If you love the fun spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, you have to make it a goal to celebrate this holiday one year in Dublin. But, if you’re used to the American-way of celebrating St. Patty’s Day, you might be surprised to find it’s a different experience in the homeland. There are many places to see in Ireland and plenty of things to do, but it’s hard to top visiting Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day.
Keep reading to find out how the Irish really celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s a Family Affair
March 17 is an official public holiday in Ireland, which means many businesses and schools close. With the kids out of school, you’ll find that families are among the crowds celebrating on the streets. Many of the parades – and even the annual festival at the Guinness Storehouse – cater some of the entertainment towards kids.
At least during the day, you can expect to be surrounded by families.
Green Beer Might Be Hard To Find
Unless you go to a pub that caters to the tourist experience, you won’t find green beer anywhere. Instead, you’ll find most people enjoying a classic pint of Guinness (and you should too – trust us, it’s much better than Green Bud Lights).
Yes, Wear Green Clothing
So, if there’s no green beer, you might be wondering if green clothing is essential. And the answer is yes! The Irish love to get dressed in lots of green to get into the spirit of this holiday. Make sure to show your support and get into the theme by wearing your best and brightest green items.
You’ll Be Celebrating With Locals and Tourists
Thousands of tourists flock to Dublin to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Take a look around you and you’ll find both locals and tourists on the streets. The city doesn’t cater this holiday to the tourists. It sticks to celebrating what this holiday is really about – Irish culture. The parades include Irish dancing, people sing Irish songs, and pubs refuse to serve green beer. This means you get a truly authentic Irish celebration!
Temple Bar Street is probably the most heavily populated with tourists. If you’re looking for a more authentic St. Patrick’s Day celebration, move further out from Temple Bar. Many locals avoid Temple Bar Street because these central hubs tend to raise their prices significantly for St. Paddy’s Day.
Rain or Shine, The Celebrations Must Go On
Dublin holds a huge St. Patrick’s Day parade every year that includes marching bands, dancers, live music, performers, and more. The parade begins typically at 10 am on O’Connell Street by Parnell Square and heads south throughout the city. The parade route totals 2.5 kilometers and usually lasts two hours. And, the parade will go on rain or shine!
Pro Tip: Get to O’Connell Street by 9 am to ensure you get an excellent spot to view the whole parade.
You’ll Want to Stay Several Nights
Sure, March 17 might be the “official” holiday, but the Irish know how to throw a good, long party. St. Paddy’s Day celebrations typically last five nights, with major events happening every night. We recommend staying in Dublin for at least five nights to get the full experience.
Grab Cash Beforehand
There will be lines everywhere you go. One of the best things you can do to get prepared is to get your cash beforehand. This will allow you to skip the massive lines at the ATM and easily buy snacks, beers, and other items throughout the day.
Book Everything In Advance
This is Dublin’s big celebration of the year, which means everything will be packed. As much as possible, do all of your planning beforehand. Book your tickets to the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery early and avoid visiting these spots before or after March 17.
Book your hotel as far in advance as possible and stay close to the action, so you don’t get stuck in traffic.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland will be one of the most memorable experiences in your life. All you have to know is that the Irish are some of the friendliest people and this is a holiday all about fun, food, and drinking. So book your flight, pack your green outfit, and see Dublin during its most vibrant week of the entire year.