As the capital city of Ireland, you might expect Dublin to be a hub of activity on the most Irish of all holidays—St. Patrick’s Day. For locals and the influx of tourists who flock to what also happens to be Ireland’s largest city for the day, Dublin offers no shortage of parades, events, and opportunities to be immersed in the history and culture of the area and the day. Many of these events are part of what is collectively known as the St. Patrick’s Festival. Here, are a few of our top picks at this year’s festival.
See the City in Green
On the evening of Thursday, March 14, Dublin will go green. Well-known sites, including the Guinness Storehouse, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the National Gallery of Ireland will all be illuminated in a green glow. While you stroll through the streets on your way to dinner at a local restaurant or pub, pause for a moment to take in this mesmerizing sea of green unity throughout the city. Note the buildings will be lit for the following three nights as well.
Follow in St. Patrick’s Footsteps
Get a dose of history on this walking tour led by Dublin historian Pat Liddy. The two-hour venture will cover such places as Christ Church Cathedral, City Hall, Lamb Alley and end at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Along the way, you’ll hear the story of St. Patrick as well as bit of local history. Follow this link to reserve your spot on one of the tours, held March 14-18.
Spend the Day at Festival Village
Held in Merrion Square, the Festival Village is brimming with delectable food offerings, kids’ activities, live music, and theatre as well as hands-on and science activities and demonstrations. The venue will be open throughout the weekend for enjoyment.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Held Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair is the place to taste test more than 400 ciders, beers, and spirits. Enjoy live music, watch rugby on what is advertised as three of the largest screens in Dublin, and feed your appetite with plenty of local fare.
Attend the Festival Parade
An event not to be missed for those of all ages, the parade is a display of heritage, pageantry, and good old-fashioned entertainment. This year’s theme is storytelling and will “intertwine seamlessly with Dublin’s streets,” according to the festival website. The route starts at Parnell Square.
For more information and to see a full list of events, visit stpatricksfestival.ie
Not spending the holiday in Dublin? Check out the festival’s internationally associated events, including several in the United States, here