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Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day - Right?

Image Title: Dublin St. Patrick's Day Parade, 2016
Dublin St. Patrick's Day Parade, 2016

Image Title: Temple Bar District, St. Patrick's Day 2016
Temple Bar District, St. Patrick's Day 2016

While we were living in Manchester, UK we took a ferry from Hollyhead in Wales to Dublin for St. Patrick's day 2016 and met our daughter from the US at the Dublin airport for a week of touring Ireland that ended back in the Temple Bar Quarter of Dublin for St. Patrick's Day.  It was a wonderful trip with the added bonus of having good weather for the entire week, which to be fair, is a 50/50 chance for March in the land of the leprechauns.  Dublin on St. Patrick's Day is electric and particularly in the Temple Bar Quarter, but its really more of a thing for tourists than for locals.  While most of the people we stood alongside the famous parade route with were Irish, we heard a lot of American and British accents late into the night in the Temple Bar pubs.  

The St. Patrick's day celebration in Dublin and in particular in the Temple Bar Quarter, is filled with festive crowds in a definite party mood.  For the most part, this is an adult event that involves lots of drinking and dancing in the streets.  Its not a particularly family friendly atmosphere.  Here are some Pro-Tips for celebrating St. Patrick's day in Dublin:

-  Wear Green even if you're not Catholic.  It's OK to wear orange, but it could become a conversation starter that you may not want to start.  

-  Drink Irish beer (e.g., Guinness, Harp, Smithwick's and Kilkennyand Irish whiskey (e.g., Jameson, Bushmills, and Powers John's).  It would be rude to order a Bass Ale or Peroni or , heaven forbid, Bud Light and don't even think about ordering a fruity cocktail.

- While on the subject of drinking in Ireland in general, don't try to order a Black and Tan.  In America, a Black and Tan is half stout and half lager where the stout floats on top of the lager.  It's kind of cool in America, but in Ireland, 'Black and Tan' is a reference to the Royal Irish Constabulary during Irish War of Independance.  Similarly, don't order an 'Irish Car Bomb' . . . . . 

- Walk, take a cab, or ride the bus.   Parking in the Temple Bar Quarter is problematic and you don't want to drive after this party.


We stayed at the Radisson Blu hotel in the Temple Bar Quarter and it was a very easy walk to the parade and the bars as well as the shopping along the River Liffey.  We have plans to go back next year and have already booked an AirBnB apartment in the Temple Bar Quarter.  There are many, many options for where to stay in Dublin on St. Patrick's day that can accomdate anyone's budget or needs, but like many festivals around the world, the earlier you book the more choices you will have.

Outside of Dublin on St. Patrick's day, a week in Ireland is a good first introduction to this wonderful country.  We spent a week touring Southern Ireland by car, (Note that Ireland drives on the Left side of the road). We spent one night just outside of Cork in the village of Blarney - yes, we did indeed Kiss the Stone; a night near the Cliffs of Mohr; and two nights in Dublin.  This itinerary gave us enough time to get our bearings and get a feel for the culture and generous people, but it wasn't nearly enough to immerse ourselves in all that Ireland has to offer.   (You can read more about the full details of our trip in the Destinations section of our website under the Dublin tab.)


Phil & Diane