10 Things You Didn’t Know About a St. Patrick’s Day Holiday in Dublin

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.

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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.


St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,


#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!


St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,


#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.



St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,

Photo courtesy Tourism Ireland 2015

St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,

Photo courtesy Tourism Ireland 2015

St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,



#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!


St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,

Christ Church Cathedral

St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,

St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,


#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.


St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,

St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,


#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.


St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,

St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,


#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.


Trinity College , St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin, Long Library

Trinity College Long Library

Trinity College, St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,

An ancient book on display at Trinity College


#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.


St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,

Photo courtesy Tourism Ireland 2015

St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,

Photo courtesy Tourism Ireland 2015


#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.


East Side Tavern

East Side Tavern


#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.


St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin, christa THOMPSON

Inside the Irish Whiskey Museum

St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin,

Irish Whiskey Museum


#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.


St. Patrick's Day Holiday, Dublin, christa thompson


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.

Special thanks to Visit Dublin and Tourism Ireland for the many times they’ve hosted me and allowed me to be a part of their festival. This in no way shapes my travel story, but makes bringing it to you easier.

About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

55 Comments on this post

  1. That is absolutely FANTASTIC! We fully embrace our Irish heritage. We even participate in Highland Games in our area. I would love to experience the real, Irish St. Patrick’s Day treatment.

  2. I absolutely love St. Patricks day. In Savannah, we have so much fun. The city going green looks so beautiful.

    curvaceousgoddesses / Reply
  3. Oh wow! That puts anything I’ve ever seen in the states to shame. I would love to experience that first hand.

    Vera Sweeney / Reply
  4. This might be the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I could really get into a few days of St. Patrick’s Day celebration. That is epic.

    Bill Sweeney / Reply
  5. WOW!! That looks like a great holiday!! I love that they make city hall green! so cool!

    jennifervanhuss / Reply
  6. We don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day here, but these are good to know. I love that everything turns green on this day.

    Catvills / Reply
  7. I can’t even imagine what celebrating in the hard of Ireland would be like. The green buildings would be so cool to see.. and those ice cream costumes?! LOVE!!

    Aduke Schulist / Reply
  8. Holy cow the Irish knows how to party! I never seen anything like it! Looks super fun, my son would love to see the parade!

    Betty / Reply
  9. Ireland is on my bucket list of places to visit and St Patricks Day would be an amazing time to visit!!

    Ricci / Reply
  10. Wow that parade looks like so much fun. I love the owl float. I have always wanted to travel to Ireland. The buildings look amazing lit up green.

    Ann Bacciaglia / Reply
  11. It is so cool to see how people around the world celebrate the holiday. I love St. Patrick’s Day and those dresses are so pretty!

    Melissa Dixon / Reply
  12. I would love to visit Dublin someday! Sounds like a really amazing experience!

    Shannon Gurnee / Reply
  13. I had no idea this was an event that took several days. I would love to see the city go green with their lights.

    Kelly Hutchinson / Reply
  14. Wow! I would LOVE to visit there someday, it looks incredible! And that last photo of you is too cute – it looks like you’re having a blast there!

    Kendall Rayburn / Reply
  15. Wow, I totally want to go to Dublin and experience this for myself! What an amazing experience that you will never forget.

    chefjoe11 / Reply
  16. This would be the best way to celebrate St Patrick’s day. I have always wanted to go explore Ireland.

    Claudia Krusch / Reply
  17. St Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I had no idea all of the different things Dublin does to celebrate. I love how at night everything glows green!

    alisonrost / Reply
  18. Holy moly Ireland looks like fun this time of year!! I need to go back. I haven’t been in such a long time, but that sure does look magical!

    Jasmine Eclipse / Reply
  19. What a colorful parade. St. Patrick’s Day is not celebrated where I live. It looks like a super fun event.

    Dogvills / Reply
  20. Wow always heard that St. Patty’s wasn’t such a thing in Ireland and it was more of an American thing like Cinco de Mayo (we were in Mexico for this and no even acknowledged it lol). But Dublin does it up proper! Love that city too, sounds like we’ll need to go back next March!

    Anne / Reply
  21. I have always wanted to go to Ireland! I couldn’t even imagine going during St. Patrick’s Day! How amazing!

    The Mad Mommy / Reply
  22. I especially like #6. I’m always interested in the legends and lore of places.

    Natural Skin Care / Reply
  23. That parade looks amazing!! How fun you got to be there for such a fun time! I loved everything about Ireland!

    Karissa WithOurBest / Reply
  24. Very great info… I have always wanted to go to Ireland and check out the St Patrick’s Day parade!

    Rika (@thedealmatch) / Reply
  25. That had to be a great trip. I love all of the costumes that were in the parade also. I think that it is interesting how everything is lit up green also. I will be honest the amount of people in that area would probably be overwhelming to me, crowds do that to me. Thank you for sharing all of this, now I have learned something new and interesting.

    Becky Willis / Reply
  26. St Patty’s Day is also my wife’s birthday, my lifelong dream is to take her to ireland for her birthday one year. Very jealous.

    Gabriel / Reply
  27. I would love to travel to Dublin, especially around St Patrick’s Day!! Great post!!

    Ricci / Reply
  28. Wow I had no idea that it was a widely celebrated holiday. In the US, it is just another day for the most part and your supposed to wear green to avoid getting pinched. The green city is beautiful.

    uprunforlife / Reply
  29. Oh my goodness – this looks like SO MUCH FUN! I had no idea it was for a longer length of time either!

    cosmeticsanctuary / Reply
  30. Dublin is on my bucket list for places to visit. This looks like so much fun!

  31. I’m sure it’s more fun in Dublin!!!! Enjoy yourself!

    Befitting Style / Reply
  32. I would love to travel to Ireland one day and visit Dublin. It is on my bucket list.

    Jennifer Sikora / Reply
  33. It would be very interesting to go to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day! I did not know it was more than one day event! What fun!

    Jeanette / Reply
  34. Ireland sounds like a really good time. They certainly know how to do it up. Our festive events here in the US aren’t nearly as grand.

    Mimi Green / Reply
  35. I’m glad to know these things about celebrating St Patrick Day! Ireland is such an amazing place.

    Karlyn Cruz / Reply
  36. I’m pretty sure that you had fun in Dublin, that’s amazing place to visit with family.

    My Teen Guide / Reply
  37. Just the fact that the festivities last several days seems like so much fun! I have never seen a celebration quite like this before – how awesome.

    Lisa Favre / Reply
  38. I’ve never been much into the festivities for this holiday but would LOVE to see when the building all turn green like that! Would be so cool!

    Marielle Altenor / Reply
  39. Seriously sounds increadible!

    Befitting Style / Reply
  40. I’ve never been to a festival that lasts so long. I would love to check this out, it sounds like my kind of fun.

    Terri Ramsey Beavers / Reply
  41. I love Dublin. So happy to hear it’s a big celebration that encompasses more than just drinking. Will have to plan to be there next year.

    Traveling Well For Less / Reply
  42. I didn’t know about most of these! How cool! I bet celebrating in Dublin is a ton of fun, your pictures are amazing!

    adriana / Reply
  43. I don’t celebrate St Patricks day. I do wear green though. I had no idea that they celebrated it for several days.

    up run for life / Reply
  44. Love the photos, you really capture the St Patty’s holiday in Dublin… My younger brother went there last year for 2 months and loved it! I wish to go someday, and even better go during st patty’s day : ) My step-family are crazy fun Irish people!

    Eloise / Reply
  45. oh, my goodness! Now that’s the St Patrick’s parade I want to go to…lol! Really fun! Thanks for sharing.

    Mrs. D / Reply
  46. Wow! I have never heard so much about St. Patrick’s Day until I bumped into this post! I have been wanting to know more about it and how it’s celebrated. I was totally clueless until today. You summarized the things in one post and I think I am excited to see how the celebration goes for real in Ireland. We have a cousin in Dublin and I wish when we visit her, it’ll be this time of the year. I’d love to see those grand parade costume and the kids presenting too. And definitely love to see the city goes green. 🙂

    jo a. / Reply
  47. Wow – I love all the pictures! They sure do know how to party in Dublin.

    Carin Kilby Clark / Reply
  48. It must be amazing to celebrate St. Patty’s in Dublin. Love all your pictures, it looks like so much fun!

    Yes Missy / Reply
  49. Really want to visit here soon. Sounds like so much fun! I’ve never celebrated the holiday yet.

  50. My secret plan is to take my wife to dublin next year on her birthday. She was lucky enough to be born on St. Patty’s Day and next year is the big 4-0.

    Gabriel / Reply
  51. St. Patrick Day seems to be one of the happiest festivities. I wonder why the buildings are green. It reminded me of Incredible Hulk. By the way the city evens looks absolutely fun.

  52. Wow, that would be a celebration I would like to be a part of. I haven’t seen a full blast celebration of St. Paddy here in my town.

    Chubskulit Rose / Reply

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