48 Hours in Dublin: How to Make the Most of Your Time

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.

48 Hours in Dublin – Day 1

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.

48 Hours in Dublin – Day 2

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!

guiness-storehouse-dublin-casksWHERE 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?

48 Hours in Dublin

  • Probably about 8 years since I last went to Dublin. I’d love to go back, it’s such a fun place to explore!

  • I was planning a weekend trip to Dublin in August, however it got cancelled. One of the main reasons of this trip is to be able to taste the original Guinness, I heard that original recipe and the products don’t leave the country.

    Ela BellaWorld

    • That’s really interesting, I didn’t get to the Storehouse on my latest trip but the time before that and the taste of it is certainly distinctive

  • Love the pics! I remember shopping at Brown Thomas, the only time I visited Dublin many years ago.

  • I really enjoyed this post, lovely! My grandmother was born and raised in County Dublin and came to the The States later on and had my mom. We’ve never been, but many of our family have gone plenty of times. We’re planning on making a trip in the next few years and this is such a great post to give me an idea as to what we can do once we get there! Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you have a great day!



    • Oh that’s fantastic, you’ll love it there – the people are so friendly. Look me up if you’re coming to London, would love to meet you

  • Alberto C.

    Nice post! I live in Dublin and that’s a great itinerary to spend 48h in here.

    Next time I’d recommend you to visit Chester Beatty Library and Kilmainham Gaol if you have the time, my favourite attractions in Dublin!

    Hope you enjoyed my city 🙂

    • Ooh thanks for the recommendations, Alberto! I’ve never been to either so they’re on my to visit list now

  • Dublin is the most amazing city and your photos have definitely captured its beauty and quirkiness perfectly! Xx


    • I’m so pleased that you liked them, Miriam – I’d have loved to spend longer there to capture the place in all its glory but I’m going to Galway in October for some more Irish charm

  • Loved Dublin when I visited! Although our itinerary was a little different to yours, my absolute favourite was actually getting the train our of Dublin to Howth to walk along the cliff tops!


    • Ooh I did that too on my last visit before this one – so convenient, hopping onto the DART train! Thanks for stopping by, Rachel – liked your Riding House Cafe review, one of my fave London spots

  • I’m ashamed to say I’ve still not visited Dublin – this is something I must put right very soon. Loving your photos – so full of life and colour

    • You’ve summed it up well, Suzanne, Dublin is full of life and colour! A small place with a big heart

  • This is the second 48 hours stop post that I read from you and I swear you write beautifully and I’m bookmarking this post just like I did with the other for Hamburg. And that live statues are sooooo cool! I don’t know how they do it, I wouldn’t be able to sit that still for that long.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • Oh that’s so sweet, Shireen! The live statue gave me a real surprise, I wish they had them in London – well they do but not with a group of people like this

  • Amazing, I would love to go to Dublin

  • Ellie Adams

    Oh I love these kind of posts Suze, so so helpful for when you’re in need of a short trip but are not sure what to do. Dublin sounds like such a fab city, really want to visit after seeing Belfast last month!


    • I’m glad you found it interesting, Elle – and I’d love to return to Belfast to see the Titanic Museum after my hard hat tour a few years ago!

  • I love Dublin, getting over there whenever I can (sadly, at the moment that’s only about once a year). But I do a little website with my favourite places, called “The Wee Fat Englishman’s Guide to Dublin”. On Twitter I’m the @WeeFatMan.

    When there, I stay outside of central Dublin at a fantastic guest house in Lansdowne Road, called Ariel House, friendly staff, comfortable rooms, great breakfast, what more could you want? And it’s just a short DART ride from the city centre.

    My top places to visit include the Little Museum of Dublin and the Irish Whiskey Museum, listed above, but also the National Gallery, and if you’re there on a Saturday, the Taoiseach’s office and government buildings. My favourite pub is The Duke, in Duke Street, just off Grafton Street.

    • Ashley, thanks so much for your tips, I also went on the DART on one of my Dublin visits and loved how convenient it was. I’m now following you on Twitter, have a great weekend

      • Thanks for the follow and I hope you didn’t think my rather long comment was trying to “take over” your article.

        We had been to Dublin several times before discovering the DART even though we had stayed in or near Lansdowne Road, and we used to walk everywhere, which killed our feet.

        Now, the first thing we do when we arrive, is buy a DART Saver Ticket between Lansdowne Road and Tara Street, as those, or Pearse, are going to be the stations we’ll be using the most. It lasts us the whole break and saves us so much money.

  • Dublin is such a fun city I lived there for a year a while back and absolutely loved it! Great tips!

  • Agness

    What a lovely guide! I didn’t know there are so many interesting places to explore in Dublin just in 2 days. My friends went there the other week and they really enjoyed the city! I must go there as well soon!

    • You could easily spend a week in Dublin, the time before I went out on the DART train along the coast, it’s where some of the famous rockstars live

  • Really enjoyed your virtual tour of Dublin – stunning photos of a lovely city! And it is so easy and quick to get there from London ….

  • Great tips! I love visiting Dublin. I think my favorite place in the world is the Trinity College Library!

    • Such a gorgeous place, I agree! I need to go back and see another page of the Book of Kells!

  • Hayley Rubery

    Great snaps & tips! I love Dublin, such a vibrant city!

    Hayley xo

  • Dublin looks like such a cool city with so much history!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • I LOVE that pink door!!! This is so bad but Ian’s actually half-Irish (his family are from Dublin) and in the 8 years that we’ve been together, I’ve never been over to Ireland to meet his Irish family. Dublin looks like a great city to spend a weekend in though – I need to make this trip happen this year!

    • Ooh sounds like a visit is long overdue for you, Maggie! I hope you get to meet Ian’s Irish family

  • Love Dublin! It’s been a few years nice I was there so this was an amazing reminder! Did you also get to Powers Court for its shopping and tea? Loved the Temple Bar area. Fantastic post!


    • I wanted to go to Powers Court but it closed quite early! I visited it a few years ago though

  • Frank Thomae

    I’ve never been to Dublin but its on my list. Hmm, Molly is buxom isn’t she?

    Frank (bbqboy)

  • Your Dublin itinerary looks action packed. I really enjoyed Dublin when I visited.

    • We crammed a lot in, that’s for sure! Having said that, you could just as easily while away more time in a pub.

  • Gorgeous Dublin! I’ve been once, few years ago, but didn’t blog about it so maybe it didn’t count (such a blogger thing to say). I’d love to go again and this time I’ll be taking some of your tips with me! x

    Daydreaming With…Stanley Kubrick – Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • Knowing your love of photography, I’m sure you’d find lots to capture in Dublin – the architecture really is impressive!

  • Wow!! I didn’t know Dublin looks this amazing, the building are just incredible but what does one expect if Ireland is the city of architecture!! Am glad you had an amazing time there Suze, I wonder where you are off to next!!

    • Ha ha, I have a few trips up my sleeve! I’m also giving away a 2 night New York stay on the blog next week and it’s open worldwide

  • I’ve only been to the airport here, but would LOVE to follow every step of this guide! Will bookmark it for when I finally get there!:-)

  • Dublin has been on my list for a while now! Great list of recommendations I’ll save for my future trip!

    • I’m sure that you will love it when you do get there, Eppie and make sure to try the Guiness!

  • Dublin is very beautiful ! I would love to explore more about it, as well as, some other countries of Europe too!


  • I’ve wanted to go to the Irish capital for so long, although I probably won’t be able to understand the accent ;))
    Well done for snapping so many gorgeous photos in the sun. Thanks for sharing such a great list of what to do in Dublin!

    Lu | http://www.balgarka.co.uk

    • It’s quite easy to understand the accent and I chatted to a few Dubliners during my last visit, they’re so friendly!

  • The Sunday Mode

    What a beautiful place to visit! I must admit Dublin was not even on my radar of places to visit, but it is now after reading your post and seeing your photos 🙂 It’s amazing what you can do in a short amount of time when travelling. I am bookmarking this page so I don’t lose it.


    • I’m so pleased that I’ve given you a new travel destination idea and you won’t be disappointed if you do visit Dublin

  • Alfredo Ciano

    For me the Ireland is a Country with Many Opportunities : Industry , Tourism , Nature , Culture…In the Future I See an United Ireland : a Destiny for This People ; Ireland + Ulster are a Force of the Nature !!! ByeBye , Lots of Luck !!!

  • The chocolates and the Guinness look good! Dublin looks like a pretty, historic city to enjoy for a getaway — one could probably spend more than a weekend there, right?

  • Okay it’s definitive, I want to visit Dublin now!
    Would you like to follow each other? Just let me know, and I’ll follow you right back 🙂


  • Charlie Elliott

    I’m heading to Dublin for the first time next week and I can’t wait to explore some of these suggestions! I’ve been to Ireland before but never the capital city so I’m excited!