Whew! There is nothing more Irish than spending St. Patricks Day in Dublin. And that’s just what we did. We Americans love feeling a little Irish on that day, don’t we? So, hubs and I thought it would be brilliant to head across the pond to Ireland for the biggest Irish celebration ever. It seemed like an awesome idea to begin with, but little did we know it was also the single most busy day and time of the year in Ireland! Oops, my bad.
I’m not saying you shouldn‘t experience this once in your life, but if you do, there are some things to be aware of.
1. Book your hotel early! Waiting late in the game means you’ll end up spending a lot more €€€ on a room. Our room cost us three times as much per night as it normally would have. Stay outside the city for better rates. Hotels out of city center are still close enough to the city by train or bus and you’ll save yourself a lot of money.
2. Dress warm! I can’t stress this enough. This year it was cold and wet. That made for a sucky, uncomfortable morning. If you’re a lightweight and hate cold weather, make sure you break out your Northface and/or rain jacket. You’ll thank me for this later.
3. Wake early for the Paddys Day parade and get to a good spot downtown before 10 am for the 12 noon parade kick off. If you’re really clever and early, find a coffee shop with window views off the street and you’ll stay warm and dry during the parade with choice seats! 😉 Check the local paper or web for the parade route and scope out your spot beforehand.
Side Note: most of the parade goers are tourists. Where do the locals go? I’ve no idea.
4. Doc Martin boots were MADE for UK and Ireland. Nothing better for traipsing through cobblestone streets, stones, wet, mud like a sturdy pair of Docs.
5. Expect drunk, shoulder-to-shoulder, selfie-taking college students everywhere. Dublin on Paddys Day is like Mardi Gras in New Orleans..without the boobs.
6. Temple Bar? Sure..knock yourself out. Literally.
7. And watch where you walk, there is most likely throw-up outside every pub sidewalk post Paddys Day morning.
8. Don’t rent a car if you’re not planning to go anywhere else. Not only is it €55 per day, you don’t really need it. Train and public transit is pretty great in Dublin.
9. If you want to eat, arrive at a pub early otherwise, you’ll probably not get any food.
10. Think outside the box for parade day. There are parades all over Ireland for Paddys Day celebration. Try Cork, Killarney, Shannon, Galway, Midleton for a more authentic, village celebration without the crowds.