Europe,  Ireland,  Travel Guides

4 Days in Dublin – Ireland

My interest in Ireland was piqued in 8th grade, when we learned about Irish history in English lessons at school. At the end of 12th grade we went on an excursion to the Republic of Ireland. The country fascinated me, so I decided to come back eight years later to see more and in more detail. I spend 4 days in Dublin, before continuing on to Galway.

This post contains affiliate links to things like tours and hotels. These help me earn a small commission at no additional charge to you. Every affiliate link is marked with a *.

Overview of my 4 Days in Dublin

Where to stay for 4 days in Dublin

Dublin itself is a quite expensive city, especially when solo travelling. Paying 100€ for a room with two or more people is already a bit steep, but when you’re by yourself it’s over-budget for most people. The trick to visit Dublin on a budget is definitely early planning. The earlier you book, the better the deals.

There’s one AirBnB I can recommend for young female travellers in Dublin Blanchardstown, it’s a little outside of the city centre (okay, like an hour by bus outside the city centre), but it’s quiet, safe, clean, inexpensive (39€ / night) and the host Paola is lovely.

If you are looking for something more central and don’t mind a Hostel I can recommend the Abbey Court Hostel*. At 30,33€ / night for a bed in a 12 bed-dorm it is a little less expensive and breakfast is included, but the smaller the dorms, the more expensive it becomes.

If you want a single occupancy room you can find one at Castle Hotel*, with breakfast included, for around 107€ / night.

Museum hopping in Dublin

As the capital city Dublin doesn’t only have a very turbulent history, but also many well curated museums where you can learn about said history. As one of the European countries who was colonized (by England), rather than being a colonizer themselves, it’s majorly different to the histories of other countries in Europe.

The recounting of history is always different, depending on which side you listen to. The people who are heroes or revolutionists to some are enemies or terrorists to others. As always history is best looked at from both sides and then you can form your own opinions.

In Dublin some museums are free, others offer student discounts. If you aren’t a students anymore you can check out the Dublin Museum Pass. I linked it on the right for PC users, down below for mobile users. With that card you have free access to over 40 museums and places of historical or cultural importance. I linked all the museums and places I went to below, tally up the ticket prices before you decide on whether to buy the card or not.

National Museums of Dublin – Archaeology

The building of the Archeology Museum is still the same as over a century ago when it was built and is worth a visit just by itself. The artifacts are sorted by date or rather time period and the audio guide is very pleasant to listen to as you follow the numbers through the exhibitions.

Since I kept looking up at the embellished ceiling one of the guards approached me and asked why I am so interested in it. When I replied that it is a very impressive ceiling he explained why it was built this way. When the museum was built it was lit by gas lamps, so the ceiling windows had to be opened every hour to let out the gas. The levers to open the ceiling are still there to this day.

When I started to head down again he left me with another piece of advice: Look at the doors. So I went back through the entire museum and looked at the doors, which all carry wood carvings of the artifacts originally stored behind them.

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle was used by the English and then the British as their seat in Ireland, has seen many historical events unfold and is still used to this day by the Irish government for the inauguration of each President of Ireland and other government matters. Some of the rooms have been restored to certain periods in time, others have been preserved to show off the ornate ceilings, floors and furniture.

Kilmainham Gaol Jail Tour

The Kilmainham Gaol Jail is a former prison, where many Irish revolutionaries, including leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916, were imprisoned and later executed. But the oldest cells date back much further than that. The prison was built in the 17-hundreds and some of the very old cells serve as a reminder of the horrible conditions prisoners faced back then.

St. Patricks Cathedral

I spend about an hour in the park next to the St. Patrick’s Cathedral and took some more pretty pictures just before sunset. A ticket to see the inside was 8€ and I had another cathedral on my list for this vacation, so I decided that my budget was better allocated elsewhere.

National Gallery

At the National Gallery I didn’t take any pictures inside, but the building itself is pretty nice as well. You can see that the windows are mostly bricked up, except for the entryway and stairwell to protect the colours of the old paintings. A lot of the time I don’t make the time to go to national galleries, since to me everyday objects from different time periods are much more interesting than paintings. But I have to admit it is very impressive to stand in front of a painting like “The Battle of the Boyne” by Jan Wyck spanning over 3m horizontally.

Little Museum of Dublin

The Little Museum of Dublin is the exact opposite of the National Gallery. It’s located in a residential house and filled with all kinds of knick-knacks, most of which were donated to the museum. Every wall is filled with pictures, paintings, posters, newspaper articles and much more. Not many of the artefacts have an explanation written down anywhere (since most people don’t read them anyway), but the guides there will happily answer all the questions you have. I advise you to take part in a tour of the museum, the one I was a part of was short, sweet, to the point and very interactive. It was obvious that the guide was passionate about his job, as well as the rich history of his city and country.

Other significant locations to visit during 4 days in Dublin

Botanical Gardens

At the The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland the paths between the plant beds and beautiful greenhouses are mostly paved, so carrying your trolley with you isn’t a problem. Entry is free and I wholeheartedly recommend a visit during any season. Sadly, when I was there the Visitor Centre, Herbarium and Library were closed due to the Covid-19 situation, but I will be back one day.

Temple Bar Quarter with Ha’Penny Bridge

Temple Bar is probably most well known for the Temple Bar Pub where people had lined up to get inside, despite the weather. The red outside of the pub and the Christmas decorations made for a pretty picture though.

At the edge of the quarter the Ha’Penny Bridge crosses the Liffey river. This pedestrian bridge is named after the half penny it cost once upon a time to cross it.

The Spire

The Spire of Dublin is a 120m tall, stainless steel, pin-like monument in the middle of O’Connell Street.

My favourite Cafes and places to eat in Dublin

I had my favourite lunch, Mandu, at Han Sung Asian Market. You have to walk through the shelves and then into the back of the store, you can get good Korean food for a good price.

The chain restaurants of Eddies Rockets, American 50s / 60s diner-themed restaurants, serve fast food like burgers, wings, onion rings and something called “tater tots”. Those aren’t something we have in Germany. They are fried potato pockets, soft on the inside with a crunchy shell. This is definitely a recommended food choice after a whisky tasting or an additional Irish Coffee.

Since I need coffee to function in the morning I picked a spot near my accommodation for breakfast: The Art of Coffee. A small cafe, adjacent to Saint Brigid’s Shopping Centre in Blanchardstown. I went with a strawberry tart and a Latte Macchiato. The tart was extremely sweet and dry, but the sugar gave me an energy jump start for the day.

My favourite Cafés in Dublin ended up being Coffee Works, especially the one in Blanchardstown close to my AirBnB, where I could easily store my suitcase under my table. I had an amazing Latte Macchiato and a vanilla pudding and chocolate chip twist, then another time a Matcha Latte while I was working on travel content.

Tours and transportation in Dublin

Teeling Whiskey Distillery Tour

When in Dublin you have several options for tours, such as of the Jameson Whiskey Distillery, or Guiness Beer. I had seen the Jameson Distillery back in 2014, so this time I booked tickets for the Teeling Whiskey Distillery Tour* online. The distillery also has a bar inside where you can try different cocktails made with Teeling Whiskey, like Irish Coffee.

The tour begins with a small museum within the distillery, showcasing the history of whiskey distilleries in Ireland and the Teeling Distillery in particular. Afterwards, the guide leads the group through the brewing room and explains the process from mixing the grains and water to distillation to the different casks the whiskey ages in and what happens during the ageing process. At the end of the tour, depending on which package you book, you get to sample some Teeling Whiskeys.

Visitor Leap Card for 4 days in Dublin

The first thing I did after arriving at the airport was buying a 72-hours leap visitor card. With the leap card, you can use the Dublin Bus, Luas (tram), DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) and the Commuter Rail. When staying outside of the city centre the cost of transportation between your accommodation and anything you want to do or see is higher than buying this card. The best deal is the 72 hours one for 15,00€ (in comparison the 24-hour one is 8€).

Map of 4 days in Dublin

How to read the map: The green ones are significant locations, blue ones are museums, galleries and such, orange are cafes and restaurants and purple are locations of accommodations.

Google Maps

By loading the map, you agree to Google's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load map

You can download the map here.

Ireland on a Budget

Do you want to travel to Ireland, but are on a budget? Check out my other post about travelling to Ireland for a week for under 100€ a day (including flights, accommodation, food and attractions): Ireland on a Budget – A student travels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *