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11 Great Things to do in Dublin in a Day: Food, Shopping, and Theatre

Explore a one day Dublin City itinerary focused on food, shopping, and theatre. Try popular Dublin restaurants, explore Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, and catch a show at Smock Alley or one of Dublin's other countless theatres.
Planning a trip to Ireland? You're in luck. I lived in Dublin for 12 years and have written up 25 of my favorite ways to spend a day in Dublin based on my personal experience.
There are so many great things to do in Dublin including itineraries for those who love shopping, food, and theatre. 

In this installment, we'll explore places to shop and pick up souvenirs. We'll sample some of Dublin's under-rated food scene, and then we'll finish the day with a visit to one of Dublin's many theatres. 

Let's go!
One day in Dublin Itinerary: Stephen's Green Shopping Centre

About This Dublin City Itinerary

One Day in Dublin City Itinerary Rating: Intermediate
This Dublin itinerary is recommended for people with the following interests: food, shopping, culture, history

Dublin Food, Shopping, and Theatre Itinerary in Brief

  1. Breakfast Choices in Dublin City Centre
    • Drink a latte and true work of art at the Beanhive
    • Indulge in Sicilian treats with your coffee at Dolce Sicily
  2. Browse for a souvenir to take home at Celtic Whiskey
  3. Explore Dublin's history at the quaint Little Museum of Dublin
  4. Stroll Stephen's Green
  5. Power shop at Stephen's Green Shopping Center
  6. Lunch at KC Peaches
  7. Take the tour and sip a pint at the Guinness Storehouse
  8. Find Liberties Street Art
  9. Pub Stop at the Long Hall
  10. Dinner Choices in Dublin City Centre
    • La Maison
    • Spice of India
  11. Catch an evening of theatre in Temple Bar
    • See a show at Smock Alley, the oldest theatre in Dublin
    • Check out the tiny New Theatre
Explore other one day Dublin City itineraries here:
One Day in Dublin City Itineraries

Dublin Food, Shopping, and Theatre Detailed Itinerary

Dublin has an underrated food scene, great shopping, and world-class theatre. This one day in Dublin itinerary aims to explore this side of Dublin City life. 

Start out with breakfast in Dublin City Centre. You have a choice: drink a latte and true work of art at the Beanhive or indulge in Sicilian treats with your coffee at Dolce Sicily.

Beanhive's coffee is simply delightful. Each cup is served with a bit of personalized chocolate artwork on top. The barista even does miniature portraits of the customer on some occasions. 

The designs get more elaborate and use multiple colors when you order a coffee to "drink in" (the Irish way of saying "for here"). One one occasion, I was served an absolute landscape masterpiece.

Walk into Dolce Sicily and you'll soon be confronted with the sights and smells of fresh baked cakes and pastries. I could tell from the moment I opened the door the first time that I was going to like this cafe! Order a skinny cappuccino and indulge in a slice of Sicilian pistachio cake to start your day. Day out in Dublin: latte art at the Beanhive
Next up, browse for a souvenir to take home at Celtic Whiskey. The Celtic Whiskey Shop on Dawson Street in Dublin City Centre is a fun place to browse. The Celtic Whiskey Shop offers samples to help customers warm up on a cold day. 

Bottles large and small line the shelves and the proprietors are extremely knowledgeable. Pick up a wee dram or two for friends back home (keeping in mind duty free limits for the country where you are from). 

Explore Dublin's history at the quaint Little Museum of Dublin which is situated right across the street from St. Stephen's Green in a historic Georgian mansion. You'll find rotating exhibits highlighting life in Dublin over the years. 

Book online for 10 EUR at the time of writing. The Little Museum of Dublin is, well, little, so it's best to book ahead to avoid disappointment.
One Day in Dublin Itinerary: Caretaker's cottage at St. Stephen's Green
Take a stroll in St. Stephen's Green, the quintessential Dublin experience. Locals often drop the "saint" when referring to Dublin's signature city park. 

You'll find a lake filled with swans and happy ducks. Pretty flowers arranged neatly in well-coiffed beds really pop against a blue sky. Stephen's Green is where you'll find locals en masse sunning themselves on a nice day.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Interested in getting a glimpse inside some of the buildings around the edge of St. Stephen's Green? Did you know that Dublin holds an annual Open House. We used the opportunity to tour the interior of Iveagh House which is home to Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs.

While you're in the neighborhood, take some time to power shop at Stephens Green Shopping Center. Inside you'll find cool architecture that looks historic but is really relatively recently built. 

You'll find modern chain stores (both local and international). Stephen's Green Shopping Centre is a particularly ideal thing to do on a rainy day in Dublin.

Head over to KC Peaches for lunch at the edge of St. Stephen's Green. Run by an American living in Ireland, you'll find both sweet and savory options on display behind the counter. 

Order at the counter and grab a seat to wait for your order to be ready. KC Peaches is definitely worth a stop for anyone budget conscious with a sweet tooth.

After lunch, head out to the Guinness Storehouse, Ireland's top tourist attraction. Take the tour to learn how Guinness is made and see examples of cool advertisements and other Guinness marketing history over multiple levels. 

End your tour at the Gravity Bar at the top of the Guinness Storehouse. The Gravity Bar features sweeping views over Dublin City. Alternatively, you can learn how to pull your own pint of Guinness at one of the other bars on site. 

The Guinness Storehouse tickets start at 26 EUR at the time of writing but discounts may be available for less popular tour slots. Book online in advance to beat the queues. 

26 EUR may sound expensive but the price of admission includes a pint of Guinness (a 5-8 EUR value depending on where you get your pints). 
One Day in Dublin Itinerary: pint of Guinness
After you finish your tour of the Guinness Storehouse, stroll The Dublin Liberties neighborhood. The neighborhood can feel a bit edgy but you'll find some amazing street art around here if you have a wander down Francis St. or some of the other smaller streets off of Thomas St. (the main thoroughfare through the neighbhorhood).

Time for a pub stop at the Long Hall. The Long Hall is a classic Dublin pub with a dark wood-paneled interior. 

The Long Hall is a great place to grab another pint of Guinness. The pub itself is long and narrow. 

Even if it's crowded, work your way in to the back to check out the atmosphere. Having trouble finding The Long Hall? It's hard to miss the red and white striped awning outside.
One Day in Dublin: Yoda Street Art in The Liberties Neighborhood
You have a couple dinner choices on this one day itinerary in Dublin City Centre: French food at La Maison or Indian food at Spice of India. Both restaurants are near Smock Alley Theatre and the New Theatre so you can hop over to your evening show after you eat.

At La Maison, you'll find rich and authentic French cuisine. Start off with some crusty bread and tapenade while admiring French posters and vintage advertisements on the walls. 

Sample a hearty Coq au Vin steaming in a rich juice with salad and roasted potatoes to round out the meal. Save room for dessert: a flaming baked Alaska. 

La Maison is an excellent choice on a cold or rainy evening. There are some limited outdoor tables if the weather is fine.

Spice of India is our "go to" place for Indian cuisine in Dublin. I took a vegetarian colleague from India to Spice of India and she declared the restaurant to be reasonably authentic. If you dine early, you can avail of the early bird menu which will give you a starter in addition to a main. 

We tried onion bhajis, seasoned potatoes and veggie samosas. Various veg curries rounded out the meal. Wash down the spicy curry with naan and rice. 

After dinner, head to the theatre in Temple Bar. You have two choices at two extremes as you'll see below: Smock Alley or the New Theatre. 
Dublin in one day: Smock Alley Theatre
Smock Alley is the oldest theatre in Dublin. The lobby features historical playbills from as early as the 1750s! Smock Alley features at least three performance spaces including one that occupies a historic boys school. 

In this square venue that spans three levels with stone walls, visitors are either seated near the stage or stand along the railings soaring for three levels. At Smock Alley, visitors can climb a set of stairs to an alcove overlooking the lobby. 

From here, you'll also come face to face with Smock Alley Theatre's impressive stained glass windows. One of the top performances that we've seen at Smock Alley is the controversial The Playboy of the Western World

Synge's show tells the story of a man whose sex appeal is tremendously enhanced when he is believed to have killed his father. After seeing a play at a theatre so steeped in history, it was a bit jarring to return to modern Dublin down the set of steps facing the River Liffey.

At the other end of the spectrum, Dublin's tiny New Theatre in Temple Bar is located at the back of an activist bookstore in Temple Bar. I'd estimate that the New Theatre seats less than 50 people. 

Browse books about Irish history and politics while waiting for the doors of the theatre to open. One of the best performances that we've seen at the New Theatre was Mrs. Roosevelt Flies to London, a one woman show performed by Alison Skilbeck. 

It was fascinating to watch the life of American First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt unfold before the audience. We definitely got a better understanding and appreciation of the wife of president FDR. The play was riveting and very well acted.

Map of This Dublin City Itinerary: Dublin Food, Shopping, and Theatre

Click on the image of the map below to open up an interactive version in Google Maps to help you plan your day out in Dublin. 
Dublin Food, Shopping, and Theatre Map

Guide to Sidewalk Safari Dublin City Itineraries

  • Leisurely: No need to get up super-early to start this itinerary which is always good if you experienced a little too much of Dublin's famous craic the night before. Take your time exploring the sights on these itineraries or take detours that you discover on your own in the process of following my suggestions.
  • Intermediate: You should be able to comfortably fit in the activities recommended even if you don't get an early start. There is a fair amount of walking involved in these itineraries to get from place to place.
  • Ambitious: Lots to see plus a lot of walking. Make sure to get an early start or you won't make it to everything on the list.
The perfect formula for a day out in Dublin City includes: breakfast/coffee, morning activities, lunch, afternoon activities, a pub stop, dinner, and evening fun.

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One Day in Dublin City Itinerary: Food, Shopping, and Theatre

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 11 Great Things to do in Dublin in a Day: Food, Shopping, and Theatre
11 Great Things to do in Dublin in a Day: Food, Shopping, and Theatre
Explore a one day Dublin City itinerary focused on food, shopping, and theatre. Try popular Dublin restaurants, explore Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, and catch a show at Smock Alley or one of Dublin's other countless theatres.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog