Dublin is a city where there is no room for boredom and monotony.
Ireland is actually famous for its natural attractions like the Cliffs of Moher, Achill Island, the Gap of Dunloe, etc. So, most of the people visit Ireland not for Dublin for the other places in the country.
If you arrive in Ireland, most likely you will land in Dublin. Even if it is by air or by taking a British Isles cruise. Understand that Ireland is an Island, so you can only fly in or sail in.
If your point of arrival in Ireland is Dublin, then don’t just shrug it off as “just another city”, there’s a lot to do in Dublin. More than that, it is about catching the vibe. It is one of the best places to visit in Ireland.
The capital of Ireland is world-famous for its diverse culture, fine pubs, and major natural attractions in its surroundings. There are over a 1000 pubs in Dublin. Insane, right?
Moreover, Dublin is a paradise for literature lovers. In 2010, it was declared as one of “the cities of Literature” by UNESCO.
If you are here just for a day, plan the trip carefully so as to make the most of your time and stay. Thankfully, I did spend a day (or two) here when I visited the Wild Atlantic Way, so I have created an amazing itinerary for you.
What to do in Dublin in a day (itinerary)
1) Walk from Samuel Beckett Bridge to Talbot Memorial Bridge
Walking is the best way to get a feel of a new place before you truly start exploring it. In that sense, Dublin with it’s textbook houses with bright red or green doors is super pretty. The time I was in Dublin, it was early autumn and the many buildings were covered with ivy with leaves that were turning red.
Go on a walking trail that will take you across some major sites of interest and attractions for the tourists.
If you walk from Samuel Beckett Bridge to Talbot Memorial Bridge, you will also see the Triumphal Arch, the massive Custom House Quay, World Poverty Stone, Seán O’Casey Bridge, Molly Malone Statue, Matt Talbot Statue, Chester Beatty Library, and Ann Street.
I actually did this walk at night on my own when I was traveling solo. No one actually told me about this route but I discovered it on my own without any motive or knowledge about the city’s landmarks. The bridges were lit up and it was a decent time for some night photography.
However, I still recommend you do this during the day so that you can head to a better spot at night – the Temple Bar square (I talk about it in one of the next points).
Stop for a coffee or brunch at POG Tara Street at Trinity Square. Catch your breath and stop for a while to admire the swans, herons, and ducks in the river. If you’re vegan, you will love this Dublin food guide for Vegans.
2) The Long Room, the Book of Kells at Trinity College (Old Library)
The Long Room at Trinity College is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. If you love books, the way they look and also the way they smell, then you will want to spend hours here. The earthy smell of old books that fills the library will make you smile.
The Long Room library is perfect for not just literature lovers but also photographers. This is a place where you will end up clicking tonnes of photos. There are beautiful columns in front of the shelves, and rounded ceiling. The books are stacked beautifully and it will transport you to a world of Hogwarts’ library.
Please note, tripods or flashes aren’t allowed inside the Long Room.
3) Quick Stop at Dublin Castle
A visit to the Dublin Castle is a must, and one can plan a palace tour in Dublin to the popular castle. Step back in time and immerse yourself in the fascinating history of Dublin and Ireland.
The castle has been sued by Lord Lieutenant, Viceroy, representative of the Monarch and Dublin Castle administration. You can roam the Medieval City under the direction of a knowledgeable guide. It was built as a protective fortification and later evolved into an official residence.
4) Head to Marsh’s Library
Marsh’s Library is the oldest in Ireland and was built by Archbishop Narcissus in Dublin in 1707. It contains hundreds and thousands of rare books and fascinating manuscripts.
It is a joy to look at the beautifully preserved building that was built during the Renaissance and is still being used as a library, which holds literary treasures in its original oak bookcases. Book your visit in advance, and it remains open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9 to 5 pm.
5) St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Marsh’s Library and St. Patrick’s Cathedral are next to each other so you can make quick stop at the cathedral together with the library.
This cathedral is also an important landmark for literature lovers, here’s why. Everyone’s heard of Gulliver’s Travels. The author of the book was Jonathan Swift, and he was the dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral till his death in 1745.
6) Guinness Storehouse Gravity Bar
Guinness Storehouse Gravity Bar is the most popular rooftop bar in Ireland, and here, you can enjoy a pint of Guinness along with some panoramic views of Dublin. It is an incredible experience to sit at one of the highest points in Dublin city and relax.
The pint glass–shaped interior of the 7-story Guinness Storehouse is a major attraction. the Gravity Bar has doubled in size over the years, and nothing could be better than enjoying a sit-down dinner or a drink from the best viewpoints of the city.
7) Walk on Ha’penny Bridge
It is indeed great fun to walk on Ha’penny Bridge which dates back to the history of the overcrowded and betimes ferry that carried passengers to the far side. It is the first pedestrian bridge in the city that was greatly welcomed by the Dubliners.
It was earlier known as Wellington Bridge, later as Liffey Bridge, and today it is famous as Ha’penny Bridge.Today, more than thirty thousand people cross the daily and are glad to pay a ha’penny. Its famous white railings are adorned with love locks that have the names of the lovers written on them. The bridge still supports its original white color.
8) End your day at Temple Bar Square
Nightlife in Dublin is simply unmatched, and the city boasts plenty of bars and pubs. So get ready for a vibrant nightlife when the sun sets in, and this is the best way to end your day trip in the city.
Temple Bar Square is not just an area, but there is also a famous pub called the Temple Bar which is right here. Locals say that it is overpriced and touristy but it is still worth a visit for a beer, before you can head to the other nearby bars that are around.
Although there are thousands of pubs in Dublin, the ones that stand out from the rest are situated in the Temple Bar Square. Temple Bar Square is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin.
Take your time to check out the authentic Irish bars flanked by glitzy shops and restaurants. Temple Bar has maintained its medieval street design of cobbled streets. Just spend some time here to soak up the energy, enjoy a few beers and eat typical Irish food.
9) Loop Head (Optional)
Explore the Loop Head is best known for panoramic views, scenic beauty spots, local seafood, and many other activities. Once here, you will feel as if you are in an unforgettable part of the world as it has the largest estuary in Ireland on one side and the ocean on the other.
Take some moments to enjoy the vibrant nature and feel the fresh air on your face and skin. This is the real way to experience authentic Ireland.
10) Montpelier Hill Viewpoint (Optional)
Montpelier Hill Viewpoint is a well-known landmark. This is an optional activity because it is out of the way. Visit it if you love viewpoints and walking. Keep in mind that you will have to skip the last three activities on this list if you visit Montpelier Hill.
There are plenty of trails that circuit around the hill to reach the top, from where you can enjoy some great views of the city. However, make sure that your fitness level matches the challenge of the trails and routes steeped in history.
Enjoy different activities along the routes and enjoy some epic moments with nature. You can stop at some scenic stops or picnic locations, and do not forget to carry plenty of water and food.
Where to Stay in Dublin:
I stayed here and loved how airy our dormitory was. I booked a bed in a women’s dormitory and it had 4 beds, plenty of open space and large windows. There was also a toilet attached with our dormitory. The WiFi was very good.
The location is perfect because it is in the heart of Dublin city. As I mentioned before, I explored the city on my own without any knowledge of landmarks and I ended up seeing a lot because everything is nearby.
Premier Inn Dublin City Centre (Temple Bar) hotel
This is a high end hotel but not as expensive as the others in the city. It is on the Temple Bar Street, so you will have a lot of options of places to see on your doorstep.
PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.