You don't need us to tell you how full Dublin is of rich history and great pints. Though Ireland's capital is sometimes overlooked in favor of Europe’s more famous cities, here at VIVA we're definite that it's a must for every traveler’s bucket list. But say you're in your twenties and only have 24 hours there, what should you see and what should you skip? Well, here's the insider's lowdown, with the best of Dublin's foodie, historic goodness crammed into one unforgettable day and night.
3pm: Stylish Digs
You’re gonna need a place to collapse after the day's insanity, so drop your bags at this charming Airbnb right in the heart of Dublin. With Temple Bar right outside your door you might be doing more drinking than sleeping, but you can at least store your luggage, and look out over Dublin Castle. If you’re looking for something a little quirkier try The Dean, a chic boutique hotel in the city center. The rooms are cozy and ridiculously well decked out (think original Irish art, a fully-stocked mini SMEG and vinyl for the Rega turntables) – not to mention featuring the comfiest hotel bed around.
4pm: Caffeine Up
Now that you’ve stowed your luggage, take a quick 10-minute walk past the famous Molly Malone statue to Clement and Pekoe for some of the best coffee in Dublin. They’re famous for their lattes, but take it from us that they also make the world’s best chocolate brownie. Snag at least one of those for good measure, and get a move on with the rest of your epic day.
5pm: College Calls
There is no shortage of history along Dublin’s picturesque streets and now that you have your caffeine fix, walk just a few blocks down Grafton Street to Trinity College. While seeing The Book of Kells (a manuscript from the Middle Ages) is neat, it will cost you both time and money and pales in comparison to the building the book is housed in. The Trinity College Library is one of the most breathtaking rooms you could set foot in, home to two levels of leather-bound beauties under a gorgeous barrel vaulted ceiling. It’s well worth spending some time meandering through, and, insider's tip: you’ll miss some of the crowds by going in the late afternoon or early evening.
6.30pm: Iconic Walks
Walk 15 minutes down the cobblestones of Fleet Street (just don’t stop at any barbershops) and across the famous, super Snapchat-worthy, Ha’penny Bridge. Just after, you'll come to The Winding Stair. Walk through the lower level, home to one of the oldest surviving independent bookshops in Dublin, and up, you guessed it, a winding staircase where you'll enter an airy dining room overlooking the River Liffey. The food is seasonally-focused, old-fashioned home cooking, with produce sourced from artisans in Ireland. The beer list focuses on local and international microbreweries with an emphasis on quality beers and ales.
8.30pm: Beer Time
Can you realistically go to Ireland and not have a pint? The answer is, quite obviously, no. After dinner, take a leisurely walk along the river and it’s just a few minutes to the heart of the Temple Bar area. Pubs are literally all over, but we recommend Oliver St. John Gogarty for both their dreamy Guinness and their live music. Featuring different musicians on all three floors of the pub, you’re bound to find something that's worth Shazam-ing. Then get bar-hopping – Foggy Dew, Bad Bob’s and The Temple Bar itself are all good spots within a few blocks. You're welcome.
11pm: The Clubs
After you’ve gotten your Guinness fix, head to one of the eclectic clubs in the city center. The Grand Social is just across the river from Temple Bar and offers multiple venues under the same roof, all with a boho circus vibe that's pretty irresistible. If you’re looking for something more upscale, Lillie’s Bordello is the most prestigious club in Dublin, with a dress code to prove it. It offers art deco vibes and is home to the only micro-distillery in Ireland, so the cocktails are genuinely next level.
3am: Comfort Eats
After you’ve shamelessly danced the night away, don’t forget to make a pit stop for some post party eats. Zaytoon is perhaps the pinnacle of 'drunk food' that Dublin has to offer. Its kebabs are known around the city as the finest you can get, and there’s a reason the line is nearly out the door at its Temple Bar location every weekend. Don’t worry – this place is open until at least 4am, so you’re safe no matter how late you like to drink.
8am: Bakery Breakfast
Start your (quite possibly hungover) morning just a few blocks away from your room, by dropping by Keogh’s Cafe, where you can fuel up for the day with a classic Full Irish Breakfast. It’s something you have to try at least once while you’re in the city, but we promise not to judge you if you skip the blood pudding. Take a coffee with you when you leave – you’ll thank us later for the extra caffeine boost.
9am: Creative Quarter
Hightail it past the chain stores on the world famous Grafton Street and head west to Dublin’s Creative Quarter. This is where you’ll find independent boutiques, cafés serving locally roasted coffee, and some of the best spots for people-watching in the city. Spend the morning ducking in and out of shops like Article and MoMuse, and don’t miss the Powerscourt Centre. Once the residence of the Third Viscount of Powerscourt (know him? Us neither), it’s now home to boutiques and cafés, antique shops, and a covered courtyard. If you need to stock up on souvenirs for friends back home, head to The Irish Design Shop for one-of-a-kind local keepsakes.
11.30am: Local Goodies
Head to the east edge of the Creative Quarter for lunch at Fallon and Byrne. One part garment grocery, one part wine bar, and one part divine restaurant, you cannot go wrong with a place like this. The restaurant prides itself on serving the season’s good stuff from land and sea, cooked with gentle respect for excellent ingredients, served by cheerful staff in a beautiful space. Important: Get here early to grab a table.
1pm: Art Adoration
Not officially dubbed the art district, but a few blocks east of your lunch spot you’ll find a number of galleries all within a few blocks, including the National Gallery of Ireland. Home to the national collection of European and Irish fine art, you can check out works by Rembrandt, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh and countless others. For more contemporary works, try The Molesworth, The Doorway or Sol – all of which house works by some of the most accomplished and exciting contemporary artists in the country.
3pm: Green Dream
Art fix done, end your 24 hours in one of Dublin’s most gorgeous parks – St. Stephen’s Green. Like Central Park but smaller, it’s an oasis of calm in the middle of the City with its quiet paths, lush lawns and lakes. Enter from the northwest corner to see the famous Fusilier's Arch, and spend some time soaking in the people and culture in this gem of a city.