With its fantastic transport connections and reputation as a vibrant city with lots to offer, it’s no surprise that Dublin is a hugely popular tourist destination for everyone from families, to hen and stage dos. Whether you are visiting to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and tradition, or to get a taste of the craic you will find you have plenty to choose from in terms of fun activities, great meals out, lively nightspots and interesting history. Here are some ideas for an itinerary for a weekend in Dublin.
Having presumably arrived on the Friday night, get yourself up fresh and early on the Saturday morning and head to Bewleys on Grafton Street for a full Irish Breakfast with all the trimmings. If you’re a bit of a shopaholic and you don’t want to be tempted then you might want to leave your credit cards at home, as Grafton Street is one of Dublin’s premier shopping streets, which has everything from high street fashion boutiques to big name department stores to splash your cash on. If you want to start your trip with a bit of history then the Kilmainham Gaol is an interesting option. Kilmainham is one of the largest occupied jails in Europe and has played host to some key figures in Ireland’s often tragic history, such as the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising who were executed here. Dublin Castle is the next historical stop, where you can see some of the finest and oldest architecture in the city and take a guided tour of the seat of British rule in Ireland and the building that was the location for the ceremonial handover of power to Michael Collins and the Irish Free State in 1922.
In the afternoon, it’s time to take the tour of the two legendary alcohol institutions of the city – the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery. No matter what your poison, these two legends represent years of fascinating Dublin history, an insight into the production of two of Ireland’s most famous products – whiskey and stout – as well as the opportunity to do some serious tasting.
When night falls then there are plenty of drinking and dining options, whether you want a fantastic curry or a sophisticated spot for some elegant dining. Brasserie Le Pont is a great way to start a night out in style with a glass of champagne and a menu of French classics; or for Irish artisan cuisine with a twist, Seven Social gets rave reviews. After dinner, Temple Bar is the place to be with a huge selection of bars, pubs and clubs that will keep you entertained into the early hours.
If your head’s a little sore after the night before then after a decent lie in, head out for a refreshing walk to the River Liffey and take one of the river boat tours to see the areas of Dublin you just can’t see from the street. Then it’s time for a slap up Sunday lunch at somewhere like Roly’s Bistro where you can dine on roast chicken, fillet of Irish beef, roasted seabass or Dublin Bay prawns for around €25 a head.
Take it easy in the afternoon with a leisurely trip to Dublin Zoo, which is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in the world and has a huge range of animals and attractions, from the Family Farm to the Gorilla Rainforest. There are daily talks and activities for all the family and if you make sure you get there for feeding time then you can join in the fun! Finally, to round off your weekend in Dublin in some style, finish off with a fantastic afternoon tea. The Clarence is well known for its hearty feeds, the Four Seasons is renowned for its duck sandwiches, the Camden Street’s Cake Café has some way out there cupcakes and The Westbury is great for lounging with your scones.
Whatever the reasons for your trip to Dublin you will find it is a city with a lot to offer. History and tradition mix well here with shopping, nightlife and dining out creating a huge range of activities to fill any itinerary for a weekend in Dublin.