How to Spend a Layover in Dublin, Ireland

Dublin Layover: Things To Do Near Dublin Airport

Wondering what to do with your layover in Dublin? Take advantage of your stay with these top things to do near Dublin airport!

Ever dreamed of visiting the beautiful green country of Ireland, but haven’t had the time or funds to do so? Dublin is a popular layover destination for those traveling to Europe and with a little preparation and planning, you can see a little slice of the Emerald Isle and spend an entire day experiencing some of the best things the capital city of Dublin has to offer.

Dublin Layover: Things To Do Near Dublin Airport

When using your favorite flight comparison site, take a close look at the various itineraries they offer to your final destination. I happened to be traveling to Hamburg when I saw the option of enduring either multiple 4-5 hour layovers in various cities or one 20 hour layover in Dublin; I had always wanted to see Ireland, so I thought I’d turn an otherwise exhausting day of traveling into a fun day trip!

I knew I’d have limited time upon arriving in Dublin, so I made a tentative itinerary beforehand and got to visit nearly all of the stops on my list. If you only have one day in this charming city, check out my collection of must-see places.

Dublin Layover: Things To Do Near Dublin Airport

Get a LEAP Card

First and foremost, head to Dublin airport’s information center in Terminal A and purchase a one-day LEAP card (about €10). This card will give you unlimited transportation on buses and trams throughout the city for 24 hours, including the bus to/from the airport.

The information desk will give you a map of all bus stops throughout Dublin, though I’d suggest downloading the Journey Planner app that will give you exact bus numbers and arrival times to specific stops you choose.

I bought the card primarily to save on the bus fare to and from the airport — as one-way trips without the card cost about €7 — but otherwise, Dublin is actually a very walkable city. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as the streets are cobblestone, but walking throughout the quaint, historic streets is most definitely the best way to get around.

Old Jameson Distillery

The Old Jameson Distillery on Bow Street is an obvious draw for anyone visiting Ireland for the first time.

With their whiskey-tasting experience comes a guided tour rich with anecdotes of Jameson history, the opportunity to shop for souvenirs, and, of course, whiskey! Though they no longer actually make their famous whiskey here, nearly everyone that has ever visited says this is a must-see stop — and I wholeheartedly agree.

How To Spend 24 Hours in Dublin, Ireland

Guinness Storehouse

The Guinness Storehouse is both a brewery and a museum, and well worth the entry fee. This is a must-see.

Purchase tickets in advance online and let the fully immersive experience begin! Learn to pour your own pint, get a glimpse of how Guinness is made, and make the climb to the rooftop Gravity Bar for a panoramic view of Dublin.

Dublin Castle

Take a self-guided tour (the guided tours can last over an hour) around the Dublin Castle, a massive landmark right in the center of the city. Ireland is well-known for its ancient castles, and the opportunity to see one inside and out firsthand can’t be surpassed.

How to Spend a Layover in Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College Old Library

The Book of Kells — actually a small collection of books — can be seen after a self-guided tour through the literatures’ Celtic history, though Trinity College’s library alone is enough to make your jaw drop. Marble busts of famous authors and philosophers adorn the long hall, and ancient books fill the towering ceiling-high shelves; pictures can’t do this place justice!

If you have the time, this tour takes you to Trinity College Library to see the Book of Kells without the crowds AND tour the grounds of Dublin Castle (mentioned on our list above).

Temple Bar

Temple Bar is an area of Dublin known for its plentiful pubs, boutique stores, and various places of entertainment. Grab a Guiness and bite to eat (no tipping necessary!) and be sure to watch an indie film at the Irish Film Institute. You can even visit the original Temple Bar and listen to live Irish music every day of the week!

How to Spend a Long Layover in Dublin, Ireland

St. Stephens Green

St. Stephens Green is not an essential stop, but a beautiful one nonetheless. Statues, swans, fountains, and gorgeous green scenery make this park a sight for sore eyes after being on a long-haul flight.

Where to Sleep Near Dublin, Airport

If you’re lucky enough to snag a flight from Dublin to your ultimate destination that departs at night, you’re one of the few; most long-layover flights from Dublin depart early morning, leaving you without a place to sleep for the night. Thankfully, the time difference and my evening latte allowed me to stay awake through the night and work from the airport’s lounge. However, I found there were plenty of places to stay near the airport.

While I can’t generally say I love layovers, I loved this one; a memorable day spent in the heart of Ireland is well worth the extra day added to any trip!

FAQs: Dublin Airport Layover

Can I leave the Dublin airport during a layover?

Yes. You will need to go through immigration upon arrival. Make sure to give yourself 2-3 hours to clear security on your way back to the airport.

Is it a bad idea to leave the Dublin airport during a layover?

If your layover is short, I would not recommend leaving the airport. If your layover is 8 hours or longer, you should have time to visit a couple of the places listed here. I had a 20 hour layover, which made things less stressful.

Is Uber available in Dublin?

You can use Uber in Dublin, but it will call a regular taxi and it won’t be any less expensive.

Plan Your Trip

After traveling consistently for over 15 years, we’ve come to trust and rely on a few websites to help us find the best deals on flights and accommodation.

Flights: Going is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. If you sign up for their email alerts, you’ll receive flight deals at up to 90% off. I have traveled all over the world using their flight deals.

Accommodation: offers savings on hotels, apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets.

Travel Insurance: We never travel without a travel insurance policy because it’s not worth the risk! We use and trust Visitors Coverage, which we’ve used for the past 10 years.

Let us book your trip! Looking for a Travel Advisor to help you plan your trip? Contact us here for more information!

Photo credits: Tony Webster, Neil Turner

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I’m also a member of other affiliate programs. For more info please read my Privacy Policy

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Wow you’ve really used your 20 hours layover well! I’ve spent 3 days in Dublin and I haven’t made it to Jameson Distillery 😉 But well, I spent the whole day exploring the cliffs in Howth instead and it was outstanding, I recommend it to you for the next visit. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Hi Nikki. Thanks for the info. I was wondering did you have to take your luggage with you? I will have a 22 hours layover in Dublin and definitely want to explore it, but I was worry about carrying the luggage with me the whole time.