Best Things To Do In Dublin In 3 Days

Oh Dublin. A city that’s filled with a rich history, culture, and quite a bit of alcohol. Besides all of that, it’s a truly amazing city. Dublin has something for everybody. Whether you’re looking for a fascinating art gallery or some medieval architecture, Dublin has you covered, that’s for sure. It’s a relatively small city, so making your way around won’t be a problem. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, don’t worry; the city has a decent public transport system that will get you from A to B in no time.

What are the things to do in Dublin in 3 days?
What are the things to do in Dublin in 3 days? Image Credits: Pixabay

Maybe you haven’t heard much about the Irish capital, Dublin. That’s okay. This blog post is going to give you a brief introduction to it and the top things to do in Dublin in 3 days. By the end of this post, you’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice and will be chalking out your own 3 day itinerary for Dublin. Let’s jump straight into it.

History of Dublin

Dubh in Irish means black and linn refers to pool. The name possibly comes from a tidal pool near River Podal at Dublin. The capital city of Ireland is its largest one and has a history that goes back to the Gaels of the 7th century. Later, it was taken over by the famed Vikings before the Anglo- Normans in the 12th century. The city became a part of the British Empire in the 17th century right till the independence of Ireland in 1922. It then became the capital city of this country.

In 2018, the largest city in Ireland was given the Alpha minus rating – which means it is one of the top 30 cities to live in the World. And with that introduction, I am sure you are tempted to know what you can do for 3 days in Dublin.

What are the things to do in Dublin in 3 days? – The Dublin itinerary

One of the most common questions that a first-time traveler to Dublin has is how many days is ideal for this city in Ireland. While 2 days is the minimum, my recommendation would be to plan a 3 day Dublin itinerary. That way you get to experience the best of Dublin’s attractions and feel the pulse of this city. You can even add a day trip from Dublin. Take a look at the most amazing things to do in Dublin.

If you are planning to spend 3 days in Dublin, you might want to consider a Dublin Go-City Pass. It is a great money saver and gives you easy access to over 35 attractions. Plus discounts on many more services.

Take A Ride On The Dart

You can’t visit Dublin for three days and not ride the Dart, one of the city’s most popular modes of public transportation.

The Dart” is the name of Dublin’s rail network. It gives tourists access to parts of the region that they may find difficult to access, e.g., the coastal areas. Let’s be honest, we all do need a break from any city after a while. The Dart solves that problem.

Dublin’s Dart is connected to 32 train stations in total, which are scattered throughout the county. Some of the most popular areas, which first-time visitors adore, include the likes of Howth and Portmarnock. Train fares start at 2.25 euros for a single fare and go up to 6.60 euros. The price of your ticket will depend on where you’re going from and to. You can purchase tickets at the train station or on the Irish Rail website.

Head to the Dublin Castle

Dublin castle - one of the things to do in Dublin in 3 days
Dublin castle – one of the things to do in Dublin in 3 days Image credits: Pixabay

The perfect start to your Dublin itinerary would be with this popular tourist attraction – one that was visited by celebrities like Nelson Mandela, Queen Victoria and the author of Dracula – Bram Stoker.

The Dublin castle dates back to the 12th century and is currently, still used for official state functions. Though the current structure is more of an 18th-century construction, when you visit the site, you can still find the remnants of its original medieval structure. In addition to those excavations, you can also, take a paid guided tour of the Dublin castle State apartments and visit the Gothic Chapel Royal.

There are some things to do in Dublin for free at this attraction. The castle is home to the Garda museum (a police museum) and the Chester Beatty Library which can be visited free of cost.

Visit The Phoenix Park – a must-include in your 3 days in Dublin

Phoenix park- one of the key Dublin attractions
Phoenix park- one of the key Dublin attractions

Phoenix Park is one of the biggest enclosed city parks in Europe. In total, the park is over 1700 acres in size and it’s home to many things, including the Irish president and Dublin’s zoo. If that doesn’t give you a rough idea of the sheer size of the park, I don’t know what will.

Just under 3.5m from the city center, Phoenix Park is the perfect place to head for a great day out, whether it’s with your family or friends. Stroll through the grounds and discover the rich history of the Georgian Period. Be sure to keep an eye out for one of the 600 wild deer that run free through the park. Don’t be afraid; they won’t bite, but keep your distance.

Allocate at least one day in your 3 day itinerary Dublin to explore the park since there are a ton of things to do.

Go And See The Doors At Merrion Square

The colorful doors of Merrion Square have become a bit of an emblem of Dublin in recent years since the blow-up of Instagram, and tourists adore them.

To find the vast majority of the Georgian doors, you’re better off starting at the beautiful Merrion Square, which is only a ten-minute walk from the popular St. Stephen’s Green. It won’t be long before you spot one.

Doors of Merrion square in Dublin, Ireland
Doors of Merrion square in Dublin, Ireland

The idea behind the colorful doors came from the architectural evolution of Georgian Dublin between the 18th and 19th centuries. During this time period, there was a mandate that all houses had to look the exact same, so owners decided to paint their doors to make out which house was theirs. Still today, the iconic doors stand out from the crowd.

Guinness Storehouse – one of the key Dublin attractions

Don't miss a tour of the Guinness storehouse during your 3 days in Dublin
Don’t miss a tour of the Guinness storehouse during your 3 days in Dublin

Another one of Dublin’s popular tourist attractions is the Guinness Storehouse. Whether you’re fond of the mother’s milk or not, this tour is not one to be missed on your 3 days in Dublin. The tour takes you through the 7-story building where you’ll discover the history of Guinness, how it’s made, and how it has evolved since its first creation. It may be a little difficult to resist quenching your thirst.

When the tour is complete, make your way to the state-of-the-art Gravity Bar, where you get a complimentary pint and one of the most stunning views of Dublin. Try to get yourself seated along the window, you won’t be disappointed. You can get your tickets and a free pint for Guinness Storehouse through this link.

Take A Picture On Umbrella Street

Just off Grafton Street, you may stumble across some cover from the Irish weather.

Anne’s Lane is known as Dublin’s “umbrella street.” If you’ve happened to travel around some of the top tourist destinations in Europe, you won’t be a stranger to these umbrella streets. Their colourful flamboyance tends to be a little bit easy on the eye among some people.

One of the instagrammable places in Dublin - the Umbrella street
One of the instagrammable places in Dublin – the Umbrella street

Dozens of colorful umbrellas float above the sky, brightening up the gloomy laneway as tourists compete for photos. The popular Zozimus Bar is beside the famous photo spot, so if you tap that into your Google Maps, you won’t be long in finding it.

Note that the lane is fully pedestrianized. I wouldn’t advise attempting to bring your motor down there. There’s a high chance you may catch a fine.

Stroll Through Temple Bar in Dublin

The Temple bar - one of the key landmarks of Dublin city
The Temple bar – one of the key landmarks of Dublin city

Temple Bar is easily one of the most visited districts in the whole of Dublin. Filled with vibrance and life, there’s no better place to get a feel for the Irish bar scene. It may be a tad touristy, but that’s for good reason. Once you see the narrow alleyways and cobblestone streets, you’ll soon understand why visitors can’t get enough of the place.

The district is one of the oldest in the city and is home to some of the busiest bars in Dublin, including The Quays and The Temple Bar. Be warned: Temple Bar isn’t cheap. They tend to take advantage of tourists by offering alcohol at extortionate prices, knowing that they’ll pay for it. Your best bet is to have one pint just to experience it. Don’t waste too much of your money there since you can get more for your buck elsewhere.

Live music is a common occurrence in Temple Bar. Whether it’s a mysterious old man busking at the corner or an upcoming band in one of the public houses, you’re almost guaranteed to hear an Irish ballad or two.

Soak Up A View Of Dublin From Ticknock

On the fringes of Dublin lies one of the region’s best-kept secrets, Ticknock.

Ticknock is the best trail walk embedded within the Dublin mountains. The walk takes the guts of an hour to complete as it’s roughly 6km in total. Along the way, you’ll come into contact with some of the finest natural beauty in the whole of Ireland. From oaky trees to fluffy squirrels, you’ll be well and truly at one with mother nature. At the end of the trail, hikers are rewarded with an outstanding view of the whole of Dublin. Who knows, you might even see the neighboring county of Kildare if you’re lucky.

Tiknok  - one of the trails that you can embark on when in Dublin for 3 days
Tiknok – one of the trails that you can embark on when in Dublin for 3 days

You should be aware that Ticknock isn’t near the city center of Dublin. If you’re staying in the city center, the best way to get to Ticknock is by either driving or taking the number 14 bus, which runs throughout the day.

When it comes to the difficulty of the hike, it’s not the worst. There are parts of the trail that can get a little intense sometimes, but overall, there’s nothing you should be worried about. Let’s just say it’s not like walking up a ridge mountain. This is a trail for families with kids of all ages to enjoy.

Make Your Way Out To Poolbeg Lighthouse

Dublin’s Poolbeg Lighthouse is a well-known attraction, especially among locals. They tend to head there for their daily stroll and a dose of fresh air. It’s located on the Great South Wall, which is just under a 15-minute drive from the city center.

The Poolbeg lighthouse in Dublin
The Poolbeg lighthouse in Dublin

The iconic lighthouse was built in the year 1767 and is known as the first-ever lighthouse to operate on candle power. Wow, how times have changed. The 4km trail is pretty easy to find. Once you stick ‘Poolbeg Lighthouse’ into your Google Maps, you’ll be led to an area where you can only get so far, then you’ll have to park your car. From the carpark, follow the cobblestone path that leads out onto the water, and it won’t be long before the big old red lighthouse.

Once you reach the bright red facade, you’ll have the chance to kick back and relax while you look out over the Irish Sea. Be sure to admire the cracking wall art that local artists created on the side of the walls surrounding the lighthouse.

As you walk back to the car park, you may run into the Poolbeg Lighthouse coffee van that appears at the most random times. There’s no better way to finish a day of walking than by guzzling down a warm cup of java.

Go church hopping in Dublin

There are quite a few gorgeous churches and cathedrals in Dublin. You can start with the most popular and unmissable ones like the Christ Church Cathedral and the St. Patrick’s church to the lesser touristy ones like the St. Michan’s Parish church (which has a crypt) and the St. Mary’s church. Each one of them will delight you with its architecture and history. If you are really short of time, then you must include these two for sure in your Dublin’s 3 day itinerary.

Christ Church Cathedral

This is the oldest church in Dublin – going back to the year 1028. The Christ Church Cathedral is bound to impress you with its fusion of Gothic, Victorian and Romanesque architecture. You can find some of the oldest tombs here – including one of a Norman Welsh Warlord.

The church also, has the largest crypt in the British Isles with unique mummies. If you go in the evening, you can catch one of its popular choirs in its gorgeous nave.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin Ireland

St. Patrick's church in Dublin
St. Patrick’s church in Dublin Image Credits: Pixabay

This is the 2nd oldest cathedral in Dublin and is currently deemed as the National Cathedral of Church of Ireland. Dating back to 1191, it is believed that this is where Saint Patrick used to baptize his followers. The magnificent church is the resting place of many known people like Jonathan Swift – the author of Gulliver’s travels. There are several guided tours of Dublin that cover this place.

Don’t miss one of the key Dublin landmarks – the Molly Malone Statue

Visit the Mary Malone statue - one of the free things to do in Dublin
Visit the Mary Malone statue – one of the free things to do in Dublin Image credits: Pixabay

She was never a real woman- just a fictional character in a popular Irish song. That turned out to be enough to make this bronze statue of Molly Malone one of the most instagrammable landmarks of Dublin. The statue does complete justice to the character of a fish hawker as depicted by the song.

Located on Suffolk street, right outside the Irish tourist information office – this is one of the free things to do in Dublin.

Experience a sunset at the Ha’Penny bridge

There are several bridges across the River Liffey that flows through the city of Dublin and you are most likely going to encounter them as you spend your three days in Dublin. In fact, if you opt for one of the many boat tours of Dublin, you will actually pass below them. However, the most significant and popular of these Dublin bridges is the Ha’Penny bridge.

The Ha'Penny bridge in Dublin, Ireland
The Ha’Penny bridge in Dublin, Ireland Image credits: Pixabay

Built in 1816, this is a cast iron pedestrian bridge for which the users were charged ‘half penny’ to cross over. It is currently free and is possibly one of the best places to experience a sunset in Dublin. You can add your evening dinner or snacks to this experience as there are plenty of food outlets near this attraction.

Ha’Penny bridge is walkable from the Molly Malone statue. You might want to keep that in mind when you are planning your Dublin itinerary.

Tour the Kilmainham Gaol

The old Irish prison that you can include in your 3 day Dublin itinerary
The old Irish prison that you can include in your 3 day Dublin itinerary Image credits: Pixabay

Kilmainham Gaol used to be a prison that was built in 1796 and was used by the British to imprison prisoners. The prison was discontinued in 1924. You can visit the place and relive this piece of Dublin history with a guided tour of the place. Since it is a very popular attraction, the tickets tend to sell out quickly. It is best to book it a little early.

Catch one of the many museums in Dublin

Dublin has tons of museums that you can pick from depending on your interest. You can choose from history to art and science as your subjects and pick the ones to visit in Dublin over the 3 days that you are there. In fact, many of these museums are free – which makes it quite easy on your pocket. Here is a quick list –

  • Dublinia – a highly recommended Dublin museum that showcases its Viking history and the Irish medieval history.
  • National Museum of Ireland – this has three different sections on art, archaeology and arts. Entry is free
  • Irish museum of art – this includes art from other parts of the world in addition to the Irish ones. It is located in a 17th century building that was used as a hospital
  • EPIC – the Irish emigration museum that showcases the history of over 9 million people who emigrated from Ireland since the 1700s. The museum has a ticketed entry.

Walk through Trinity college & discover the Long Room

The Long Room in Trinity college, Dublin
The Long Room in Trinity college, Dublin Image credits: Pixabay

The only college of the university of Ireland is totally worth a visit -especially for its epic library called the Long Room. The college itself was established in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I while the library was established later in the 18th century.

The Long Room is a ticketed attraction of Dublin but is well worth the price. For one, it is 200 feet long. It has over 200,000 books that are arranged over 2 floors. This collection includes the famous 9th-century Book of Kells – which documents the 4 gospels. The book is considered to be a national treasure.

Day trips from Dublin

The Giant Causeway - one of the popular Dublin daytrips
The Giant Causeway – one of the popular Dublin daytrips Image credits: Pixabay

If you plan your Dublin itinerary carefully, then you can even plan one of these places as a part of those 3 days that you spend there. These Dublin day trip options allow you to experience some of the best places to visit in Ireland – known largely for their raw and natural beauty. Check them and take your pick.

  • Giant Causeway and BelfastThe stunning natural columnar basalt rocks are well worth the trip from Dublin. You can cover this UNESCO World Heritage site along with a stop at the Dark hedges that got popular with the Game of Thrones. And finally, you reach the origin of the Titanic at Belfast. This is definitely one memorable Dublin day trip.
  • Cliffs of MoherThe picture of these cliffs are a very popular wallpaper on most of our laptops. You can visit this along with Galway and Kilmacduagh Abbey as a day trip from Dublin. Check out one such tour that can be booked online through this link.
  • Blarney Castle & RockA trip that lets you kiss the legendary Blarney stone and explore the stunning halls of Cahir Castle. A must-do for history and heritage aficionados.  
  • Wicklow Mountains – A little of the history and a little of nature is what you will get on this day trip. You can visit Irish portal tombs and stop at the scenic locations that were used in popular movies like Braveheart and PS I love you.

There are plenty of more options that you will find when you click through the above tours. In fact, you will be spoilt for choice.

Well, that’s a start to the best things to do in Dublin in 3 days. I am sure you are already putting together your list of how to spend three days in Dublin. To make your visit easier, here are some more tips on how to reach Dublin, where to stay and the other common FAQs that you might have about this Irish city.

Common FAQs about Dublin itinerary

What is the best way to reach Dublin city center?

Dublin international airport has a very good frequency of flights from across the world. You will find all the popular low-cost airlines that fly across Europe like Ryan Air available for travel to Dublin.

Once in Dublin, you can make your way to the city center by opting for their Airport Airlink Express bus that leaves every 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can get a private transfer that will take you directly to your hotel in Dublin. Or even try using an Uber.

Which is the best place to stay in Dublin Ireland?

It is best to pick hotels or service apartments that are located in Dublin City Center. This will help you save money in Dublin as most of the attractions are located in and around this area. Also, it is easy to get public conveyance from these areas. Even within the Dublin City Centre hotels, you will find options that work well for your budget – from B&Bs to mid-priced hotels like Jury Inn and luxury stays like Conrad Dublin.

What is the best time to visit Dublin in Ireland?

Dublin is great to visit between the months of April to October – that is the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons. The place generally, has low temperatures throughout the year – the winters hitting a single digit. The recommended seasons are fairly warm and comfortable. The city is prone to showers throughout the year and hence, it is highly recommended that one carries an umbrella or a wet coat during your visit.

Having said that, it would be a good time to visit Dublin during Halloween and X’mas when the city takes a celebratory feel. In March, you must look out for St. Patrick’s day – a festival that has originated in Ireland itself.

What is the best way to go around Dublin?

While I have already recommended using DART to move around Dublin, you do have other alternatives. For one, you can try the Dublin sightseeing bus – the Hop-on Hop-Off ones that cover most of the attractions that you would have included in your 3 days Dublin itinerary. Besides this, you can hire bikes and Uber taxis to move around.

What is Dublin Pass and is it worth buying it?

Dublin Go-city pass is a great way to save when visiting this capital city of Ireland. The pass can be bought online and allows you access to some of the most popular Dublin attractions like the Dublin castle & Guinness storehouse. You also, get additional discounts on various services like airport transfers as well as a free day on the hop-on hop-off Dublin sightseeing bus. It definitely is worth buying if you are planning 3 days in Dublin.

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3 days dublin itinerary
things to do in Dublin
Dublin itinerary 3 days

Booking Resources

  • Booking.com is a good place to book your Dublin hotels. They have numerous options across the city as well as the budgets.
  • GetYourGuide offers several tours in and around Dublin. You can even get your Dublin Go-City Pass through this link or opt for their guided like City Walking tours, Food tours, Bicycle tours and more.
  • Viator.com is another resource that you can use to book guided tours, city cards and transfers.
  • For any of your travel needs or general shopping, consider using Amazon through this link.
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This post was contributed by my guest author - Adam. Adam is the owner & writer of the Where In Dublin travel blog. The blog focuses on providing visitors with a tool where they can find every bit of travel information they need before visiting Dublin. You can get in touch with him on his blog or instagram
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