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Welcome to Dublin! Ireland’s captivating capital has so much to offer visitors in just 2 days. This detailed guide covers the top things to see, do, eat, and drink to help you make the most of your quick trip. From fairytale castles to lively pubs, striking architecture to rich history, get ready to soak up the best of Dublin.
Planning Your Visit
Dublin can be quite pricey compared to other European destinations. Budget about €100-150 per day for accommodation, meals, attractions and transportation. You can save by staying in hostels, pre-booking attraction tickets online, using public transport and taking free walking tours.
To be central, consider staying in Temple Bar, around Grafton Street or near St. Stephen’s Green. The Generator Hostel offers cheap dorm beds from €10-15. Mid-range options include Buswells Hotel from around €108 for a double room. For 5-star luxury, hotels like The Merrion start at €200 per night. Airbnb is another good alternative for apartments and private rooms.
Dublin’s city center is very walkable. For farther flung attractions, take buses, the LUAS tram or DART trains. The Leap Visitor card offers savings on public transport. Taxis are easy to hail. Bike rentals are also available from companies like Bleeperbike.
Day 1: Immerse Yourself in Dublin’s Storied History
Fuel Up with a Hearty Irish Breakfast
Start your day right by fueling up with a traditional Irish breakfast. Look for fluffy eggs, Irish sausages, black and white pudding, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, baked beans and toast. Top-notch full Irish breakfasts can be found for under €10 around Dublin.
The Woolen Mills dishes out generous Irish breakfasts in an atmospheric converted textile mill along the River Liffey. Elephant and Castle serves classic Irish fare and more exotic morning treats like pancakes and huevos rancheros.
Marvel at the Book of Kells and Explore Trinity College
After breakfast, head straight for Trinity College to explore Dublin’s most famous university. Pre-book tickets online to skip the queues for the Book of Kells, Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure. This 9th century illuminated manuscript contains lavishly decorated gospels from the New Testament.
Upstairs, soak up the grandeur of the 65-meter Long Room in the Old Library, home to over 200,000 of Trinity’s oldest books. Outdoors, don’t miss the Campanile bell tower, square’s, and stunning Georgian architecture.
Join a Free Walking Tour of Dublin’s City Center
Once you’ve explored Trinity, join a free 2-3 hour walking tour to hit more top sights like St. Stephen’s Green, Merrion Square, Dublin Castle, Temple Bar and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Local guides share history, stories and wit, working for tips. Highly-rated Yellow Umbrella Tours start from the Spire monument.
Learn How to Pour the Perfect Pint at Guinness Storehouse
No trip to Dublin is complete without visiting the Guinness Storehouse to explore exhibits on Ireland’s iconic beer. Learn to pour the perfect pint and enjoy panoramic views from the Gravity Bar while sipping your complimentary brew. Pre-booking skip the line tickets saves time.
See Christ Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Take in two architectural gems – Christ Church Cathedral dating to 1030 AD and the grand Gothic-style St. Patrick’s Cathedral, completed in 1260. Wander through centuries of Irish religious history.
Catch an Authentic Traditional Music Session
In the evenings, head to The Cobblestone pub in Smithfield to experience an authentic Irish traditional music session. Talented local musicians play classics while patrons socialize and sing along over pints.
Day 2: Escape the City
Take a Cliffside Hike in Seaside Howth
On day two, ride the 25 minute DART train north to scenic Howth village. Hike high cliff trails encircling the peninsula for stunning vistas across Dublin Bay. Refuel on fish and chips at The Bloody Stream pub before heading back.
Picnic and People Watch in St Stephen’s Green
Back in the city center, unwind in lively St. Stephen’s Green park. Spread out a picnic, enjoy buskers and street performers, and feed the ducks at 2pm sharp!
Step Back in Time at Kilmainham Gaol
Tour Kilmainham Gaol for an eerie glimpse into Ireland’s rebellions and path to independence. Join an hour-long guided tour of the prison where leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were executed. Remember to pre-book tickets online.
Discover Dublin’s Past and Present at The Little Museum
For quirky insights into Dublin’s history, don’t miss The Little Museum. Eclectic exhibits and lively guided tours connect events like the Easter Rising and Riverdance to Dublin’s development.
Tuck into Hearty Irish Fare at Cornucopia
Recharge with wholesome vegetarian Irish cuisine at Cornucopia in Temple Bar. Try hot veggie dishes, salads, soups and more from their generous buffet, reasonably priced at €13 per plate.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this comprehensive 48 hour Dublin travel guide! If you have any tips to add from your own travels, please share in the comments below. And don’t forget to like and share this guide if you found it useful. Sláinte!