9:15AM-12:30PM – LetzGo Tour of Trinity College, Book of Kells & Dublin Castle
This tour was phenomenal! I booked it on Trip Advisor a couple days before the trip. My guide was a native Irish man who told us engaging & historical stories only an insider could know! We started our journey at the Trinity College where he told us Joffrey Baratheon (Game of Thrones, actor Jack Gleeson) currently attends & other fun stories and myths! We entered into the Book of Kells immediately. Following the phenomenal book, we entered the famous “Long Room”, also known as the exalted Jedi Library. We then embarked on a walking tour until ending at the Dublin Castle. This was the perfect way to start our adventure in Dublin. The guide gave us plenty of recommendations for pubs, nightlife, restaurants and places we had to see!
12:45PM – Lunch @ Leo Burdock’s (Fish & Chips!)
Leo Burdock’s is famous for its fish and chips, a traditional dish of the United Kingdom (and quite possibly on every corner). The price was right, the food is hearty, and our food was delivered immediately–our bums hadn’t even hit the restaurant seating yet! It has been visited by hundreds of celebrities, to name a few: Ray Charles, Naomi Campbell, Snoop Dogg, Iron Chef Bobby Flay, Liam Neeson, the entire cast of P.S. I Love You, and Justin Timberlake’s parents!
3:00PM – 3:00PM National Museum of Ireland (FREE)
The National Museum of Ireland is FREE, 6 days a week and closed on Mondays. Definitely check Google before heading over, but this interactive museum showcases Ireland’s history in a fun way! Expect to spend about 1-2 hours here, maybe 2.5 if you have children with you!
7:00PM – Dinner @ Nancy Hands Pub!
Nancy Hands Pub is a great atmosphere for people who love to drink, eat delicious food and have a good time! Though it’s a dark and fun traditional Irish pub, it is not unruly and the noise level is perfect for a date or a huge group of friends! They have two rooms, one where you sit down and have dinner, and another where they have live music and a bar (smaller space). I suggest a nice cold Guinness with the lamb dish and “coddle”. Your taste buds and stomach will thank me!
9:00PM – Party & Live Music @ Brazen Head – the OLDEST pub in Ireland!
Visiting this pub was one of the highlights of our trip! We stayed until midnight and enjoyed an intimate live music space with an adept violinist and vocalist/guitarist singing outstanding covers of any band the crowd shouted out! The whole room was alive as we jammed and sang and clapped with them! The drinks are a good price (not inflated although it’s becoming well-traversed by tourists). The food is also very good!
6:40AM – Meet @ the Molly Malone statue for Extreme Ireland Day Tour of Cliffs of Moher, & etc.
I know it’s super early, but trust me it’s WORTH IT! You’ll also have a break halfway to grab some cheap & delicious Irish breakfast and use the restroom. The Molly Malone statue is a famous Irish attraction all on her own. The bronze immortalization of a young 16th century woman popularized by Irish folklore is highly Instagrammed and selfied. It remains a mystery if this woman actually lived… They say she was a very nice and gorgeous woman who sold cockles and mussels on the streets by day, and was a lady of the night…by night. The statue is tarnished around her full breasts because of the multiple tourists groping her! An excerpt from the original song is as follows:
In Dublin’s fair city
Where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow
Through the streets broad and narrow
Crying “cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh”
– The Dubliners
11:00AM – The Cliffs of Moher! (1st Stop on Extreme Ireland Day Tour–besides break)
The Cliffs of Moher should be a requirement to see to live your best travel life! It is simply breathtaking–and no combination of words in the American English language could help me translate to you how immensely gorgeous it is to behold with your very own eyes! Take a million pictures, and take your time taking in the sights. They have cute gift shops there, an indoor exhibition and restrooms.
12:45PM – Lunch in Doolin
The tour takes you to a famous Irish restaurant where they serve traditional Irish foods! I recommend seafood, Irish Beef Stew, Fish & Chips or the Chicken Vol au Vont!
2:00PM – Burren National Park
Burren is truly an out-of-this-world experience. Its surface has been likened to the lunar surface as its rock formations are unlike anything you’ve seen. The ocean roars against the rocks and flowers and grass flourish beautifully all around. It is one of my favorite sights in Ireland–it’s also the picture at the very top of this blog! Take some pictures, smell the clean air and enjoy the waves serenading your ears…
If you ask anyone that has been to Ireland, or lived in Dublin–they might mention that you MUST see Galway. Galway is alive with talented musicians, hundreds of shops, pubs and restaurants. You’ll have time to briefly enjoy all four! Grab a drink and/or snacks and walk the streets for some free live music. Galway is also the BEST place to grab an affordable yet legit souvenir. Prices at the Cliffs of Moher are insanely inflated.
7:45PM Arrive in Dublin again – END of tour!
Wasn’t that fun!? You see SO much in 12 hours or so. I think it is the PERFECT way to see a LOT of Ireland’s natural beauty & enjoy its rich traditions.
8:00PM Grab some dinner!
A lot of bars in Dublin close around 12:00-1:00am and stop serving food around 10:00pm. Be sure to grab dinner before you head back to your hotel/hostel/Airbnb/B&B/car. I recommend burgers after all that calorie-burnage! I LOVED Gourmet Kitchen Burger just a couple mins walk from where you’re dropped off. You can grab a cheap drink and delicious burger and fries without breaking the bank–and the food comes quickly for you to sit down and enjoy.
9:00PM Temple Bar!
All our tour guides kept telling us that the Temple Bar and area around it was a tourist trap. They cautioned to avoid it at all costs. Of course, I went anyways! I did NOT get a drink at Temple Bar, but did take a picture with it and walked around the area! It’s a great atmosphere for 20-40 somethings… very loud, lively, young and plenty of pubs and nightlife. The tour guides told us about a popular local bar called “Cobblestone”. I took an L for that one. It was stuffed with tourists, the prices were a bit higher and there wasn’t any music… Try at your own risk–it’s a popular pub for a reason! You can always go back to Brazen Head or just walk into pubs that call to you!
11:00AM SLEEP IN & Book a tour online with the Guinness Storehouse!
You could easily spend 3-4 hours at the storehouse. Guinness is basically the pride of Ireland…it shows in this top Irish attraction. It’s pretty affordable too! You start at the bottom where they have hundreds of cool Guinness merchandise. You walk through the first few floors of high-tech movies, interactive entertainment and hands-on beer pouring at the Guinness Academy (on the 4th floor). It’s very easy to follow so you don’t miss a thing. They serve delicious hot foods, packaged sandwiches and meals so you don’t have to go anywhere if you’re hungry. If you’re on a budget, you can even bring food in with you. They don’t check bags for food and a lot of families and backpackers brought lunch boxes in their bags. You end at the top floor where you may trade your ticket for a pint of Guinness if you didn’t redeem it on the 4th floor to learn how to pour Guinness. I’m not going to tell you eeeverything–but this is definitely worth the money and time!
Honestly, the rest is up to you!! Here are some suggestions to finish out the day:
There is a famous FREE walking tour that you can join that meets EVERY single day at the Spire (it’s huge, you can’t miss it) by Phoenix Park. It runs a couple hours but you can leave anytime.
You can also rent a bike for 5 euros for 1 hour at Phoenix Park and enjoy the greenery and leisure.
There’s a Subway (sandwich store) by Phoenix Park, you could grab sandwiches, chips and a drink and enjoy a picnic in the park!
Pub hop! Try ALL the Irish stouts, lagers, ales & craft beers you can!
I hope you enjoy Ireland whether it’s your first or twenty-first time. Let me know how your trip goes!