24 Hours in Dublin: Experience the Best of the Irish Capital

Updated On: February 08, 2022

Dublin Bridge

Time constraints don’t have to prevent you from exploring a city.  ConnollyCove have created this guide to Ireland’s capital to give you the ultimate experience – even if you’ve only got 24 hours in Dublin. Renowned for its rich cultural and socio-political history, Dublin attractions are in proximity to one another, making it very easy to visit the main sights of Dublin in a day.

Dublin is the Irish capital and one of the most visited cities in Europe.   A city that is known for its friendly locals and lively atmosphere, Dublin city is home to the iconic Guinness factory and famous writers like James Joyce. With every street showcasing live music and endless bars; every trip to Dublin is one unforgettable.

Soak up the best of Dublin culture in our guide to 24 hours in Dublin. Our guide will have you exploring the best of Dublin’s attractions, as well as enjoying the amazing food scene that is growing on the Irish shores.

24 Hours in Dublin City

Morning in Dublin

If you’re doing Dublin in a day, gourmet breakfast in one of the city’s finest cafes is a must. The only problem will be the choice. Dublin’s food scene is on the rise, but one of the most highly rated Dublin eateries is that of ‘Lovinspoon’ located in the city centre. 

This restaurant offers a delicious breakfast menu with a wide range of options to suit many people and, for a restaurant in Dublin, it’s pretty affordable, so you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy a meal here. You just have to read some of the reviews on Tripadvisor and you’ll be sold on the place.

The second hotspot our guide recommends in Dublin is ‘Tang Cafe’, popular for its nutrition-focused food. Tang Cafe is located near Liffey Bridge, making it pretty central to many Dublin attractions. The breakfast menu on offer features some classics like porridge, pancakes and avocado on toast as well as unique dishes that have middle eastern influence.

Visiting historical and fun attractions around Dublin require energy. Exploring the incredible gastro scene that Dublin city offers will be another highlight to these attractions. An important start to your day in Dublin. 

Life Is Art: The National Gallery of Ireland

After you have finished off a filling breakfast, head to one of the best free attractions in the city, the National Gallery of Ireland located in Merrion Square. 

This impressive gallery is home to over 10,000 excellent paintings from Irish and European artists dating as far back as the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes water paintings, sculptures, prints and more.

There is also a Yeats museum, showcasing the talented Yeats’ family including Jack B Yeats and his father John Butler. The National Gallery is a perfect first attraction to emphasise the wealth of culture and history in the city.

Time for a Pint: The Guinness Storehouse

If this is your first visit to Dublin then how could you possibly pass up the opportunity to explore the iconic Guinness Storehouse, where the best beer in the world is made. The Storehouse is a museum to the iconic stout but also serves as a guardian to the history of Arthur Guinness – the famous Irish Brewer.

It is recommended to visit this Dublin attraction during a weekday, due to its popularity. It is the seminal stop if visiting Dublin for a day.

Afternoon in Dublin – Lunch Stop

Even if you are limited to 24 hours in Dublin, lunch in the city’s celebrated restaurant Brother Hubbard is mandatory. Opened in 2012, this spot has nostalgic, comfort food made with rich, local ingredients.

Opened in the height of the Irish recession, Brother Hubbard felt like an experiment for the owners who didn’t know if they’d survive the year. The restaurant has gone from strength to strength, serving a popular brunch/lunch menu.

Now the toast of Dublin, it is a local favourite offering simple, but interesting food. If doing Dublin in a day, a lunch break at this beloved spot will delight all who avail of it.

Locked Up: Kilmainham Gaol – Amazing Dublin Attraction

After lunch, take a trip to Kilmainham Gaol, a former Irish prison that has now been turned into a popular Dublin attraction. The jail is filled with history and ghostly stories of former Irish prisoners that date back to 1796.

A tour guide will take you around the corridors of the gaol, revealing Dublin’s most historic, political prison. During the tour, the public witness the cramped cells that prisoners were kept in. At the Kilmainham Museum, you can uncover the fascinating photographs, letters and drawings belonging to the former prisoners. A great stop if you only have a day in Dublin.

Knowledge Is Power: Trinity College and the Book of Kells

To finish the afternoon off, head to Trinity College, a world-renowned University and marvel at its jewel in the crown – Trinity College Library. The library is home to the historic ‘Book of Kells‘: one of Ireland’s most significant cultural pieces. It is considered the world’s most impressive 9th-century manuscript. You must check it out on your 24 hours in Dublin trip.

Also, take some time to walk around Trinity College and its stunning grounds. With divine architecture and picturesque views, you will be walking in the footsteps of icons like Oscar Wilde who studied here.

Evening in Dublin – 24 Hours in Dublin

As the evening approaches in Dublin, you’ll want to make your way to the Temple Bar Area, Dublin’s cultural hotspot for live music and to mingle with the locals. One of Dublin’s hidden gems is the Vintage Cocktail Club. Hidden away behind a mysterious black door only marked with the letters VCC, go through it and you will be exposed to an incredible cocktail experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the city. 

No visit to Dublin would be complete without listening to traditional Irish music. Luckily, Temple Bar has a variety of venues in abundance. The Auld Dubliner is a great spot to enjoy the local scene, experiencing the warmth and craic that is reminiscent of Dublin. Not only is the decor typical of a traditional Irish pub, but it also offers Irish cuisine that would not be out of place on any Irish home’s table. 

The wonderful thing about Temple Bar area is the variety of drinks establishments. With every other building housing a pub, you can walk around them all until you find one that you’d like to spend the evening in.

If you follow ConnollyCove’s 24 hours in Dublin Guide, you’ll be sure to have a memorable trip in the Irish capital.

Let us know what you would do in Dublin with only 24 hours in the comments below.

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