How To Spend Two Days In Dublin

Any Ireland trip would be incomplete without a few days in Dublin. The capital city is full of history and culture, the people are super friendly, and there’s plenty to explore. Yes, you’ll find a lot of pubs and traditional Irish music, but Dublin also has the largest church in Ireland and the largest city park in Europe.

Here are ten things to do for your two days in Dublin

Try Irish Foods

full Irish breakfast in Dublin

Start your day off with a full Irish breakfast. While it’s similar to an American breakfast (bacon, eggs, sausage), it also includes baked beans and black and white pudding (black pudding is also called blood sausage, which can turn many people off). While I wasn’t a big fan of the pudding, it was better than I expected.

If you’re a fan of potatoes, you’re in the right place as they’re in a ton of Irish dishes, like Irish stew, boxty (potato pancakes), and colcannon (mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage). Soda bread is also a classic Irish food – instead of yeast, it’s made with baking soda (hence, soda bread).

Although it’s more of an English dish, you’ll also find fish and chips on many menus.

Visit The Guinness Storehouse

One of the most popular things to do in Dublin is visiting the Guinness Storehouse. The seven floors will take you through the history of Guinness and how they make Ireland’s most iconic beer. The self-guided tour ends on the top floor at the Gravity Bar, where you can enjoy a Guinness and 360 views of Dublin.

Learn About Jameson Whiskey

Jameson Bow St Distillery barrels

If you prefer whiskey to beer, the Jameson Bow St Distillery is also in Dublin and is the original site that distilled Jameson Whiskey for nearly 200 years. They offer fully-guided tours, whiskey tastings, and cocktail-making classes. If that isn’t enough, there’s also the Irish Whiskey Museum, where you can learn how to make your own whiskey.

Explore Dublin Castle

My favorite thing about Ireland is how much history there is. Dublin Castle has been around since the 1200s and has been visited by kings, queens, and other heads of state. Today, it’s a tourist site but is still occasionally used for state events. You can tour the castle on your own or learn more with a guided tour.

Grab A Drink At The Temple Bar

Visiting Temple Bar is a must-do when visiting Dublin. The red exterior is iconic, but as one of the most famous bars in Dublin, it’ll be busy anytime you visit. Even so, it’s a fun place to enjoy live music and grab a drink from the largest whiskey collection in Ireland.

Admire Medieval Churches

Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin
Christ Church Cathedral

In the heart of Dublin, you’ll find two medieval cathedrals. Christ Church Cathedral was built in the 11th century and was originally a Viking church. Today, they offer tours, and all admission fees go to maintaining the cathedral for future generations.

The second of the two medieval churches is St Patrick’s Cathedral. It is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland and the largest church in the country. You can learn more about the church and its over 800 years of history on one of the free guided tours that take place regularly throughout the day.

Hop Over Ha’penny Bridge

The Ha’penny Bridge is just a short walk from Temple Bar; you can’t miss it. The pedestrian bridge was built so people could walk over the River Liffey instead of taking a ferry. It cost a halfpenny to cross at the time, which is how the bridge got its name.

Visit The Trinity College Library

Long Room at Trinity College in Dublin

You’ll love the Long Room at Trinity College if you like architecture. It’s easily one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. Initially, the room was one story with a flat ceiling. However, once the shelves filled up, the second floor and barrel-vaulted ceiling were constructed. Today, the library has 200,000 books and marble busts of great philosophers and writers. The most famous book in the library, the Book of Kells, is believed to have been created in 800 AD.

Shop On Grafton Street

Anne's Lane
Anne’s Lane

If you want to do some shopping, Grafton Street is the place to do it. The stores range from mid- to high-end. In addition to shopping, the street has become internationally known for buskers, so you’ll likely see a few street performances. A bronze statue of Molly Malone, a character of a well-known Irish song, used to sit on Grafton but was relocated to nearby Suffolk Street. 

Right next to Grafton Street is also Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre. While there are over 100 shops, we didn’t find much great shopping compared to Grafton. However, I would still recommend stopping by to see the beautiful interior architecture.

Stephen's Green Shopping Centre
Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre

Stroll Through St Stephen’s Green Park

At the south end of Grafton Street, you’ll see Fusilier’s Arch, which is one of the entrances to St Stephen’s Green Park. It’s one of the city’s most famous parks and has several statues and memorials throughout the park. The park has plenty of benches and a duck pond to help you take a break from the commotion of Grafton.

If you’re looking for even more greenery, I recommend checking out Phoenix Park. It’s just a short distance from the city and is Europe’s biggest city park. Inside the main gate, you can rent bikes which is a great way to cover the park’s 1700 acres. Along with numerous monuments, the park also houses Aras an Uachtarain (the residence of the President of Ireland) and the Dublin Zoo.

Enjoy Live Music

One of our most memorable nights in Dublin was watching an Irish folk band play at The Brazen Head, the oldest pub in the city. They have live music every night, so you’ll undoubtedly have a chance to catch a show. 

Overall

Dublin is a natural starting point for any trip to Ireland. It’s the country’s largest city and a great introduction to Irish culture, but don’t limit yourself. Ireland has so much more to offer. I would plan to spend two to three days soaking in the city before venturing to explore the rest of the Emerald Isle.

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