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If you only have one day in Dublin, our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend a circle route of the City Centre to help you tick off the must-sees and dos. A Hop On-Hop Off bus tour is a good guide to start, but walking will be your secret weapon to see Dublin at its best. Grab a scone and start off with a quick jaunt down O’Connell Street, passing the Spire of Dublin, a towering silver needle seen for miles around. Have a look at the facade of the National Post Office, an impressive building in its own right, but more remarkable for its involvement in the 1916 East Rising; prominent bullet holes can still be seen in the columns.
Head south toward the River Liffey and walk right along the quay until you reach Ha’penny Bridge, the whimsical pedestrian bridge serving as the entrance to Temple Bar, Dublin’s cultural quarter. Stroll the cobbled streets at your leisure; watch some buskers in Meeting House Square before heading away from the river toward Dame Street. Make your way to Trinity College on your left. Go through the College’s Great Gate toward the Book of Kells and the Long Room; soak in one of the world’s most magnificent illuminated manuscripts and a stunning library straight out of a fairy tale.
Exit Trinity at Grafton Street and take your picture with the statue of Molly Malone (and possibly a leprechaun or two) before browsing your way south down the pedestrian shopping hub. Grab a bite at Bewley’s Grafton Street Cafe; try and snag a seat on the mezzanine near the window for prime people watching and save some room for a slice of cake from the dessert case or a banana and Nutella pancake. Walk off your meal around St. Stephen’s Green; stroll through the park and admire the Georgian buildings at its perimeter.
Head back toward Dublin Castle on Dame Street, a 10-minute stroll by way of S. Great George’s Street. Poke your head into the courtyard for a look at the sole surviving original turret and pop into the souvenir store to pick up some VAT-tax-free goodies. Continue on toward Christ Church Cathedral to explore the atmospheric crypt, the oldest original structure in Dublin. From there, it’s a 15-minute walk to the Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate where you can learn the history of the iconic beverage, pull your own pint and view the sunset from atop the Gravity Bar. End your day with pub grub and traditional music at The Brazen Head, ostensibly established in 1198.