Spending Saint Patrick’s day in Dublin is something you will never forget. The city gets a whole different atmosphere for the national holiday, with people from all over the world gathering in the streets to watch the famous parade and celebrate. If you are planning to be in Ireland for the next 17th of March - which is promised to be a landmark celebration, the largest in scale after a two-year break due to COVID - here are a few tips to enjoy it like a local and make your experience even more special:
Make sure to get accommodation way before your trip
The week of St. Patrick’s Day is the busiest time for hotels and hostels in Dublin, so planning ahead can make your trip less stressful and get you a chance to grab a nicer spot to stay. Every year the St Patrick’s Parade happens at the heart of Dublin, crossing the whole city center - from Parnell Street to Stephen’s Green. If you want to avoid getting the public transport (which can be quite busy during the holiday), make sure to book an accommodation that is in a walking distance from O'Connell Bridge, Parnell Square or the Stephen’s Green area, such as our Gardiner House Hostel, with options for private or shared bedrooms (book here). Booking a place to stay earlier on will also guarantee you a better deal and probably save you some euros.
What time does the St. Patrick's Parade start?
The official parade starts at twelve o’clock on the 17th of March, leaving from Parnell Square, but since the morning you will see people starting to gather around the city center to guarantee a nice place to watch it. Try to do the same and get there in the morning, the early birds get the best spots for the parade. Go prepared to stay out all day, bring some snacks and some cash with you, since shops can be pretty busy in the area, and ATMs will likely have long queues.
There is no right or wrong once you get to the city center, just find a place where you feel comfortable and enjoy the amazing atmosphere that the national holiday brings to Dublin. You will see different groups of people doing the same, singing, laughing and dancing to the traditional Irish songs.
What is the best way to enjoy the St. Patrick's Day in Dublin?
You can start by paying some special attention to what you're gonna wear, and making a plan of action for the day out. Comfortable shoes are indispensable, as well as your favorite pieces of clothing in green. March can still be quite cold, so make sure you are prepared for the weather, with extra lawyers and a waterproof jacket. If you need to use the bathroom, there are public ones in the shopping centers such as Stephen's Green Shopping Center, Jervis, and Illac. There are also some options for food in these locations, so make sure you keep your body nourished throughout the day. Most pubs will be serving delicious food around that area, and you can also find some budget-friendly restaurants, such as the UMI Falafel, and Boojum.
After the parade, you can head to one of the pubs in the city to keep celebrating in the most Irish way: live music, dance, and Guinness (or other draft beers). Keep in mind that the pubs around the Temple Bar quarter can be more expensive than the ones around the inner city, so head to Camden or Parnell Street to find better deals for your pints. Other areas such as Rathmines, Smithfield, and Portobello also have some nice options of pubs to go to.
Why is St. Patrick's Day so big in Ireland?
Also known as Paddy’s day, the national holiday celebrates Ireland’s saint patron: St Patrick. A funny thing is that the traditional parade didn't start in the country, it was actually an idea proposed by the Irish immigrants in New York, around 1762, as a way of honoring and celebrating the Irish culture they all missed so much. The holiday became a real celebration in Ireland around 1931, when the first parade happened in Dublin. What started as a religious festivity became the most important national holiday for the country and for the Irish people around the world, celebrated with the national colors: green, white, and orange, and symbols such as the shamrock.
St. Patrick's Celebration 2022 in Dublin
In 2022, the St Patrick’s Parade in Dublin will happen on Thursday, 17th of March, but the celebrations will keep happening for the whole weekend. The National Museum of Ireland will hold a Festival Quarter, opening day and night from March 16th until March 20th, with many official events taking place in there, and a food space with traditional Irish treats being sold. The events happening during the day are 100% free and open to all ages. The night events are for +18 only and need a ticket purchase beforehand, you can check the options available on their website, as well as the prices and attractions.
Now I feel like you have all the important information you need for a perfect St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin.
I can’t wait to dress green and celebrate, see you there!