Are you heading to Dublin on St Patrick’s Day? You are not alone. More than 500,000 people are expected to take to the streets to have a big party in the country by 2021. This year’s holiday is on Tuesday which means the festivities will start on Friday 14 March, and the streets and entertainment venues will be full of people from the weekend onwards.
As well as the popular show on Tuesday, there is a full program of events to suit every taste done under the banner of St Patrick’s Festival (13-17 March), so you will have a lot to enjoy. If you are learning something that you will not miss, it is a good idea to book in advance. And don’t forget to take a break from time to time – one of the best experiences in Dublin happens when you relax and throw this trip through the window.
St Patrick’s Day is a memorial
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world but we do things a little differently here. Forget dyed beer and definitely don’t pressure anyone if they’re not dressed green (you will get a weird look). Instead, hit the streets, learn what it means to be craic, and make friends with locals and travelers alike.
St Patrick’s Festival Exhibition
St Patrick’s Festival Parade on Tuesday is a big event for many. Starting at noon in Parnell Square, straight to O’Connell Street and Dame Street, around St Patrick’s Cathedral ends at Kevin Street, where there are more viewing areas this year. Large crowds are expected, so aim to be there by 10 a.m. if you are looking for a place ahead. When you arrive later, go to the end of the route to show the best view of the main viewing area. To ensure you have the best idea, you can get a grandstand ticket available online for € 70. There are also designated areas for people with special needs that you can sign up in advance.
The show lasts two hours in total, but if you stay in one place you will see it all in about 45 minutes. This year’s theme is ‘Storytelling’ and along with music and marching bands from around the world, there will be colorful floats, dancers and costumes, not always as classic Irish as many visitors expect. When the last float finally says goodbye, the crowd melts away, and many of them head for a nearby restaurant.
Hit the bars
Despite (or because of) its reputation, most Dubliners like to stay away from (and) the famous Temple Bar on Paddy’s Day. It’s expensive compared to other parts of the city and can be overcrowded, but a sea of leprechaun hats are a must see so why not wander around and soak up the atmosphere before exploring the best bars somewhere in the city.
Everywhere in the city it will be busy this weekend but far from Durban Bar at least you won’t have to fight hard to make your way to the tenders and you will see a lot about Dublin. Alternatively go to Dame Lane near George’s St, where you can walk between the bars with a pair of pants in hand, ready to meet
Many Dubs leave the city center at 6pm to retire to quiet people or go to ticketing events, leaving mostly guests to continue drinking heavily until the bars are closed at 3am.
Let your competitive spirit come out
The nation will no doubt be held hostage by rival Six Nations rivals France on Saturday at 8pm. The game itself will be played in Paris but the bars in Dublin will be filled with determined fans who have not taken the trip. The living room has one of the largest screens to display sports on television, as well as a large beer garden with stone chairs that allow for beautiful views. On the other side of town, check out Slattery’s D4 atmosphere.
If you would rather be a part of it than be a spectator, dust off the running shoes and shake the hangover by joining the 5km road race through Georgian Dublin starting at noon from St Stephen’s Green South on Sunday. You can register online before the event. Slow walk (but best views) sign up for Tuesday’s Harbors Harbor 2 Walk between How the and Dun Laoghaire. For 26 ’miles, it will take a whole day but the whole family, pets included, are welcome. It costs € 25 and all proceeds go to Aware, a charity that supports the poor.
Daytime and cultural events
For outdoor entertainment, Marion Square will host Festival Village from Saturday to Tuesday. Events will include a circus, a science fair, a street theater, restaurants and a chat (or just listen) in Irish language. All events are free but some may require tickets that can be booked online. You can also just wander around the city at night and count how many green buildings you find; a lot of iconic places will be bathed in emerald light at the event.
A special historical tour exploring Dublin’s social history with the song took place over the weekend with the help of balladeer Sean Fitzgerald. Tickets are € 12 and booked online.
An iconoclastic art collection. This is Pop Baby returning for ten days of special events from March 11-21 at the Project Arts Center. Various theatrical performances and ongoing performances will be shown under the umbrella of our living space. Tickets for individual events or passports for the full festival are now on sale.
For something completely different, Dublin Comic Con is hosting its spring program at the Dublin Convention Center on 14 and 15 March.
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The rhythm continues
There is a huge selection of post-dark events this year to keep the night owls happy. Highlights include the weekend’s Alternating Currents, which showcases the best sounds in the city’s underground sounds, run in partnership with Dublin Digital Radio. Famous DJ Annie Mac plays the live drum at the Guinness Storehouse on Saturday. Pygmalion is celebrating his 11th birthday on Monday with house DJ John Talbots and will have a party Tuesday with Berlin Hammer and Cromby DJs circling the floor.
Irish hop hop artist Lethal Dialect performs a hit game at the Button Factory on Friday while the Horslips bring their solid Irish rock to the Olympia Theater on Tuesday. To get the most out of it, three characters from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK took to the stage at Liberty Hall on Saturday.