What to do on a day-long layover in Dublin?
July 2, 2014 1:25 PM   Subscribe

We have one day in Dublin on Friday (flight gets in at 8:30 am, have to be back at the airport by 5pm). Can we reasonably find interesting things to do in that time? Parks to walk through, a good place for a pub lunch (and World Cup watching?) or just interesting things to see in the vicinity such that we could get back to the airport in time would be great.
posted by transient to Travel & Transportation around Dublin, Ireland (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Glendalough is what I did on my even shorter trip.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:42 PM on July 2, 2014

Glendalough is lovely but it's an hour outside of Dublin going south; if you want a day trip to a historic site type thing I might do Newgrange because then you're much closer to the airport.

If you're up for wandering around the city a bit, yeah, that's loads of time. A cab into Dublin city center would be 30 min ish depending on traffic.

If it were me, I might ask the driver to drop you off in Parnell Sq., stroll down O'Connell St (biggest shopping st in Dublin), check out the bullet holes in the GPO, cross the bridge and wander down Grafton St to St. Stephen's green, feed the ducks, have a sniff of the flowers, pet the Wilde statue on the knee, then maybe head back up to Trinity and do the book of Kells (have a peep at the cricket field and see if they're playing while you're there --- if they are you can grab a pint at the Pavillion bar and watch for a bit, nobody'll stop you) and then grab some lunch --- I like the Stag's Head in Dame St., O'neill's has the full on old school carvery if that's your thing --- then maybe walk along the quays to the Phoenix Park and see if you can find the deer, or take the Luas out to D8 and check out Kilmenheim Gaol, it's the most history-packed of the touristy things, I'd say. That'd be a full day, but you'd be done in plenty of time to cab it back to the airport about 4ish.

Burdock's fish and chips followed by a pint at The Lord Edward would be another good lunch option, but I don't think The Lord Edward has a TV, there's a pub opposite that 'a more of a sports bar though.
posted by Diablevert at 2:07 PM on July 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

I wouldn't bother taking a cab, there's a bus from the airport that goes directly to central Dublin. There's a local bus that makes lots of stops and a special airport bus that's much faster.

I've done this a couple of times and I like just wandering around. I'm a museum person, and I especially loved the weird little Natural History museum - all sorts of stuffed animals labelled with the name of the person who shot them.
posted by mskyle at 2:14 PM on July 2, 2014

If you like parks, then the National Botanic Gardens would be great. They're about 9 km from the airport, so getting a taxi straight there would probably be only 20 minutes. You could then get the bus into the city centre before lunch. Lots of things to see in the city centre: the Book of Kells is classic, but at this stage of the year you might find the queue frustrating when you only have a few hours here. The National Museum in Kildare Street has gold torcs, the Ardagh Chalice and other treasures, bog bodies, sheela-na-gigs and other items of interest, and normally no queues.
posted by Azara at 2:20 PM on July 2, 2014

Take the 747 bus, get off on O'Connell Street (the stop's a smidge from the GPO) and do what Diablevert said.
posted by holgate at 3:08 PM on July 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was just in Ireland last month, and the trip worked out a bit differently than expected, such that I really only ended up with one full day (plus a bit) in Dublin. Glendalough is indeed quite beautiful, but there's enough to do in Dublin itself that I'd suggest skipping anything that requires that kind of drive.

My own AskMeFi question got a lot of great suggestions. I haven't had the time to follow up there with my experiences yet, but here are my favorites:

National Museum of Ireland - Natural History
National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology
Chester Beatty Library
—A quiet walk around the Liffey/St. Stephens Green/Merrion Square Park/the viking and medieval area

The bonus is that all of these are free. The Long Room at Trinity College Library is absolutely worth a gander if, like me, you're into that sort of thing (old books galore in a stunning setting—also apparently the inspiration for the Jedi Archives), but my experience with the Book of Kells was, for a variety of reasons having nothing to do with the book itself, somewhat underwhelming.

You won't have trouble finding a pub lunch, but if you're into craft beer, I can heartily recommend The Black Sheep (oh my gosh, the stuffed aubergine was unexpectedly delicious... looks like it's only on their dinner menu, though). We found good coffee and breakfasty things at Keoghs.

I so wish we had gotten more time in Dublin, but even with our brief visit we saw enough to know that it's a lovely city. I hope you enjoy it!
posted by cellar door at 4:35 PM on July 2, 2014

Thanks all! Great to know it won't be too hard to get into the city centre and back.
posted by transient at 10:07 AM on July 3, 2014

Also, thanks cellar door for the Long Room suggestion; my gf is an English lit phd so she is very excited about that.
posted by transient at 10:10 AM on July 3, 2014

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