How to plan a trip to Dublin for St Patrick’s Day
Do you want to visit Dublin for St Patrick’s Day but you don’t have any idea on where and how to start? I’ve been living in Dublin for a while now and I’ve helped many many people in finding the best solutions for their visits to Dublin during Paddy’s day. First thing first: Dublin is literally crowded the 17th of March and if you hope to visit the City quietly probably you will be disappointed but a visit to Dublin at St Patrick’s Day is an unmissable experience.
Let me give you the more advices I can to help you in organizing your trip to Dublin in the best way possible in terms of logistic, accommodation and more.
St. Patrick’s Day: when and why
St. Patrick is celebrated only and always the 17th of March every year (date of death of the Saint, in the 461) and for this occasion a big festival is organized, the St. Patrick’s Festival, suitable both for adults and children.
How to arrive to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day
Dublin is easily reachable from most of the US and Europe as well; if you’re traveling from the US, you’ll find good flights booking with AerLingus, Delta and American Airlines without any stop. Same story if you’re traveling from Europe: AerLingus and Ryanair are the most reliable airlines and you can also spot decent prices if you book in advance.
How to arrive from Dublin Airport to Dublin City Centre
Dublin airport is not really far away from the city centre and you can reach you accommodation and the centre of the City in one of the following ways:
- Taxi: you’ll pay about 20 euros for 30 minutes but this will also be strictly connected to the traffic and your time of arrival;
- Bus: you can ride on the 16, 41 and 102 buses and they will bring you to the city centre in 45 minutes -1 hour;
- Airlink 747 and 757: this is one of the quickest way to arrive to the city centre (and back to the airport). 6 euros one way, 10 euros return;
- Aircoach: the fastest way possible, not considering the taxi, to reach the centre of Dublin. 7 euros one way, 12 euros return (wi-fi on board included)./li>
St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin: where to sleep and which areas to avoid?
Finding a place where to sleep in Dublin is easy but the city is not cheap at all and at St. Patrick it becomes even worse. The only possible advice is to book as soon as possible to avoid touristic traps and to find the best solutions; plus, booking in a non-central area it can really save your wallet and also make you enjoy the most the party.
I always recommend not to book near the Temple Bar area (unless you’re young and only want to party!) and prefer different places such as Grand Canal Dock, Ballsbridge and the surrounding areas using taxi and public transportations to get to the centre if you’re not a walker. Just remember Dublin is really easy to explore by feet and it’s a pleasure to walk around the city!
I recommend booking via Booking.com because you can have a look at the pictures and reviews and you can also cancel your reservation without paying any fee; these are some of the hotels I personally recommend to people asking for advices with a good ratio price/quality/position:
- Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House: very close to the city but not too close. Click here to have a look at it and book the hotel;
- Cassidy’s: on top of O’Connell Street it also includes a very nice pub. Click here to have a look at it and book the hotel;
- Maldron Pearse Street: in a non touristic place, it’s a certainty and on the corner you’ll also find one of the best pubs in Dublin. Click here to have a look at it and book the hotel.
Clearly there are tons of options for accommodations in Dublin also based on prices and individual needs; click HERE to find your place in Dublin via Bookings.
Getting Around in Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day
Despite the fact many tourists, especially Europeans, think everything will be shut down on St. Patrick’s Day, in reality everything is alive and all the public transportations work, even more than the rest of the year. If you’re not a walker, the best way to get around Dublin is using the LUAS which connects the North and the South of the city (green and red line) or using the buses (but they’re risky because of the traffic!). The DART connects Dublin to the coast but if you won’t leave Dublin during your stay then you won’t need to take the DART.
If you’re planning to use the public transportations a lot, then I highly recommend to buy, directly at the airport, a LEAP Visitor Card: you will only have to charge once and scan it every time you’ll use the bus, the LUAS and the DART as well and the credit will expire trip by trip.
If you want to use the taxi, then download HAILO on your phone to find a taxi in every part of the city and at every hour: you will only have to open the app and follow the on-screen instructions to find a certified taxi driver, no matter where you’ll be.
I do not recommend using a car because the traffic can be mad and finding a parking can also be a pain.
What to see in Dublin?
If you’re in Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day, these are the places you cannot miss. Clicking on the name of the place, you’ll be redirect on Google Maps to have a look at the exact location:
- Guinness Storehouse: inevitable, the most visited attraction of Ireland and also Europe. During St. Patrick it’s literally stormed so you should book in advance to avoid losing too much time in the queue.
- Trinity College: one of the oldest colleges in Europe with its Old Library and the Book of Kells;
- Christchurch Cathedral: the cathedral in the heart of the medieval city. A must-see;
- Saint Patrick Cathedral: the official church of Dublin, filled to the bone during the St. Patrick’s period but unmissable especially for its garden;
- General Post Office: the place from which the Irish revolution for independence began, a cult place;
- Molly Malone: the most famous statue in Dublin; touch her breasts for good luck;
- Dublin Castle: a green dot in the center of Dublin with its Chester Beatty Library, a must-see, often not even reached by tourists;
- Docklands: The non-touristyDublin, the one that I love and that tourists forget to greet or that they just visit to take a photo in front of Facebook or Google;
- Grafton Street: a walk in the most popular area of Dublin heading to St. Stephen’s Green;
- O’Connell Bridge ed Henry Street: the widest and shorter bridge in Europe will bring you on the shopping district;
- Temple Bar: although it is an exclusively tourist area, a walk is required. Do not forget to head to Ha’penny Bridge!
If you’ve a few days more, then I cannot recommend more: :
- Phoenix Park, the largest park in Europe;
- Kilmainham gaol, the old former prison in Dublin.
If you want to visit places near Dublin, then do not miss:
- Howth (the following video is only in Italian, sorry, but you can subscribe to my channel for videos in English);
- Bray & Greystones;
A few unmissable pubs if you’re in Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day
Dublin = pub. It’s said there are at least 365 pubs in the entire Dublin and you need at least one year to visit all of them; in reality there are more than 365 pubs in Dublin and even if tourists only visit the most famous ones, the better are the ones tourists do not know. If you’re in Dublin at St. Patrick’s then you need to visit at least one pub and these are the 6 I always recommend even if they can be extremely touristy (click on the name to access to the location):
- Temple Bar: the most famous, inside the Temple Bar district. Extremely touristy but no less beautiful. Music from morning to night;
- O’Donoghue’s: popular with both tourists and locals, it is divided into two areas and it’s constantly full but the atmosphere is really amazing;
- The Celt: same as above but the environment is more spartan and you can also eat;
- Kehoe’s: tiny to the point that the pint, often, has to be drank in the street;
- The Cobblestone: outside the center but shown on any travel guide. The music is always the plus and the beer is cheaper than in the center;
- Oliver St. John Gogarty: an establishment of Temple Bar. Go up to the second floor to experience live music until late at night that pays the price not really very low of pints.
There are tons of pubs in Dublin I’d like to suggest, especially the most genuine ones; write me or follow me on Instagram and Facebook so you can ask for more info!
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
I’ve already written an article with everything you need to know about the parade organized for St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin: click HERE to read it and watch the pictures to have a real sense of what you’ll have the chance to see! Click on the map to see the entire route of the parade and do not forget that you can buy tickets to the parade if you want to watch it comfortably:
Have a look at the footage and subscribe to my YT channel for more videos:
How to dress up in March in Dublin? What’s the weather look like in March in Dublin?
The weather in Dublin is quite unpredictable (a few years ago it snowed the 17th of March!) so I advise the dear old methodology of “dress in layers” which means not only to have a waterproof jacket with hood but also a sweatshirt with a zip and a shirt with short sleeves underneath… because you never know. Boots or sneakers highly recommended but most of all they should be waterproof. Never to be forgotten a shawl, even of cotton, and a hat. Forget the umbrella that not only will not help you but it could be an obstacle to both you and the people watching the parade beside you. And do not forget to wear something green and live the party at its best including dancing, singing and having fun!
Do you need more info to plan your trip to Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day? Write me or follow me on Instagram and Facebook so you can ask for more info!
[All pictures are copyright of Giuseppe, based in Dublin as well. If you want to have photographic tips on what and where to go to take good pictures on St. Patrick’s Day get in contact with him! Content and Pictures: All right reserved]