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Dublin is the perfect introduction to Ireland—with equal parts Irish history, Irish culture, and pure, uninterrupted fun. Of course, spending a full week in Dublin is ideal, but the beauty of even just a quick weekend in Dublin is you need almost no acclimation time. You are made to feel at home from the moment you arrive in Dublin. Visitors will feel instantly grounded in Dublin, a true rarity when traveling to any new place. So, enjoy the warm Irish welcome and hop to—with only 24 hours, here are the best things to do in Dublin:
Wake up at The Westbury, a coveted Doyle Collection hotel in Dublin and an American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts property. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wilde, their all-day restaurant decorated with lush greenery that cultivates a garden atmosphere and serves Irish favorites with an emphasis on local, in-season produce.
The Westbury is nestled between Trinity College and St. Stephen’s Green, making it the perfect place to stay for those eager to visit Dublin’s famous sights. Start at Trinity College, which was created by royal charter in 1592. You’ll need to buy tickets to visit the Book of Kells, a room that holds generations of crucial Irish history. It is home to four holy books, each in Latin, illustrated by northern European artists as early as the 300s AD. Admission to the Book of Kells also grants you access to the Long Room, an absolutely stunning library within Trinity College. The library’s architecture is regal and the feeling of being surrounded by the nearly incomprehensible amount of knowledge is especially memorable while within the hallowed halls of Trinity College.
You’ll leave the world of academia but stay in a historical headspace as you depart Trinity College and head to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral. St. Patrick’s was, of course, built in honor of Ireland’s patron saint in the 1200s. It was built here because this building was actually where St. Patrick baptized people nearly 1,500 years ago. You can book a guided tour throughout the day, or even take a self-guided tour with an app from Visit Dublin. From St. Pat’s, cross to Christ Church Cathedral, which is known for its majestic interiors and preserved medieval crypt. Mass is celebrated at both churches for those wishing to attend services, but visitors can also purchase a ticket to explore the historic architecture during the day.
A Michelin-starred Dublin restaurant on the Northside of the city, Chapter One is one of the must-try restaurants in Ireland. The secret to grabbing a reservation is visiting for lunch where you can choose between a three-course and a five-course meal to experience the best of Irish cuisine. Tuck in to roast Irish lamb, lobster bisque with fresh basil and local peas, Guinness chocolate mousse, or an Irish raspberry and Earl Grey tea bar, among other lunch delicacies. Leave plenty of time for this culinary experience—the menu is best enjoyed leisurely and with a wine pairing.
In Ireland, the best thing to follow a decadent lunch is, of course, a whiskey tasting. Head to Teeling Whiskey Distillery, which, when it opened in the Liberties in 2015, was the first new Dublin distillery in 125 years. Now celebrating a milestone anniversary, Teeling has already won no fewer than 19 international awards over the last five years. The distillery is open until 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and until 6:30 from Thursday to Sunday, giving you plenty of time for a relaxed tasting—be sure to try the fastest growing premium Irish whiskey brand’s celebrated single malt.
Following an exceptional lunch and whiskey tasting, head back to the hotel with a pitstop at the adjacent St. Stephen’s Green. The pristine park is right in the center of Dublin, with gorgeous flower beds and, much like everything else in Dublin, a hefty dose of history. The 27-acre public park has been tended to by gardeners keen on creating a beautiful public space since 1670.
After freshening up at the hotel, head out for dinner and a pub stop. Start at Fish Shop, a cozy wine bar that doubles as a fish and chip shop. One of the best fish and chip shops in Dublin, they’re known for their classic fried hake or haddock served on a toasted brioche bun, with apple, fennel, and mint slaw, slathered in garlic aioli. You’ll have to ask the bartender for a wine recommendation—they have more than 100 bottles of fine wine that pair perfectly with freshly fried fish. Stop in to Bruxelles Traditional Irish Pub before turning in for the evening; Bruxelles is known for great Irish music, and of course, pulling a good pint.
Where to Stay
Stay at The Westbury due to its close proximity to Dublin’s best sights. In addition to the food at Wilde, The Westbury is known for their 1930s-inspired cocktail bar, The Sidecar. Book their highly coveted Presidential Suite, which features a sauna and steam room, opulent furnishings, a bar and dining area, and of course, comes with a private butler.