Traveling is one of life’s joys. From the mini-vacay to a trip of a lifetime, every adventure to a new destination is special and worth remembering.
If you only have two days to enjoy Dublin, for example, you will want to plan your itinerary carefully. There is so much to do and see that it is impossible to experience it all in two months, let alone two days! So, make the most of it.
If you get in on Friday night, check into your hotel and grab some dinner before heading out to the neighboring pub or bar for a Guinness. But leave your souvenir shopping with a Dublin luggage storage place so you don’t have to watch them.https://unsplash.com/photos/LG-PdOvpebw
- Dublin Castle
Visiting Dublin Castle is like visiting over a dozen places at once. You can start at the Viking Excavation below the castle. It is where the Vikings defended the castle many years ago. Visit the Chapel Royal with its beautiful stained-glass windows and velvet floors, where it has been since 1242.
The State Apartments come next where you can see the Grand Staircase, Apollo Room, Throne Room, Portrait Gallery, and more. Do not miss the neoclassical architecture in the State Corridor that was designed in 1758. The Wedgwood Room is also a must-see spot, with its colors of Wedgwood pottery and neoclassical style from 1777.
Before heading to the Dubh Linn Garden, stop at the Medieval Tower, which is the oldest structure in Dublin. It has been there since before 1204 and has been converted many times. The gardens are just to the south of the Chapel Royal where you can see four small gardens around the main one.
- The Garda Museum
The Garda Museum is a fascinating place full of artifacts from the Republic of Ireland’s national police. The museum is hosted by a civilian employee and one Sergeant who can guide you to whatever you want to see. See photos dating back to 1812 to uniforms from the early 20th century, as well as items seized in their investigations like fake currency and an ATM skimming device.
- The Terrace Café
Stop in for lunch at the Terrace Café on the ground floor of the State Apartments. You can see a beautiful view of the gardens while you enjoy some delicious Irish cuisine. Some of the dishes you can choose from include seared salmon, roasted sirloin, mushroom ragout, lemon chicken, and roasted hake. Desserts include apple crumble, berries mascarpone, and lemon curd.
- The Revenue Museum
After lunch, head to the Revenue Museum just outside. It is located in the crypt of the Chapel Royal. Learn about the history of the currency of Ireland from old to new. See artifacts such as coins and paper money, audio-visual displays, and video games. Some of the popular exhibits include measuring instruments, counterfeit goods, and an illegal liquor still.
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is next because it is right next door. You have plenty of time to explore the building that dates back to 1220. Anything that old deserves a closer look and maybe some selfies. You can explore on your own or take a group tour. Enjoy a trip up the staircase to the Cathedral organ, see 200-year old statues from clergies to sailors, and learn how to “Chance Your Arm.”
In 1492, there was a fight between the Fitzgeralds of Kildare and the Butlers of Ormonde. The Butlers were losing so they hid in the Chapter House at the Cathedral. The Fitzgeralds asked them to come out and make peace. The Butlers did not trust them, so the leader of the Fitzgeralds cut a hole in the door and stuck his arm through to shake hands. Peace was made after this. They call this door the Door of Reconciliation.
- Dinner at Spitalfields
It should be close to dinnertime by now so stop at Spitalfields, which is just a stone’s throw away on the Coombe. Have a Caesar salad, ember roasted beets, grilled sourdough with caviar, or tartare of Irish veal for a starter. Your main meal selections are mouthwatering as well.
You can have smoked pork chops with hazelnuts and currants, salmon with Hasselback potatoes and caviar, roasted cauliflower with cheese and truffles, or pork schnitzel with peas and smoked eel. Dessert choices include chocolate custard, orange super split, lemon & strawberry ice, or coconut & lime sorbet.
Before heading back to the hotel for the night, visit Dublinia. This medieval experience is part of the Christ Church Cathedral on R108. See a historical reenactment of the Vikings and Medieval Dubliners, travel back in time to the Viking times, and see what it was like on the Viking warships. They even have a cool gift shop where you can get some unique souvenirs.https://unsplash.com/photos/d6u2_u02FIo
- National Leprechaun Museum
After breakfast at the hotel, head off to see some history. You can start off with the National Leprechaun Museum. This museum is sheerly entertaining and full of folklore. The tour guides will teach you the mythology of the place as well as the history of the leprechaun. They have a “giant” room where you can feel like you are a tiny leprechaun among huge furniture.
- National Museum of Ireland Archaeology
Over on Kildare, learn all about the beginning of Ireland at the archaeology branch of this museum. See the treasury with stunning gems and jewels or the Clontarf 1014, which has a plethora of artifacts from the ship. They also have a huge selection of gold from 2200 BC to 500 BC.
- National Museum of Ireland Natural History
On Merrion Street across the way, the history building has the flora and fauna of Ireland, and this museum is the place to go. See a monstrous hippo baring its giant teeth and an adorable family of badgers from 1911. The giant deer from the ice age, wooly mammoths, and spotted hyenas are also found here.
- The Little Museum of Dublin
It may be little, but it has a huge number of cool things to see. In fact, they have over 5,000 items! The guided tour was named the best museum tour in Ireland. See the first edition of Ulysses, a whole floor dedicated to U2, and James Joyce’s death mask.
- St. Stephen’s Green
Opened in 1880, this 22-acre park has a Victorian layout of lush greenery and vibrant flowers. Go for a boat ride in the lake, enjoy a walk, or learn more about the amazing sculptures all around the park. Don’t miss the waterfall. Grab some lunch nearby if you have time before you have to head to the airport.
Whether you are a newbie to Dublin or have visited many times, there is always something interesting to see and do in this capital city. The museums, parks, and castles are fun, but you may need to come back to visit the beaches like Dublin Bay, Sandymount, or Poolbeg Beach. Don’t forget the sunscreen!