If you are planning a trip to Dublin this St Patrick's Day, this is the ultimate guide for you.
Ireland inspires. There is no doubt about it. For such a tiny country, we are know all over the world for our friendliness, the beauty of our landscape, our first class stout, and more recently as a top place to do business. Technology companies and tourists are coming to these shores in their droves to check out everything this tiny island has to offer.
It is estimated that on March 17th this year, hundreds of thousands of people will descend on the city of Dublin for the St Patrick's Day parade and festivities. The number of pints of Guinness consumed will increase to 13 million and 40 million people of Irish descent in the United states will celebrate their Irishness! All of these crazy numbers got us thinking about Dublin and all the incredible places to meet within our fair city.
If you are planning a trip to Dublin this St Patrick's Day, this is the ultimate guide for you. We hope this guide will help you plan your day from the minute you set down in Dublin to the moment you collapse into bed after a long day celebrating our Patron Saint!
Top 5 Places To Meet:
1. The Spire
Everyone in Dublin, whether you are a tourist or a local, knows where the Spire is. You can't exactly miss a huge towering Spike towering into the sky smack bang in the middle of Dublin's most famous thoroughfare. The Spire, also known by many others less PC names, is the perfect place to meet in Dublin.
2. Molly Malone Statue
This would have been number 1, but since the statue has been moved from its usual spot at the bottom of Grafton street to a less visible street close by, it can take the number 2 spot instead. Molly Malone is one of the most famous characters from Irish legend and is normally a must-see item on every tourists Dublin bucket list. Meet your friends, snap your selfie then get on with the rest of your sightseeing.
3. Brown Thomas, Grafton Street
Brown Thomas is probably the most famous shop in Dublin and is a landmark store on Dublin's Grafton street. It may be pricey and full with glamorous helpers that look like models strutting their stuff on the marble floors but it really is an excellent meeting point. You will see people meeting outside everyday of the week, and if you do choose to venture inside the stylish doormen adorned in a black suit and a top hat will be sure to hold the door open for you and your friends!
4. St Stephens Green
The gates to St. Stephen's Green, at the very top of Grafton street, are a pretty popular place to meet among locals in Dublin, especially if you are planning to have a picnic in the park, go feed the ducks or simply take a still around the beautiful gardens. This is a great place to meet if the weather is good and you plan to spend some time outdoors. Be sure to check out the famous statue of Oscar Wilde perched on a rock, in the nearby Merrion Square.
5. Gates to Trinity College
The front gates to Trinity College are probably the most central place to meet in all of Dublin. Smack bang in the middle of the city, you are within a 5 minute walk of Temple Bar, Grafton street and O Connell street. You honestly can't get more central. On top of the excellent location, it also the perfect place to start your tour of Dublin's oldest and most prestigious University. Make friends with a student on your way in and you will be able to get free entrance to the long library and The Book of Kells!
Top 5 Places To Watch The Parade:
1. The Grandstand Seats, O'Connell Street
If you fancy splashing out about 60 euro for a ticket in the Grandstand, this is definitely the number 1 place to watch the St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin. You will be guaranteed an unobstructed view and might even get to sit next to some Irish VIPs!
2. Dame Street
Dame street is a great location as there are lots of bars in which you can chill out until the parade begins. If you can get a window seat upstairs in a place like Citi Bar, you can actually see the entire parade from the comfort of a plush leather chair!
3. Christchurch Cathedral
Far less busy than O'Connell street and Dame street, ChristChurch is a great place to watch the parade of you don't fancy getting a pushed and shoved and hit with giant, inflatable hammers! If you can get spot at the top of Dame street, just before the Cathedral, you will have a great birds eye view of the parade!
4. O' Connell Street
Only for the brave, O'Connell street is manic during the parade. Hundreds of thousands of people descend on Dublin's most famous thoroughfare for the afternoon and the atmosphere is truly incredible. If you really want to experience the Dublin St Patrick's Day parade in it's truest form, get here early and get ready for some fun!
5. St Patrick's Cathedral
This is the finishing point of the parade so there are less people than most other spots. This is a great meeting spot and a great place to go if you have children or want to see the parade but as far away from the rowdy crowds as possible!
Top 5 Places To Meet For Food:
1. KC Peaches
Dublin is not exactly known for salads and health food, but if you are looking to watch your weight after all those pints of Guinness, KC Peaches is the place for you. This great little cafe/restaurant offers the unique taste of US West Coast living in the centre of Dublin, offering fresh, locally sourced, all natural food. If you are looking for some of the best salads in Dublin, this is the place to meet. The chain now has a few different location in the city including Nassau Street, Pearse street, Dame street and St Stephens Green.
777 is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Dublin and is THE place to meet if your are looking to drink some delectable tequila-based cocktails with your meal as it has the largest collection of premium tequila in Dublin. Think tacos and nachos and baby back ribs. Think big scoops or sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Sure, it's not very Irish but at least it's delicious! If you visit on a Sunday you are in for a treat, as they have 7 brunch dishes, 7 dinner dishes and some cocktails all for 7.77 euro.
3. Elephant and Castle
Elephant and Castle is a bit of an institution in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. Any day, early or late, the place is sure is be busy. The have a great assortment of traditional Irish food but the one item that brings locals back again and again is their spicy bowl of chicken wings. You will be hard pushed to find better. Great meeting place if you want traditional food in a traditional setting.
4. Jo Burger
If you are hungry, and I mean really hungry, this is the place to go. Jo Burger don't serve burgers the way you normal imagine them. these are some gourmet burgers. They are so big that many people opt to order the burger without the bun. Be it lamb, chicken, beef or vegetarian these burgers are sure to fill you up for the day. Located on the same street as Grogans (a pub mentioned further down) and many other great bars, this is a great place to meet for food before meeting friends for a big session.
5. Leo Burdocks
Saving the best for last. If you want to eat like a local head along to Leo Burdocks near Christchurch cathedral and treat yourself to some fish and chips covered in salt and vinegar and served in a brown paper bag. Then find a bench nearby, unwrap the the greasy goodness and enjoy the best,and cheapest, meal you will have in Dublin.
Top 5 Pubs To Meet Locals:
1. Grogans Castle Lounge, South William Street
If you are looking for a bar that will transport you back to an Ireland of old and will make you feel like you have left Dublin and are now sitting in a small village pub in the West of Ireland, Grogans is the pub for you. You won't find a TV and you certainly won't find loud music. In fact you won't find any music at all. Grogans is best known for the simple things; a perfect pint of Guinness and a ham and cheese toastie. Perch yourself at the bar or head outside and sit under their many outdoor heaters where you can happily watch the crowds walk on by.
2. Toners, Baggot Street
This small traditional pub on Baggot street is the perfect place to meet locals in Dublin. The pub itself is genuinely old, almost 200 years in fact, and you get a really special feeling when you enter. It is famous for being Ireland's best 'snug', meaning there are lots of small nooks and crannies where you and a few close friends can hide away in a corner, unnoticed by the world. If that's not your style head out to their large, heated beer garden that gets lots of sunshine is a great place to make some new friends.
3. Doheny and Nesbitt, Baggot Street
This is another legendary bar on Dublin's Baggot street. The location of many an argument, political scandal or debate, you will never have a dull day in this popular drinking hole. Founded by William Burke back in 1950, this traditional pub has been a popular drinking emporium for over a century. Expect great pints, great chats and maybe a new friend or two.
4. The Cobblestone, Smithfield
The Cobblestone in Smithfield is famed for being a live music pub, with traditional music played here on a daily basis. If you would rather listen to some tunes than get into a political debate or drunken argument, this is the place for you. There is no charge for the music sessions and you can expect plenty of light-hearted jokes storytelling in addition to great Irish music.
5. Kehoe's, South Anne Street
If you are looking to go to a Pub that feels more like an old Irish house than a public drinking establishment, Kehoe's is the perfect place for you. The bar feels like an old-Irish living room and the clientele can often be as old as the furniture. Located just off Grafton street, this is still a popular spot with the 'after-work' crowd and is a great spot to have the banter.
Top 5 Hostels To Meet Other Travelers: