Make the most of your short city break in Dublin. To help you plan ahead and research the best things to do in Ireland’s capital city, here’s my guide to spending two days in Dublin.
A weekend guide to Dublin – 48 hours itinerary
Getting around Dublin
If you’re travelling via Dublin Airport then I would recommend taking the Airlink Express. A return ticket is just €24 so it’s an ideal transfer option for those on a budget. Tickets are available to buy at the airport however discounts are available if you book online.
Just Eat dublinbikes is a great bike sharing scheme in Dublin City Centre. With 24-hour rental stations located pretty much everywhere, it couldn’t be easier to experience Dublin on two wheels. A three day ticket costs just €5.
The Dublin Pass
If you’ve only got two days to see Dublin then it’s best to plan out your time wisely. Don’t waste hours queueing in line for the top attractions when you don’t have to. Discover the top things to do in Dublin and save yourself money with the two-day Dublin Pass.
For €79, the two-day Dublin Pass includes fast track entry into over 30 local attractions, plus a 24-hour hop on hop off bus ticket, and special offers on food, drink and experiences. Simply buy online and download the ticket to your phone or collect your pass when you get there.
Dublin attractions include:
- Guiness Storehouse
- Christchurch Cathedral
- Dublin Zoo
- Jameson Distillery
- St Patrick’s Cathedral
- Dublin Castle
- Teeling’s Distillery
I had a fantastic experience with my pass and I’ve been recommending it to friends and family ever since. It’s so simple to use and great for visitors who are short on time. Want to know more? Read about the Dublin Pass here.
Breakfast at Lemon Jelly Cafe
Conveniently located just 10 minutes walk from the City Centre, Lemon Jelly Cafe is a great spot to start your first day in Dublin. Enjoy the relaxed, contemporary vibes over a fresh coffee and a delicious full Irish breakfast or, if you’re like me, something sweeter.
Not much of a morning person? Not to worry, they offer an all-day breakfast/brunch menu too.
This place is a hidden gem but it’s popular with locals. Get there early to catch a table for breakfast.
Awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016 – 2019.
Dublin Free Walking Tour
From Lemon Jelly Cafe, it’s time to head along the River Liffey and into the City Centre to join the Dublin Free Walking Tour.
If you’re looking for a fantastic introduction to Dublin then this tour is where it’s at. In just three hours, you’ll learn about the city’s fascinating history and visit the most iconic places including Temple Bar, Dublin Castle and Trinity College.
In my opinion, this tour is perfect for getting to know Dublin. Not only did I understand where I was going afterwards but visiting the attractions changed for the better too.
I enjoyed this tour so much that I decided to book onto their Dublin Traditional Pub Tour later that day.
For just €20 each, a small group of us were taken off the beaten track to visit some of Dublin’s local pubs. It included craft beer and whisky tasters and a chance to listen in on a traditional Irish music session.
Voted the number one tour in Dublin 2017- 2019 on TripAdvisor.
After a busy morning touring the sights, I decided to grab a picnic and head over to Trinity College.
Trinity College is the historic campus of the University of Dublin – the oldest university in Dublin. It is also home to the Book of Kells Exhibition and the Old Library.
There’s no charge to enter the campus and everyone is free to stroll around the beautiful Georgian buildings and gardens.
With lots of grassy areas and picturesque cobbled squares, it’s the perfect place to spend a couple of hours watching the world go by right in the heart of the city.
The Book of Kells and The Old Library
The Book of Kells is a world-famous 9th century manuscript containing the four Gospels of the New Testament. Whereas the Old Library is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. The Long Room (all 65m of it) is the library’s main chamber and houses over 200,000 of the library’s oldest books.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to visit the Book of Kells or the Old Library. But if you’re a history lover then it definitely shouldn’t be missed.
A guided tour of the campus costs just €6 per adult. Tickets for the Book of Kells and Old Library Exhibition are between €11-€14 (depending on the time of day) and can be booked in advance online.
Your trip simply wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Dublin’s #1 attraction. Even for those who don’t drink Guinness, the Storehouse is still a must see.
Take a self-guided tour through seven storeys of Guinness heritage and history including production, brewing and recipe.
Each floor is filled with interactive displays and experiences that bring the story to life. There’s even a restaurant and a ‘Guinness Academy’ – this is where you can learn how to pour the perfect pint of the Black Stuff.
Once you’ve finished the brewery tour, don’t miss the opportunity to head up to the Gravity Bar on the top floor. From here you can enjoy a free pint of Guinness and experience 360° views of Dublin city and beyond. Double win!
Brunch at Brother Hubbard (North)
Start off your second day with a leisurely stroll to Capel Street, one of Dublin’s most multicultural and historically sigificant streets.
Here you’ll find Brother Hubbard North, an independent cafe that’s perfect for breakfast or brunch.
As well as serving delicious, homemade food, this cosy cafe has plenty of rustic charm and beautiful decor to match.
I highly reccommend the Turkish Eggs Menemen. Toasted bread topped with whipped feta, scrambled eggs, Turkish çemen (tomato paste), olives, chilli, red onion, salsa, roast peppers and baby spinach.
McKenna’s Guides named Brother Hubbard one of the ‘Top 100 Places to Eat in Ireland’ from 2014-2018.
St Patrick’s Cathedral
From Capel Street, take a 15 minute walk or jump on a JustEat dublinbike over to St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Dating back to 1220, this beautiful cathedral is one of Dublin’s most important historical landmarks. It is also a magnificent example of medieval and gothic architecture.
Take time to wander through the church and admire the stained-glass windows, alter and 200 monuments.
Dublin Zoo & Pheonix Park
Being a huge animal lover and supporter of wildlife conservation, I simply couldn’t miss out on a visit to Dublin Zoo.
Dublin Zoo is located in Pheonix Park and is home to over 400 animals, including many rare and endangered species.
Entry is only €17.50 online (10% saving) or alternatively, entrance is included in the Dublin Pass.
After a couple of hours at the zoo, make the most of the late afternoon and explore the stunning grounds of Pheonix Park, either on foot or by bike.
The perfect way to end your two-day itinerary in Dublin.
More Dublin itinerary suggestions
Staying in Dublin for longer than two days? I didn’t get round to visiting all the attractions but check out my other itinerary suggestions below.
- Chester Beatty Library & Museum
- Kilmainham Gaol
- Teeling Distillery
- Christchurch Cathedral
- Jameson Distillery
- Dublin Castle