St Patrick’s Day, also known as St Paddy’s, is a yearly event on the 17th March, celebrating St Patrick and how he brought Christianity to Ireland. The religious side of the popular holiday is often lost as it’s more commonly known as a day full of drinking and partying, and is celebrated all around the world. Before this year, I’d never even been out on St Patrick’s Day, so to have my first experience of it being in Ireland itself was pretty cool!
By the time we looked at booking accommodation (January time) it was all fully booked, so my biggest tip would be ensure you book early if you’re planning on going to Dublin for St Patrick’s Day. To get around this, we booked on a Top Deck tour where the accommodation was included; this did work out pricier, but we stayed at a great place called Isaacs Hostel, which has been voted the #1 hostel in Dublin several times now. As we went as a group of 4, we preferred going off and doing our own thing rather than following the tour itinerary, but for lone travellers a tour would definitely be a great way to meet people.
We arrived on the Wednesday and left on the Saturday, meaning we had the perfect amount of time to explore Dublin and what it has to offer. In the celebratory mood, we went for an Irish Coffee in the sun when we arrived. On the days prior to St Paddy’s, we visited the Guinness Factory (personally not a Guinness fan, but if you order it with blackcurrant it does make it far more enjoyable!), the town centre and the Christ Church Cathedral, which was ironic as the group of girls I went with are all from Christchurch, New Zealand. The town centre had great shops and we were blessed with 16 degree weather on the Wednesday, while just across the bridge Temple Bar was home to tonnes of restaurants, pubs and bars – where we’d be spending our St Patrick’s Day!
Within Temple Bar, there’s a bar called Temple Bar (confusing, I know!) – we’d been told that this is a great party place for tourists, but the drink prices were astronomical. On the Friday we’d queued to get in here, but it was too busy – perhaps a blessing in disguise for my bank balance. The vibe on St Paddy’s day was incredible; everyone was in green, live music was blaring out from every direction and I don’t think I saw one person look even remotely sober!
We missed the parade (still recovering from the night before!) and got to Temple Bar at around 2ish, and it was absolutely heaving all day long. We met people from all parts of the world; Irish (obviously), Americans, Dutch and more. Dancing along to the jolly Irish music, it was such a fantastic day. One hugely important thing to note though: on St Patrick’s Day, bars don’t start serving alcohol until 12pm and shops don’t sell alcohol until 4pm. So, if you’re planning on pre-drinking (which I’d recommend if you’re wanting to save some cash!) make sure you stock up on your drinks the day before.
I’d assumed doing St Patrick’s Day in Dublin would be a ‘one-time, tick it off the bucket list‘ kinda thing, but I’d love to go back and would encourage anyone and everyone to go at least once! Compared to other bucket list trips such as Oktoberfest and Amsterdam for New Year’s, St Paddy’s in Dublin was the best by miles.
Have you been to Dublin before? Do you usually celebrate St Patrick’s Day?
Thanks for reading!