Travelling to Ireland and stopping in Dublin for 1 day? You have a long stopover in Dublin and don't want to miss the chance to visit the Irish capital? Dublin is a city brimming with attractions, yet it is possible to see the essentials in just one day.
In this article I propose a planning so you can design your express visit to Dublin. There will be nothing missing: monuments, gastronomy, incredible urban environments ... All this will occupy us from morning to night and I'll show it as a proposal in chronological sequence. However, this guide is not the Bible; in fact, I advise you to consult this article on what to see and do in Dublin, to complement this proposal with what most attracts you to the city.
Stroll along O'Connell Street
A spectacular place to start the day. It is not a very long street (only 500 meters) but it has a great urban life. Its sidewalks are very wide so they are perfect for the walker. There, in its many terraces, you can gather energy with a good breakfast. Once you have finished, head towards the Liffey River.
The O'Connell Street has several charms and curiosities. Almost all of them related to the turbulent Irish history and its independence from the United Kingdom. The most interesting are the following:
- Monument "Spire": With its 120 meters it is one of the largest urban sculptures in Europe. It was built only a few decades ago. In the same space before was erected the sculpture dedicated to Horatio Nelson, the admiral who won at Trafalgar. An IRA bomb blew it up in the 1960s, so its construction was part of the rehabilitation of that space.
- Central Post Office. A place also very emblematic of Irish identity and history. In fact, it was there where the Republic of Ireland was proclaimed in 1916.
- The monuments to the heroes of independence: O'Connell Street is also dotted with sculptures dedicated to the great men who were the architects of Irish independence. Of particular interest are those dedicated to Charles Parnell, James Larkin and Sir John Gray.
If you prefer to visit this sector of the city at a different time of the day, pay close attention to the opening hours of the stores. Perhaps one of your objectives is to look at shop windows, enter the stores and even do some shopping. The opening hours in Dublin can be quite different from what we are used to in Spain. Therefore, take good note:
- Small and medium-sized stores: They are often open from Monday to Saturday between 09:00 and 18:00 hours. On Thursdays, depending on the store, they may extend their opening hours.
- Department stores: Department stores open at a similar time as the rest of the stores but close a little later, around 20:00 or 21:00 hours.
Look out over the River Liffey from O'Connell Bridge
A few minutes away at a leisurely pace, O'Donnell Street will take you to the homonymous bridge. Built at the end of the 18th century, it is one of the most interesting bridges in the city.
It is made of granite and has a very striking feature: the O'Connell Bridge is wider than it is long. Once you have enjoyed the view of the river, cross it and head down D'Olier Street. In a few minutes it will take you to one of the must-see places in the city: Trinity College.
Interesting facts and tips
If you are seduced by the idea of following this itinerary, just a few tips for you to do it optimally. Especially for the issue of cold and humidity (more intense the closer we are to the river). I will guide you on how to do it:
- Months from October to January: the rainiest. If you visit Dublin at this time take with you a raincoat or hooded jacket.
- November, December and January: The coldest months. Temperatures in Dublin during the winter reach a minimum of 5 degrees Celsius. Here you will need warm clothes if you don't want to freeze in the cold and damp of the river.
Visit Trinity College
Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest university in Ireland and one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. But probably the best thing is inside. Trinity College houses the famous Book of Kells, one of the most famous medieval manuscripts for its illustrations and artistic wealth.
Its library will ring a bell. No wonder, given that Harry Potter's Hogwarts School was inspired by it. In fact, it may be one of the most famous libraries in the world for the beauty of its space, and above all for the thousands of books it holds! No more and no less than 200,000 books.
By the way, it is not the only space in Dublin related to audiovisual fiction. If you want to know others, here is an article about the places of Game of Thrones in Dublin.
Facts of Interest
Trinity College opening hours and prices are as follows:
- May to September: Open Monday to Saturday between 08:30 and 17:00 hours. Sunday opening hours are 09:30 to 17:00 hours.
- From October to April: Open from Monday to Saturday between 09:30 and 17:00 hours and on Sundays between 12:00 and 17:00 hours.
- Prices: You can buy the ticket from 12 €.
Eat a good stew washed down with beer
Maybe it's time to start thinking about eating something. In Dublin there are many places to do it, but I am going to advise you one because of its proximity to Trinity College, the interesting itinerary that will take you to it and what is more important: the opportunity it will give you to eat a good stew cooked in Guinness beer. The restaurant is the famous Landmarks.
Take South George's Street and you will arrive at the restaurant. On your itinerary you will pass the famous sculpture of Molly Malone, one of the emblems of traditional Irish culture and musical folklore. The Landmarks is a pleasure for the palate but also for the eyes, especially for the late nineteenth century building in which it is located.
Details of interest and prices
- Opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 16:00 to 23:30 hours, Fridays and Saturdays from 15:00 to 00:30 hours and Sundays from 12:30 to 23:00 hours.
- Prices: You can have one of their stews from 12 €.
Take the food down on St Stephen's Green and see St Patrick's Cathedral
Just 5 minutes walk from Landmarks, is St Stephen's Green, one of the best parks in Dublin. A green expanse of 9 hectares with about 3.5 kilometers of paths.
The style of the park is very nineteenth-century since it was opened in 1880 (at the initiative, by the way, of the famous brewer Arthur Guinness). The most interesting places are the following:
- The memorial to James Joyce: Undoubtedly the most relevant Irish author in history. He is, in fact, a very dear character for Dubliners since his most famous novel, Ulysses is set in the city. If you are passionate about literature, I advise you to contemplate it.
- Memorial to Yeats: Another of Ireland's literary greats, especially in the lyric genre. It is a character also very appreciated by the Irish because of his role in the Celtic cultural revival of the Irish nation.
- The lake: The best place to sit for a while and take the food down with great views. It is located in the center of the park.
Once you have recharged your batteries, you can set off to continue your exploration of Dublin. More specifically Dublin Castle, located 15 minutes away.
On the way you can see St. Patrick's Cathedral, located a few minutes walk from St Stephens Green. Gothic style, was built where it is believed that was the well where St. Patrick baptized the pagans to convert them to Christianity. Undoubtedly, one of the key places of Irish history.
Facts of Interestopening hours and entrances
If you have decided to visit it, in the case of St Stephens Green the entrance is totally free. As for the opening hours, they are as follows:
- Monday to Saturday: Open between 07:00 hours and sunset.
- Sundays and holidays: Open from 07:30 hours to sunset.
Regarding St. Patrick's Cathedral, these are the facts you need to know:
- Opening hours: Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 17:00 hours. On Saturdays and Sundays it has a more variable schedule depending on religious services and special liturgical events.
- Entrance fee: You can enter the Cathedral from 7 €.
See Dublin Castle
Another of the landmark monuments of the city. Especially for its historical significance, although it is also of great artistic quality. Dublin Castle was built in the late twelfth century, although today the most medieval thing we can see is its tower. The rest has been rebuilt in an eclectic way due to its fire in the seventeenth century.
The historical interest is absolute because it summarizes in its walls centuries and centuries of Irish history. From the seat of the Viking settlement on the island to the residence of Irish royalty, Dublin Castle has been, over the centuries, incorporating each of these uses becoming a living testimony of the history of the country.
But don't just look at it from the outside. Its interior treasures a great artistic wealth. There are several rooms, although the most interesting are the following:
- Rellano de las Hachas de Guerra (War Axes Hall).
- Hall of the Throne
- Hall of James Connolly
- King and Queen's Room
By the way, this is not the only castle in Dublin. In this article about the best castles in Dublin you can learn about the others and choose which one you want to visit.
If you have already decided that it is going to be one of the stops on your 1-day itinerary in Dublin, here is what you have to take into account:
- Hours: 09:45 am to 4:45 pm.
- Duration of visit: A leisurely 45 minute walk will be enough to get a good look at it.
- Price: Tickets are available from € 7.
Another of the monuments of Dublin: the Guinness Storehouse
For many the Guinness Storehouse is the true Cathedral of Dublin. Although it is not very central you can reach it easily. Once you have left the Dublin Castle walk about 200 meters to Lord Edward Street and take the bus line 40. Five minutes later get off at James Street and you will have the Guinness Storehouse just 500 meters away.
You'll recognize it by the seven-storey building. And probably also by the people around it, since it is the most visited monument in Dublin. Inside you can discover the following:
- The process of brewing Guinness beer.
- The history of the company from the 18th century to the present day.
- Examples of old and modern advertisements of the brand
- The history of the Guinness Book of Records
- Interactive tour where you will be shown how to pour (and drink) a good pint
- Duration of tour: Approximately 90 minutes.
- Hours: 09:00 to 17:00 in spring, autumn and winter and 09:00 to 19:00 in summer.
- Prices: The most economical ticket can be obtained from 20 €. The price varies depending on the number of activities you want to enjoy. About the details of everything they can offer, nothing better than consulting this article on tickets to the Guinness Storehouse.
Find a place to dine: Temple Bar, Dublin's most vibrant area
In the center of the city, more specifically on the banks of the river, is one of the most vibrant areas of Dublin: Temple Bar. A place to immerse yourself in the life of the city through its internationally famous Irish pubs. But not only that awaits you. You can also visit art galleries and craft stores.
You can also visit the Food Market and the Book Market. And, above all, it is a very suitable area for dining.
I do not advise you to plan to dine at the Food Market, since it closes early, almost at an hour that for the Spanish corresponds to the afternoon snack. It is better to go to the pubs, which, in addition to pints, also serve food. If you want ideas, I recommend this article on the best pubs in Dublin.
Interesting facts and tips
If you plan to visit it to eat something, I advise you to value well this plan given the schedules of the Food Market. I show you everything you need to know to make your experience as optimal as possible:
- Opening day: Every Saturday.
- Hours: From 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.
- Prices: There is everything, but street food is available from 3 €.
- Most of the food is take away.
End the day with Dublin's bridges lit up at night
Once you have had dinner, what better way to end the day than with a stroll along the riverbank. Dublin has many bridges, so a good way to get to know them is to walk around at night.
Many of them are illuminated, as well as the buildings that overlook the riverbanks, so I can't think of a better accompaniment for a last stroll around Dublin before returning to your hotel. Options? Stroll along the riverbank.
During the walk you can enjoy the night and the illumination of the bridges. My recommendation is to try to see the Samuel Beckett Bridge, another of Dublin's tributes to Irish writers. It was designed by a Spaniard, Santiago Calatrava.
Interesting facts and tips
- Duration of the walk: Approximately 30 minutes to the Samuel Beckett Bridge.
- Direction: Walk out to the river from Temple Bar and head east.
Is the Dublin Pass worth it?
The Dublin Pass is a tourist pass that allows free entry to some of the most important attractions in Dublin. The most important are the following:
- Guinness Factory
- Dublin Zoo
- Dublin Castle
- Rock and Roll Museum
- Malahide Castle
The cost of this card is from 60 € for adults and from 30 € for children. It is a good way to save money, since, if you paid individually the entrance to each of these attractions, the cost would rise to more than 100 € per person. Undoubtedly a great option, although it is worth calculating if it is convenient when you are only going to be 1 day in the city.
A single day in Dublin will not give you enough time to visit all the attractions included in the Dublin Pass. The best thing to do is to select the attractions that you know you are going to visit. And make your own calculations and check if the individual tickets are more expensive than the Dublin Pass.
My advice as a traveler: a first contact with a city is more intense if we walk around it. Setting out to visit many attractions could mean spending too much time in enclosed spaces, depriving us of the immense pleasure of exploring a city on foot.
However, there are as many ways to enjoy as there are types of travelers. If you've decided it's worth it, go ahead! You can purchase it online with a couple of clicks.