I adore Ireland and 3 Days in Dublin is an absolute dream. It gives you enough time to see everything, sample the culture, and take it a little easier.
My Dublin in a weekend itinerary is exactly the one I used and includes all the iconic places such as Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, and the Temple Bar District
I love to soak up the culture of a place, learn about its history, and enjoy the local food. If these are the things you also love this article is for you.
So let’s wander off and see the Dublin sights together.
Here are some things to know if this is your first time in Ireland.
3 Days In Dublin: The Ultimate Itinerary You Should Steal
Day One Of Your 3 Days In Dublin Itinerary
Stop One: Trinity College, The Long Library And The Book Of Kells
I’m one of those people who can’t put off that ‘one place I want to go’ until later so I went there first. Yes, I began my first day at one of the iconic sights in Dublin on my wish list Trinity College.
The grounds of Trinity College are very beautiful and there is a paid guided tour offered. I opted to take this tour to learn about the history of the college.
To be honest, while I did learn a lot I would recommend skipping this optional outdoor guided tour. If you are interested, you can meander the grounds of the college on your own.
Head instead directly to the incredible Old Library on campus. As impressive as the library itself is, it also houses the historical Book Of Kells.
There is an entry fee to enter, but in my opinion, it’s worth every penny.
Once inside I rented an audio tour and I was glad I did, I learned so much more than I would have alone.
The Book of Kells was an absolute highlight for me. Written in 880 AD it is a beautiful manuscript of all four gospels in the New Testament.
The pages are turned on average once every two months. The calligraphy is exquisite and the drawings of plants, animals, and people are incredible.
After seeing the book head to the Long Room Library. It houses over 220,000 vintage books and is massive and jam-packed.
This is one of the things to do in Dublin you shouldn’t miss. I took about 90 minutes here but an hour would cover it all.
Get Advanced Tickets: Dublin: Fast-Track Book of Kells Ticket & Dublin Castle Tour
Stop Two: St. Patrick Cathedral
I love old buildings and I especially love old churches so my next stop was St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is a Church of Ireland cathedral and the national cathedral of the Emerald Isle.
I paid to enter and that included a guided tour and I have to say this gothic-inspired church was incredible. Jonathan Swist, author of Gulliver’s Travels is buried there.
If churches aren’t your thing feel free to skip this stop and head straight to the castle. I spent 45 minutes here.
This is one of the places to go in Dublin if you love history.
Get Advance Tickets: St Patrick’s Cathedral: Self-Guided Cathedral Admission
Stop Three: Dublin Castle, Dublin Gardens, Chester Beatty Library
Dublin Castle was my next stop and I opted for the paid tour as it means you get access to the staterooms.
It also saves you time and you learn so many things about the castle. The tour lasts one hour.
Dublin Gardens are located immediately behind Dublin Castle and I found myself wasting a few minutes here just sitting and enjoying the landscape.
If you find yourself hungry or thirsty, there is a lovely eatery at the back of the castle with outdoor seating.
Chester Beatty Library is located directly adjacent to Dublin Castle and is free. It houses the collections of Sir Charles Beatty, who made his name in mining.
Guided tours are available for a fee. I hadn’t planned enough and missed the timing of a tour so check before and adjust accordingly.
At the minimum, you will need 90 minutes here but you could see everything if the timing is right in a couple of hours.
Your Dublin for the weekend vacation should include a visit here.
Get Your Tickets In Advance: Fast Track Dublin Castle Tickets.
Stop Four: The General Post Office
By this point, you are probably getting hungry so I would recommend a 15-minute stopover here on your way to your place to eat. I quickly crammed in two iconic spots before food.
The General Post Office is located in the center of O’Connell St., Dublin’s main street, and is one of Ireland’s most famous buildings.
While it is a current working post office It is more recognized as the main stronghold of the rebels of the 1916 Irish “Rising,” during the country’s quest for independence.
I just admired the architecture and moved on. If you want to know more there is a paid admission option so maybe move this spot and the one below around if you want to see more.
If you are doing Dublin in 3 days this is one of the places you could miss out if you are short of time.
Stop Five: Molly Malone Statue and O’Neill’s Pub
One last quick stop before we rest for lunch and it’s the statue of Molly Malone, located on Grafton Street. Not far from the General Post Office, it is just one of those stops for photos!
The state shows Molly selling seafood from her wheelbarrow dressed in rather provocative clothing for the day.
Current local tradition holds if you rub one of Molly’s breasts, you will have a bit of good luck! I didn’t do this but you are free to.
You won’t need more than 15 minutes here at the most I think I was there for about 5 minutes.
And now we rest for a while and eat. And where better to do this than an Irish pub?
O’Neill’s Pub & Kitchen is located directly across the street from the Molly Malone Statue and is 300 years old. You will find the complete Irish experience here from music, Irish food, and beer.
Stay as long as you want. We only have two more stops today so either carry on or go back to your accommodation and do the last two stops in the evening.
Stop Six: The Ha’Penny Bridge
These next two stops are I believe best done in the evening. I went back to my accommodation and came back out but feel free just to carry on if that is your preference.
You won’t spend long at the Ha’Penny Bridge but make sure you have your camera with you as the pictures from here are great.
The bridge’s official name is Liffey Bridge. The name Ha’Penny Bridge is derived from the cost (ha’penny or 1 1/2 pence) charged to early Irish pedestrians to cross the Liffey River.
How About A Discover Dublin By Boat Tour
Stop Seven: Trendy Temple Bar District
Before you go any further let me tell you this area is always crowded so be ready for that and if you have small children or don’t like crowds I would skip this spot.
The district is essentially a few blocks where eclectic restaurants, pubs, and galleries are jam-packed together. This area is considered the most popular tourist destination in Dublin.
It was a Friday late afternoon when I visited, and I could not believe how crowded the several-block area was. It was worth it but I didn’t spend long here.
The Temple Bar is the place to go while you are here but be prepared for a crowd. If you love energetic and vibrant places then this is one of the best things to do in Ireland.
If you are wondering what to see in Dublin put this place high on your list.
Day Two Of Your 3 Days In Dublin Itinerary
Stop One: Kilmainham Gaol Museum
We are in for another action-packed day here. The first place I headed to on day two was Kilmainham Gaol Museum.
It is just outside Dublin City’s walls and I walked there even though it was a bit further than yesterday’s locations.
Once used as a prison, Kilmainham Gaol is now a museum run by the Irish government detailing some of the most courageous and devastating events in Irish history.
The admission fee comes with a guided tour which lasts about an hour and tells you all you need to know about those who were imprisoned here.
Make sure you buy a ticket in advance. I did not and waited at least 20 minutes in line to purchase my ticket.
This is one of the places that must make it onto your Dublin 3-day itinerary.
If you want to see more of the sights take an Afternoon Tea Vintage Bus Trip.
Stop Two: Guinness Storehouse
Next is probably the most popular and favorite stop on the 3-day itinerary Dublin. I am not a beer drinker, but I could not resist the desire to tour the world-famous Guinness Storehouse.
Again I didn’t pre-purchase tickets and wasted time. It’s very popular and busy here so book in advance.
I loved exploring the seven stories dedicated to the history of making the “black stuff.” It was much more interesting than I had expected it would be.
You do get to taste some of the beer and there are several restaurants and cafes if you want to eat although I saved myself for the next stop.
Also, I highly recommend the shop it is perfect for souvenirs.
Get Advanced Tickets: Guinness Storehouse: Skip-the-Line Ticket with Free Pint
Stop Three: The Brazen Head Pub, Ireland’s Oldest Pub
This is a perfect place to stop for lunch if you didn’t eat at the storehouse. The Brazen Head is the oldest pub in Ireland and has been in operation since 1198!
Not only does it serve great food and beer but the walls read like a book. I adored it here and was lucky enough to get a table and eat.
If you can get in here then give it a go the atmosphere is like nothing I have experienced and the food was divine.
Stop Four: Christchurch Cathedral
Yes, I know here I go again with a historic church, I did say I was obsessed, right? It’s a thousand years old and worth a visit in my opinion.
The architecture is medieval and is beautiful both inside and out. There is a modest admission fee, which helps with the upkeep of the church.
I rented an audio guide which I found very informative and recommend. I spent about 45 minutes here.
Stop Five: EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum
Our last stop for today is just a ten-minute walk from Dublin’s City Center in Dublin’s Docklands neighborhood.
The Irish Emigration Museum was voted “Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction” in 2019. I found it super interesting and couldn’t believe how much Ireland has influenced the world.
Irish history is told through interactive exhibits and films. You can even practice some Riverdance moves which I can say are harder than they look.
There is always something new and interesting happening here so check the schedule before you go.
I think this is one of the sights to see in Dublin and I highly recommend it.
That’s it for day two, I was shattered so I got some food and went back to my accommodation for an early night.
Look here: Jeanie Johnston Tallship Emigrant Experience
Day Three Of Your 3 Days In Dublin
Depending on how you feel and how much time you have, I have given you several options for today.
The first takes you out of Dublin and the second keeps you in the city. I have done both these options so just choose whichever one works for you.
Day Trips Out Of Dublin
Stop One: Take An Adventure Out Of Dublin To Bray In County Wicklow
The charming seaside town of Bray is located 20km/12 miles south of Dublin, on Ireland’s east coast. Because it is so close to Dublin, it is an ideal destination for you to see while visiting Dublin!
I caught the DART to Bray and it seemed to take no time, and the trains run there frequently.
I love this seaside town it has spectacular seaside views and charming shops and restaurants for your pleasure.
Here I spent some time on the Bray Promenade as the views were amazing. The pubs and restaurants are very tempting too I must say.
If you have children they will love the arcade-casino. The adults will love it here too as you find nostalgic childhood games to indulge in. There is also your typical carnival ride.
If you are doing Dublin in 3 days Bray makes a great place to escape to for something a little different.
Stop Two: Take The Greystones Cliff Walk
When you are in Bray one of the things you should do in my opinion is the Greystones Cliff Walk. It is a 7 km/4 mile linear path that offers spectacular views of the Irish Sea.
The suggested time to set aside to complete this famous walk is 2 to 2.5 hours.
You don’t have to walk back because the light rail DART system takes you back to the start point.
I found the path is very well maintained, although, at the time of writing this, it is closed due to rainfall so check before you go.
It has a “moderate” rating, which means it is suitable for older children, and fit adults.
I felt wonderful after getting out into the bracing fresh air. This walk enhanced my Dublin itinerary to no end but then again I love the great outdoors.
Stop 3: Greystones
Before I got the DART back I stayed and had a wander around the town of Greystones. I found it delightful.
Greystones gets its name from a 0.5 mile/1 km length of grey stones that lie between the beaches and the waterfront. It makes for a wonderful sight.
If you are hungry or need a drink head to Church Road it is full of pubs and restaurants. Afterward, take a walk to South Beach it is particularly beautiful when the weather is warm.
When you are finished exploring at Greystones, you can walk back to Bray along the cliff walk or take the DART. The trains run very frequently.
I took the DART as I wasn’t sure the light would hold out for the walk back.
Visiting Dublin doesn’t have to be all about the city.
Continue Exploring Dublin
Stop One: Explore St Stephen’s Green
On day three of my first trip to Dublin I felt like I needed to take it a little easier and spend a little more time relaxing so I headed to St. Stephen’s Green.
Located off Grafton in the heart of Dublin’s City Center, this city park. It is an oasis in the middle of all the hustle and bustle.
This historic park was commissioned in 1880 by Lord Ardilaun and what you see today largely resembles how it was originally. You will find, paths, a lake, sculptures, and of course lots of plants and flowers.
I spent a good hour just walking around and another 30 minutes just sitting and relaxing. For me, it was the perfect place to refuel my lagging energy levels.
There are regular guided tours of ‘The Green Mile‘ each weekend morning led from the neighboring Little Museum of Dublin.
I didn’t take one as I hadn’t planned enough, so plan and prebook if you want to go. I just downloaded the free audio guide which I found helpful and interesting.
If you need to catch your breath a little, this is one of the places to go when you visit Dublin.
Stop 2: Take A Walk Down Grafton Street
Then full of energy I decided a little shopping was in order so I headed off down Grafton Street which is located by the park.
This pedestrian-friendly street boasts both national and international brand-name stores.
I found it a very lively spot with many restaurants and pubs. It is the perfect spot to have dinner and purchase some Irish souvenirs.
If you have time, head into Stephen’s Green Shopping Center. It is an indoor mall with over 90 shops. It provides a myriad of services, including internet access and ATM access.
I’m not that much of a shopper so I only spent about 50 minutes in the area but if you love shops this is one of the things to do in Dublin city center.
Here you will find lots of places to have breakfast in Dublin or brunch if you are getting hungry.
Stop 6: Take A Teelings Irish Whisky Tour
Now I may not be a beer drinker but I am partial to a pint every once in a while. So off I trotted to the Teeling Distillery. They offer guided tours where you can learn about the whisky-making process.
I found this fascinating and the tasting at the end was the perfect finale to my sightseeing in Dublin.
I would advise purchasing tickets in advance as it is one of the more popular Dublin sights.
Get Your Tickets here: Teeling Whiskey Distillery Tour & Tasting
Where To Stay in Dublin
Keavan’s Port Hotel
This modern and bright hotel features a garden, terrace, and bar and is in the center of Dublin. It’s a great location to see all the Dublin sights.
Keavan’s Port features a family room and all modern amenities.
Keavans makes a great choice for your Dublin weekend.
Bonnington Hotel & Leisure Centre
About a 10-minute drive from the city, this hotel is perfect for those who want all the spa-style amenities near the center.
Bonnington Hotel features an indoor swimming pool, and hot tub bath as well as a well-equipped gym, sauna, and team room. The spa offers an array of pamper treatments.
The hotel is bright and airy with contemporary furnishings and some great city views.
If you are visiting Dublin and want to see all the sights and have a relaxing time this is perfect for you.
Beresford Hotel is located just 10 minute’s walk from the Temple Bar area and is the perfect city center location. There is also an award-winning restaurant and bar and free Wi-Fi throughout.
The rooms are fresh and modern with all the amenities you will need.
It’s the perfect place if you are looking for somewhere that is great for sightseeing in Dublin.
Packing Tips For When You Are Visiting Dublin In 3 Days
Use my packing tips to learn how to pack lightly into a carry-on.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring when visiting Dublin. This unisex RFID-blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with RFID protection, these RFID sleeves would be handy to prevent identity theft.
This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
I was never a fan of packing cubes until I tried them out! Now I am sold. These Bagail packing cubes are the exact ones I use whenever I travel.
These luggage locks are TSA-approved. I always lock my luggage whenever I leave my hotel room or Air B&B. Especially if there is not a room safe.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek Selfie Stick and Tripod for my birthday. It has Bloothtooth connectivity so it is very easy to use. It is made of durable aluminum and is very lightweight.
This world traveler adapter kit can charge several devices at the same time.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. the 18.5-ounce size is perfect for travel and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack or your purse.
And the replaceable carbon filter ensures fresh clean water whenever you fill the Bobble.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium. Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great.
Perhaps you need a more substantial backpack for your international travel. This antitheft backpack has a charging port, is water-resistant, and can comfortably carry up to a 15.6″ laptop.
A sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes is a must-have. These waterproof all-season shoes are extremely affordable and yet fashionable.
Mostly everyone is familiar with the Skechers brand, and these Air Run high fashion sneakers come in a lot of colors to match your outfits and are still affordable.
I highly recommend these Vionics adjustable strap orthotic sandals when traveling in warm weather. These are the exact ones I wear.
They are very comfortable. I also sometimes bring along my Vionic Tides flip-flops. The toe post is so comfortable which makes wearing these super comfortable.
These unisex polarized sunglasses come in a lot of lens colors and frame designs and are extremely affordable too.
If you are fond of the aviator-style of sunglasses these polarized aviators may interest you.
As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Quick Tips For Your 3 Days In Dublin Itinerary
The official language of Ireland is Gaelic, the second is English. All the street signs and all government signs have two languages: first in Gaelic, second in English. This can take a bit of time to get used to.
Use the Dublin Spire as a landmark to get around Dublin City. It juts almost 394 feet into the air, above most city buildings, and is easily and visibly seen from around the city.
Contact your credit card company and check to see if your credit card does or does not have foreign transaction fees. If it does, inquire about the possibility of applying for one that does not carry foreign transaction fees attached to it.
When you visit an ATM in Dublin, check to be sure it is on the same network as your bank, so you are not charged a transaction fee every time you withdraw cash.
Withdrawing larger amounts of money will help you limit bank transition fees.
Purchase advanced tickets to attractions whenever possible. Admission tickets purchased online are usually offered at a discount, and you will save a lot of time waiting in lines to buy tickets at the individual attractions.
How To Get To Dublin City For Your 3 Days In Dublin
I, like most flew into Dublin International Airport. Of course, you can travel to Dublin by train, bus, and car but wherever you arrive you need to get to the city center.
I got a bus into the city center, I found it to be straightforward. It was less than $10 also so a bargain. You can get a taxi or Uber but it will be more expensive.
I stayed on the bus until the closest stop to my accommodation and walked from there. If like me you are traveling alone, I suggest finding accommodation near one of the bus stops to save carrying your luggage.
I found traveling to Dublin from the States simple.
How To Get Around Dublin During Your 3 Days In Dublin Itinerary
I’m a walker and find most cities I visit I prefer to walk around. Because of this I always pick central location accommodation for this reason.
I pay a little more but don’t have to worry about negotiating a new transport system.
I walked everywhere in Dublin but I know it’s not for everyone. You can purchase a Hop On, Hop Off Dublin Pass, which offers you bus transportation around Dublin.
The electric rail system DART is also a fast and easy way to get around Dublin. Or Luas, Dublin’s light rail tram system is also convenient.
Tickets Here: Do Dublin Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour