Dublin is a city filled with history and art as well as a bustling night life and drinking culture. Visitors can expect to be greeted with equal part architectural wonder and equal part pints and whiskey. We’ve tried to lay out a perfect way to spend 24 hours in this incredible Irish city. Whether you’re visiting to experience the local characters, the best whiskeys or take in the local scenery and walk in the steps of famous literary figures, we have you covered. Including your car hire when you arrive at Dublin Airport.
It doesn’t matter if you’re walking through historic streets and museums or spending the day on a bar stool, any big day in Dublin must begin with a hearty breakfast. To be near a lot of the sights and the most vibrant part of the city it’s best to get your food near the river in an areas, such as Smithfield or The Coombe.
There’s a huge selection of metropolitan restaurants to choose from. If you’re by Millennium Walkway then a great option is Lemon Jelly Café, a popular place with a range of artisan coffees, crepes, soups, as well as an extensive breakfast menu. It can get quite busy but the friendly staff ensure a pleasant time with quick order to table service.
The Taste! Café is also a well-established company in Dublin that have their key location on William Street. As well as doing lunch and dinner they also do incredible breakfasts and brunch menus, perfect for pancakes and eggs benedict. Try to get their early as it’s a popular place and breakfast stops at 12!
With stomachs filled it’s time to start exploring Dublin and what better place than the famous storehouse of its most beloved beer? The Guinness Storehouse, found in the heart of St. James’ Gate Brewery, is an incredible attraction for tourists worldwide.
For 18 EUR you can walk off your breakfast through the seven floors of the establishment and learn all about the Guinness family and how the famous stout beer is brewed. Once you make it to the top you can enjoy a pint of the stuff with an incredible 360 degree view of the city below.
Just 15 minutes away by foot is St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a stunning building in the heart of the city. It’s the largest church in Ireland founded in 1191 and today stands as a marvel of architecture both inside and out. It’s also the resting place of Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s travels. Worth visiting as a nice break for fresh air and to have a bit of a walk through the city.
St. Patrick’s is located right near Dublin Castle, making it a great place to finish the walk before a bit of lunch. The castle has over 800 years of history behind it and spans over 11 acres. It stands on the highest ridge in the area and visitors can enjoy self-guided as well as guided tours of the grounds if they so choose and learn about its many rooms, museums and libraries.
Lunch and Afternoon
Being in the centre there’s a huge selection of lunch depending on your taste. But who can visit Ireland without being tempted by a traditional pub lunch? The Bull and Castle is just around the corner and has some of the best traditional roasts, steaks, fish and chips as well as vegetarian options in all of Dublin, ready to be washed down with a selection of delicious ales.
After you’ve eaten head just off Smithfield Square to the iconic and immensely fun Jameson Distillery. Although it’s not in working production anymore the huge building works a whiskey tasting tour for visitors where groups can learn all about the process and take part in their own tastings. Each person leaves with a certificate to prove your newly gained knowledge in traditional Irish whiskey.
With a few hours to spare before dinner and a night out we suggest taking in Dublin however which way you choose. With so much to do in Dublin, and the streets themselves being so beautiful, take in the architecture, artisan shops and sprawled flea markets as well as brightly coloured doors, and the many, many unique pubs.
However, if you’re feeling stuck or didn’t feel like visiting some of the above we can offer a few added suggestions: Any literary buff has to visit the Trinity College Library, the biggest in all of Ireland with archived scripts from the original New Testament to Star Wars.
If you’re shopping then places like Anne Street have big brand stores, but be sure to look out for one of Dublin’s unique independent stores such as the Gutter Bookshop. For fashion there’s the city’s largest independent design store Industry & Co.
People are known to come to Dublin not just for world’s highest quality beer and whisky but also wool. Avoca is considered one of the best wool manufacturers in the world and their key store is in central Dublin. And of course, If you’ve loved the history side of Dublin then also visit Christ Church Cathedral, Ha’penny Bridge or the National Museum of Ireland!
Dinner and Nightlife
For dinner recommendations it’s hard to say due to the high amount of variations and what you might be in the mood for. If you’re sticking to the centre of Dublin then The Vintage Kitchen in Poolbeg Street is a great place for seafood with a beautiful location.
Equally The Winding Star does wholesome traditional Irish food overlooking the River Liffey and is very popular with visitors and locals alike. Of course, you will need reservations for both. Otherwise many of the local pubs serve delicious and traditional dinners all the way into the late evening if you don’t want to confine yourselves to any plans.
Although there are a LOT of great pubs in Dublin, and you’ve probably spotted a few you like by this point, you have to be sure to check out Temple Bar. It’s one of the most iconic bars in the city – established all the way back in the 1300’s. Although it dates very far back young people still love it, and today it’s one of the liveliest drinking spots in Dublin.
If you’re on a crawl then don’t crawl far, the cultural quarter where Temple Bar lies is filled with other establishments, many with live music including some with old Irish folk music. If you need something a bit quitter the area around Dame Street and George’s Street has more gastro pubs, cocktail and wine bars.
It’s easy to stretch the night into the early hours . Dublin has some great clubs hidden away for electronic music and other live acts. The Workman’s Club overlooks the Liffey and operates both for live music as well as comedy, or rock, depending on the night.
The Twisted Pepper is considered one of the best and most consistent clubs for electronic music with over 3 floors often packed during the weekend. There’s also Pygmalion under the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, although it’s a bit more intimate – stylised with exposed stone walls, a vintage photo booth, and classical 19th Century design scattered around.
Wake Up and Repeat!
With that you have had a long day and a night in Dublin, we hope this article helped as a guide. Of course if you’re looking to stay on further or explore more of Ireland than a Sixt rent a car is great solution for planning day trips or exploring the country next time you’re back.