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9 Fun Things to do in Rathmines (and Nearby) on a Dublin Day Out

Explore a one day Dublin City itinerary focused on the non-touristy Rathmines neighborhood of Dublin. Seek out the swans of Portobello and catch a movie at the sleek Stella Theatre. Look for drinks and dinner on nearby Baggot St.
This post explores things to do in Rathmines and beyond. Start in Rathmines and work your way into Dublin City as the day progresses with this one day itinerary.

About This Dublin City Itinerary

One Day in Dublin City Itinerary Rating: Leisurely
This Dublin itinerary is recommended for people with the following interests: photography, non-touristy experiences

Dublin in a Day Itinerary: Patrick Kavanagh statue on the Grand Canal

From Rathmines to Dublin City Itinerary in Brief

  1. Coffee at two fifty square in Rathmines
  2. Take a photowalk around Rathmines
  3. Seek out the Swans of Portobello
  4. Lunch at Bretzel Bakery
  5. Enjoy Afternoon Tea
    • The Merrion Art Tea
    • The Shelbourne
  6. Grab a pint at Toners
  7. Pay a Visit to Patrick Kavanagh on the Grand Canal
  8. Dinner on Baggot Street
    • Zakura for Ramen
    • Keshk for grilled meats
    • Teppanyaki at Chai-yo
  9. Evening Activities
    • Cocktails at the dylan
    • Sink into a comfy armchair and see a movie at The Stella in Rathmines
Explore other one day Dublin City itineraries here:
One Day in Dublin City Itineraries

From Rathmines to Dublin City Detailed Itinerary

Start your day in Dublin in a neighborhood less known among tourists but popular with locals: Rathmines. Stop at TwoFifty Square for an artisan coffee. 

TwoFifty Square roasts their own beans. Enjoy a hot breakfast if you're hungry in the bright and airy cafe. TwoFifty Square is especially popular for brunch on the weekends.

After breakfast, take a photo walk around Rathmines where you'll find some of the best pictures of Dublin. Take time to admire the Georgian doors and elegant accents on a neighborhood scavenger hunt.
Dublin in a Day: Red Georgian Door in Rathmines
Seek out the Swans of Portobello along Dublin's Grand Canal. The swans love to congregate in the area southwest of Rathmines. Such amazing and graceful birds.

Did you know that Portobello is Dublin's historic Jewish quarter? Pick up some fresh baked challah bread from the Bretzel Bakery. Don't eat too much though because you've got a big afternoon ahead!

Next stop? Enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea service at the Merrion or Shelbourne Hotel.

The Merrion Art Tea

The Merrion Hotel is one of the most posh hotels in Dublin and features an even posher afternoon tea. The hotel is set in a lovely, period decorated Georgian building near Merrion Square. 

Start with some bubbles. While sipping your champagne, take the opportunity to steep in the richness of your surroundings. 

Enjoy a first course including finger sandwiches, scones with jam, clotted cream and lemon curd, and cake. The Merrion will even make a special gluten free version of their signature afternoon tea for those with dietary restrictions.

Pinkies up! Enjoy a cup of tea while drinking your fill of the delicious treats. The first course is quite big but make sure to save room, there's more. 

Watch as the staff bring out something that looks like a sculpture made from polished forks and place a card on each section. The cards represent famous artworks displayed at the Merrion Hotel. 

The second course involves desserts inspired by those paintings - thus the moniker 'Art Tea'. Compare the desserts and the works of art side by side to see if you can tell where the pastry chef drew his inspiration. 

On the way out, keep an eye out, you may just see one of the paintings that inspired your dessert. Art Tea at the Merrion is quite an experience and I recommend it. It is pricey (50-60 EUR per person) but I'd say it's worth it for a rare treat.
Dublin Day Out: Afternoon Art Tea at the Merrion Hotel

Afternoon Tea at the Shelbourne

You other option is to take afternoon tea at the opulent and historic Shelbourne Hotel. Before heading into the tea room, have a look around the place. 

You'll be awed by the ornate stucco ceilings and gilded columns. Gorgeous staircases with elegant railings spin round and round for as far as the eye can see. 

Sumptuous stained glass panels span the lobby. Seek out the small library that features guest books from the last hundred plus years including the one from the fateful day of the Easter Rising in 1916.

When you go in for your tea, you'll be seated on comfy velvet chairs with a bone china cup and strainer standing at the ready. The Shelbourne Hotel offers an amazing array of tea flavors ranging from traditional black teas to exotic green and herbal varieties. 

Sample a traditional Earl Grey (or something more unusual that catches your fancy) with the finger sandwiches and tray of cakes. Eat your fill of crustless finger sandwiches and then tucker into gorgeous sweets and scones served with clotted cream and jam. 

My favorite indulgence was the eclair served in the shape of a swan. While you are enjoying the experience, a piano player will be tickling the ivories gently in the background. Tea at the Shelbourne Hotel is a relaxing and fun respite from the real world.
Dublin in a day: the swans of Portobello
If you can find room in your stomach, grab a pint at Toners, one of the more famous pubs in Dublin City. Try and score a seat in the front snug. You'll be ensconced in an aged wood and frosted glass cocoon. 

Toner's serves both Guinness and Murphy's which is pretty rare. Spend a relaxing hour sipping a beer, reading a book, or people watching.

Pay a Visit to Patrick Kavanagh on the Grand Canal. The statue of the poet sits quietly, legs crossed near a lock just south of Baggot Street. Kavanagh was known to frequent the pubs on Baggot Street including Searsons. 

Kavanagh was also known to have a tempestuous relationship with Irish writer Brendan Behan. A statue of Behan sits along the Royal Canal on Dublin's Northside. Time and history have put an immovable distance between the two writers.

One Day in Dublin City: Patrick Kavanagh on the Grand Canal
You have a number of choices for dinner on Baggot Street.

Zakura - Try Zakura, a Japanese eatery known for authentic ramen. You can bring your own bottle of wine for a small corkage fee. Pro-tip: the stools you'll be sitting on open up so you can tuck your coat and bag inside.

Keshk - Eat dinner at Keshk if you are in the mood for grilled meats. Enjoy a set-price menu that is excellent value for money. Start with hummus and warm, fresh pita garnished with cucumber, olives, and cherry tomatoes. 

Sample a bowl of lentil soup with a squeeze of lemon. For your main, enjoy a generous portion of salmon or an even more generous portion of chicken (3 breast fillets!). 

Chili sauce served in a little gravy boat on the side is the perfect accompaniment. Keshk is BYOB, so bring your own bottle of wine to wash down the meal.
Dublin Day Out: Teppanyaki dinner at Chai-yo

Teppanyaki at Chai-yo - Teppanyaki is more than a meal, it's an all-consuming experience and Chai-Yo in Ballsbridge does it exceptionally well. Sit down at a communal table surrounding a hot griddle. 

Snack on fish crackers and miso soup before the show begins. Place your order and then the raw ingredients will start to appear before you. 

When the chef arrives, that's when the party gets started. Watch as the chef begins by cooking the meats. While the meat is cooking, learn how to flip a raw egg with a spatula. 

If the egg breaks, no worries, it can be used in the fried rice which plates up nicely. Be careful not to singe your eyebrows on the hot surface. In the end, the meal is served with flair. Chai-Yo is an optimal choice if you are traveling with a larger group.

After dinner, drop into the sleek dylan Hotel for a cocktail. Alternatively, finish the day back in Rathmines. Sink into a comfy armchair and see a movie at the recently restored Stella Theatre. 

The Stella is the ultimate movie-going experience in Dublin; you can order wine and food to your seats to accompany the movie.
One Day in Dublin City: Catch a movie at the Stella Theatre in Rathmines

Map of This Dublin City Itinerary: From Rathmines to Dublin City

Things to do in Rathmines Dublin 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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Things to do in Rathmines


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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 9 Fun Things to do in Rathmines (and Nearby) on a Dublin Day Out
9 Fun Things to do in Rathmines (and Nearby) on a Dublin Day Out
Explore a one day Dublin City itinerary focused on the non-touristy Rathmines neighborhood of Dublin. Seek out the swans of Portobello and catch a movie at the sleek Stella Theatre. Look for drinks and dinner on nearby Baggot St.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog