A must-see on any European trip, Dublin has much to offer travelers, from atmospheric pubs and vibrant streets once trod by literary superstars to historic landmarks and grand Georgian buildings. If you have three days to get to know the Irish capital, here are a few ways to best spend your time.
If you want to get familiar with Dublin’s city center fast, choose a guided city walking tour. With someone who knows the city intimately at the helm, you’re sure to see all the top sights and glean historical information. Alternatively, save your feet from fatigue and opt for a hop-on hop-off bus tour with audio commentary instead. Either way, don’t miss Trinity College (your first stop should be the Old Library, which houses the centuries-old Book of Kells), Dublin Castle, the Great Irish Famine Memorial, Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship, and Croke Park, Ireland’s biggest stadium and the site of a museum dedicated to Gaelic games. After a day of sightseeing, unwind with a pub crawl around Temple Bar or a dinner show with live music, dancing, and traditional Irish fare.
Leave Dublin behind for a day trip to one of Ireland’s most magnificent natural sites: the Cliffs of Moher. Travel by coach to the west coast, where you hike on coastal paths, explore Burren National Park, get a feel for rural life, and—if you’re lucky—hear some live traditional music in the village of Doolin. Another popular day trip destination is Northern Ireland. In just one day, you can explore Belfast and travel along the spectacular Antrim Coast, home to the UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and several Game of Thrones filming locations. Whichever trip choose, expect to be back in Dublin in time for a late dinner.
Spend day three getting to know Dublin’s gastronomic scene, which has grown in the past decade or so. During a guided food tour of the city, get the inside scoop from a local on the most beloved cafes, pubs, food shops, and markets. Save room for a pint of stout, which you can enjoy at the 7th-floor Gravity Bar after touring the Guinness Storehouse. As evening falls, opt for a ghost walking tour and put yourself in the hands of a tour guide who shows you the city’s spookiest spots, from Kilmainham Gaol, the former jailhouse where many Irish nationalists were held before their execution, to cemeteries where everyone from criminals to celebrities are buried.