Last year we went to Barcelona for the TBEX travel bloggers conference and we had a ten hour layover in Dublin, Ireland. When I was searching for cheap flights (a full time job these days) I noticed that Aer Lingus had a flight to Barcelona by way of Dublin. What made me book the flight was the ten hour layover. What do you do when you have a ten hour layover in Dublin? Read on to see what I found.

Dublin-sm-2We had never been to Dublin so it was important to see as much as we can in the short time we had.

The first stop in my research was over at the Travel Channel to watch Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover in Dublin. He had thirty six hours, we only have ten so I mainly wanted to see his restaurant recommendations. I figure we are going to have time for a nice Irish breakfast and/or lunch so I make note of his picks and the map that’s provided helps me narrow down my choices.

Next I looked around for more recommendations and find there are plenty of them if you “Google” layover in Dublin. The best advice I found was to take the Dublin City Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour that stops at a lot of the sights we would be interested in. The tour is 90 minutes long and you can get on and off at each stop.

Here is where it stops:

Dublin City Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour Stops

  • 14 Upper O’Connell Street
  • 1a. Dublin Visitor Centre, Lower O’Connell Street
  • Trinity College
  • Nassau Street
  • Leinster Street
  • National Art Gallery, Merrion Square West
  • Merrion Square
  • St. Stephens Green
  • Discover Ireland Centre, Suffolk Street
  • Dame Street
  • Dame Street Walking Tour
  • Christ Church Cathedral, Dublinia, Nicolas Street
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Patrick Street
  • High Street
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Bow Lane, IMMA
  • Military Road, Kilmainham Gaol
  • Heuston Station
  • Parkgate Street
  • Phoenix Park, Dublin Zoo
  • Wolf Tone Quay, National Museum of Decorative Arts
  • Arran Quay, St. Michan’s Crypt
  • 21a. Old Jameson Distillery
  • Bachelor’s Walk
  • Parnell Square
  • 23a. Glasnevin Cemetery, Botanic Gardens
  • Westmoreland Street
  • 24a. Croke Park, Stadium Tour
  • Convention Center, Custom House Quay
  • The Dublin Eye, North Wall Quay
  • Tara Street Train Station
  • Dublin-flags-sm

Once we got into Dublin Airport we headed over to store our carry on bags with the Green Caps. Look here for instructions on how to find it because it turned out to be a bit of a hike from the terminal. It cost us about $10 US to store our luggage there.

We got a Freedom Pass at the airport for roughly $37 US per person which included the Airlink Express between the Airport and City centre and the Green Hop-on Hop-off open-top City Tour buses. Make sure you get on the right bus because it turns out that there are at least two hop-on hop-off bus services in Dublin.

The Green Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour turned out to be the best bet for us. We had never been to Dublin so riding around on the bus was fun and informative. The weather in April was brisk and it was rainy that day so if you plan on riding up top, bring a rain coat. Our driver gave a great tour peppered with a lot of Irish humor and history about Dublin. You can sit on the top and take photos of all the sites as you wind your way through the city. The  Unfortunately, because of time, we did not get to stop at the Guinness Storehouse. You need to allow for at least an hour and a half for this tour.

Our last stop was near the Dublin Castle and it was time for lunch (and a pint) so we found a lovely restaurant and brewhouse called the Larder on Parliament Street. The Larder had a great selection of home brews and the food is eclectic European. By the time we finished lunch and walked around a bit we decided to get the bus back to the airport so we would make our flight in time.

Just to hedge my bets I picked up Top 10 Dublin (EYEWITNESS TOP 10 TRAVEL GUIDES) [Kindle Edition] before the trip to have handy as we toured around.

I also did little crowdsourcing to help us plan our layover by asking these questions of my readers:

  1. What else do you think we should see during our layover?
  2. Do you think the Dublin Pass is worth the money for such a short stay?
  3. Do you recommend that we buy all our passes and admissions ahead of time?
  4. What weather can we expect in Dublin at the end of April?
  5. Got any restaurant recommendations?
  6. How long does it take to get through customs at the Dublin Airport? How about security?
  7. How do you recommend getting into Dublin?
  8. Are there any iPhone apps I should download?
  9. What am I missing here?

We got some great advice to help us make the most of our limited time in Dublin. Take a look at the comments to see the suggestions.

It was a great layover that was helped by a little planning and great recommendations from other travelers. I would say that the lesson we learned was no matter how much you plan, add a bit of time to your itinerary for transportation and finding things.

Let me know if I missed anything or if you have any questions about our layover in the comments.

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Maureen Baeck
Maureen Baeck, AKA The Travel Blonde, has a passion for travel. Ever since she was a small child she has been on-the-go traveling across the United States and internationally. Maureen lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, two Standard Poodles and a Sheltie.

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