One Day in Dublin City: Dublin History and Literature

One day in Dublin City itinerary: The Spire

About This Dublin City Itinerary

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

Dublin History and Literature Itinerary in Brief

  1. Breakfast Choices
    • Don't miss the divine cruffin (croissant-muffin) at Bread 41
    • Have an artisan coffee at Shoe Lane
  2. Learn about Irish history on the 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour
  3. Lunch at the Queen of Tarts
  4. Pay respects to those who died in the fight for Irish independence at the Garden of Remembrance
  5. Explore Ireland's literary heritage at the Writer's Museum
  6. Check out the works of art at Hugh Lane Gallery
  7. Browse for new and second-hand books at Chapters
  8. Stop for a drink at the Gin Palace
  9. Dinner Choices on Dublin's Northside
      • Hop House
        • The Lotts
          • The Winding Stair
        1. Evening Activities
          • Have a spooky time aboard the Ghostbus
          • Listen to Irish trad Music at Merchant's Arch
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        One Day in Dublin City Itineraries

        Dublin History and Literature Detailed Itinerary

        Star your day near Dublin City Centre with a scrumptious cruffin (croissant-muffin hybrid) at Bread 41. I can highly recommend the chocolate-topped cruffin filled with peanut butter. Alternatively, grab a single-origin coffee at Shoe Lane. Sit upstairs and watch the hustle and bustle of Dublin City Centre rushing by outside the window.
        What to eat in Dublin: The cruffin at Bread 41
        Sign up for the 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour to take a deep-dive on Dublin history.
        At the start of the tour, you'll be armed with a sheet of mug shots showcasing the different personalities that played a role in the story. The tour meets outside the International Bar in the center of Dublin and costs 15 EUR at the time of writing. When we did the tour, our guide, Lorcan, regaled us with the exciting and volatile history associated with the 1916 Easter Rising. Stops included the Bank of Ireland (former Irish Parliament) near Trinity College Dublin. We then crossed the River Liffey. From this vantage point we could see Liberty Hall which was Ireland's first skyscraper. Liberty Hall has 16 stories -- one for each of the leaders that was executed by the British after the 1916 Rebellion. We continued up O'Connell Street to the statue of Jim Larkin who founded the Irish Labour Party with James Connolly. We reflected on the siege that took place outside the General Post Office -- the Irish Freedom Fighters holed up here for 6 days fighting off the British. We ended the tour at Dublin Castle (maligned by the Irish as an icon of British rule over Ireland). Lorcan pointed out the statue of justice with lopsided scales over the gates of the Castle. While the 1916 Rebellion was ultimately put down by the British, it paved the way for Irish Independence a few years later. I highly recommend this fascinating and information-packed tour of Dublin.
        A day out in Dublin: Liberty Hall and the lamps along the Liffey

        Stop for lunch at the Queen of Tarts which is known for fantastic homemade soups, teas, and sweet treats. We tried chickpea soup with homemade bread on our most recent visit. We also made sure to save room for something sweet -- the items on display were very hard to resist. The apple blackberry crumble and a spot of tea was delightful.
        One Day in Dublin Itinerary: Dublin Castle
        Cross the River Liffey and head back to Dublin's Northside to pay respects to those who died in the fight for Irish independence at the Garden of Remembrance. The Garden commemorates those that died in the cause of Irish freedom. A plaque stands at the far end of the park.
        We Saw A Vision 
        In the darkness of despair we saw a vision.
        We lit the light of hope - and it was not extinguished.
        In the desert of discouragement we saw a vision.
        We planted the tree of valour and it blossomed.
        In the winter of bondage we saw a vision.
        We melted the snow of lethargy and the river of resurrection flowed from it.
        We sent our vision aswim like a swan on the river.
        The vision became a reality.
        Winter became summer.
        Bondage became freedom and this we left to you as your inheritance.
        O generations of freedom remember us, the generations of the vision.

        One day in Dublin City: The Garden of Rembrance

        The Dublin Writers Museum is housed in a gorgeous Georgian townhome just across the street from the Garden of Remembrance. The ornate period plasterwork and stained glass windows are worth the trip in and of itself even if you aren't a literary history buff. Explore the rich history of Irish writing in the exhibits including getting to know notorious writers like Brendan Behan who drew from his personal experiences in his literary works. Behan spent some time in his youth serving time in a British prison.

        Just beside the Dublin Writers Museum, you'll find Hugh Lane Gallery. Check out the works of art. On the weekends, Hugh Lane Gallery often hosts free concerts. The gallery also features the recreated studio of Irish artist Francis Bacon.

        SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Visiting Ireland on a budget? Check out this list of top free things to do in Dublin.

        I suspect that the Dublin Writers Museum will put you in the mood to browse for books. You're in luck because nearby you'll find a huge selection of new and second-hand books at Chapters. Wander the different sections and perhaps pick up a work or two by one of the Irish writers you learned about at the Dublin Writers Museum.

        Time for a late afternoon drink! Stop for a gin and tonic at the Gin Palace. The Gin Palace has great atmosphere with a dark wood-paneled interior and a fantastic selection of gins with recommended perfect pours.
        One day in Dublin: Gin and Tonic at the Gin Palace

        For dinner, you have a few choices on Dublin's Northside.

        Hop House - If you are in the mood for Korean food, head to Kimchi (Hop House), a bright spot of authentic Korean cuisine on Parnell St. in Dublin. Sit at a table surrounded by Korean artifacts. Enjoy edamame to start and a carafe of hot sake. Sizzling beef and chicken dishes will sate your appetite and are served up nice and spicy. Mushrooms, kimchi, pickled cabbage and fruit round out the experience. Simply press a button on the table to call over the waitstaff for immediate assistance.

        The Lotts Cafe Bar - If you are looking for a great value-for-money experience head over to The Lotts. This pub and restaurant offers great deals on steak on the stone and a bottle of wine. The prices are especially attractive mid-week.

        The Winding Stair - For a more upscale choice, book into the Winding Stair which is rated as one of the top restaurants in Dublin. Situated above a bookstore, you'll find dishes like mushroom soup and Guinness bread, pork belly with colcannon, and a brilliant warm apple crumble topped with ice cream for dessert.

        After dinner, sign up for a spooky time aboard the Dublin Ghostbus. Board the Ghostbus and climb up to the second storey where all the windows are covered in thick dark curtains so guests can't see out.

        Warning: because the windows are covered, if you get motion sick easily, this tour is not for you.

        First stop: St. Kevin's Park. When we did the tour, we disembarked in the pouring rain and fearfully followed our guide, Art, as he unlocked the cemetery gate. The plan was for him to give us a lesson in grave robbing! We gathered round an area of the ruined church where reportedly catholic priests, bishops, and nuns were slowly put to death while on display so locals would understand what it meant to defy the Church of England. We moved on to a 'gravesite' where Art proceeded to tell us about the hard times of medical science when bodies for research and learning were hard to come by. Grave robbers could make a good living spotting fresh graves and digging up bodies under cover of darkness.
        Dublin one day itinerary: The Dublin Ghostbus
        After the demonstration at St. Kevin's Park, we piled back on the Ghostbus bound for what we feared would be an other-worldly destination. We pulled up at the 40 Steps outside the old Dublin city wall. This area is also known as the entrance to Hell. Once again, Art unlocked the gate while we stood by in fearful anticipation of what lie beyond. We found a church bathed in devilish red light. We mounted the stairs and were treated to more ghostly tales at the top of the steps including the stories of debauchery surrounding Buck Whaley. We boarded the Ghostbus and on the return ride, I was serenaded by our guide! He held my hand in his and sang a tale about how he killed me and cut off my hand to forever remember me. Frightening... but oddly flattering. I definitely recommend the Ghostbus for a night of adventure with ghosts, goblins, and ghouls.

        If the Ghostbus sounds too scary, why not go and listen to Irish trad music at Merchant's Arch instead. Merchant's Arch in Temple Bar hosts some amazing performers. We were treated to a performance of fast-paced Irish Trad by Huckleberry Jam on our visit. You can get a pint of Guinness of course, but Merchant's Arch also pours Irish craft beer from Eight Degrees. Take time to look around and admire the decor. A large mirror is mounted on the wall - great for people watching. A stucco ceiling and chandelier add to the ambiance. Apparently, Merchant's Arch used to be the Guild Hall of Merchant Tailors which explains the fantastic historic atmosphere.

        Map of This Dublin City Itinerary: Dublin History and Literature

        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: History and Literature

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        Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: One Day in Dublin City: Dublin History and Literature
        One Day in Dublin City: Dublin History and Literature
        Explore a one day Dublin City itinerary focused on Dublin's history and literature. Check out the Garden of Remembrance, Dublin Writers Museum, and take the 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour.
        Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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