If you’re about to travel to Dublin, Ireland, and you’re looking for ideas on how to spend your weekend, you’re in luck! This guide will show you how to have the most epic weekend in Dublin.
From a simple food tour to a traditional Celtic dance show, we’ve put together all of the top things to do in Dublin. Whether you’re making your way through Ireland, or just coming to see the main city, we’re sure this guide will come in handy!
Dublin is an amazing city, and it’s found on many travelers’ bucket lists. The city’s old-world charm combined with its vibrant energy and numerous tourist attractions puts it high on the list of places to go.
Read on to find Dublin accommodation, transport options, and something to do for every kind of traveler! We’ve found the ultimate Dublin itinerary items for foodies, sports junkies, and arts & culture lovers.
Insider Tips for an AMAZING Weekend in Dublin
If you’re looking for insider tips and tricks to enjoying a weekend in Dublin, you’ve come to the right place. From where to stay in Dublin, to how to get around and a list of the absolute must-dos, this travel guide is everything you need and more!
If you’re hoping to experience the best of Dublin in 3 days or less, you’ll want to make sure that you find central and convenient accommodation. While the public buses and trams run efficiently and often, you’re really better off not wasting any of your precious weekend time in transit.
Our advice to you is to find a cozy little room in as convenient a location as possible. Many of the accommodation options in Dublin will offer you a pub close by, and a bus stop within a short walk’s distance. There are also some centrally located Dublin Airbnbs as well as some further away from the action.
Our Favorite Hostel – Abigail’s Hostel
- Suitable for all ages
- Located close to the city center
- Free breakfast every morning!
This warm and inviting hostel is a favorite among travelers. Those who have stayed here leave raving reviews of the hostel’s central location, accommodating staff, and delicious breakfast! It’s the ideal place to stay on a short weekend trip to Dublin!
For more epic hostels to choose from, check out our list of the best hostels in Dublin!
Our Favorite Airbnb – Sparkling clean with great amenities
It has a well-equipped kitchen with fridge, freezer, hob/cooker, microwave oven, dishwasher and the added convenience of a washing machine.
Our Favorite Budget Hotel – Harding Hotel
- Overlooks Christ Church Cathedral
- Located next to Temple Bar district!
- Irish homely atmosphere
Harding Hotel is the best place to stay for access to the best of Dublin at affordable rates! Its proximity to the upbeat Temple Bar district, simple, yet cozy interior, and quaint building make it the perfect budget accommodation for a weekend in Dublin.
Our Favorite Splurge Hotel – The Fitzwilliam Hotel
- 5-star hotel in the heart of Dublin!
- Interior designed by Sir Terence Conran
- A 5-minute walk from Temple Bar
If you’re wanting luxury mixed with warmth, the Fitzwilliam is where you need to be! The hotel’s tasteful decor, professional staff, and homelike comforts keep its guests smiling from check in to check out.
Know How to Get Around in Dublin
Most of us know that the best way to see any new city or town is on foot – and Dublin is no different. It’s scenic, free, and great exercise! However, the weather – combined with a few too many pints at the pub – can make walking the city uncomfortable.
Fortunately, public transport through the city is reliable, affordable, and easy to use! The best way to get around is possibly the bus. There are stops on all the main roads, and you can check out the timetables online.
Another option is the tram, which runs between the two main train stations. The trams are faster than the bus but don’t service as large an area. If you’re traveling further out of the city, the trains are your best bet.
Buy a Leap Visitor card to pay for any and all public transport options in Dublin!
Also available are bicycle rentals. This option allows you to see the city at your own pace, without taking as long as walking would. A 3-day ticket can be bought for around USD $4, from any of the city bike terminals.
The city also has taxis and Uber operating through its streets, which can be pricier but come in handy on a late night out!
It’s no secret that Dublin has some pumping nightlife. There are 3 main areas in the city which are full of great bars, pubs, and late-night party spots!
Temple Bar District
- Explore the party central of Dublin
- Visit some of the most popular Dublin bars, including Temple Bar and the Brazenhead
- See Europe’s oldest-built theater!
Home to some of Dublin’s busiest and most popular bars, clubs, and restaurants, the Temple Bar district is a must visit on any weekend Dublin trip. Be sure to pop into the actual Temple Bar, and try a craft beer in the area’s only licensed beer garden.
- Friendly pubs and taverns open until late throughout the neighborhood!
- Have a casual drink at The Duke and enjoy the laid-back vibe
- Find a mix of local watering holes and upmarket establishments
The Grafton Street area is close to Temple Bar district, and home to St Stephen’s Green. By day it buzzes with activity, local buskers entertain outside busy cafes and shops. By night there are fewer places open, but the energy is still electric. Find a list of fun spaces to enjoy the night without the crowded feeling of Temple Bar!
- University area, full of young and fun students
- Bars, pubs, and theaters that are open for students as well as the public
- Best spot for younger travelers to spend a night out!
Trinity College area surrounds the actual Trinity College – Dublin’s very own academic college. It’s within walking distance of both Temple Bar and Grafton Street and offers a younger vibe thanks to the hordes of students milling about. Be sure to pay a visit to The Pav, a college bar where the public is welcomed.
Ireland has some of the heartiest food around. From comforting fish finger sandwiches to meaty stews, the Irish sure know how to cook – and eat!
Go on a Dublin food tour
- Tour the streets of Dublin and enjoy the many different types of food
- Visit a variety of restaurants and cafes
- Take a guided group tour and make friends while you eat!
The best way to enjoy ALL of Ireland’s most delicious foods is to take a food tour! Find an expert guide to help you visit the best establishments in the shortest time possible. You can find public walking tours and private tours, so pick whichever works best for your Dublin itinerary!
Vintage Afternoon Tea Experience
- Enjoy a trip around Dublin in a fully-restored vintage double-decker bus
- Savor a delectable Irish afternoon tea on the bus!
- Hear stories and memories of historic Dublin from a local guide
Afternoon tea is a popular event in Ireland, and this is arguably the best way to experience the traditional meal! Hop aboard a 1960s double-decker bus and take a seat at your laid-out tea table. Enjoy treats such as scones, sandwiches, and fresh fruits, accompanied by tea, coffee, and juice.
Have a Pub Grub Meal
- Warm and hearty food found in most of Dublin’s pubs!
- Enjoy a scrumptious dinner along with a healthy pint of beer
- A more affordable way of experiencing food in Dublin
The Irish pub culture is well-known, and if you really want to experience Dublin food, you need to have a meal at one of the city’s pubs. Try The Old Spot for a wholesome roast, The Taphouse for a homey meal and a beer, or P.Macs for simple fish and chips and a game of Jenga!
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Whether you’re looking to watch a game or get yourself, Dublin has something for every sports enthusiast!
Play a game of Gaelic Hurling
- Visit a hurling museum!
- Learn the skills of the game
- Enjoy watching a live game after you play
Gaelic Hurling is an ancient traditional sport, played by the Irish since forever! The first mention of the game dates back to the 5th century, so it’s quite an old pastime. If you enjoy sports even a little bit, you should make this one of your stops during your 2 days in Dublin.
Have a pint in The Living Room
- Showing every sport from cricket to rugby!
- Indoor and outdoor seating, with casino games and foosball tables
- Enjoy watching games on a massive outdoor screen!
The Living Room is arguably the best sports bar there is in Dublin. They have a large space indoors, with plenty of seating, and big screen TVs mounted on every available wall. The outside, though, is the main attraction. Enjoy a cold pint as you watch the matches on the largest outdoor TV screen in Europe!
Visit Croke Park
- Learn about the history of Gaelic games
- Browse the Gaelic Athletic Association Museum
- Tour the stadium and get behind-the-scenes insights
Croke Park stadium is the headquarters of the GAA, and hosts many Irish games year-round. You can book a stadium tour and get to see where the teams get ready before their games. Then, walk onto the field, and experience sitting in the VIP stadium seats, before visiting the GAA museum and learning about the stadium’s history!
The city of Dublin is full of Irish culture, and there an abundance of spaces to enjoy live entertainment.
Attend a festival
- There’s a different festival to attend in Dublin for nearly every month of the year!
- Saint Patrick’s Day brings awesome things to do in Dublin, Ireland in March
- Oktoberfest happens in Dublin every September – October
There are many festivals to choose from when planning your 3 days in Dublin. Arranging your trip right could see you taking part in the vibrant Bloomsday festival, investigating the Festival of Curiosity, or even enjoying a TradFest in Temple Bar!
Enjoy a medieval banquet
- Dine on traditional Irish food
- Listen to myths and stories being told by talented storytellers
- Enjoy a unique dining experience!
Step back into medieval times and enjoy a banquet fit for a king! One of the best of these dinners is the Dead Dinner at James Joyce’s House. These sell out fast, though, so if you miss it, head down to the Brazenhead for a similar banquet.
Watch the Celtic Steps at Celtic Nights
- See traditional Irish dancing!
- Music, dancing, and food available 7 nights a week
- Booking in advance is necessary
Celtic Nights is located at the Arlington Hotel O’Connell Bridge in Dublin. The venue has a traditional Irish dance show every night, and you can get a 3-course meal with your show ticket starting at around USD $40.
You should always have emergency cash hidden on you – pick up this awesome security belt with its hidden pocket before you travel, it’s perfect for hiding money, a passport photocopy.
10 Other Awesome Things to do in Dublin This Weekend
Here are some more ideas for you to try out on your Dublin visit.
#1 – Visit one of the many museums
There are so many museums to visit in Dublin, you have to really decide which ones you’re going to visit with your 48 hours in Dublin.
Some of the best things to see in Dublin are housed in the Museums. Go to the Little Museum of Dublin to see an eccentric version of the last century in the city. The National Leprechaun Museum is another great place to visit, as well as the Dublin Writers Museum!
Thankfully, the buildings are all within reach of each other, so you could visit more than one in a single day in Dublin.
#2 – See Trinity College’s Long Room
Trinity College has a magnificent old library, called the Long Room, which is home to over 200, 000 old books. The books are displayed in the library’s old oak bookcases, and the entire room is quite a sight!
Make the most of your visit and be sure to view the Book of Kells exhibition, which is inside the library as well. This is quite a relaxed visit, but one that you’re bound to remember long after your return home.
#3 – Step inside a Cathedral
Many cathedrals adorn the streets of Dublin, they make for amazing tourist attractions, and most are sure to take your breath away. Take your pick from some of the most famous cathedrals in the world.
St Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest in Dublin and is situated in St Patrick’s Park. It’s gorgeous inside and out, and the perfect stop for a short but memorable day in Dublin. Another iconic cathedral is Christ Church, which overlooks Dublin in all its majesty!
There are many, though, so be sure to see at least one of them during your 3 days in Dublin.
#4 – Visit the River Liffey
The River Liffey runs right across Dublin, dividing the North and South of the city. The body of water offers splendid scenery, points of interest along its banks, and other important things to see in Dublin! You can take a river cruise, try kayaking on the river, or cross one of the 20 bridges that go over the river.
The most famous bridge over the River Liffey is the Ha’ Penny Bridge, and no visit to Dublin is complete without crossing it at least once.
#5 – Enjoy the green parks
There are many green, open spaces strewn across Dublin. Visit Dublin’s Secret Garden, Iveagh Garden, and see the yew maze and archery grounds! St Stephens Green is a Victorian public park, adorned with healthy trees, green grass, and a duck pond.
Phoenix Park is the largest urban park in Europe and has herds of wild deer living in its 1,750-acre grounds. Lastly, but definitely not least, one of the best things to do in Dublin in 3 days or less is to visit the National Botanical Gardens.
#6 – Go to the zoo
The Dublin Zoo is full of cute critters and adorable animals. Pay a visit during your Dublin visit and be a part of keeping these animals fed and happy. The zoo is home to many rare species which are under threat, and they take part in special breeding programs.
There is a number of different animal species found in the 28-hectare zoo. From the furry Asian lion to the forest dragon, you’re not likely to see these animals on just any trip! The zoo is open daily and an adult ticket costs just under USD $20.
#7 – Marvel at Dublin Castle
Spend some time learning more about Ireland’s history while you take in the magnificent setting of this real-life castle. Located right in the heart of the city, the castle is easy to get to and a fascinating place to visit!
The castle is open daily, and you can buy entrance tickets right at the visitors’ reception desk. See the Viking excavation, go up to the medieval tower, and browse the many temporary and permanent exhibitions.
Wander through the gardens while you’re there and get some magical photos of your Dublin trip!
#8 – Become acquainted with the world of whiskey
Ireland is quite fond of their whiskeys, so much so they’ve built an entire museum for the spirit. Take a trip to the Irish whiskey museum and enjoy a history lesson combined with a tasting and a whiskey blending experience for those interested.
Another great stop for whiskey lovers is the Jameson whiskey distillery. Tour the distillery and then enjoy a tasting of this premium liquor. The distillery also offers whiskey cocktail classes and whiskey blending experiences!
#9 – Appreciate good beer
Beer is a common word in Dublin, and a word you’re likely to hear a lot of during your three days in Dublin. The city has many opportunities for travelers to taste the best beers in Ireland.
The most popular of these activities is a visit to the Guinness Storehouse – topping the list on Dublin places to visit! Tour the storehouse that holds the country’s most famous stout and learn of beverage’s history while sipping on a freshly brewed Guinness.
#10 – Discover Dublin city through the eyes of a local
There are many different tours through Dublin that are well worth your time. From simple city walking tours to a riverboat cruise. There are even themed tours. You can take a spooky haunted tour, a literary walking tour, or a sightseeing bus tour!
Pick your favorite, or try more than one, and see the city from the eyes of your local tour guide. If you prefer to go at your own pace, try a self-guided audio tour.
If you’ve got some extra time on your hands, read our guide on even MORE entertaining things to do in Dublin, Ireland!
Don’t forget to pack a good book! Lonely Planet Pocket Dublin (Travel Guide) is our top recommendation for an awesome and inspiring read on this magical city.
Feel prepared and ready when you arrive in Dublin for the weekend. Find answers below to some of the most common questions about planning a trip to Dublin.
#1. What should I pack for a weekend in Dublin?
Before you head off on this exciting adventure, make sure you have the following packed, along with seasonal clothing!
- Passport pouch – Keep your valuables hidden away safely under your jacket in the crowded bars. A passport pouch allows you to keep your money and other important items tucked away without making you look like an obvious tourist.
- Waterproof phone pouch – You’re going to want photos of this magical trip, and you won’t want the rain to ruin that! Protect your phone while you’re out exploring medieval buildings and keep it safe from getting wet during photoshoots.
- Lightweight windproof jacket and/or umbrella – There’s no doubt that it rains often in Dublin, and in Ireland in general. So it’s always best to keep a light jacket with you that will protect you from sudden weather changes. An umbrella is also great if you have space!
That should get you by for a weekend, but feel free to check out our full Ireland packing list for more inspiration.
#2. Can I get an apartment in Dublin for the weekend?
Yes, you can rent an apartment for your weekend in Dublin. If you’re wanting some privacy during your 3 days in Ireland, you’ll find many apartment rentals in Dublin available on Airbnb.
In fact, there are a variety of apartments available. From smaller ones for couples to larger, multiple-bedroomed apartments for traveling groups!
While many of these will be situated further out of the city, it’s easy enough to hop on a bus to the city center. Renting an apartment gives you the perfect balance of a busy day exploring and a quiet night’s sleep.
Worried about spending too much money on your Ireland trip? We’ve written down all the tips and tricks to keep your Ireland travel costs as low as possible. No need to empty your pockets completely. Be sure to check it out!
#3. Is Dublin safe for a weekend trip?
The Irish are, for the most part, friendly and welcoming people. You don’t have to worry about walking through the streets, although at night it’s best to stick in a group, and it’s unlikely that you’ll come into any real danger on your weekend in Dublin! Ireland in general is a very safe country.
However, Dublin is much like any popular city in that common petty crimes can occur. The easiest way to ensure you don’t fall victim to pickpocketing is to keep your valuables close to you and hidden (cue the passport pouch we mentioned above).
Another danger for tourists is the temptation of cheap drinks which cause intoxication. Not having your wits about you as you make your way back to your hotel makes you an easy target. It’s best to order a taxi if you know you’ve enjoyed one too many Guinness pints!
And have you thought about getting Travel Insurance for your trip? We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Final Thoughts on a Great Weekend in Dublin
That concludes our guides to have the perfect weekend in Dublin! We hope you’ve found inspiration and useful info to go forth and plan your trip to Dublin, Ireland.
Be sure to have a pint for us, and don’t miss the opportunity for a good ol’ fish and chips dinner! If you’re visiting in summer because that really is the best time to visit Dublin, enjoy the warmth of the outdoors. If you’re visiting Dublin in the colder months, though, simply check out all the exciting indoor things to do in the city.
However you decide to spend your weekend, have a blast!
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