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24 hours in Dublin: a video city guide

Visiting Dublin but stuck for time? Fear not, Dublin city centre is so compact that it's possible to see all the main sights and get in a few sneaky pints in less than 24 hours. Here's our quick guide to spending a morning, afternoon and evening in Dublin's fair city.

Where to start your day in Dublin:

The Pepper Pot Cafe

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so if arriving in Dublin off an early morning flight, head straight for The Pepper Pot Cafe in the beautiful Powerscourt Townhouse, situated smack bang in the centre of Dublin. This quirky little cafe and tea house is sure to put a smile on your face and their creamy scrambled eggs with smoked salmon will set you up for a busy day of sightseeing.

Powerscourt Townhouse
Credit: ©Rob Durston / Failte Ireland

St. Stephen’s Green

St. Stephens’s Green, right at the top of Dublin’s bustling Grafton street, is the perfect place to start your self-guided walking tour of Dublin. This Victorian era public park is most peaceful place to stroll around the well-manicured gardens at ease, only stopping to take photos of James Joyces’ bust or the Famine Memorial and to feed the ducks that call this beautiful park their home.

St Stephens Green
Credit: ©Tourism Ireland

Iveagh Gardens

Just around the corner from St Stephen’s Green is the Iveagh Gardens, complete with a stunning waterfall, a maze and numerous fountains and grottos. Opened in 1865, what makes this park so special is the fusion of French Formal and English landscape garden design and the fact that it’s always quiet and serene it thanks to its secluded location within the city centre. This park plays host to many concerts and festivals throughout the summer including the annual Taste of Dublin food festival which next year will be held from June 16th until the 19th.

Iveagh Gardens
Credit: ©Failte Ireland

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral

A short stroll from the Iveagh Gardens is Dublin’s most famous and recognisable catholic cathedral, also known as The National Cathedral. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral has been sitting at the heart of Dublin history for over 800 years, dating all the way back to 1191. This iconic place of worship has seen many famous faces pass through it from Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels, to Cromwell, William of Orange and Queen Victoria, not forgetting Saint Patrick himself! There are five guided tours of the cathedral each day, starting at 10.30am with the last one taking place at 3.30pm, and cost just 6 euro per person.

St patricks Cathedral
Credit: ©Brian Morrison / Tourism Ireland

An afternoon in Dublin:

Temple Bar

Need a break from all that walking or just dying for your first pint of the black stuff? Besides being home to some of Dublin’s most lively pubs, Temple Bar has a lot more to offer than first meets the eye. There’s a weekly food market in Meeting House Square (a must-visit if you’re in Dublin on a Saturday), daily craft stalls on the main square, plenty of quirky vintage clothes stores and some excellent quality restaurants such as Elephant and Castle which serve up Irish specialties such as ‘Bangers and Mash’ as well as the best chicken wings in Dublin! As this place is often fully booked for dinner, avoid the queues and have an early lunch here instead.

Temple Bar Pub
Credit: ©Rob Durston / Failte Ireland

The Old Library, Trinity College

Once you’ve refueled on some beef and Guinness stew in Temple Bar, a visit to Dublin’s most famous tourist attraction should be up next. Trinity College was founded in 1592 and is Ireland’s oldest University and one of just seven ancient universities in the entire British Isles. Trinity College is home to the Book of Kells, the world’s most famous medieval manuscript, dating back to the ninth century and containing four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ. Admission to the old library, where the Book of Kells is located, costs 10 euro for adults but if you can find a Trinity student to give you the tour, you can get in for free!

Trinity Library
Credit: ©Rob Durston / Failte Ireland

Irish Design Shop

Forget the kitsch souvenir shops full of gaudy green t-shirts and leprechaun hats on O’Connell street, if you’re looking to buy some quality Irish crafts, the Irish Design Shop on Drury street is the place to go. Their teapot sets are particularly lovely and they also have some great Irish cookbooks, handmade wool scarves and unique prints featuring famous Dublin landmarks.

Irish Design Shop
Credit: ©Tourism Ireland

Merrion Square

Merrion Square is the perfect place to pass an hour in the late afternoon, especially if the sun is shining. In the heart of Georgian Dublin, the square has fine houses on three sides and the garden of Leinster House, home to the Irish parliament, on the fourth side. Many famous Irish figures have lived on this square over the years including Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker and Irish political leader Daniel O’Connell. The outside of the square is a popular spot for local artists to sell their paintings and it’s a great place to grab a bargain.

Merrion Square Georgian Doors
Credit: ©Tony Pleavin / Tourism Ireland

Samuel Beckett Bridge

Dublin’s iconic bridge, the Samuel Beckett bridge is situated in a part of Dublin that has been almost completely regenerated over the past 10 years. The area is home to the Irish Financial Services Centre and Silicon Docks, a nickname given to the region south of the bridge and home to some of the top tech and internet companies in the world, including Facebook and Airbnb. The bridge is a spectacular piece of architecture and is Ireland’s only cable-stayed kind – you may just be lucky enough to watch it opening to let large boats pass through, although this is a very rare sight.

Samuel Beckett Bridge
Credit: ©Jonathan Hessian/ Tourism Ireland

An Evening in Dublin:

Guinness Storehouse

No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, officially Ireland’s most visited attraction. The Gravity Bar at the top of of the storehouse offers 360 degree views of the Dublin skyline and is best visited just as the sun is setting. There is so much to see at the storehouse, and so many delicious pints to be drank in the home of the black stuff, that at least two hours should be given to your visit here. The storehouse is open seven days a week from 9.30am to 5pm and admission is 20 euro for adults.

Guiness Storehouse
Credit: ©Brian Morrison/ Tourism Ireland

Cafe en Seine

If you’re looking for a very chic and classy venue to have dinner, while mingling with Dublin’s finest, Cafe en Seine is the place for you. Situated on Dublin’s Dawson street, home to many other popular late night hot-spots, this elegant bar and restaurant offers locally sourced food with a Parisian flair. Menu delights include brioche du poulet and perfectly cooked steak au poivre. Be sure to try out some of their signature cocktails which are mixed with delicious French champagne!

cafe en seine
Credit: ©Tourism Ireland

Bad Bob’s, Temple Bar

To finish your evening (or to get your night started) head back to Temple Bar to Bad Bob’s late bar and nightclub. The bar has recently been renovated and is popular thanks to its lively atmosphere and rooftop terrace. Open seven days a week and situated right in the middle of Temple Bar’s main thoroughfare, this bar is a great starting (or finishing) point for any night out in Dublin. If you’ve got time for one more drink then make sure you check out our list of the top bars and gig venues in Dublin.

Temple Bar street sign
Credit: ©Tony Pleavin/ Tourism Ireland

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Written by Janet Newenham for Skyscanner.

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