3 Days in Dublin: Everything You Should Know
The capital city of Ireland is one of Europe's most vibrant and interesting cities. Known for legendary attractions like Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, and the rowdy nightlife of Temple Bar, visiting Dublin is guaranteed to keep you entertained whether you're interested in exploring Irish history at the National Museum of Ireland or sampling the best of Irish whiskey.
In fact, there's so much to do here that it can be difficult to fit it all in. If you only have 3 days in Dublin, you're going to have to be very selective about what you see and don't see in the Irish capital.
This Dublin itinerary can guide you to some of the best of what the city has to offer. There may be no such thing as a perfect Dublin itinerary, but this list is intended to give you some guidance on how to spend a few days in Dublin without missing out.
From the minute you arrive at Dublin airport, you're going to need to do everything you can to maximize your time in the city. That's why you should drop your bags off at a Bounce luggage storage in Dublin before you go exploring. Traveling light will make it much easier to get around the city and see everything you want to explore.
Start your exploration of Dublin by checking out some of the city's most iconic landmarks. A great way to do this is by taking a Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour which will take you to all the major sights.
The bus will also take you to iconic locations like Grafton Street, St. Stephen's Green, Trinity College, and the Molly Malone statue. And sure, it might feel like a bit of a tourist trap. But it's a great way to see some of the top sites in the city so you can plan how to spend your 3 days in Dublin best. You can jump off anywhere that interests you to explore further, or just see it from the bus to tick a few things off your bucket list. Either way, it's a good way to get the lay of the land when you visit Dublin and make plans for the rest of your Dublin itinerary.
In the afternoon, head over to Temple Bar, the most famous area in Dublin known for its lively nightlife scene. During the day, it's still a great place to grab a bite to eat or hear some traditional Irish music, even if the party doesn't really get started until later. The charming pubs of Temple Bar are the ideal place to get a good meal and soak up some of the famous atmosphere of Dublin city.
Even if you're not planning on going out drinking, a visit to Temple Bar is a must when you're in Dublin. It's one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city for a reason, and it's well worth checking out even if you're not looking to get your party on.
In the evening, make your way over to the Guinness Storehouse. This iconic Dublin attraction is a must-see for any first-time visitor to the city. Located in the heart of the St. James's Gate Brewery, the Guinness Storehouse is where you can learn about the history of one of Ireland's most famous exports.
The storehouse itself is seven floors high, and each floor is dedicated to a different aspect of the Guinness story. You'll learn about the brewing process, the history of the company, and even get to pour your own pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar at the top of the storehouse.
If you're not a fan of Guinness, don't worry – there are plenty of other things to do in Dublin at night. Temple Bar is always lively, or you can head over to Grafton Street for some shopping and people-watching. If you want to experience some traditional Irish music, make your way to one of Dublin's many live music venues.
On your second day in Dublin, it's time to explore some of the city's more cultural attractions. Start by heading to Kilmainham Gaol, one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe. This former prison is now a museum where you can learn about the history of Irish politics and the country's struggle for independence. It's a fascinating place to learn more about the struggle that resulted in the partition of the country into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. And while the exhibits and the stories they tell may be a little gloomy, it's an essential place to see when you visit Dublin to understand more about the history of the Irish capital and why it is the way it is today.
Afterwards, make your way to the National Museum of Ireland. This museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying Irish history and culture. Here you can see everything from ancient Celtic artifacts to more recent displays on Irish life in the 20th century. If you're short on time, make sure to check out the highlights tour which will take you through the best of what the museum has to offer.
It's spread out over four different locations, but the Archaeology and History museums are the most popular. Also, don't miss the Natural History Museum, known locally as the Dead Zoo. Without question, this is not only one of the best museums in Dublin, but probably the best in all of Ireland, so it's definitely worth taking some time out of your 3 days in Dublin to see it.
After all that history, you're going to need some refreshment. Close to the National Museum, you'll find Hugo's Restaurant. This casual place offers Irish cuisine with an interesting French twist, and is a great place to grab lunch before continuing with your Dublin itinerary.
In the afternoon, take a walk through St. Stephen's Green, Dublin's largest city park. This is a great place to relax and people watch, or you can explore the many statues and monuments that are scattered throughout the park. If the weather is nice, this is also a great place to picnic or read a book.
When you're ready to move on, head over to Trinity College. This world-renowned university is one of the oldest in Europe, and its campus is absolutely beautiful. Even if you're not interested in taking a tour of the college, it's worth walking around the grounds to see some of the buildings and soak up the atmosphere.
And no visit to Trinity College would be complete without seeing the Book of Kells. This famous medieval manuscript is one of the most beautiful in the world, and is on display in the Old Library at Trinity College. Make sure to buy your ticket in advance, as there can often be a line to get into the library. The library itself is worth seeing, since it is generally recognized as one of the most beautiful in the world.
After a busy day exploring Dublin, you might want to spend your evening relaxing with a drink. Temple Bar is always a good option, or you can head over to The Stag's Head for a more traditional Irish pub experience. If you're looking for something a little different, check out The Globe – a theatre-themed bar where you can enjoy a cocktail while listening to live music. Alternatively, you could head to the Jameson Distillery and learn about the production of Irish whiskey that has been going on in Dublin city for centuries. Along with a good dose of Dublin history, you'll get to sample some delicious whiskeys and develop a new appreciation for this iconic spirit while visiting Dublin.
On your last day in Dublin, start by heading to the National Botanic Gardens. These gardens are home to over 10,000 different plant species, and they're a great place to spend a few hours walking around and enjoying the peace and quiet.
Afterward, make your way into town for a bit of shopping. Grafton Street is one of the best places to do some shopping in Dublin, as it's full of high-end stores and department stores. Or, if you're looking for something a little more unique, check out one of the many markets that are held throughout the city. However you like to shop, you're sure to find what you're looking for in Dublin city centre. In fact, this area has some of the best shopping in Dublin, so it's definitely a place you need to go if you have a retail itch to scratch or you just want to pick up some gifts and souvenirs of your time in Dublin city.
Even after everything you've seen so far during your 3 days in Dublin, there's still much more to explore. If you want to see another of Dublin's iconic historical sites, make your way to Dublin Castle to see a building that's been the seat of Irish power for centuries. If you'd like to explore one of Europe's best small museums, check out the Chester Beatty Library Museum, located at Dublin Castle, to see spiritual artifacts from around the world.
Alternatively, if you'd rather get some fresh air, a stroll along the River Liffey will do you a power of good. Alternatively, you could take the train to Howth Head to get a glimpse of the Irish countryside not far from Dublin city center. The walking trails in this beautiful area make it well worth squeezing into your Dublin itinerary if you can.
For your last evening in Dublin, why not try something a little different and enjoy a traditional Irish meal. There are plenty of great places to eat in Dublin city centre, but one restaurant that always comes highly recommended is The Winding Stair. This cosy spot serves up delicious Irish food with a modern twist, and it's the perfect place to end your trip to Dublin. If you're looking for something a little more low-key, there are plenty of other great restaurants to choose from. No matter what you decide, you're sure to have a wonderful final evening in this amazing city.
In a city with as much to do as Dublin, you can't hope to see it all over a long weekend. If you only have 3 days in Dublin, probably the best thing to do is to try and get a sample of some of the city's top attractions and see what appeals to you most. Because once you've tasted some of the options on this Dublin itinerary, you'll almost certainly find yourself planning a return visit.
Whether it's the lively nightlife of Temple Bar, the scholarly hush of Trinity College Library, or the rich history of Dublin Castle and the Chester Beatty Library that most appeal to you, visiting Dublin is practically guaranteed to make for a memorable vacation. Just make sure to drop off your unneeded bags at a Bounce luggage storage before heading out to explore the city with this 3 days in Dublin itinerary. James Joyce, one of the city's most famous sons, once said that, "When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart." After a few days of exploring the city on the banks of the River Liffey, you may find yourself feeling the same way.