Dublin is full of beautiful sights, incredible food, and beer… lots and lots of beer! Here is my recommendation on How to spend 72 hours in Dublin.
How To Spend 72 Hours in Dublin
Before we dive into how to successfully spend 72 hours in Dublin, I’ll quickly brief you on the geography of Dublin and where you’ll want to stay.
Dublin is divided by a bridge, presenting you with the North and South sides. The North is generally more underprivileged and the South has more money. The difference is pretty obvious as you cross the bridge.
Although lower economic class may transfer as “danger” in your mind, that’s not really the case, Dublin is very safe all around. Personally, the Northside was way more my style and I felt like it was true Dublin.
The south side is significantly more touristy and expensive. The entirety of Dublin is very walkable, so do not worry about transportation. You can cross one end of the city to another in less than 45 minutes.
I’ve stayed at Jacobs Inn and Isaacs Hostels during my trips to Dublin. They are both wonderful options and honestly some of the nicest hostels i’ve ever stayed at. Both are located on the North-side, but very close to the bridge.
Book directly on their websites to get the cheapest rates. Book in advance, these hostels are well known and book up fast! If hostels aren’t your thing, I recommend booking an Airbnb. Just make sure it’s located in the city of either the North or the South, and not somewhere where you’ll be stuck in the suburbs.
There are so many good food options in Dublin. When in doubt, check out TripAdvisor to find something that will suit you, or just walk the streets until you find a pub with food.
One issue I did encounter was the pubs stop serving food really early! By 7 pm you may find yourself struggling to find a pub that offers food. If you find this problem, a restaurant you can always count on is Counter. This is NOT authentic Irish food, and it’s actually an American style restaurant, haha! But the food is incredible, and they serve until late. Counter is located on the Southside.
If you are staying at Jacob’s or Isaacs Hostels, I highly recommend participating in their hostel led pub crawl! No worries if you chose a different accommodation, there are loads of independent led pub crawls in Dublin, just google one to participate in!
If pub crawls aren’t your style, one of my favorite bars/clubs in Dublin was one a local actually brought me too, and it’s called Sin é. This place is AWESOME! The music and vibe are fantastic, and they have a grunge basement that attracts all the hipsters in Dublin. This is most definitely a place where the local’s hangout, and a great alternative if your not into tourist pub crawls. Sin é is located on the Northside.
Day 1 – Free Walking Tour & Trinity College
Free Walking tour:
Start your day off with a free walking tour. I’m a big fan of free walking tours and try to do them in every city I can. They are a cheap educational experience and it’s a great way to meet other travelers, especially when your solo! Although it says “free,” do not forget to tip your guide.
Tour guides are very well educated on their tour topic and have had loads of training to ensure you have a great experience. I recommend tipping 10 euros per person. Although it tends to vary on the value of the euro in each country, 10 is pretty standard.
While you have someone who has extensive knowledge of the city, be sure to take advantage of that and get restaurant and entertainment recommendations – they will know best!
Book of Kells at Trinity College:
After your free walking tour, visit Trinity College Book Of Kells Exhibition. This is something you do not want to skip over while visiting Dublin. It doesn’t take much of your time, and the sight is absolutely stunning. This is a very saturated tourist sight, and I highly recommend buying your ticket in advance online.
If you are there purely for photography of the “long room” you MUST book a slot for the earliest time slot, which changes on the time of year. Mine was very early at peak tourist season, and I was there by 8 am.
I had actually gone twice to the Book of Kells, once the day before to actually read through the history and take my time in the museum. The second time was the next day and I was able to use my ticket for re-entry, and I rushed past the museum to the long room to grab my photo. By 8:01 am the entire place will be flooded with tourists, so you have to be quick!
After a full day of tours and sightseeing, I recommend just taking your time to walk around Dublin and enjoy the many pubs and live music.
Day 2 – Cliffs of Moher or Giant’s Causeway Tour
Unfortunately with only 3 days in a popular city, you just can’t do it all! Both the Cliffs of Moher and Giant’s Causeway are fantastic tours that depart from Dublin and you will have to choose which one will best suit you.
I have done both tours and found that I enjoyed the Cliffs of Moher more. However, fog can heavily ruin your experience if it is blocking the cliffs, so it is a bit of risk. I booked both tours through Paddy Wagon and highly recommend them.
I enjoyed these tours because the driving distance is several hours to both destinations, and they do a great job by breaking it up with fun sights and stops along the way!
Day 3 – The National Gallery of Ireland and/ or Guinness Tour
The National Gallery of Ireland is located and Dublin and it is one of the most unexpected gems in the city. I’ve visited art galleries all around Europe, and this is one of my favorites. The architecture and layout of the rooms are worth seeing itself. The best part of the gallery is, it’s free! Expect to spend about 3-4 hours at the gallery if you are a lover of art.
After the gallery, I recommend spending your last day in Dublin finishing up anything that you wanted to do. Shopping, exploring, catching a movie, whatever you please! You could also do a very popular Guinness tour. I opted to not do this, because I don’t really enjoy Guinness and it was just a bit overpriced for me.
Pro tip – If you depart Dublin on the evening of day 3 and don’t want to carry your luggage, hostels will often keep them for you. Even if you aren’t staying at a hostel, it may be worth to ask if you could pay a few euros to leave your luggage there, the reception is very nice and laid back.
That concludes a full 72 hours or 3 days of Dublin!
This itinerary was based on highlights of my own experiences in Dublin and can be switched around to accommodate your interests and time.
Although 72 hours isn’t nearly enough time to explore this historic city, I think it’s the perfect amount of time to get a taste of what it has to offer. Enjoy your time in a wonderful city!