How to get the most out of 24 hours in Dublin
Short on time? Get the most out of 24 hours in Dublin by reading this post of the best way to explore Dublin city in one day! I get it, most people arrive in Dublin and then head out to the country to spend most of their holiday – and I still think that the best parts of Ireland are best found out in the country, away from the big city. But Dublin should not be skipped over entirely. There is loads to see and do in Dublin – in fact I have written several posts about all the things you should see and do if you are ever in Dublin, because there is ALOT to see and do (scroll to the bottom of this post for links to some of my other top Dublin posts!). To be able to see absolutely everything, you would need more than one day, but if you are only here for a short time, here are some of my top things you should do if you have a day or 24 hours in Dublin:
1. Keep it Central and Walk
Traffic in the city center can be a bit of nightmare and may actually slow you down, especially if you are short on time. If you can make your way to the center of town, then a short walk along the Liffey River between the Ha’Penny Bridge and the Samuel Beckett Bridge gives you a good sense of what Dublin is about. You could also choose to walk from the Spire to Trinity College. Once at Trinity, then Grafton street is not too far away. Grafton Street is a big pedestrianised street with some high end shops (like Brown Thomas etc), it also has a lot of buskers playing music. At the top of Grafton Street is St Stephens Green Shopping Center which is a bit of a small mall, but it is beautiful on the inside and highly insta-worthy architecture 🙂
2. Walk through Temple Bar – but do not to have a pint there!
Temple Bar is not just a bar, it is an area in Dublin with loads of pubs and tourist spots – it really has become a mecca for tourists, which means if you stop and have a pint in this area – guaranteed you will pay more than an arm and a leg for it! Still it is nice to walk the cobble streets and the vibe is always festive because Temple Bar as an area is always filled with happy tourists, take a few insta-worthy snaps and move onto a proper Irish pub to have a pint!
3. Have a pint in a proper Irish pub
There is definitely a post on the best pubs to visit in Dublin in the making – if only we could limit the selection – because there are loads! In city center area, our faves would be Mary’s Hardware (Just off Grafton Street and has a wow burger restaurant in the basement!); McDaid’s (just off Grafton Street; make sure to look out for the Phil Lynott Statue just outside!); O’Donoghue’s (close to Merrion Square and serves a great pint of Guinness and trad music!)
4. Picnic in a Park
At the top of Grafton street is St Stephens Park – which is the perfect spot for a picnic lunch! Another fave park of ours is Merrion Square (which has an Oscar Wilde statue and is also close to a few free museums!)
5. Be selective on the Tourist Attractions
Realistically, if you want to really get the most out of the 24 hours in Dublin, you would need to choose one or two tourist attractions to do (and depending on where they are, you might only be able to have time to do one). Most people would say Guinness Storehouse is not to be missed, but i honestly find it a bit overrated and for 20 bucks, you could have more than one pint in an actual pub. My top tourist attraction to do in Dublin has to be Kilmainham Gaol – but you have to book a time slot in advance. You can catch a local bus to Kilmainham (Busses 13 / 40 / 123 from College Green get you pretty close); alternatively you could get a hop-on-off bus which most definitely stops there. Kilmainham Gaol goes through Irish History and shares some great stories about the people who fought for Irish Independence. It has a similar vibe to how you would feel going to Robben Island in South Africa – I have done the tour twice since living in Ireland and I have cried both times.
Got more time in Dublin? Read these posts:
- 20 Free Things to do in Dublin
- 3 Days in Dublin
- 8 of the Best Day Trips around Dublin
- Guide to the 9 free museums in Dublin
- 7 Halloween inspired places to visit in Dublin
- 5 Tourist Spots to Visit in Dublin
- 7 Walks to do in Dublin
IF YOU ONLY HAD 24 HOURS IN DUBLIN, WHAT WOULD YOU EXPLORE FIRST?
Live Simply & Travel Slow,
p.s. If social media is your thing (snap! It’s my fave too!), you should totally follow me on Instagram.
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Gaenor du Plessis says
Ooh, I wish I ‘met’ you before we were in Ireland last April. We spent a day and a half in Dublin and couldn’t find anywhere really ‘local’ to eat a meal. Ended up in a smart pub next to a hotel over the road possibly from a state house. Cannot remember where and can’t find it on Google Maps. Happily it wasn’t overpriced and we had a lovely meal on a cold wet day.
As for ‘what would you do’- my elder daughter had done a presentation on a famous artist, selected by her teacher, and it was about Francis Bacon. We were able to go to the Dublin City Gallery to view his studio as it had been moved from London (after his death) and we also took a long walk to view the house that he was born on Lower Baggot Street. Obviously this worked for us given recent research and may not be everybody’s cup of tea 😉
I love how the museums and art galleries are free to visit – its great for kids and parents too 🙂
Susan Brown says
I love these recommendations. I will definitely refer back to this on my next visit. I have been to Ireland twice and we don’t typically spend much time in Dublin. We start and end there, but drive the country for most of the visit. There are a few places I’d like to try out on your list next time I visit (like your recommendation to visit Kilmainham Gaol and the proper Irish pubs…they are my favorite). I know we are in a pandemic right now, but I dream for the day we can travel again.