Dublin In A Day

Dublin is the capital of Ireland and is situated on the east coast of the Republic of Ireland. The city is rich with history and major landmarks going as far back as the 12th century. If you plan to visit Ireland, it only makes sense to include Dublin as part of your itinerary.

On this page we have put together a 2 Day Itinerary for your reference, of which one full day will be used to explore the city. For this itinerary we show you how you can visit many of the major attractions on foot, even though public transport is readily available to and from any of these attractions.

Arriving In Ireland

Dublin airport is about 35 minutes away from the city center if you travel by car, and about 45 minutes to an hour away if you take the bus or tram. However, depending on traffic it could easily take between 1 and 2 hours by bus.

Since we always travel on a budget, it only made sense for us to take the bus. We didn’t expect it would take so long though, and when you travel you need to weigh up cost vs available daylight.

If you decide to travel by bus, there is an info counter at the airport which is really helpful. You can ask them which bus you need to take based on where you are headed, and you can buy tickets from them as well. They also furnish you with a map of Dublin city which came in very handy for travelling on foot as well as when looking for public transport routes.

We took the 16 BUS for €3.40 per person, but you need to get on the correct line based on where you are headed to. Alternatively, there is an express bus line which cost about €6.00 per person.

Where We Stayed

We wanted to be fairly central so we stayed on Camden Street Lower.

Booking.com

The plus side to this location is we were in the heart of one of the busiest sections in Dublin. This meant we were within walking distance of all the attractions we wanted to see. It also meant we could experience Dublin like a local. The down side is we were in the heart of one of the busiest section in Dublin, and this meant we were hardly able to get a good night’s rest.

The noise from the traffic as well as the surrounding pubs were far more than anticipated. The pubs only quieted down around 4am, and soon thereafter the garbage trucks would come and collect all the bottles from the night’s activities.

But hey, we were able to experience the city like a local and we highly recommend staying in this area for a night or two.

Starting Our Day

We had a lot of ground to cover on foot, so we got up as early as possible and headed towards the streets.

Our 1 Day Itinerary of Dublin included visits to:

  • The Biggest Cantilevered Structure In Ireland
  • The World’s Most Famous Medieval Manuscript
  • A 65-Meter-Long Library Containing 200,000 Books
  • Ireland’s Biggest Cathedral
  • Ireland’s Oldest Pub
  • The Place of Ireland’s Most Precious Resource (Guinness Storehouse)

Total Walking Time: Just Over 2 Hours

Total Distance That We Covered On Foot: 9.8 km

Directions for the entire route can be found towards the end of the page.

Breakfast At Brother Hubbard

We can recommend having breakfast at Brother Hubbard. We went to the one on 46 Harrington Street, as it is located just around the corner from Camden Street Lower. Check their opening times on their website and if you want you can plan the start of your day with breakfast or coffee at Brother Hubbard.

Brother Hubbard is a really nice café, and they have great reviews. More importantly, they have great coffee!

Brother Hubbard Coffee and Breakfast

Grand Canal Square

Walking Time From Brother Hubbard: 40 Minutes (3km)

Time We Spent At This Location: 20 Minutes

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From Brother Hubbard we walked about 3km’s to Grand Canal Square. From the café we headed south towards the canal and then turned left (east) onto Charlemont Mall. This is a lovely 40 minute walk along the canal, and you will get ever-changing views of a small segment of the city.

Dublin Canal Walk

Dublin Canal Walk

Once you get to Grand Canal Square, the landscape will have changed from the older look to a completely modernized setting. The square was opened in 2007, and represents the brighter future that Ireland will hopefully embrace. There are benches or coffee shops where you can have a rest from your walk. While you rest here you can have a look over the canal which cater for activities like canoeing and paddle surfing.

Dublin - Grand Canal Square

Dublin – Grand Canal Square

The Marker Hotel

Time We Spent At This Location: 10 Minutes

In particular, since both Hank and Lynn have an interest in magnificent structures, we wanted to visit the Marker Hotel which boasts with the most complex cantilevered structure ever built in Ireland. The Marker Hotel is in the square and you can simply walk over to the hotel since you are already there.

It is claimed that the hotel has the largest open lobby in Dublin with uninterrupted sightlines from the bar to the restaurant.

The Marker Hotel - Lobby

The Marker Hotel – Lobby

Trinity College / Book of Kells

Walking Time From Grand Canal Square: 20 Minutes (1.7 km)

Time We Spent At This Location: 1 – 2 Hours

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Next we walked for about 1.7 kms to the Trinity College where we also visited the Book of Kells museum. From the Grand Canal Square you head in a westerly direction. In about 20 minutes you will be transported back into time as you get to the campus of the Trinity College. Walk another minute or, and you should be at the entrance for the Book of Kells.

The Book of Kells is considered to be Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure. It is also considered by many to be the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. The Book of Kells is a copy of the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ, and it was created around the year 800.

Book of Kells

Book of Kells

The exhibition includes a tour of the amazing Trinity College Library which is a 65-meter-long chamber, built between 1712 and 1732. The library is home to about 200,000 books of historic value, and you simply have to see it for yourself.

Trinity College Library

Trinity College Library

Dublin Castle

Walking Time From Trinity College: 15 minutes (1 km)

Time We Spent At This Location: 10 Minutes

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Depending on how your day is going you can decide if you want to do a tour of the castle. We decided against it since we were on a 12 Day Tour of Ireland and expected to visit more interesting castles instead.

Dublin Castle - Ireland

Dublin Castle – Ireland

Christ Church Cathedral

Walking Time From Dublin Castle: 5 Minutes (300 Meters)

Time We Spent At This Location: 15 – 30 Minutes

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Christ Church Cathedral is about 300m away from Dublin Castle and we got to the cathedral in less than 5 minutes.

The Cathedral is one of Dublin’s oldest buildings and has been a sacred place for pilgrims for almost 1,000 years. You can pay to enter the cathedral if you like, but you will have to be quick due to everything else you may want to fit in for the day.

Christ Church Cathedral - Dublin

Christ Church Cathedral – Dublin

We marveled at the building from the outside for about 15 minutes, and then we pressed on to our next place on the itinerary –Ireland’s Oldest Pub!

The Brazen Head

Walking Time From Christ Church Cathedral: 5 – 10 Minutes (500 Meters)

Time We Spent At This Location: 1 Hour

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The Brazen Head is Ireland’s Oldest Pub, dating back to 1198. If you are looking for a true Irish pub experience, then The Brazen Head should definitely be on your itinerary. The present building was built in 1754 and has been beautifully maintained.

The Original Brazen Head, Dublin, Ireland

The Original Brazen Head, Dublin, Ireland

We can’t think of a better place in Ireland where to drink a Guinness. It is also the perfect stop for a pub lunch, and the food is great.

Having a Guinness at the Original Brazen Head

Having a Guinness at the Original Brazen Head

Guinness Storehouse

Walking Time From The Brazen Head: 15 – 20 Minutes (1.1 km)

Time You Can Spend At This Location: 1 – 2 Hours

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Since its opening in 2000, the Guinness Storehouse has received over 4 million visitors and is considered by many to be Ireland’s number 1 visitor attraction. Since Ireland and Guinness are pretty much synonymous, you will be disappointed if you miss out on this one.

The real estate taken up by Guinness is massive, considering the space taken up by the brewery as well as the storehouse.

Guinness Real Estate

Guinness Real Estate

You don’t have to book tickets in advance, but you can buy tickets online if you prefer to skip any potential queues.

St Patrick’s Cathedral

Walking Time From The Guinness Storehouse: 15 – 20 Minutes (1.2 km)

Time We Spent At This Location: 10 – 30 Minutes

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St Patrick’s Cathedral is the tallest and largest church in Ireland. The church was built between 1191 and 1270, and should definitely be on your list of places to see in Dublin.

St Patrick's Cathedral - Dublin

St Patrick’s Cathedral – Dublin

The cathedral is beautiful from the outside, but if you want to go in as well you can buy tickets online where you can also make sure about the opening hours.

Head Back

Walking Time (Back To Brother Hubbard): 15 – 20 Minutes (1 km)

We were finally done for the day and our feet were begging for a rest.

You can visit one of the local pubs in your area for dinner, or grab a snack from one of the supermarkets along the way.

Important Considerations

You may find that your stay at the Guinness Storehouse takes longer than anticipated, and you may have to rush along if seeing St Patrick’s Cathedral is very high on your list of things to do. Alternatively, visit the cathedral first and then head to the storehouse, but this will add some extra mileage to your day.

Also, it is important to note that we have put this itinerary together based on the things that we wanted to see. You should do your own research and decide what you would like to see during your stay. For example, you might be more interested in visiting the Teeling Whiskey Distillery instead of the Guinness Storehouse. This is entirely up to you, and you should adapt your day according to your needs.

Another point for consideration is the available daylight. Depending on which time of the year you visit, you may have to push through some of the attractions faster in order to make the most of your available daylight. However, if you stick to the timelines for this itinerary you should be able to get to everything, even during the winter when the days are shorter.

As promised, click here for directions on the entire route (We used Brother Hubbard as a landmark to get you back to the area where our day started)

Our visit to Dublin formed part of our 12 Day Itinerary when we visited Ireland. You can read all about the entire trip here:

> Ireland In 12 Days