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How to do Dublin in 48 hours

Tight for time in the Irish capital? This is how to do Dublin in 48 hours via restaurants, castles and all the rest

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver
&
Kristen Gill
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We’re not going to pretend that 48 hours is anywhere near enough time in Dublin, but we’re also mindfully aware that beggars can’t be choosers. Sometimes two days is all one can spare, and having a clear plan of attack for that time is imperative. Dublin has it all; rich cultural heritage, nightlife equal to any in Europe and a culinary scene that is ready to break out. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

What is the best way to spend 48 hours in Dublin? By missing your flight and having to spend 72 hours in Dublin, obviously, but we’re not about to recommend introducing any more chaos into an itinerary. Instead, we’ll go ahead and describe the perfect guide to two days in Dublin, taking in quaint castles, cosy bars, an iconic theatre scene and, yes, plenty of the black stuff. You’re in for a treat.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Dublin

How to do Dublin in 48 hours

Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud has been one of the city’s top dining destinations for nearly four decades. If you’re in the mood for an impeccable gourmet experience, this is the place. Using only the finest local produce, its specialities include blue lobster ravioli coated in a coconut lobster cream and grazed loin of sika deer with civet sauce. Save room for dessert, as the peanut parfait with salted caramel and popcorn ice cream is to die for.

See a play at The Abbey Theatre. Founded as a national theatre for Ireland by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory in 1904, their manifesto was ‘to bring upon the stage the deeper emotions of Ireland’. Since then, many award-winning Irish playwrights have presented their work here. Today’s co-directors have even grander plans to bring in more international acts as well as export their own creations abroad.

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Grafton Street is a pedestrian shopping street known for its brilliant buskers. Wander up to Dublin’s famed Brown Thomas department store or stop for a chat with the Flower Ladies of Grafton, who bring both wit and colour to the corners of Chatham, Harry and Duke Streets. At the top of Grafton Street you’ll find St Stephen’s Green, a park where you can watch the swans swimming in the pond or people-watch from one of the benches.

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The Guinness Storehouse, Ireland’s number-one tourist attraction, is not just a brewery, but also an impressive interactive museum. Learn about the Guinness family and how the story of Ireland’s famous beer is interwoven with the history of the city itself. Be sure to head to the rooftop bar for a panoramic view from one of the highest vantage points in the city, and don’t forget to try your hand at pouring your own perfect pint of the ‘black stuff’.

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Saturday night is the ideal time to visit the bustling Temple Bar area, chock-full of restaurants, bars and dinky boutiques. Meander the cobblestone streets, cross the Ha’Penny Bridge, and then pop into the Oliver St. John Gogarty’s pub to listen to traditional Irish music at the upstairs bar. Sing-a-longs with the house band are encouraged.

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One of the oldest castles in Ireland, the 260-acre Malahide Castle and Gardens dates back to 1175 and was home to the Talbot family for more than 800 years. Baron Milo Talbot was a passionate traveller and collector of plants from around the world. Definitely spend some time at the walled garden and interactive exhibition, but it’s also worth a visit to the charming seaside village of Malahide and its marina just a short walk away.

And if it’s tip-top mixology you’re after?

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