On March 17th we celebrated our second St. Patrick’s Day as residents of Dublin. It was a festive day where we took in the annual parade and visited Croke Park to attend the hurling and gaelic football finals of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). We ended our evening in touristy Temple Bar, to watch throngs of drunk people adorning green as they spilled in and out of pubs. Here’s more details on St. Patrick’s Day 2014 and the type of day you can expect if you visit Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day in the future!
While cities and towns all over Ireland hold St. Patrick’s Day parades, don’t expect them to be green themed either. Dublin’s city council decided that 2014 would kick off the beginning of a three year planned theme for the parades entitled ‘Past, Present and Future.’ So the St. Patrick’s Day 2014 parade touched on Ireland’s past, and we saw Viking ship floats and medieval themed floats. As usual, there were many marching bands and some random contraptions that we could not fully decipher their meaning. If you come to Dublin expecting a parade filled with leprechauns, green balloons and flying beads you’ll be disappointed, but it’s still a great day because the Irish love the craic (gaelic for “good times”).
During half time of each game, there was a promotion for the 2014 Croke Park Classic to be held on August 30th, 2014 between American college football teams Penn State and UCF. As a graduate of the University of Central Florida, I’m very proud that the Knights will be kicking off the upcoming college football season in Dublin and have dedicated a post on what to expect for the game with some advice and recommendations in the area. It’s extremely rare for a non-Gaelic event to be hosted at Croke Park. The Notre Dame vs. Navy game last year was held at the smaller, more modern Aviva Stadium, which holds about 51,700. This game will be a historic honor for both UCF and Penn State.
Where to Stay in Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day?
If you plan to visit Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day book your accommodation well in advance. You’ll often find the best hotel deals on booking.com. Book a hotel with free cancellation! Then if you change your mind in time, you can easily cancel your reservation and book another one. Families especially will find the best deals on short term apartment rentals. If you’ve never used Airbnb, sign up here and receive $40 credit off your first stay! Here are hotel, B&B & hostel recommendations for Dublin:
Shelbourne Hotel is Dublin’s most historic luxury hotel, as several US Presidents and many foreign dignitaries have stayed there. They have a wonderful cocktail lounge and fantastic dining options. Even if you’re not a guest, swing in for high tea and enjoy a lovely view of St. Stephen’s Green.
O’Callaghan is a small chain of centrally located, comfortable hotels with good breakfasts. Trinity College often puts job applicants and guests up in these hotels. We stayed at O’Callaghan St. Stephens Green when Bell interviewed for her post doc position at Trinity College and highly recommend it.
ABC House Dublin and Egans House are quintessentially Irish bed and breakfasts a little outside the center of Dublin. They both offer reasonable comfort for those that don’t want to spend a lot to sleep. We spent a week at ABC House Dublin while searching for our apartment when we first moved to Dublin. And we’ve stayed at Egans House on multiple occasions.
Generator Hostel is conveniently located right next to the Jameson Distillery (fun!) and is part of a reputable chain of hostels in Europe that are known for being clean and having a fun atmosphere.
If you want to read about what we got up to for St. Patrick’s Day 2012 in Dublin check out this post.
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Need Help Planning Your Trip to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help you plan the perfect Ireland vacation!
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