Play Hard

48 hours in… Dublin

With a couple of long weekends coming up, there’s no better time to book a Dublin city break.

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 29.04.2023

Sun shining, lazy riverside vibes, Guinness in full flow and an eclectic city in full voice… When it comes to an unforgettable city break, Dublin should be top of your list.

Whatever floats your touristy boat, you’ll find it all and more in this vibrant city, which prides itself on its sense of fun and inimitable character – making it as perfect for a romantic getaway as it is for a boozy girls’ trip or sightseeing adventure.

 

FLIGHTS TO DUBLIN

While you can always drive west and board the Liverpool to Dublin ferry if you’re fancying a longer trip in Ireland, if you’re just going for a weekend city break to Dublin then I’d recommend flying.

You can book flights for an absolute steal through providers like Ryanair (which was what we did), meaning just because it’s a “bank” holiday doesn’t mean you have to break the thing.

At the time of writing this, for example, I can see return flights from Newcastle Airport from as little as £33pp over the King’s coronation weekend – making a Dublin city break a realistic and affordable choice for a last-minute getaway.

HOTELS IN DUBLIN CITY CENTRE

I’m sure there are loads of great places to stay in Dublin, from hotels to Air BnBs. The city is a hive of activity come day or night, so it stands to reason that all these fun-lovers have somewhere to lay their heads down at some point.

But if you’re struggling which one to pick, I’d recommend The Temple Bar Inn.

Let’s face it, there’s so much going on in Dublin that you’ll want to be right at the heart of the action during your stay. Chic, quirky and comfortable, we found this boutique hotel gave us a cosy retreat without us ever missing a beat.

Take your pick from 101 cleverly designed ensuite rooms, all located within the famous Temple Bar Dublin quarter, and lay your head just a three-minute walk away from the popular O’Connell Street and Trinity College.

PLACES TO EAT IN DUBLIN

Take a Dublin city break and you’ll soon find the city runs the gamut of restaurants, cafés and food markets, with everything from Michelin-star dining to belter bar snacks to be found along its cobbles.

I’d suggest just walking through this vibrant city at any time of day and see what takes your fancy – you’re guaranteed to find a foodie hotspot with panache.

But if you prefer to plan ahead, then be sure to check out Peruke & Periwig – especially if it’s traditional Irish refreshments you’re after.

Offering visitors a unique drinking and dining experience, P&P serve up draught pints, craft beer, cocktails, whiskeys, spirits, liqueurs, wine and coffee on the ground floor, along with some tempting bar snacks.

Up on their second and third floor lounges, you can tuck into a modern Irish menu every evening. Don’t miss their roasts on a Sunday if you can help it – they’re something else.

BEST PLACES TO DRINK IN DUBLIN

For me, The Hairy Lemon pub would win every time.

Christened in memory of one of the city’s great characters – who was reportedly a dog-catcher in the 1950s, who boasted a lemon-shaped visage and a stubble of gooseberry-like hair – this pub has become one of Dublin’s most famous drinking establishments.

Even the 19th century house in which it resides is a little outside the box; inside is filled with years of memorabilia, a sitting room suspended in mid-air, a ballroom and even a blockbuster film set…

No Dublin city break is complete without visiting.

THINGS TO DO IN DUBLIN

If you do decide to plan a Dublin city break on a bank holiday weekend, then be warned: you won’t be able to move for all the tourist attractions in ROI’s capital.

So, why not go off the beaten track and see an Alternative Dublin City? With a little help from some experts, of course.

The Alternative Dublin City team take locals and tourists alike on weird and wonderful tours across the city’s famous cobbled streets to show them a lesser-seen version of Dublin – a version where art and beauty hide in the shadows; where true crimes have happened and where musical legends have passed through; where the secret history of gay Dublin has thrived and where inspirational women have silently triumphed…

Explore it all, without anybody else ever knowing.

But honestly, you’ll never be at a loss for what to do in Dublin. Other unmissable attractions in the city include:

  • Temple Bar – Dublin’s famous drinking quarter. Think live music, plenty of beer and whiskey, and great craic.
  • Dublin Castleto explore more than 700 years of Dublin’s history.
  • Jameson Distillery – for an interesting insight into how Ireland’s famous whiskey is made, with plenty of tasting opportunities.
  • Guinness Storehouse – if beer’s more your thing.
  • River Liffey sightseeing cruise – for if the sun’s shining and you’re ready to relax.
  • St Patrick’s Cathedraltry and catch a candlelight concert in this special space.
  • EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museuminteractive museum that lets you not just visit Ireland, but understand what it means to be Irish.
  • The Museum of Literature Irelanda must for any book worm, this is where James Joyce once studied and holds “copy number one” of
  • National Gallery of Irelandif you’d choose art over history.
  • Trinity CollegeIreland’s oldest university, founded in 1592.
  • Phoenix Parkperfect for running, cycling or walking off that hangover.
  • Street art – keep your eyes peeled as you walk through the city; from Blooms Hotel to Summerhill, there’s plenty of ‘gram opportunities.
  • The Jeanie Johnston follow in the footsteps of those who fled the Famine to North America on board this replica ship.
  • Viking Theatre tucked above a pub in Clontarf, this gem of a theatre attracts visitors from all over the world.
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