WHAT TO DO IN DUBLIN – 3-DAY DUBLIN ITINERARY
If you are planning your Dublin itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in Dublin in 3 days, this post is for you. Find out about what to do and how to spend 3 days in Dublin plus more important travel tips for your first trip.
Dublin is a fun, lively, and friendly city filled with welcoming people who are proud of their heritage. Everyone I met in Dublin gave me recommendations on restaurants, told me stories, and gladly chatted with me at any given time. The food was great, the city safe, plenty of sightseeing and history, as well as a thriving music scene. I truly believe everyone should visit Dublin at some point!
3 days in Dublin is perfect for a fun weekend trip or the ideal start to a trip through Ireland. It is only a short flight from the UK, and it’s also a great combo trip to do with London, Edinburgh, or Glasgow.
This post was written by Cassandra
Travel Tips for Dublin in 3 Days
Before jumping to the 3-day Dublin itinerary, here are some travel tips for your Dublin trip.
3 Days in Dublin: How to Get Around
- There is no need for a car in Dublin.
- It is a very walkable city.
- For areas outside of walking distance, local taxis are very accessible, as are rideshares such as Uber.
- You can also check out hop-on and hop-off sightseeing buses for Dublin.
- For traveling outside the city itself, you can book day tours or take the train.
Best Time to Visit Dublin
You can visit year-round. Dublin has mild weather all year. It never gets super cold or super-hot, BUT again rain is common, bringing layers and a waterproof jacket.
Summer is the high season for travel to Ireland, so if you want to avoid higher costs and bigger crowds, you may prefer the shoulder seasons of spring and fall.
Where to Stay in Dublin
I recommend staying on the south side of the river but still close to the river.
This puts you near the Temple Bar district for some fun and lively nightlife. You could also stay a bit further south of the river near Stephen’s Green or Trinity College, which are also great areas to be in for sightseeing but set back a bit more from the nightlife.
- If you want to be closer to Temple Bar district, I’d recommend the Jury’s Inn Christchurch.
- If you’re looking to be more set back, the Trinity City Hotel is another great option.
- If you stay in castles, check out the best castles to stay in Ireland (because staying in a castle is unique!).
Tips for Solo Female Travelers in Dublin
I found Dublin to be a very friendly and safe city- I never felt in danger at any point, even alone at night. Of course, you’d want to exercise precautions as you would anywhere and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
In general, though, I think Dublin and Ireland, in general, are great safe options for solo female travelers without much worry.
Costs of Traveling to Dublin
Compared to other Western European destinations, I found Dublin to be mid-range. Nothing was particularly cheap, but I didn’t find anything to be incredibly expensive either.
I did love that there were plenty of attractions with free entry (Dublin Castle, Museum of Natural History, etc.), and it was nice to be able to explore and do some sightseeing without dishing out tons of money.
It’s also a very walkable city, so we didn’t spend too much on transportation besides to/from the airport and doing some day trips outside of the city.
Restaurants in Dublin
I loved the comfort food of Ireland, tasty stews, brews, and plenty of potatoes. Everything was savory and filling.
Some of my favorite spots were Boxty Restaurant, having lunch at the Guinness Storehouse (everything was cooked with Guinness and very tasty), and the Queen of Tarts café and bakery.
Dublin City Pass
I highly recommend pre-purchasing the Dublin City Pass for your stay, so you have entry, fast track, and hop on hop off transportation for main sightseeing easily.
PLACES TO VISIT IN DUBLIN FOR YOUR 3-DAY ITINERARY
Okay, let’s get started and talk about the first day in Dublin.
Day 1 of 3 Days in Dublin
The first day is the perfect day to explore at leisure. Aim to arrive early so you can have as much time available as possible.
You can pick up the pass at the airport upon arrival. Just know that it activates as soon as you start using it and starts counting down from there, so I recommend getting more than 1 days’ worth.
Once you get into the city and drop your luggage at the hotel, first thing, I’d recommend heading to Queen of Tarts for a nice bite to eat and some coffee to get ready for exploring the city.
Stop 1: Dublin Castle
From here you can walk right over to Dublin Castle, which is one of the main sights and a must-see in 3 days in Dublin.
Dublin Castle is a big part of Ireland’s history. From Viking Settlement to the British house of rule and now Ireland’s own, it houses rotating art and history exhibits and is home to stunning gardens. It also has the amazing Chester Beatty Library on its grounds as well.
The library displays a wide collection of work and ancient pieces from all over the world, including Buddhist scrolls and Ancient Egyptian work- definitely worth a visit.
Stop 2: City Hall
After spending some time exploring the castle, enjoying the gardens, and checking out the library, you can walk over to City Hall for a quick stop in to check out the beautiful Georgian architecture, which is a must for your Dublin itinerary.
Stop 3: Christ Church Cathedral
Then it is time to head to Christ Church Cathedral.
The cathedral was built in 1030 and is one of Dublin’s most historical. The stained-glass windows and carvings are stunning, and the medieval crypt is the largest in Ireland.
If interested in a fun interactive live display of the olden days, Dublin is neighboring Christ Church and would be particularly fun if traveling with any kids – so, with the above-mentioned places you have covered some of the main sights – so, it is a good start for your “3-day Dublin itinerary,” but that is just the start.
Stop 4: Temple Bar District
Afterward, I’d recommend walking through the Temple Bar district. Temple Bar is both the name of the area and the name of the actual bar, “Temple Bar,” that resides here. The bar is touristy and fun and lively and worth a stop in for a quick drink during a pub hop if you wanted.
During the day Temple Bar area is equally lovely. It’s a non-driving pedestrian-only road of cobblestone and old beautiful buildings, usually with artists and street performers playing Irish tunes. The area is dabbled with shops, restaurants, and bars.
Stop 5: Ha’Penny Bridge
From here, you can walk towards Ha’Penny Bridge– this is the iconic Dublin bridge you’ve most likely seen in photos. This historic bridge has been refurbished, and walking over it with a pause in the middle to take in the river and city views is a must-do.
For dinner, I’d say to check out Temple Bar at night, have some traditional Irish food at Quays and then enjoy some local pubs.
I personally like The Butcher’s Bar (which is a few blocks from Temple) for some hard cider, ginger beer, or home-infused whiskeys If you like something harder.
Day 2 of 3 Days in Dublin
Of course, there are more fun things to do in Dublin in 3 days. If you opted for the Dublin City Pass, today would be day 2 on the pass, and it’s the perfect day to utilize the 24-hour hop-on hop-off pass it comes with. Even if you don’t get the Dublin Pass, I would recommend a hop-on hop-off bus ticket to get around to some of the highlights for day 2 in Dublin.
Alternatively, you can also add a mural tour to your itinerary – check out the best Mural tours in Dublin.
Stop 1: Trinity College
I’d say to start the day early, around 8:30 or so, with a quick stop at KC Peaches Café to grab some coffee and a quick bite on your way to Trinity College. The college itself is beautiful, but the highlights are the library and the Book of Kells, which are on display there.
The library alone is often rated amongst the most beautiful in the world, from the 18th century and housing 200,000 + of Trinity’s oldest books. It is absolutely worth a visit. The book of Kells exhibit is a must-see – a 9th-century manuscript that documents 4 gospels.
Stop 2: Merrion Square
Your Dublin itinerary continues, and from here, you can walk by Merrion Square. It is mostly popular for the gorgeous Georgian doorways surrounding the area- on your way to the museum row, where you can visit any that spark your interest.
Stop 3: Museums
All the museums open at 10 so arriving at the opening is perfect before they get too crowded. I personally enjoyed each located here:
The National Gallery of Ireland, The National Archeology Museum of Ireland, The Natural Museum of Ireland, and The Little Museum of Dublin.
They are all right next to each other, and all are relatively small compared to other cities I’ve been to, so I found it doable to briefly explore each of them, but I’d most recommend the Archeology Museum and the Natural Museum. The Archaeology Museum displayed the history of Ireland and artifacts from pre-historic to Viking past, medieval and more.
They also have a small section on Ancient Egypt but personally, I was there to see Ireland’s history!
If you live in a city or have been to a city with a vaster Egyptian display, you could easily skip it and focus on the Irish history displays. The National Museum I found to be a unique display.
They have a large section on Irish wildlife from pre-historic giant deer to modern times and a huge insect display that was actually very interesting. The whole experience felt like stepping back in time compared to other Natural history museums I’ve been to.
You can easily see both museums within 2 hours unless you are a lover of either and want to linger longer.
Stop 4: Stephen’s Green
From here, make your way to Stephen’s Green where you can relax on a park bench and take in the views and great people-watching before grabbing the hop-on-hop-off bus from Stephen’s Green stop.
Stop 5: St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Take the red line to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, dating back to 1191. It’s believed this is where St. Patrick performed baptisms.
The building is beautiful! Step inside to view the monuments and massive stained glass windows before getting back on the hop-on-hop-off the red line.
Stop 6: Guinness Storehouse
Next, get off at Guinness Storehouse.
Of course, you’ll want lunch by this point, so once entering the storehouse, make a stop at one of their many on-site pubs or dining areas to enjoy a tasty meal before starting your tour. The storehouse is an absolute blast, so I recommend taking your time here to soak it all in.
Learn to pour the perfect pint, do a tasting, learn how Guinness is made, view fun interactive displays of past marketing campaigns, and head to the very top, the Gravity Bar- for a pint with prime views of the city. After completing your Guinness tour and lunch, grab the hop-on-hop-off again, but this time, get on the Blue line.
Depending on how long you spend at each stop would determine how much you could fit into the day, but by now, it should be about the mid-late afternoon.
Stop 7: Glasnevin Cemetery
So, an activity to add to your 3 days in Dublin is visiting this unique cemetery. Take the blue line to Glasnevin Cemetery– rated Best Cultural Experience in Ireland for a reason. This historic cemetery and its monuments and stories are fascinating.
The cemetery opened in 1832 and houses over 1.5 million souls. A tour through the cemetery and museum will reveal Ireland’s history and heroes. When departing, you can take the blue line back to where you started and grab some dinner at Drury Buildings.
Day 3 of 3 Days in Dublin
Luckily, Ireland is quite a small country, and you can easily explore any part of it from Dublin on a day trip. Some great Dublin day trips are Cliffs of Moher with Galway, Belfast, Titanic, or Howthe Harbor and Malahide Castle.
If you want something not too far and not too long of a day, Howthe is a much closer spot to head to. The castle is a nice stop by Howthe itself was my favorite part.
Hiking the gentle path along the coast, viewing the lighthouse and some ancient ruins followed by a lunch at a local pub was a great getaway from the city and a view into smaller village life.
If you are interested in history, I would say Belfast and Titanic would be the best option.
Idea 1: Belfast
Belfast located in Northern Ireland is actually still part of the UK and not Ireland. Visiting and doing a black cab tour is a really cool experience showcasing the history of the revolution and show you another side of Ireland.
The Titanic Belfast is another noteworthy stop on a trip to Northern Ireland with interactive exhibits showcasing the Titanic experience.
Idea 2: Cliffs of Moher
If you’re a nature lover, you may want to opt for the Cliffs of Moher. One of the most popular sights to see in Ireland for a reason, these stunning cliffs drop off into the Atlantic at a striking 702 ft.
Galway’s nearby town is also a lovely stop and is famed for its Irish folk music and colorful town on the west coast.
Idea 3: Blarney Castle
Another popular day trip is to head south and visit the Blarney Castle and stone and the town of Cork. Legend has it that kissing the Blarney stone endows you with the gift of gab! Cork is a charming Irish town with plenty to see and do, although I would most recommend visiting the English Market and St. Anne’s Church.
The English Market has been around since 1788, fueling foodies and serving up local goodies, food, and crafts, and is worth a chunk of time to stroll through and enjoy at leisure. St. Anne’s is a gorgeous medieval church – here, visitors are welcomes to climb the town and ring the bells.
TIP: If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you may want to opt for a Game of thrones tour through Northern Ireland’s nature, where several scenes were filmed. Also, most usually include a stop at the unique rock formations of Giant’s Causeway.
CONCLUSION: DUBLIN IN 3 DAYS
Hopefully, this 3-day Dublin itinerary has helped you plan your trip and what to do in Dublin in 3 days! Now, it is time to pack for your Europe trip – or in this case, for your Dublin trip.
Stay safe and enjoy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cassandra is a US-female travel addict who loves traveling the world and works as a tour operator. She is a freelance writer for Arzo Travels, where she shares her expertise.