Over the last several years I have been lucky enough to experience the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin. I’ve had multiple opportunities to explore what is easily one of my top five favorite cities in the world. I’ve uncovered so many highlights such as its food, culture, heritage, architecture and its many fantastic stories along with its events. One of my favorite being the St. Patrick’s Day Festival. So, in light of the upcoming celebration, I thought I’d share a few things you didn’t know about the St. Patrick’s Day experience in Dublin, Ireland.
Want to see pictures from the St. Patrick’s Day Dublin Parade?
Things You Didn’t Know About a St. Patrick’s Day Holiday in Dublin
Unlike the parades which line our Boston and Savannah streets and span a half day, a St. Patrick’s Day holiday will give you 4-5 days of pure and righteous Irish celebrations.
#1 The festival lasts several days so the experience is a full on holiday
If you’re packing your bags for a St. Patrick’s Day holiday in Dublin, you better pack for 4-5 days, and maybe even longer. The city’s festival alone lasts several days. And if you’re in Ireland, you’re going to want to explore beyond the city. Ireland is one massive rock of castle ruins, rolling hills, craggy cliffs, breathtaking mountains and of course, fairy tales. Not only are there loads of super cool, mythical and magical things to do in Dublin, but the whole island is full of it!
#2 It’s an international celebration with international events
From U.S. marching bands to bagpipes, there’s much in the way of international events at the St. Patrick’s Day Festival. Last year over 40 events were supported by the Culture Ireland division of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht across 18 countries.
#3 The parade is built on heritage, history and the arts
The floats are incredible! I’ve never seen anything quite like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin. It’s always such an exciting event knowing how artistic and mythical the Irish are. And they never disappoint. Just look at these photos!
#4 The city goes green
It’s so much fun walking the city at nightfall to see iconic buildings lighting up in green. From the St. Patrick’s Cathedral to Dublin Castle and even beyond the country, it’s absolutely fantastic.
#5 There are citywide events
Various venues during the festival period host a range of cultural events which share the layers of Ireland’s heritage and history.
#6 Dublin is loaded with places related to legends and lore
From mummies to ghosts and even Bram Stoker the king of Dracula, Dublin is teeming with legends and folklore. This is one of the many reasons Dublin is a favorite city of mine. It seems no matter how many times I go, I’m always discovering new and interesting folklore.
#7 You can easily spend the day with your family and not worry about shenanigans
I love that the parade is family friendly. I’m always reluctant to attend U.S. St. Patrick’s Day parades with my son due to the obscene amount of belligerent day drunks I’ve witnessed. In Dublin, there are children everywhere. It’s never a fuss in Dublin and I really like that.
#8 But you can still have your share of shenanigans in the evening
After a morning of parade watching, you can join the masses to celebrate in one of the many Irish pubs to take in the spirits of Ireland. Call it a day and carry on or have a go at the many pubs and bars open into the small hours. There’s something for everyone.
#9 Get your adult beverage on
If you’re like me and love a good whiskey and Guinness, then you’ll be in your happy place at popular venues like the Guinness Store House and The Irish Whiskey Museum. Just another fine way to take in the culture and spirits of Ireland.
#10 Have an evening of food, fairies and folklore
One of my absolute favorite ways to spend an evening in Dublin is to have a proper Irish supper by the fire to the tune of trad music and tales of fairies and folklore. Hands down one of my favorite “touristy” things to do in Dublin. Well worth the buck and great fun for all ages.
Dublin and the whole of Ireland lives near and dear to my heart. Of all the city celebrations I’ve experienced in my life, my experience during a St. Patrick’s Day holiday is always nothing short of incredible. To learn more about everything Dublin has to offer, check out Visit Dublin. Plan your trip itinerary with Tourism Ireland and be sure to check out my good friend Ed Hannon’s blog Visions of the Past for everything historic, ancient teeming with tales in Ireland.
Have some extra time? Why not explore the fantastic mythical legends along the Wild Atlantic Way, take a leap thousands of years past in Ireland’s Ancient East or explore the sensational Game of Thrones film locations to the north.