Only have time to spend one day in Dublin? Don’t worry, you can see a lot with only 24 hours in Dublin, and I’m going to show you how.
I’ve been to Dublin so many times, I just can’t stay away! But with all those visits, sometimes I have to settle for a short trip. When I took Kevin to Ireland, I managed a jam-packed itinerary for our one day in Dublin that hits all the highlights.
If you only have 24 hours in Dublin, this is the perfect itinerary for you.
One Day in Dublin Itinerary
1. The Book of Kells and Trinity College
A visit to Trinity College Dublin to see the Book of Kells is a must for your one day in Dublin.
The Book of Kells is an elaborately illustrated manuscript of the New Testament written in Latin and decorated with religious symbols that fill up much of the blank spaces on many pages.
Every day, they turn the page of the book so that a new page is displayed. So if you visit multiple times, you’re likely to see different pages each time.
The book is located at Trinity College Dublin. The college campus itself is beautiful and free to visit, so definitely take some time before or after seeing the book to walk around. Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College is walled off from the hustle and bustle of Dublin City Centre and is a quiet retreat of stone paths, green common space, and studious learning.
After viewing the Book of Kells, you’ll go into the Long Room of the college’s Old Library. This stately room holds the library’s oldest and rarest books.
The gallery is decorated with dark wooden bookshelves, marble busts of famous writers and poets, and spiral staircases leading to the upper floor. This library is a book lover’s dream!
If you feel pressed for time, we only needed 15 minutes total to see the Book of Kells and the Long Room. You can definitely spend more time there looking through the exhibit prior to going into the Book of Kells room and spending more time looking at the display cases in the Long Room.
Take this Fast-Track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour to see the Book without the crowds and with early-access admission to the Trinity College Library.
2. Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle is a personal favorite of mine, so I highly recommend fitting it into your 24 hours in Dublin itinerary.
The castle was the former seat of the UK government in Ireland until Irish independence in 1922, and it’s the current meeting place for official State visits.
Take a tour of the State Apartments to see the lavishly decorated rooms inside the castle. These include the grand room used for presidential inaugurations, the throne room with the throne built for King George IV, and the oldest room in the castle that still has most of its original decoration.
Dublin Castle Garden
If you feel like you don’t have time for a tour of the State Apartments, or if they’re closed because they’re entertaining official State visits (this has happened to me twice), then you should at least check out the Dublin Castle Garden.
Even if you toured the castle, you should still go around back to the gardens. This is my favorite spot for taking pictures of Dublin Castle. The gardens are believed to be the original site of dubh linn, the “black pool” where the Vikings harbored their ships and from which Dublin gets its name.
3. St Patrick’s Cathedral
It’s a short walk from Dublin Castle to St Patrick’s Cathedral. St Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Ireland and is one of the few buildings left from medieval Dublin.
You can get great views of the cathedral from St Patrick’s Park on the north side of the church. This is the area where it is believed St Patrick baptized the first Irish Christians from the River Poddle that runs underneath here. Walking around here and St Patrick’s Close, you can see the cathedral’s graveyard.
Inside, you can take guided or self-guided tours of the cathedral and learn about Ireland’s religious history.
4. Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral is Dublin’s oldest building, founded in 1030. While it’s super impressive from the outside, the inside is really where it’s at.
Besides its really beautiful architecture, Christ Church Cathedral has the largest medieval crypt in Ireland, which is the earliest surviving structure in Dublin.
It’s also the home of “the cat and the rat”, a mummified pair literally caught in an eternal game of cat and mouse, found stuck behind the church organ.
5. Temple Bar
For dinner, head to Temple Bar, an entertainment district on the south bank of the River Liffey.
The district is lined with bars, clubs, pubs, and restaurants, and at night the streets are packed with people out having a good time.
You’ll know you’re in the right area when you find the red walled Temple Bar Pub, the poster-pub for the Temple Bar district. You don’t have to eat at this pub if it’s too crowded; there are plenty of other great pubs right around here!
6. Ha’penny Bridge
Ha’penny Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that goes over the River Liffey.
The white cast iron bridge was built in 1816. It used to cost a ha’penny (halfpenny) toll to cross the bridge, a toll that was charged for 100 years.
It’s free to cross now though, unless you want to be like Kevin and toss a penny into the river like this is some sort of wishing well (I do love this weirdo).
7. The Spire
A trip to Dublin wouldn’t be complete without a stopping by to see the Erection in the Intersection — that’s the nickname Dubliners have given to the Spire, the world’s tallest piece of public art.
The Spire stands 120 meters (398 feet) high in the center of O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main thoroughfare.
You can read about more of Dublin’s funny nicknames for statues here — it’s totally worth it, I promise!
Top Dublin Tours
With so much to see, Dublin can be overwhelming for any first-time traveler. To take some of the stress out of planning your visit, opt for a guided tour! Check out this list of the top Dublin tours to help you make the most of your time in this beautiful Irish city.
- Cliffs of Moher Tour Including Wild Atlantic Way and Galway City from Dublin
- Northern Ireland Highlights Day Trip Including Giant’s Causeway from Dublin
- Kilkenny, Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough, Sheep Dog Trials, Day Trip from Dublin
Save on Dublin’s Top Attractions
Want to save big on Dublin’s top attractions? With the Go City Dublin attraction pass, you can save up to 55% on the cost of entrance tickets to museums, tours, and attractions all around the city!
Visit bucket list attractions, enjoy top tours, and discover hidden gems handpicked by local experts. With one price and one pass, you have everything you need right on your phone. This is the perfect pass for your one day in Dublin!
Mapping Out Your One Day in Dublin
Ready to explore Dublin’s top attractions and hidden gems? Use the map below to help plan out your one day in Dublin, Ireland.
I hope this itinerary for 24 hours in Dublin helps you plan the perfect vacation!
Where to Stay in Dublin
Find the perfect place to rest your head on your visit to Dublin, from the top rated accommodations to unique stays you can’t get anywhere else.
More Things to Do in Dublin
Explore all that Dublin has to offer! Check out these posts for more Dublin itineraries.
- 7 Free Things to Do in Dublin, Ireland
- 6 Amazing Day Trips From Dublin, Ireland
- 8 Things to See and Do In Dublin, Ireland
Ready to visit Dublin, Ireland? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in Dublin using Booking.com.
- Start Packing: Check out my packing list resources so you’re prepared for your trip.
- Save on Attractions: Save up to 55% on admission to Dublin’s top attractions with the Go City Dublin Pass.
Did you find this one day in Dublin guide helpful? How will you spend your 24 hours in Dublin, Ireland? Let me know in the comments!