The Edinburgh Study Centre made their way over to Ireland on Monday and Tuesday, and I was fortunate enough to spend some time getting to know the city. But here comes the conundrum—how exactly can one fit the vibrancy and richness of a city like Dublin into a schedule that’s less than 48 hours?
Ireland’s capital city is brimming with culture, history, and enough attractions to make your head spin; it can be quite overwhelming to try and plan activities in a limited span of time. It is doable, however! Here’s how I made my way through Dublin during my short time there.
Find Your Interest and Stick With It
I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, so obviously Dublin appealed to me in its literary aspect. The city has produced some of literature’s greatest giants, and being able to pursue the paths they walked was pretty surreal. I made sure to visit the statue of Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square Park, the W.B. Yeats memorial in St. Stephen’s Green, and the James Joyce Bridge on the River Liffey. Dublin has something for everyone, and if you’re stuck on time, the best way to enjoy the city is to tailor it especially to the things that interest you most and follow through with it. This way, you optimize your time and feel productive in what you see and do in the city.
Don’t Discredit the National Landmarks
Generally when I’m visiting a new city, I have this snobbish tendency to want to avoid
anything that seems too “tourist-y”. But there’s a reason the tourist traps are tourist traps, and some are well worth the visit. Trinity College is an iconic Irish institution of higher education, and a tour around the campus will give a good sense of the nation’s rich history and offer some gorgeous architecture. In keeping with my literary theme for the trip, I paid a visit to Trinity’s Old Library, consistently named as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. The library is the permanent home to the famous Book of Kells and also features the breathtaking Long Room. Sprinkled throughout Dublin are free admission attractions such as the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum, all of which are prime tourist locations, but for good reason.
Hop on a Bus
For the concentrated Dublin experience, consider buying a ticket for a hop-on hop-off bus tour. The bus will take you around to the greatest points of interest in Dublin, and you can get off where you please to do some exploring before catching the bus again to go on to the next attraction. The route spans over an hour and a half, and gives a great taster of the city. With stops at the Guinness Storehouse, the Dublin Zoo, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Kilmainham Jail amongst many others, a bus tour would easily make the most of your day in Dublin.
While Dublin is a city that deserves well over 30 hours to fully explore, it can be experienced in a short amount of time with mindful planning. Happy travels!