurant as well as a beer garden. You can reach the Temple Bar area in about 15 minutes on foot. 

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Best Pubs in Dublin 

I don’t think I ever actually ate at a “real restaurant” in Dublin. I had most of my meals at pubs, including breakfast! Many pubs open early in the morning and do serve breakfast. Eating at a pub is often cheaper and makes you feel like a real local. 

Here are some of the best pubs to check out: 

MVP  was one of my favorite pubs because you’re allowed to bring your dog inside. I loved seeing the locals come in for pints with their furry friends. The menu is simple with sandwiches and pastries. They also serve coffee and have cocktails. 

Lucky’s was recommended to me by a local because I was craving a good pizza. Try the Frankie Pizza if you want something with spicy chorizo! They also have all the classic beer you could want on tap. 

McNeill’s was also one of my favorites. I stopped here on a rainy morning and ended up spending a few hours in one of the nooks planning the rest of my trip through Europe. They have a classic Irish breakfast and great coffee and live music every night. 

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The Perfect 2 Days in Dublin is Waiting For You!

Now you have everything you need to get ready for Dublin! It’s a great city to travel to solo or with a few friends. While the weather can be a bit wet through most of the year, Dublin is still an amazing city to experience and walk around, even if you get a little wet! 

Have you been to Dublin? What would you add to this itinerary?

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