Yes, it’s possible to experience the best of the city with only 2 days in Dublin! From its most famous sites to the highlights of the local food scene, this food-first itinerary from the team at One Day Itinerary shows you how.
Two Days in Dublin
So, you’re heading to the Irish capital, eh? Well, you’re in for a treat. Both figuratively and literally because Dublin is an excellent place for foodies to visit. Especially if you like beer.
Even if you’re just spending a weekend In Dublin, you will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy Irish hospitality and explore a city that has thoroughly reinvented itself over the last two decades or so. But to enjoy the sights and the food in the best way possible, you will need a plan of some sort, an itinerary to show you what to visit and where to go in order to be as efficient as possible with your time. Fortunately, you have us to help you with that.
Just keep reading and see how your perfect two days in Dublin could unfold.
Dublin Itinerary: Day 1
Start your day with some sightseeing
Even if you’re here just for the food, you really have to invest some time into sightseeing. There are plenty of very interesting places in the city and they’re not even very far apart, so it really pays to visit them. Trinity College is an absolute must because of its incredible architecture and the fact that the place dates back to the end of the 16th century, but another advantage of visiting it is that the Book of Kells is kept right next door. This manuscript from around 800 AD is fascinating because of its illustrations (which were made by hand) and surrounded by a huge library with literally tens of thousands of books.
In a hurry? We’ve created a custom Google map with all of the places mentioned in this itinerary. Download it to your phone and use it offline while you’re exploring Dublin. You’ll find it at the bottom of this post.
After you’re done marveling at these incredible places, head to Dublin Castle and maybe grab some quick snacks and/or a cup of coffee to serve as your breakfast. The castle was originally built in the 13th century, but over time there were some reconstructions and new buildings were added, which all makes for a very impressive whole. The current iteration of the castle is from the 18th century and is still used today by the government to host big events or when a new president is inaugurated. Plenty of history here, and one of the most important things to see in Dublin.
Have lunch in Temple Bar
It’s time for lunch, so head to the part of the city known as Temple Bar. There’s also a pub of that same name there, a very nice place to visit, but for some real quality grub, we recommend two choices – Cleaver East and Gallagher’s Boxty House.
If you’re traveling on a tighter budget that doesn’t mean the quality of your food has to suffer. Cleaver East offers great value, and its owner is a Michelin-starred chef, so you know things are about to get really tasty. The starters here are quite interesting, from parfait made of duck liver and wild game to pannacotta made of goat cheese. Main courses offer both fish and meat, with plenty of sides. Great value for your money!
For those of you who are looking for something really authentic, Gallagher’s Boxty House is the perfect place because boxties are Irish pancakes made of potato. These guys make them in a variety of styles, so there are plenty of toppings to choose from. However, if these pancakes are not your cup of tea, there are many other dishes you can order, from good old fish ‘n’ chips to corned beef to scallops.
Pssst: Want to try boxty at home? We’ve got Chef Pádraic Óg Gallagher’s famous recipe. Take a look here.
Visit Guinness Storehouse
We’re not done pampering your taste buds. Once you finish with your meal, head east from Temple Bar. A little over a mile away is the Guinness Storehouse (about a 30-minute walk). This is where you can see how this iconic Irish beer is made and learn absolutely everything there is to know about it. Through seven stories, you will be taken on a journey all beer fanatics want to undertake. The tour of this place ends on the roof of the building, in Gravity Bar, where you can enjoy an awesome view of the city and chill out with a pint of this magic elixir in your hand. This is also a great place to buy some souvenirs, but keep in mind that the storehouse closes at 5 PM, so don’t take too long with your lunch.
Insider’s Tip: Don’t waste precious time. Skip the line and experience the age-old tradition of Ireland’s Guinness brew with a connoisseur taste experience at the Guinness Storehouse.
Prepare for a tasty dinner!
After this, you can either explore the city a little more or head to your accommodation to rest up and prepare for a busy evening. Obviously, since you greatly appreciate good food, your dinner in Dublin has to be something special, and F. X. Buckley will make sure of that.
Attention, meat lovers!
F.X. Buckley is an excellent steakhouse (also in Temple Bar) which has some of the finest meat dishes you can experience in the city, so if you really want to experience a meal you can write home about, book a table here. Yes, you may need to book ahead of time – they are often full. Add to that a fantastic selection of wines, or even some great cocktails if that’s what you prefer, and you’ll get a truly unforgettable meal worth every last cent. With that, we think we can conclude the first of your 2 days in Dublin.
Get a good night’s sleep – there’s even more deliciousness waiting for you in the morning.
Dublin Itinerary: Day 2
Start your day with a full Irish
Obviously, you will want to start your second day in Dublin with a full Irish breakfast. Sounds familiar? Well, it should be because it’s fairly similar to an English breakfast. The difference is that the Irish version uses white pudding (it’s black in England) and has no hash browns. Details, but still… Anyway, you get a huge amount of meat, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, the lot. Definitely a great way to start your day, especially with some orange juice or a cup of coffee. Maybe not the healthiest of breakfasts, but definitely one of the most delicious.
If the place you’re staying at doesn’t serve this heavenly dish, try getting some at The Hairy Lemon (yes, the name is awesome), Honest to Goodness or The Pantry Cafe. These are just some of the places known for their Irish breakfast in Dublin, and you really should be able to find one that serves this delectable treat no matter where in the city you are.
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Do more sightseeing and visit Phoenix Park
If you still want to do some sightseeing, we can’t blame you – this is, after all, a marvelous city.
You can check out St. Patrick’s Cathedral, named after the country’s patron saint, but expect lines and crowds when you get there.
Should you be willing to skip that, a visit to Phoenix Park is highly recommended, especially since entering the park is completely free. This is the biggest urban park in Europe and a perfect place to get some fresh air after that hearty breakfast and work up an appetite for lunch. The park is so big, in fact, that it’s actually home to a herd of deer. With a bit of luck, you may very well stumble upon them, but if you miss them, this is where the city’s zoo is also located. For a bit of more serious sightseeing, check out the residence of the Irish president, which is also in the park.
Have a simple but delicious lunch
For lunch, you can stay in Temple Bar or head northwest, across the Liffey. There are two places we want to bring to your attention here – L. Mulligan Grocer and Klaw.
The first, L. Mulligan Grocer, represents everything you imagine when somebody says they’ve been in a pub for lunch: a cozy establishment with not very complicated but extremely delicious food. Think Scotch eggs, sirloin steaks, ham kesslers etc. What is particularly interesting is that every main course and starter on the menu has a beer recommendation to go along with it, while next to the desserts you get a tip on which whiskey to take with it. It’s a really nice addition (especially if you’re not a local and don’t know what to pair with what) that elevates your overall experience quite a bit.
If you want some seafood, however, Klaw is an excellent choice. This great crab shack offers all kinds of seafood, from oysters prepared in three different ways to shellfish, prawns, lobsters and seafood platter. It’s nothing too fancy, but once again everything is extremely delicious. Oh, and we should mention that this restaurant won the Irish Restaurant award for 2018 from The Irish Times. Therefore, they have been recognized on a wider scale. Without a doubt a great place to visit.
Enjoy a free afternoon and shop around
After lunch, take a free afternoon to explore the city a little bit more and maybe buy some souvenirs and do some shopping in general – Grafton Street is the best place to do that. Here you’ll find everything from famous brands to local things for next to nothing. It’s a great way to really blend in with the city a bit and feel its pulse, or you can simply sit in a cafe and do some people watching.
On the other hand, this is also among the best places to act all touristy-like and enjoy every little Irish detail – you are, after all, in the very heart of the city.
The other option, of course, is that you go back to your accommodation and rest up because you’ll want to make the most of your last night in Dublin.
Go on a pub crawl across Dublin
A night in Dublin’s pubs is a night to remember. That’s probably the best way to see how friendly the Irish are. If you want to strike up a conversation with the locals, this is always done over a pint of Guinness. The atmosphere inside these places is always incredibly warm and welcoming, with the hustle-bustle hitting you like a truck as soon as you enter. It doesn’t matter if you’re here alone, with your special someone or with your gang, you’ll immediately get into the mood, even before you sit down.
As you might expect, there are plenty of pubs in the city, so why not finish your 2 days in Dublin with a bang and go on a pub crawl? Everyone has their own favorite, but institutions like The Brazen Head (mentioned in James Joyce’s Ulysses), The Palace Bar (open since 1823) and The Stag’s Head (played a part in many movies and Guinness used it for its commercial) should be on everybody’s list. You’re in for a relaxing night full of great beer and a fantastic end to your two days in Dublin. Enjoy!
Insider’s Tip: There’s a good chance you’ll get a bit tipsy during your pub crawl. If you choose to visit Dublin’s historic pubs on a guided walking tour, you can leave the navigation to a knowledgable local and just can concentrate on having fun. You can even choose a themed pub crawl to match your interests.
Whether you’re on a stopover, pre or post cruise extension, or weekend getaway, this itinerary has you covered with essential sightseeing, things to do, and of course, what to eat in 2 days in Dublin. Now all you have to do is pack your bags!
Two Days in Dublin Map
To help you find you’re way around, we’ve created a custom Google map with all of the places mentioned in this itinerary. We recommend downloading it to your phone before you go, then use it offline while you’re exploring Dublin.
One Day Itinerary is a travel blog specializing in making the most out of short time in a particular destination. Even if you only have a day in a new city, we can still help you get around and point you to the most important sights. On top of that, we give many useful tips concerning dos and don’ts when you’re in a new city, so check us out. We know how it can be difficult to set aside some time to travel when you have day-to-day jobs (we have them too), but even a day or two can be enough to experience something wonderful and new. We’ve traveled the whole world like that, as you can see from the blog, so allow us to help you plan your perfect day at a perfect place!