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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. Most likely, Dublin will be the starting point for your Ireland adventure. 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!). Spending 2 days in Dublin is a perfect introduction to the Irish capital, especially if you’re short on time (have less than 2 days? Check out this guide to spending one day in Dublin!). 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!)
A World in Reach contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a commission at no cost to you! Read my full disclosure here.
This post was first published in July 2019 and was last updated in August 2021.
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 Western European cities 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!
Dublin is also a fun city for all ages – it’s one of the best places for a European city break with kids.
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? Use a site such as Skyscanner or Google Flights to check prices for different dates and find the best time (and price) for your flight.
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 (€10), a 3 day/72-hour card (€19.50), or a 7 day/168 hour card (€40); 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!
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.
In Dublin, cash is generally preferred; however, many merchants do 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 that also supports the chip and pin system found in Europe.
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!
BUDGET TRAVEL TIP
Are you a student? If so, don’t forget your student ID card! Many of Dublin’s museums and attractions offer discounted admission to students with a valid ID – this is a great and easy way to save a few Euros. This is also a great tip if you’re visiting other cities in Europe on a budget!
For more discounts, look into signing up for an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) – a card that proves your official student status and gives you over 150,000 benefits and discounts worldwide.
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 or an Airbnb may be your best option if you’re traveling on a budget. If you’re traveling as a couple or with a group of friends, hotel rooms are much 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:
Note: Prices for all Dublin accommodations are likely to fluctuate based on time of year. For the most accurate prices for your travel dates, check Booking.com or TripAdvisor.
- 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.
- Hilton Dublin Kilmainham – Directly across the street from Kilmainham Gaol and a short bus ride from the city center, the Hilton Dublin Kilmainham Gaol sports some of the lowest prices in the city.
- 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 TripAdvisor or 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 on your 2 days in Dublin!
- 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.
On my travels, I use World Nomads travel insurance. If you’re visiting Ireland, check into World Nomads to see if their coverage options are right for you.
Though I haven’t tried it myself, SafetyWing is another travel insurance provider that’s highly recommended by many fellow travelers. I recommend comparing plans by both companies to see which one is right for you and your trip.
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!
2 Days in Dublin – Day 1: An Overview of Dublin’s Top Sights
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!
Grab some grub 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. 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!
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!
2 Days in Dublin – Day 2: Dive Deeper into Dublin
Are you ready to dive deeper into some of Dublin’s top sights on Day 2?
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!
Get some pub grub 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 tickets start at €22. Book your ticket online to skip the queue!
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).
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!
BUDGET TRAVEL TIP
Consider getting a Heritage Card, a card that will get you free admission to all of the Heritage Sites in Dublin and around Ireland.
Adult cards are €40 and student cards are just €10 with a valid student ID! The cards last for one year from the date of first use and include admission to top attractions such as Kilmainham Gaol and Dublin Castle.
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:
- DoDublin Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour – Bus tours are a great way to see a city, especially if you have limited time.
- Learn the secrets of Irish whiskey on a guided tour of the Jameson Distillery
- Take a tour of the Dublin Irish Whiskey Museum and learn about the whiskey blending process
- If you have time to leave Dublin, take a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher on Ireland’s west coast. The cliffs were one of the highlights of my Ireland trip! Consider taking a full-day Paddywagon Tour of the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin – the tours are affordable and also offer student discounts!
- Want to go a bit further afield? Consider taking a road trip along Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route!
- Click here to see more fun things to do in Dublin!
This itinerary for 2 days in Dublin is a great introduction to the city. You’ll be ready to come back for more!
Planning a trip to Dublin? Pin this post on Pinterest for to save it for later!
27 thoughts on “2 Days in Dublin Itinerary: A Perfect Weekend in Dublin, Ireland”
I still have so much to see of Europe! If only the west coast weren’t so far away!! Dublin sounds awesome!
One of my favorite places to visit! I recently returned from a trip to Dublin and absolutely loved it. Wish I would have had this post to guide me before visiting! I’ll definitely be heading back and will be sure to save this for reference.
Wow, this is a very detailed post. I really want to explore more of the UK when I visit again, as I have never ventured past England. Thank you for the inspiration. 🙂
Thanks for this exhaustive post! I can’t believe I’m from England but I haven’t been to Ireland! Dublin will be one of our first ports of call when we do visit and I can’t wait to explore! We’ll definitely be enjoying some of the local beer and enjoying the architecture!
I’m from Galway in Ireland but love visiting Dublin as often as I can. It’s one of my favourite European cities.
Great post! I planned nothing when I visited Dublin so missed a bunch of these things to do. Will be saving this for next time! Was there anything you did in Dublin that you’d recommend skipping?
It was so lovely to revisit Dublin in your pictures, as I visited some 4 years ago! You also must have gotten a way better weather day than us 🙂
I haven’t been to Ireland yet so saving your post for when I am planning to go! 🙂
I did the free walking tour too and I agree with you that it’s a great way to kick off a Dublin trip. I’m gutted that Trinity College was closed for Christmas vacation when I was there…I may have to go back!
I love Dublin!
This is a great post, and I think you are right, Ireland is a great place for Americans to explore of they are not used to travel outside the States. It looks like you had a fantastic trip.
Such a fun looking city! I’m dying to get to Ireland.
It sounds like Dublin is the perfect place to be a student! So many great deals – the Heritage card especially! Thanks for sharing the article, it brings back a lot of great memories from my trip there 🙂
Thanks, Erin! Glad you enjoyed the post!
This is a great, comprehensive list of things to do in Dublin. It’s a great tip to bring your student ID to locations around Dublin.
Literally the only thing I knew about Dublin was that it is in Ireland. This is awesome! I’d love to hit up the theater!!
You should go sometime, Kay!
I often find itinerary posts a little overwhelming but love your layout – made this super detailed post so easy to read! Can’t believe I’ve never been to Ireland (and I’m Scottish so it’s only around an hour flight) but this post makes me want to experience Dublin so much, fab tip about the heritage cards too!
Thank you so much, Lauren!
I’ve always wanted to visit Dublin! I would love to see the Old Library at Trinity College and will be adding a show at the Abbey Theatre to my list. Thanks for the tips!
You’re welcome, Jen! Seeing a show at the Abbey Theatre is so much fun, and it’s great that the tickets are reasonably priced!
LOVE the photo of the Guiness can in the water!
Thanks – it’s free stock 😉
I love Dublin. I have spent many a weekend there enjoying the food, drink and atmosphere. Can’t wait until my next visit.
I love Dublin too – it’s such a fun city!
What a great round up! I’ve actually never been to Ireland, and want to jump on a plane right now. A delicious meal and some theatre sounds like a perfect splurge at the end of two days.
Thanks, Lana! I’m ready to jump on a plane and go back!