If you want an authentic experience that epitomizes a land and its rich history and culture, then not many things top spending St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. While celebrations in countries outside Ireland are often associated with lots of debaucheries, you’d be surprised to learn about the other elements that are the main focus when on the Emerald Isle. So here’s our list of dos and don’ts before you even start looking for cheap international flights to Ireland — follow them carefully to know what’s the real craic.
Do Learn About Ireland Before You Go
If you’ve only ever heard stories involving Guinness and potatoes, then you need to do your research. Ireland is a proud country that’s been an independent nation since 1922. It has a rich culture and heritage and has also been home to literary greats like Sam Beckett and Oscar Wilde; has amazing folk music and dance; and is crazy about soccer, Gaelic football, and hurling.
Don’t Arrive Too Late
There are tons of activities that revolve around St Patrick’s Day and the celebrations start almost a week earlier than March 17. Make sure to catch fun-filled carnivals, cultural shows, 5K runs, street vendors, live performances, and much more. Showing up just a day before will rob you of a great opportunity to soak up some Irish culture.
Do Have Some Cash in Hand
Make sure you’ve made a run to the ATM and have cash handy. While your card will be accepted at most establishments, you can make it through long lines for food or drink faster with cash. Also, if you need to hop a taxi to make it to your accommodations, it’s not guaranteed all cab services will accept cards. Be on the safe side — have cash in hand.
Do Dress up…But Nothing Cheesy, Please
Leave those “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” T-shirts at home – wearing one would just scream “I’m a tourist with bad taste.” Also, skip the provocative costumes; there’s a fair bit of fun involved with Irish-themed clothing and accessories but there’s no need to be crass or crude.
Don’t Sleep in…You’ll Miss the Parade
If you’re in Dublin, the annual St Patrick’s Day parade starts at around 10 a.m., so it’s important to get off the blocks early and be there around 9 a.m. to secure a good spot. Make sure you don’t drink too much the night before!
Do Have a Good Time…But Pace Yourself
What’s Paddy’s Day in Ireland all about? The culture! Don’t drink yourself into a boozy coma, instead understand that, for Ireland, this is a holiday to celebrate national pride. So, before embarking on some drinking, appreciate Irish cuisine with a traditional breakfast of eggs, mushrooms, and tomatoes fried with bacon and butter, with delicious Irish soda bread on the side. Learn about the mythology and folklore of Ireland at the National Leprechaun Museum. Later in the evening, enjoy some traditional live music and dance, much like the locals do on this very special day.
Don’t Go on About Your Irish Roots
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland means you’re going to be celebrating with people who were born and raised Irish. Even though you might be 1/8th Irish and proud of it, no one wants to stand next to the blabbering drunk going on about the story of his great-grandfather who was Irish. Keep your Irish family lineage to yourself, because honestly, it’s not going to be that impressive of a story.
Do Have a Pint (or Three) of Guinness
There’s nothing more appropriate to do on this special day than to down a few pints of Guinness after you’ve saluted ‘Sláinte’ (the Irish word for ‘Cheers’) to your fellow imbibers. So, regardless of your taste in alcohol, go ahead and do like the locals do! If you’re not too fond of beer, grab a pint of cider or a glass of Jameson Irish Whiskey or some Bailey’s Irish Cream to join in on the fun. At all cost, avoid the green beer – that’s just lame.
Now that you know how to behave in Ireland on this festive occasion, start looking for cheap international flights and be on your merry way!
Got any other tips for having a great Paddy’s Day in Ireland? Let us know in the comments!