Dublin is an easy walkable city, perfect for exploring in two days. The weather leaves something to be desired – every day when we watch the weather report from London, there seems to be persistent rain hovering over most of Ireland. In my mind, that just makes your visit easier. There is no dry season, so don’t bother chasing it or planning around potential good weather. If you get lucky, you get lucky. One other nice thing about Dublin, if you don’t adore a long list of tourist sites to check off, is the relatively small number of ‘must see’ places in town. Trinity College? Check. Temple Bar? Check. Guinness? Check. And that’s basically it. If you’re aggressive, you could go to all three in about 3 hours. And if you have a whole weekend, well, then there’s plenty more room in there for leisurely wandering, eating, and drinking.
Here is a detailed itinerary of how we spent our short weekend in Dublin. It is easy to follow, and we felt like our time was nicely filled but without too much squeezed in.
12:00 – Arrive in Dublin, buy Aircoach ticket outside airport door, take Aircoach to Burlington Road stop.
13:00 – Next to the coach stop is the Doubletree Burlington Road. There are two Doubletree hotels in town. Just be careful that you go to the right one (a guy next to us at reception went to the wrong location). Check in.
13:30 – Lunch at the Canal Bank Cafe, a five minute walk up the road from the hotel. On a Friday afternoon, it was pleasantly packed, the kind of busy where you don’t have to wait for a table, but there are very few open. We had salads, sandwiches and beer. Nearly everyone around us ordered buffalo wings. We thought this must be a weird Irish thing, but learned later that this particular restaurant is known for their wings. That explains it.
14:30 – Walk through the main hub of activity in Dublin. Through St. Stephen’s Green, up Grafton Street, through Trinity College campus and around in one big loop. Go shopping near Grafton Street for a birthday present for a 1-year-old (more to come on that).
15:30 – Quick stop at Brick Alley Café for coffees. It’s a little chilly out and the damp Irish air just settles in. This café is right on Temple Bar, the famous street (technically I think it’s actually Essex Road, but everyone calls it Temple Bar) also known for the bar called Temple Bar. Yes, it’s weird. We didn’t go to the actual Temple Bar, but it is interesting to walk down this pedestrian cobblestoned road and do lots of people watching. So many drunk people. So early in the day.
17:30 – Stop for drinks at Peruke & Periwig. We ducked into this normal looking pub to get out of the rain and wind. We were pleasantly surprised that in addition to the normal beer selection, they also have an extensive list of fancy cocktails. The kind with bitters and egg whites, served by bartenders in old fashioned suspenders and tweed outfits. It was a nice surprise in a town of mostly beer!
19:00 – The rain and wind was persisting and we were beat. Walk back to hotel, ending totally drenched and disgusting. With very little motivation to venture out of the hotel again, order room service (terrible, and took forever). Watch a movie.
8:00 – Breakfast at hotel. We’ve mentioned before that we really appreciate hotels with breakfast included in the rate. It makes it easy to not have to venture out too early in the morning, or argue about who should go find food.
10:00 – Walk to the Guinness Storehouse for their tour and tasting. We’ve recently written about how much we drink when we travel, and given our proclivity, the Guinness brewery is basically the Mecca for drinking tourists. We visited early on Saturday (we purchased Early Bird tickets in advance, which meant you must enter the complex by 10:30am. We paid €14 each for this ticket option, but you can book a regular Adult ticket online for about €16 or purchase at the door for €18) and were glad to get in before the crowds. And we got to join the hordes of drinking tourists for an 11:30am pint on the rooftop bar.
12:00 – Walk back toward Temple Bar, for brunch at Elephant & Castle. Once again, we spy many people eating buffalo wings. Why, why? Turns out, this is the second place in town which is also known for their wings. So, by chance, we went to the top two places in Dublin for wings within 24 hours. Maybe we’re psychic.
13:00 – 20:00 – Birthday Party! We planned our trip to coincide with other friends visiting Dublin for a lovely birthday party for a one-year-old. Because the Irish are so nice and so fun, of course we were invited. We spent the afternoon chatting and eating and drinking. And we learned about this type of cake that is called ‘chocolate crunch’ or ‘chocolate cookie’ or something. Basically there are crunchy cookies baked into the cake so the whole thing remains a little crunchy. It’s tasty of course. Maybe it’s the Irish version of funfetti?
20:00 – Dinner with our friends at Camden Kitchen. Cozy, and casual with a small and manageable menu focused on seafood. We spent the better part of three hours hanging out. The relatively light dishes are a nice contrast to the piles of birthday cake and gummy bears from earlier in the day.
Late – Bar hopping. Dubliners are partiers, and we tried our best to keep up. We ended the night at Dakota, which is sprawling and has a huge bar, with probably 7 bartenders. Cocktails, beer, normal stuff. Did I mention how huge this place is? It’s massive, and no cover charge (which some clubs or bars do have in Dublin).
09:00 – Thanks to an early flight, we’re up too early, eating a quick breakfast and jumping on the Aircoach back to the airport. Flights to London are roughly every hour, but we find it nice to get back with some of the day to spare. Our flight left around 11:30 and we walked in our door around 13:30. What a quick and fun weekend away!