Greetings from Ireland! Have you ever thought of coming to Dublin for the biggest and brightest of all Irish holidays? And I better tell you that on March 17th everyone is Irish! I want to give you a couple of tips on how to get through this green madness if you plan on visiting Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day 2016.
You are probably aware of this, but really try to book your flight and your accommodation at least 2 months in advance. In any case you are late and on a budget anyway, you might want to check the St. Patrick’s Day events on Facebook. There are some Dubliners, who rent their sofas for a 20€ per night. Most of the people come for the parties that basically consist of a couple of day’s pub hopping, going to the clubs and heavy drinking. But you should really check out the plan of events for the whole festival, which goes on for 4 days. There are a lot of live concerts, movies and art exhibitions before the big day.
In the morning of St. Patrick’s Day I had Irish breakfast at Hatch & Sons with some friends. This place is at St. Stephen’s Green near to Grafton Street. So we were already pretty close to where the parade takes place. If you are staying a bit outside the centre I would really recommend to get there on time. Dublin Bus is usually not really reliable and especially not on this day. If you are not that much into a hefty breakfast and have a sweet tooth you should try Queen of Tarts in Dame Street (a second shop is right around the corner).
If you are looking for St. Patrick merchandise and want that green hat everyone is wearing try the 1 Euro shop, which is also at St. Stephen’s green selling those articles much cheaper than the tourist shops on O´Connell. The parade takes place from 12 to 2 pm, starts at Parnell Square and ends in front of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We watched it from the corner of Trinity College and Dames Street. To get a place in front row you should definitely get there by no later than 11 am. The parade arrives at that corner around 12:45 pm, so be patient while waiting for the marching chapels and dancers. The advantage of being on Dames Street is that you are already pretty close to Temple Bar, the nightlife area, where all the pubs are. This is the part where it gets crazy. If you are claustrophobic this is definitely not your place to be! The streets are crowded with people in green and doormen are really strict on letting people in (no entrance under 20). If this sounds too scary for you choose to go for a pub that is outside Temple Bar, where people do not get completely mad. But at least have a look before – you might not see something like this a second time.