Last Updated on August 6, 2022
Sometimes when you don’t get a lot of days off to travel you have to learn to maximise the little amount of time you have! In this post I share my tried and tested itinerary for 2 days in Dublin! Including cool things to see in Dublin, where to eat and where I stayed.
Disclosure: Please note some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking. It comes at no extra cost to you.
🕖Duration: 1 full day, 2 nights (Saturday – Monday)
📅Month of Travel: August
What to See in Dublin in 2 days
Take a Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour
Sometimes when you are pushed for time in a destination, a Hop On Hop Off Bus tour is the quickest way of seeing the sights and learning facts and the history of the area. I prefer Segway tours for this as they are more personal, but when you have a big group of people that arrived on a red eye flight from America, a bus tour is definitely a more relaxed option! We got off at the stop for:
- Dublin Castle
- Christ Church Cathedral
It’s possible to go inside both, but we just walked around the outside.
Two companies operate in Dublin. Either Big Bus Tours Dublin, or CitySightseeing Dublin. Both have similar routes.
DAY 2 (Morning):
I have been to the Guinness Storehouse twice now, both at the weekend but at different times of the day, and here’s my advice:
Get an early bird ticket that allows you in a little earlier. Go STRAIGHT to the Guinness pint pouring academy a couple of floors up…especially if you travel as part of a group that may want a picture all together, then enjoy your pint in the empty observation deck bar that offers 360 degree views over Dublin! Once finished, head back down to the bottom floor and then work your way up through the museum…if your head isn’t spinning!
The museum is laid out like a pint glass and each floor will teach you something different about the Guinness brand such as how it’s made, advertising through the years and the correct way to taste all the different flavours in the beer! The Guinness Storehouse is a working factory, however you don’t actually have access to this area…I guess they don’t want you trying to break in and drink all the profit!
Each Adult ticket comes with a stub for 1 free pint that you can either redeem in the Guinness Academy or one of the bars in the museum. I’d suggest using it for the Academy so you get the certificate to show you now know how to pour a Guinness the correct way!
💰Early bird tickets: 16 Euros (after 11am they go up to 20 Euros)…they are also cheaper online.
DAY 2 (Afternoon):
I LOVE the Leprechaun Museum, I’ve been twice now and I still think it’s brilliant (just make sure you bring your sense of child-like wonder!). You are guided through the museum, through different rooms, while learning about the history of old folklore stories and tales. I have a couple of favourite parts:
- The room where you have been shrunk to Leprechaun size and get to climb all over giant furniture!
- Walking through the rainbow!
I really like the way you learn by story telling. The staff really bring everything to life and are full of energy! You can read my in-depth review of the museum here: Releasing Your Inner Leprechaun at the National Leprechaun Museum Dublin!
💰Tickets: 16 Euros
If you haven’t had your fill of alcohol museums, you can also visit the Jameson Distillery! I’m not a whiskey drinker, but sometimes when you are part of a group you have to do what the majority want to do! Guinness definitely has the upper hand when it comes to factory tours. The Jameson Factory is no longer a working museum, it has since moved to a different location and the displays are quite old fashioned.
There’s a cute whiskey tasting experience at the end and once the tour is over, everyone gets a free mixer whiskey drink (that was nice, testing it straight however…bleugh!)
There’s also the chance to bottle your own personalised bottle of Jameson’s straight from the barrel!
Tours last 40 minutes.
Ha’Penny Bridge & Temple Bar District
Crossing the Ha’Penny Bridge (a pedestrian bridge built in 1816) you’ll find yourself in Dublin’s Temple Bar District, a cobbled street neighbourhood FULL of little Irish pubs often hosting live music!
Where to Eat & Drink in Dublin
Bull and Castle
Typical pub, located almost opposite Christ Church Cathedral. The potato and bacon soup was very tasty. If you’re part of a group, an 8 beer tasting tray is fun! You get around a quarter of a pint of each of the beers.
AMAZING MUFFINS! Say no more. Go and buy one. No TWO! I had a white chocolate and lemon muffin and it was awesome!
Break to the Border
This pub/bar was on the lower level of our hotel (Grafton Capitol). They serve food but it doesn’t really ‘liven up’ as a bar until around midnight at the weekend. So it is ideal for a quiet drink and a bite to eat before bed!
A smallish restaurant selling typical pub food. I had Fish, Chips and mushy peas, I’m a Brit, what can I say! They have a nice range of dishes.
The Market Bar
I loved this bar, it’s hidden away in the old market hall. Very big and roomy and I loved the decor! It’s quieter so you won’t lose your voice trying to shout to people over a couple of drinks!
Where to Stay in Dublin
Grafton Capitol Hotel
164 Euro ($179/£142) pn – weekend rate
The Grafton Capitol is within walking distance of several of the Hop On Hop Off bus tour stops and the Temple Bar district. Some of the rooms do get loud at night due to the noise from the bar…if you plan on going out and partying, this won’t be a problem! (My parents were staying at the hotel next door (The Drury Court) that had sound proof rooms, it was slightly more expensive but they couldn’t hear the bar at all).
- The price. To stay in the centre of Dublin is pretty expensive and this hotel was fairly reasonable.
- Triple Rooms! This helped lower the costs for some members of our group that joined together!
This was the exact itinerary for my second trip to Dublin (when my American family and English family first met up!). The first time I visited, it was just for a day trip with my sister. Another fun experience is the Wakedock cable wakeboarding park!
Flights to/from the USA
If you are departing to the USA from Dublin airport, you can actually clear American customs while in Dublin. This means that when you land back in the USA you’re actually treated as a domestic arrival rather than an international! It saves heaps of time at the USA border! Here are my tips: What to Expect: Clearing US Immigration in Dublin, Ireland