Things to do in Dublin for First Time Visitors

2 day dublin itinerary

A weekend in Dublin is the perfect teaser for this lively city. It gives you enough time to get acquainted with your surroundings, see some historic sites, as well as more than enough time to pop into any number of pubs. The pub is the heart of it all where you will see live music, dancing, strangers meeting one another, pints of Irish beer, and let us not forget – heavenly food!

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Things to do in Dublin

Below you will find some of the historical and cultural sites around the city center so you can pick or choose, although you can easily see them all in a weekend.

Christ Church Cathedral

The earliest manuscripts date this cathedral back to around 1030. Christ Church is the seat of the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic archbishops.

For €6 you can enter the church and the crypt (the largest in Ireland and Britain). Guided tours are available for an additional €4 which includes the belfry. Unfortunately, when I went the belfry was undergoing work so I did not do the tour.

St Patrick’s Cathedral

This gothic style cathedral was founded in 1191. It is said that around 450 AD Saint Patrick baptized some of the first Christians on this site which is now a beautiful garden. An interesting interior to see with a handful of artifacts of local and religious significance. It is €6 for admission.

Just a few blocks south of Christ Church Cathedral, they are a nice way to start the day exploring this end of the city.

Trinity College – The Old Library & the Book of Kells

Taking a walk around the Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest University you must stop at the library to see the Book of Kells, a true work of art. The Old Library was used in the 18th century, and as you can see in the photo below, it was magnificent. For those who love old books and libraries, it was like taking a step back in history.

Admission is €10, or €13 if purchased online which gives you a fast-track option.

Dublin Castle

2 day dublin itinerary

The Dublin Castle is not what you expect when you first hear the words. In fact behind me is not even a castle, it is a Chapel and the only remaining Norman tower of the actual castle. For €8.50 you can receive a guided tour to the medieval undercroft to see remains of the castle, learn about the structure, and a bit about the history of the creation of Dublin, the State Apartments, and the Chapel. The Chapel and undercroft are only accessed through this tour.

National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology

Free entrance and several floors of Irish artifacts including Viking and Celtic items, what is not to love on a rainy day? The museum was one of those extra items I added to my itinerary if I ran out of time, turns out the second day was very rainy and not enjoyable to be outside so off to the museum I went. I love museums and have seen so many, this is definitely on my list of recommendations. There are some truly impressive artifacts to see with your own eyes.

What to eat in Dublin

The Bakery (Temple Bar area)

Stopping here was a complete happy accident. Walking past the smell of baked goods pulled me in and the sausage roll is now the subject of many food dreams. BTW, I went back here two years later, and the sausage rolls are still amazing. 

O’Neill’s Bar & Restaurant  (near Trinity College)

Going to Ireland, it was really important for me to get an “Irish experience” when it came to food and music, I Googled Irish food and this was one of the suggestions being licensed for 300 years, and I have to tell you… do not miss it!!

The food was so hearty and an experience in itself. I hit the jackpot because where I sat I noticed a sign that a band was going to perform in an hour. I slowly enjoyed my meal and was pleasantly serenaded with Irish music and dancing with a front-row seat.

When I found out I was going to Dublin for a second time, the only thing I could think of was I can’t wait to go to O’Neills. Unfortunately, it was closed for reservations but I checked their website and they are back in action so someone go eat a plate for me!

Rosie’s Cafe

I had never heard of putting salmon in scrambled eggs, but it seems this is a common breakfast dish in Dublin. I thought I would give it a chance and it was very delicious! This is a really cute cafe close to the Christ Church with really good coffee.

Dublin Nightlife

Saying nightlife almost feels unfair. Not to imply that locals drink all day, but the pubs themselves are centers for gathering, much like a cafe in Ljubljana. It is a meeting place, a social place, a place for food, drinks, and music. Basically, I am giving you permission to go to the pub whenever you want!

The Brazen Head

The Brazen Head - Dublin Itinerary

The oldest pub in Ireland dating back to 1198 was one of the coolest pubs I have ever been to. Stepping inside was a surreal historical experience and it is not surprising why it is still open. I tried an authentic Irish Coffee with Whiskey and my first Irish Guinness here.

They do serve a full menu, I saw others eating around me and the food looked amazing, but I didn’t have a chance to try it myself. Can anyone recommend any dishes?

Of course, I went back! This is one of my favorite pubs in all of Europe. This time I couldn’t resist ordering some food. I tried the Beef and Guinness Stew which was served with mashed potatoes on top. Yes… sooo good (I don’t know why mashed potatoes don’t come on everything).


Mentioned previously but mentioning again in case you skipped the food section. Go get a beer and see the live authentic Irish music 7 days a week.

Dame Lane

The first night in Dublin I took a walk around and stumbled upon this area. It is a very eccentric area with what seems to be a wide range of bars and pubs. There is something for everyone and just a nice place to walk around.

Temple Bar

temple bar - 2 day in dublin

This is one of the most iconic pubs probably in all of Dublin. Full of tourists, bursting at the seams, music blasting from inside, it has become a bit of an institution. From both of my visits to Dublin, Temple Bar had the party going no matter the time.

Accommodation in Dublin

A few years after visiting Dublin, I had the opportunity to spend a day there between flights. I stayed in a hostel called Times Hostel on College Street very close to the Temple Bar area. It was a Monday or Tuesday, and I thought maybe the nightlife wouldn’t be impressive, but I couldn’t be more wrong. I had an absolute blast, and I was completely by myself. Everyone was so friendly and very drunk, amazing live music coming from every door, it was such a good time. I had to tear myself away at 10 pm to get back to my hostel for some sleep before an early flight.

I hope this list gave you some inspiration to travel to Dublin. It is a really wonderful city with buzzing energy. Did I miss any of your favorite spots? Leave them in the comments!

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