Exploring Dublin: Travel Days Needed

how many days travel in dublin

How Many Days to Spend in Dublin?

Dublin is Ireland's capital and largest city. It's a dynamic city steeped in history, with castles, cathedrals, and plenty of craic.

How many days you should spend in Dublin depends on your interests and how much time you have. You can see most of the famous sights in the city centre in just 2 days, but if you want to dig deeper, 3 days is ideal. With 4 days, you can explore further afield and take day trips to places like the Boyne Valley or the Wicklow Mountains.

Getting to and Around Dublin

Dublin Airport is the largest in the country, with flights from the UK, Europe, and beyond. Once you arrive, you can take a bus or taxi into the city centre. The city itself is compact and walkable, but there are also hop-on-hop-off buses and public transport options.

A 2-Day Dublin Itinerary

Here's an overview of what to do during 2 days in Dublin:

Day 1:

- Start at Dublin Castle, a symbol of Ireland's fight for independence.

- Head to Trinity College and explore the Book of Kells in the stunning Long Room.

- Shop on Grafton Street and grab a bite at Bewley's Café.

- Stroll through St. Stephen's Green and check out the James Joyce Memorial Sculpture.

- Visit St. Patrick's Cathedral, the tallest and largest church in the country.

- End the day in the famous Temple Bar district for a pint of Guinness.

Day 2:

- Begin at Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison that symbolizes the Irish fight for freedom.

- Visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn about the history of Guinness and enjoy a complimentary pint.

- Cross the Ha'Penny Bridge and grab lunch on O'Connell Street.

- Check out The General Post Office, a beautiful building with a rich history.

- Spend the evening in the Creative Quarter, with its unique boutiques and restaurants.

Where to Stay and Other Tips

When it comes to accommodation, there are options for all budgets, from hostels to boutique hotels and B&Bs.

To save money, consider purchasing a Dublin Pass, which includes entry to several attractions and bonuses like transport. Also, prepare for potentially chilly weather, even in the shoulder season.

Characteristics Values
Number of days to spend in Dublin 2 days to a week or more
How to get to Dublin Plane, ferry, train, bus, or car
How to get to the city centre from the airport Airlink Bus, Aircoach, taxi, or private transfer
How to get around Dublin Walk, hop-on-hop-off bus, taxi, Uber, bike, or public transport
Where to stay in Dublin St Stephen’s Green, Grafton Street, Temple Bar, or self-catering apartments

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Dublin Castle, Trinity College, Temple Bar

Dublin Castle, Trinity College, and Temple Bar

Dublin Castle, dating back to 1166, is a must-see for any visitor to the city. The castle has been the site of many famous figures throughout history, including Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II, and is now used for official state engagements. Visitors can explore the castle's medieval and Viking past, including the State Apartments and the excavation site. The castle is located right next to Temple Bar, a popular nightlife spot, and is also just a short walk from the city's main shopping and business districts.

Trinity College, founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592, is another iconic Dublin destination. The college's Old Library, also known as the Long Room, is a stunning 18th-century library housing over 200,000 books. Visitors can also see a section of the Book of Kells, a 9th-century decorated copy of the four gospels considered Ireland's greatest cultural treasure.

Temple Bar is the place to go for a fun night out in Dublin. It's known for its pubs, bars, and traditional Irish entertainment. The area is always bustling with locals and tourists alike, and while prices may be higher, it's worth it for the lively atmosphere and "craic" (the Irish word for a good time). The most famous bar in the area is The Temple Bar, but there are plenty of other options to choose from as well.

  • Start the day by visiting Dublin Castle, taking in the State Apartments and the excavation site.
  • Head to nearby Temple Bar for lunch, and explore the street art in the area.
  • In the afternoon, visit Trinity College and the Old Library, including the Book of Kells.
  • Finish the day with dinner and drinks in Temple Bar, enjoying the "craic" and traditional Irish music.

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St Patrick's Cathedral, Kilmainham Gaol, Guinness Storehouse

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Saint Patrick's Cathedral has been a part of Ireland's history and culture for over 800 years. The cathedral dates back to the 13th century and is a place where history is alive and tradition breathes. It is a house of prayer where all are welcome to experience and explore. The cathedral hosts regular services, including Choral Evensong, and other events such as recitals and festivals.

Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol, now a museum, was the County Gaol for Dublin that held thousands of prisoners for almost 130 years. It was also a site of political imprisonment, holding those involved in Ireland's struggle for independence. A visit to Kilmainham Gaol is a journey through Irish history, from the 1798 rebellion to the Irish Civil War. The only way to access the Gaol is by guided tour, and tickets must be pre-booked. The tour lasts for one hour, and visitors also have access to the museum.

Guinness Storehouse

The Guinness Storehouse offers a unique experience, inviting guests to savour the sights, sounds, tastes, and aromas of Guinness. Visitors can learn how to pour the perfect pint, enjoy live entertainment and music, and sample the beer in the Gravity Bar. The Storehouse also offers various upgrades, such as the Connoisseur Experience, which includes a tasting and storytelling journey, and the Guinness Academy, where guests can print their selfie on the head of a pint of Guinness. The Storehouse is located in the Liberties, a vibrant and historic neighbourhood in Dublin, with plenty of atmospheric pubs, restaurants, and shops to explore.

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St Stephen's Green, Grafton Street, the Creative Quarter

St Stephen's Green is one of Dublin's most popular green spaces, with trees, a lake, a playground, and a variety of plants, fountains, statues, and memorials. It was once a marshy common grazing area, but now it's a great place to take a break from sightseeing. It's also conveniently located just across from the Little Museum of Dublin.

Grafton Street is one of the best-known streets in Dublin and one of the city's main shopping streets. It's a lively place with lots of stores, restaurants, cafes, and street performers. Most of the street is pedestrian-only, making it a walker- and tourist-friendly destination.

Dublin's Creative Quarter, which spans from South William Street to George's Street and from Exchequer Street to Lower Stephen's Street, is a hub of creativity and interesting enterprises. It's a world of colour, smells, and tastes, with plenty of fascinating finds to stumble across. Here are some highlights:

  • Frame: a framing studio that also serves freshly brewed coffee through a tiny window in the front of the shop.
  • Designist: a design-led gift and homeware store selling lighting, tableware, stationery, plant containers, glasses, and more, with most items priced under €100.
  • Balla Ban Art Gallery: the smallest art gallery in Ireland, tucked away off Grafton Street just around the corner from Bewley's Cafe. It features diverse and affordable works from both emerging and established contemporary Irish and European artists.
  • The Green Hen: a French bistro-style restaurant on Exchequer Street known for its interiors, which are decorated with framed posters and ornate mirrors.
  • Industry Design: a multi-tasking eatery and lifestyle store that stocks homewares, gifts, books, and lighting.
  • The Bank Bar: a luxurious pub on College Green with friendly staff and delicious pub grub.

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The General Post Office, Ha'Penny Bridge, O'Connell Street

The General Post Office

The General Post Office (GPO) is a famous building in Dublin, located in the centre of O'Connell Street, the city's main thoroughfare. It was designed by Francis Johnston in the Greek Revival Style and its foundation stone was laid in 1814. It is most well-known for being the headquarters of the 1916 Rising against British Rule. It was from here that Patrick Pearse read out the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.

The GPO is an enduring symbol of freedom for the Irish Republic and has been the backdrop for innumerable pageants, parades and protests. It is also the principal post office of Ireland and continues to fulfil its original purpose, offering a wide range of monetary, government and postal services.

Ha'Penny Bridge

The Ha'Penny Bridge is a famous cast iron pedestrian bridge built in 1816. It offers fabulous views of the city and is a great spot to watch the sunset over the River Liffey, which runs through the heart of Dublin.

O'Connell Street

O'Connell Street is Dublin's main thoroughfare. It is home to the GPO, as well as many other important buildings and monuments. These include the Spire of Dublin, which was erected on the site of Nelson's Pillar in 2003.

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The Jeanie Johnston tall ship, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

The Jeanie Johnston tall ship is a replica of a three-masted barque that was originally built in Quebec, Canada, in 1847. The replica performs several functions: it is an ocean-going sail training vessel, a living history museum on 19th-century emigration, and a corporate event venue.

The original Jeanie Johnston was bought by Tralee-based merchants John Donovan & Sons and successfully traded between Tralee and North America for several years. The trading pattern involved bringing emigrants from Ireland to North America, and then bringing timber back to Europe.

The ship made 16 voyages to North America between 1848 and 1855, carrying up to 254 passengers at a time. Despite the number of passengers and the long voyage, no lives were ever lost on board. This is generally attributed to the captain, James Attridge, not overloading the ship, and the presence of a qualified doctor, Richard Blennerhassett, on board.

The replica Jeanie Johnston is currently owned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, who bought it in 2005. The ship is docked on Custom House Quay in Dublin's Docklands, where visitors can take a tour and learn about the ship's history. Visitors can also go below deck to experience the cramped quarters where passengers spent most of their time, emerging only for half an hour of fresh air each day.

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum tells the story of Irish emigration around the world. Ireland has experienced several periods of mass emigration, and many Irish people continue to emigrate. The museum guides visitors through the personal stories of emigrants, their reasons for leaving, and their new lives in their adopted countries. The museum is located in the CHQ building, which also houses several restaurants and cafes.

A visit to both the Jeanie Johnston tall ship and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum will give visitors a deeper understanding of the history of Irish emigration and the experiences of those who left Ireland in search of a better life.

Frequently asked questions

The ideal number of days to spend in Dublin depends on your interests and travel style. If you enjoy big cities and want to see all the major sites, 2 full days in Dublin is a good amount of time. If you prefer smaller towns and countryside, 1 day in Dublin may be enough. For those who want to see both the city and the surrounding area, 3-4 days is recommended.

You can fly into Dublin Airport, which services many international flights and airlines. You can also take a ferry to Dublin from the UK or France.

There are several options for getting from Dublin Airport to the city centre. You can take a bus, taxi, private transfer, or Uber. The bus is the most affordable option, while a taxi or Uber will be more expensive but faster.

Dublin is a compact city and very walkable, so you may not need to use public transportation. However, if you do, there are buses, trams, and rail services available. You can also use taxis, Uber, or bike hires.

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