24 Hours in Dublin: A Guide for Irish Culture Lovers
For an overnight trip, Dublin has everything you could want: historic sites, interesting museums, and great food and drinks. Here’s how to get as much out of 24 hours as possible.
24 Hours in Dublin: Day One
Start with dinner at The Winding Stair, a restaurant and bookstore on the River Liffey named after a poem by Irish poet William Butler Yeats. This is a great place to watch people as you look down over the Ha’penny Bridge. The food, which focuses on “good, old-fashioned home cooking” with ingredients from island artisans, will set you up for a good night.
After your meal, you can cross the river to check out the famous nightlife in the area. Start with a cocktail at The Liquor Rooms, a glamorous speakeasy-style bar in the basement of The Clarence Hotel that is co-owned by Bono of U2. Then, try Garage Bar on East Essex Street, which is in a former garage with gas pumps from the 1930s.
If you want to feel more like you’re in Old Dublin, cross Dame Street and go to The Stag’s Head. It’s a traditional Irish pub with great Guinness. Stop at 4 Dame Lane, a cool late-night bar that’s open until 3 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.
24 Hours in Dublin: Day Two
Start day two at the National Gallery of Ireland, the most popular free attraction in the country. This is where the country’s impressive collection of Irish and European art from the 13th to the 20th centuries is kept. (Know that the gallery doesn’t open until later on Sunday mornings.)
Have breakfast at The Pepper Pot in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, a specialty shopping center that used to be a Georgian townhouse. This cute balcony café has a short but very sweet menu, with savory treats like seasonal tarts, fresh salads, and smooth scrambled eggs, as well as sweet treats that you can enjoy with a coffee while watching the historic shopping center fill up with morning shoppers. People in Dublin often say that their sandwich with roast pear, bacon, and Mount Callan cheddar is one of the best. (Note that The Pepper Pot doesn’t open on Sundays until noon; as an alternative, try the nearby Metro Café on South William Street.)
On your way to Dublin Castle, walk through George’s Street Arcade, a Victorian-era covered market with shops and stalls made of red brick. Visit the castle gardens and the Chester Beatty Library, which is full of rare books, old artifacts, paintings, and other things that used to belong to Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, a mining tycoon in the 20th century. It is the only Irish museum that has ever won the title of European Museum of the Year. It has one of the most important collections of Islamic and Far Eastern artifacts in the world.
Have a nice lunch at Chez Max, which is right outside the castle gates. This traditional French café with a quiet back garden serves classic dishes like soupe à l’oignon, boeuf bourguignon, and steak frites that are as good as or better than anything you’ll find in Paris.
Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is the largest church building in Ireland and also the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. This impressive Gothic-style church was built in 1191. The “Door of Reconciliation,” through which two members of feuding medieval Irish dynastic families shook hands to end the Butler–FitzGerald dispute in 1492, is one of its most interesting parts.
A lot of tourists who visit Dublin choose to take a tour of the Guinness Storehouse. If you prefer whiskey, though, you could spend the afternoon at the independent Teeling Distillery, which is the only whiskey distillery in the city at the time of writing. Combined tour and tasting options (which should be booked in advance) range from €15 for a Teeling small batch and seasonal whiskey cocktail to €30 for a tasting of their award-winning single malt, single cask, and a vintage distillery exclusive single malt. You could also stop by The Fumbally Community Café, one of the city’s most popular coffee shops, for a boost of caffeine and some cake. (Be aware that The Fumbally is closed on Sundays and Mondays.)
Take a taxi to the Northside and go to the Dublin Writers Museum. Inside an elegant Georgian townhouse, you can look at books, letters, and other items related to Ireland’s many famous writers, like Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett. Then walk down the street to the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, which is proud to have “Ireland’s best collection of modern and contemporary art from Ireland and around the world.” Here, you can see works by famous artists like Auguste Rodin, Norah McGuinness, and Louis le Brocquy without having to pay anything.
T O’Brennan’s has 12 craft beer taps, or you can try their “ultimate G&T,” which is served in a balloon glass with cucumber, orange, and juniper berries. You can choose your own gin from a list that includes Irish options like their award-winning house gin and Bertha’s Revenge, a small-batch Irish milk gin made in County Cork.
Finish your weekend at the Gate by seeing a play at the beautiful theater where Orson Welles got his start. Until June 24, 2017, the show is Private Lives by Nol Coward.
The Winding Stair, 40 Ormond Quay Lower, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 872 7320
The Liquor Rooms, 6-8 Wellington Quay, Dublin, Ireland, +353 87 339 3688
Garage Bar, Essex Street East, Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 679 6543
The Stag’s Head, 1 Dame Court, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 679 3687
4 Dame Lane, 4 Dame Lane, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 679 0291
National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 661 5133
The Pepper Pot, Powerscourt Town House Centre, South William Street, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 707 1610
Metro Café, 43 South William Street, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 679 4515
George’s Street Arcade, South Great George’s Street, Dublin, Ireland
Dublin Castle, Dame St, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 645 8800
Chez Max, 1 Palace St, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 633 7215
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St Patrick’s Close, Wood Quay, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 453 9472
Teeling Whiskey Distillery, Newmarket, Merchants Quay, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 531 0888
The Fumbally, Fumbally Lane, Merchants Quay, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 529 8732
Dublin Writers Museum, Rotunda, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 872 2077
Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Charelmont House, Parnell Square North, Rotunda, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 222 5550
T O’Brennan’s, 15 Dominick Street Upper, Phibsborough, Co. Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 830 7934
The Gate Theatre, Cavendish Row, Rotunda, Dublin, Ireland, +353 1 874 4045
Topic: 24 Hours in Dublin: A Guide for Irish Culture Lovers
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