My Perfect Day (in Dublin)

My Perfect Day (in Dublin)
Dublin from my apartment overlooking the River Liffey.

It is coming on a year since relocating from New York to Dublin. I have been taking notes on my favorite places in Dublin and some of the nice things to do.

If you have just one day, you cannot go wrong with a morning at the Kilmainham Gaol Museum then over at Glasnevin Cemetery so you can get to Gravediggers for lunch and a pint. Everyone does the Guinness Storehouse but few know to try a flight of micro-brewed beer around the corner at Guinness Open Gate. You can stay for dinner which is paired with the special brews but Spitalfields down the road a bit is one of my favorite restaurants, even though they just lost their Michelin Star.

I am not into shopping but I recommend every visitor to go to two places for the best souvenirs you can get in Ireland.

Kevin & Howlin for handwoven Donegal tweeds including the finest, most genuine Irish caps you will find anywhere on the island.

Arnotts is the best department store on the island. There is only one wool and cashmere blanket to get and this is the place to get it. You will want the Foxford blankets up on the third floor. You choose the color and pattern but get the 90/10 blend. They are heavier and more durable. They are about €170 so do not forget to take the receipt and get your VAT back at the airport.

Here is my big list, which keeps evolving as I get about more and more.

Dublin/City Center

Easter Rising Tour (in order)

For history buffs who want to wade into Irish History. If you really want to understand Ireland you must visit listen to “Grace” before a tour of the Kilmainham Gaol Museum.

  • GPO Museum: site where Proclamation of the Irish Republic read out by Pádraic Pearse at the start of the 1916 Easter Rising.
  • Richmond Barracks: for completists only, at the end of the rebellion around three thousand men and women are brought here. Mostly torn down now, the room where the court-martial took place remains.
  • Kilmainham Gaol Museum: Independence Fighters from United Irishman to Easter Rising were executed at the Gaol, fifteen from the Easter Rising were executed.
  • Arbour Hill Military Cemetery: final resting place of men executed after Easter Rising, buried in mass grave.
  • Glasnevin Cemetery: National cemetery. prominent national figures. These include the graves of Daniel O'Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera, Arthur Griffith, Roger Casement, Constance Markievicz, Brendan Behan, Grace Gifford.


You can spend a morning or an afternoon touring both the cemetery and the gardens but anchor your visit on lunch or a pint at Kavanaugh’s.

The Coombe

Wander the Liberites but mind your purse.

Other Tourist Attractions

There is lots to keep you busy all around Dublin. Use this list and Trip Advisor to pick attractions that attract you.


Best Sandwiches
  • Poulet Bonne Femme at Avoca
  • Brother Hubbard Capel Street (near Boar’s Head)
  • Oxmantown Smithfield
  • Ernesto’s Rathmines
  • Doughboys on Charlotte Way (Iveagh Gardens)
Best Bagels
  • Laine My Love (near Connelly Station)
  • Pepper Pot Café (Powerscourt)
  • Outcast (Clarke City Arms in Stoneybatter)
  • Wake 'n Bagel (Herbert Park in Donnybrook)

Powerscourt Town House Centre

Farrier & Draper (bar)

Little Pyg (gourmet pizza)

Pygmalion (cafe/bar day, nightclub night)

The Pepper Pot (café and bakery)


Breakfast / Brunch

  • Farmer Browns
  • KC peaches
  • Eddie Rockets


  • Corfu Greek Restaurant
  • Cornucopia (vegetarian)
  • Little Dumpling
  • Bunsen (burgers) - multiple locations
  • FX Buckley (steak) - multiple locations
  • Pi (Pizza)
  • Giddy Dolphin (pizza or burgers)
  • The Church Cafe
  • Oscar’s Bar & Cafe (try the mussels)
  • Fish Shop (best fish & chips)
  • Coke Lane Pizza (best pizza)
  • Dash Burger (Capel Street)
  • Leo Burdock (Christchurch) - Bruce Springsteen’s favorite fish & chips


A long list but here are a few.

  • Oval Bar
  • Dillons Pub
  • The Royal Oak
  • Nearys
  • The Long Hall
  • Toner Pub


Clothing, Shoes, High-End Fashion, Popular Mall Chain Stores, Irish Wool Products

Grafton Street

  • Brown Thomas
  • Weir & Sons
  • River Island
  • Aran Sweater Market
  • Marks & Spencer (€6 coffee, scone)
  • Avoca
  • Hodges Figgis Bookstore - oldest bookstore, mentioned in Ulysses

Stephen's Green Shopping Centre

  • The Donegal Shop

Avoca Suffolk Street

  • Avoca Food Market
  • Avoca Store

Henry Street

Ilac Centre - over 80 stores, (20 fashion & accessory outlets, 4 homeware departments and 11 places to eat)

  • Debenhams
  • River Island
  • TK Maxx
  • H&M
  • Argos
  • Dealz
  • Quiz
  • Korky’s (shoes)

Jervis Shopping Centre

  • Pull and Bear
  • Stradivarious
  • New Look
  • JD Sports
  • Champion Sports
  • Schuh (shoes)
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Penneys
  • Dunnes Stores
  • Debenhams
  • Arnotts (best department store)
  • Life Style Sports
  • The Shoe Garden (shoes)
  • Zara
  • Topshop
  • Miss Selfridge
  • River Island
  • Inersport Elvery
  • H&M
  • Mango
  • Korky’s (shoes)
  • Skechers (shoes)
  • Clarks (shoes)

Smithfield Square

Jameson Distillery



Lighthouse Theater


James J. Fox

The Decent Cigar Emporium

Peterson of Dublin

Entertainment Venues

Look up what’s playing while you’re in town and a book a play, rock concert or opera.

Want to sit, relax and watch a good film, try any of these three theaters.


The Irish take their sports seriously and here are the most iconic venues.

Trad Music

  • The Brazen Head - the oldest pub in Ireland, attracts many tourists from nearby Temple Bar.
  • The Cobblestone - traditional Irish music
  • Walsh’s Pub - traditional Irish music on Sunday, Monday only, mostly locals
  • Johnny Fox’s Pub - the highest pub in Dublin, attracts many tourists, bus into Dublin Mountains, Hooley Show (Irish music, step dancing).

Whiskey Distillery Tours

200 years ago there were 37 distilleries in Dublin and Irish Whiskey dominated the world market. The epicenter was the Liberties where six distilleries including John Jameson, William Jameson, John Power and George Roe. Roe & Sons owned the world’s largest distillery. All that remains of the 17-acre distillery is the St. Patrick’s windmill tower with a pear tree at its bases. Today’s distilleries, created only recently to tap into the tourist traffic around Guinness, are part of a restoration effort by the government to develop the Liberties — except Jameson which is just on the other side of the Liffey.

Jameson is actually distilled in Cork. They are popular, offering tastings and tours.

Day Trips from Dublin


  • Trim Castle: largest Anglo-Norman fortification in Ireland
  • River Walk
  • St. Patrick’s Church
  • St. Mary’s Abbey

Dún Laoghaire/Dalkey

  • James Joyce Tower and Museum
  • The Forty Foot
  • Dún Laoghaire Baths
  • 19th century pier
  • People’s Park/Sunday food market
  • Maritime Museum in Dún Laoghaire
  • Dalkey two castles,; great pubs, cafés and restaurants.
  • Dalkey Castle


Howth Cliff Walk

King Sitric Seafood Bar

Beshoff Bros

Howth Castle

Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio

North of Ireland Tour (Wild Rover)

Cliffs of Moher/Galway Tour (Wild Rover)

Glendolough Tour (Wild Rover)

  • Glendalough/Twin Lakes
  • St Kevin’s Monastery/Tower
  • Wicklow Mountains
  • Sheep Farm/Dog Trials
  • Kilkenny City


Most locations offer free WiFi/Internet access so be sure to ask


Walk: Dublin is a major European capital but a walkable city. For able-body persons, there is no need for transportation in and around the City Center as the maximum walk-time to most popular locations is 15 minutes.

Bike: There are three bike sharing services operating in Dublin: (NOW) DublinBikes operates out of fixed stations throughout the city; Bleeper and MOBY Bikes are Stationless/Dockless Bike Sharing services.

E-Scooter Sharing: coming soon?

Taxi: You can hail a licensed taxi via an app or find them roaming the street, at the airport or in various City Center taxi stands. Taxis have black and yellow taxi rooftop sign. They calculate their fares using a taximeter. A hackney cab must be hired by phone or in person at a hackney office and generally have a fixed price list for specific destinations.

Ride-Hailing Apps: The three largest taxi hailing apps are Free Now, Bolt and Uber. I prefer Free Now.

Public Transportation

TFI Live App: access live real time departure and journey planning information across the Transport for Ireland network (Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus, Go Ahead Ireland, Luas and Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail services)

DART: the electric rail system, which runs along the coast of the Irish Sea from Malahide

Howth in north County Dublin to Greystones in County Wicklow, is called the Dublin Area Rapid Transit. How to pay? Validator?

Luas: the electric tram service, runs on Red and Green lines in various directions throughout Dublin (see map). The two lines do not exactly connect, you must walk a block or so to switch between the two lines on the Red Line whether moving East or West (Abbey Street) or the Green Line moving South (O’Connell) or North (Marlborough).

LEAP card: is the stored value card for paying fares (discounted) to ride on Luas, DART, Dublin Bus, Go-Ahead Ireland, and Bus Éireann services. For tourists, a Leap Visitor Card is valid for 1, 3 or 7 days depending on how much you pay and can be purchased in advance by mail or at various locations within Dublin Airport.

Pay for a Luas journey with your LEAP card using the Luas Validator (looks like a digital parking meter on each platform, you will hear a tone when successful). Touch-On before you board and Touch-Off after they you “alight” for each tram journey, on each line. When travelling on both the red and green line, passengers must Touch-On before they board and Touch-Off after they alight for each tram journey, on each line. When you first Touch-On, an amount is deducted from your card then the appropriate amount is refunded to your card so be sure to successfully validate your car each time you board and alight the tram or you will be paying far too much. Also, there is a cap on daily or weekly travel. TFI Leap Card Caps your travel credit spend, so once you hit an applicable Cap you can travel for free on the service for the rest of the day or week. Another reason to make sure you validate your card at every point along your journey which includes intermodal (bus, DART, etc.).


Leap Cards can be used on all Dublin Bus services, including Airlink, Xpresso and Nitelink.

Dublin Bus: state-owned bus company which provides bus services within Dublin City. Touch-On with Leap Card but not off.

Bus Éireann: state-owned bus company which provides bus services throughout Ireland with the exception of Dublin City and with Eurolines provides coach services to Britain and Europe

Go-Ahead Ireland: privately-owned bus company which provides bus services to the Outer Dublin Metropolitan Area. Part of a global transportation company, the company launched in Ireland in 2018 and as of 2023 operated 33 routes.

Wild Rover: privately-owned travel company that runs day trips to Wicklow, Belfast and Galway.

Read more