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4 Days in Dublin: The Ultimate Traveler’s Guide for 2024

The first time I visited Ireland was in 2018 during my post-graduation trip. Dublin was our first stop and we stayed for four days, minus the one day we spent across the country at the Cliffs of Moher. Since both my friend and I were recent grads at the time, and had yet to find real jobs, we planned that Europe trip on a budget. The second time I visited Dublin, later the same year after I had found a job working in Florence, I had a bit more money to blow.

Dublin is filled with friendly-locals, centuries-old architecture, and Irish charm around every corner. Grab a pint at the Guinness Storehouse and learn the rich history behind the world’s most famous stout, indulge in some traditional Irish cuisine – like hearty shepherd’s pie or fish and chips, or take a stroll through Trinity College to see the famous Book of Kells.

The possibilities are endless in Dublin. So sit back, relax, and keep reading to find out exactly what should be on your itinerary for 4 days in Dublin.

A homemade postcard from my 4 days in Dublin.

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Dublin

Too busy to read the full post? I get it! Screenshot my Lazy Girl’s Guide below to catch the highlights you need to hit during your 4 days in Dublin.

4 Days in Dublin on the Map

Map created with Wanderlog, a road trip planner app on iOS and Android

Day 1: Walking Tour, the Guinness Storehouse, Pub Crawl

There are so many reasons to visit Dublin! …or rub-a-dub-Dublin as we called it 😂. Although you could easily spend a week exploring the best of Ireland—4 days in Dublin was all we were able to budget for during our post-grad Europe trip. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to visit Ireland during my semester abroad, although it is a popular destination among American students in Europe! If you’re a student visiting Dublin, make sure to check all your study abroad essentials off the list before your trip to Ireland.

Get ready for day 1 of your life-changing Dublin itinerary.

Take a Free Walking Tour

Kick off your first day in Dublin with a bang on a free walking tour of Dublin with Sandemans New Europe!

This 2-hour tour with a local guide will cover some of the city’s best highlights like Dublin Castle, Temple Bar, and Trinity College. I love starting each trip to a new city with a walking tour – it’ll give you an idea of the city’s layout and other attractions you might want to visit during your trip. They usually offer two tours a day, one at 11:00 am and one at 2:00 pm.

Dublin city views during my walking tour of Dublin.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

As the National Church of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is definitely worth a quick visit. Although we sadly didn’t have time to explore the interior of the 800 year-old cathedral, we spent a half hour taking pictures and exploring the grounds around it. If you decide to go inside, admission to the church is pretty reasonable at only €10 (€9 for students). You can purchase tickets online here.

Have Lunch at O’Neills Pub and Kitchen

At over 300 years-old, O’Neills Kitchen is one of the oldest pubs in Dublin. Here, you’ll find a wide selection of Irish food that is every bit as delicious as it is traditional.

Two different self-serve counters offer up enormous sandwiches, piping hot soups, and huge portions of hearty Irish classics like fish & chips and Irish stews. Our sandwiches (pictured below), were piled high with brie, turkey, avocado, and cranberry sauce. Dubbed “the O’Neill’s Thanksgiving special,” it was hands down one of the best meals I’ve had in Ireland. I couldn’t even wait for the picture before taking a bite!

Sandwiches from O'Neills pub are a must-add to your 4 days in Dublin itinerary.
The outside of O'Neills Pub.

Visit The Guinness Storehouse and Gravity Bar

As Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction, the Guinness Storehouse is the perfect addition to your 4 days in Dublin itinerary. Tickets range from €20-35 depending on the day and time you book. Since the Guinness Storehouse welcomes over 1.4 million visitors per year (it was actually named Europe’s top attraction in 2023), I would highly recommend booking tickets ahead of time.

Once you arrive, seven floors of interactive beer experiences all lead to the top level, The Gravity Bar. Redeem your free Guinness ticket at the top and experience beautiful, 360 degree views of Dublin (even though it’s nearly impossible to get a picture near the window).

👉🏼 Click here to book your Guinness Storehouse tour!

Me holding two Guinnesses at the Gravity Bar.
The only thing better than one Guinness is two!
Two frosty Guinnesses from the Guinness Storehouse – one of the best activities to enjoy during 4 days in Dublin.

Fitzgerald’s Bar

Fitzgerald’s is where we ate our first full Irish meal in Dublin…complete with a couple rounds of Guinness of course. We chatted with the friendly bartender as he served us Irish stew with soda bread, a Cajun chicken burger, and round after round of frosty Guinness…until my friend decided she was more of an Irish cider person.

This bar and restaurant is located right on the River Liffey with lots of big windows, so it’s a great spot to people watch out of the cold.

Irish stew with soda bread from Fitzgerald's in Dublin.

Book a Pub Crawl

Booking a pub crawl is my personal favorite thing to do in every city! I’ve enjoyed pub crawls in major cities all over the world like Lisbon, Rome, Bangkok, and countless others.

If you sign up for a crawl at the beginning of your trip, it’s a great way to meet fellow travelers to hang out with for the rest of your stay (especially for solo travelers). Right away, we ended up booking a top-rated Viator pub crawl for only $15 each and it was one of our favorite nights during our 4 days in Dublin.

Starting at Bad Bob’s in Temple Bar, our amazing guide, Michael, led us to five of Dublin’s best bars in five hours! We had an amazing time and met lots of fellow travelers. I would definitely recommend this pub crawl for anyone looking to have fun in Dublin on a budget.

👉🏼 Click here to book your Temple Bar pub crawl!

Our pub crawl group on the streets of Dublin back in 2018.

Day 2: St. Patricks, Trinity College, Temple Bar, Brazen Head Pub

Hopefully you’re not too hungover to explore today, because day 2 of your 4 days in Dublin itinerary is going to be filled with some of the city’s best historical highlights and restaurants.

Kick off the day with a trip to Dublin Castle and a glimpse of the 1,200 year-old Book of Kells at Trinity College. Next up, grab a tasty lunch and get ready to explore historic Temple Bar during the day. Last, enjoy a hearty dinner at one of Dublin’s oldest restaurants – The Brazen Head.

Ready? Let’s go!

Explore Dublin Castle

From 1204 all the way until 1922, Dublin Castle was the seat of British rule in Ireland, but it was originally commissioned as a medieval fortress by King John of England. A major fire in 1684 destroyed much of the original structure, but parts of it survived and can still be toured by visitors to this day.

Entry tickets are only €8 for adults and €6 for students and they can be bought here on the castle’s official website.

See the Book of Kells at Trinity College

On your second day in Dublin, why not pop over and see one of the oldest books in the world?

The Book of Kells was written by four Christian monks around the year 800 AD. A €21.50 ticket (€17.50 for students) will grant you entrance to see the Book of Kells, the Old Library, Gaia, Secret Life of the Collections, and Book of Kells 360. You’ll also gain access to the Long Room, the main chamber of the Old Library built in the early 18th century. Click here to buy tickets!

If you’re dying to see both Dublin Castle and the Book of Kells, why not bundle for convenience? This top-rated Viator tour combines both experiences on a two and a half hour, skip-the-line tour!

👉🏼 Book your Dublin Castle + Book of Kells Tour here!

The Long Hall in Trinity College.

Trinity Bar Venue

After a history and culture-filled morning, we headed over to Trinity Bar to lunch and to try some of Dublin’s other local brews (other than Guinness). I enjoyed a delicious Hop House 13, while my friend opted for a crisp Orchard Thieves Cider. We were both a little hesitant at the sound of Guinness Pie, but after ordering it we were both pleasantly surprised (and very full!).

Guinness Pie and fries from Trinity Bar Venue in Dublin.

Explore Temple Bar

Confusingly enough, Temple Bar does not refer to one bar (although there is an actual bar with that name). Temple Bar actually refers to a hip and fun area of Dublin!

Across the river from Abbey Court Hostel, Temple Bar is made up of colorful streets full of fun bars and clubs playing live music. It’s a great place to hang out with a Guinness, listen to some Irish music, and chat with locals and tourists alike. Temple Bar is filled with delicious restaurants as well as bars, although the menus tend to be a little pricier in such a touristy area.

Me in front of Temple Bar. A visit to this iconic neighborhood is a must during your 4 days in Dublin.

Grab Dinner at The Brazen Head

Opened in the 12th century, The Brazen Head is the oldest pub in Dublin. It’s easy to tell why it’s been open so long, it’s absolutely chock full of Irish charm!

The menu offers a wide variety of Irish classics, like bangers & mash and beef and Guinness stew, as well as typical pub fare like chicken wings and burgers. It’s the perfect spot for a long, leisurely lunch or a hearty Irish dinner steeped in over 800 years of history.

In my opinion, the best part about The Brazen Head is one particular item on their appetizer menu…the fried wedge of brie.

Me in front of the Brazen Head – make sure to eat here during your 4 days in Dublin.
Bangers and Mash from the Brazen Head.
Bangers and Mash and Casear Salad.

Day 3: Day Trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway

It’s officially day 3 of your 4 days in Dublin, and it’s time for a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway! No trip to Dublin is complete without a stop at one of Ireland’s most beautiful treasures. Picture towering cliffs, green rolling hills, and ocean views as far as the eye can see.

After you’ve taken in the views to your heart’s content, your tour will head over to Galway – a charming Irish town in the province of Connacht. Wander the charming cobblestoned streets, shop for Claddaugh Rings, and enjoy a pint at one of the oldest restaurants in the city, The King’s Head.

the Cliffs of Moher

Although not officially in Dublin, you can’t visit Ireland without adding the Cliffs of Moher to your itinerary! The cliffs are actually pretty far from Dublin, around three hours each way, so we decided to book a day-trip to simplify things (and avoid the need to rent a car in a country that drives on the left side of the road).

Viator offers tons of great day-trip tours to the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin, like this 5-star rated excursion (with over 11,000 reviews!) that includes transportation to and from the cliffs, a stop at the Cliffs of Moher, admission to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, 2-hours in Galway, and a complimentary Galway walking tour for only $85. Your guide will offer some interesting tidbits about Irish history as you cruise down the Wild Atlantic Way.

👉🏼 Click here to book your day trip to the Cliffs of Moher!

Me sitting on the edge at the Cliffs of Moher on our day trip from Dublin.
Beautiful, panoramic views of the Cliffs of Moher.

Grab a Bite in Doolin (If Time Allows)

Unfortunately, if you booked a guided tour to the Cliffs of Moher, a stop in Doolin might not be feasible. However, if you plan on seeing Ireland’s most famous cliffs on your own, then I highly suggest making a stop in scenic Doolin for lunch at The Ivy Cottage.

On our way back to Dublin, our tour group stopped in Doolin village for a bite to eat (keep in mind – this is not the same tour mentioned above since it didn’t include a stop in Galway). We snagged a spot on The Ivy Cottage’s outdoor patio and ordered chicken and pulled pork paninis. Both were very tasty and it was a great place to end a fantastic day in Ireland.

A tasty panini from The Ivy Cottage restaurant in Doolin.

Head to Galway

If you have extra time in Dublin, consider adding a stop in Galway to your day-trip to the Cliffs of Moher. Many tours to the Cliffs of Moher will also include a stop in Galway, since it’s only an hour and a half drive away.

Since my first tour to the Cliffs of Moher did not include a stop in Galway, the first time I visited was on a day trip with Bus2alps in November of 2018. Although I would have loved to spend the night there (since I hear the nightlife is fantastic), a few hours was plenty of time to enjoy the highlights.

If you’re visiting during November or December, make sure to check out the Galway Christmas Markets! I was lucky enough to have timed my first visit in November, so we spent a fun-filled hour perusing the stands and sipping on piping hot cider. If you have the time, you may even consider booking a walking tour of Galway.

Lastly, don’t leave Galway without buying yourself a Claddagh Ring. Claddagh rings represent love, friendship and loyalty and are traditionally passed down from mother to daughter. Find a large and decently affordable selection at Claddagh Jewellers on Mainguard Street.

Heads up: If you wear the ring with the heart facing in, it means that someone has your heart (you’re in a relationship). If you wear the ring with the heart facing out, it symbolizes that you’re looking for love (you’re single).

Galway covered in lights during Christmastime.
Galway at Christmastime!

Enjoy a Traditional Irish Dinner at The King’s Head

No stop in Galway is complete without enjoying a hearty, delicious, and unforgettable meal at The King’s Head. I’m serious – my friend swears this was the best sandwich she ever had in her life. The building dates back 800 years and there is a famous 400 year old fireplace inside that’s still fully operational.

The main stage on the ground floor of The King’s Head features live music every day of the week, so it’s a great spot to throw back a few pints, warm up with a great meal, and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

The outside of The King's Head in Galway, be sure to visit during your 4 days in Dublin!
A hearty Irish meal from The King's Head Pub in Galway.

Day 4: Colorful Doors, The Jameson Experience, The Boxty House

It’s officially your last day in Dublin, but don’t be too sad – there’s still plenty of time left to explore the last of this vibrant city. Day 4 will be spent enjoying Dublin’s famous colorful doors, snapping Insta-worthy pics on a street covered in umbrellas, sipping whiskey at the Jameson Distillery, and feasting on more delicious Irish cuisine at Gallagher’s Boxty House.

Search for Dublin’s Colorful Doors

Dublin is famous for its colorful doors, but sometimes the best streets can be hard to find. On my first 4 days in Dublin, we wandered around for hours searching, finally stumbling upon the colorful doors on Lesson Street. This Tiffany blue door was our personal favorite and strolling around to see all the different colors is a great activity to add to your Dublin itinerary. Just try not to annoy the locals who actually live there!

I’ve done some research since returning from Dublin, and it turns out the best places to enjoy Dublin’s colorful doors are Fitzwilliam Square and Merrion Square. Be sure to charge up your camera, this is a fantastic photo spot in Dublin.

Me in front of one of Dublin's colorful doors.

Have a Hearty Lunch at The Hairy Lemon

If you’re wondering where to eat in Dublin, look no further than the famous restaurant The Hairy Lemon in the South City Centre.

This quirky restaurant, decorated in years of memorabilia with a sitting room suspended in mid-air, has quickly become one of Dublin’s trendiest pubs. However, you might be wondering…what’s up with the name?

Supposably, the restaurant was named after a Dublin local dubbed “Hairy” with a face shaped like a lemon and a complexion that mirrored one as well. He roamed around Dublin in the 1940’s and helped the police catch stray dogs!

Pro tip: order the “coddle” – a traditional Irish dish that consists of pork sausage, thick-cut bacon, sliced potatoes, onions, and a side of soda bread to soak it all up.

Find the Umbrella Street on Anne’s Lane

While wandering around trying to find colorful doors (and getting a bit lost), we stumbled onto Anne’s Lane filled with tons of colorful umbrellas. Although you can find umbrella streets all over Europe, it can be fun to stop for a few cute pictures and get out of the sun for a minute.

Me posing under the umbrellas on Anne's Lane.
The Anne's Lane umbrella street in Dublin.

Get Tipsy at the Jameson Distillery

I’ll tell you a secret…I absolutely hate whiskey. But, that’s not why I didn’t make it to the Jameson Distillery – we simply didn’t budget our time well. I guess that’s what happens when you have 4 days in Dublin and you spend half of them hungover.

Next time I visit Dublin, the Jameson Distillery is #1 on my list. Just because I don’t have a taste for whiskey, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy and appreciate and integral piece of Irish history.

The Dublin Distillery on Bow Street was opened by John Jameson himself in 1780, making it one of the oldest distilleries in Dublin. If you’re interested in touring this world-famous distillery, I recommend booking this guided experience with a whiskey tasting for only $33 on Viator!

👉🏼 Click here to book your Jameson Distillery tour!

Gallagher’s Boxty House

I’ll be honest, we completely botched our visit to Gallagher’s Boxty House – one of the best restaurants in Temple Bar. Why, you ask? Because Gallagher’s Boxty House is known specifically for one dish – Boxty…and we didn’t order it.

Don’t judge us too harshly, we didn’t even know it existed during our 2018 visit! After learning about this delicious Irish concoction, I will definitely be ordering it on my next visit.

Boxty is a type of potato pancake with an almost dumpling-like consistency. This dish is often served for breakfast with poached eggs, roasted tomatoes, and bacon or as an afternoon snack with ingredients like melted cheese, ham, and smoked salmon.

Keep in mind that although it’s rated as one of the best restaurants in Dublin, Gallagher’s Boxty House is not exactly budget-friendly. They also don’t serve tap beer, which for a Wisconsin girl is nothing short of blasphemous.

Fish & chips, a smoked salmon platter, and beers from Gallagher's Boxty House in Temple Bar.
Fish & chips, salmon smoked platter, Irish Craft Cider, Beaman’s Irish Stout.

Where to Stay in Dublin

Keeping our budget in mind, we decided to book hostel accommodation in Dublin. Hostels are usually much cheaper than Airbnbs if you’re traveling in a smaller group. After some research, we decided on Abbey Court Hostel. With a great location in the middle of Dublin, Abbey Court was clean, safe and overall the perfect choice for young and budget-conscious travelers. The hostels serves a complimentary breakfast from 7:30-9:30 am. We were never up that early to enjoy it…but if you’re an early riser it’s great to have a free meal!

Other highly-rated hostels to try:

👉🏼 Click here to book your stay at Abbey Court!

The outside of Abbey Court Hostel in Dublin.

Located in the heart of Dublin right off of O’Connell Street, Wynn’s Hotel is the perfect example of affordable luxury. Guests of Wynn’s are within walking distance of top sights like Trinity College, Dublin Castle, and Temple Bar and the hotel offers plenty of great amenities like free breakfast, room service, and parking. For only around $200 per night (depending on the season), it’s the perfect Dublin hotel to get a sense of history and comfort without breaking the bank.

👉🏼 Click here to book your stay at Wynn’s Hotel!

If you’re traveling on a larger or unlimited budget, why not stay in the lap of luxury at one of the best hotels in Dublin, Anantara The Marker. This luxurious hotel is located on Grand Canal Square in the heart of Dublin’s business and cultural quarter, and, when it comes to amenities, they’ve pulled out all the stops. Guests can enjoy an on-site spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, 23-yard infinity pool, sauna, steam room, and a rooftop lounge with panoramic views of the city.

👉🏼 Click here to book your stay at Anantara The Marker!

How to Get to the Airport

To get to the city center from the airport, just hop on the 700 bus to O’Connell Bridge. The bus takes about a half hour and only costs €9, which is much cheaper than a taxi into the city. Check the airport bus timetables here.

Uber is also available in Dublin if you’re a bit too tired from your international flight to sit through a bus ride!


4 Days in Dublin FAQ:

Is 4 days in Dublin enough?

It really depends on your travel style and preferences. Some people may feel that 4 days is enough to see all the main sights and attractions in Dublin, while others may want to stay longer to explore more of the city and take some day trips to the countryside. However, personally, I thought that 4 days was plenty of time to explore the best that Dublin has to offer.

Is Dublin an expensive city to visit?

Dublin can be pricey, especially compared to other cities in Europe. However, there are plenty of budget-friendly options for accommodation and dining. It’s all about doing your research and finding the best deals.

Can you see the Northern Lights in Dublin?

Unfortunately, Dublin is not known for being a prime location to see the Northern Lights. The city is too far south and there are often too many clouds and too much light pollution in the area. If seeing the Northern Lights is high on your list, it’s best to plan a trip to countries like Norway or Iceland where sightings are more common.

What is the best month to visit Dublin?

The best month to visit Dublin really depends on your preferences and what you want to experience. If you’re looking for warmer weather, then the summer months (June-August) are a good time to visit. However, this is also peak tourist season so expect larger crowds and higher prices.
Spring (March-May) and fall (September-November) can be great times to visit as the weather is milder and there are fewer tourists. Winter (December-February) can be cold and rainy, but it’s also a great time to experience the festive holiday season in Dublin and find some awesome travel deals.
Let’s be honest – Dublin is not known for its weather. So I’d say, visit whenever you want!

Final Thoughts

Even if you only have 4 days in Dublin, any trip to this magical city is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience. I enjoyed every Guinness, every hearty Irish meal, and every night spent in a lively Irish pub mingling with locals and dancing to live music.

There’s plenty to see on your trip to Dublin, whether you enjoy throwing back whiskey at one of Dublin’s oldest distilleries, soaking up history at Dublin Castle, or witnessing breathtaking views across the country at the Cliffs of Moher. Hopefully, this 4 days in Dublin itinerary helps you tackle the highlights and maximize your time in Dublin.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoy Dublin as much as we did! If you like what you see, follow my blog and my adventures on Instagram @madisonsfootsteps. You may also enjoy my related posts below…

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