Dublin in a day: What to do in Dublin for a day

The Republic of Ireland’s capital city of Dublin is a must visit. Although relatively small in size, Dublin is a city deeply rooted in history! Therefore, there are lots of exciting things to see. Although I’d recommend spending at least two days in Dublin (you can read my full Ireland Itinerary here) Here’s how to experience the best of Dublin in a day:

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What do in Dublin for a day –

what to do in dublin for a day

Do a Free walking tour –

One of the best ways to explore Dublin in a day is to join a free walking tour. By doing so you can visit many of the cities top attractions, whilst learning about their history. I’d thoroughly recommend ‘Generations Tours’ as I found their tour to be incredibly informative on my own visit to Dublin!

Dublin attractions you’ll see on a walking tour would include:

  • Christ-Curch Cathedral – Located in the medieval heart of Dublin, Christ-Church Cathedral is a must visit when touring Dublin in a day, not only does it have beautiful architecture but also rich links with the Vikings!
  • St Patricks Cathedral – Is the biggest church in Ireland (and arguably the most sacred) as its supposedly where St Patrick baptised the first Christian Celtics. 
  • Dublin Castle – Is another building of major importance within Dublin. Amongst other notable moments in Ireland’s history, Dublin castle became the stage for southern Ireland officially becoming independent in 1937. In this way, Dublin castle is one of Dublin sights you don’t want to miss.

Dublin Castle - Places to visit in Dublin

Visit One of Dublin’s Parks –

Most walking tours last for around 3-hours. Following this, you may want a bit of downtime. Dublin has countless beautiful parks and green spaces that can be enjoyed. Perhaps its most famous is Phoenix Park (also home to Dublin Zoo). However, if you only have one day in Dublin I’d recommend visiting St Stephen Green which is much more central.

visiting St Stephen Green - free things to do in dublin

Located at the end of the famous Grafton Street you can even do some shopping on your way to relax in its beautifully manicured lawns. Either way, a trip to the park is definitely one of the top things to do in Dublin Ireland!

Catch a Glimpse of the Spire of Dublin –

When asking locals what to see in Dublin, many will suggest a look at the Spire of Dublin. This 120m high stainless steel ‘needle’ is certainly the quirkiest of cities attractions. Love it or hate it, the spire is something that is quite hard to miss (even if you’re just touring Dublin in a day) because of its location in the middle of O’Connell Street – the cities main thoroughfare.

Dublin in a day - take a look at the dublin spire

Tour Trinity College –

One of the top places to visit in Dublin is Trinity College, which was founded in 1592. The courtyard of this prestigious university will take you back in time, as cobbled paths and beautiful old buildings make you forget that you’re in the heart of a busy city.

Places to visit in dublin - Trinity College (outside)

However, most people visit Trinity College to see one thing: the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is an ancient manuscript featuring one of the earliest surviving copies of the four gospels. The exhibition only takes about an hour and a half to tour so it is perfect if you’re touring Dublin in a day! You’ll also get to see the colleges stunning old library as part of the tour!

TOP TIP: to minimise waiting, prebook your tickets to see the Book of Kells online!

Visit the Guinness Storehouse –

I wouldn’t be providing the best answer to the question of what do in Dublin for a day if I didn’t suggest a visit to the Guinness Storehouse – Irelands most popular tourist attraction.

St. James’s Gate Brewery started making Guinness in 1759 when Aurther Guinness famously signed a 9000-year lease! Today part of the factory can be toured and its an incredible experience!

best things to do in dublin - tour the guinness storehouse

If you visit the storehouse, you’ll learn how Irelands most famous export is made, along with how to correctly taste it and the history of the Guinness family. What’s more, you can take in the view of Dublin from a sky-bar (free pint in hand). Because of this, the storehouse tour is definitely one of the best things to do in Dublin!

Drink at Temple Bar –

You should end your exploration of Dublin in a day by drinking at its most famous establishment: Temple Bar pub. Although the pints here are incredibly expensive (€8) the atmosphere in the pub is brilliant, as is the live music! Making it one of my favourite  places to visit in Dublin.

Dublin in a day - Drink at temple bar


SIDE NOTE (museums) –

If you’re planning to experience Dublin in a day then it is unlikely that you’ll have time to visit one of the cities museums, due to all of the aforementioned things that there are to do in Dublin. However, if visiting museums is top of your list then Dublin has you covered. Most of its museums are free and highlights include:


Dublin in a day (where to eat) –

During your one day in Dublin, you’ll no doubt want to stop for something to eat! One of my favourite places for lunch in Dublin is  Dollard & Co, an independent food hall and Deli, with a fantastic menu. On my visit, I opted for rotisserie chicken which was some of the best chicken I’ve ever had… It was even better than Nando’s. 😉

Alternatively, if you’re near O’Connell street, another great place to eat in Dublin is The BakehouseThis cute little cafe does fantastic sandwiches and jacket Potatoes!

one day in dublin - where to eat

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Dublin is a fantastic city to visit and I hope this post gives you a good idea of what to do in Dublin for a day! However, there is sooo much more to do… For example, with more time in the city, you could visit Kilmainham Gaol Prison, or take a day trip to the beautiful area of Glendalough.

In this way, I’d recommend spending as much time in Dublin as possible. But, if you are forced to explore Dublin in a day, then the above list will allow you to make the most of your time!

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Thinking of heading to Galway too? Then check out my post on the charming city HERE.

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17 Comments

  1. June 13, 2018 / 11:11 am

    I absolutely loved Dublin, while I was there three cruise ships were let off. Wow, the number of people was amazing. Loved your pictures and great detail for a day out! Thanks

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      June 13, 2018 / 11:34 am

      I haven’t heard anyone say that didn’t like the city haha – Thanks for reading

  2. Mattea
    June 13, 2018 / 11:27 am

    Dublin is a city I have always wanted to visit! The architecture just looks stunning. Thanks for sharing, some really good tips on things to do here.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      June 13, 2018 / 11:34 am

      Hope you get to visit!

  3. June 13, 2018 / 12:28 pm

    I keep trying to get to Ireland for some of the incredible hiking trails and routes. As I usually do on my trips, I spend 1 day in a city before hitting the trails, so this is perfect! I’ll certainly be visiting this again when I eventually plan my trip 🙂

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      June 13, 2018 / 1:35 pm

      I would have loved to have explored the countryside more by hiking! Glad you found it helpful

  4. June 13, 2018 / 1:37 pm

    Dublin looks really beautiful. It’s on my list for in the future, but surely for more days. SO thanks for sharing some pointers.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      June 14, 2018 / 2:50 pm

      Yes definitely visit for more days if you can, There’s so much to see!

  5. June 13, 2018 / 1:44 pm

    Ireland has been on my list for so long, but I have not been that lucky enough to visit it yet. Hope to make there soon. Especially the trinity college which we have been hearing so much about is something i do not wish to miss when in Dublin.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      June 14, 2018 / 2:53 pm

      I’d definitely recommend visiting Trinity College, the library was especially beautiful – hope you make it to Ireland

  6. June 13, 2018 / 2:48 pm

    Amazing post! Dublin is high on my list and you have some great spots here I would love. Thanks for the info!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      June 14, 2018 / 2:53 pm

      Thanks for reading 🙂

  7. Neha
    June 13, 2018 / 5:41 pm

    I’m extremely keen to visit Dublin and then take a tour of the Irish countryside. Not sure when I’ll be able to do that, but I did love reading this post. Pinning it for later!

  8. June 14, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    Glad I came across your blog. After reading your post, now I know what to see and do in Dublin. I am a museum person so I guess I will need some more time to cover all. I am in love with that green park! I miss such beautiful and green parks here in California.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      June 14, 2018 / 2:59 pm

      I would have liked to have visited some of the museums, especially to learn more about Ireland’s history! But the park was super beautiful, I can imagine there’s not that much green in California haha

  9. June 15, 2018 / 12:46 am

    That Dublin castle can you go inside? I have never been to a castle! Would love to go to one someday! Beautiful! Is there art inside or furniture?

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      Author
      June 16, 2018 / 10:47 am

      The only bit remaining of the ‘castle’ is actually a church, however, I believe you can go into the more modern rooms which are beautifully decorated with furniture and art

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