Skip to Content

Weekend in Dublin: How to Spend 2 Days in Dublin Itinerary

Last Updated on 1st March 2023 by Sophie Nadeau

The Capital of the Emerald Isle is a buzzing, vibrant city filled with plenty of pubs, friendly locals, and lots of history. And while a weekend in the Irish capital is barely enough to scratch the surface, you’ll still begin to get a feel for Dublin. Here’s your ultimate guide to spending 2 days in Dublin; a 48 hours travel guide and itinerary for the capital of the Emerald Isle.

Weekend in Ireland: How to Spend 2 Days in Dublin Itinerary. Highlights of the Irish capital; Guinness Storehouse, National Museums of Ireland, things to do in Dublin over two days.
Weekend in Ireland: How to Spend 2 Days in Dublin Itinerary. Highlights of the Irish capital; Guinness Storehouse, National Museums of Ireland, things to do in Dublin over two days.

Is 2 days enough time to visit Dublin?

The answer as to whether or now two days (or a weekend) is enough time to visit Dublin depends entirely on what your plans are and how you like to travel.

With this being said, thanks to the compact nature of the city and the fact that everything is located pretty close together, you can see all of the main attractions over the course of 48 hours. If you are visiting Dublin in a limited time frame, then check out our suggestions for one day in Dublin.

Weekend in Ireland: How to Spend 2 Days in Dublin guide and Itinerary. Highlights of the Irish capital; Trinity College, hidden gems of Dublin, Temple Bar, etc. Dublin, Ireland

Day One in Dublin: Must-See Attractions & Tourist Hotspots

While day two of this itinerary is more about getting to know the foodie locations and culture of Dublin, day one of this 2 days in Dublin guide is all about ticking off those Irish bucket list items and snapping photos of all the must-see attractions the city has to offer.

Explore Trinity College & Book of Kells 

If you make sure to see just one Dublin attraction during your time in the capital, make it Trinity College. I personally recommend seeing Trinity College and the Book of Kells as early as possible in the day as the places gets pretty busy (and the queues can become rather long) after lunch. The oldest university in Ireland was founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I and is called Trinity College Dublin.

One of the best places to see spring blossom in the city, it’s here where you’ll find the magnificent medieval manuscript, the Book of Kells, as well as one of the most beautiful libraries in Ireland, if not all of Europe.

Should you visit at certain times during the day, there’s also the option to embark on a student-led tour for an extra- but well worth it- fee. Book your fast-Track Access Book of Kells and Dublin Castle Tour tickets here in advance.

A quick guide on where to find the very best cherry blossom in Dublin. Here's all the best photo spots and parks for seeing hyacinth, spring blooms, and magnolia trees in the Irish Capital, Dublin, Ireland!

Embark on a Self-Guided Walking Tour

Like many European capital cities, Dublin is a place which is best explored on foot over the course of several days. This free and self-guided walking tour takes a couple of hours and will lead you through the top highlights of Dublin.

I recommend setting aside at least 3 hours so as to make the most of all the places listed within the tour; there are several museums to admire and pubs at which to stop and drink a pint included! It’s also a good idea to plan to visit several museums and cafés en route as rain in Dublin is not uncommon.

Along the way, places of note include Dublin’s Castle, The Molly Malone Statue, and a wander over the Ha’Penny Bridge (so-called because once upon a time, you had to pay half a penny to cross the River Liffey).

Be sure to bring some extra cash when you visit the Winding Stair Bookshop as there’s even an adjacent teahouse where you can drink coffee as you browse…

Dublin Castle, Ireland

Drink Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse

For any beer fans, Guinness likely needs no introduction. The iconic tipple is so famous that there’s an entire museum and interactive experience dedicated to the brew.

Once at the Storehouse, there’s the chance to sample beers, pull your own pint, and learn about the history of the brewery’s founder.

I recommend dedicating a whole afternoon there so as to make the most of the experience and ticket price. To save money on your ticket (and ensure you get a space at your preferred time slot), then you should purchase your ticket in advance.

Guinness Storehouse, Dublin must see attractions Ireland

Wander around the Temple Bar District

So-called thanks to the Temple Bar which sits in the very heart of this part of Dublin, Temple Bar district is the coolest place to hang out at night, as well as being the best place to go for a meal, and so you may want to book your accommodation close by!

Highlights of this area of Dublin (discounting the many bars and pubs!) include numerous galleries, as well as vintage clothing shops. I personally recommend Lucy’s Lounge.

And while I don’t want to spoil your experience (and ruin the surprise), quirky decor even includes dolls scattered across the walls of the two floors!

Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland

Day 2 in Dublin: Off The Beaten Path & Exploring the City on a Local Level

Enjoy breakfast in a charming coffee shop

Dublin has a plethora of cafés, teahouses, and coffee shops in Dublin, all worth discovering. Some of the best places to go include Peacock Green & Co. (close to the city cathedral and filled with French-inspired decor) and Queen of Tarts (though the cakes are on the pricier side of things, portions are large and oh os delicious).

Where to find the best coffee in Dublin. A quick guide to the 11 best cute cafés, eateries and coffee shops in Dublin, capital of Ireland!

All of the four National Ireland Museums are free to visit, and each are worthy of a trip in their own right. Three of the museums are located within Dublin itself (the Natural History Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts, and the Archaeology Museum), and the fourth can be found in Turlough Park, County Mayo.

While the Victorian Natural History Museum offers a glimpse into how museums were set out in the past (and is even complete with stunning Gothic architecture), the Archaeology Museum is home to some of Ireland’s greatest historical finds and treasures.

If you’re looking to escape the crowds of Dublin, then you may want to consider a visit to the Decorative Arts & History Museum, which is set in former army barracks.

Elsewhere in the city, not far from the River Liffey, the National Gallery is also free to visit and is home to some of Ireland’s best painting collections. Highlights of the Gallery include a Vermeer, a Turner, a Caravaggio, and a Monet.

National gallery, Dublin, Ireland

Seek out literary locations

For fans of literature, Dublin is a must-see destination. After all, once here there are locations which inspired locations within James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses, as well as a library (Marsh’s Library) where Bram Stoker once studied.

Elsewhere in the city, there’s a strange statue dedicated to Oscar Wilde, while the Dublin Writers Museum offers a delve into Dublin as a literary destination. And, if you’re looking for a 2 hour guided tour of the city which encompasses plenty of pubs en route, then you may want to purchase tickets for this Irish Literature Walking Tour.

A Visit to Marsh's Library, The Prettiest & Oldest Public Library in Ireland

Go in search of secret locations

Did you know that there’s an abandoned church in the North of the city by the name of St Kevin’s? Or that a replica of Rory Gallagher’s guitar hangs somewhat surreptitiously on a corner of the Temple Bar district? And even if you knew of both of those locations, did you know about the National Leprechaun Museum?

Or that there’s a somewhat forgotten 17th-century Huguenot cemetery behind a large set of iron grilled gates? Well, Dublin is home to plenty of hidden gems, all waiting to be sought out.

Here’s my complete guide to secret spots in Dublin. If you’re planning on visiting more of the Emerald Isle, then be sure to check out our guide to the top off the beaten path locations in Ireland.

Ruins of St Kevin's Church, Camden Row, Dublin

Where to stay in Dublin

Due to its status as a capital city, Ireland has no shortage of places to stay at every price range. From hostels for the backpackers to luxurious accommodation for those who love their holidays served with a slice of luxury, here are the best places to stay in Dublin (based on price and web reviews):

Abbey Court Hostel, 29 Bachelors Walk, North City, Dublin, D01 AX90, Ireland

For those looking for a hostel and a very affordable option, Abbey Court Hostel is centrally located and generally well-reviewed. Check prices and availability here.

O’Neills Victorian Pub & Townhouse, 36-37 Pearse St, Dublin 2, D02 VX62, Ireland

This mid-range priced pub can be found in the very heart of the action, somewhere between the River Liffey and the National Gallery of Ireland. Check prices and availability here.

The Shelbourne Dublin, A Renaissance Hotel, 27 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, Ireland

Situated in a hotel building dating back to the 19th-century, this five-star accommodation is just a ten-minute walk away from Trinity College Dublin. Check prices and availability here.

Merrion Hotel, Merrion St Upper, Dublin 2, Ireland

This five-star place to stay offers luxury at its very finest. Set within a restored Georgian building, the hotel can be found just over a five-minute walk away from the National Gallery of Ireland. Check prices and availability here.

Brick Alley Café, Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland

Tips for visiting Dublin for Two Days

If you have a little more time…

Dublin is the capital of Ireland, a European country which is often fondly referred to as ‘The Emerald Isle’ on account of how beautiful and green is.

The city also happens to be a great base from which to explore the rest of the verdant country. For more inspiration on the best excursions from the city, be sure to check out our Dublin day trips guide.

Galway ireland

Bring some waterproofs!

Ireland isn’t called the ‘Emerald Isle’ for nothing. The country has been awarded its green nickname thanks to its rolling green hills, which are in turn so because of the sheer amount of rain the country receives.

As such, barely a day of your Irish travels will likely go by without a downpour or two (particularly if you’re travelling in the shoulder or low seasons). For more even Irish capital inspiration, check out our guide to the best Dublin travel tips.

Purchase the Dublin Pass

If you want to get your money’s worth and are planning on seeing a number of Irish museums and cultural attractions while in Dublin, then you should consider investing in the Dublin Pass.

The Irish Capital is not the cheapest destination to visit and any opportunity you can save money while visiting is definitely a bonus! Check for further information about the Dublin pass here.

What to wear when exploring Europe

In the summer, you can’t go wrong by pairing a cute midi dress with classic white tennis shoes for a laid-back smart casual look that’s just as chic for walking around a city’s cobbled lanes as it is for wandering coastal paths. I love this dress and have it in several colour ways. In terms of tennis shoes, this is my go-to shoe.

When it comes to winter in Europe, most places (with the exception of a few islands) can get pretty cold and so warm layers is a must. I find that cute ankle boots like these ones are the perfect mix of practical meets cute.

Shoulder seasons (spring and summer) in Europe tend to come with a mix of rainy and sunny days and so, again, layers are a must. Trench coats and sneakers are the best uniform to explore the continent in.

Finally, a cross-body bag like these ones is a must. I personally use a crossbody bag by this brand and love its shape, size, and versatility. As well as being convenient and compact, it’s one of the safest ways to transport your valuables, all the while looking chic. I also recommend bringing along a travel adapter like this one so you can charge all of your electronics during your stay!

Enjoyed reading this itinerary on how to spend 2 days in Dublin? Pin it now, read it again later:

Ireland travel guide/  Weekend in Ireland: How to Spend 2 Days in Dublin Itinerary for Dublin
How to spend two days in Dublin, the capital of the Emerald Isle, Dublin: a 48 hour itinerary and guide for exploring the museums, libraries, and top tourist attractions of Dublin (where to stay, foods you must eat, etc)
Weekend in Ireland: How to Spend 2 Days in Dublin Itinerary. Highlights of the Irish capital; Guinness Storehouse, National Museums of Ireland, things to do in Dublin over two days.

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She currently splits her time between Paris and London. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Sunday 24th of November 2019

I stayed at the Generator hostel and loved it! Your photos are amazing!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.