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Complete 2 Days in Dublin Itinerary – 48 Hours in Dublin

Do you only have enough time to spend 2 days in Dublin? This itinerary will make sure you can discover the highlights of the most charming neighborhoods, picturesque streets and popular attractions.

As a first time visitor to Dublin, Ireland it can be overwhelming with all the things to do in only 48 hours. This itinerary will make it easy for you to get the most out of your visit to Ireland’s capital city.

Where should I stay in Dublin?

You will most likely be arriving to the Dublin Airport and you will want to book accomodations close to the city center. With only 2 days in Dublin you will have to make a trade off between hotel price and how much time you have to get between attractions.

We stayed both at the historic Harcourt Hotel, which is about 20 minutes walk south of most attractions and the Staycity Aparthotels, Dublin, City Centre which is closer to more attractions on the northern side of the city center. For us the 20 minute walk from Harcourt Hotel was not a big deal, but if you want to go back to the hotel in the middle of the day to relax or change the distance can be time prohibitive.

Do I need to rent a car in Dublin?

Renting a car in Dublin generally is not needed, with most of the attractions within walking distance. Even if one attraction is a bit further away, using public transportation or an Uber will save you time and stress throughout your visit without having to find the limited parking within Dublin’s city center.

Is the Go City Dublin Pass worth it?

A great way to save time and money on a two day trip to Dublin is with the Go City Dublin All-Inclusive Pass, which costs €99 for a 2-day pass. This includes entrances to most of the paid attractions in this itinerary. During our visit we go €110.5 worth of value from the Go City pass and still had some additional places we wished we could visit.

To see if the Go City Dublin pass is worth it for you, check out the included attractions and add together the value of having to buy the tickets separately. If that value is the same or greater than the cost of the Dublin Pass, it is definitely worth purchasing.

One thing we found is that purchasing the pass in advance incentivised us to actually complete our full itinerary each day, which can be substantial with only 2 days to explore Dublin. It is a lot better to go to bed tired for two nights than miss the best things to do in Dublin.

Taking a look at this two day Dublin itinerary here are the savings the Go City Dublin pass provided.

AttractionTicket Price
Jameson Distillery Bow St.€26
Dublin Castle€8
Christ Church Cathedral€11.50
St. Patrick’s Cathedral€10
Guinness Storehouse Experience€20
Teeling Whiskey Distillery€20
Total Ticket Cost€110.50
2 Day Go City Pass€99

Day one in Dublin: Streets of Dublin and Culture

For the first day in Dublin, the time is more focused on getting to know the feeling and atmosphere that Dublin is so well known. It is about exploring the historic streets of the city center with enough extra time throughout the day to wander into an interesting pub or shop that you pass along the way.

Iveagh Gardens & Saint Stephen’s green

Start the morning off with a stroll through Iveagh Gardens & Saint Stephen’s green park. We visited Dublin in November so were met with the peak orange and yellow autumn foliage. Within the Iveagh Gardens there is a memorial dedicated to the peaceful defenders of human rights around the world which we highly recommend for a quick read. At Saint Stephen’s green make sure to walk around the lake to see locals feeding the swans.

Merrion Square Park

We then made our way over to Merrion Square Park, zig zagging our way through as many beautiful and peaceful neighborhood streets as we can, where you can see fascinating brick facades with the contrast of bright painted doors.

The Umbrellas Dublin

Weaving our way through the historic streets of Dublin, we make a quick detour to The Umbrellas Dublin, which are colorful umbrellas hanging across the road, for a romantic photo opportunity. The only downside is that its located in an ally between a few bars and a casino. It is worth visiting for a few minutes, but don’t go too far out of the way to get there if you are not nearby.

Trinity College

Trinity College is Ireland’s oldest university, founded in 1592. The most popular thing to do is take a guided tour of the Trinity College Library to see the Book of Kells. It is best to book a timed tour in advance as it can be several hours before the next available tour when booking on the spot. You can also just walk around the historic campus and enjoy the iconic buildings.

Temple Bar Pub

Walking through the iconic cobbled streets of the Temple Bar district, you want to be on the lookout for the world famous Temple Bar Pub. You have to step inside to experience the lively atmosphere, Irish music, and sip on possibly the most expensive pint of Guinness in Ireland.

Throughout this district there are endless pubs and bars to explore, making it a great place to come back in the evening for drinks after dinner.

Molly Malone statue

Then head over for a quick photo of the Molly Malone statue, in commemoration to the song “Cockles and Mussels” set in Dublin, which has become an unofficial anthem of the city. The statue represents a 17th century working class women overcoming all adversity.

Jameson Distillery Bow St.

Make your way to the other side of the river to the famous Jameson Distillery Bow St. for a guided tasting tour of Ireland’s most well known whiskey. The basic tour starts at €26 with more intensive tours up to a €140 paired tasting experience. Just have in mind the last tour starts at 5:30PM during the week and 6:45PM on the weekends.

Celtic Nights Dinner & Show

A great, but touristy way to have a crash course in traditional Irish food, Irish music, and Irish dance is at the Celtic Nights Dinner & Show. For €49 per adult it includes a three-course meal off a set menu, accompanied with live music and dancers throughout the evening. We felt like we could have a more authentic experience finding a show or music outside of a restaurant, but with only two days in Dublin, it is perfect to get a taste of all three.

Day two in Dublin: History, Whiskey, and Guinness

The second day of this itinerary is packed with much more of Dublin’s history with more tours and set attraction times. It is important to be mindful of the time today to make sure you can visit each attraction before it closes.

Dublin Castle

Start the day off at the Dublin Castle, which served as the seat of British rule in Ireland from 1204 until Ireland’s independence in 1922. It is still used to this day for some state ceremonies, with Ireland’s presidents being inaugurated in St Patrick’s Hall. Our favorite rooms in the castle are The throne room, The Battleaxe Staircase, the State Drawing Room, The Chapel Royal, and of course St. Patrick’s Hall. Self guided tickets are €8 per adult.

Christ Church Cathedral

Visit the oldest medieval cathedral in Dublin, the Christ Church Cathedral, dating back over 1,000 years. Make sure not to miss the renowned architecture and artfully designed floor tiles. Tickets are €11.50 per adult.


Dublinia is an interactive museum focused around the Viking and Medieval times in Dublin. Take a walk back in time to experience the rich history of the city and all of Ireland. Tickets are €15 per adult.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

No visit to Dublin is complete without stepping inside the iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest Cathedral dating back over 800 years. It is a massive and ornate church that is not to be missed. The entrance fee is €10 per adult and if you are visiting on Sunday be aware of the reduced hours for mass in the middle of the day.

Teeling Whiskey Distillery

Dublin was once home to a major distilling district, called the Golden Triangle, which all but dried up in the early 20th century. It wasn’t until Teeling Whiskey Distillery opened their doors with the first new distillery in Dublin for over 125 years, with an old family distilling knowledge dating back to 1782.

Here you can take a guided tasting tour, learning the history, distilling process, and most importantly how to taste whiskey. Tickets start at €20 per person and you can upgrade your experience with additional small batch and single malt tastings at the end of the same tour.

Guinness Storehouse Experience

No two days in Dublin itinerary would be over until you visit the Guinness Storehouse Experience. Make your way the multi-story self guided tour to learn about the brewing process and history of Guinness, entry to Guinness Tasting Rooms, ending at the crowded Gravity Bar overlooking Dublin, with a pint of Guinness.

The self guided tour starts at €20 per adult and include a pint of Guinness at the Gravity Bar. In all honesty the experience is not very informative on the beer making process or about Guinness for that matter. However it is something everyone should check off their Dublin bucket list.

Dinner and Pubs

After exploring Dublin for 2 days you probably saw a restaurant or pub that you wanted to check out and your last night in Ireland is the perfect time to do that. If you are looking for some inspiration you can wander through the Temple Bar neighborhood stopping along a few pubs throughout the evening.

With only 48 hours it is impossible to see all the best things to do in Dublin, but we hope this itinerary has let you get a peek into what Dublin and Ireland has to offer. If you are looking to spend more time in Ireland, we also have a complete one week road trip to Ireland.

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