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2 Different Ways To Spend 2 Days in Dublin (Itineraries)

2 Different Ways To Spend 2 Days in Dublin (Itineraries)

So, 2 days in Dublin is arguably the perfect amount of time needed to explore a good chunk of the capital.

There are endless things to do in Dublin, yet a nicely thought-out itinerary will ensure that you make the most of your time here.

The aim of this guide is to provide you with 2 different itineraries to choose from, each of which takes the hassle out of planning your time in Dublin.

Each 48 hours in Dublin itinerary below has timings, what to expect and how far you’ll need to walk between each stop. There’s also info on getting around Dublin and more. Dive on in.

Table of Contents

Some need-to-knows before spending 2 days in Dublin

north bull island

Photos via Shutterstock

Before we dive into the different 2 days in Dublin itineraries, there are a few need-to-knows worth considering first.

1. A well-planned itinerary is key

Dublin is very walkable. However, this can lead some people into a false sense of security. It’s walkable, but you need to be walking in the right direction… Having a nice, clear itinerary is key to making the best use of your time, and it ensures you don’t end up walking in circles.

2. Pick a good base to stay

If you’ve read our where to stay in Dublin guide, you’ll know that picking the right base is extremely important, both from a safety and a convenience perspective. Our preferred locations are around St Stephen’s Green, Ballsbridge, Stoneybatter and Portobello.

3. Book tickets in advance

If you’re planning on visiting major tourist sights, try and book ahead! Queues can be massive; hours long, not metres or yards. Once you’ve picked an itinerary, get your tours locked in.

4. Save, save, save with the Dublin Pass

If you’re spending 2 days in Dublin, the Dublin Pass is a no brainer. You simply buy the pass for €86 and you get access to the city’s main attractions, like the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery. You can easily save from €62.50, depending on how many places you visit.

48 hours in Dublin: An overview of the itineraries

Convention Centre Dublin

Photos via Shutterstock

I’m going to give you a quick overview of our different 2 days in Dublin itineraries, so you can see what each one involves.

The itineraries vary massively – one uses public transport while the other uses a rental car. Both take you to different sides of the county, too.

Itinerary 1: The tourist favourite

our first 48 hours in Dublin itinerary will take you around the most popular attractions in the city centre. You’ll be walking between the different sites and visiting old-school pubs and great places to eat.

Itinerary 2: The explorer’s favourite

Pack your day bag, and grab some car keys, this itinerary will take you beyond the city’s limits and show you a different side to Dublin. In this two days in Dublin itinerary, you’ll hike, soak up amazing views of the city and visit some gorgeous towns and villages.

Dublin in 2 days: Itinerary 1, Day 1

Our first itinerary revolves around Dublin City Centre and it’s main attractions. This is ideal for those of you visiting for the first time.

On day 1, you’ll eat great food, visit some of the top museums in Dublin and polish off your day in some traditional pubs.

08:30: Breakfast

One Society

Photos via One Society on FB

There are some amazing places to have breakfast in Dublin. Head for Brother Hubbard on Capel Street. They have hearty classics with a twist; meaty mezze or Eggs Baba Bida are both delish!

If you’re on the south-side, go to Joy of Cha, just near the Liffey for a solid cuppa tea and Irish breakfast, or Beanhive on Dawson St.

09:00: Trinity College

the long room trinity college

Photos via Shutterstock

With stomachs satiated, head to Trinity College and the Book of Kells exhibit. It is strongly suggested that you book in advance, as this is an extremely popular sight to see.

The college is open to wander around before visiting the exhibit, and then you can enjoy one of the world’s most amazing libraries, The Long Room, without interruption or doubling back on your tour.

11:00: Temple Bar

The Quays Bar

Photos via Shutterstock

Wander the well-trodden streets of Temple Bar and take in the sights, smells, and sounds. This area is popular with tourists and has iconic cobbled streets, pubs, and boutiques where you can purchase souvenirs or necessities alike.

There are endless pubs in Temple Bar that you can nip into later in the day, if you like, but try not to get distracted just yet!

11:15: Ha’penny Bridge

Ha'penny bridge

Photo by Bernd Meissner (Shutterstock)

You’ll find the Ha’penny Bridge just minutes from Temple Bar. This is a historic cast-iron bridge that spans the River Liffey, it has been crossed by tens of thousands of pedestrians annually for two hundred years.

Originally built in the early 1800s, it was designed to aid people from north of the river to cross over to the south bank, with the fare being; a ha’penny, so that’s what Dubliners decided to call it.

11:35: GPO Witness History Tour

gpo dublin

Photo by David Soanes (Shutterstock)

It’s on the incredible GPO Witness History Tour that you’ll discover the many events that took place around the 1916 Easter Rising, and it’s a sombre reminder of a not too distant past.

Visit the museum on O’Connell Street to discover what led to this rebellion, and how the General Post Office played an important role. Pre-booking is advisable.

13:00: Lunch

Featherblade restaurant dublin

Photos via Featherblade’s Facebook

Although there’s a lot of great spots for lunch in Dublin, you’ll want somewhere between the GPO and our next stop.

If it was me, I’d go for either Arisu Restaurant (for Korean flavours) or Fuscardi’s Restaurant (for more European dishes).

14:15: Dublin’s Oldest Pub

oldest dublin pub

Photos via the Brazen Head on Facebook

Some things should never be rushed, and a pint at The Brazen Head is definitely one of those! Have them pull you a drink of your favourite beer, cider, stout, or anything that takes your fancy, and sit yourself down at the bar or at a cosy table.

While flexing your elbow, you can discover the fascinating story behind Dublin’s oldest pub, and why it’s still popular today.

15:00: Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral tour

Photos via Shutterstock

Our next stop is arguably one of the most beautiful buildings you’ll come across in this 2 days in Dublin itinerary (along with the nearby St Patrick’s Cathedral).

First constructed from stone in the early 11th century, Christ Church Cathedral has been remodeled several times, and now houses different exhibits, incredible stained-glass windows, and if you dare to venture into the crypt you’ll even see a mummy or two.

15:40: Guinness Storehouse

guinness storehouse dublin

Courtesy Diageo Ireland Brand Homes via Ireland’s Content Pool

Coffins, crypts, and creepy things aside, it’s time to warm up inside and out, and that means it’s time for a trip to the Guinness Storehouse!

The St. James’s Gate location has been home to Guinness since 1837 and is where you can take their tasting experience to gain a new appreciation for the art of brewing.

There’s also a rooftop bar with magnificent views of the city! Booking is essential, as is arriving early to avoid disappointment.

17:30: Chill time

Sandymount strand

Photo by Arnieby (Shutterstock)

Having been all over the city, it’s time to set yourself down for a little bit before dinner and an evening on the town.

Either head back to your accommodation, or you can always stroll through the nearby Phoenix Park, along the River Liffey, or keep a seat warm in one of the many Dublin pubs.

18:45: Dinner


Photos via Trocadero on Facebook

If you haven’t noticed already, Dublin’s just a bit of a foodie town, so you’re really not going to struggle to find somewhere to eat.

Dublin has a nice, diverse foodie scene, with everything from African and Thai to Vietnamese, Italian and Greek. There’s also some excellent Irish restaurants in Dublin to sample, too.

20:00: Old school Dublin pubs

palace bar dublin

Photos via The Palace on Facebook

Two days in Dublin is plenty of time to explore some of Dublins pub scene. On this website, we only ever recommend old-school, historic pubs.

We’ve put together an old-school Dublin pub crawl guide (complete with a handy Google Map) that’ll take you to some of the oldest pubs in Dublin.

Dublin in 48 hours: Itinerary 1, Day 2

The second day in this 2 days in Dublin itinerary is filled with interesting and unusual attractions, and plenty of great food and drink.

Below, you’ll find everything from Dublin Castle and one of the finest whiskey distilleries in Dublin to some more brilliant museums.

08:30: Breakfast

Brother hubbard

Photos via Brother Hubbard Cafes on Facebook

Time’s a-wastin, so up and at ’em! Either gran breakfast where you’re staying or sample the produce from one of the best bakeries in Dublin.

it’s hard to beat The Bakery Temple Bar, or Green Door Bakery. You can linger if you want, or you can take in some of Dublin’s streetscapes as you make your way to your first destination.

09:00: The Molly Malone Statue

Molly Malone statue

Photo left: Mike Drosos. Photo right: Matteo Provendola (Shutterstock)

Our first stop of the day is a quick pitstop for some lyrical history. I’m talking, of course, about the famous Molly Malone statue near O’Neill’s Pub on Suffolk Street.

This statue has graced the cover of a million postcards and the song of the same name has been bellowed out for hundreds of years. Stop for a photo and then head off on your merry way.

09:30: Dublin Castle

dublin castle tours

Photo by Mike Drosos (Shutterstock)

Barely 10 minutes walk from Molly is Dublin Castle; you can even pass along the now-familiar cobbled streets in Temple Bar to get there.

This is one of the most popular stops in this 2 days in Dublin itinerary. Explore the grounds, first, then take the tour to discover the sites Viking past.

11:00: Chester Beatty Museum

Chester Beatty tour

Photos by The Irish Road Trip

Only minutes away from the castle, the Chester Beatty Museum is home to one of the greatest collections of artworks, manuscripts, and historic pieces donated to Dublin by the New York mining magnate.

The museum collections are from China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, India, Iran, Japan, and Southeast Asia. They are considered to be world-class and include Egyptian Books of the Dead, Chinese woodblock prints, and date as far back as 2700 BC.

12:00: St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St Patrick's Cathedral dublin

Photo left: SAKhanPhotography. Photo right: Sean Pavone (Shutterstock)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral dates from the early 1200s and is a sight to behold no matter the time of year. Take your time to wander around the outside of the building, note the flying buttresses, stained glass windows and Gothic features.

If you have time to spare, spend a few moments inside and gain another perspective of everything you’ve just discovered, and read the names of some of the cathedral’s more famous inhabitants.

12:25: Marsh’s Library

Marsh's Library

Photo by James Fennell via Ireland’s Content Pool

Not far from the cathedral is Marsh’s Library, a must-see for those interested in literature and history. It’s home to many famous Irish authors and contains 10s of 1000s of books.

The library was opened in 1707, and it contains some rare and perfectly preserved works from the Enlightenment, it also happens to be Ireland’s oldest library!

13:30: Lunch

The Fumbally restaurant in dublin

Photo left via Google Maps. Photo right via The Fumbally

After a full morning of exploring, it’s time to sink your teeth into some tasty morsels. Head to The Fumbally on Fumbally Lane, and sample their lunchtime menu.

But don’t delay, they stop taking orders when the food’s sold out! You can also stop into John Fallon’s ‘The Capstan Bar’ on The Coombe for some traditional pub food in a pleasing setting.

15:00: Teeling Whiskey Distillery

teeling whiskey tour

Courtesy Teelings Whiskey Distillery via Ireland’s Content Pool

No matter which of the two recommended lunch spots you choose, the Teeling Whiskey Distillery is under 5 mins away by foot! Dublin’s newest Irish whiskey distillery is also extremely popular with both locals and visitors alike.

Take one of their whiskey tasting tours and gain a new appreciation for the craft of whiskey distilling. The Jameson Distillery tour is another great option!

17:30: Chill time

phoenix park walks

Photos via Shutterstock

You’ve explored much of the southern sights in Dublin city, and it’s time to put your feet up for a wee while. So, head back to your digs, and have a nice cuppa.

Or, work up an appetite by taking a stroll through any of the nearby parks, like St. Stephen’s Green, the Phoenix Park, or the Iveagh Gardens before heading out for a bite to eat.

18:45: Dinner

The Winding Stair

Photos via The Winding Stair on FB

Now, depending on which of the many hotels in Dublin you’re staying in, you’ll have a fair number of dining options to choose from.

If you fancy a great steak, see our guide to the best steak in Dublin. Or, for something more casual, see our guide to the best burger in Dublin.

20:00: Old school Dublin pubs


Photos via Kehoe’s Dublin

And that’s a wrap on our first 2 days in Dublin. Your last night in Dublin should not be spent in your room, no matter how nice and cosy they may be.

Instead, get your walking shoes on (you’ll also need them for dancing) and hit those cobblestone paths to take in all the sights and sounds of a Dublin night out.

If you didn’t make it to all of the previous night’s recommendations, be sure to check them out (in our Dublin pub crawl guide) while the night is still young!

2 days in Dublin: Itinerary 2, day 1

If you’ve had your fill of museums and shops, are not so keen on busy streets and loads of people, then our second 48 hours in Dublin itinerary is the one for you!

Now, you’ll need a rental car for this one (see our guide to renting a car in Ireland without the stress). This itinerary will show you a side of Dublin that many tourists miss.

08:00: Drive from the city to Malahide

Malahide marina

Photo by Irish Drone Photography (Shutterstock)

A mere 30 minutes drive from central Dublin on the N1/M50, Malahide sits to the north and boasts the beautiful Malahide Castle and Gardens, a harbour and beaches.

It’s also an ideal location for those needing quick and convenient access to Dublin’s airport. Once at Malahide, park at Bridgefield Car Park, and take the short walk into the village for some breakfast.

08:45: Breakfast in Malahide village

greenery malahide

Photo via The Greenery

While there are some excellent restaurants in Malahide for you to choose from, there are three names that immediately come to mind for breakfast.

The Greenery (near Malahide Beach – there’s a handy car park here too!), McGovern’s and Deja Vu are all great options.

09:40: Malahide Castle

malahide castle

Photos via Shutterstock

Fuelled up and ready to explore, head back towards the car park and you won’t miss the castle! Malahide Castle has a ‘dramatic 800yr history’ that is bound to enthral, a butterfly house that amazes, and also 260 acres of verdant parkland for you to discover.

Do book tickets in advance, as this site is popular, especially in summer and the holidays. There’s plenty of other things to do in Malahide, like Malahide Beach and the coastal walk to Portmarnock.

11:40: Drive to Howth

howth boat cruise

Photo by Peter Krocka (Shutterstock)

The seaside village of Howth is a quick 20 min drive away and is accessed via a beautiful isthmus. The village also boasts a castle and a busy harbour where you can see the tiny island ‘Ireland’s Eye‘ in the distance. There’s parking available at the harbour.

12:45: Grab something tasty from Howth Market

Howth market

Photo via Howth Market on Facebook

Come hungry, is the best advice on offer as this market is as extensive as it is mouth-watering, with a range of stalls offering everything from tasty treats to meats and cheeses. You’ll find it right across from the DART station (there’s parking at the harbour nearby).

13:15: Do the Howth Cliff Walk or saunter along the pier

cliffs in Howth

Photo by Cristian N Gaitan/

The Howth Cliff Walk is one of my favourite long walks in this 2 days in Dublin itinerary. There are several suggested routes that range from 1.5 to 3.5 hours.

The good news is that each will give you spectacular views out to sea, and over towards Dublin. If you don’t fancy a long walk, there’s plenty of other things to do in Howth.

15:00: Lunch in Howth village


Photos via Aqua Restaurant on Facebook

With your walk complete, it’s time to return to Howth for lunch. Now, if you fancy something casual, there’s lots of pubs in Howth offering casual pub grub.

If you fancy something a bit more formal, there’s some great restaurants in Howth worth checking out, like Aqua, which is located on the pier.

16:30: Bull Wall 

bull wall dublin

Photo by (Shutterstock)

From Howth, you’ll head west and back over the isthmus and along the waterfront. The small spit of land is North Bull Island and is home to the North Bull Island Nature Reserve.

Cross over the the wooden bridge, and find a spot to park. There are beautiful views of the city, and Dollymount Beach is a nice spot to dip your feet in while enjoying an ice cream or coffee.

17:30: Chill time 

St. Anne's Park

Photo by Giovanni Marineo (Shutterstock)

Time to head for ‘home’ and make your way back to the city, which is only a 20mins drive from North Bull Island. Cross back over the wooden bridge, and head southwest around the shoreline via Clontarf.

Either rest up at your base, or take in some of the city’s nighttime sights, like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Ha’Penny Bridge (it looks great at night!), or Temple Bar.

18:45: Dinner

The Best Restaurants in Dublin: 21 Tasty Places to Try Tonight

Photo left via Bunsen. Photo right via RIBA. (on Facebook)

Having spent the first 24 hours of this 2 days in Dublin itinerary outside of the city, you now have the opportunity to try out some of Dublin’s best-loved, and sometimes best-kept secret spots for great food.

If you fancy something swanky, see out guide to the finest Michelin Star restaurants in Dublin. If you’d like to see a good mix of places worth trying, hop into our Dublin food guide.

20:00: Old school Dublin pubs

Neary's pub

Photo left: Google Maps. Right: The Irish Road Trip

As was the case with our other 2 days in Dublin itineraries, we’re going to polish off the evening in a cosy pub.

If you’d like to saunter around some old-school pubs, see our Dublin pub crawl guide. If you follow it, you’ll visit 6 very old pubs all near each other.

Two days in Dublin: Itinerary 2, day 2

The final day of this 2 days in Dublin itinerary takes us out to south Dublin, where you’ll be treated to glorious coastal views on a number of walks.

There’s also some great food to be had, a stunning beach to saunter along and some very fancy houses.

08:30: Breakfast

Brother Hubbard restaurant dublin

Photos via Brother Hubbard on Facebook

The drive to your first destination is only around 40 minutes or so, but why drive hangry when you can leave Dublin smiling from ear to ear?

Stop off at any of the city’s bakeries for an easily transportable breakfast, or dine-in and take your time over a cooked Irish breakfast and invigorating coffee.

10:30: Drive to Ticknock

Ticknock walk

Photo left: J.Hogan. Photo right: Dawid K Photography (Shutterstock)

The Ticknock Walk is arguably one of the best walks in Dublin, and it’s a handy 25 to 30-minute drive from the city centre.

The walk here follows a steep path to the summit of Ticknock, in the Dublin Mountains. It’s a reasonably moderate walk and the views of the city are outstanding.

13:00: Lunch in Dalkey

1909 Restaurant & Wine Bar

Photos via 1909 Restaurant & Wine Bar on FB

Having worn you out on Dublin’s Mountains, it’s time to head downhill to Dalkey and to find something tasty for lunch. Fortunately, there’s some brilliant restaurants in Dalkey.

Two of our favourites are Benito’s Italian Restaurant; a seasonal menu that features pizza, pasta, etc. Or, DeVille’s, which is upmarket and more in the fine dining category, but is renowned for its seafood chowder and beef Bourguignon.

14:30: More views from Killiney Hill

killiney park

Photo by Adam.Bialek (Shutterstock)

It’s time to head back uphill to take in some more magnificent scenery, this time on the Killiney Hill Walk. If there’s only one walk you do during your 2 days in Dublin, make sure it’s this one.

Park in the nearby car park, and make your way up the 20-minute-long path to see what all the fuss is about. Don’t miss out on seeing the Obelisk, or the Pyramid of Dublin!

15:30: Coffee and a paddle

Killiney Beach dublin

Photos via Shutterstock

What better way is there to rest tired feet than to dip them in the sea? Making your way down to Killiney Beach, you can park nearby the beach and grab a coffee and ice cream from Fred and Nancy’s (an iconic seafront cafe with snacks and drinks). Sit back, relax, and take in the air that comes blowing fresh off the Irish Sea.

17:00: Chill time

Killiney Beach car park

Photo by Photo by Roman_Overko (Shutterstock)

As the final day of your 2 days in Dublin draws to a close, you’ll return to central Dublin and your accommodation (see our Dublin hotels guide for great places to stay).

But, when you’re ready, it’s time to make the most of your last night in the city, so wear something comfy on those feet, there’s still so much to do!

18:45: Dinner

old mill dublin

Photos via Old Mill Restaurant

Dublin really is a foodie haven, and on your last night here, you really should try the local fare, like Coddle, Boxty, and Irish Soda bread, or just head to the Old Mill Restaurant near Ha’Penny Bridge, or O’Neill’s pub and kitchen on Suffolk Street, both of which serve excellent Irish food to traditional standards.

20:00: Old school Dublin pubs

oldest dublin pub

Photos via the Brazen Head on Facebook

As was the case with our other 2 days in Dublin itineraries, we’re going to polish off the evening in a cosy pub.

Each has a rich history, a traditional feel, and should not be missed out from your stay in the nation’s capital, Dublin.

FAQs about what to do in Dublin in 2 days

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is 48 hours in Dublin enough?’ to ‘What are the best things to do in Dublin in 2 days?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

Is two days in Dublin enough?

Yes. 48 hours in Dublin is more than enough. However, even with this amount of time, a good itinerary is needed so that you’re not walking around in circles.

How many days is enough in Dublin?

2 days in Dublin is the perfect amount of time to explore the capital. I’d recommend taking one of our itineraries above and following it, as it’s save you time and hassle.

What can you do in Dublin in 48 hours?

In 2 days in Dublin, you can explore the city, visit many of the many attractions, take a day to visit Howth, Malahide and Clontarf and soak up the food and pub scene.

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Thursday 14th of April 2022

Really enjoyed your site. Although, as a tourist, I need to say 2 nights in Dublin absolutely is not enough. I've travelled loads and this city has got loads and loads to see. I've been here 3 nights and am going to need to come back for another 4 or 5 to try and make my way around all the things I still want to see. You haven't mentioned most of the museum's, nor the theatres. But thank you for proving so much information

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