View of the Samuel Beckett Bridge and the illuminated city skyline reflected on the water at night, one of the must visits on a Dublin Itinerary

Dublin Itinerary – A Foolproof 3 to 5 Days Planner [2023]

👉 Jump to: Dublin Itinerary | Where to Stay | Map | How to Get Around | Planning Tips | FAQ

Planning your Dublin itinerary in advance is the best way to make sure you don’t miss out on what the city has to offer!

I’ve lived in Dublin before and fell in love with this charming city, and I’m so excited to share exactly how I’d tell my friends or family plan their itinerary for Dublin. 

No matter your interests, there are plenty of things to do in Dublin. In this article, I will give you the perfect framework for getting the most out of your itinerary for Dublin. 

🗈 Planning Note: This Dublin itinerary is based on spending 3 days in Dublin, but includes alternative options for your afternoons. So, if you have 4 or 5 days in Dublin, just use your extended time to cover both options. 

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Dublin Itinerary

Day 1 – Dublin City Center


View of the spire of Dublin at the busy O'Connell Street on a gloomy day
O’Connell Street, Dublin, Ireland (photo: Croatorum / Shutterstock)

For the first morning of your Dublin trip, there’s no better place to begin than the Dublin city center. O’Connell Street is the best starting point. Many walking tours start at O’Connell Street. It’s also a central point for Dublin’s public transportation. 

Scope out the monuments here, such as The Spire as well as the statue of Daniel O’Connell. From there visit the General Post Office and learn about its role in the Easter Uprising of 1916.

Now head south towards your next stop on your Dublin itinerary–Trinity College. While crossing the River Liffey, take a moment to observe the many bridges spanning the river. Some, such as the Ha’Penny Bridge are as many symbols of Dublin as the Brooklyn Bridge is to New York.

View of the displayed books in the Long Room in Trinity College Library
The Long Room at the Trinity College Old Library (photo: STLJB / Shutterstock)

A trip to Trinity College takes you through the halls of Ireland’s oldest university. Founded in 1592 as The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth, this university ranks as one of the most prestigious in the world. 

Here you’ll find venerable old buildings surrounding wide green courtyards.  Take a stroll through the grounds. Then be sure to visit the most famous place in Trinity College, the Long Room of the Old Library

Pause for a few moments in the iconic Long Room of the Old Library to breathe in the venerable atmosphere. After that, go further in to view Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure – the Book of Kells. This famous medieval manuscript overflows with intricate illustrations. Unfortunately, due to the sensitive nature of the aged materials, photography is not allowed.

To preserve your memory of this timeless treasure, buy some memorabilia at the Old Library gift store. Books, shirts, and more all feature the distinctive Celtic artwork depicted in the Book of Kells. 

I recommend seeing Trinity College early on in your trip. At the same time, the hushed atmosphere of the library makes for a relaxing way to wrap up a long day of touring the city.


For your afternoon on day 1, you have two options to choose from: Option 1- Central Dublin’s Museums or Option 2 – Parks & Shopping.

Afternoon Option 1 – Central Dublin’s Museums
Exterior view of The National Gallery of Ireland and the beautiful flowers along the pathway
The National Gallery (photo: Robert Mullan / Shutterstock)

After taking in the treasures at Trinity, get some lunch at one of the many restaurants in the university area. College Green, the street leading west from Trinity College, has several great cafes, such as Keogh’s Cafe. After lunch, head southeast to Merrion Square

Make the National Gallery of Ireland your next stop.  Play the art critic and assess the works of world-renowned masters of European art, such as Caravaggio. You can also observe works from Ireland’s best artists here, too. The museum also offers a cafe for quick eats if you want to save time by combining lunch and sightseeing. 

View of the people wandering inside The National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology (photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock)

After the National Gallery of Ireland, the next best stop is the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History. The National Museum lies a stone’s throw south of the National Gallery. Learn all about the historic flora, fauna, and other aspects of Ireland’s rich nature from the extensive collections housed at this museum. 

The National Museum of Archaeology next door offers a wealth of information on the man-made side of Ireland’s history. Wander the halls here to learn about Irish mummies, intricate prehistoric golden jewelry, and much more!

If you’re more into vintage vibes than medieval history, the Little Museum of Dublin is a great place alternative. Let the guides at the Little Museum of Dublin take you on a tour of modern Irish history. They will regale you with amusing anecdotes about everyday life in Dublin as well as the contributions of the Emerald Isle to global pop culture! 

Two men standing at the entrance of the Little Museum of Dublin on a sunny day
Little Museum of Dublin (photo: Derick P. Hudson / Shutterstock)

After so many museums, a little fresh air is in order! The nearby St. Stephen’s Green is the perfect place for a stroll. If you’re still itching to learn more about Dublin’s history, the park’s collection of monuments and statues will not disappoint. 

👉 Pro Tip: Save some money by buying a Go Dublin Pass. The Go Dublin Pass gives you free admission to 35 different attractions throughout the city. There are several levels of the Go Dublin Pass available for purchase, from single-day to multiple (up to 5) days. Current prices begin at $74.31 (1 day, 1 adult). Note that a few attractions, such as the Old Library, are not included in the Dublin Pass. 

Afternoon Option 2 – Parks & Shopping
View of the colorful collection of doors in Dublin
Georgian Doors, Dublin, Ireland

From Trinity College, head south to Grafton Street. There are a ton of restaurants here, but Bewley’s ranks as one of the most famous (and atmospheric). Grafton Street houses some of the best high-end shops in Dublin, as well as a variety of gift shops. You can buy gifts now, or just scout out the stores for later. Grafton Street also has some of the best street musicians in town!

Grafton Street takes you to St. Stephen’s Green area. Along with the nearby Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square, St. Stephen’s is famous for the brightly-colored doors of the local homes and establishments. Take a walk around the park here and go on an Easter egg hunt for every shade of the rainbow on the local doors. You can also peruse the many shops in St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre.

Work your way counter-clockwise from Stephen’s Green to Fitzwilliam Square and then Merrion Square before returning to the Trinity College area. Also, while I split the museums and parks into two different options, feel free to combine them as you see fit!


View of barrel-like signage of the Irish Whiskey Museum
(photo: Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock)

Now it’s time to wind down after a day full of museum-hopping and gift-shopping. A great way to transition is to visit another museum–-the Irish Whiskey Museum.

Here you can discover a flood of fascinating facts about the “water of life” (as its name means in Irish Gaelic). If you’re hungry, there are great food-pairing tours available. Alternatively, you could get a dram of Irish whiskey here, then head towards Temple Bar for the evening meal. 

One of the closest establishments is O’Neill’s Pub & Kitchen, which is also right next to the famous Molly Malone Statue. The Molly Malone statue commemorates the tragic heroine of a popular Irish folk song. Speaking of which, O’Neill’s has live music every night and some evenings feature performances of Irish dances. 

If you are up for it, venture further into Temple Bar to check out its wide array of traditional Irish pubs. Temple Bar also has several great Irish restaurants such as Quays, Gallagher’s Boxty House, and The Old Storehouse.

Day 2 – Exploring Temple Bar, Temples, and Tipples


Panoramic view of Dublin Castle from Dubh Linn Garden on a sunny day

Now it’s time to explore the western end of the famous Temple Bar District. One of the main attractions here is Dublin Castle. Here, at the former headquarters of the British government, you can feel like royalty yourself as you walk the lavishly-decorated halls.  Dublin Castle is open most days but closes to the public for official functions such as presidential inaugurations.

Besides the castle itself, the grounds of Dublin Castle have other attractions to explore. Check out the Chester Beatty Library–a great follow-up to yesterday’s viewing of the Book of Kells. The Chester Beatty Library houses manuscripts from around the world. Asian manuscripts, Middle Eastern parchments, medieval Ethiopian Gospels, and more all await you at the Chester Beatty.

Be sure to stop by the Gothic Chapel Royal before leaving the Dublin Castle complex. The stained-glass windows and ornamentation of the interior, though built in the 19th century, hearken back to the height of the Gothic movement centuries earlier. While outside the chapel, keep an eye out for a depiction of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland who drove the Vikings out of Ireland 

Speaking of Vikings, make Dublinia your next stop. This museum is dedicated to the history of medieval and Viking Dublin. Take in the views from the top of St. Michael’s Tower here. Snap some selfies after donning some medieval-style armor and apparel. It’s a must for families visiting Dublin, or anyone who likes all things medieval.


For the afternoon of Day 2 of your Dublin itinerary, we have two options: Option 1 – Christ Church Cathedral and the Jameson Distillery or Option 2 – St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Guinness Storehouse.

Afternoon Option 1 – Christ Church Cathedral and the Jameson Distillery
Exterior view of the Christ Church Cathedral with a clear blue sky in the background
Christ Church Cathedral

After Dublinia, visit Christ Church Cathedral right across the street. Christ Church Cathedral makes a great follow-up to Dublinia. It’s Dublin’s oldest medieval cathedral. Christ Church is also the resting place of Strongbow, one of the most famous leaders of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in the 1100s. 

The cathedral makes a great stop during the day, but, if you like choral music, the Evensong services in the evening are the best time for a visit (or revisit). From Christ Church Cathedral, head north and cross the River Liffey. 

View of the crowd inside the Jameson Distillery
The interior of the Jameson Distillery (photo: Irina Wilhauk / Shutterstock)

The next stop on your Dublin trip itinerary – the Jameson Distillery – awaits. Tour the grounds to learn the history of this world-famous whiskey, and wrap up the tour with a sample or two! 

Afternoon Option 2 – St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Guinness Storehouse
Exterior view of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral surrounded by greenery

Another option after Dublinia is to head south to the national cathedral of Ireland–St. Patrick’s Cathedral. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the jewel of medieval Irish architecture, with its lofty, vaulted ceilings and vibrant stained-glass windows. If you’re a literary buff, be sure to visit the tomb of Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal.

The Guinness Storehouse near the St. James Gate Brewery makes a great next stop. Take a tour of the facility, and wrap it up with a pint in the famous Gravity Bar atop the Guinness Storehouse. The Gravity Bar, at seven stories high, offers one of the best places for panoramic views of Dublin.

Whether you’re coming from the Guinness Storehouse or the Jameson Distillery, a walk in Phoenix Park offers a great way to unwind a little towards the end of the day. If you’re traveling with children, the Dublin Zoo (located within Phoenix Park) makes for a great experience. It may also engage younger visitors more than the more “grown-up” attractions mentioned above.

Another worthwhile attraction on the grounds of Phoenix Park is The National Botanic Gardens. Here you can roam amidst a wide variety of roses and even exotic plants such as cacti! Another great thing to do at the park is to take afternoon tea at the Phoenix Park Tea Rooms.


An old woman standing outside The Glimmer Man Pub on a sunny day
One of the many pubs in Stoneybatter (photo: noel bennett / Shutterstock)

After the jaunt in Phoenix Park, it’s time to get some supper. The twin Dublin neighborhoods of Stoneybatter and Smithfield, being the hippest part of town, are a great place to explore the international side of the Dublin food scene. 

Ramen Co. offers a taste of Japan. My Meat House does barbecue to rival the proudest American establishments. Vietnom offers Southeast Asian cuisine in conjunction with the best of Irish drinks at The Glimmerman pub. You can also get the classic Irish staple of fish & chips at places such as Fish Shop.

There are also tons of great pubs in and around Stoneybatter. Get a pint and gab with the locals at some of Dublin’s most famous establishments such as The Brazen Head and The Cobblestone. Stoneybatter is still close to the city center, so establishments can get crowded in the evenings, especially on the weekends. If you want a quieter dining experience, consider eating earlier in the evening.

👉 Pro Tip: Dublin is an overall safe city to visit. Still, it never hurts to be as prepared as possible. Check out our articles on Dublin Safety and Ireland Travel Insurance to learn more!

Day 3 – Taking It Easy in Dublin


View of the Samuel Backett Bridge over the river at sunrise

The past two days of your itinerary have been a whirlwind, so now it’s time to slow things down a little! Start the day off with a stroll through Phibsborough. The combination of old red-brick buildings and trendy cafes makes for a great walk and a perfect way to get your morning cup of joe. From here, head east to the Dublin Docklands.

Check out EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum to get a boatload (pun intended!) of information on every aspect of Ireland’s diaspora. If you have Irish heritage, be sure to visit the Irish Family History Centre at the museum. Use the extensive records here to trace your ancestry back to the Emerald Isle.


View of the boats docked at the Dun Laoghaire Pier with mountain views in the background
Dun Laoghaire

Once you’ve wrapped up your tour of the EPIC Museum, snap a selfie or two with the Samuel Beckett Bridge in the background. If you’re feeling hungry by now, get a bite to eat at one of the several trendy restaurants in the Dublin Docklands such as herbstreet or Harbourmaster.

A great way to wrap up your 3 days in Dublin is to visit the seashore. Head out to Dun Laoghaire (pronounced Lee-ree) for a breath of fresh sea air. Take a stroll along the seaside, and enjoy some of the best seafood in Dublin. Lobstar offers some excellent selections from both land and sea. You could also stop by Oliveto’s for a little taste of Italy in Ireland.

Exterior view of the James Joyce Tower & Museum near the sandycove on a sunny day
James Joyce Tower & Museum

If you’re a fan of Irish literature, visit the James Joyce Tower & Museum. The building overlooks Forty Foot, one of the more famous local swimming holes. I’ve taken the plunge here myself, and, while the Irish Sea is far from tropical, it’s not as cold as you might think.

If you’re still up for museums, there are several other noteworthy ones to see here in Dun Laoghaire. Explore Ireland’s intimate connection with the sea at the National Maritime Museum. Head further south to the village of Dalkey. Visit the Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre for a living-history experience of life in medieval Dublin.

👉 Pro Tip: Is Dublin just one part of your Ireland expedition? Check out Nate’s Ireland Travel Guide and 7-Day Ireland Road Trip Itinerary for some great ideas!


View of the men drinking alcohol and playing musical instruments in a dimmed room
View of the two men playing musical instruments

What better way to wrap up the trip than with some of the most authentic tunes in town? Many of Dublin’s pubs feature “sessions” of traditional Irish music in the evenings. 

Stop in at O’Donoghue’s on Suffolk Street near St. Stephen’s Green. Likewise, you could stop at any number of other pubs. For instance, Piper’s Corner near O’Connell Street regularly features the uilleann pipes, Ireland’s variant of bagpipes in its music sessions. Other great options include The Celt, The Cobblestone, and The Brazen Head

Not every pub in Dublin offers food, so before taking in some tunes, get some supper at a nearby restaurant. By now you’ve gotten a feel for what is available where. You could get some seafood before returning from Dun Laoghaire. If you choose a Temple Bar music venue, there will be no shortage of nearby dining options.

👉 Pro Tip: There’s no better place to hear traditional Irish music than in an authentic pub. Every venue has something unique, but not everywhere has a session every night. Dublin Sessions maintains a great website full of information on the best pubs, what they have “on tap” musically, and when.

Alternative Options (For a 4 or 5 Days in Dublin Itinerary)

If you want to go further afield on your last day in Dublin, consider a day trip to the Wicklow Mountains. The peaks here offer excellent views of the city, the sea, and the surrounding countryside. For the best combination of hiking and history, visit Glendalough

Start your hike at the scenic ruins of St. Kevin’s monastery. If you arrive early and are up for a challenge, take the White Route for some of the best views around. For an easier experience, take the Green Route along the Lower Lake and the surrounding forest. There are hikes to suit all tastes and athletic levels here, so you’re sure to find something suitable.

Where to Stay in Dublin

Check out my guide on Where to Stay in Dublin for a deeper dive into the lodgings and locales of the Irish capital city.

Best Dublin Hotels

Here are my top hotel picks in Dublin: 

Best Dublin Neighborhoods & Areas

Dublin is a small city jam-packed with character. Many of Dublin’s neighborhoods lie right next to each other, with just a few streets making the difference. They all have something unique and charming to offer visitors, though.

  • Neighborhood 1 (Temple Bar) – The heart of Dublin’s pub scene and home of many cultural monuments. An endless variety of places to eat, drink, listen to live music, and make new friends.
  • Neighborhood 2 (Merrion Square) – Brightly colored Georgian doors adorn the red-brick houses here. You’ll also find tranquil parks and fascinating museums in this neighborhood. This is one of the best areas to visit with family.
  • Neighborhood 3 (Phibsborough) – An up-and-coming hip neighborhood in northern Dublin where classic Irish atmosphere and modern vibes converge. It’s at once cozy and trendy. Phibsborough is a great place for foodies.
  • Neighborhood 4 (Portobello) – While trendy like Phibsborough, this neighborhood south of Temple Bar has a more authentic “local” feeling. Tourists seldom come here, so it’s the perfect place to avoid crowds. The Irish have a reputation for friendliness and an easy-going nature, so this is one of the best places to get to know locals.

Dublin Itinerary Map

Here is a Google Map with all the stops, hotels, and things to do in Dublin mentioned in this post.

How to Get Around Dublin

Dublin has an extensive public transportation system. The LUAS light rail system connects many different corners of the city. You can get a Leap Card at numerous locations throughout the city, from LUAS stops to Trinity and more. Dublin also has bus routes covering most areas of the city.

At the same time, the Dublin city centre is also easily walkable. 

If you’d prefer to drive while visiting Dublin, check out Discover Cars. They have locations at the Dublin airport and throughout the city for your convenience.

Dublin Itinerary Planning Tips

Tip #1 – Visit Dublin in Summer

Ireland has a cooler climate and a certain notoriety for overcast weather. Summer sees the best weather by far, even if it means more crowds around tourist attractions. Dublin is a smaller city, so even at its most packed, it’s mild compared to many European and American capitals. You’ll also have more hours of sunlight for exploring the city in the summer months.

For more, see my full guide to when to visit Dublin.

Tip #2 – Prepare for Rain

View of the people getting on and off the yellow double decker bus under the heavy rain in Dublin
Rain is a reality of life in Dublin (photo: Mirelaro / Shutterstock)

Even in summer, there’s no guarantee of sunny weather. When visiting Dublin, it never hurts to have an umbrella and waterproof jacket on hand, just in case.

Tip #3 – Make Reservations Early

Dublin’s a popular place! As such, hotels book up quickly, especially less spendy ones such as the Trinity College dorms (in summer). If you want to save money, book as early as you are able, or consider the buffer months of May and September, which do not see as many tourists visiting Dublin as the summer months.

👉 Search Hotels in Dublin on Booking

👉 Search Apartments in Dublin on VRBO

Tip #4 – Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Overall, Dublin is a safe place to visit. Of course, it does have all the same issues any other large city would have– pickpockets targeting tourists, petty crime, drug abuse, and the like. You’re more likely to encounter these things in crowded areas and especially after dark.

Tip #5 – Visit Temple Bar Earlier in the Evening

View of the people outside the Temple Bar
Temple Bar is less rowdy earlier in the evening (photo: Derick P. Hudson / Shutterstock)

One other highlight to mention from the safety article is that Temple Bar can get rowdy later on in the night. It’s the heart of Dublin’s nightlife scene, and there are tons of pubs in a small space there. If you’re a female solo traveler, or would rather have a quieter visit, hit up Temple Bar around dinner, but don’t linger too long.

Tip #6 – Check Restaurant Days and Hours in Advance

Dublin has tons of great restaurants. Some, however, may be closed on Sunday, Monday, or other days. Others offer great brunch and lunch options but may close early in the evenings. If you’re planning on dining somewhere specific, be sure to check their hours first.

FAQs About Dublin Itinerary Planning

How many days do I need in Dublin?

3 days in Dublin is enough to see the majority of the city’s attractions.

What are the best months to visit Dublin?

June through August are the best months for warm temperatures, concerts, and festivals. The shoulder months (April, May, and September) are best if you want to save money and don’t mind fewer events.

How do tourists get around Dublin?

Most attractions in Dublin are within easy walking distance. The city also has bus routes, taxis, and an extensive light-rail system.


That’s it for this Dublin itinerary. I hope you’ve got some great ideas for spending 3 days in Dublin! Feel free to adjust your plans as you see fit. You can see everything in 3 days, but Dublin will charm you into wanting to spend more time than that!

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