2 Days in Dublin, Ireland: The Perfect Itinerary (2024)

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Ready to spend 2 days in Dublin? This itinerary will help you plan out everything to see during your 2 days in Dublin, including recommendations on things to do, where to eat, places to stay, and more!

Dublin was the first city I visited outside of the United States, and I quickly fell in love with its beautiful scenery and welcoming atmosphere. After this trip, I was completely addicted to travel!

If you’re traveling outside of the United States for the first time, Ireland is a perfect introduction to international travel.

Whether you’re flying into Ireland from the US or elsewhere, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll fly into Dublin to begin your trip around Ireland.

Dublin is also one of the cheapest places to fly into Europe from the USA, making it a great starting point for your big Eurotrip.

I spent two weeks studying in Dublin and was able to experience a great deal of what the city has to offer – the excellent museums, deep history, bustling pubs, and so much more (including a pint or two of Guinness!).

And since I spend so much time in Dublin, I quickly learned all the best things to see and do in Dublin if you only have two days in the city.

Spending 2 days in Dublin is a perfect introduction to the Irish capital, especially if you’re short on time.

After your 2 days in Dublin are up, I’m sure you’ll be ready to return to see more of beautiful Dublin and explore the rest of Ireland!

Keep reading for tips on how to plan a perfect 2 days in Dublin, including a day-by-day itinerary, tips on where to stay and eat, and more helpful tips for getting around Dublin!

(Note: This itinerary is for 2 full days in Dublin. In order to get the most out of your time in Dublin, I recommend not counting travel days as one of your 2 days, unless you get into Dublin super early on your first day.)

Walking across the Ha'Penny Bridge in Dublin, Ireland

2 Days in Dublin Itinerary: What to See in Dublin in 2 Days

Are you ready to spend 2 days in Dublin, seeing the best the city has to offer? This itinerary will help you make the best of your 2 days in Dublin – by the end of it,  you’ll be ready to come back and stay a bit longer!

Day 1: An Overview of Dublin’s Top Sights

St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland

Dublin Free Walking Tour

Begin your first day in Dublin with a free walking tour – one of my favorite ways to see a new city.

There are several free walking tours in Dublin, but Dublin Free Walking Tour is one of the best.

On this free walking tour, you’ll get a 3-hour rundown of some of Dublin’s most famous sights including the Dublin Spire, Trinity College, the Temple Bar area, Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and more.

Don’t forget to tip your guide when the tour is finished! Depending on the length and quality of the tour, I typically tip my guides between €15-€20.

Trinity College and the Book of Kells + Dublin Castle

Grab some lunch after your tour before heading to a more in-depth visit of Trinity College.

Stroll through the Old Library’s Long Room (a must-see for book lovers) before seeing the Book of Kells – a medieval manuscript depicting the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ.

The Old Library at Trinity College Dublin
The Long Room of the Old Library of Trinity College

Seeing the Book of Kells is one of the top things to do in Dublin as it’s one of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures.

In order to skip the often long lines, book your tickets online here. Make sure to bring your student ID for a discount on admission!

I also recommend combining your visit to the Book of Kells with the nearby Dublin Castle. You probably saw the outside of the Dublin Castle during your walking tour, but touring the inside is a really fun experience.

You can pre-book a skip-the-line combo ticket that includes admission to both the Book of Kells and Dublin Castle as well as guided tours of both.

2 Days in Dublin Itinerary - Temple Bar at Night

Pub Hopping in Temple Bar

After exploring Trinity College’s campus, grab dinner and walk toward the River Liffey to the Temple Bar neighborhood.

Home to the world-famous Temple Bar Pub, this neighborhood is a must for anyone who enjoys a fun night out.

Drinks at the Temple Bar Pub are more expensive than some of the other pubs in the neighborhood, but its atmosphere makes it worth it.

Grab a drink there and enjoy the atmosphere before heading to some of the other pubs with cheaper drinks. The Quays Bar is one of my favorites!


Day 2: Dive Deeper into Dublin

Are you ready to dive deeper into some of Dublin’s top sights on Day 2?

Check out a Museum

After breakfast, hit up one of Dublin’s wonderful museums.

The National Gallery of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, and the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History are all free and full of fascinating exhibits and beautiful works of art.

Pick one to explore or hit up all three if you have the time to do so!

A can of Guinness outside of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin

Visit the Guinness Storehouse

Stop in a local pub for lunch before making your way to Dublin’s top tourist attraction: the Guinness Storehouse.

Here, you’ll learn the story of Guinness, like how Arthur Guinness leased the property for 45 Irish Pounds for 9000 years (about $65 in current US Dollars), the brewing process of the famous stout, and the company’s iconic marketing campaigns.

At the end of your tour, you’ll learn how to pour the perfect pint of “the Black Stuff” before enjoying your pint at the Gravity Bar.

Adult Guinness Storehouse admission tickets start at €30. Book your ticket online to skip the queue!

The inside of Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, Ireland
Kilmainham Gaol – Dublin, Ireland

Kilmainham Gaol

Up next, head to the nearby Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin’s county jail from 1796 to 1924.

Here, you’ll learn about parts of Ireland’s dark past: at this jail, several Irish revolutionaries were imprisoned and executed by the British.

Make sure to pre-book your tickets online as they often sell out – tickets are €8 for adults (bring your student ID for a €4 discount).

Evening Dinner and a show at the Abbey Theatre

To celebrate your last night in Dublin, have a farewell dinner at a nice restaurant with a pre-theatre menu (I highly recommend The Winding Stair) before seeing a show at the Abbey Theatre – the national theatre of Ireland.

Ticket prices fluctuate by date, but they’re all pretty affordable: early bird tickets start as low as €10.

To get the best price, check out what’s on during your travel dates and book your tickets as early as possible.

After the show, walk along O’Connell Street and then along the River Liffey to take in Dublin’s vibes one last time.

Your Dublin adventure may be over for now, but I’m sure you’ll be ready to come back to explore the Irish capital a little deeper!


2 Days in Dublin: Top Tips for Visiting Dublin

If you’re going abroad for the first time, Dublin (and the rest of Ireland) is one of the best places to introduce you to international travel.

English is one of the official languages (in addition to Irish), it’s very easy to get around, and the locals are very welcoming to foreign tourists.

When I asked a shopkeeper for directions, he left his post to walk me to my destination – the Irish people are very hospitable!


When to Visit Dublin

Dublin is a fun city to visit any time of the year, but if you’re not a fan of the cold weather you may want to stick to the warmer months.

Dublin is warmest from June to August, but this is also the tourist high season – be prepared for higher prices on flights and hotels. The summer also brings several fun festivals to check out such as the Forbidden Fruit, Dublin Pride, and Longitude.

Spring (March-May) and Fall (September-November) are a great time to visit as temperatures are moderate and there are fewer crowds.

St. Patrick’s Day, a huge draw for tourists from around the world, is on March 17, with the festival taking place for five days around the 17th. Temperatures during this time may be rainy and chilly, so pack some sweaters and scarves!

If you want to save money, consider coming to Dublin during the winter (December-February). It’ll be cold, so make sure to pack plenty of layers and bundle up – grabbing a pint and chatting with locals at the pub is a perfect way to hide from the cold for a little bit!

Ready to book flights? I always use Google Flights to check prices for different dates and find the best time (and price) for your flight. Or, if you’re flexible, sign up for Going flight alerts and wait for a deal to Dublin to come your way!


2 Days in Dublin: Getting around Dublin

Getting around Dublin via public transportation is both easy and affordable.

When you arrive in Dublin, the first thing you should do is get a Leap Visitor Card. You can choose from a 1 day/24-hour card, a 3 day/72-hour card, or a 7 day/168 hour card.

The card will get you unlimited use of the Dublin Bus, Airlink, LUAS, DART, commuter rail, and Go-Ahead Ireland routes in Dublin.

Use a website like Rome2Rio or Google Maps to determine the best and easiest route to your destination.

If you arrive in Dublin by air, you’ll be arriving at Dublin Airport (DUB).

The Dublin city center is located a little under 8 miles from the airport and is easily accessible via public transportation.

The easiest way to get from the Dublin Airport to the city center is to take the Airlink Express (included with the Leap Visitor Card).

Buses run every 10 minutes and make stops throughout the Dublin city center. There are also several Dublin Bus routes that run from the airport to the city center.

Uber is available in Dublin, but the most popular app for ordering a rideshare or taxi is FREE NOW. If you don’t want to take public transportation from the airport to your accommodation, this is the way to go.

This is of course more expensive than taking the bus, but it it likely way more convenient if you have a lot of luggage.

Dublin is a rather walkable city and many of the top sights are close to each other. Remember that the Irish drive on the left, so keep this in mind when crossing the street!

A view of the Spire of Dublin

Getting Euros in Dublin

Ireland’s currency is the Euro (check current conversion rates on XE.com).

If the Euro is not your home currency, the easiest (and cheapest) way to get Euros is to use your debit card at an ATM – the conversion rate will be better here than what you’ll get from one of the currency exchanges at the airport.

Consider using a bank that offers no foreign transaction fees and ATM fee rebates such as Charles Schwab. Also, make sure to inform your bank that you’ll be traveling so that the bank’s fraud detection system knows that a leprechaun didn’t steal your identity!

ATMs are all over Dublin and are easy to find.

When possible, use ATMs located at banks as this makes it easier to retrieve your card if it happens to be eaten by the ATM. Local banks such as HSBC, KBC, Ulster Bank, and AIB are scattered around the Dublin streets.

Most restaurants and shops in Dublin also accept credit cards. Visa and Mastercard are more widely accepted than American Express or Discover.

Before your trip, consider applying for a Visa or Mastercard with no foreign transaction fees.

TIP: Sometimes when paying with a credit card, you will be given the option to be charged in Euros or US Dollars. ALWAYS CHOOSE EUROS – the exchange rate to dollars will not be in your favor!

If this is your first time traveling abroad, your parents may advise you to take some travelers checks, which are rarely accepted these days. Stick to cash from an ATM and a credit card! Just make sure to notify your bank and credit card companies that you’ll be traveling!


2 Days in Dublin: Where to Stay in Dublin

Accommodation prices in Dublin are similar to those elsewhere in western Europe and in major US cities.

Hotel rooms tend to be more expensive, but there are still many nice, budget-friendly options.

Hostels might be your best option if you’re traveling to Dublin on a budget.

If you’re traveling as a couple or with a group of friends, hotel rooms are more affordable as the cost can be split among the group.

If you’re only spending two days in Dublin, I recommend staying near the city center to maximize your time spent exploring. Here are some of my picks of great, affordable accommodations near the city center:

  • Abbey Court Hostel – Consistently ranked as one of Dublin’s best hostels, Abbey Court is located across the street from Temple Bar. A perfect spot for solo travelers, you can make some new friends at the nightly pub crawl and then roll out of bed the next morning for free breakfast. Private rooms are also available.
  • The Mont – A gorgeous design hotel with beautiful rooms, a great bar, and a perfect location near Trinity College and other Dublin highlights.
  • Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin – A classic hotel with modestly-priced rooms located on Upper O’Connell Street, a short walk from all of Dublin’s top sights. This hotel is a great choice if you’re traveling as a couple or with friends and can split the cost of one room.
  • The Merrion Hotel – The highest rated hotel on TripAdvisor. Very pricey (and out of my budget) – if you stay here, send me pictures so I can live vicariously through you!

Dublin is also home to several different vacation rentals which are perfect if you’re traveling with a group of friends or your family. Check out all of Dublin’s vacation rentals to find the perfect stay for your trip.

If none of these accommodations are right for you, you can search for other great places to stay in Dublin on Booking.com.


2 Days in Dublin: Where to Eat in Dublin

Dublin isn’t usually recognized as a foodie destination, but the city is home to several great pubs, cafés, and fine dining restaurants.

Here are a few of my favorite Dublin restaurants – make sure to try some of them out during your Dublin trip!

  • The Hairy Lemon – A delicious Irish pub with great food and an even better atmosphere. There are also plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options! // 42 Lower Stephens Street, Dublin 2,
  • 37 Dawson Street – A lovely whiskey bar with delicious food – make sure to visit on the weekend for brunch! // 37 Dawson Street, Dublin 2
  • Abrakebabra – An Irish fast food chain serving yummy doner kebabs, chicken shawarma, and more. This place is open late and perfect after pounding a few pints at Temple Bar! // Check website for a list of all locations.
  • The Winding Stair – Looking for a nice dinner out in Dublin? This is the spot for you. Located above an old bookshop and overlooking the Ha’penny Bridge, this restaurant is the perfect place to celebrate your Dublin adventure. Reservations are recommended; make sure to look into the pre-theatre menu to get a delicious 2- or 3-course meal at a reasonable price. // 40 Lower Ormond Quay, North City, Dublin 1
  • Murphys Ice Cream – No matter where I am in the world, I will always seek out a delicious ice cream place. Murphys Ice Cream is one of the best places I’ve had! Make sure to try the caramel and the Dingle sea salt flavors together – it makes a delicious combination! // 27 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2

Travel Insurance in Dublin

Dublin is a very safe city, but those European cobblestones are no joke.

If you end up with a sprained ankle (or another medical issue), travel insurance will help with your emergency medical expenses. Travel insurance will also help cover things like delayed baggage or stolen travel gear.

I recommend using SafetyWing for travel insurance in Ireland. The insurance is affordable and offers great coverage.

Is 2 days in Dublin enough?

If you’re short on time, 2 days is enough time to explore Dublin’s top sights and get a good introduction to the city.


More Things to Do in Dublin:

Spending more than just 2 days in Dublin? Check out this list of more fun things to do in Dublin:

2 Day Dublin Itinerary: Final Thoughts

This itinerary for 2 days in Dublin is a great introduction to the Ireland’s capital city.

You’ll have time to see a few of the city’s top sights, visit a museum or two, experience the nightlife, and so much more!

Once your 2 days in Dublin are over, you’ll be ready to come back for more!

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