Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland! This had been a bucket list item for years. So, we planned our trip to end in Dublin on Saint Patrick’s day. If it is on your list also, here is a guide to Saint Patrick’s Day in Dublin to be prepared before you go!
What to Expect
Laying out what to expect in a few bullet points:
- First things first, expect a large crowd!
- Be patient when you are trying to find somewhere to sit or order a beer.
- Expect to have standing-room only in many of the bars.
- You will have to be a little more ahead of the game when planning your Ireland trip if it is revolving around Saint Patrick’s Day.
- Rooms will book up and be more expensive the longer you wait.
- Be mindful of the day of the week Saint Patrick’s day falls on.
- It landed on a Sunday when we went and did not realize a lot of the nightlife celebrations would be taking place on Saturday night.
For us American’s, don’t expect green beer! That has somehow developed as an Americanized tradition on Saint Patrick’s Day, so don’t expect it in Ireland! Plus, it is hard to turn a delicious Guinness green anyway 🙂 !
Despite the crowds and increased prices, expect an awesome experience! There is nothing quite like listening to a traditional Irish band in a local pub in Ireland on Saint Patrick’s Day!
Saint Patrick’s Day parade
- Late morning/ early afternoon
- However, don’t think “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.” Think more “hometown Christmas Parade.”
- The floats are intricate and detailed, yet small. Most are pulled or pushed on a trailer by hand.
- The crowd and the engagement make for a great experience.
- Following the parade, people disperse into pubs
- If you find a pub with seating and great music, stay a while.
- But there are so many pubs in Dublin, so hop around and see multiple!
I recommend booking accommodations earlier rather than later if you are preparing to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland.
- We waited a little long and found many places to be booked and the ones that were left to be more expensive.
- We found an Airbnb for the best price due to increased pricing of the hotels. However, look around, because the cheapest option can change.
Click here for more tips on booking accommodations!
Don’t expect to do any driving during Saint Patrick’s Day! Many of the roads are blocked off and the ones that aren’t have a lot of foot traffic. Driving is not a necessity.
Pro tip: return your rental car the night prior to Saint Patrick’s Day to avoid having to drive through the crowd to get the car back.
Pub crawling is easy by foot, so wear comfy shoes and get your steps in!
Enjoy the Nightlife
Although the nightlife might be more prominent if Saint Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday, there will be a good nightlife to celebrate the holiday on any day of the week. We stepped inside the famous Temple Bar to say we had been there, but warning: it will be crowded!
My recommendation: move on to a pub that is lesser known. Rule of thumb: Further from Temple Bar, the less crowds. We found one with live music and dancing where we could move and get a drink without standing elbow to elbow! No matter the pub, you will easily find a good time in Dublin on Saint Patrick’s Day!
A Few Recommendations
- Book your accommodations early
- Travel a few streets over to find pubs that are less crowded
- Don’t book your return flight to the US the morning after. Learned this one the hard way!
- Have a little cash to get drinks quicker
- If you want 4 Guinness’s, ask for “4 pints Guinness,” not “4 Guinness’s!” A recommendation given to my boyfriend by a local 🙂 Whoops!
- If you are wanting to do a Guinness Tour and will be here during Saint Patrick’s Day, BOOK AHEAD!
Saint Patrick's Day in Ireland Recap!
Wow! Ireland is a spectacular country in itself. Listening to a live, Irish band in a pub at ANY time is a great time. But there is just something about being in Ireland on Saint Patrick’s Day. It is just fun and carefree and a great way to celebrate one of my favorite countries!
Click here for a 10-Day itinerary circumnavigating Ireland!