Hey there fellow travelers and welcome to my post where we will cover 10 ways to spend one day in Dublin. Now, we all know the joys that travel can bring, from visiting far off places, experiencing different cultures and of course, all the new foods. But there is also a downside, – that dreaded day to ‘waste’ in a city whilst waiting for a midnight flight.
So if you are like me (as I live in Australia, all outgoing flights seems to leave late at night), there has been many a day where you need to find something to do that is enjoyable, but doesn’t take too much time – or cost too much money. So if you have a long layover or a day to kill in Dublin, here are 10 things you can do to pass the time in an enjoyable way.
Ways To Spend One Day In Dublin
Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a blend of historical depth and contemporary vibrancy that captivates and charms travelers from around the globe. Meandering through its cobbled streets, visitors encounter ancient landmarks like Dublin Castle and the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral, whilst the literary legacy of Joyce, Yeats, and Beckett whispers from its age-old pubs and the renowned Trinity College Library.
Whether raising a pint of Guinness at the lively Temple Bar or delving into the city’s Viking roots, Dublin’s charm lies in its friendly locals, cozy pubs and the tales and folklore that permeate the very fabric of the city.
So with all that in mind here are 10 unforgettable ways to spend one day in Dublin.
1. Start with a Hearty Irish Breakfast
When you’re only spending one day in Dublin, you’ll want to start your day off right with a hearty Irish breakfast. There are plenty of places to grab a delicious breakfast throughout the city, so you won’t have to go far to find a tasty meal.
One of the best places to start your day is Hatch and Sons, located in Dublin City Gallery. This cozy spot serves up a traditional Irish breakfast with all the fixings, including sausages, bacon, eggs, baked beans, black pudding and white pudding. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the porridge with whiskey cream for a unique and delicious twist.
Another great option is Tang, located near Dawson and Abbey Streets. This trendy spot offers a variety of breakfast options, including buckwheat and banana pancakes, granola and mushrooms on toast. They also serve up a delicious Irish breakfast with all the classic components.
2. Explore the Historic Dublin Castle
If you only have one day in Dublin, visiting the historic Dublin Castle is a must-do. The castle has been a symbol of British rule for centuries and has served as the seat of Irish government since the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922. Here are a few things you can do while exploring Dublin Castle:
Chester Beatty Library
Located within the grounds of Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty Library is a must-visit for anyone interested in art, history, and culture. The library’s collection includes rare manuscripts, prints and books from around the world, with a particular focus on Asia and the Middle East.
You can explore the exhibitions on your own or take a guided tour to learn more about the library’s fascinating history.
Dublin Castle Gardens
After exploring the castle’s interior, take a stroll through the beautiful Dublin Castle Gardens. The gardens are divided into several sections including a formal garden, a sunken garden and a medicinal herb garden.
You can also visit the Dubh Linn Garden, which features a replica of the original Viking settlement that once stood on the site of Dublin Castle.
3. Stroll Through St. Stephen’s Green
If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Dublin, a stroll through St. Stephen’s Green is a must. This beautiful park is located in the heart of the city and offers a serene oasis for visitors and locals alike.
As you enter the park, you’ll be greeted by lush greenery, colorful flowers and a peaceful pond. Take your time to explore the winding paths and discover the many hidden corners of the park where you’ll find plenty of benches along the way, perfect for sitting and taking in the scenery.
One of the highlights of St. Stephen’s Green is Fusiliers’ Arch, a striking monument that serves as a memorial to the Irish soldiers who fought in World War I. The arch is located at the entrance to the park on Grafton Street and is a popular spot for taking photos.
If you’re interested in history, be sure to check out the 1916 Easter Rising exhibition, which is located throughout the park. This exhibition tells the story of the role played by the Volunteer garrison of St. Stephen’s Green during Ireland’s fight for independence from British rule.
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4. Visit the Iconic Trinity College
If you only have one day in Dublin, a visit to Trinity College is another great option. Founded in 1592, Trinity College is Ireland’s oldest university and one of the most prestigious in Europe. Here are a few things you shouldn’t miss during your visit:
The Book of Kells
The Book of Kells is a world-renowned illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels of the New Testament. It was created by Celtic monks around 800 AD and is considered one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. The Book of Kells is displayed in the Old Library at Trinity College, and you can see it for yourself by joining a guided tour.
The tour includes a visit to the Long Room Library, where you can see over 200,000 of Trinity College’s oldest books.
Long Room Library
The Long Room Library is one of the most impressive libraries in the world. It’s a 65-meter-long room that houses over 200,000 of Trinity College’s oldest books, including the Book of Kells. The library’s collection includes books from as far back as the 15th century, and it’s a must-see for any book lover.
The Long Room is also home to several marble busts of famous writers and philosophers, including Shakespeare and Plato.
During your visit, you can also take a stroll around the beautiful campus, which covers 47 acres in the heart of Dublin. The campus is home to several historic buildings including the Campanile, the Examination Hal, and the Graduates Memorial Building.
Trinity College is located in the heart of Dublin, making it easy to get to by public transport. The Luas Green line stops right outside the College Green entrance and most city center buses have a stop nearby. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also rent a Dublin Bike and cycle to the college.
5. Experience the Vibrant Temple Bar Area
If you only have one day in Dublin, you can’t miss out on the Temple Bar area. This cultural quarter is located on the River Liffey and is packed with shops, bars and restaurants. Here are two things you can do to experience the vibrant atmosphere of Temple Bar:
Live Music Venues
Temple Bar is known for its lively music scene, so why not catch a gig while you’re here? The area is home to several venues that host live music performances ranging from traditional Irish music to rock and pop. Some of the most popular music venues in Temple Bar include The Button Factory, Whelan’s, and The Workman’s Club. Check out their websites to see who’s playing during your visit.
Temple Bar is also renowned for its pubs, which are perfect for a pint of Guinness or a whiskey tasting. You can find a variety of pubs in the area from traditional ones with live music to trendy ones with craft beers. The most famous pub in Temple Bar is The Temple Bar Pub, which is always packed with tourists and locals alike.
If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, try The Palace Bar or The Porterhouse Temple Bar.
6. Tour the Guinness Storehouse
If you’re a beer lover, visiting the Guinness Storehouse is a must-do activity while spending a day in Dublin. Here are some tips to make the most of your visit:
- Book online to avoid the queues – The Guinness Storehouse is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Dublin and the queues can get quite long. To save yourself some time, it’s best to book your tickets online in advance. This will allow you to skip the ticket queue and head straight to the entrance.
- Learn about the brewing process – The Guinness Storehouse is not just a brewery, it’s also a museum that takes you through the history of Guinness and the brewing process. You’ll learn about the ingredients used to make the beer, the brewing process and the famous advertising campaigns that have made Guinness a household name.
- Take in the views – The Guinness Storehouse is located in a historic building that was once the fermentation plant of the brewery. The building has been transformed into a seven-story museum, and each floor is dedicated to a different aspect of the brewing process. The highlight of the tour is the Gravity Bar on the seventh floor, where you can enjoy a pint of Guinness while taking in panoramic views of Dublin. Trust me, for the best pint of Guinness you will ever taste, this part is not to be missed.
- Learn to pour the perfect pint – One of the most popular activities at the Guinness Storehouse is the Guinness Academy, where you can learn to pour the perfect pint of Guinness. The academy is led by a master brewer who will teach you the six steps to pouring this wonderful beer.
- Enjoy a meal at the Brewers Dining Hall – The Guinness Storehouse has several restaurants and bars where you can enjoy a meal or a pint of Guinness. The Brewers Dining Hall is a popular spot for lunch, where you can enjoy traditional Irish dishes like fish and chips or bangers and mash.
- Shop for souvenirs – No visit to the Guinness Storehouse is complete without a trip to the gift shop. Here you’ll find a wide range of Guinness merchandise, from t-shirts and hats to pint glasses and bottle openers.
7. Discover the Kilmainham Gaol
If you’re interested in history, then a visit to Kilmainham Gaol is a must-do when spending one day in Dublin. This former prison is now a museum that showcases the history of Irish nationalism and the struggle for independence.
Here are a few things you can expect when visiting Kilmainham Gaol:
- Location: Kilmainham Gaol is located in Kilmainham, a 15-minute walk from the Irish Museum of Modern Art and a 25-minute walk from both the Phoenix Park and the Guinness Storehouse.
- Opening hours: The museum is open 7 days a week with different entry times depending on the month you visit it. A tour costs €8.00 per adult, and it takes approximately one hour.
- History: Kilmainham Gaol played a significant role in Irish history. It was where many Irish revolutionaries were imprisoned and executed, including leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916.
- Tours: The guided tours are informative and engaging, with knowledgeable guides who will take you through the various cells and explain the significance of each one.
- Exhibits: The museum has several exhibits that showcase the history of the prison and its role in the fight for Irish independence.
Overall, a visit to Kilmainham Gaol is a fascinating and educational experience that should not be missed when spending one day in Dublin.
8. Enjoy a River Liffey Cruise
One of the best ways to see Dublin is from the River Liffey. A river cruise is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of the city and learn about its history and culture.
The River Liffey cruises run throughout the day, but it’s best to choose a time when the weather is good and the river is calm. The best time to go is in the morning or early afternoon when there are fewer crowds. Furthermore, the weather in Dublin can be unpredictable, so make sure you dress in layers and bring a raincoat or umbrella just in case.
Most river Liffey cruises come with a commentary that provides information about the history and culture of Dublin. Make sure you listen to the commentary to learn more about the city and as you cruise along the river, keep an eye out for landmarks such as Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin Castle and the Custom House.
9. Explore Phoenix Park
As part of a day of exploring Dublin, you can also check out Phoenix Park, one of Europe’s largest city parks. Here are a few things you can do at Phoenix Park:
If you’re an animal lover, make sure to visit Dublin Zoo, which is located in Phoenix Park. The zoo is home to over 400 animals and 70 different species including elephants, lions and giraffes. You can also see some of Ireland’s native animals, such as red deer and grey seals.
Take a stroll to the Wellington Monument, a towering obelisk that stands at over 200 feet tall. The monument was built in honor of the Duke of Wellington who was born in Dublin and is best known for his victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. You can climb to the top of the monument for stunning views of Dublin and Phoenix Park.
10. Shop At Grafton Street
At the heart of Dublin’s city center, Grafton Street is a bustling pedestrian thoroughfare that boasts an array of high-end boutiques, international brands and traditional Irish craft stores, interspersed with historic buildings and the iconic statue of Molly Malone.
From the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting from its many cafés to the sounds of live Irish folk music echoing from the doorways of pubs, the street is a sensory delight. Flanked by the verdant St. Stephen’s Green at one end and the grand arch of Trinity College at the other, Grafton Street serves as a perfect starting point for any Dublin exploration, promising an authentic taste of the city’s charm and vitality.
Its red-bricked pathway is not only a haven for shoppers but also a stage for some of Dublin’s most talented street performers, from musicians to magicians, who add a lively ambiance to the area as well.
There you have it; how to spend a day in Dunlin with a day to kill. As usual, let me know of your experiences here or if there is anything else you think I should add.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time.