Fun-loving yet refined at the same time, Dublin is one of those cities that is perfect for a weekend break. We’re sharing our suggestions for how to make the most of your time with just 48 hours in Dublin…although if you have the chance to stay longer, you won’t be bored!
There are extensive regular flights from Europe, the Middle East and North America to Dublin by several airlines – we were guests of Aer Lingus. In fact I recently went here just for the day, it’s so quick and easy. Dublin can also be a good layover if you’re on your way to the States as you can obtain customs preclearance here first.
Once you’ve made the 20 minute transfer into the city centre and checked into your hotel, head for St Stephen’s Green. The beating heart of Dublin is an oasis of calm and bordered by some stunning Georgian buildings. Take a walk around the park, then explore the Little Museum of Dublin for a short but sweet introduction to the history of Dublin and most importantly, of Dubliners.
Stop off for a tasty Irish snack or lunch at Hatch and Sons directly below, you’ll need some fuel for the sights to come.
There are some beautiful examples of Georgian architecture in this area – I have this thing with doors!
Afterwards, head to pedestrianized Grafton Street to get your shopping fix.
Just off Grafton Street on Harry Street, you’ll find a tribute to rock star Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy. He grew up in Dublin but passed away aged just 37.
Next to the statue, you can enjoy a refreshing pint of Guiness at McDaids, a traditional pub that’s long been popular with Dublin’s literary set.
Talking of statues, if you’re lucky, you might encounter this one back on Grafton Street. Look a little closer and it may seem slightly odd…the dog for example, has a bizarre expression! That’s because this is actually a living statue and all the characters are alive except for the fake dog.
Just around the corner on Wicklow Street, you’ll find Butler’s Chocolate Café. There are actually eighteen of these in Ireland, with many more around the world but this is the very first one.
Brown Thomas, back on Grafton Street, is Dublin”s most famous department store and well worth a browse.
Don’t miss a visit to Avoca, a mini-department store that specializes in beautiful handmade Irish products including their famous wool throws. There’s a food hall on the first floor, a cafe on the second floor and gifts galore throughout.
The Molly Malone statue, also on Suffolk Street is also well worth a look. Molly is actually a fictional character from a song about a fisherwoman, which is the unofficial anthem of Dublin.
Head past the Irish Whiskey Museum on Grafton Street, finishing your first day here if you have time.
Head to College Green and the statue of the Four Angels, a tribute to the writer Thomas Davis.
A few minutes away, you’ll find Trinity College. Ireland’s historic university is a tourist attraction in its own right, thanks to the famous Book of Kells. This richly decorated manuscript dates from around 800 AD and contains the four gospels of the New Testament.
From here, it’s a short walk to Temple Bar, Dublin’s cultural quarter. It’s also one of the liveliest, with lots of live music venues.
There’s plenty of colourful street art to admire.
Stop for a bite to eat at traditional Irish restaurant, Gallagher’s Boxty House. The house specialty is the boxty, a traditional potato pancake – very tasty!
After lunch, take a stroll to Ha’penny Bridge, which we actually visited at night. This pedestrianized bridge over the River Liffey was at risk of structural damage from the weight of the love locks being attached to it, so it’s best not to add any more!
Finally, head to The Guiness Storehouse at St James’s Gate for a fascinating insight into Ireland’s iconic beer and of course, a tasting!
WHERE TO STAY
The Merrion Hotel is a luxurious yet cosy five star hotel, a few minutes walk from St Stephen’s Green. Set across 4 Georgian townhouses, it’s famous for its art collection and afternoon tea.
I hope that you enjoyed this virtual tour of 48 hours in Dublin, there are so many interesting sights yet the city is compact enough to explore easily.
Have you visited the capital of Ireland? What must-see attractions would you recommend to visitors?