St Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world, and although each iteration varies slightly from country to country, they all share similar themes. It usually involves copious amounts of Guinness, dressing up in green, and the odd parade or musical performance. But unless you’ve experienced a St Patrick’s Day in Dublin, the epicentre of the annual celebration, you haven’t really experienced the best of it. That’s because St Patrick Day celebrations in Dublin, Ireland are about about more than just drinking beer and having a good time. Although most of the best things to do in Dublin on St Patrick's Day inevitably involve a fair bit of the black stuff, locals there go all out to make it one of the best days to remember. It’s also the start of spring in Ireland, which makes it the perfect time to visit. If you’re wondering what to do in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day, or you simply want to plan ahead for a day of ultimate Irish revelry, then read this guide on celebrating the day like a local is everything you’ll need.
Appreciate The History
Believe it or not, St Patrick’s Day is about more than wearing green and getting drunk. The roots of the festival are deep and fascinating, and in order to truly appreciate the festivities like a local it’s important to know a little about where the day comes from. The festival itself dates back to March 17th, 461 AD, the day Saint Patrick died, although today is as much, if not more, about celebrating all forms of Irish heritage. One of the best ways to do this is to spend a day exploring Dublin with a local. Dubliners are immensely proud of their heritage, and are usually more than happy to talk about what the day means to them and share a few tips for celebrating St Patrick's Day in Dublin.
Attend The Build-up Events
Many visitors think St Patrick's Day in Dublin consists of a single parade, but there are several events that take place in the buildup, and aftermath, of the big day. Dublin St Patrick's Day 2019 will be no different - this year the official festival events include a tour of Marsh’s Library, several tours that highlight the legacy of St Patrick, traditional concerts, and even a craft beer and food fair. Many locals make time for the annual concerts and markets in the buildup to Paddy’s Day Dublin. Aside from the main events, there are also various fringe events that draw in different aspects of Irish culture and heritage that includes theatre, talks, and even stand-up comedy - which many consider to be the best things to do in Dublin on St Patrick's Day.
Don’t Forget The Parade
Although the build-up and fringe events are a fantastic way to immerse yourself in Irish culture, you simply can’t miss the famous St Patrick’s Day Parade Dublin. The main event for most takes place on the Sunday in the form of the St Patrick’s Day Festival Parade. This starts at midday Parnell Sq, and it moves through the city to St Patrick’s Cathedral, before concluding at Kevin Street. Locals will tell you that the crowds swell from early on, so if you’re set on having a good view you’re better off getting there sometime around 9:30am. Some people prefer to pre-book tickets in the grandstands, but the best way to soak up the atmosphere is to be mobile and amongst the crowds. The festival theme changes each year, and Dublin St Patrick's Day 2019 theme is Storytelling - make of that what you will, or get to Dublin to see what it’s all about!
Sink A Few Pints
Nothing says Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day quite like a pint (or two, or three) of Guinness, and many tourists head straight for Temple Bar to partake in the festivities. Because of the influx of tourists to this region, many locals tend to avoid it over St. Patrick’s Day. Although the atmosphere is electric on St. Patrick’s Day, you’re better off taking a tour of Temple Bar outside of the main festival days and finding a pint or two elsewhere. If you’re wondering where to go on St Patrick's Day in Dublin for a pint of Guinness, free from inflated prices and crowds of tourists, look for a pub outside of Temple Bar. There’s no such thing as a quiet bar in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day, but a Dublin pub crawl taken a few days before will help you get acquainted by several more regularly frequented by locals. By the time evening rolls around, most Dubliners will have left the city, so if you want to follow the true local way then finish up and head to a formal event - just make sure you purchased your tickets beforehand.
Sober Up With Irish Food
If you’ve had a few too many pints of Guinness you’ll need to soak up all the alcohol with a good meal. Fortunately, Dublin has plenty of great food options. You’ll find the best of all of these around St. Patrick’s Day time at the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair. The fair features hundreds of different beers and a vast selection of food stalls. There are also some festivities in the venue, and they typically screen all major sporting events that take place over the weekend.
Watch Some Traditional Gaelic Activities
Sport is another aspect of Irish heritage that Dubliners are particularly proud of, and so it’s not surprisingly that the All-Ireland Club Championship finals occur on the Sunday. The finals are held at Croke Park in Dublin, and involve the two primary Gaelic sports - football and hurling. Watching the games live is among one of the best things to do in Dublin, but unfortunately tickets usually sell out fast. Those not lucky enough to pocket a ticket usually head to a bar close to the stadium to watch on the television. If you’re more a fan of traditional rugby, the Saturday before the big day in 2019 is a big Six Nations Rugby match between Ireland and Wales - although the match is being played in Wales, it’s yet another reason to head to the pub and soak up a bit of the atmosphere surrounding St Patrick's Day in Dublin.
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