Updated 16th March 2018
Living in Dublin during St. Patrick’s Day can be exciting, exhausting, fun, and head-wrecking at all once!
The streets are packed with tourists, Temple Bar is a nightmare, and the weather is usually, well, very Irish. But there is an excitement in the air that cannot be ignored. It is the one day where millions around the world celebrate this little island nation you have come to call home, and that’s something to take pride in.
You don’t want to make any blunders on your first Paddy’s Day in Ireland, so use these tips to help you celebrate like a local.
1. Do not call it “St. Patty’s Day” or “St. Pat’s Day”.
It’s typically referred to as “Paddy’s Day” or “Patrick’s Day”. If you’re a bit more proper use the full “St. Patrick’s Day”.
2. Check out the cultural events happening leading up to Paddy’s Day.
The St. Patrick’s Day Festival has a program packed full of Irish music, dance, art, tours, lectures, and more. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the city and Irish culture.
3. Watch the parade from the starting or the ending point.
It’s too difficult to meet up with friends and find a good viewing spot most other places, especially when you cannot cross the actual parade route.
4. Better yet, do as many Irish do and watch the parade from the comfort of your sitting room accompanied by tea and toast!
5. The parade is themed every year and is fun to view just for the creativity of costumes and floats alone.
The troupes put so much time and effort into creating beautiful, interesting and unique pieces of art. They are often quite theatrical, funny, and creative.
6. Realize that the parade is for families.
This isn’t a time where you should be drinking cans in the streets. (That comes a few hours later!)
7. Prepare for a day without public transit.
Buses will be diverted away from city center and the Luas will be disrupted during the parade. Get ready to walk!
8. If you are venturing out to the parade and a day in town, wear layers and bring an umbrella!
9. Real Dubliners avoid the touristy parts of the city and head out to their local instead (the pub most frequently patroned, usually the closest one to home).
If you are looking to grab a few beers, eat some Beef & Guinness Stew, and get a more authentic feel for Paddy’s Day, head to your “local”.
10. Avoid the crowds all together and take full advantage of the bank holiday!
Stay in and read, start a DIY project, or go for a mini holiday to the countryside over the long weekend.
Happy Paddy’s day no matter where you are in the world!
Written by Sarah Dilworth, Marketing Lead in Buenos Aires, Argentina. You can find more about Sarah’s travel journeys on her blog, Cultural Eclecticism.