St. Patrick's Day in Ireland

Jan 18th, 2007, 05:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2006
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St. Patrick's Day in Ireland

My boyfriend and I are planning to spend 9 days in Ireland in March, coming into Dublin the morning of the 17th (St. Patrick's Day) for two nights. We already have a B&B reserved, but are concerned about whether there will be road closures in the morning that will prevent us from getting to our B&B which is on Parnell Square where the parade starts. Any insight on what we should expect in terms of crowds, parking, road closings, etc., and opinions on how early we should plan to arrive that morning, would be much appreciated.
aliJ is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 06:26 AM
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I was in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day 4 years ago and as I recall the parade areas were pretty crowded and they lined up well before the parade started (although I can't remember what time). I would contact the B&B for insight.

4 years ago we had FANTASTIC weather for 10 days at that time. Sunny and 60s every day. I hope you have the same.
where2 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 06:31 AM
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Parnell square is smack dab in the middle of proceedings. Many streets will be closed off from early morning. Whats the name of your B&B? What time do you get in at? Because there are different ways to skin a cat.

Why have you chosen Parnell Square?

Jan 18th, 2007, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 523
Can you ditch the car? We were there during St. Patrick's day and driving was a nightmare due to road closures, traffic and small street signs. I would strongly recommend ditching the car and taking a cab.

It will be very crowded. People were lined up for the parade at least one hour before it. Bars are packed by the afternoon.

We wished we had skipped due to the crowds but others will disagree.
clueless is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 08:22 AM
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There really is no need for a car whilst in Dublin. I would recommend taking a taxi to your B&B or as close as you can get. Then when you leave Dublin, take the taxi back to the airport to pick up your rental vehicle for the remainder of your trip.

If your flights haven't been booked yet, coming in on the 16tth might be a better plan.

Slan Agus Beannacht,

Bit Devine
CowboyCraic is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. I had considered ditching the car, actually. We are arriving on the morning of the 10th and our plan was to drive around the country and end up in Dublin on the 17th. So our arrival time is flexible (though I need to confirm that the B&B, which is the Charles Stewart, is as flexible as we are). In all honesty, I booked there/Parnell Square because I was having a lot of trouble finding anyplace affordable that still had rooms available when I started looking last month. I found a website that said the parade started from the Square at Noon.

We might also be able to arrive in Dublin on the 16th if it would really simplify things. We were really hoping to see as much of the country as we can in 9 days, but looking at some of the other postings, I am beginning to think we might be overly ambitious to think we can hit all the stops we were hoping to--Kilkenny, Cork, Galway, Aran Islands, Donegal, Giant's Causeway, Belfast, Dublin--there's just too much that we want to see. Please tell me if based on your experience, we've totally overestimated our ability to get around the country in that time!
aliJ is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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Yikes! That about sums it up.Safe to say that you will have to save some of the things you want to see for your next adventure in Ireland. You actually have 6 days to explore Ireland. Getting in to Dublin on the 16th will save you a lot of headaches. Are you flying in & out of Dublin? If you haven't set up your airfares yet, try flying in to Shannon. That would help us suggest an itinerary.

Slan Go Foill,

Bit Devine
CowboyCraic is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 05:24 AM
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We're flying into Dublin--the tickets are already booked--I hope that doesn't make things too difficult for us. I'd love any itinerary suggestions you can make.
aliJ is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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You are trying to cover too much distance.

In 2003 we flew into Dublin and out of Shannon. We had our daughter (then 13 months) with us so we moved a bit slower than you might. We arrived in Dublin on 16 March. Our itinerary was as follows:

Nights 1-4 - Dublin (on the last day we took the train to the Malahide Castle, which was nice for us but not necessary for you, so I would cut out a day for that) Picked up the car on the last day.

Nights 5-7 - Kilkenny - we really liked the castle. The daffodils were blooming. We drove to Kells Priory one day.

Nights 8-9 - Kinsale - stopped at the Rock of Cashel on the way. Drove to Blarney Castle while at Kinsale.

Nights 10-12 - Killarney - drove part of the Ring of Kerry but I was getting car sick. Went to Killarney Park, Ross Castle, Muckross House.

Night 13 - Bunratty - went to the Folk park and did the Medeival Banquet. We flew out of shannon so the last day we drove around and saw some other castles such as Dromoland, Knapogue. Wanted to get to the Cliffs of Moehr but didn't make it.

We really liked this itinerary and I would recommend it. But I don't know how you would get back to Dublin besides a long drive across the country. The drives took a lot longer than the distance appears. My husband mapped them out on a michelin site I think before leaving and as I recall the times were fairly accurate.
where2 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 06:59 AM
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As you are flying into Dublin, look toward an itinerary such as this:

10th- Head for Kilkenny (2 nights lodging) enroute take in Powerscourt/Glendalough
11th - spend day exploring Kilkenny
12th - Cork (enroute take in the Rock of Cashel, Cahir)(3 nights lodging)
13th - Day Trip Beara Peninsula
14th - Day Trip to Kinsale
15th - Overnight in Enniscorthy (follow the Middleton/Youghal/Dungaravan/Waterford route with a detour to Hook Head Lighthouse)
16th- Dublin (take the Wicklow route)

Turn in your car on the 16th at the airport and take a taxi to Parnell Square.

17th - enjoy the ST. Patrick's Day festivities

18th - Take an Irish River tour to Newgrange,, a padywagon tour to Belfast,, or a Hop-on/off tour of Dublin,

You will be better to save Galway and the Northwest for your next trip.

There you go, a starting point. Wojazz should have some excellent suggestions for the Beara Peninsula and Cork.

Slan Go Foill,

Bit Devine
CowboyCraic is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Paddys day in Dublin is crazy. Roads are usually closed particularly around Parnell Square and the surrounding areas. If you are interested in the parade then by all means come on the morning of the 17 otherwise wait until later on in the day. You do not need a car for Dublin and there are not many places you can leave it except in a car park. I think that you should leave it back at the airport and get a bus in to Dublin. If you go to the Tourist desk in the airport you can purchase a day ticket for the bus which includes the airport bus. If there are 2 of you a family ticket may be cheaper. You can then use the ticket to get out of the city and see the county of Dublin. Many towns around Ireland also have parades on that day and a lot of roads out of there may be closed also. As you only have a limited time I do not think you will fit everything in in 9 days. If I was you I would forget about Cork and Kilkenny. Leave Dublin and drive to Bunratty folk park and castle (castle is the same as Kilkenny). Drive through the Burren, Cliffs of Mohair. Try to stay in Doolin for a night if you can. Great pubs and singing. You can get to the Aran Islands from Doolin. If the boat is not travelling then you can go to Galway. You can visit the aran Islands in a day from Galway as well. Drive through Connemara and then on to Donegal and along the northern coast to Giants Causway. On you way back to Dublin use the coast road as this is a spectacular view along coast through the Glens of Antrim. The mountains are on your right and the coast on your left. It depends on the weather.
Liadain is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 10:25 PM
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Ditch the car. Where were you planning on parking? It would cost too much to place in a garage and you can't just park on the street its metered here and you will get clamped if you are over the time limit. Also I would not risk it here as at night the car could get damaged. Drop it off and try to come the night before. Also the area will be mad busy from the day before preparing for the parade.
SiobhanP is offline  
Jan 20th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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During St. Paddy's day a few years ago we were on our way to Dublin from the west coast. We drove through little towns and cities and watchted their small parades. This is very nice to do, as Dublin will be crowded. Plus, you'll probably be the only tourist driving through--very authentic.
coffeetoffee646 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 12:19 PM
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Thank you all for this advice. It's truly helpful and I really appreciate the time you're taking to share your ideas. We would REALLY like to work in the Cliffs of Moher/Burren/Aran Islands if possible. I haven't been able to find a ferry company that runs ferries from Doolin to the Aran Islands in March--does anyone know of any? Does an itinerary along these lines make sense/sound good?

10th & 11th--Kilkenny
13th--Kilorglin or somewhere in the Killarney area or north
14th & 15th--Doolin (if they have the ferry running) or Galway, so we can hit the Cliffs, the Burren & the Islands
16th, 17th & 18th--Dublin (after ditching the car at the airport on the 16th)

I know the drive from Doolin/Galway to Dublin will be long, but we're willing to make one long one in exchange for seeing that part of the country. I changed the Dublin reservation to avoid coming into the city in the midst of the chaos, though I like the idea of seeing the parades in smaller towns, which we'll have to think about some more...
aliJ is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 12:53 PM
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I think you are getting things a bit better. I suggest that you forget about the parades in the smaller towns; they are highly variable in quality, and some are pretty miserable efforts -- and they block up the streets, sometimes very badly and inconveniently for people trying to get through the towns.

The run from Galway to Dublin is not bad, at about 135 miles on roads that are mostly good. You might be interested in a small diversion near Athlone to visit Clonmacnoise, an important and interesting monastic site. Worth an hour or two.

The Charles Steward is very well located for seeing the Dublin Parade which seems to me to comprise mostly American high school bands.
Padraig is offline  

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