24 hours in|Things to do

One day in Dublin

We were supposed to cross Dublin (and other places in Ireland) off our bucket list in 2020. That did not happen, but it was okay as we finally got to visit the Emerald Isle this past September when the world was back to normal.

It was a whirlwind trip as we explored France, England, Scotland, and Ireland on a two-week adventure. It was amazing but that also means we had limited time in each travel destination and we only had about a day and we’ll call it a quarter in Dublin.

We made sure to make the most of our time there and visit the must-dos during our day in Dublin. See what we did with our one day in Dublin travel itinerary!

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Arrival via the ferry

Like I said, we had just a bit more than 24 hours in Dublin as we arrived via the ferry from Holyhead at around 6 p.m. We went to our hotel to drop off our bags and then get some food after our long boat journey!

Luckily our hotel had a restaurant inside so we could eat when we got there. We enjoyed a nice meal of traditional Irish dishes, paired with a Guinness for Rick and a whiskey sour for me!

Temple Bar

After dinner, it was time to check out Dublin’s nightlife and we headed off to the Temple Bar district for some beers and live music!

We found a great spot where a musician was playing a fantastic mix of ’90s and early ’00s jams as well as some traditional Irish pub music.

Of course we got ourselves some Guinness and sang along – at least along with the songs we knew! It was exactly what we were expecting on our first night in Dublin.

We also did go out on a night when Ireland was playing football against the Netherlands, and unfortunately lost, but we were in our green cheering them on anyway!

Phoenix Park

The next day, our full day in Dublin, we started at 8:30 a.m. with a guided tour of Phoenix Park.

We had time to get off the bus at the park, though it was raining so most of us just snapped some pics and got back on the bus. We also didn’t spot any deer in the park but that was no big deal.

I would love when we return to Dublin in the future to have a bit more time to walk the grounds and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the park, but it was nice being able to stop for just a little while.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Then we drove over to St. Patrick’s and had time to explore inside the church and take our photographs.

The cathedral is beautiful and well worth the visit. 890 is when the first documented reference of a church on this site is known, and it became a cathedral in 1212. The current cathedral building’s construction began in 1220 and was completed in 1259. Archbishop Luke, 1219-1260, is credited with the construction efforts but unfortunately he was blind by the time construction was complete and never saw the end result of the cathedral.

The cathedral opens at 9 a.m. on the weekends, 9:30 a.m. weekdays, and last admission is 5 p.m. with the exception of Sundays where last admission varies (check the site before booking a ticket). An adult admission ticket is €10. Entry is also included in the Go City Dublin Pass.

After the Cathedral, we took a little walk to visit the Molly Malone statue. Poor Molly has been fondled for almost ten years as tourists will rub her bosom for “good luck.”


Guinness Storehouse

Next up on our itinerary was a stop at the Guinness Storehouse at 11:30 a.m.! We had to go and get a perfectly poured pint at the Gravity Bar!

The tour was interesting and really went in-depth on Guinness’ history, production, and marketing for the brand. The storehouse is a museum meets tasting room meets restaurant venue.

Rick and I have been to Coors over in Golden, CO and the Guinness experience blew the Coors one out of the water. It was just floor after floor of beer history and information.

Of course we made a stop at the tasting room where we could smell the different ingredients that gives Guinness its flavor and ruby red (yes, ruby red) color. Then we learned how to taste the beer, much like doing a wine tasting.

We continued our exploration a bit and went to get our free beer up at the bar located on top of the building and then we headed back down for lunch. We stopped at the 1837 Bar & Brasserie where Rick tried a different beer and I opted for a black velvet cocktail which was a Guinness stout mixed with prosecco. Not going to lie, it was damn good!

Of course we also got Irish coffees at the end of our meal. It was still raining out so we needed something to warm us up before heading back out into Dublin!

We decided to take one of the carriages back into town and that was a mistake. They told us one price and then asked us for something different at the end, so I would not recommend going with them no matter how fun the ride looks.

We were dropped off at Trinity College to walk around the campus and try to get a peek inside the library (we had not bought tickets to keep our day in Dublin a bit more flexible). We were a bit chilly and wet so headed back to the hotel to freshen up before our dinner that night.

The Merry Ploughboy pub

That night we were booked for the Go Ahead excursion of a Traditional Irish Dinner & Show at The Merry Ploughboy pub, from 6-10 p.m.

This was really fun as we got both live music, singing, and dancing! The dinner was a set menu and I opted for the cheese plate starter, the fish for my main, and the apple pie for dessert. Rick got the seafood chowder to start, chicken, and he also had apple pie.

The food was good but you’re really going for the entertainment and these guys and gals are true performers. They encourage audience participation for some songs and are all extremely talented.

All in, it was a wonderful one-day travel itinerary for Dublin! We got to see the things we wanted to see and do the things we really wanted to do, and now we cannot wait to go back and continue exploring more of the city.

Let us know what we need to do next time we find ourselves in Dublin (hopefully with a bit more than just a day there next time) by leaving a comment below!

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Hey, I'm Stephanie! I'm a copywriter living in beautiful Denver with my husband Rick, and our dog Rocco. I love traveling, writing, reading, and being outside as much as possible - unless I'm on the couch binge watching Stranger Things with a glass of wine! Thanks for reading and being a part of the adventure with Back to the Passport! ❤️

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