Read on for our insider’s guide to spending two days in the old town.
The best of the City centre
Canal Bank Ride
There are few better ways to explore Dublin than renting a bike. The city has over 190km of cycle routes, and the one along the beautiful Grand Canal is perfect for starters. Watch out for swans and barges, or the occasional kayaker as you pedal along this 3.6km route, stopping for coffee along the way. You’ll pass the Georgian elegance of Portobello, before arriving at the thriving tech hub of Spencer Dock.
MoLI – Museum of Literature Ireland
Even if you never read Ulysses you’ll know that Ireland (and Dublin) has its fair share of world class writers. Delve into the tales behind the country’s greatest storytellers at the Museum of Literature Ireland. It’s right on St. Stephen’s Green, so it’s easy to combine your visit with a stroll through the park or some shopping on Grafton Street.
The Little Museum of Dublin
Just across the green from MoLI, The Little Museum of Dublin reveals the history of the city through a curious collection of memorabilia (complete with witty captions!). From the Vikings to U2, it’s an endearing human story of pop culture and the capital’s quirks housed in an impressive Georgian townhouse.
Enjoy some food and drink in Dublin City
Peruke and Periwig
Just across the street from The Mansion House on Dawson Street is Peruke and Periwig, one of Dublin's most striking and luxurious pubs. Sit at the bar and enjoy a fine whiskey or perfectly poured coffee, or if you're hungry, grab a table and order some small plates to share or try the steak for your main.
The Black Sheep
Craft beer lovers need to check out The Black Sheep on Capel Street. Treat yourself to a refreshing Radler, oatmeal IPA or Belgian blonde ale before ordering up one of their amazing burgers and a side of delicious vegan cauliflower wings. Stick around after your meal for some live music or comedy show.
For a traditional pub in the heart of Dublin, you can't go wrong with O'Neills Pub on Pearse Street. Relax with a quiet pint and enjoy a chat with friends over a traditional Irish meal. Find a quiet corner in the pub and soak in the atmosphere of this well-loved establishment.
Escape the city
You could easily spend your entire break exploring Dublin City, but its’ pretty coastal towns are also worth a visit.
A scenic, 30-minute Dart journey from the city centre brings you to Dalkey; a buzzy and picturesque seaside town. Visit the many bookshops, galleries, pubs and restaurants or, if you’re feeling adventurous, head down to the harbour and take a boat trip to Dalkey Island where you’ll meet the local wildlife and enjoy exceptional views of the coast.
One Dart stop up from Dalkey, Killiney is a popular destination for walkers and hikers with spectacular views of Dublin, the Irish Sea and the even coast of Wales on a clear day. Keep your eyes peeled for the area’s A-list residents (Bono and Enya to name just two) and sneak a peek at their impressive homes while you’re up on Killiney Hill.
Or why not jump on a bus to Dún Laoghaire? (Stopping off to pick up your guitar is strictly optional.) Take a slow walk along the east and west piers, stop for an ice cream at Teddy’s, if you’re passing through on a Sunday, don’t miss the People’s Park Market which runs from 11am to 4pm. The Hog Box at The Goode Life stall is not to be missed, so bring a healthy appetite.
The nearby Forty Foot on Sandycove Beach is something of a legend too. It’s at the back of the teeny beach and is a daily draw for brave bathers. Sit for a while or pack your togs and take a dip or try out the wood burning sauna.
The northside of Dublin has just as many seaside attractions so hop on the DART in Sandycove and don’t get off until Howth. Grab a window seat on the right of the carriage for the best views and spend the next hour admiring Dublin Bay, before you arrive in the charming fishing village. Take the famous Cliff Walk, go for a stroll on the pier or hop on a short boat trip to Ireland’s Eye. And it’s only right to top off your day with a feed of fish and chips. However you decide to spend your short break in Dublin, it’s good to know there’s always more where that came from and lots of reasons to return.
There's so much more to Dublin
This list is on just the beginning, there's an endless amount of things to do in Dublin. For all the info to get the best from Dublin, head to Visit Dublin.