48 hours in Dublin
Ireland's only restaurant with two Michelin stars, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud has a 36-year history as being one of the finest in the city. If you're in the mood for an impeccable dining experience, this is the place. Using only the finest of local produce, its specialty dishes 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.
Friday night is the perfect time to visit the bustling Temple Bar area, chock-full of restaurants, bars, and boutique shops. 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 live music bar. Sing-a-longs with the house band are encouraged!
Visiting The Book of Kells Exhibition and Old Library at Trinity College Dublin is a must. Written around the year 800 AD, the Book of Kells contains a finely decorated copy of the four gospels in Latin and has been on display in Trinity since the 19th century. The Book of Kells is Ireland’s most significant cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript and attracts over 500,000 visitors each year.
Grafton Street is a pedestrian shopping street known for its “buskers.” Meander 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 color to the corners of Chatham, Harry, and Duke Streets. At the top of Grafton Street is St Stephen’s Green, a park where you can watch the swans swimming in the pond or people-watch from one of the benches.
Nestled inside the walls of Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty Library Museum houses a rare collection of ancient manuscripts, artworks and rare books collected by world-traveller Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875–1968) throughout his long life. Established in 1950 and bequeathed to the city of Dublin upon his death, it is the only Irish institution ever to win the European Museum of the Year award.
The Guinness Storehouse, Ireland’s #1 tourist attraction, is not just a brewery, it’s an impressive interactive experience. 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 tallest vantage points in the city, and don’t forget to try your hand at pouring your own perfect pint of the “black stuff”!
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 larger plans to bring in more international acts as well as to export their own creations abroad.
Take a 25-minute Dart train north to have tea or a late breakfast at the Avoca Cafe at Malahide Castle. Its particularly gorgeous setting boasts an outdoor terrace and views over the castle’s stunning gardens. Eating at Avoca always feels like a treat, with an ever-changing but consistently delicious array of artisan foods from Ireland and abroad.
One of the oldest castles in Ireland and set on 260 beautiful acres, Malahide Castle and Gardens dates back to 1175 and was home to the Talbot family for over 800 years. Lord Milo Talbot was a passionate traveller and collector of plants from around the world. Spend some time at the walled garden and interactive exhibition. It’s also worth a visit to the charming seaside village of Malahide and its marina just a short walk away.
The quirky Little Museum of Dublin is housed in a landmark 18th-century Georgian townhouse. Unlike other museums, it consists of just a few rooms filled with artifacts that provide insight into Dublin and the fascinating people who helped shape the city. Guides are included in the price of admission and bring to life the story of Dublin through their vibrant and entertaining storytelling.