Dublin Castle should be on your 4 days in Dublin itinerary!

4 Days in Dublin: How to Make the Most of Your Visit (2024)

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Wondering how to spend 4 days in Dublin, the capital of Ireland?

This itinerary for a perfect 4 days in Dublin, contributed by a current Ireland resident, has you covered. From the historic and popular Temple Bar area, to the neighboring towns accessible by day trips you’ll surely find plenty of ways to make the most of your 4 days in Dublin. 

To learn about the can’t-miss sites, eateries and activities as well as broader travel tips for Ireland, read on! 

4 Days in Dublin: Quick View

Spending 4 days in Dublin gives you enough time to explore the city itself, while also leaving time for a day trip or two. Here’s a high level overview of your 4-day Dublin itinerary: 

Day 1: Molly Malone, Trinity College, Cooking Class and National Gallery of Ireland
Day 2: Cathedrals, Dublin Castle, EPIC Museum, Traditional Music in Irish Pub
Day 3: Day Trip to Wicklow
Day 4: Phoenix Park, Kilmainham Gaol, and the Guinness Storehouse

4 Days in Dublin: Full Itinerary

This itinerary for spending 4 days in Dublin covers the city’s major landmarks, and leaves you time to take a day trip as well.

Day 1: Grafton Street, Molly Malone, National Gallery of Ireland 

For your first day in Dublin, you’ll start at St Stephen’s Green and make your way toward the River Liffey and Temple Bar.

Finish your first day in Dublin with a nightcap at one of the most popular bars in Dublin, where you can try a version of an Irish coffee. 

You’ll be on your feet for most of this day, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of water. 

temple bar dublin

Walk St Stephen’s Green

Start your first day off at this city park, perfect for people watching in Dublin. I love to grab a raspberry jam donut from the Rolling Donut nearby and eat it while strolling through the park.

If you’re lucky, you might even see some swans swimming in the ponds.

Admire the Architecture in the Stephen’s Green Shopping Center

Just outside of St Stephen’s Green is a shopping center located inside a light-filled, greenhouse-style building.

The interior is filled with beautiful white ironwork, and a large clock is built into the lattice-work of the rafters. 

Unfortunately, there aren’t many exciting shops, so you probably won’t need to spend too much time looking around. Still, it’s a unique building to see in person, especially since you’ll already be in the area. 

Shop along Grafton Street

Grafton Street is the perfect place to do a little higher end shopping. Here you’ll find higher end British, Irish and international stores such as Marks and Spencer, Brown Thomas, Prada and Tiffany & Co.

This area is also popular with street performers, so you can catch a few songs as you stroll from shop to shop. 

See the Book of Kells at Trinity College

The Book of Kells in Trinity College dates back to 800 AD and is one of the top tourist attractions in Dublin.

This 9th century book of illuminated illustrations of early Christian gospel is typically opened to a single page, which visitors can see from behind glass. While you’re there, you can als see the incredibly beautiful Trinity College library. 

You will want to pre-book this experience. It is very popular and prone to selling out on a given day. This guided walking tour of Trinity College and the Book of Kells is a great way to explore this popular attraction. 

Visit the Molly Malone statue 

One of the most iconic landmarks in the city of Dublin is the Molly Malone statue. This bronze statue depicts a fictional fishmonger from Irish folklore, Molly Malone, as she pushes a cart down the sidewalk. 

The statue honors Molly Malone as a working-class hero, and is free to visit and located on Suffolk St. 

Explore the National Gallery of Ireland

Spend the afternoon taking in some culture and history at the National Gallery of Ireland. This free collection includes pieces from the 14th to 21st century and showcases a number of Irish artists. 

Entry is free, so you can spend as much or as little time as you’d like perusing the galleries. 

Attend a Cooking Class and Dinner with a Local 

One of the best ways to get to know a new city is through it’s cuisine. Another is by connecting with locals. You can do both when you take this cooking class

You’ll meet Ann at her home just outside central Dublin for this unique experience. Chat with Ann and your fellow cooking class participants as together you make traditional Irish starters, main course and dessert to enjoy. 

Afterwards, why not invite your new friends to join you as you continue exploring Dublin? 

Have After-Dinner Cocktails at Bar 1661

Irish coffee in Ireland

An Irish coffee is a cocktail made with coffee, Irish whiskey, cream, and nutmeg, usually served warm. You’ll know all about that after your cooking experience, so you’ll be ready to compare and contrast. 

For the best version in Ireland, visit Bar 1661, a hip and trendy spot that also serves poitín, a traditional Irish spirit that’s also known as “Irish moonshine.” Bar 1661’s signature cocktail is a play on the Irish coffee, made with poitín, cold brew, cream and nutmeg. 

Day 2: Cathedrals, Dublin Castle, EPIC Museum, Traditional Music in Irish Pub

Your second day in Dublin is also set in the Temple Bar area, where you’ll continue to experience the city’s highlights. 

See Historic Christ Church Cathedral 

One of the oldest buildings in Dublin, Christ Church Cathedral features beautiful architecture and interesting exhibits. You can book your ticket in advance to ensure you’re able to experience this iconic site. 

St. Patrick’s Cathedral 

Nearby is another well-known cathedral worth a visit — St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This is the only cathedral in Ireland that still holds a daily sung services. For a fun time, book this 2-in-1 experience that includes skip-the-line tickets for the cathedral, as well as an Irish whiskey tasting at a local distillery! 

Dublin Castle 

Historically, Dublin castle was used as a military fortress, prison, treasury and more. Today, it’s the base for Presidential inaugurations and significant events.

Dublin Castle should be on your 4 days in Dublin itinerary!

As a visitor, you can either take an hour-long guided tour or visit on a self-guided tour in about half an hour. If you don’t feel like going inside, even walking by to admire it from the outside for a few minutes would suffice. 

Visit the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum

If you’ve ever been curious about the Irish diaspora or the country’s history with emigration, the EPIC Museum is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

You’ll receive a “passport” which you can use to make your way through the museum. For anyone interested, there are genealogical experts on site who offer consultations for a fee. You can book tickets here

Listen to Traditional Music in an Irish Pub

One of the best things to do in Ireland is listen to traditional (or “trad”) music in an Irish pub.

You’ll find musicians throughout Dublin, but one of the best places to catch a performance is at O’Donoghues Bar on Merrion Row. O’Donoghues Bar is the spot where The Dubliners were known to perform when they were getting their start. 

Alternatively, book a seat at the Irish House Party Dinner and Show to experience traditional food and entertainment. 

Temple Bar in Dublin Ireland

Yet another option, and a must, is to visit the famous Temple Bar pub which also often has live music. Of course, expect it to be generally busy and crowded but it’s still worth a stop in for a pint or two. 

Day 3: Day Trip to Wicklow

The almost mystical Wicklow Mountains are located about an hour’s drive south of Dublin, and they’re the perfect place to visit on a day trip. 

You can get around Dublin easily enough on foot and by public transit, but you’ll want to rent a car or join a tour for your day trip to Wicklow

Although there are public buses that connect Glendalough and Dublin, they run infrequently and can be unreliable. 

You’ll start your day with one of the best things to do in Wicklow: a visit to Glendalough. Then, make your way to a few other highlights in the area before returning to Dublin for the night.  

Hike the Spinc Trail around Glendalough

Glendalough is a glacial lake set in the Wicklow Mountains, and there is a hiking trail that takes you up and around the lake. Just a short drive or walk from the lake is a set of monastic ruins, including a stone tower and funerary stones, some of which date back centuries. 

Glendalough is one of my favorite hikes in Ireland. It offers incredible views, a peaceful forest walk and even some ruins from an old mill that you can explore. The trail takes between two and four hours to complete, depending on your pace. 

Be sure to bring snacks and water with you when you set off on the trail. 

Visit Avoca Kilmacanoge

Avoca is a combined retail and restaurant space in the small town of Kilmacanoge in Wicklow.

The origins of Avoca date back to 1723, when it was started as a co-operative weaving mill for the people in the area. Today, it’s a beautiful shop full of high quality Irish gifts, with two on-site restaurants and a stunning outdoor garden space. 

You can sit down for lunch or grab a quick meal in the self-service restaurant on site. 

Wander through Powerscourt Gardens

Powerscourt Gardens in Wicklow are located on the expansive Powerscourt Estate. Different sections of the garden are modeled after various regions of the world including an enormous Italian garden, a small stone castle and a Japanese garden, among others. 

Spend a few minutes wandering around the small town of Enniskerry near Powerscourt. In 2021, it was the filming location for Disney’s Disenchanted. 

Dine at the Seaside in Bray

The seaside city of Bray is the perfect place to end your day in Wicklow. Skip the downtown unless you want to see the 5th coolest McDonald’s in the world, which is located in Bray’s former town hall building. 

There are lots of restaurants to choose from on the waterfront in Bray, but my favorite is Daata. This Pakistani restaurant serves fabulous dishes. I particularly love the samosas and saag paneer. 

Day 4: Phoenix Park, Kilmainham Gaol, and the Guinness Storehouse

The fourth day of your Dublin itinerary is all about exploring the area east of Temple Bar. Eat a filling breakfast before you head off, either at your hotel or at one of the trendy brunch spots in town like Alma or One Society.

Then, you’ll explore the enormous Phoenix Park, visit the historical Kilmainham Gaol and practice pouring a pint at the Guinness Storehouse. 

sidwalk in Dublin Ireland

Take a Morning Stroll in Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park is known as “Dublin’s playground” for its expansive green spaces, wild roaming deer, and for housing the Dublin Zoo. You can even catch a glimpse of the Irish President’s residence and the residence for the US Ambassador. 

Tour Kilmainham Gaol

Just south of Phoenix Park is Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison that has been made into a popular museum in Dublin. It played an important role in Irish history as the site where many Irish revolutionaries were killed during the 1916 Easter Uprising.

There is a reasonable fee to enter, and tour guides are available if you’d like a more personalized introduction to the jail. 

Pour Your Own Pint at the Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storeroom

The Guinness Storehouse is one of the top tourist attractions in Dublin. Here, you can learn all about the process of brewing a Guinness stout, from cask-making to advertising to distribution. 

The tour ends on the top floor with the visit to the Gravity Bar, which offers a 360° view of Dublin.  

Get Goosebumps on a Dark Dublin City Tour 

Once you’ve seen the charming and historic sides of Dublin, take a walk on the dark side. On this 2-hour walking tour you’ll learn all about the city’s dark history, from murders and grave robbings to brothels and witches. 

With more than 1,000 5-star reviews, you’re sure to be in for a treat with this tour.  

Evening stroll along the River Liffey

4 days in Dublin should include a stroll along River Liffey

For your last evening in Dublin, go for a stroll along the River Liffey back through the Temple Bar area. You can start your walk at the Father Mathew Bridge and make your way west toward the Dublin Docklands.

Stop along the way if you find a pub that intrigues you, or simply admire the landmarks along the way including the Ha’penny Bridge and the Famine Memorial. 

Best Day Trips from Dublin 

Want to mix up your time in Ireland? Then consider these day trips from Dublin as an option to explore beyond the capital city. 

Northern Ireland Including Giant’s Causeway

Giant's Causeway Ireland

This highly-rated, full-day tour is jam packed with the top highlights of Northern Ireland so that you can see it all. Begin in Belfast with the famous Titanic Belfast Experience.

Then, visit the Dunluce Castle which appeared in the popular Game of Thrones series as House Greyjoy. Finally, enjoy a scenic drive to Giant’s Causeway — a World Heritage Site. 

Click here to book this Northern Ireland Day Trip 

Cliffs of Moher Day Trip 

Cliffs of Moher

Hop aboard a luxury coach bus for a full day trip to visit the Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy epic views, explore the small town of Doolin and wander through the streets of Galway on this one day getaway. 

Click here to book the Cliffs of Moher Day Trip

Blarney Castle Day Trip

Blarney Castle

Want the gift of gab? Join this tour and visit the enchanted Blarney Stone — kiss it and receive the gift of gab!

Take in the sights of the Irish countryside as you continue your day trip, visiting Cahir Castle and the Rock of Cashel Cathedral as well. 

Click here to book the Blarney Castle Day Trip 

Where to Stay in Dublin 

The most central area of Dublin is Temple Bar, so you’ll want to choose a hotel nearby. Temple Bar is lively but noisy, so read reviews carefully and bring earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.  

🏨 Jacobs Inn Hostel 

This centrally located hostel is the perfect budget accommodation in Dublin. You’re only a short walk from the action in Temple Bar, and you can enjoy a complimentary guided walk in the city (offered daily).  

Check prices and availability for Jacobs Inn Hostel

🏨 Dublin One 

Located just north of Temple Bar near the hip Phibsborough neighborhood is Dublin One, a quirky and modern hotel. Guests love the tasty breakfast served each morning and the hip hotel bar that serves cocktails in the evening. 

Check prices and availability for Dublin One Hotel

🏨 Wren Urban Nest 

Wren Urban Nest is a beautiful, centrally located hotel just 400 meters from Dublin Castle. The entire space is beautifully designed with an eye towards sustainability, and the hotel restaurant is a guest favorite. 

Check prices and availability for Wren Urban Nest

FAQ: 4 Days in Dublin

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by travelers planning to spend 4 days in Dublin: 

How many days do you need in Dublin?

Two days in Dublin at minimum is a great amount of time. The city’s main attractions are located in and around Temple Bar, which you could experience in a day if you’re short on time.

This leaves another day to check out the other attractions in Dublin based on your interests.  

With three days in Dublin, you’ll be able to explore even more of the city’s landmarks. You won’t have to choose between the larger sites like Kilmainham Gaol, the Guinness Storehouse and the Book of Kells.

Is 4 days enough for Dublin?

Yes, 4 days is plenty of time to see Dublin, especially if you use the city as a base from which to take day trips. If you only spend time in Dublin, you might find that four days is actually too much time.

Be sure that your Irish itinerary includes time in other parts of Ireland such as in Galway, Cork or the Cliffs of Moher. 

What month is best for Dublin?

The best time to visit Ireland is during the peak travel months, from April to September. If you had to choose one month, I’d recommend you go in May.

Specifically, try to plan a trip for the last two weeks of May, when the weather is starting to warm up. 

There’s a superstition in Ireland that the best weather of the year coincides with the Leaving Certifications — final exams for secondary school students.

You may hear this referred to as “Leaving Cert weather” in late May, when the days are sunny and beautiful for weeks on end. Of course, there are never any guarantees when it comes to Irish weather!

Is Dublin an expensive city to visit?

Dublin is a moderately priced city to visit, especially when you compare it with other cities in western Europe. Food, accommodations and activities are moderately priced, but deals are rare.

For context, Dublin is not as expensive as London, England, but it’s definitely more expensive than, say, Naples, Italy. 

Prices in Dublin are the highest during peak season, from June to August. Be sure to book your accommodations and car rental as early as possible for the best deals. 

Conclusion: 4 Days In Dublin

With four days in Ireland’s capital, you can really get a sense for everything that makes the city special.

From its beautiful green spaces like St Stephen’s Green and Phoenix Park, to classic destinations like Christ Church Cathedral, you’ll have experienced much of what Dublin has to offer. 

By taking a day trip out of the city, you’ll also have the chance to experience the Irish countryside and see some of the wildness that makes Ireland so special. 

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, pack warm layers and be ready for all sorts of weather while visiting Dublin. Consult this travel essentials guide as you prepare for your trip.

The city is prone to drizzly days, so a well made raincoat is a must. Waterproof shoes are also very helpful, especially if they’re comfortable enough to walk in all day. 

Looking for another Irish city to explore? Read up on the differences between Cork or Dublin to see how you might enjoy the former. 

About the author: Amber runs Amber Everywhere, a site dedicated to encouraging others to travel. Amber is originally from Colorado, but now she now lives in Europe and writes about her experiences traveling and living abroad.