Dublin is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, and for a good reason. The city is filled with historical landmarks, world-class museums, and lively pubs and restaurants. Whether you’re interested in exploring Irish culture or simply want to enjoy a delicious pint of Guinness, this 2 days in Dublin itinerary is a perfect start!
2 Days in Dublin Itinerary: Explore Dublin on a Weekend
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The warmth and humor of the Irish make it easy to enjoy time in Dublin, a city that leads the way in hospitality.
The capital of Ireland is full of literary sites like castles, gardens, and museums with the beloved River Liffey flowing through its heart, which makes it the perfect destination for a short trip.
Dublin two day itinerary: Things to do in Dublin in 2 days
- Dublin Spire – O’Connell Street – General Post Office
- Trinity College
- National Museum of Ireland
- Oscar Wilde Monument
- ‘Doors of Dublin’
- St Stephen’s Green
- Temple Bar
- Grafton Street
- Kilmainham Gaol
- Guinness Storehouse
- Christ Church Cathedral
- Dame Street
- Dublin Castle
- Chester Beatty Library
- Irish Emigration Museum – EPIC
- The Church
Dublin Trip planning
When traveling to Ireland, you will most likely fly and arrive at Dublin Airport.
The airport is located about 10 km or 6.2 miles from the city centre. There are a number of ways to get there, and the most popular method is by bus.
You can hop on the Dublin Express that will drop you closest to your hotel. It can take anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes to get there.
Another option is to take a taxi or a private transfer. You can check out options here
Pro tip: If you are staying in the suburbs, opt for the “Rambler Ticket” which offers unlimited trips on the local buses as well as routes 747 and 748, especially to and from the airport.
Once in the city centre, there are a number of sightseeing buses that operate on a regular basis. These buses offer a convenient way to see the city, and they provide an opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Dublin.
We utilized the 48 hour hop on and hop bus tour, and it allowed us to explore all the sightseeing spots without any hassle. We also walked quite a bit in the old town, but navigating the city made it easy with a sightseeing bus tour.
With the Dublin Pass, you can enjoy discounts on attraction visits + Hop on and hop-off tours (one day).
Without a Dublin Pass, you can purchase Leap Visitor Card if you plan on using public transportation.
Where to stay in Dublin?
As you have a lot to do in the city, location is key, and moving around on foot is the best way to navigate in the city. Consider staying in either Ballsbridge, Smithfield, Stoneybatter, Portobello or old Dublin.
We stayed at The Hendrick Smithfield during our visit. The hotel was located in a convenient spot near the city centre and the Dublin Airport Express bus stop.
The suite was spacious and there is a lovely lobby where you can order drinks and food! There was a supermarket and tons of cafes near the hotel.
We enjoyed our stay there. The staff was very helpful with directions and luggage. Click to check out current nightly rates on Booking.com.
Other recommended hotels are:
- Holiday Inn Express Dublin City Centre: Not only is this hotel perfectly located, but it also offers great value for money because of its well-equipped rooms and excellent service. Here you are always within walking distance of all the popular attractions in the city, so getting around will not be an issue. Moreover, if you want to stay an hour or two longer, there is an option for late check-out as well. A free breakfast is also offered. Check availability here
- The Marker Hotel (Grand Canal Square): The Marker Hotel is a 20-minute walk from Dublin City Centre and it is a trendy and tidy place to spend a couple of days. They have an award-winning spa, an infinity pool, and state of an art business centre. And for the final touch, they have yoga on the rooftop. Luxury at its finest, if you can afford it. Book your stay here
Day 1 of the Dublin Itinerary 2 days
Assuming you are arriving by air the night before or preferably by early morning, check in to your centrally located hotel. After you have checked in, head straight to the City Centre, or grab some snacks to kickstart this Dublin 2 day itinerary.
There are a plethora of excellent coffee outlets in Dublin which are worth exploring early in the morning.
A good place near the city cathedral is Peacock Green &Co which serves French-inspired food and the Queen of Tarts to enjoy some delicious cakes, a bit costly on the higher side but served in large portions.
Dublin Spire – O’Connell Street – General Post Office
If you are using the hop-on and hop bus tour, plan to get down at O’Connell Street.
This street in Dublin is a great place to start exploring the city. The square is home to a number of historical landmarks, including the General Post Office, which was the site of the 1916 Easter Rising, and the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre.
This spot is also an excellent meeting point in case you get separated from a group, as you can see the 394 feet high Dublin of Spire landmark from many parts of the city.
Plus there are a number of restaurants (including fast food chains) and shops in the area, making it the perfect place to grab a bite to eat or do some shopping.
If there is one attraction that is an absolute must when you visit Dublin, irrespective of the time, then it has to be Trinity College Dublin.
This university dates back to 1592 and its Old Library is said to hold some priceless treasures which include the Book of Kells (dating back to the 9th century and containing the four Gospels of the New Testament). These are housed in the permanent exhibition room known as “Turning Darkness into Light”.
Get there as early as possible as by mid-morning the lines are very long. A visit to Dublin won’t be the same without visiting Trinity College.
- Address: College Green
- Hours: Open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (Monday to Saturday) and from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Admission fee (Book of Kells): Adult entry fee €16.00 | Seniors and Students €15.00 | Under 12 years, visit for free. Book a combined ticket here with a guided tour of the Dublin Castle
National Museum of Ireland
The next attraction on your two-day visit to Dublin is the sprawling grounds of the National Museum of Ireland, Natural History Museum, the National Gallery of Ireland, and the National Museum of Ireland Archaeology located close by.
The National Museum of Ireland is a must-see for anyone interested in Irish history and culture. The museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts from all periods of Irish history, as well as a number of interactive exhibits.
Visitors can also take part in a variety of educational programs offered by the museum.
- Area: Merrion St
- Hours: Open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Tuesday to Saturday) and from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday and Monday. (Note: The museum is temporarily closed due to ongoing renovation works. It is a must-visit once it re-opens)
- Admission fee: Admission to all four sites is FREE
Pro tip: If traveling with children, consider visiting the National Leprechaun Museum. It is a private museum and is dedicated to Irish mythology.
Oscar Wilde Monument: Merrion Square Park
The Oscar Wilde Monument is a tribute to the famed Irish writer and poet.
The monument is located in Merrion Square Park, which is also home to a number of other statues and monuments.
Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the park or simply enjoy the beautiful scenery.
- Hours: Open 24/7
- Admission fee: Free
‘Doors of Dublin’
As you leave the monument park area, you will find more green spaces nearby.
What I personally loved doing this afternoon was taking photos of the colorful Georgian doors. You must have seen images of – Doors of Dublin – on social media and on posters.
Fun Fact: The ‘Doors of Dublin’ came into existence decades before Instagram was born. The first poster was seen in the 1970s around St. Patrick’s Day.
The best locations to search for real Georgian Dublin doors are on the city’s south side, around Merrion Square, Saint Stephen’s Green, and Fitzwilliam Square.
St Stephen’s Green
St Stephen’s Green Park is a historical park and garden and an oasis of calm in an otherwise bustling Dublin city. The park is home to a large number of sculptures of important persons in Irish history.
There is a large lake in the middle of the well-manicured lawns, a bandstand, a play area, and plenty of benches to sit and watch the world go by.
- Hours: Open from 07:30 am to dusk (Monday to Saturday) and from 09:30 am to dusk on Sunday and Bank Holidays
- Admission fee: FREE
If you have some time, you can also walk across the road to Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre – a stunning mall!
Visit the Temple Bar neighborhood next, which is one of the liveliest spots in the city, packed with bars, restaurants, pubs, and non-stop street music.
Two of the most traditional Irish pubs are based here namely, Temple Bar and Oliver St John Gogarty: Traditional Irish Music where you can enjoy a pint of their famous Guinness.
Just minutes away from Temple Bar you can find the historic cast-iron Ha’ penny Bridge spanning across the River Liffey which charged half a penny in the early 1880s to get across.
Located north side of Ha’Penny, is one of the oldest independent bookshops in Dublin, called The Winding Stair Bookshop, which is worth stopping by.
Grafton Street, Temple Bar
Go for a stroll along Grafton Street and its adjoining areas which are prime shopping destinations in Dublin and one of the busiest in Europe.
Also dubbed “Ireland’s Premier Trading Street” it is full of boutique shops and street performers. You can also check out the iconic lifestyle store Brown Thomas here.
Some other attractions nearby include James Joyce Bust and Thomas M Kettle Memorial. To save time, you should book a guided Grafton Street tour in advance to ensure a slot. (Link)
You have a taxing itinerary ahead of you, so we recommend you return to the Temple Bar district to explore some of the fine nightspots of Dublin and experience Ireland’s rich culture through live Irish folk music and its tourist-friendly pubs.
Keep in mind, due to its popularity, the atmosphere can sometimes turn rowdy, so it is best to leave by 11:00 pm.
Day 2 of the 2 day Dublin itinerary
The second day in Dublin is jam-packed with sightseeing activities. But breakfast first!
Breakfast at Lemon Jelly Cafe
The modern Lemon Jelly Cafe is located on a busy walkway and serves an all day full traditional Irish breakfast, apart from lunch and evening meals.
They also serve exceptional coffee which makes it the perfect place to have your early morning feed.
- Address: Millennium Walkway, North City
- Hours: Open from 8 am to 8 pm daily
If you are staying on the south side of the city, you can enjoy a solid cup of tea at Joy of Cha and breakfast at Beanhive.
Start your full active day of sightseeing by taking a guided tour of the Kilmainham Gaol, a symbol of the country’s dark history and an interesting attraction.
The prison is at a distance so catch a bus, 13,49,69 or 79 from various parts of the city to get there by 10:00 am, when the first tour starts.
Another option is to get on the hop-on and hop-off bus tours.
Now a museum, here you will get to learn about the people who were imprisoned here and eventually executed during the Risings.
You will also know of women who were kept in deplorable conditions. Be respectful of this once horrifying place and desist from taking pictures.
Without a doubt, this is the best museum in Dublin to learn about the city’s past.
- Address: Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham
- Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 5:45 pm
- Admission: Adult entry is €8 | Seniors is €6 | Student entry €4
From Kilmainham Gaol you can easily access Guinness Storehouse by a short twenty-odd minute stroll via old Kilmainham Street and James Street.
This is the place to experience the history and the heart and soul of Ireland’s most iconic beer.
The story is related through various interactive exhibits spread over seven floors culminating at the Gravity Bar, from where you can enjoy the views of the city with a free drink in hand.
(When you go up to the terrace you will find a lot of Guinness left over. The drink is included in the tour, but not everyone likes the taste lol, so they leave it upstairs, unfinished!)
- Address: St James Gate
- Hours: Open from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm (the last entry is at 5:00 pm)
- Admission: €18.50 (free with Dublin Pass) | Self-guided experiences from €26-75 | Tickets must be booked online in advance
Christ Church Cathedral
Once you have discovered how black beer is manufactured, make your way to Christchurch Place, home of the Christ Church Cathedral – the oldest Anglican church in Dublin and a street in Dublin.
Formerly called the “Skinners Row”, it is named after the hide traders who once worked here.
The cathedral is a leading tourist attraction and a pilgrimage spot for thousands of years. Many high-profile events and concerts take place here throughout the year.
- Address: Dublin 8
- Hours: Open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm (Monday through Saturday). Sunday around service times
- Ticket: Self-guided tour and access to the crypt. Tickets can be booked here
You must be hungry after the extended action-packed morning of sightseeing so rest your weary legs at any of the fine restaurants on Dame Street, the banking hub of Dublin, a ten-minute walk from Christ Church.
Situated directly opposite the Central Bank is the Milestone restaurant which specializes in steaks with seven different cuts of meat. The ambiance is unique, with live background music, and their lamb trio is always cooked to perfection.
Dublin Castle is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. The castle has a long and rich history, dating back to the 13th century.
You can explore the castle grounds, which include a number of gardens, as well as the State Apartments and the Chapel Royal.
Dublin Castle also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, exhibitions, and conferences.
It is best to take one of the Dublin Castle tours as the knowledgeable guides will relate many tales about the underground chambers and the medieval towers.
You will also get to know some fascinating accounts of the 1916 Easter Rising and see for yourself some of the spots associated with it.
- Address: Dame St, Dublin 2, Ireland
- Hours: Open every day from 9:45 am to 5:45 pm
- Admission: Free
Chester Beatty Library
This museum was opened in 2000 to honor the mining magnate Chester Beatty, one of the greatest collectors of the 20th century.
There are two galleries in the Chester Beatty Library where the collections are displayed which are today a premium source for scholars studying the Gospel of Mani and the Life of the Prophet.
- Address: Dublin Castle grounds
- Hours: Open every day from 9:45 am to 5:30 pm (Wednesdays open till 8:00 pm)
- Admission: Free
By this time you will be looking for a place to relax and rest your weary feet so head to the Library cafe to savor some home-cooked food with a cup of tea.
The cafe excels in Mediterranean and Middle East cuisine and everything is freshly sourced and made.
Molly Malone Statue
Make a quick stop at the Molly Malone statue to get a quick insight into some lyrical history. Songs of the same name have been around for hundreds of years as is the bust of the lady on millions of postcards.
Stop for a photo, rub your hands on the breasts for good luck, and continue on your merry way.
- Address: Suffolk Street
- Admission: Free
Irish Emigration Museum – EPIC
A must-visit not only in Dublin but on any day Ireland itinerary is the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum, winner of Europe’s leading tourist attraction award for many years.
This is where you can connect and engage with Irish history and culture through 20 immersive galleries of Irish immigrants who rose to fame, both as artists and outlaws from all over the world.
I studied History for my University degree, and we learned about Annie Besant, who propagated self-government for India and set up the All-India Home Rule League.
Her political work influenced both the course of Indian nationalism and Great Britain’s policies toward India. I was pleasantly surprised reading about her, and her roots in Dublin!
At EPIC, you will learn about her and other Irish men and women, who contributed to the world!
- Address: Custom Church Quay
- Hours: Open from 10:00 am to 06:45 pm
- Admission: Adult ticket € 16.50 | Senior/Students € 15.00. Book it here
After a hectic day, we advise you to stop for a rest at The Church, one of the most unique restaurants in Dublin which is housed in a 17th-century former place of worship.
Apart from a wide range of services which include a cafe, a nightclub, and a barbecue area on the terrace.
You can take part in a self guided walking tour around the grounds and buildings of this church of St Mary.
- Address: Jervis St, North City
- Hours: Open from 10:30 am to 11:00 pm
Try local food
The rich cuisine of Ireland is usually made up of meat, potatoes, and butter scones. While it is a delicacy for many, it is disliked by others.
Some popular dishes which can be found throughout the country are the traditional Irish stew of beef/lamb and vegetables, Colcannon, a different version of mashed potatoes followed by black and white pudding, also known as boiled pig’s ‘blood pudding’ found everywhere in the country.
2 day Dublin Itinerary: Sightseeing Map
Alternate things to do this 2 day Dublin itinerary
This two day Dublin itinerary has been created for a weekend visit assuming you arrive on the night before.
You can customize the itinerary by arriving in the city on a Friday afternoon and leaving at approximately the same time on Sunday, keeping in view the opening hours of the various attractions.
Should you wish to travel on any other day of the week, this itinerary will still work for you. But it is suggested to check the timings of the attractions you wish to visit.
Alternate tour recommendations
Another way to kickstart this 2 day itinerary and get oriented with the city is to go on a walking tour that reflects your interests – whether it is food, history, or literature.
Some tours to choose from are:
Delicious Dublin Food Tour
On this small group walking tour, you can discover the burgeoning culinary culture of Dublin and visit some of the city’s most characteristic eateries and sample some dishes.
A nice way to get off the tourist trail and visit places that locals love. An unmissable food experience in Ireland’s capital city. Book a food tour here
Dublin literary pub crawl
Established in 1988, visitors have been taking part in the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl to discover the literary history of Dublin.
The tour is a type of street performance, where the audience stands behind the actors and follows the footsteps of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and many others on a two-hour walking tour.
This entertaining tour also includes a quiz with prizes for the winners.
Dublinia is a historical recreation museum and a top visitor attraction in Dublin. On this tour through the old city, you get to learn about the Viking settlement and how they developed into a thriving city which led to finding the streets you are on that day.
The tour duration is about 45 minutes.
Great North Wall (2hrs)
If you are into hiking, the Great North Wall is a wonderful way to explore Dublin Bay and the Irish Sea.
The hike officially starts from Penguin House Road and is about an 8 km (5 miles) round trip to Poolbeg Lighthouse and back.
The best thing at the end of the walk is the surreal views of the red lighthouse which has been in place here since 1767 and the part of the Great Wall which extends into the sea.
Teeling Whiskey Distillery
You must have visited the Guinness Storehouse, but if you are into whiskey, there is another one-hour tour of the Teeling Whiskey Distillery waiting to be explored.
Though not as intensive as the Storehouse, the tour shows you the entire whiskey distilling process of the product which is made there. In the end, you get to sample the goods as well.
Day trips from Dublin
While Dublin is a city rich in culture and history, there are some other stunning sights a matter of hours away, ideal for a day trip. Let’s look at some of these:
Cliffs of Moher
- Distance is: 267 km or 165 miles. Duration is 3 hours and 15 minutes
- Day tour: Here is a full day tour that we recommend
One of the most popular day trips from Dublin is to the iconic Cliffs of Moher, near the town of Doolin in County Clare. Once there you can enjoy the cliff walk and visit one of Ireland’s leading attractions for free.
- Distance is: 259 km or 16 miles. Duration is 3 hours
- Tour: Here is a 3 day Ireland itinerary and excursion with Cork, the Ring of Kerry & the Cliffs of Moher
Starting from the center of Dublin, head to the south of the country on an engaging day excursion to Cork. But before that, your first stop will be Cahir Castle where you get to learn as to how the Irish nobles lived.
Continue to Cork, the historic town on the banks of the River Lee. Here you can explore St Fin Barre’s Cathedral and have lunch at the English Market. And then return to Dublin after visiting the Rock of Cashel.
- Distance is: 38 km or 23.6 miles. Duration is an hour and 15 minutes
- Day tour: Book this day tour with a stop in Glendalough here
It takes just over an hour to reach the Wicklow Mountains from Dublin, the largest continuous high ground in Britain.
Home to the Wicklow National Park, some interesting sites here includes Glendalough, a glacial valley of two lakes with walks and hikes along the Wicklow Trail.
- Distance is: 17.6 km or 11 miles. Duration is 30 minutes
- Day tour: Full-Day Howth and Malahide Castle Tour
Malahide Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions near Dublin. It lies close to the village of Malahide.
The castle dates back to the 12th century and has been home to a number of notable families over the years.
You can explore the castle grounds, which include a number of gardens, or take a tour of the interior of the castle.
Additional travel tips for Dublin
Dublin is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland. It is a European Union member and uses Euros as its official currency.
Many travelers visit Dublin along with Belfast and other parts of the UK, so make note of the currency change (it is euros and not British pounds).
Tourist visa wise you will be in the Schengen zone when you visit Ireland.
Apart from Gaelic, which is the official language of Ireland, English is widely spoken here. Note that the government buildings and streets are written first in Gaelic and then in English. This will take some time to get used to.
Dublin is fairly wet throughout the year and cold too, especially in winter. Ensure to pack waterproof clothes.
If you can make it for St Patrick’s Day on March 17th you can enjoy the events and festivals which coincide with the celebrations of the country’s patron saint, else consider visiting Dublin during the months of June or July.
You will be walking a lot on your two days in Dublin, so carry a sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes.
When going to an ATM in Dublin, make sure it is on the same network as your bank to avoid paying a transaction fee every time you withdraw cash. Draw large amounts to avoid paying extra fees.
Admission tickets offered online are usually discounted plus you will save a lot of time standing in lines and this will make your two day Dublin itinerary flow smoothly.
Bikes are a popular and affordable way to explore the capital city. Book one with Dublin Bikes, a bikeshare company. If you plan to use public transportation, grab the Leap Visitor Card here
Safety in Dublin
Unfortunately, compared to other parts of Ireland, Dublin is not so safe.
Like in a large capital city, thefts and burglaries occur frequently, especially in Ballymun and Ballyfermot. That said, apart from pickpocketing and purse snatching, violent crimes against tourists are rare.
Budget for Dublin
Dublin is not a cheap destination to explore in Europe. It is recommended to keep aside a minimum of €122 per day on your vacation to Dublin. You can save money by staying in hostels.
Were two days in Dublin enough?
So many travelers who want to make a quick stop in the Irish capital have asked this question but honestly, it all depends on each one’s perspective on what they want to do. In our opinion, two days in Dublin is more than enough to see all the major attractions and then hit the streets for some pub-hopping and shopping.
An hour or two at some important places and short stops everywhere else is a comfortable way to spend two days in Dublin.
Read: Ireland itinerary 4 days
Cheers to Dublin: Land of saints, generous souls, and Guinness!
Here is my note to Dublin 🙂
The Republic of Ireland was the 35th country I visited!
The capital city of Dublin may be known for its cool nightlife (and Guinness of course), but there is so much history to know and learn!
From the 1916 uprising to the tensions and troubles in the 1990s to its people – poets, saints, and musicians – it is truly a land of generous souls (and not a country that has never had an Irish connection)!
Truly, fascinated by this country (and Northern Ireland)!
In so many ways the banks of Liffey reminded me of Seine (in Paris).
There are no grand bridges though (except for maybe Ha’Penny – which is kinda cute), but walking the lanes of old town Dublin made me fall in love with the city.
All in all, there are endless things to see and do in Dublin, making it the perfect destination for a short break.
Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply want to enjoy a pint of Guinness, Dublin has something for everyone.