Good news for time-tight travelers exploring the Irish capital: Dublin is relatively compact, meaning you can fit in a number of sights and experiences with a bit of strategic planning. If your time in Dublin is limited to just two days, here’s how to make the most of your time.
Day 1: City Strolling, Seaside Castles, and Pub Culture
Morning: Dublin is a city best explored on foot. To maximize your morning, join a walking tour and see the city’s essential sights, from Trinity College and Dublin Castle to Temple Bar. If you prefer not to explore on foot, choose a circuit on a hop-on hop-off bus tour instead.
Afternoon: Take an afternoon half-day tour out to the seaside suburb of Malahide. Tour the medieval-era Malahide Castle, take a leisurely stroll around the manicured gardens, and stop in Howth village before returning to the city and readying yourself for a night on the town.
Night: In Ireland, the pub is a social institution. If your energy levels allow it, head out on a pub crawl tour around bustling Temple Bar. Alternatively, tuck into a traditional Irish dinner while watching a show that incorporates storytelling, dancing, traditional music, and other mainstays of Irish pub culture.
Day 2: Wicklow, Whiskey, and Food
Morning: Neighboring County Wicklow gives travelers with limited time the opportunity to see the Irish countryside without spending hours on the road. A half-day excursion might have you trekking the rugged valley of Glendalough, known for its lakes, woodlands, blanket bogs, and peaks.
Afternoon: Back in the city, visit the Irish Whiskey Museum to learn the history of Irish whiskey production before sniffing, swirling, and sipping your way through a guided tasting session. If you prefer beer, book tickets to the Guinness Storehouse instead.
Night: Having already embraced traditional Irish pub culture, now it’s time to experience a more modern, multicultural side of Dublin. A food tour takes you to spots you wouldn’t discover otherwise to taste plates from chefs championing Irish ingredients and international flavors. End your trip with views of the city on a nighttime bus tour.