What to do with three days in Dublin, Ireland

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We spent three days in Dublin, Ireland. Here’s what we did, where we stayed and where we ate! 

A few years ago, my husband and I went to Ireland and it’s still one of our very favorite trips, years later. I was looking at this blog post again since we recently planned an anniversary trip and debated going to Ireland again, but we’re headed somewhere tropical instead!

But I wanted to reshare this post in case you’re thinking of visiting Dublin. I hope this recap of our visit helps! In short, we loved Ireland so much more than we anticipated we would. We were excited, obviously, but it completely exceeded our expectations. The food especially exceeded our expectations. I wasn’t worried about boring Irish food since potatoes are one of my love languages. But, Tommy and were both blown away by how amazing the food was – at every place we ate, even a chain. Let’s get to some trip details!

What to do with three days in Dublin, Ireland

Our flight to Dublin

We took a red-eye to Dublin. Our original flight actually got cancelled as we were driving to the airport, but thankfully we had our trusty Heather to fix it all by the time we got to the airport.

I really don’t cope well with red-eyes (I’ve had to take them a few times with work), so I was pretty nervous since I also don’t cope well without sleep. But, I had my airpods (review here!) in to relax as we took off and then switched to my neck pillow, ear plugs, an eye mask and comfy clothes to get me through it. I also took some melatonin to help me chill. It wasn’t a GREAT flight but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.

Tommy, on the other hand, did not sleep at ALL the entire flight. Gah.

dublin ireland flights

Dublin Hotel

When we landed in Dublin, Heather had arranged driver there to pick us up and take us to our hotel. We stayed at The Westbury which was an AMAZING location right in the heart of Dublin. We didn’t take photos of the rooms or the lobby but both were beautiful. And the service was UNREAL, especially after taking a red eye and not being able to get into our room when we arrived. The staff took such good care of us, bringing us water and espresso and snacks since Tommy was literally falling asleep in the lobby. But when we got into our room, we had gorgeous views. SO, in short – we highly recommend that hotel!

dublin ireland hotels

When we got into our room, we had such a sweet surprise from Heather – a picture of Maizey and local kombucha. She had a surprise waiting for us on our honeymoon too!

I also personally loved the benches in the hotel elevators. 🙂 I also really loved the Nespresso in the room – perfect for sipping and enjoying the view!

dublin ireland hotel

coffee shops dublin

What to do in Dublin Ireland

We did all the typical things to do in Dublin, and both felt like we could have used more time there. But, we still had time to see SO many good things in three days!! (Isn’t that the case with every vacation?) But, here’s what we did hit and loved!

  • Christ’s Church Cathedral
  • Trinity College + Book of Kells + the Long Room
  • St Stephen’s Green Park -Ireland is often referred to as the “Emerald Isle,” because of the vast greenery all throughout the island, and this park is quite a gem.
  • Temple Bar
    • Temple Bar is a part of town, but there is also a bar name Temple Bar (clever marketing those folks). We enjoyed walking around the entire area and ate over there a couple times.
  • Dublin History Tour
    • The 1916 Rebellion History Tour was great because we did a lot of walking and got to see lots of things in Dublin along the way, including the Post Office (shockingly gorgeous).
    • Tommy LOVED the history tour, while I thought it got a little long. You need to REALLY like history to enjoy it — and I typically do. 😉
  • Irish Food Trail Tour (more on that below)

What we skipped in Dublin

  • Guinness Storehouse — We’d heard mixed reviews (some people loved it, others found it excessively touristy). So we enjoyed drinking Guinness in pubs instead! We walked by it on our way to the Goal so we at least saw how MASSIVE it is. If we’d ended up going, we would have wanted to go to the Gravity Bar, which is their rooftop bar. We also hit up one of Guinness’ main competitors — the Porterhouse Brewing Company — but liked Guinness better.
  • Kilmainham Gaol  – We actually tried to go, but it was sold out by the time we got there. We didn’t realize we needed to reserve tickets ahead of time! But hey, we had walked there at least got to see lots of the city.
  • Museums – We didn’t do any museums since we had AMAZING weather and wanted to enjoy it. It literally never rained on us the entire time we were there, which was shocking and amazing. There was some rain in the mornings but by the time we got out the door, it was just overcast. If you do run into weather when you visit, we heard the Little Museum of Dublin was great.
  • Phoenix Park —  I really wanted to go run there but it was quite a haul from our hotel!
  • Molly Malone Statue – We never ended up seeing this. The statue is of a heroine of the famous song of called “Molly Malone” which is widely recognized as Dublin’s unofficial anthem. However, although the song is set in Dublin, the song was published in the United States in 1878!
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral – This is the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland.
  • Grafton Street – Known for its street entertainment.

It’s good to leave things for the next visit, right?

Christ Church

Can we talk about how the security guard NAILED this photo? We were attempting a selfie and he came over and offered to take a photo. He moved all around to frame it just perfectly – and it’s one of our favorites from the trip! Plus, it reminds us just how nice EVERYONE is in Ireland.

christ church dublin ireland

We didn’t do a tour of Christ’s Church (we missed the last tour by 15 minutes!) but we wished we had.

christ church dublin

Temple Bar

temple bar dublin

what to do in dublin ireland

Trinity College + Book of Kells + the Long Room

We learned our lesson with Christ’s Church and the gaol and bought tickets the night before for the Book of Kells and Long Room. It was great because we had a MUCH shorter entrance line for pre-purchased tickets.

Having just been to Harvard’s campus in April when we were there for the Boston Marathon, it was interesting to compare the different feels of two old colleges. Trinity is obviously MUCH older and you could feel that. We loved everything about the experience there.

Well, maybe we didn’t love the craziness around the Book of Kells. It’s a small room with a lot of people trying to see small objects in a display case. And if you’re short, it’s rough. Next time, we’d go right to the books and skip the displays leading up to it — and then go back to read everything about it. Definitely worth seeing though!

There are no words for the Long Room. It was breathtaking. And fun fact, my massage therapist, who is from Dublin, told me his mom’s job for 30+ years was cleaning and polishing the Long Room. Can you imagine?! It would be amazing to get so close to so much history so often.

long hall trinity college

long hall trinity college

River Liffey

We walked along this during our history tour. So beautiful! I was planning to run along it the next day but it was pouring when I woke up, so I opted to stay inside with an espresso. 🙂 The bridge is called the Ha’penny Bridge.

river liffey dublin

Dublin Food Tour

We did the Irish Food Trail tour and LOVED it. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical going into this based on what I’ve seen from some other food tours in other cities but this was one of my favorite parts of the trip! As we walked from each restaurant, our guide shared history and explained culture shifts as it related to food. It was so interesting! And all the food was amazing, of course. Our food tour started at the Dublin Castle before we walked to our first stop.

Our first stop was the Boxty House and I was in HEAVEN. Potatoes and toast are my two favorite foods and everything on the plate was made of potatoes, including the toast. HEAVEN, I tell ya. HEAVEN. This spot used to have live music but doesn’t anymore.

Our next stop had the choice between fish & chips (which I got) or a Guinness stew, which Tommy ordered. Both were INCREDIBLE.

A Guinness with every stop? Don’t mind if I do. Tommy got the local red ale which was amazing. I’m not a crazy beer person (mostly because my stomach hates me when I drink it) but I really love dark beers. And turns out I like red ales too.

At our last stop, we had locally made cheesecake and learned to make Irish Coffees — and actually made our own. It was my first-ever irish coffee. I could never have it on a regular basis since dairy is my nemesis but man, it was WORTH IT.

Dublin Ireland Restaurants

The food in Dublin was incredible. There wasn’t a single place we ate that we didn’t love, and now of course I can’t remember the names of all of them! But, we learned that nearly all food in Ireland is farm to table since they don’t have factory farms. So, all the food on your plate can be sourced back to a specific farm. I guess that means it’s be hard to go wrong if you eat at a locally owned restaurant!

Here are some we ate at and loved (that I can actually remember the names of!). If you’ve been to Dublin, share your favorite spots! Maybe it will jog my memory of where else we went too!

  • Kaph Coffee
  • Clement & Pekoe (coffee shop)
  • Avoca – this was a local chain that an instagram follower recommended. We absolutely LOVED it! We ate there when we went to the Ring of Kerry as well! The cafe is combined with an adorable boutique. I picked up some fun cards since I love to have a collection of good ones.
  • Queen of Tarts
  • Jo Burger

queen of tarts dublin

dublin pubs

porterhouse brewing company     jo burger dublin

dublin ireland avoca

I had this wine at Avoca and MUST track it down. It was amazing.

Fun fact – right after we ordered our food, Bill Clinton walked by. Like 10 feet from us. 🙂

dublin ireland restaurants

Tommy and I both loved Dublin and said it’s the type of city we could see ourselves living it. It’s a great size – not too big and not too small. But for now, we’ll settle for visiting. We already want to go back! Oh, and quick note about using a travel agent for this trip – Heather is our go-to travel agent, but for Ireland she worked with her destination partner, North & Leisure, to provide tailor-made itineraries.

Next up – Sheens Fall Lodge & Kenmare! Stay tuned for that blog post! We never ventured to Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. One day we’d like to Great Britain!

I’m also working on a blog post about what I packed + some packing tips, but I linked in the scroll bar below what I took with me to Dublin so you can see that in the meantime!

My Travel Essentials

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    4 responses to “What to do with three days in Dublin, Ireland”

    1. Love this post! It’s making me want to go back, like, right now! And you’re right, the people there are so nice! And the food is delicious. Everything about that country is amazing!

    2. Welcome to Dublin, delighted you enjoyed your trip. You made some good choices, I love Avoca

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