Dublin is the bustling capital of Ireland. It is rich in history but famous for its vibrant culture, night life, music and literature. You could spend days exploring this magical city but if you’re tight on time here’s my guide to spending 24 hours in Dublin.
9AM – Spire of Dublin
Located in the heart of Dublin on O’Connell Street the Spire of Dublin is a great place to find your bearings. This pin-like statue stands tall and will guide you from where ever you may be back to the city center.
915AM- Arrange transportation
It might seem touristy but in my opinion the best way to see Dublin and get around quickly are the Dublin Hop On – Hop Off Buses. For a one time payment of $30 you can have a full day pass for tours all around Dublin. City Sightseeing will guide and entertain in addition to highlighting the best of Dublin. Dublin public buses are unionized and often go on strike. The City Sightseeing buses are privately owned and will operate every day.
One Day Bus Ticket: $30
930AM- TRINITY COLLEGE AND THE BOOK OF KELLS LIBRARY
Hop of the bus and stroll through the majestic grounds of Trinity College. Modeled after Oxford and Cambridge the magical architecture will transport you to another world.
Make your way to the 18th century Old Library building which showcases the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is a medieval manuscript and Ireland’s greatest treasure. If you’re a fan of “Harry Potter” you will feel at home in the monumental Old Library. The library was erected in 1743 and hosts a collection over 200,000 books.
Entry to Book of Kells Exhibit: $11
11AM- Dublin Castle
After a short bus ride hop off at Dublin Castle. Dublin Castle has been a fixture in Dublin since the 13th century. It has acted as a fortress, royal palace, prison, government center and much more. Opt out of the guided tour inside. You will see more impressive castle interiors in other places throughout Ireland or Europe. Instead wander the grounds and snap a few photos. Then hop back on the bus and cruise to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
1145AM- ST. PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest church in Ireland and was erected in 1191. It is complied of several architectural styles including medieval and gothic.
1PM- Lunch on Thomas St
Get off the bus on Thomas Street and choose from several pubs and artisan restaurants. Why not try and get a seat at the oldest pub in Ireland; the Brazen Head Pub. Sample traditional Irish pub food and beers. But save room for Guinness at your next stop!
230PM- Guinness storehouse
Book your tickets in advance for your guided tour of The Guinness Storehouse, brewery and factory. Learn the history of Irish Brewing, some secrets to making Guinness, beer sampling and much more. Then browse the gift shop for the perfect souvenir!
Hop on the red line of the City Sightseeing Bus and cruise down Bachelor’s Walk and back up O’Connell St. Jump off at the Moore Street Market and head down Parnell St. Turn left on Capel and again onto Mary Street for an array of shops, bars and markets.
530PM- CHECK IN TO YOUR HOTEL
Drop your souvenirs and bags at your hotel or hostel and get ready for a night out.
If you’re looking for a cozy, cheap and great location why not try the Abbey Court Hostel.
Take your pick from the plethora of pubs and restaurants near your hostel or walk down to College Green St. Which is near your next destination.
745PM GRAVE DIGGER’S GHOST BUS TOUR
Possibly my favorite tour in Dublin was the Grave Digger’s Tour! Your ghoulish guide will transport you back to plaque times and escort you via creepy coach around Dublin. Visit Dublin Castle at night, Christ Church, Cork Hill, Kilmainham Jail and more!
The tour concludes at The Gravediggers Pub. A famous pub located next to the historic Dublin cemetery. Down your free drink and then relax with a Guinness before heading back to Trinity College.
10PM- bar hop in temple bar DISTRICT
Possibly the most famous area of Dublin; Temple Bar District is a collection of pubs and Bars on the South Bank of the Liffey River. Lively nightlight, music, performers and tons of bars makes for endless fun! Check out The Temple Bar Pub, The Porterhouse, Stag Head and much more. The best part of Temple Bar is drinking is aloud in the street and public intoxication? Well that’s just being Irish!
Most pubs will stay open until 1AM and some clubs will stay open later. What ever you decided to do, you’ll be surrounded by culture, history and friendship.
After your big night out you might need to sleep in but if you’re up early then grab breakfast near your hotel. The best place near The Abbey Court is The Bakehouse. This charming little eatery serves traditional foods on homemade breads. Everything is absolutely delicious and fresh. You will not be disappointed.
24 hours done
Hopefully you can find more than 24 hours to explore amazing Dublin. But if not I hope this guide helps you plan your adventure.
Have more time?
Here are some other options if you have more time in Dublin:
- National Leprechaun Museum
- National Museum of Decorative Arts and History
- Vicar Street Music Venu
- St. Stephen’s Green
- Dinner Theater
- Irish Whiskey Museum
- Dublin Zoo
- Viking Museum