Studying abroad in Dublin this spring semester means that I was able to experience St. Patrick’s Day in a city that celebrates like no other.
Here are a few tips for next year’s CAPA Dublin students:
#1 SPEND THE WEEKEND WITH PEOPLE YOU LIKE.
I was lucky enough to spend St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Dublin with two of my closest friends from childhood. Seriously, it doesn’t get cooler than that. All three of us went to pre-school together and two of us were studying abroad this semester, so it was only logical that we meet up somewhere in the middle. If friends are planning to visit, have them book their hostel or bed and breakfast well in advance. The best ones start to fill up before the end December, so it’s wise to set things up early.
#2 MAKE RESERVATIONS
We were the ladies who brunched this weekend…and lunched and dinnered. St. Patty’s weekend is as much about the food as it is about the fun. Saturday and Sunday brunch reservations at places like San Lorenzo’s, Whitefriar Grill and Elephant and Castle are a must. We hit up Boojum, a burrito bar on Kevin Street Lower, and Neon Asian Street Food for some cheap late night eats, sans reservation, but they were both packed. The festivities definitely help work up an appetite so have a solid food plan.
#3 VISIT TEMPLE BAR
Even if you’re not looking to party your pants off in the Temple Bar area, you should definitely check out the debauchery that ensues when thousands of tourists descend on Dublin for a weekend. Don’t get scammed into buying drinks at the bars in Temple Bar. They jack up drink prices just for the weekend because the tourists don’t know the difference. Instead, grab a pint somewhere over the Liffey on the north side, or head to some side streets for a tasty craft beer.
#4 GO TO THE BEER AND WHISKEY FEST
Confession: we went to the Irish Beer and Whiskey Festival on Saturday mainly for the souvenir glass and unlimited cider samples, but I had the best beer of my life there and a really great time. Local liquor and food companies set up shop around the Royal Dublin Society for a five-day festival of deliciousness. The makers of the craft beers and whiskey are the ones pouring you a drink so you get a great taste of what it means to be a brewpub or distillery in Ireland. Plus, Keogh’s chips -a staple here in Dublin- provide lots of free samples alongside many other companies.
#5 GET OUT OF THE CITY AT SOME POINT
The festival can be overwhelming, especially when you realize St. Patty’s isn’t until Tuesday. Take a day trip like we did to a seaside town like Dun Laoghaire and enjoy a break from the chaos. Grab some ice cream from the infamous Teddy’s Ice Cream on the west pier. Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint, to the actual holiday so take it all in day by day.