After experiencing two St. Patrick Day’s at Queen’s University, who throws a pretty good St. Patrick’s Day party, I was very excited to see what Dublin Ireland had to offer. In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is actually a national holiday, so everyone has the day off work and they are able to join the festivities. According to Wikipedia the actual meaning of St. Patrick’s Day is to celebrate the arrival of Christianity to Ireland, and to celebrate Irish culture in general. As far as I could tell, the only thing being celebrated was Irish culture! In Dublin we decided to stay in the Harding hotel as a group of six. By the time we booked it was very difficult to get a hostel for this weekend, so make sure to book early if you want to save. The Harding Hotel was very nice, and provided us with two rooms, each with three single beds. It was very expensive however compared to a Hostel.

The party began as soon as we awoke. Upon getting out of bed we adorned our green attire for the day, followed by two shot’s of Jameson’s Irish whiskey to start the morning off right. By about ten AM we left our hotel, and took to the streets to meet our friends who were staying at the Abbey Court Hostel. The walk down and across the river is very enjoyable, and it’s interesting to see all the different bridges that connect the city. Although early in the morning, you could already feel the energy in the air. For the past few nights everyone had already been wearing green and partying like it was St. Patrick’s Day. By the time we arrived, the Abbey Court Hostel was already in full swing. Most of our friends were staying in a 26-person room, which served as the party room for the weekend. After some more green beer and Irish whiskey we went back to the streets to catch the parade. We had heard the parade was an impressive one, and that you should arrive early if you want to have a good view. I cannot verify the first point, but I can verify that you do need to arrive early if you want to see. Arriving only several minutes before the parade was scheduled to start we could not see a thing. After enjoying the atmosphere, and not being able to see any of the parade the whole group decided to head to the pubs.

The atmosphere of almost every pub I visited that weekend was quite similar and very enjoyable. They all had live music, composed of a combination of Irish, rock, and pop. People were always cheerful, and there was a lot of positive energy in the air. Of course there was also lots of Guinness and green beer flowing as well. I cannot remember every pub that I visited in Ireland that weekend, but my favourite area was certainly Temple Bar Street. The cobble-stoned streets of Temple Bar were lined with many different pubs, full of all kinds of people. On the days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day the streets themselves were completely jam packed with people moving from one pub to the next. One advantage of staying at the Harding Hotel was that it was very close to this section.

Overall my St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland was a great experience. As to be expected the streets were full of tourists like myself, and I actually did not meet too many Irish people on this trip. The only other downside was the high price of everything. A typical beer at a pub was 5 euros, meal at a pub between 10-15 Euros, and the one-day tour we took to the Cliffs of Moher was 40 Euros. But in the end it was money well spent. It was great times with good friends,  I was able to explore a new country, and I can now say I have spent a St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland!