So, you are on your way to a destination across the Atlantic and you have a 24 hour stopover in Dublin, what are you going to do while here? This is where we have you covered! As a native Dub, (Bryan is from Drogheda, but secretly wishes he was a Dub, well he probably doesn’t but he should) I know all the sites. Bryan does too as he spends a lot of time in Dublin for college and with me, so we have come up with a list of places to see while you are on your 24 hour journey through this cool little city. Dublin is a major hub for Transatlantic flights so a lot of people may find themselves here unexpectedly, we can assure you that it is a nice little city to have a stopover, so sit back (or wander around) and enjoy what Dublin has to offer in 24 hours.
You have arrived in Dublin (Yay) so how do you get into the city?
Well, let us answer that question. Unfortunately, Dublin does not have an underground transport system (there is one planned for the distant future, so we have heard) so there are two ways to get into the city centre, by bus or by taxi. There are a couple of buses that will take you to and from Dublin Airport and the City Centre and you can buy tickets on the Dublin Airport Website. Taxi will cost you roughly €30.
Where should you stay?
That is really a question for you to answer as that depends on your budget and the location you would like to stay in. But we can guide you and give you some suggestions of course, we do not stay in hostels so unfortunately cannot help in that department but we have stayed in a couple of hotels in the city so please see our recommendations below:
The Shelbourne a Renaissance Hotel: This is for the luxury budget travellers as it can be quite a splurge. The hotel is beautiful and the nicest in terms of décor that we have stayed in. The queen room is small however this is Europe so it is expected. The hotel is very clean, decedent and full of very helpful staff, it is worth it if you have the money and if you book well in advance you can get it for in and around €250 for the night. Its centrally located at just a stone’s throw away from Grafton Street.
The Morgan Hotel: Based in Dublin’s Temple Bar area this quirky boutique hotel is fun, clean and centrally located. They have an excellent bar with cocktails downstairs and the rooms are very bright and airy, perfect for a night in Dublin’s fair city. A room here can go for about €149 for the night but depends on the time of year. Temple bar is noisy and full of crowds but we had no issue with noise here during our stay. The Morgan do also have sister hotels, The Spencer which is based on the Quays in Dublin 1 and The Beacon based out in Dundrum which is about 20 minutes away by Dublin Tram: the Luas. We have stayed in the Beacon and while it is just as nice as the Morgan it is a bit far out for a 24 hour stop over. The Spencer is also nice, while we have never personally stayed there we did have food there and the hotel seems just as nice as the Morgan.
Jury’s Inn: Cheap but cheerful and clean, if you are on a budget try one of the Jury’s hotels in the city centre. You can get a room for as little as €100 (we went after drinks with friends as we were too lazy to go home) There is one on Parnell Street, however do keep your wits about you when walking on Parnell street- it is safe enough but not very scenic and stay alert of your surroundings, especially at night. The other is based in Christchurch just a few minutes walk from Dame Street and Dublin Castle, this area is a little nicer and is close to major sights.
It’s time for sightseeing and you only have a day, what are the top sights to see?
Okay so Dublin is not very big anyways but depending what tickles your fancy there is a good bit to do. See our recommendations below for an action-packed day in the Capital of the Emerald Isle.
The Guinness Storehouse: The home of Guinness, the Guinness Storehouse shows you the journey and making of this famous Irish drink that is known around the world. Full of very interesting but also fun facts about the drink, you can do a self-tour or an audio tour of the storehouse. The tour includes a Guinness tasting as well as a “Pull your own Pint” experience (this was fun and definitely worthwhile) We had a lot of fun here and don’t forget to take your photo outside at the famous Giant Guinness Gates. This can take 2-3 hours in total.
Another option is the Jameson Distillery which is the Home of Jameson Whiskey, unfortunately it is closed until March 2017 due to refurbishment.
Dublinia: A place where you can travel back in time (not literally) and experience Medieval and Viking Dublin. This is fun and interesting and you see what the City of Dublin used to be. They have many tours available such as a Medieval Skyline tour and a 96 step climb up the medieval tower to name a few. Again, this can take a couple of hours.
Dublin Castle: Very Near Dublinia and the Guinness Store House is Dublin Castle, a quick walk through the grounds and garden can be wonderful and if you wish you can visit the Chester Beatty Library. 10-20 minutes is enough time to spend here unless you are visiting the Chester Beatty Library or inside the Castle, we have not experienced either so cannot give comment on these.
A walk around Trinity College: One of Dublin’s most famous landmarks, Trinity College is a must see, the college houses several old Medieval buildings and has very scenic grounds perfect for a wander. If you wish to see the Book of Kells and the Old Library titled the Long Room its €11 for an adult and if you have a student card it is €9.50. The long room is amazing, however, we felt this was quite costly so it depends on what you want to see and do and if the Book of Kells is not on your list then a walk around Trinity College in general is still a great thing to do. This can take about 30 minutes and if you visit the library and Book of Kells it will probably take 45 minutes depending on queues to get in.
Temple Bar: You cannot visit Dublin without walking through Temple Bar which is the main tourist area of the city. It is home to a number of bars and restaurants so make sure you drop in to one of the pubs for a nice pint. The atmosphere in the evenings are great as many people flock here for the many bars on offer. The time spent here is up to you.
Grafton Street and St Stephen’s Green: Dublin’s main shopping district, if you are looking to do a spot of shopping while in Dublin, this is the place to do it. Full of well-known brands such as Pandora, Ted Baker, Topshop, Tommy Hilfiger and Massimo Dutti as well as Dublin’s luxury department Brown Thomas, Grafton street is perfect for that shopping fix. Right at the top of Grafton Street is St Stephen’s green, a very scenic park in the heart of the city. Its perfect for a quick stop to sit on a bench with a coffee or tea and watch the world go by. Again, the time spent here is up to you.
Georgian Dublin and the Natural History Museum: Down from Grafton Street and St Stephen’s Green you will find Merrion Square and the Natural History Museum. This area is known as Georgian Dublin due to the rows and squares of the beautiful old Georgian Houses. A walk around Merrion Square is quite nice and you also find an entrance to the Natural History Museum here which is free (Yay) You could probably visit the museum in about an hour.
Bord Gias Energy Theatre: A Perfect end to your day in Dublin, go see a show in Dublin’s Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Located at the Grand Canal, which is a very nice area, the Bord Gais Energy Theatre houses the majority of Dublin’s musicals and shows. Check out their website to see what’s on during your visit. www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie. Shows usually last about two and a half hours.
One more thing, if you are in Dublin during the Summer, try check out a GAA match in Dublin’s Croke Park. GAA is a well-known Irish sports association that promises an exciting and fun day out at either a Gaelic football match or a Hurling match.
If you are looking for places to eat in Dublin, check out Nicole’s previous post on her favourite restaurants in the City.
We hope you enjoy your stay even if it is just for 24 hours!
Nicole and Bryan