Let's be honest: going to Ireland without seeing Dublin is like going to a farm and not taking advantage of the petting zoo (it's just not done, I tell you!). But with all that lush countryside and so many quaint little Irish villages just begging to be explored, it's understandable if you only allocate a day or so to experience Ireland's capital city. Planning your itinerary on such a tight time schedule can be a bit daunting, but don't you worry, my sassy adventurer friends! I've created your go-to guide for doing Dublin in a day...
Step 1: Have a Breakfast of Champions at the
It's all about priorities, people. And Guinness, especially when in Ireland, takes priority. So start your day off right with a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, Ireland's #1 tourist attraction and home to the freshest pint of Guinness you'll ever have. Learn what goes into the Guinness-brewing process, see advertising campaigns from days past, and enjoy plenty of samples along the way. Then top it all off with your complimentary pint at the Gravity Bar, complete with 360° views of Dublin.
(If you're not a fan of Guinness, you can always pay a visit to the Old Jameson Distillery across the river instead. It's basically the same concept as the Guinness Experience, only with - you guessed it! - Jameson Whiskey.)
Step 2: Explore Dublin's Darker Side at
(Yep, Kilmainham. Try saying that one three times fast - especially after all the Guinness you've just consumed!)
Opened in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison located a short distance from the Guinness Storehouse. Many Irish Revolutionaries, most notably the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, were imprisoned and executed here. You can even see where the public gallows once stood, right above the entrance to the building. No matter what you call it (gaol/jail/slammer/joint/penal institution) it's a not-to-be-missed sight. Admission is by guided tour only which lasts roughly an hour.
Step 3: Go in Search of Gold at the
Now, my friends, it's time to get a little weird. Our next stop takes us to the Leprechaun Museum, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Yes, it's cheesy and mainly aimed at children/ drunk tourists, but it's also your chance to take pictures of yourself sitting on giant pieces of furniture which make you look like a wee little elf. Plus it gives you a perfectly acceptable excuse to put on your best/worst Irish accent and cry out in despair "They're always after me lucky charms!"
Step 4: Unwind at
After all that drinking and leprechaun-chasing, it's now time to unwind with (what else?!) another drink!
"Another drink?," you say? "Well okay, when in Dublin..."
For a lively Irish vibe, head to the Temple Bar area on the south bank of the River Liffey. Upon leaving the Leprechaun Museum, just cross back over the river and you're there. During the day you'll see street performers on every corner playing lively Irish jigs as tourists in high heels attempt to navigate the cobblestone streets. By night the area is awash with travelers and inebriated students out on various pub crawls. There's live music galore, stand-up comedy gigs, and plenty more to experience, making it the perfect place to spend your first night in Dublin.
And on a side note, Temple Bar is also home to the Gaiety School of Acting. Thems must be some happy thespians!