Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, we’re dreaming of a weekend getaway to Ireland. From traditional Irish cuisine and beautiful hiking routes to Dublin nightlife, here are our suggestions for how to spend 72 hours on The Emerald Isle.

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Once you’ve landed in Dublin, you’ll find it easy to use the city as your base to explore places that are either in and around the city, or just a short drive away. We’ve narrowed down your options so you can squeeze it all into your weekend.

Start Your Day with a Traditional Irish Breakfast

If you wake up hungry, the Irish have got you covered. The traditional Irish breakfast is loaded with meat. Tear into a plate of bacon rashers (thin slices), pork sausages, fried eggs, black and white pudding (various types of ground meat, fat, bread and suet shaped into paddies), fried tomato, potato bread and jam, and tea to drink. Eat up — you’ll need energy to explore, after all!

Tour the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin

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Image via Flickr CC – Mack Male

Learn everything you want to know about this iconic Irish beer while touring the brewery and participating in tastings and mini-classes. When you’re done, grab a pint and enjoy the view from the rooftop bar. You can save yourself some time waiting in line by purchasing tickets online.

Kiss the Blarney Stone OR Explore the Cliffs of Moher

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Image via Flickr CC – Cyril Doussin

Due to your limited time in Ireland, you’ll have to choose one of the following activities.

Travel to Blarney Castle (about 8 kilometers from Cork) to kiss the famous Blarney Stone (a block of carboniferous limestone that’s actually built into the castle). According to local lore, kissing the stone will instantly make you more eloquent (and who couldn’t use that?!). Early kissers were required to be held by the ankles and lowered head first in order to smooch the stone. If that sounds as terrifying to you as it does to me, don’t worry. Now visitors only have to lean backwards while holding on to an iron railing.

Or, if you choose to do some hiking, you have the option of visiting the legendary Cliffs of Moher. You’ll be able to walk along the scenic Atlantic coastline and enjoy amazing views out to the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. You can also snap some epic pics from O’Brien’s Tower, right at the highest point of the cliffs.

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You may not find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow this St. Patrick’s Day, but you’ll love this flight deal that’ll help you get to Ireland without breaking the bank!

Hike Along Wicklow Way

Like something out of a movie, Wicklow Way is a 129-kilometer trail that traverses the incredibly scenic Wicklow Mountains. The trail starts in Marlay Park (a southern suburb of Dublin) through County Wicklow and ends in the village of Clonegal. The stunning scenery includes granite ridges and valleys, lakes, and wooded foothills. Along the way, you’ll encounter Glendalough, an ancient monastic site founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Stroll through the historic ruins as you learn about the fascinating history of this area.

Visit the National Museum of Ireland

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Image via Flickr CC – William Murphy

Comprised of four locations (three in Dublin and one in Mayo), the National Museum of Ireland provides a comprehensive look at Irish culture, archaeology, decorative arts, and natural history. There are always interesting exhibits and numerous artifacts that highlight Ireland’s rich and colorful history. To help you plan your visit, the museum’s website gives an overview of each of the four locations.

Go Out for Live Music in Dublin

Ireland’s capital city has no shortage of live music venues. When the sun goes down, head to one of Dublin’s premier music clubs like The Button Factory, The Grand Social, or The Workman’s Club to take in their eclectic offerings. Sip whiskey and rub elbows with the locals while enjoying Dublin’s nightlife.

Have you spent a weekend in Ireland? What did you do? Let us know in the comments section!

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About The Author

Jen Bouchard

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing (www.luciditewriting.com) and Bouchard Design Co.