How to spend 48 hours in Dublin

By Darragh Peter Murphy

You will be surprised how much you can pack into 48 hours in Dublin. Take some inspiration from our weekend guide.

Day one

Start with a leisurely wander through Stephen’s Green, before ambling past the buskers and performers of Grafton Street to Trinity College, where – depending on queues – a visit to the Long Room and the Book of Kells is a must.

Discover the historic heart of Dublin at Dublin Castle

Discover the historic heart of Dublin at Dublin Castle

From Trinity, walk through Suffolk Street to Andrew’s Street, and explore the shops on Exchequer, Wicklow and South William Streets – including the stylish Powerscourt Centre – before walking past St Patrick’s Cathedral for a spot of organic lunch at The Fumbally cafe (worth a 10-minute walk), a warehouse eatery at the heart of Ireland’s changing food and design scene. Taking a couple of flapjacks to go, visiting
Dublin Castle and the wonderful Chester Beatty Library is but the work of a moment – or rather 10 minutes, via Dame Street.

From there, walk back to Temple Bar for a Dublin-style Irish beef burger at Bunsen, or Wow Burger (or, for veggies, Cornucopia on Wicklow Street). After a quick post-dinner pint at P. Mac’s, round off the night with some traditional music at The Temple Bar – or craft beers at the Porterhouse – before moving on to the Mezz and – for the very adventurous – Copper Face Jacks on Harcourt Street.

Day two

If you’re like most visitors to Dublin, your might need a gentle second day. Pop in for tea at the Queen of Tarts on Lovers Lane, a classy breakfast at Dublin institution Bewley’s on Grafton Street, or a sophisticated brunch at Coppinger Row.

Right, you’ve had your Barry’s Tea – now it’s time for a gentle stroll through one of Dublin’s many galleries, starting with the National Gallery near Merrion Square, or the nearby National Museum and National Library. On the western side of the city centre, nestling in leafy Kilmainham, lies the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Imma) – an amazing mix of landscaped gardens, cutting-edge art and a getaway from the noise of the city.

Explore the story of Ireland's most iconic beer at the Guinness Storehouse

Explore the story of Ireland’s most iconic beer at the Guinness Storehouse

After all this culture, it’s time to get a bird’s eye view of the city – and some stout, at the Guinness Storehouse, where the last admission is 5pm. If the weather is fine, you might prefer a selection of parks in which to take a breather. Merrion Square, or Fitzwilliam Square are near the National Gallery but – on the other side of the city centre – there is Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed urban park in Europe, containing herds of fallow deer, well-managed natural forest, Dublin Zoo, the impressive Farmleigh House, and Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the Irish President.

For dinner, depending on location, try the magnificent Kimchi Hophouse on Parnell Street, Fade Street Social on Fade Street, or sublime Thai food (or delivery) from Neon, a favourite among the Portobello 20-somethings. For the evening, explore north of the Liffey and have a pint at The Cobblestone or Dice Bar in Smithfield before ending at the Workman’s Club on the quays.

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Image credits: ©Brian Morrison/Tourism Ireland/Ireland's Content Pool; Giammarco Boscaro/Unsplash

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