Planning a dream trip to Ireland, and wondering how many days in Dublin? After visiting the city many times, my recommendation is to spend at least 2 days in Dublin, as you will find plenty of things to do and experience here.
Dublin is one of the most popular cities in Europe and honestly, it’s not hard to see why! Famous for its variety of museums, diverse history, and pub culture, Dublin has something for everyone. Being the capital city of the Republic of Ireland has its perks; one of these being the sheer amount of things to do here!
Not only is Dublin the capital, but it’s also the largest city in Ireland and is famous for being a UNESCO ‘City of Literature’. If you’re still not convinced to visit, then this city is a great base for exploring other popular destinations in the country, including the Giants Causeway, the Cliffs of Moher, and Belfast – the capital of Northern Ireland.
This 2 days Dublin itinerary is packed with insider tips and logistics to make this your one-stop guide! Here you will find the best places to visit in Dublin, the top accommodation options, how to get around the city, and the best-guided tour options to make the best of your visit here. Make sure you plan your visit to Dublin in advance, choose your favorite points of interest, and get ready to discover the best of Dublin in 2 days!
2 Days Dublin Itinerary Overview
If you’re looking to see the best of 2 days Dublin itinerary then you’ll need to prioritize the attractions you want to visit most. There’s so much to see within the city and unfortunately, you won’t be able to fit it all in. Make sure you plan your visit to Dublin in advance to make the most of it!
After visiting Dublin a couple of times, I carefully put this 2 days Dublin itinerary outlining the best way to spend your time here. However, there may be places in this guide that you’d prefer to leave out, and you can just swap them with another attraction if you’d prefer.
To make the most of your time in Dublin make sure you choose a relatively central accommodation. This way, you won’t have to worry about long bus journeys into the city center. To get the best hotel deals you’ll want to try and book in advance, and you will also find my top recommendations in this article.
Keep in mind that Dublin is one of the most expensive cities in Europe, so budget accordingly. Optimize costs by taking public transportation and purchasing the Dublin City all-inclusive pass. For first-time visitors, booking a city tour with a local guide is highly recommended, as you will optimize your time and get to explore much more of your Dublin itinerary!
Lastly, I recommend booking your attraction tickets in advance, especially if you’re traveling here during the summer. This means you’ll be guaranteed an entry spot and many of them offer skip-the-line tickets so you can bypass the queues.
2 Days Ireland Itinerary
DAY 1 Dublin Itinerary
The first day of this 2-day Dublin Itinerary will primarily focus on the city’s main points of interest and also, museums and there are a lot of them! We’ve brought together the very best (and most popular) options so you don’t miss out on learning about Dublin’s history, and that of Ireland in fact. I would recommend picking 1 or 2 museums from this list, based on your personal preferences.
Just a quick note, I’ve not included the attractions below in any particular visiting order. Where you go first will differ depending on your preference, the day you’re visiting (due to opening times), and which places you’d like to prioritize.
1. Admire some of Dublin’s incredible architecture
- Morning: I recommend spending your first morning on your Dublin itinerary walking around and exploring the iconic architecture
- How to visit: You can do a walking tour by yourself, or to make the most of your time you can book a city tour with a local guide
Dublin boasts impressive architectural landmarks, and you wouldn’t want to miss St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle, and Christ Church Cathedral, to name a few. In addition, you can visit the Malahide Castle and the Spire of Dublin, a towering sculpture.
One of the best sites in Dublin is the iconic Liffey Bridge, a stunning cast iron bridge built in 1816 and considered the oldest pedestrian crossing in Dublin. After taking some stunning pictures here, spend some time strolling by the river.
By wandering around, you can also stumble upon some hidden gems and appreciate the vibrant atmosphere of Dublin! This is the best introduction to the city and a perfect start for your itinerary in Dublin!
2. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
- Opening Hours: 7 days a week; 10 am – 6.45 pm (last entry is 5 pm).
- How to Visit: Book your admission ticket in advance and allow around 1.5 hours here.
First up we have EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum which has been voted Europe’s leading tourist attraction for three consecutive years in a row! This museum is a must if you’re spending 2 days in Dublin as it offers an experience like no other.
During your time here, you’ll get to learn about some of Ireland’s most influential people; whether that be scientists, sportspeople, or politicians. In fact, this museum documents the stories of over 300 people so you don’t want to rush your visit.
The highlight of this place is that you’ll get to learn these stories through a fully interactive experience. Throughout the year, there are also new events, tours, and exhibitions that take place. So, make sure you check what’s on during your trip.
3. Trinity College Library and the ‘Book of Kells’
- Opening Hours: April-Sep; Mon-Sat (8:30 am – 5 pm), Sun (9:30 am – 5 pm). Oct-March; Mon-Sat (9:30 am – 5 pm), Sun (12 pm – 4:30 pm)
- How to Visit: You can book a guided tour in advance that offers you fast-track access to the ‘Book of Kells’, allows you to spend some time on the college campus, and includes a quick trip to Dublin Castle (exterior only).
The opening hours above are for the Book of Kells as this is the most popular attraction within Trinity College Library. It’s one of the country’s greatest cultural treasures and is a gospel book that dates back around 1,200 years.
After seeing this incredible book, you’ll head into the Long Room. This is undeniably one of the most beautiful libraries in the world and it’s home to 200,000 ancient books. The Long Room has been a working library since 1732 and is very impressive!
If you’d prefer not to book a guided tour as you’re short of time then you can simply purchase your Book of Kells entrance ticket online. You’ll get an audio guide with this ticket and you’re allowed a 30-minute visit here. This may be the best option if you’ve only got two days in Dublin!
4. The Irish Whiskey Museum
- Opening Hours: Tours run from 10:30 am – 5:30 pm.
- How to Visit: You can book a guided tour in advance which will allow you to learn about the origins of this spirit and do some taste-testing. Allow at least 1-1.5 hours for this experience.
Visiting the Irish Whisky Museum is a must for any Dublin itinerary! Your guide will be there to tell you everything you need to know about Irish whisky including its origins and rise to popularity. You’ll also get to learn about the different Irish whisky brands. Better yet, you can taste them!
Some of the guided tours include a taste test where you’ll get to sample some of the spirits. This is one of the best parts about a tour through the Irish Whisky Museum so make sure it’s included (if you drink).
After the tours finished, you should head to the on-site McDonnell’s Bar. Here, you can grab a drink and admire the spectacular views of Trinity College’s historic main gates. If you’ve got some extra time there’s also a store where you can purchase whisky or souvenirs.
5. National Museum of Ireland – Natural History
- Opening Hours: Tues-Sat (10 am – 5 pm), Sun-Mon (1 pm – 5 pm).
- How to Visit: Free to enter, and you’ll want to allow around 45 minutes here. Although you don’t have to pay to enter, you may need to book a time slot online.
The National Museum of Ireland actually has four different sites within the city; Archaeology, Country Life, Decorative Arts & History, and Natural History. For this reason, you may only have time to visit one and I’d recommend the Natural History Museum.
This museum is often referred to as the ‘Dead Zoo’ and is home to an Irish fauna gallery and other geological exhibits. It was first opened to the public in 1857 and dates back to Victorian times, so it’s a rather unique place to visit.
There are over two million species found at the Natural History Museum and they are housed in typical Victorian cabinet style. This includes wildlife still found here today and others that have long been extinct. Trust me, this isn’t a place you want to miss!
6. The Little Museum of Dublin
- Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (9 am – 5 pm), the last guided tour is at 4 pm.
- How to Visit: You’ve got two options for visiting this museum; a guided tour or an all-day entrance ticket. Allow 30 minutes – 1 hour here.
Putting together an itinerary for Dublin isn’t easy as there’s so much to see. However, you don’t want to miss out on this place! The Little Museum of Dublin is one of the city’s most popular attractions and one of the best museums in Ireland for that matter.
Here, you’ll get to learn all about Dublin’s history and the events that have taken place in this city within the last 100 years. Although small there’s a lot to see here, and having a guide is the best way to appreciate it. The guided tour only lasts for around 30 minutes making it well worth your while.
One of the most popular exhibits is the room dedicated to the Irish rock band U2. There’s also a recreation of the ‘Editors Room’ for the Irish Times if you’re interested in that side of things too.
7. Jameson Whisky Distillery
- Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs (11 am – 5:30 pm), Fri-Sat (11 am – 6:30 pm), Sun (12 pm – 5:30 pm). The bar & gift shop closes between 6 pm – 7 pm depending on the day you visit.
- How to Visit: You can book a fully-guided tour in advance which includes a distillery tour and whisky tastings. Allow at least 45 minutes for this experience, and extra if you want to visit the bar/gift shop.
The Jameson Whisky Distillery is one of the most iconic attractions in Dublin. It’s where Jameson Irish whisky was originally distilled up until 1971 so it’s been here since 1780 which is rather impressive.
This place is famous for offering one of the world’s best distillery tours so it’s a must for any Dublin itinerary. While here, you’ll get to hear about the whole distillery process from a knowledgeable guide and do some whisky tasting yourself!
If that’s not enough, then Jameson Whisky Distillery also offers cocktail-making classes, premium whiskey-tasting sessions, and the chance to learn how to blend your very own whiskey. For those short on time, you can head to the gift shop and pick up an exclusive and personalized bottle of whiskey.
DAY 2 Dublin Itinerary
On the second day of this 2 days Dublin itinerary, you’ll also want to visit some of the city’s green spaces and unique attractions. Luckily, that’s the focus of day 2 so don’t miss out on the attractions below.
For this day especially, you’ll need an early start as some of the places recommend allowing around 1.5 hours for your visit. You don’t want to rush your time in these attractions which is why the majority of attractions in this Dublin itinerary are within walking distance from each other.
However, you’ll likely have to catch public transport to Glasnevin Cemetery and the National Botanic Gardens. Otherwise, it’s an hour’s walk so you’ll need to allow for some transport time!
1. Kilmainham Gaol
- Opening Hours: 7 days; Oct-March (9:30 am – 5:15 pm), April-May (9:30 am – 5:45 pm), June-Aug (9:30 am – 6:00 pm), Sep (9:30 am -5:45 pm).
- How to Visit: You have to visit by guided tour and you’ll need to book your tickets in advance to secure a specific date and time. Allow around 1.5 hours for your tour and a visit to the museum.
When putting together a Dublin itinerary for 2 days, you must visit Kilmainham Gaol. This museum was once a former prison and has been home to thousands of people who have been charged with crimes. Some of these crimes were minor, whilst other inmates were involved in some of Dublin’s most historic events.
Whilst on the tour, you’ll get to learn all about the prison and the role it played in events throughout history. You’ll also get to hear specific stories about the inmates, some of which were imprisoned for fighting for Irish independence. This includes the likes of Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, and the Fenians.
The leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were also held here, with 14 of them being executed. Eventually, the prison closed in 1924 and was later preserved due to it being named a national monument in the 1960s.
3. Guinness Storehouse
- Opening Hours: Mon-Fri (10 am – 5 pm), Sat (9:30 am – 6 pm), Sun (9:30 am – 5 pm)
- How to Visit: You can purchase your entrance ticket in advance. Allow at least 1.5 hours for your visit.
During your 2 days in Dublin, you just have to visit the Guinness Storehouse. No trip to the city is complete without coming here, so don’t leave it off your itinerary. There’s a reason it’s one of Dublin’s most popular attractions!
Whilst at the Guinness Storehouse, you’ll take a self-guided tour through the site. Along the way, you’ll get to learn about the history of this world-famous beverage as you explore the 7 levels that are found here. This includes the ingredients, the brewing process, and the advertising slogans that helped market Guinness to be the popular stout it is today.
After your tour, head to the site’s rooftop bar where you’ll be treated to a complimentary pint and fantastic views of Dublin! There’s also a huge flagship Guinness store here too if you’re looking for a souvenir.
Pro-Tip: I found out that the prices for souvenirs here are great! Cheaper than other stores around Ireland that sell Guinness products, so if you are planning to buy some gifts, take advantage while you are here 😉
4. Glasnevin Cemetery
- Opening Hours: Tues-Sun (10 am – 5 pm).
- How to Visit: You can visit for free but I’d recommend booking this amazing tour. Allow at least 1.5 hours here.
Glasnevin Cemetery (also known as Experience Glasnevin) is one of the more unique attractions in Dublin. It’s the National Cemetery of Ireland and is a place that’s home to over 1.5 million people.
This cemetery is the largest burial place in the country and is home to the indoor ‘Extraordinary Lives’ exhibition. Here, you’ll get to learn all about the people that helped to shape Dublin and Ireland as a whole. This includes suffragettes, poets, and presidents! In fact, there are plenty of iconic people buried here including Michael Collins, Countess Markievicz, and Éamon de Valera.
The guided tours offer you the best chance to learn about this incredible place. The main option is the ‘Irish History Tour’ although there are some other options available too including the ‘Women in History’ tour and the ‘O’Connell Tower Climb’.
5. National Botanical Gardens
- Opening Hours: Winter opening hours: Mon-Fri (9 am – 4:30 pm), Sat-Sun (10 am – 4:30 pm); Summer opening hours: Mon-Fri (9 am – 5 pm), Sat-Sun (10 am – 6 pm).
- How to Visit: There’s no admission fee to enter the gardens so you can spend as long as you’d like here. To make the most of your visit allow at least an hour.
Now it’s time to explore more of Dublin’s green spaces and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The National Botanic Gardens are located 3 km (1.8 miles) from the city center but are within walking distance from Glasnevin Cemetery. However, you may want to catch a bus back into the city center afterward, depending on where you go.
The National Botanic Gardens are home to over 15,000 plant species which is crazy to think about. Here, you’ll find plants from all over the world and plenty of awesome glasshouses too. The most popular of which are the Turner Curvilinear Range and the Great Palm House!
During your time at these gardens, you can also grab something to eat at the Garden Tearoom, wander around the Visitor Center, and see if there are any extra exhibits during your trip.
6. Listen to live music in a traditional Irish pub
Last but certainly not least, on this 2 days Dublin itinerary you’ll want to embrace the city’s pub culture and find yourself some traditional live music. Now, there are plenty of quirky pubs to choose from and many of them offer music and dancing, so what are you waiting for?
Trust me, no trip to Ireland is complete without this experience so allow some free time for this. Many of the pubs also offer food, so it may be best to dine there first so you’ve got a table for when it gets busier later on.
Here are some of my top recommendations for traditional Irish pubs that offer live music:
- The Cobblestone – The place to be for live music as they have something on every night of the week.
- The Temple Bar – The most popular pub in Dublin, known for its charming exterior, live music, and delicious food.
- The Brazen Head – The oldest pub in Ireland with part of the building dating back to 1198. Has music on every night and serves food too!
- The Celt – Another quirky pub famous for its unique setting, traditional Irish music & dance, and tasty dishes.
For those who have a deep appreciation for music, a must-try experience in Dublin is the Music and Dance Show at the Irish House Party. Held in an 18th-century Dublin townhouse, this unique event offers an unforgettable evening of entertainment. You will enjoy a delectable three-course Irish dinner while being serenaded by world-renowned Irish musicians and dancers.
If you have more time for a 3-day itinerary in Dublin
If you’ve got more than 2 days in Dublin then why not consider taking a day trip out of the city? There are plenty of options, and you’ll get to visit some awesome destinations this way. Not only that but there are lots of guided tours available which organize all the transport for you so you literally just need to show up!
Here are some of my top recommendations when it comes to day trips out of Dublin:
This awesome tour will allow you to visit the iconic Cliffs of Moher, Kilmacduagh Abbey, The Burren, and Galway City. All your transport between destinations is covered, and so are your entrance tickets. You’ll also have a guide to who you can ask questions, and the tour lasts for 13 hours so it’s well worth the money!
For those who are looking to explore Northern Ireland too, this is the day tour for you! You’ll get to visit some of the most popular spots in NI including the iconic Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, the Dark Hedges, and Belfast. After having some free time in the capital, you’ll head back to Dublin.
Lastly, we have this fantastic tour which will allow you to escape the city and explore Ireland’s lush landscapes. You’ll take a walking tour of Kilkenny, learn about Glendalough Valley and Monastery, and appreciate the views of Wicklow Mountains National Park. The tour lasts for around 9 hours and is extremely cheap considering!
Accommodation for Two Days in Dublin
Although Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland, it’s a relatively small city. In theory, wherever you stay you should have no problems getting around thanks to its extensive public transport system. Dublin is also extremely walkable as many of the attractions are located pretty close together.
However, some neighborhoods are more popular than others thanks to their great locations and amenities. These include The Docklands, Portobello, Temple Bar, and Stephen’s Green. You’ll find plenty of great hotels in and around these areas, although naturally, some are more expensive than others.
Below I’ve brought together my top recommendations and these are found all over the city! This means there’s something for everyone’s taste, no matter their budget or preference for location. For the best experience though, you’ll want to stay relatively close to the city center if not in it!
BUDGET: Garden Lane Backpackers
Garden Lane Backpackers is one of the cheapest options in Dublin and offers dormitory-style rooms. The highlight of this place is the facilities as you’ll benefit from a shared lounge and kitchen, a terrace area, and private parking.
MID-RANGE: Egans House
Egans House is just a short bus ride from the city center (10 minutes) and offers spacious and reasonably-priced rooms. The decor is beautiful and each room features a TV with streaming services, free WiFi, and a private bathroom.
BEST RATED: The Merrion Hotel
The Merrion Hotel is in a great location for exploring the city and offers fantastic facilities. This includes two Michelin-starred restaurants, an infinity pool, an on-site spa, and landscaped gardens. What more could you ask for?
TOP LUXURY PICK: Anantara The Marker Dublin
Last but certainly not least we have Anantara The Marker Dublin. The highlight of this place is its rooftop lounge where you’ll be treated to stunning views of Dublin. The rooms here are also decorated beautifully, making this hotel perfect for a luxurious stay!
2 Days Ireland Itinerary Essential Tips
Getting to Dublin:
As Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland it’s easy enough to get to. In fact, Dublin Airport is one of Europe’s busiest airports and there are plenty of flight options available.
First of all, you’ll find lots of direct flights from other European cities but it’s also simple for U.S. citizens to get here as well. Several large American cities offer direct flights to Dublin, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C, and Orlando.
Once you’ve got through security, you’ll then need to either catch a bus or take a taxi into the city center. You can also book a private transfer which is always a good option if you’ve had a long flight and don’t want to organize transport once you get here.
For those in the United Kingdom or France then you’ve got the option of taking a ferry over to Dublin. If you’re from the latter, then you’ll be catching the ferry from Cherbourg. However, if you’re in the UK then you’ve got a few more options; these are Holyhead (Wales), Liverpool (England), and the Isle of Man.
Getting Around Dublin
Dublin has an extensive public transport system so you’re in good hands. For starters, you’ve got plenty of bus routes to choose from which can get you from A to B. Just make sure you download the Transport for Ireland app to effectively plan your route.
Dublin also has a rapid transit system (DART) and a tram system (The LUAS) which can help you get around quickly. Collectively, these two are a great option for getting around the city and exploring the outer suburbs.
There are plenty of taxis available in the city but a word of warning, they can be super expensive. For this reason, try to avoid them if you can! You’ve also got e-scooters and bikes available if you’d prefer to get around yourself.
Another great option, especially if it is your first time in Dublin is the hop-on hop-off tour you can explore as you’ll get to listen to audio commentary along the way. You’ll also get to stop off at all the highlights and you’ll be given a complimentary map to help you plan your trip. I have done it on my first trip to Dublin and really recommend it!
Best Time to Visit Dublin
The best time to visit Dublin is during the summer months of June, July, and August. During this time, temperatures are at their highest and you’re likely to encounter less rainfall. However, make sure you still pack your rain jacket as Ireland is known for its rain showers!
Unfortunately, this tends to be the most expensive time to visit the city, and hotel prices often soar during the summer months. This can be the same for airfares depending on where you’re flying from.
The shoulder seasons of Spring (April-May) and fall (Sep-Oct) will have less of an impact on your wallet. Prices will be cheaper during these months and there will be fewer crowds which is always best for exploring. Temperatures will be cooler during the shoulder season so just keep that in mind.
Winter is also a popular time to visit as Europeans look for a quick getaway. The weather may be chilly at this time of year, but you’ll get to explore the Christmas markets and take part in festive events. I have personally visited Dublin 3 times during winter time, and still love the vibes of Dublin at this time of the year.
2 Days Dublin Conclusion
Putting together an itinerary for 2 days in Dublin can be pretty difficult as there’s so much to see! Although 2 days is enough time to enjoy the highlights, you could easily spend 5-6 days here as there are so many fantastic attractions.
Whether you’re looking to visit the city’s extensive range of museums, hit up the traditional Irish pubs, or explore Dublin’s parks and gardens, you won’t run out of things to do here. Depending on your travel preferences, you can either take your time to explore or cram in as much as possible!
If you’ve got any further questions about spending 2 days in Dublin then just leave a comment below. Or feel free to leave some additional suggestions if you think of some other fantastic spots that I’ve left off the list!
If you’re planning a trip to Ireland then you’ll love these articles:
- Ultimate Guide to Plan a Perfect Trip to Dublin
- Wild Atlantic Way Itinerary: The Perfect Road Trip in Ireland
- Wild Atlantic Way Route Planner: How to Plan a Perfect Route
- Ultimate Guide to Hike and Walk the Cliffs of Moher
- How to hike the Causeway Coast Way
- Things to do in Clifden, Ireland
- Things to do in Galway, Ireland
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