Though St. Patrick’s Day officially falls on March 17th, from the 14th-18th Dublin will be filled with things to do… as well as plenty of green and orange decorations, shamrocks and people dressed up as leprechauns. Here’s what’s going on for the five days Dublin goes mad for St. Paddy’s…
Thursday 14th March
Kick off with the “In the Footsteps of St. Patrick,” tour: it lets you see the attractions connected to the holiday, like City Hall, Dublin Castle and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The tour starts at 2.30pm; buy tickets from the Tours and Tickets Office on College Green. Tickets cost €14 and include admission to the cathedral. On St. Patrick’s Day, you can include a visit to the Guinness Storehouse for one euro more.
From 6-8pm, there’s free live music in the city centre and street artists. Have a sip of the black stuff at one of the top 10 Dublin pubs for a Guinness.
Friday 15th March
At 12pm, the Irish Beer Festival begins at St. George’s dock, where you’ll learn just how delicious Irish beer and food can be. Admission is free before 7pm, then costs €5.
From 5pm, city landmarks will be illuminated green. Stroll past the Dublin City Council Building in Palace Street or the Odeon Bar to experience the spectacle. Find more cheap things to do in our purse-friendly guide: 10 Things to Do in Dublin for $10
Saturday 16th March
The St Patrick’s Day 5k race starts at 12pm at Mansion House on Dawson Street. Cheer the runners by the roadside as they jog in aid of their chosen charities.
From 12.50pm watch the boat race between University College Dublin (UCD) and Dublin University (Trinity College) on the river Liffey. Competition is fierce, with teams racing between O’Connell Bridge and St. James’s Gate Brewery. For lunch, check out the choices in our favourite 5 Cheap Eats in Dublin.
Sunday 17th March
Sunday is party day! At 12pm, the big St. Patrick’s Festival Parade starts. This year’s theme is The Gathering, dedicated to Ireland’s diverse historical and cultural influences.
The St. Patrick’s Parade begins at Parnell Square, follows along O’Connell Street, crosses the Liffey then goes down Dame Street and past Christchurch Cathedral. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the finish line.
Bands and performers carry on the party in the streets from 3.30pm onwards.
Monday 18th March
Use today to wander round beautiful historic buildings like Trinity College and bar-and-café-hop through Temple Bar, Grafton Street and Henry Street. You could also take Monday as a chance to get off the beaten track and discover Secret Dublin: Local & Quirky Things to Do.
Many parts of the city also hold small fairs, with Ferris wheels and carousels to keep the kid in you entertained. Try Merrion Square, Wolfe Tone Park and Custom House Quay.