Traveler Nic and his family spent last St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland on tour, where they were able to celebrate in Dublin. Here, Nic shares his story about spending this festive day in the Irish capital city.
“After being in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day, I realized how different the American version of the holiday is,” Nic says at the beginning of our conversation. “Here, we drink green beer and that’s about the extent of it. Over there, it’s much more of a cultural, patriotic celebration. I was surprised by how international the celebration was.”
Nic and his family explored Ireland on our St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland: Traditions of the Emerald Isle tour, where they were able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. They were free to spend the day how they chose, and so they kicked it off by attending the main St. Patrick’s Day parade in the city, an event that attracts thousands of revelers from all over the globe.
“We were right there,” Nic said of their hotel’s location on the parade route, which made it easy for them to grab a spot at the front. Even still, Nic recommends getting there early to secure a viewing place. “We arrived around one-and-a-half to two hours early.”
As far as the parade went, it exceeded expectations for Nic. “The image I had in my head was what we see on TV here for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade,” he said. “It wasn’t that at all, in the best way possible.” Nic described the scene as “much more interactive,” with performers lining the street and a huge mix of ages and countries represented. “Different municipalities each had their own unique displays and performances,” Nic said.
After the parade, Nic and his family paid a visit to the Guinness storehouse to continue the celebrations. “It was a very festive place to be,” Nic explained. “There were lots of events and performances going on throughout the day.”
While there were hundreds of people visiting Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day, Nic didn’t feel that the city was overly crowded. “There were certainly large crowds in certain areas,” Nic said, mentioning the Temple Bar district as one of the more popular areas. “But even with all the crowds, it seemed like the city was ready for that. There was plenty of transportation everywhere, and the pubs we went to were all well-staffed.”
One of Nic’s favorite parts of the celebration was getting to meet travelers from all over the world, and he was particularly impressed with the friendliness of the Irish people. Celebrating in the Temple Bar area made Nic realize how international the St. Patrick’s Day celebration really was. “It was very open and they were extremely welcoming to new people,” Nic said of the locals. “I really liked how everyone we met was so warm—they were all really cool people who have a great culture.”
Do you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland? See our itineraries here.