Fun-loving yet refined at the same time, Dublin is one of those European 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.
48 Hours in Dublin – Best Things to Do
The capital of the Republic of Ireland is brimming with fascinating museums, cosy Irish pubs and cool street art. Yet its relatively compact size makes it easy to explore in a weekend. Here’s our 2 day Dublin itinerary featuring some of the highlights of this great city.
Little Museum of Dublin
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 plenty of fuel for this weekend in Dublin.
Dublin Georgian Quarter
One of the best things to do in Dublin is to admire the Georgian architecture. There are some beautiful examples in this part of the city.
Known as Dublin’s Georgian Quarter, it stretches from Trinity College and St Stephen’s Green to the Grand Canal. There are two particularly impressive Georgian squares, Fitzwilliam Square and Merrion Square.
Afterwards, head to pedestrianized Grafton Street to get your shopping fix or to take a coffee break at historic Bewley’s Grafton Street Café.
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 Guinness 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.
Molly Malone Statue
The statue of Molly Malone 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.
Irish Whiskey Museum
One of the best things to do in Dublin is to visit the Irish Whiskey Museum on Grafton Street. Take a guided tour through the 5 themed rooms representing different periods in Irish history. Afterwards, you’ll get to taste 3 or 4 very Irish whiskies.
Shopping in Dublin
In Dublin city centre 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.
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.
Trinity College is a fine example of Gothic architecture. This famous Dublin landmark dates from 1592.
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 in this Dublin hipster area.
Stop for a bite to eat at traditional Irish restaurant, Gallagher’s Boxty House. It’s one of the best places to eat in Dublin. The house specialty is the boxty, a traditional potato pancake – very tasty.
After lunch, take a stroll to Ha’penny Bridge, one of the top things to do in Dublin. It looks as impressive by day as it does by 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.
The Guinness Storehouse
Finally, head to The Guinness Storehouse at St James’s Gate for a fascinating insight into Ireland’s iconic beer and of course, a tasting. Whether you’re a beer lover or not, this interactive museum is really interesting.
The most popular visitor attraction in Ireland, it showcases the art of brewing over 7 floors. Beer has been produced at the Guinness Brewery since 1759. The Gravity Bar has great views over the city and is the perfect place in which to enjoy a pint of Guinness.
Getting to Dublin
Weekend breaks to Dublin are easy as there are extensive regular flights from Europe, the Middle East and North America to Dublin by several airlines including Aer Lingus. In fact we recently to Dublin for a 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.
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Where to Stay in Dublin
The Merrion Hotel is a luxurious yet cosy five star Dublin 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.
We hope that you enjoyed this virtual tour of 48 hours in Dublin. If you have 3 days in Dublin or more, we recommend heading to Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed public park of any European city.
You should also not miss the Jameson Distillery if you’re a fan of Irish whiskey.
Have you visited the capital of Ireland? What must-see attractions would you recommend to visitors for a weekend in Dublin?
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