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When we first spent 2 days in Dublin, we knew right away we needed to go back to see more of this green-hued country.
Dublin is a compact city with a vast selection of good pubs, excellent shops, and historic sites that won’t disappoint you.
Furthermore, Dublin is a lively city that breathes culture and beautiful architecture. Among castles and medieval constructions, Dublin’s pubs take the scene and offer an authentic Irish experience.
That is, if you step out of the Temple Bar area, of course!
So to help you explore Ireland’s capital, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in 2 days in Dublin, as well as some day trips.
That’s because most tourists who plan a 2-day Dublin itinerary want to see the countryside. Therefore, we’ll also suggest some perfect Dublin day trips and tours.
Bruna first traveled to Dublin alone before the blog was up and running, but we both went back for a perfect 7 day Ireland itinerary that also includes 2 days in Dublin.
Anyway, in this article, we also talk about the best places to go in Dublin, places to stay in Dublin and lots of tips (including a map).
Want to know what to do in two days in Dublin, Ireland? Read on!
In today’s post we’ll talk about:
Are 2 days in Dublin enough?
“How many days in Dublin?” this is a question readers often ask us. And the truth is: a whole life wouldn’t be enough. No joking.
Anyway, the practical answer would be two full days because, as we said, the city is compact and most of Dublin tourist attractions are within walk distance.
Besides that, we would highly recommend some day tours from Dublin to learn about the Emerald Isle and see the beautiful countryside.
Pssst: We’ve included a map with all the locations here mentioned so you can visit Dublin in two days hassle-free. (You’re welcome.)
Hey, looking for more tips for your next trip to Ireland? Check out our posts below.
- How to Choose the Best Day Tours from Dublin
- Dublin to Cliffs of Moher Day Trip
- 15 Fairytale Castle Hotels in Ireland
- Day Trip from Dublin to Kilkenny and Glendalough
- Things to do in Killarney
Tips for traveling to Dublin
- It rains quite a lot in Ireland, so be sure to bring a rain jacket or umbrella.
- Bring comfortable and waterproof shoes, especially if you’re going to the Cliffs of Moher.
- Be sure to bring a sweater in case it gets chilly or windy.
- Read our Ireland Packing List (for all seasons).
- Check out this post to know how to get from Dublin Airport to the city center.
- Consider a Dublin Pass to save money in this expensive city. (More on that below.)
- When crossing the street, look right 😉
Where to stay in Dublin
Choosing a hotel in Dublin can be overwhelming because you definitely don’t want to end up staying next to a noisy pub, but you also don’t want to stay away from all the fun.
Thinking of that, we wrote a complete guide to where to stay in Dublin. But in a nutshell:
- Best hostel in Dublin: Abigail’s hostel – In case your budget is on a shoestring, consider staying at this hostel. The rooms are clean, the beds are equipped with convenient lamps and socket plugs, and breakfast is included in the dorm price. On top of that, the location is also great!
- Best hotel in Dublin: Harrington Hall – This well-priced hotel is near St Stephen’s Green – not far, but also not too close to the buzzing city center. The rooms are very comfortable and spacious, and they’re also equipped with a TV, tea kettle, and free WiFi.
- Castle hotel in Dublin: Clontarf Hotel – Looking for luxurious accommodation? Then you might want to spend a night in a castle. It’s an affordable luxury and a once in a lifetime experience.
Dublin 2 day itinerary summary
Day 1: St. Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedrals, Dublinia, Dublin Castle, Molly Mallone Statue, Book of Kells, Old Library, Irish Whiskey Museum, and Dublin Pubs.
Day 2: Dublin’s Doors, National Gallery of Ireland, EPIC Irish Emigration Museum, Kilmainham Gaol Prison, Guinness Storehouse, Old Jameson Distillery Bow St.
2 Days in Dublin Itinerary: Day 1
The first day will be dedicated to the best places to visit in Dublin – historical sites, churches, and castles.
It will be relatively intensive with lots of attractions, but be sure to save some energy to go on some day tours from Dublin too. We’ll talk more about it after the itinerary below.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is Ireland’s largest church and a must if you’re spending 2 days in Dublin. The cathedral is named after the country’s patron saint we happily celebrate on March 17th.
It’s said that St. Patrick used to baptize people on this same site in the 5th century with the water from a well in the park next to the church.
However, this gothic cathedral dates back to the 12th-century, just a bit younger than the Christ Church Cathedral below.
Lots of statues and historical items are in the exhibition in the hall around the altar. Take your time to learn a little piece of Ireland’s history.
Pro tip The light inside is very low, so you’ll need a tripod if you want to photograph it. Just don’t use flash and remember not to make any loud noises.
Openings hours: Every day from 9.30 am to 5 pm (it might differ on Sundays)
Address: St Patrick’s Close, Wood Quay, Dublin 8
Christ Church Cathedral
Most cities have one cathedral, but not this one. Dublin is different. The city has two cathedrals, and both of them are breathtaking. Christ Church is not as large as St. Patrick’s; however, it’s a century older.
The original wooden church dates back to the 11th-century, to be more precise, and a century later the stone church was finished.
This Gothic/ Romanesque cathedral has a shine tiled floor full of patterns and different colors. Beautiful! Oh, and don’t forget to visit the medieval crypt, which is the largest in Ireland.
Ireland fact: Saint Laurence O’Toole’s heart was kept in the cathedral’s chapel until 2012 when a thief stole it. Just the heart. The culprit ignored the golden artifacts next to it and stole an 800 years old heart. Creepy. Anyway, the police recovered it in April 2018 in Phoenix Park. (?) Yep, just like that.
Admission: €7 (free with Dublin Pass)
Openings hours: Every day from 9.30 am to 5 pm (it might differ on Sundays)
Address: Christchurch PI, Wood Quay, Dublin 8
Right next to the Christ Church Cathedral is the Dublinia, an interesting place to learn about the medieval history of Dublin and the see how life was like in Viking Dublin.
Dublinia is an interactive museum where you can learn everything about life in Dublin 700 years ago, such as remedies they used, warfare, and the architecture back then.
Also, you can visit a Viking house and warship, besides walking on a Viking street. Cool, right?! You can even become a Viking slave with costumes and everything. All of that without forgetting an essential part of the local culture: enjoy lots of myths and tales.
Admission: €10 (free with Dublin Pass)
Openings hours: Every day from 10 am to 5.30 pm (it might differ on Summer)
Address: St Michaels Hill, Christ Church, Dublin 8
Since we’re talking about Viking Dublin, let’s jump to Dublin Castle. This 13h-century complex was the seat of the United Kingdom’s government in Ireland from the 13th-century until 1922 when the country conquered its independence.
In fact, the castle was built in a former Viking settlement but had to be rebuilt after a major fire in 1684. Today, visitors can see parts of those structures as well as historical furniture and decorative art.
However, besides housing a museum, the castle is also the seat of the Irish government and houses the Chester Beatty Library, which is an award-winning museum (free entrance).
Fun fact: Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, worked here for several years.
Admission: €12 for a guided tour of the State Apartments, Medieval Section, and Royal Chapel (€3 with Dublin Pass) or €8 for a self-guided tour of the State Apartments and exhibitions only (free with Dublin Pass).
Openings hours: Every day from 9.45 am to 5.45 pm
Address: Dame Street, Dublin 2
Molly Malone Statue
Maybe you have heard the famous Irish song about Molly Malone, a fishmonger who died of a fever and now her ghost haunts the streets of Dublin.
This unofficial anthem of Dublin is so famous that in 1988 a statue of Molly Mallone was built as part of the city millennium’s celebrations.
Fun fact: It’s said that if you rub your hands in her breasts, it brings you luck. Well, we think it’s worth trying, right?
Where is Molly Mallone? Next to the St. Andrews Church, at the corner of St Andrews Street and Suffolk Street.
After you’ve rubbed your hands on her boobs, head over to our favorite place in the city, the old library in the Trinity College.
Read next: 20 unique Irish gifts you’ll love
The Book of Kells at the Trinity College
Ireland’s best university dates back to 1592, and it already had a great library back then. With the years, its collection was built up steadily and today that library is known as Old Library. But we’ll get to that.
First, we’ll talk about the library’s permanent exhibition “Turning darkness into light,” which showcases Irish manuscripts and the world’s oldest book.
Have you ever heard of the Book of Kells? These famous manuscripts are kept here.
However, know that you’ll only be able to see two manuscripts of it during your visit because the book is ancient, and they want to cause as little damage as possible to it. But they do turn the pages now and then.
Just for clarification, the Book of Kells dates back to the 9th-century. This is an excellent manuscript in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) together with various prefatory texts and tables.
Trinity College Dublin Library
Dublin is home to many beautiful libraries, but this 2 days in Dublin itinerary wouldn’t be the same without our favorite one, the Old Library at the Trinity College.
Now close your eyes and imagine a…oopsie, don’t close your eyes, just keep reading. It’s better that way!
So, imagine a mystical long room with a high ceiling, which its dark oak shelves are covered with old books (over 200,000 of the oldest books in the library), and those shelves are decorated with 14 busts and carved woodwork. A classic final touch.
The Long Room, as it is known, is a place you must add to your 2 days in Dublin itinerary. You won’t regret it. We felt like we were walking through a movie scene and we bet you’ll feel the same too.
By the way, the Harry Potter library was inspired by this one. This room is called “The Old Room.” Very creative.
Admission: €11-14 to the Book of Kells and Old Library Exhibition.
Openings hours: Monday to Saturday from 8.30 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 9.30 am to 5 pm (it might differ during Winter)
Address: College Green, Dublin 2
Irish Whiskey Museum
Your journey to Irish history is not over yet. Take a guided tour of the Irish Whiskey Museum with enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides to learn a lot about their whiskey as well as discover new brands. And the essential part, to taste it.
The tour is very interactive, and the guides are just excellent. And depending on the tour you take at this museum, you can even blend your own whiskey.
The museum has a strategical location next to Trinity College. Right in the heart of Dublin city.
Openings hours: Every day from 10 am to 6 pm (it might differ during Winter)
Address: 119 Grafton Street, Dublin 2
Dublin Pubs – a must-visit in your Dublin Itinerary
After tasting some Irish whiskeys, it’s time to visit another traditional Irish area, the Temple Bar District.
This area has lots of pubs and interesting venues, which are listed below, but they’re packed with tourists. Therefore, in case you want to avoid crowds, check out the pubs outside Dublin city center below.
Note: The addresses are on the map at the bottom of this post.
Pubs in the city center:
– Long Hall, a fancy mirrored pub and one of the oldest in the city.
– The Peadar Kearney’s, reasonable prices compared to the Temple Bar,
– The Palace Bar, a traditional place with a lovely facade.
Pubs outside the
– McNeills Pub, definitely not so touristy.
– The 51 Bar has delicious bites, beer, and ambiance.
– McGowans, lively pub with the best chicken wings of the city.
Pro tip: Be sure to read our guide on Irish drinks before you head over to Ireland.
2 Days in Dublin: Day 2
Day two will be dedicated to tourist attractions of a more recent past and some traditional places of the Irish culture.
Kick off your second day searching for the colorful doors of Dublin. Back in the 18th-century, the landowners built many terraced houses (a row of identical houses next to each other), characteristic of the Georgian time.
Later on, the locals decided to set their homes apart by painting their doors with very bright and gorgeous colors. However, there are many interesting legends about how it started.
You can spot them around the city, but the best places are the Leeson Street, Merrion Square, Baggot Street (close to the Fitzwilliam Street Upper), and around the Fitzwilliam Square.
National Gallery of Ireland
The National Gallery of Ireland is a great place to escape the loud streets of Dublin. Here you can learn more about Ireland and its art scene, or even have a cup of coffee. Coffee is always good.
Moreover, this peaceful gallery holds lots of Irish works of art as well as at a global level, including Monet and Picasso.
Admission: General collection is free
Openings hours: Monday from 11 am to 5.30 pm. Tuesday-Saturday from 9.15 am to 5.30 pm (Thursday closing time 8.30 pm), and Sunday from 11 am to 5.30 pm.
Address: Merrion Square West, Dublin 2
EPIC Irish Emigration Museum
If you’re American, there’s a big chance you’re an Irish descendant as around 33 million Americans have Irish ancestry. That’s bigger than the population of Ireland itself.
Hence why this museum is more than a museum, it’s an interactive and immersive experience that shows the significant impact the Irish people, who left the country, had in the world.
The layout of the museum is great, and you can learn a bit more about Irish history in a fun way. Highly recommend it!
Admission: €15 (free with Dublin Pass)
Openings hours: Every day from 10 am to 5 pm.
Address: CHQ Building, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1
Kilmainham Gaol Prison
Not such an obvious attraction, but still very interesting. This former prison is now a museum where you can learn about the stories of many people who were imprisoned and executed here as well as see their cells, the chapel, etc.
The Irish are famous for telling tales and fictional stories, but we can guarantee these aren’t fictional. Unfortunately, the prisoners were kept in deplorable conditions, especially women, and you get to hear their stories here.
On top of that, there was no segregation of men, women, or children at first. A horrifying place.
The Kilmainham Gaol prison is what we call a dark tourism site and here goes one of our best travel tips we sincerely hope you don’t need to hear: be respectful. People, like you and us, died in this prison. This is not a place for selfies.
Anyway, our thoughtful guide showed this prison to us in a very respectful way and proposed interesting questions, so we could imagine how those people’s lives were like. Naturally, the Kilmainham Gaol Prison is a moving place to visit.
Admission: €8 (Book it in advance as it’s often sold out)
Openings hours: Every day from 9 am to 5.45 pm (it may differ during Winter).
Address: Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8
How to get there by bus?
- Bus line 69 or 79 from Aston Quay, Dublin 2;
- Bus line 13 or 40 from O’Connell St, Dublin 1, or College Green Dublin 2.
Check the Dublin Bus website for further information.
You can’t spend 2 days in Dublin without visiting the Guinness Storehouse. Guinness is one of the most famous beers in the world, a very tasty one too, so it goes without saying that this is a must-see and must-drink.
Moreover, this is a self-guided tour, so you’ll make it all at your own pace instead of following a group. You can ask for an audio guide, though. There are seven floors of Irish history, science, and beer to learn about the story of Guinness.
They offer a “Perfect Pint” class for €5,50, and yes, you get to drink the beer as well — Reserve 2-3 hours for the visit to the museum and the Gravity Bar on the top floor.
Pro tip: The ticket to the Guinness tour includes a pint. Our advice? Save your beer voucher for the Gravity Bar and have a fantastic view of Dublin.
Admission: €18.50 (free with Dublin Pass)
Openings hours: Every day from 9.30 am to 7 pm (last admission at 5 pm).
Address: St James’s Gate, Dublin 8
Old Jameson Distillery Bow St.
We know it looks like you came to Dublin only drink, but this brand whiskey is one of the most famous in the world and one of the best too.
If you want to skip it, we respect your opinion, but we honestly think you should visit it because this is a must-see of Dublin. (There are so many, right?!)
Anyway, the Irish Whiskey Museum we mentioned above is a non-brand museum, so you learn about several brands there, the tours here are in the Jameson Distillery, thus only Jameson.
Furthermore, this is a very informative tour using multimedia tools that explain the flavors, smells, etc. of whiskey. It’s followed by some whiskey tasting and a drink at JJ’s Bar.
Admission: €22 (free with Dublin Pass)
Openings hours: Every day from 9.30 am to 7 pm (last admission at 5 pm).
Address: St James’s Gate, Dublin 8
Other things to do in Dublin Ireland
Obviously, we can only give you some cool ideas on what to do in Dublin for 2 days. In case you don’t feel like visiting a place we mentioned above, check out some other exciting things to do in Dublin below.
Visit some book shops in Dublin
Great Irish writers delighted the world with their creations, maybe that’s why Dublin has some excellent book shops, and as a bookworm, Bruna can’t avoid but to visit them and get lost there.
Two excellent options are the Books Upstairs shop and Gutter Bookshop, both independent and with a good collection of books, which aren’t so mainstream like in large chains.
Museums in Dublin
Dublin has lots of museums, so no reason not to visit them if you have some time left or if the weather is terrible, which happens more often than we would like.
National Leprechaun Museum
Have a nosedive into the Irish folklore and mythology in the Leprechaun Museum. If you like funny stories, you’ve found the perfect place to hear them.
We’d say this is not really a museum, but a lively “storytelling experience.”
Openings hours: Every day from 10 am to 6.30 pm (last admission at 5.30 pm).
Address: Jervis Street, Dublin 1
The following three museums are branches of the National Museum of Ireland, so the entrance is free.
National Museum of Ireland – Archeology
It has countless Irish objects of different ages, but it also has some displays from Egypt, Cyprus, and the Roman world.
National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History
The museum is home to a wide range of Irish objects such as coins, silverware, furniture, weaponry, costumes, and folklore items.
National Museum of Ireland – Natural History
Often referred to as the Dead Zoo, this museum has a unique collection of animals, from tiny insects to huge giraffes.
Wander through the St Stephen’s Green
Wander through this calm and pleasant park while you observe the swans and ducks in the lake.
St. Stephen’s Green has a good collection of monuments and statues celebrating Dublin, such as the Fusiliers’ Arch, a memorial dedicated to the men who fought and died in the Second Boer War.
Every time we went to this park, we saw many joggers and kids playing around. The atmosphere is really great, you shouldn’t miss it.
Dublin 2 days: How to save money
You’ll learn pretty fast that Dublin is an expensive city. Unfortunately, entrance tickets are costly, and they can easily build up, sucking money from you.
You can get free entrance at 33 attractions and a good discount for plenty of other Dublin’s venues as well as access to a Hop On Hop Off bus by purchasing the Dublin Pass.
If you were spending only one day in Dublin, it wouldn’t be profitable, to be honest. But since you’re staying two days in Dublin, you can definitely benefit from it.
Click here to check the latest price and read more reviews about the Dublin Pass.
Read next: Things to do in Doolin Ireland
Day trips from Dublin
The Irish capital is a vibrant city full of cool pubs and exciting places, but we wanted to see more of the Emerald Isle.
So after spending 2 days in Dublin, we decided to go on a day trip from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher, and we can’t stress enough how amazing that experience was. We have never seen such a natural beauty like that one.
Cliffs of Moher tour – This tour was amazing, so make time to see this place. You won’t regret it.
These are 8.7mi of breathtaking cliffs facing the Atlantic Ocean. The highest part of it reaches 702ft, and while we were there, the wind was blowing so hard that we could feel the water on our face!
Yes, we were 702ft above the sea level, and we could still feel it. So don’t walk near the edges. It can be dangerous.
Click here to read how to get to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin.
Also, we wrote a complete post on how to choose the best day tours from Dublin including how the tours are and what they cover/ include.
Galway – This is a harbor city on Ireland’s West Coast where you can experience the best of the Irish culture. Definitely worth a visit.
Highlights of Galway: Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas, Quay Street, Galway City Museum, Eyre Square, Galway’s Latin Quarter, Kirwan’s Lane, The Medieval City’s Walls, and the Spanish Arch.
If you plan to stay in the city a little more than a day, you will want to read this complete guide to the best hotels in Galway for all budgets.
You might also like: Guide to Cycling the Ring of Kerry
Kilkenny – A gorgeous medieval town in southeast Ireland. Kilkenny’s main attractions are churches, abbeys, and cathedrals because the city has deep religious roots.
Highlights in Kilkenny: Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice’s Cathedral, Black Abbey, Jerpoint Abbey Ruins, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Rothe House, and Smithwick’s Experience.
Belfast – Capital of Northern Ireland, the city is the economic engine of the country, and it’s full of historical and cultural places. On top of that, Belfast is very close to the Giant’s Causeway and many Game of Thrones locations.
Highlights of Belfast: Titanic Belfast, St. George’s Market, Belfast City Hall, Crumlin Road Gaol, and Belfast Castle.
Giant’s Causeway – A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland, actually the only one, the Giant’s Causeway is an area with basalt columns formed by a volcanic eruption.
Roxanna, a fellow blogger, wrote a photo tour post about this place, take a look.
Two Days in Dublin Map
Wrapping up on this Dublin in 2 days itinerary
We hope we gave you a good idea of the best things to do in Dublin. Naturally, you can tailor it to your preferences, but know that we’ve only listed places that we personally like and recommend.
Anyway, we’re sure your 2 days in Dublin will be amazing.
So, when are you traveling to Dublin? Are you exciting yet? (Yay!) Comment below, we’d love to hear from you!
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