24 Hours in Dublin

Dublin Castle

A vibrant city with real personality, diversity and soul, Dublin is one of Europe's finest. See Essential Travel's round-the-clock guide to the Irish city and discover there's more on offer than Guinness. Join in a ceilidh, catch an Irish classic at Abby Theatre or join local Dubliners for a real whisky in the oldest pub in Ireland...

Christ Church Cathedral

This Dublin landmark (that dates back to 1030) is the perfect place to start the day. You'll find it at the top of the city hill - a lovely place to watch the sun come up over Dublin. Hang around until 9.45am if you want to pop inside, the gorgeous crypt and interior is worth the wait.

Queen of Tarts

This gorgeous eat-in bakery is packed with delights. Set up by pastery chefs Yvonne and Regina Fallon, its a satisfying stop any time of day serving both sweet and savoury treats as well as hot and cold dishes.

  • Address: 4 Cork Hill, Dame Street and Cows Lane, Dame Street
  • Tel: +00 353 1670 7499 and +00 353 1633 4689
  • Website:

Dublin Castle

Just around the corner from Queen of Tarts (above), Dublin Castle is a natural next stop. Viking foundations adn an Anglo-Norman fortress (among other architectural additions) makes this an unusually eclectic castle.

St Patrick's Tower

Once a working windmill (and the tallest outside of Holland, at that) St Patrick's Tower is set within the Guiness Brewery grounds, though not actually run by them.You can admire the 40 metre tall building from the outside, though there's no visitor acces.

Ark Children's Cultural Centre

This custom-built centre presents work by children, for children and about children. Theatre, events and workshops run throughout the day (starting at 10.15am) and are aimed at 3-14 year olds.

  • Address: 11a Eustace Street, Temple Bar
  • Tel: +00 353 1670 7788
  • Website:

Trinity University

Trinity University's cobbled pathways may be picturesque, but this is definitely a stop for more studious, literary types. The Old Library and the Book of Kells (a 9th century gospel manuscript) are the main draws. There's also the Oscar Wilde Centre and Samuel Beckett Theatre.

  • Address: College Green
  • Tel: +00 353 1896 1000
  • Website:

Guinness Storehouse

The original 1904 Guinness storehouse is now an ambitious, interactive museum about the process of brewing the drink. There's five floors of quirky, Guinness related education before you're rewarded at the rooftop Gravity Bar where you get a complimentary half pint of the black stuff.

Hurling, Gaelic Football and Croke Park

If you catch the Gaelic football (a game that uses a heavy ball that can be kicked or carried) or hurling (using sticks and a small ball) seasons, you're in luck. Head to the 82,000 capacity Croke Park in the north of Dublin and watch the games comence. The atmosphere is intense.


An arty decor, tasty organic burgers and odd little treat (menus made from children's almanacs and burger choices include one that comes with peanut chilli sauce), make Jo'Burger one of the coolest places to lunch. If you're here for dinner, expect DJs to play through the night.

National Gallery

More than 12,000 works of art make Ireland's National Gallery a must stop. Irish artists are well represented and temporary exhibitions are well curated. Entrance to the permanent collection is free.

Irish Film Institute

Classics and art-house films are the mainstay at this modern cinema-cum-centre. There's a cafe, bookshop and exhibition space.

Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann

This Irish music club (of sorts) promotes, teaches and encourages the continuation of traditional Irish music and dance. There are 13 outposts in Dublin alone - catch a ceilidh community dance, performance or workshops.

Ely Wine Bar

A broad range of wines are complemented by a menu that features beef, lamb and pork reared organically on the owners' family farm in Burren. There's also a gastro pub and brasserie at Hanover Quay and Custom House Quay respectively serving traditional Irish and European dishes.

Abbey Theatre

A recent renovation has given this national theatre a new lease of life. Expect a mix of Irish classics and work from new playwrights.

Whisky and stout at The Brazen Head

Do as the Irish do and enjoy a tipple: try a proper Powers whisky (even better than Jamesons) and a pint of Guinness at Ireland's oldest pub, The Brazen Head. The pub's drinks menu is impressive and traditional and the courtyard restaurant dishes up real Irish stew.

Comedy Dublin

Taking over two venues on two nights of the week (Sundays at Belvedere Bar and Tuesdays at Sheehan's Pub), Comedy Dublin supply the city with laughs. The regular troupe of comedians take a tip from Whose Line Is It Anyway in their weekly game shows.


If you fancy a fresh Guinness (you are right by the brewery, after all) in an old world pub, head to Mulligan's. It's a far better bet than tourist hangouts Temple Bar and Auld Dubliner, it's genuinely local (James Joyce was once a regular) and genuinely traditional (things have barely changed since the late 1700s).

Cafe En Seine

The grand, art deco interior of this lavish bar makes you feel like you're having a drink on the set of Moulin Rouge. There's a decent food and cocktail menu and DJs and dancing on the weekends.

Boom Boom Room

This live music haunt is a must for fans of alternative sounds. Folk, jazz and electronica dominate the bill with plenty of world music and experimentalism.

Dice Bar

If Bono (of U2) isn't impressing you with his bar in The Clarence hotel, try Huey of The Fun Lovin' Criminals' effort. While he's just an investor, the cool NYC vibe is obvious in the down-to-earth Dice Bar. Expect indie and rock music and cool DJs on the cosy dancefloor.

Button Factory

Button Factory is a club, live music venue, lounge bar and cafe. The bill is eclectic (from rock to comedy) and regular clubbing nights span most musical tastes.

Breaks Snooker Club

All night snooker joints are relatively plentiful in Dublin. Breaks is one of the biggest with more than 20 full sized tables plus video games.

  • Address: Whitehall Walks, Upper Drumcondra Road
  • Tel: +353 1836 9433

The Gig's Place

Open from midnight until the morning (around 6am) most nights, The Gig's Place has been a favourite with late nighters for more than 35 years. Originally opened to feed and water the musicians and performers of Dublin, it still does a roaring trade (burgers, breakfasts etc) and still plays host to random late night jams.

Marlay Park

This public park, on the southern outskirts of Dublin, is the starting point of walking trail, Wicklow Hills. Whether you're a serious walker or not, the beautiful grounds, a Saturday market and Marlay House make the park itself worth a visit. Have an early morning wander before the crowds.

  • Address: Grange Road

Last Updated: October 2009