When planning my trip to Scotland I realized that I could easily extend my layover in Dublin for only $50.00 and would be able to stay in the city for two days! So being the savvy traveler that I am, I weighed out the pros and cons of this idea. Clearly, the pros came out on top and to Dublin I went. Here is my two day itinerary for first timers visiting Dublin. One great thing about Dublin is that the city is extremely walkable and I was able to get around by walking almost everywhere.
Start by visiting Dublin Castle. It is right in the center of the city and will probably be in walking distance from your accommodation. I was able to do the full tour for free, however, I would recommend just walking the gardens and taking a few pictures from the outside…because there is so much more to do!
Next head over to take a obligatory picture of St. Patrick’s Cathedral…because when in Dublin. I chose not to go inside, but if I could go back I would make sure to spend a few minutes there.
This one is for the nerds. Check out Trinity College Library. The entrance fee is €11 for adults and there is often a line to get in. However, this library is one of the most famous in the world. It is known to have been inspiration for the Jedi Archives from Star Wars and is often compared to the library from Harry Potter. Find out more about ticket information and hours of operation here.
Next, spend some time in Dublin’s green space…head over to one of Dublin’s parks.
I was able to visit both St. Stephen’s Green and Phoenix Park. Picturesque St. Stephen’s Green is a perfect place to picnic after walking down the famous shopping area, Grafton Street. This park is very accessible as it is right in the city center. Phoenix Park is another beautiful place to picnic, however you would most likely want to take public transit or a cab to get there as it takes over an hour to walk there from downtown Dublin. The draw of Phoenix Park is the attractions. I was most interested in the Magazine Fort (which offers free tours on Sundays throughout the year and on seasonally on Fridays) and Ashtown Castle….which turned out to be unmemorable. The most spectacular and unexpected part of the park are the herds of wild deer just hanging out and eating the grass.
I know that this seems like a lot of things to do in one day, but I was trying to cram in as many things as possible into my short layover!
Take a tour to the Cliffs of Moher.
We did a FULL DAY tour that picked us up right down the street from our hostel. The tour included a walking tour of Galway City, lunch in the country village of Doolin, the cliffs of Moher, and the Burren. I normally do not opt to take touristy excursions, however this was BY FAR my favorite thing that I did in Ireland. There are many tour companies that offer basically the same tour for €50.
Finish up this long day with a Guinness from a traditional Irish Pub. Head over to the Temple Bar area where you will undoubtedly find a pub to fit your mood. We personally opted for a pub with traditional Irish singing and dancing.
Some notable attractions that did not make my list:
- Guinness Storehouse Tours
- The Old Jameson Distillery (Currently closed until March 2017)
- Christ Church Cathedral (only 7 minutes walking from St. Patrick’s Cathedral)