What makes a great weekend break? It depends why who you ask! Some visitors to Dublin are here for the fantastic shopping, others would prefer to spend their time exploring the great outdoors, getting to know the local flora and fauna. Some are here to soak up the history and heritage of our fascinating city, others would prefer to spend their weekend in the pub soaking up local beers and spirits. It sounds cliché but Dublin truly is a city with something for everyone, young and old, especially when the sun shines. Here is a suggested itinerary of things to do in Dublin
Start your day with a hearty breakfast, fuelling you for a day of exploring. Take a walk around the city, getting to know the area and mentally noting places you want to visit. Start in the centre of the city at Trinity College, where you can enjoy the beautiful architecture and gorgeous green space. Visit the Book of Kells and the library which has inspired many writers and filmmakers through the years.
Walk down Grafton Street, stopping to shop in some of the high-end shops and pick up a picnic to enjoy in St Stephens Green. Enjoy a walk around the streets surrounding the park admiring the Georgian architecture and explore the independent boutiques and shops picking up some souvenirs to remember a fantastic trip.
Dining in Dublin is second to none with something to suit all tastes and budgets There are a wealth of restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs on Harcourt and Camden Street with cuisines reaching as far as Mexico, the Middle East, Asia and beyond. Read our guide here for great affordable meals in Dublin.
Spend your evening pub-hopping around South William Street, Camden Street and Dawson Street enjoying a meal in one of the many beautiful restaurants, bars and pubs. Enjoy a nightcap on your way home and get some rest for another busy day tomorrow.
Saturday is a great day to explore the history and culture of the city. Hop on one of the two tour buses in the city and enjoy a trip around the greater Dublin area. The round trip will take about 90-minutes and it’s a good idea to stay on the bus for one full trip before hopping off wherever takes your fancy. Highlights include Guinness Storehouse (a must for lovers of the Black Stuff), Jameson Whiskey Distillery, Trinity College, O Connell Street – the main shopping area, Dublin Castle and more. Hop on and off as often as you like over one or two days depending on the ticket you choose.
A highlight of the tour, and a great way to get to know more about the revolutionary history of the state, is a trip to Kilmainham Gaol (pronounced: jail). It’s a fascinating look into the lives of prisoners, our difficult history with Great British rule and a behind the scenes look into the lives and deaths of some of its most famous or infamous residents. After a tour of Kilmainham, walk across the road to the beautiful Irish Modern Art Museum, located on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. It’s a two for one of beauty and culture within its ornate gates. Stop for lunch in the nearby Patriots Pub or drink in Urban 8.
Saturday evening in Dublin could be spent recovering from a long day of walking, or you could embrace the Dublin nightlife scene with a few drinks in Temple Bar. A tourist paradise, Temple Bar and the many, many pubs it holds are ideal for a great evening of listening to traditional music, getting to know locals or fellow travellers, and enjoying Dublin’s friendly pub culture.
Sunday is Market Day in Dublin. We are spoiled for choice with markets, fairs, and gatherings around Dublin, especially when the sun shines. Enjoy daily markets like Moore Street Outdoor Market, or Georges Arcade where you’ll find the finest vintage and unusual clothing and gifts. Weekly markets include St Patricks Park market where you’ll find vinyl, gifts, and books, and the Temple Bar Market, where you can search for the best handmade bargains. Look out for pop-up monthly markets including the D8 Market in the Digital Hub, across from Guinness in Dublin 8, which has a huge selection of clothes, food, gifts, handmade crafts, antiques, records and so much more.
Before you head home, double-check your Dublin bucket list and tick off any of the excellent things you’ve seen and done here. Dublin is far too vast to explore in two days, so we’ll be ready and waiting for your return visit.