If you are like our family and only have a short time in Dublin, let me help you make the most of it. 24 Hours in Dublin isn't long, but there is still plenty you can do! Make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes! While we saw quite a bit, we didn't try and squeeze it all in.
If you are interested in other posts about Ireland, let me share a few of my others. While we didn't spend a lot of time in Dublin, we did spend 10 days in the country and Northern Ireland as well. If you are going to be on Ireland's west coast, let me suggest you take the Slea Head drive. It was one of my favorite things we did in Ireland. If Northern Ireland is on the radar, let me share my tips for visiting the Giant's Causeway. I also wrote about 4 day trips from Galway.
Things to Know
- Our family does not drink alcohol, so you will notice there are no bars on my recommendation list. We ate at plenty of pubs on the trip, but the popular bars in Dublin were not on our have-to-see lists.
- We had a rental car in Ireland. Dublin was our last stop on our 10-day trip and so we drove into town with it. I had heard horror stories about driving in Dublin, but let me just say, it was no worse than other large cities we had traveled in.
- However, most of what we saw in Dublin was within walking distance of each other, so we parked the car in a parking lot and walked the whole day. We were out for about 8 hours and parking was about $20. I figured we would have spent more than that shuttling back and forth from the hotel we stayed at anyway.
- We used Google maps to navigate through the city and it worked really well. In fact, this is what we used the whole trip.
- Just know you will do a fair amount of walking with these suggestions, but it is worth it. If you aren't in very good shape, or if walking is a strain, there are taxis and buses all over town.
- Irish people were incredibly kind to us on our trip. I would imagine part of this is because we wanted to be there. We loved their country and were excited to learn about their culture. Don't be that tourist who is rude to locals.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
This was one of the first things on our list. I had heard so many great things about the cathedral that I couldn't wait to visit.
It is the National Cathedral of Ireland, and so stunning. The building and artwork are fascinating. It was founded in 1191 and has the largest organ in Ireland.
The cathedral is very busy. I would recommend trying to beat the crowds, which we did not succeed in doing. It was still an enjoyable visit even with this. The cathedral was quiet, well maintained, and worth the time.
The cost is $8/adult, $7/child, or $18/family.
After we left the cathedral we stopped for some baked goods at one of the bakeries nearby. I cannot remember the name of it, but there are quite a few in that immediate area.
Enjoying The Architecture
One recommendation I have is to make sure and take your time and enjoy the sites. The architecture in the city is amazing. Don't be in such a hurry that you cannot notice the area surrounding you.
It can be tempting when you only have so long in an area to rush through each activity, but I think it best to limit your activities and have time to really take in Dublin.
One of my favorite things to do in Dublin, actually on the trip was a ring-making class. This was an Airbnb experience that I almost didn't sign up for, but am so glad I did.
It was hosted at the Silverworks studio and our teacher was awesome. We each made a sterling silver ring almost entirely on our own. It was a really cool experience and we are so proud of the rings we made.
You can also book this, or other classes directly through their website as well.
Book of Kells- Long Room
This was another visit we saw recommended over and over on so many sites. We decided to visit, and I am glad we did.
Here is the biggest thing to know- BOOK YOUR TICKETS EARLY. We did not. I hadn't read anything about visiting beforehand, not my usual style. So, we couldn't get in when we wanted and had to wait a few hours. Not a big deal, just changed our schedule a bit.
So, book online beforehand. The Book of Kells is considered one of Ireland's greatest treasures and its history is fascinating. They have done a really good job educating on how the book was made and its history. Don't rush through this- unless history bores you, then skip through it.
The long room is what you will normally see when you see photos of Trinity College Library, and for good reason. The room was incredible. It is a long room, lined floor to ceiling with antique books they have worked hard to preserve and maintain. It is so cool!! It is also really crowded, and that is kind of annoying:).
I know, I know, this area is so touristy. But, it is also really cool and has such a fun vibe. It is a pedestrian-only street and is generally pretty busy.
There are usually several groups of musicians playing on the street and the ones we heard were really good!
Shopping is also a must. Obviously, since it is a tourist area, prices are really high. But, I guess you pay for convenience. As Dublin was our last stop on the trip, we had an idea of what prices should be, on Grafton they were about 15-20% higher. So, keep that in mind if you are traveling to other locations.
There are tons of options for food on Grafton as well. We chose Pacinos Italian restaurant. My rule of thumb when we are visiting new places is to only eat local food. I made an exception with this one and I am glad we did. We got pizza and it was so good! It was also pretty inexpensive.
As we were flying out the next morning, we needed a hotel near the airport. Clayton Hotel Dublin Airport was just that and it had a free shuttle as well.
It was a great hotel with nice family rooms. The booking process online was very simple and so was check-in at the hotel. If you are looking for a budget-friendly family option, this is a good one.