How to make the most of (and survive) St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin

By: Abigail Schaffer, Trip Consultant

I have a thing for celebrations, so last March I traveled with EF College Break on the St. Paddy’s Day in Ireland tour. Being from Boston, St. Patrick’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. So I thought, what better way to experience this than in the land of St. Patrick himself? This experience was more than I ever expected. Here are some tips that I’d love to share with my future St. Patrick’s Day Dubliners.

  1. Get up early.

Jump out of bed at 8am and throw on your most ridiculous Irish outfit. The more ridiculous you look, the better you will fit in. Wear the flag, paint your face, and don’t be caught wearing any other color but green, orange, and white. Pound some water and eat a bagel. (Carbs are the magic word, people). It is now time to head out towards O’Connell Street and experience the calm before the storm!

  1. Get a good spot.

One of the highlights of the day is experiencing the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This is an amazing Irish tradition, and the reason why you come all the way to Ireland for March 17th. Don’t miss it! To be able to see the parade, you will need to secure a spot around 9am on O’Connell. By 10 or 11am, all the good spots are taken, but the parade doesn’t start until noon! It’s worth the wait, but be sure to wear comfy shoes.

  1. Set up a meeting point with your group

I have never seen crowds or seas of people like I did in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day. Be sure to have at least one buddy you stick with at all times, then set a meeting point with your group in case you get split up. You will not have Wi-Fi because you will be running around the streets and pubs all day. Go the old-school route and just set a place and time, then stick to it!

  1. Pace yourself

You knew it was coming! The Guinness will be flowing all day and night. No need to start too early. Also, remember to eat. It will be hard to find certain pubs with space to order food, so settle for a slice of pizza or a sandwich to go.

  1. Be Irish

I am not the teeniest tiniest bit Irish, but I certainly acted like it!  Embrace your inner Irish self, and don’t feel weird about dancing, singing, and joining the locals in all the celebrations. Join in on some Irish step dancing, and Celtic sing-alongs. No one will care that you don’t know the words.

  1. Venture Out of Temple Bar District

Temple Bar District is a lot of fun, but also packed with tourists and seas of people on St. Patrick’s Day. Seriously, it’s like walking through a packed concert. Hold onto your buddy and squeeze your way out of Temple Bar to venture into another area of Dublin. I suggest going to Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub. They have live music, dancing, and a really authentic Irish atmosphere!


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