Ireland

HOW TO SPEND AN EPIC DAY IN DUBLIN: THE ULTIMATE 1-DAY DUBLIN ITINERARY

Dublin street with cathedral in background, colourful signs
Colourful streets of Dublin

Only have one day in Dublin? Don’t worry; I’ve got your back. 

Dublin was the first stop on our 1-week Ireland road trip, and let me tell you, it was the perfect introduction to the Emerald Isle. Famous for its pub culture, Georgian architecture, colourful doorways and cathedrals, Ireland’s capital has something for everyone.

One day in Dublin is just enough time to get a feel of what the city has to offer, and it’s definitely worth including a stop here on any trip to Ireland. 

With 24 hours in Dublin you’ll get a chance to drink a pint of Guinness at the top of Guinness Storehouse, complete with 360° views of Dublin. Day drinking isn’t a thing when you’re on holiday, right? 

You’ll get to see one of Dublin’s most stunning cathedrals, and er, one of it’s more macabre attractions. Soaking up some of the alcohol is best done with a taste of Ireland’s national dish, and then you’ll be back to it in the evening for a night out in Dublin’s famous Temple Bar.

There are many quirky spots to discover in Dublin, so if you’re looking for the ultimate 1-day Dublin itinerary, you’ve come to the right place. Go on, get to it!

Getting Around Dublin

Dublin is a fairly small city and it’s easy to get around on foot. To make the most of your day in Dublin I recommend walking everywhere (if you can). Walking around Dublin gives you the chance to spot things you’d miss from the bus, and it’ll give you a better feel for the city.

To make this itinerary easier to follow I’ve organised it into a route that makes sense when walked. All the attractions are pretty close to each other, and providing the weather is ok (never a given in Dublin), this should make for a great day in Dublin. Hey, it’s been tried and tested by yours truly. And it was pretty epic.

How to Spend an Epic Day in Dublin: The Ultimate 1-Day Dublin Itinerary

Morning: Guinness Storehouse

Line that stomach with a greasy Irish fry up, we’re off to do some day drinking!

Your 1-day Dublin itinerary starts with a trip to one of Ireland’s top attractions; the Guinness Storehouse. Located over 7 floors in a building shaped like a pint glass, the storehouse tour takes you through the history of Guinness in Ireland. Interactive media exhibits show you the Guinness manufacturing process, and you’ll learn about the remarkable brand history stretching over 250 years. 

Seriously, for a museum about Guinness (a subject I’m not particularly interested in), I really enjoyed it.

Your visit to the Guinness Storehouse ends at the Gravity Bar on the 7th floor, where, complimentary pint in hand, you can admire the panoramic views of Dublin. Not a bad way to start the day, huh?

You can beat the queues and save up to 25% when you book your tickets online.

Girl stands with hand pointing at large Guinness sign, Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse

Morning: St Patrick’s Cathedral

For something a little more holey, the next stop on our Dublin itinerary is one of Ireland’s most important cathedrals.

Founded in 1191, St Patrick’s Cathedral is the tallest church in Ireland and was built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint. Though I find it easy to get cathedraled-out in Europe, St Patrick’s is worth a visit.

St Patrick’s Cathedral is €8.00 for adults.

Lunch: Leo Burdock Fish & Chips

Y’all know I’m into history, and what could be more historic than visiting Dublin’s oldest chipper?

Leo Burdock was established in 1913 and has grown into a Dublin icon. The fish and chip shop has even gained a celebrity following, having been visited by the likes of Ronan Keating, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Cruise. I mean, it must be good, right?

Opt for the traditional fresh cod and chips, and make sure to smother it in vinegar. 

Early Afternoon: Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle is another top Dublin tourist attraction, though it’s still in use today as an important government complex.

The castle was established in the early 13th century on the site of a former Viking settlement. For centuries it served as the headquarters of the British administration in Ireland, before being handed over to the new Irish government in 1922 when Ireland gained independence. 

Today, visit Dublin Castle for a peek into the ornate, and beautifully decorated, State Apartments. 

Tickets to Dublin Castle are €8.

Tip: I didn’t go inside, but on your way to St Michan’s Church it’s worth stopping to have a look at Christ Church Cathedral. Founded in 1028, the cathedral is the oldest working structure in Dublin, and it has some seriously impressive architecture. 

Girl wearing black jacket faces Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

Read More: The Ultimate 7-Day Ireland Road Trip

Afternoon: St Michan’s Church & (Mummy-filled) Crypt

What’s better than visiting a church in Dublin? Visiting a church filled with mummies, of course.

St Michan’s Church was founded in 1095 and for hundreds of years was the only church located on the northside of Dublin City. The church is fascinating but really, you wanna see the mummies. 

Head through a hatch door and descend into St Michan’s crypts. There are five long burial vaults beneath the church, mostly containing the bodies of Dublin’s most influential families from 1600 – 1800. A lot of the private vaults are closed off, but you can take the opportunity to spy several unidentified mummies; the nun, the thief and the crusader.

It’s a little macabre, but it’s definitely one of Dublin’s more offbeat attractions. Tickets to St Michan’s crypt are €7. 

Hand holds two tickets to the Guinness Storehouse in front of grey background
Girl in black jacket walks through ornate room, Dublin Castle

Afternoon: Cross the Ha’Penny Bridge

Next up we’re headed back to the other side of the city to Trinity College and the Book of Kells, but it’s worth stopping on the way to cross the Ha’Penny Bridge.

Built in 1816 to replace the ferries that shuttled people back and forth, the bridge was named for the “half-penny” toll that was required to cross it. Today, the Ha’Penny Bridge is one of the most picturesque bridges on the River Liffey.

Late Afternoon: Trinity College & The Book of Kells. 

Whew, it’s been a big day exploring Dublin already! But your one day in Dublin isn’t over. Next up, we’re headed to Trinity College and the Book of Kells.

Established over 400 years ago, Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland. The college holds an important place in Ireland’s history, and has hosted students such as Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde. 

It’s also a popular tourist attraction. People from around the world come to see the stunning architecture, but it’s what lies within that’s the real treat. One such attraction is the famous Book of Kells, which Trinity College has housed since 1661. 

Not sure what the Book of Kells is? The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript written in Latin containing the four Gospels of the New Testament. The Book is said to be one of the greatest examples of Medieval art to come out of the British Isles.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan you have to check out the Old Library. The Old Library houses over 200,000 ancient books in oak bookcases, and it’s definitely Hogwarts-esque. In fact, the Old Library apparently provided J.K. Rowling with inspiration for the library in Hogwarts…

Tickets to the Book of Kells exhibition start from €11.

Grey spires of Trinity College
Trinity College, Dublin

Evening: Wander Dublin’s Streets

Before you head for another pint of Guinness, take the time to wander Dublin’s pretty streets and snap a pic or two.

Into shopping? Grafton Street is the place for you. Grafton Street is one of two main shopping streets in Dublin, and you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. Even if you’re not a shopper, or you’re on a budget, Grafton Street is worth a look. From Irish buskers to colorful street art, Grafton Street really is one of the main cultural hubs in Dublin.

Tip: Looking for the best Dublin Instagram spots? Head to Anne’s Lane (just off Grafton Street) and you’ll find an installation of colourful umbrellas that’s sure to brighten up your feed.

Empty Dublin street with motorbike leaning against shop
The pretty streets of Dublin

Night: Have a Pint at The Temple Bar

It’s the end of an epic day in Dublin, and what better way to say goodbye to the city than with another pint of Guinness? You’re headed to The Temple Bar for a night of good-spirited fun.

Sure, it’s a little touristy. It’s also pretty damn expensive. But a visit to The Temple Bar will inevitably end up being the highlight of your day in Dublin. 

Located in the busy riverside neighbourhood of Temple Bar, the pub is famous for having over 450 rare whiskies. The Temple Bar offers traditional live Irish music most days of the week. Go early to claim a seat; when we went the pub was packed. 

Man plays fiddle in Temple Bar, Dublin
The Temple Bar, Dublin

Things to Do in Dublin If You Have More Than One Day

A day in Dublin is long enough to get a taste of Ireland’s capital city. But if you have a little extra time, there’s a whole lot more you can do. 

Have a Picnic at St Stephen’s Green

If you’re lucky enough to visit Dublin on a (rare) sunny day, make the most of it with a trip to St Stephen’s Green. St Stephen’s Green Park is a historical park located in the heart of Dublin City, and is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Pack a picnic, why don’t ya?

Jameson Distillery on Bow St. 

Not had your fill of alcohol-related activities yet? Don’t worry; another great thing to do in Dublin is the Jameson Distillery Tour. 

Though not quite as famous as Scotch whiskey, the Irish have in fact been producing whiskey for over 200 years. One of the best places to learn more about the process and of course, taste a dram or two, is the Jameson Distillery on Bow St. Tickets start from €20. 

Howth Cliff Walk

Looking to escape the city? A short drive from Dublin lies the quaint seaside town of Howth, and one of the best short walks near Dublin. The Howth Cliff Walk takes around 2 hours to complete, and takes you on a scenic stroll along the seaside cliffs.

There are also public transport options to get to Howth Cliffs if you don’t have a car (read more here).

National Leprechaun Museum

Want to learn more about Irish mythology and folklore? Take a trip to the National Leprechaun Museum. Referred by The Irish Times as the ‘Louvre of Leprechauns’, the museum is an experience designed to introduce visitors to Ireland’s rich storytelling history.

Tickets to the National Leprechaun Museum start from €10-16.

Girl in black jacket walks over bridge towards archway
Dublin Castle, Dublin

Dublin is one of those cities that gets under your skin. It may not look it on first glance, but spend even a little time getting to know the city and you’ll find that Dublin really is one of Ireland’s gems. This 1-day Dublin itinerary is a great jumping off point for your own adventure, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be planning your trip back. 

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The Ultimate 1-Day Dublin Itinerary
The Ultimate 1-Day Dublin Itinerary

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