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How to Make the Most of St Patrick’s Day in Dublin (2024)

January 17, 2024

Hold onto your leprechaun hats and get ready for the most green-tastic day of the year – St. Patrick’s Day! March 17th is the one day when everyone is Irish, whether they’ve got a drop of Irish blood or just an appetite for partying the Irish way.

St. Patrick’s Day is all about having a blast, and we have a pot of gold full of ideas to make your celebration unforgettable. From the world-famous parade that makes the streets come alive with music and colours to the most Irish of pubs in the capital, we’ve put together a guide to help you celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Dublin and make you want to do it all again next year.

So grab your shillelagh, dust off your three-leaf shamrock, and join us as we explore the wild world of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. We promise you a day filled with laughter, joy, and maybe even a touch of the Irish luck!

What is St Patrick’s Day?

Lucky Day St Patrick's cup

Ah, St. Patrick’s Day – the greenest, grandest, and jolliest day on the Irish calendar! But what exactly is this day of shamrocks, leprechauns, and pots of gold at the end of rainbows?

Well, let’s start with the basics. St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated every March 17th, is essentially a global excuse to channel your inner Irish spirit. And no, you don’t need to prove you’re related to someone named O’Malley to join in on the fun! It’s the day we all come together to celebrate the life and deeds of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

But here’s the kicker: St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish! Legend has it that he was a British lad who was kidnapped by pirates and brought to Ireland as a slave. After escaping, he returned to Ireland as a missionary and, among other things, is credited with using the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish. Hence, the shamrock has become a symbol of the day.

Now, here’s the extra cool part – in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is an official bank holiday. Yep, you heard that right! It’s a day off work, and schools are closed. The Irish take this day very seriously, with parades, festivals, and greenery everywhere you look.

But it’s not just an Irish affair anymore. St. Patrick’s Day has gone global, and in many countries around the world, it’s an excuse to throw a good ol’ Irish-themed shindig, whether you’ve got Irish roots or not. So, grab your best green getup, and let’s get ready to paint the town green – because everyone’s Irish on St. Paddy’s Day!

Read: The Best Way to Celebrate St Patrick’s Day in London

The 10 Best Things to Do on St Patrick’s Day in Dublin

If you’re ready to unleash your inner Irish spirit and revel in the land of shamrocks, you’re in for a  good time. We’ve hunted down the top ten must-do activities that’ll make your St. Paddy’s celebration the stuff of legends. So, grab your lucky charm, and let’s dive into the craic with the 10 best things to do on St. Patrick’s Day in the heart of the Emerald Isle!

1. Dress in green

When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, the bolder, the better! Deck yourself out in every shade of green imaginable, from your socks to your hat, and join the sea of emerald-clad revellers taking over the city.

Man dressed in green for St Patrick's Day

2. Have an Irish breakfast

Kickstart your day with a hearty Irish breakfast that’s practically a feast. Taste the flavours of black and white pudding, sausages, and crispy bacon, all washed down with a piping hot cup of tea. It’s the ultimate fuel for your St. Paddy’s adventures! We recommend Slattery’s or Lovinspoon.

Read: Best Places to Eat in Dublin

3. Watch the St Patrick’s Day Parade

Don’t miss the electrifying St. Patrick’s Day Parade, where Dublin comes alive with vibrant floats, dance troupes, and music that will have your toes tapping. Grab a prime spot along the route and prepare for a spectacle of epic proportions. Between us, we go to O’Connell Street to watch the parade but you’ll have to get there early to secure a good spot. 

Here is the parade itinerary: It begins at 12 at Parnell Square and winds through iconic streets like O’Connell, Westmoreland, and Dame Street. It then makes its way through Nicolas Street and Patrick Street, encircling the majestic St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Finally, the parade concludes its festive journey on Kevin Street, culminating in the heart of Wexford Street, just in front of St. Stephen’s Green.

More information on St Patrick Day’s parade

St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin
Image courtesy: Travelandleisure.com

4. Explore Temple Bar

Wander through the enchanting streets of Temple Bar, Dublin’s most popular neighbourhood. You’ll discover a treasure trove of pubs, galleries, and street performers, making it the perfect spot to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style.

5. Have a pint of green beer

Embrace the festive spirit by indulging in a pint of green beer, specially dyed for the occasion. It’s not just a drink; it’s a work of art and a must-try tradition on this special day.

Read: The Best Guinness in Dublin

Green beers for St Patrick's Day

6. Try the Irish slang

Why not add some extra Irish flair to your celebration by trying out some authentic Irish slang? Impress your friends and locals by sprinkling phrases like “Craic” (pronounced “crack,” meaning fun or enjoyment) and “Sláinte” (a toast to good health) into your conversations. We’ve got you covered with our Irish slang guide. You’re welcome!

7. Seek out traditional Irish music sessions

Dublin’s streets are alive with the sound of traditional Irish music on St. Patrick’s Day. Follow your ears to cosy pubs hosting live sessions, where you can tap your feet and sing along to timeless Irish tunes.

8. Taste some Irish whiskey

Sample the liquid gold of the Emerald Isle by tasting some Irish whiskey. Dublin is home to numerous whiskey bars and distilleries, so take your palate on a delightful journey.

Bottle and glass of Irish whiskey

9. Join a ceilidh

Cap off your St. Patrick’s Day by joining a lively ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) dance. Grab a partner, follow the caller’s instructions, and dance the night away in true Irish style. Keep an eye on St Patrick’s Festival programme for dance events.

10. Keep the Irish spirit alive for one more day

On March 18th, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, festivities continue with a vibrant program of family events. Activities include street theatre, interactive games, circus and science shows, engaging talks and more! Join us for another day of fun, culture, and celebration! Learn more about March 18th celebrations

The 17 Best Dublin Pubs to Celebrate St Patrick’s Day

Dublin is synonymous with lively pubs and St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect excuse to explore the city’s vibrant drinking establishments. Get ready to embark on a spirited journey through Dublin’s top pubs, where the Guinness flows like a river and the craic is always in abundance. Join us as we unveil the 17 best Dublin pubs to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in unforgettable style!

  1. The Temple Bar: This iconic pub in Temple Bar is synonymous with Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Its lively atmosphere and central location make it a top choice for revellers. Address: 47-48 Temple Bar
the Temple Bar pub in Dublin
  1. The Brazen Head: Ireland’s oldest pub, The Brazen Head, oozes history and charm. Its cosy interiors and outdoor courtyard provide a welcoming setting for celebrating St Patrick’s Day. Address: 20 Lower Bridge St, Usher’s Quay
  1. The Cobblestone: Nestled in the historic Smithfield area, The Cobblestone is a traditional Irish pub renowned for its live music sessions. On St. Patrick’s Day, you can expect a lively atmosphere filled with Irish tunes and friendly faces. Address: 77 King St N, Smithfield
  1. O’Donoghue’s: Known for its traditional Irish music sessions, O’Donoghue’s offers an authentic Irish experience on St. Patrick’s Day, with jigs and reels echoing throughout the day. Address: 15 Merrion Row
  1. The Horseshoe Bar: Located at The Shelbourne, Autograph Collection, The Horseshoe Bar offers a touch of luxury with a wide selection of Irish whiskeys, perfect for a refined St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Address: 27 St Stephen’s Green
The Horseshoe Bar in Dublin
Image courtesy: Businesstripfriend.com
  1. The Stag’s Head: With its ornate Victorian decor and snug corners, The Stag’s Head exudes old-world charm. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy a pint of Guinness in a cosy atmosphere. Address: 1 Dame Court
  1. The Auld Dubliner: Nestled in the heart of Temple Bar, The Auld Dubliner is known for its lively outdoor terrace and excellent Guinness, making it a great place to soak up the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. Address: 24 – 25 Temple Bar
  1. The Celt Bar: This traditional Irish pub boasts live music, hearty food, and a welcoming atmosphere. It’s an excellent choice for a St. Patrick’s Day pint. Address: 81 Talbot St
  1. Mulligan’s: A historic gem, Mulligan’s is famous for its traditional Irish hospitality and perfectly poured pints. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to experience a quintessential Irish pub. Address: 8 Poolbeg St
  1. The Palace Bar: Located near Dublin Castle, The Palace Bar offers a touch of elegance and a wide selection of Irish whiskeys, making it a refined choice for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Address: 21 Fleet St, Temple Bar
The Palace Bar in Dublin
  1. The Porterhouse: Known for its craft beers, The Porterhouse offers a diverse range of brews to satisfy any palate. Enjoy a unique St. Patrick’s Day experience with their artisanal creations. Address: 16-18 Parliament St, Temple Bar
  1. Ned O’Shea’s: This friendly neighbourhood pub provides an authentic Irish experience with live music, a cosy ambiance, and a welcoming crowd for a memorable St. Patrick’s Day. Address: 12a Lower Bridge St, The Liberties
  1. The Long Hall: With its ornate Victorian decor, The Long Hall offers a charming setting for St. Patrick’s Day festivities. The historic pub is known for its Guinness and warm atmosphere. Address: 51 South Great George’s Street
  1. Whelan’s: A renowned live music venue, Whelan’s hosts eclectic performances that add a contemporary twist to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Address: 25 Wexford St, Portobello
  1. The Hairy Lemon: Tucked away in the heart of Dublin’s historic city centre, The Hairy Lemon is a charming and character-filled pub. It’s famous for its cosy, traditional atmosphere, hearty pub grub, and a great selection of drinks. On St. Patrick’s Day, The Hairy Lemon provides a welcoming and authentic Irish pub experience that’s sure to make your celebration memorable. Address: Stephen Street Lower
The Hairy Lemon in Dublin
Image courtesy: Thedublinpublopedia.com
  1. Grogans: Known for its no-frills approach, Grogan’s is a beloved Dublin institution. It’s an excellent place to enjoy a relaxed St. Patrick’s Day pint with locals and visitors alike. Address: 15 William St S
  1. The Norseman: Situated in the heart of Temple Bar, The Norseman offers a vibrant atmosphere and is known for its selection of Irish beers and whiskeys. On St. Patrick’s Day, it’s a lively choice to immerse yourself in the festivities and enjoy the jovial spirit of the holiday in the heart of Dublin. Address: 28E, Essex St E, Temple Bar

Read: The Best Day Trips from Dublin

To Sum Up

As we bid farewell to this vibrant guide on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, let’s raise one last virtual pint to the Emerald Isle!

From hearty Irish breakfasts to toe-tapping ceilidh dances, we’ve unveiled the top 10 must-do activities that will ensure your St. Patrick’s Day is the stuff of legends. And let’s not forget the grand finale – the 15 best pubs, each with its unique magic, where you can paint the town green and create unforgettable memories.

So, dust off your shamrock, don your most outrageous green attire and get ready to be swept up in the whirlwind of St. Paddy’s Day excitement.

If you’re planning to experience the magic of Dublin and all its St. Patrick’s Day charm, look no further than our I Lár hostel. Nestled in the heart of the city, our cosy hostel is the perfect base for exploring Dublin’s lively streets, enjoying the festivities, and immersing yourself in Irish culture. 

With comfortable accommodations, friendly staff, and a welcoming atmosphere, “I Lár” is your home away from home in the heart of the Emerald Isle. Come join us and let the craic begin!