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- Posted:Thursday, March 7, 2013
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For such a small island, Ireland's national day reaches all corners of the world. It's safe to say everyone likes to feel a little bit Irish on March 17th. While many people will watch the parades and other festivities in some of the world's major cities, thousands will visit Dublin and take part in the Irish capital's celebrations. St Patrick's Day itself falls on March 17th, but Dublin now hosts the annual 'St. Patrick's Festival' which runs over four days.
The main event over the course of the festival is the St Patrick's Day Parade that takes to the streets of the capital on March 17th. We've spent a few Paddy's Day's on the streets of Dublin so here are just a few tips to help you get the best out of your visit to the city for the festival.
- Get up early - The parade begins at midday but you'll need to get in well before that to get a good viewing point.
- Walk or use public transport - Avoid bringing your car to the city as a lot of traffic restrictions and closed streets will be in place.
- Stick around for the afternoon - There are some great things to do around the city for the afternoon apart from sitting in a pub. There are organised guided walks, tours of the National Gallery and a Funfair for all ages.
- Research pubs outside of Temple Bar - This is the busy tourist spot that becomes a sea of green on St. Patrick's Day. If this isn't your scene then move further away from the city centre to different streets and neighbourhoods for some more laid back, less green attired nightlife.
- Wear comfy shoes - There's a lot of walking around the city on the day and cobbled streets (not good for heels!) in Temple Bar so be prepared.
- Keep an eye on your belongings - Due to the large crowds, make sure to keep your belongings safe while you have your eyes fixed on the colourful parade.
- Expect a normal transport service - While public transport is the best option for getting around, be aware that it's not on a full schedule and it will be busy.
- Lose your friends or family - Thousands of people turn out on the streets of Dublin for the parade and the afternoon. Make sure you don't get separated from your friends or family. Have a meeting point arranged just in case.
- Forget your camera - A lot of work goes into the floats and costumes for the parade - you will want to take a few snaps.
- Go home early if you want a fun night out - The Guinness really does flow on St. Patrick's Day and it's probably the busiest day or the year for the pubs of Temple Bar.
- Forget to embrace any trace of Irishness or Celtic connections in your ancestry - But if you haven't any that you know of, just grab some shamrock or a large green hat and that should do the trick.
- Attempt to Irish dance after one too many pints of green Guinness - It's the number one cause of injury every March 18th! (Not actually based on any real statistics but it did happen to us once!)