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How to Spend a Perfect Day in Dublin, Ireland

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So you’ve only got one day in Dublin? With a little planning, you can still get a taste for this fabulous city. No doubt you will be craving a return visit by the end of your day in Dublin. Luckily, the main tourist area of the city is relatively small and easily walkable. This introduction to the city will show you some of the shopping, architecture, history, culture and, of course, nightlife available in Ireland’s capitol.

How to spend a perfect day in Dublin Ireland

How to spend a perfect day in Dublin, Ireland

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Shop Grafton Street

Grafton Street is one of the main shopping streets in Dublin. Brown Thomas, a famous department store, is great for window-shopping. This pedestrian area has plenty of buskers who provide good entertainment value as well.

Juggler performing on Grafton Street in Dublin ~ How to Spend the Perfect Day in Dublin, Ireland

Juggler performing on Grafton Street in Dublin (Photo credit: Aitormmfoto,

Stroll St. Stephen’s Green

At one end of Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green is an urban oasis in the city. Dublin’s answer to New York’s Central Park, this green space has a pond, bandstand, and walks galore.

St. Stephen's Green park ~ How to Have the Perfect Day in Dublin, Ireland

St. Stephen’s Green is a beautiful park in the center of Dublin (Photo credit: gianliguori,

Visit the Little Museum of Dublin

Across the street from St. Stephen’s Green is the Little Museum of Dublin. Small yet charming and informative, this museum tells the story of the city of Dublin. As a die-hard U2 fan, I could have spent hours just in the room devoted to the band’s memorabilia.

The Little Museum of Dublin ~ How to Spend a Perfect Day in Dublin, Ireland

The Little Museum of Dublin (Photo credit: Debbiesw, Wikipedia)

Behold the Book of Kells and Trinity College

Trinity College Dublin is one of Dublin’s oldest and most famous universities. Founded in 1592, Oxford and Cambridge Universities provided the model for Trinity College Dublin. The library, with its soaring arches, is a beautiful architectural masterpiece. Famous graduates of Trinity include Bram Stoker (author of Dracula) and Jonathan Swift (author of Gulliver’s Travels).

The Old Library at Trinity College Dublin holds the famous Book of Kells. The entrance ticket includes an audio tour and an exhibit with background information. Created by monks in the 9th century, this manuscript contains the four Gospels of the Bible. The book is extravagantly decorated with rich colors and intricate embellishments in the Latin script. The dedication, skill and artistry of the monks is readily apparent. It is truly amazing!

The campus of Trinity College Dublin ~ How to spend a perfect day in Dublin

The campus of Trinity College Dublin (Photo credit: Madrugada Verde,

Stop by St. Patrick’s Cathedral

The famous Irish saint, St. Patrick supposedly baptized the local Celts at a well located outside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The tallest and largest church in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland. Yes, thanks to the history of Dublin under the British, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is protestant even though the country’s majority religion is Catholicism.

St. Patrick's Cathedral ~ How to Spend a Perfect Day in Dublin, Ireland

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is a must-see for any first-time visitor to Dublin (Photo credit: Jose1983,

Tour the Guinness Storehouse

Since 1759, Guinness beer has been brewed at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Not surprisingly, the Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s most visited attraction. The enormous visitor center tells the story of Guinness beer. Visitors have the opportunity for tastings. You can also learn the art of pulling a pint of Guinness properly.

How to spend a perfect day in Dublin ~ Guinness helps!

A pint of the dark stuff, Guinness (Photo credit: Rohit Seth,

Enjoy a Taste of Irish Nightlife at Temple Bar

The Temple Bar area makes a great place to end your day in Dublin. Take your pick of establishments because Temple Bar has the highest concentration of pubs in the city. Eat and drink into the night and enjoy the craic in fun-loving Dublin! Want a fun taste of Dublin’s libations? Sign up for a Temple Bar Tour with Guinness and Whiskey Tastings.

Temple Bar district ~ How to Spend a Perfect Day in Dublin, Ireland

The Temple Bar district is a lively place in Dublin (Photo credit: Foto-VDW,

Cross Ha’ Penny Bridge

Temple Bar is located near the River Liffey the lifeblood of Dublin for many centuries. The famous Ha’Penny Bridge is an iron pedestrian bridge built in 1816. Prior to the bridge being built, ferries were the the only way to cross the Liffey. The name refers to the toll charged (a ha’penny) to use the bridge.

The Ha’penny Bridge over the River Liffey ~ How to Spend a Perfect Day in Dublin, Ireland

The Ha’penny Bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin (Photo credit: Sepavone,

One Day in Dublin Will Leave You Wanting More

After all this sightseeing, you’ll no doubt be tired in Dublin, but certainly not tired of Dublin. You’ll have seen just enough to whet your appetite for a return visit. In fact, everyone is so friendly you may even feel like you’re leaving lifelong friends!

Want to be sure you hit all of the highlights of the city in just one day in Dublin? Sign up for this Dublin Luxury Small Group Tour with St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Have you ever visited Ireland? Do you have any questions or additional tips for spending the perfect day in Dublin? Let us know in the comments below!

About Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama

Shobha George lives in London, England with her husband, two children (boy/girl twins) and dog. Although she grew up in New York, she has spent most of her adult life as an expat in Asia and Europe, which has been a great help in feeding her travel addiction. She and her family enjoy nice hotels, good food and other creature comforts. She is the author of Just Go Places blog. You can follow her adventures on Instagram at @justgoplaces.

  1. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    I love Ireland. It’s such a beautiful country. We’ve been there several times, and we never get tired of it.

    • Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama says

      Ireland has so much going for it. I am not surprised that you have been several times!

  2. Bill Sweeney says

    Ireland is my favorite European destination. I love their food and beer, but even more, I love the people. They’re so friendly.

  3. Very nice article and photos you I love it thank you for sharing.

  4. Rach Ferrucci says

    I’ve never been to Ireland but it’s a definite on my list and I plan on stopping at many of these places! I can’t wait!

  5. Catherine Sargent says

    Ireland has been at the top of my bucket list for places to visit. My goal is to make it in the next 2 years and take the Guinness tour.

  6. Kita Bryant says

    I have a friend visiting there now and I’m so jealous. It’s one of my number one visit spots!

  7. I have never been to Ireland but it is on my bucket list. It would be amazing to see the book of kells.

    • Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama says

      Even my kids were enthralled with the Book of Kells. The hours of dedication spent by these monks writing slowly and artistically. It’s a lost art in a time now where everything is so fast, fast, fast.

  8. Ireland is #1 on my travel bucket list. I know my husband will be itching to get to Guinness Storehouse. I definitely want to go to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Stephen’s Green plus do a lot of shopping while we are there!

    • Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama says

      The Guinness Storehouse is 7 floors! It’s definitely a full experience. I liked seeing the old advertisements they had and my husband liked learning how to pull a pint properly. There’s apparently a current angle etc. to hold it.

  9. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    Ireland is so beautiful. If I could only just move there and live the rest of my life in the midst of all that beauty. If I were to have a chance to get to Dublin, I would love to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral first.

    • Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama says

      I thought St. Patricks was beautiful too! There is also Christ Church which is the main Church of Ireland cathedral of Dublin. Both are in walking distance of each other and you can compare the two. I personally prefer the history that came with St. Patricks.

  10. I love all that you can do in Dublin, Ireland. The scenery alone is worth the trip! Certainly looks like a lot of culture to experience in Dublin.

  11. Seattle Travel Blogger says

    Thanks for the resource. This looks like a wonderful destination.
    I plan on saving this article for future use (I hope).

  12. I have never been to Ireland but it is for sure on my list to hopefully get to one day! Looks like lots of stuff to do to spend a perfect day!

  13. Dawn McAlexander says

    It wouldn’t take much to have a perfect day in Dublin, as far as I am concerned.I think Ireland is gorgeous and I would love to visit there someday.

  14. Ann Bacciaglia says

    I have been saving up for a few years to go to Ireland. I can not wait to go and explore all these great places on Dublin.

  15. Dublin is the perfect st. Patrick day country to hang out in. One day I hope I am lucky enough to visit!

  16. Laura Harrell says

    I am going to Dublin in February. Is it too difficult for an American to rent a car and drive through the country of Ireland?
    Can’t wait to go!
    Thanks for any insight you can give me.

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