A few weeks before Christmas, when I was preempting the January post-holiday blues inspired by 10 days back home in Melbourne’s glorious summer, I had the crazy idea to spend St Patrick’s Day in Dublin. Ireland was on my British Bucket List and St Paddy’s seemed like as good a time as any. Next thing you know, it’s March (how did that happen?!) and we were off to explore the land of Guinness.
St. Patrick’s Day proved to be a fantastic time to spend in the city. Spirits were high, green was everywhere and fellow tourists filled the streets. There was something really contagious about the patriotism and everyone we crossed paths with was in the city for the same reason that we were: to have fun!
Before we left London, my travel buddy and I had compiled a bucket list (fondly referred to as our ‘Dublin Domination’) to help us make the most of the festivities. Whilst I’m not going to share that particular list with you (trust me – it’s silliness renders it a little bit useless now), I am going to share a revised, based-in-experience, decidedly more thoughtful list with you all about how to get the most out of spending St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin.
Wear green and invest in silly accessories
It’s all part of the fun and it really helps you get into the spirit of the day – not to mention, it’s a great ice breaker for when you want to make new friends.
Don’t bother going to see the parade
Basically, there is a parade which travels all the way through the city centre of Dublin to commemorate the day. Unless you’re Irish (or just really into parades) I’d give this a miss. There’s so many people that unless you camp out early to get the best vantage point, or are basketball star tall, you’re not going to be able to see much anyway. Just being in the vicinity of the parade is enough if you ask me.
Make new friends
Bond over your silly green accessories, how what you’re drinking is actually warm whiskey (not tea, despite its appearance) or just join in an Irish music sing-a-long. Everyone’s quite jolly and open to conversation about practically anything – just be as equally open and you’re bound to have more fun than if you just keep to yourselves.
Get out of Dublin
I wouldn’t recommend this on the actual day of St. Patrick’s (nor the day after…) but if you have the time during your visit, it’s worth renting a car and exploring the Irish countryside – even just for a few hours. London can be quite a claustrophobic place and one can go months (years, even) without even seeing the seaside. A twenty-minute drive outside of Dublin and we found ourselves feeling like we were in the middle of nowhere and it was a really special juxtaposition.