What better place to be than in our buzzing capital for St Patrick’s Day?  There’s a wide variety of events taking place across the city for 4 days – Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th March.
We can’t wait for this year’s festival, there is so much happening from outdoor cinemas, treasure hunts, historic walks, street music and much more. It’s going to be great craic!
We have compiled a list of the best things to do over the course of the festival.

Getting around

We recommend that you travel by public transport or by foot as some roads will be closed over the weekend and parking will be limited. If you are driving, when you book your stay directly with us you receive complimentary parking. Alternatively you can book your space in one of the city car parks.

You can plan your train, bus, taxi, LUAS journey here: www.transportforireland.ie  Download the app as it is very handy, it gives you fares, timetables and real time information.
You can buy a freedom ticket which allows you to use all Dublin buses, the Airlink bus from the airport to the city and The Green Open Top Hop on Hop off Tour Bus. Adult Ticket: €33 Child €16 Buy your tickets here

Information on road closures will be updated regularly on AA Roadwatch.

The Grand Canal Dart Station is a 2 minute walk from our hotel. This dart can take you straight into the city. Alternatively there are many bus routes nearby and the city centre is roughly 20mins by foot.
The Canal Express will be serving delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the festival. Pop in for a delicious meal before you make your way to the activities.

When planning your trip to Dublin, book with Grand Canal Hotel today. We have amazing packages to suit all. To see our Special Offers click here. 

Enjoy St Patrick’s Festival from all of us here at The Grand Canal Hotel.



1. St. Patrick's Day Parade

Venue: City Centre – starting at Parnell Place, Dublin 1.
Time: 12.00pm
Obviously the parade is a must see! If you haven’t been to the Dublin one before then you must make your way to Parnell Square where it all kicks off. The theme of this year’s parade is ‘Ireland you are..’ so we can expect some very intriguing and mystical floats. The atmosphere will be palpable as you watch some of Ireland’s best performances and see the most colourful creations.
There will be a broad range of music to suit all tastes. Irish bands will be joined by musicians from all over the world, giving the parade a unique soundtrack as it storms through the streets of Dublin.
We recommend that you head to the city centre at around 10.30/11am so that you can get a good spot to see the parade as the streets will be very busy. Start your day right by having a delicious full Irish Breakfast in Canal Express, healthy options are also available. Check out our new menu

2. Festival Ceilí 

Venue: Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2
When: Thursday 16th March – 4.30pm
Join Irish musicians and dancers at the world’s largest outdoor Ceili.
Professional dancers from Brooks Academy and Sean-nos dancers will blow you away with their creative moves. Matt Cunningham Band, The Devane Family and musicians from the West of Ireland will please the crowd with Traditional Irish Music. What better way to immerse yourself in Irish Culture? Put on your dancing shoes and join them for a jig.

3. Open Air Cinema

Venue: Swords Castle, Bridge St, Townparks, Swords, Co. Dublin
Time: Doors 7pm/Start 7.30pm
Price: Free
A special open-air screening of In America certainly isn’t one to miss. The large screen is set up in the beautifully renovated grounds of Swords Castle. The tale of ‘In America’ tells the story of an immigrant Irish family’s struggle to start a life in America. We recommend that if you do attend this, wear warm clothes and bring a blanket as it might be a bit cold. What a perfect way to spend Paddy’s Eve. You must book your tickets here.

5. Young Blood: The Beats and Voices of Our Generation

Venue: National Concert Hall
Price: €18 - €35
When: Sat 18th March 8pm

Young Irish bands and Irish poets will be performing in the National Concert Hall. This will be a unique concert revealing Ireland’s progressive cultural identity. Some of the acts include Hare Squead, Emmett Kirwin and Colm Keegan.
To buy tickets click here

4. GPO Witness History – Documentation Digitalization

Venue: GPO, General Post Office, O Connell Street, Dublin 1
When: 17th March – 2pm to 4pm
Price: Free
Have an interest in Irish History? For the day that’s in it why not take yourself to the GPO Witness History to meet the Archivist. People are invited to visit the GPO free of charge on Paddy’s Day from 2pm to 4pm. If you have some items such as photographs or letters from 1916 you can get the archivist to take a look at your items (3 max) and they will be able to tell you a little more history that surrounds them. They are also giving people the opportunity to have their items added to their online 1916 archive. Why not take a look around the GPO and get to know our history.
See more.

6. Dublin Bay Prawn Festival

Venue: Howth Village, Co. Dublin
This is worth the spin out to the beautiful coastal town that is Howth. This festival celebrates the Dublin Prawn. It is ideal for you foodies out there as you get to experience Irish food, street entertainment, craft beer and cooking demonstrations. There will be a great buzz in the town and while you’re there take a walk along the pier and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It is easily accessible by the Dart. See Dart timetables here.

7. In the footsteps of St. Patrick – Walking Tour

When: 16th – 19th March
Price: Children go free, Adults: €15 Students and seniors: €13
If you fancy taking a historic walk around the city then we recommend that you do this tour. Discover places tourists miss and learn about the tale of St Patrick and the Dublin of his time. You will get to see ancient sites in the city – your ticket includes entry to St. Patricks Cathedral. 

8. The Secret Session

RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
When:  16th 5pm to 11.30pm
17th and 18th March 12pm to 11.30pm
Price: 3 day pass €20, 1 day pass €10
Just down the road from us in the RDS, there is an indoor festival with 9 live bands, DJ’s, Rugby on the big screen, Irish Dancing Lessons, a silent disco and much more entertainment. Soak up the festival atmosphere while staying indoors. It will be great craic and the tickets are a reasonable price.
For more info and to buy tickets click here.

9. Greening the city

When: Thurs 16th – Sun 19th at 6pm each day
Buildings will be lit up in green across the city such as the GPO, Trinity College, The Convention Centre, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and many more. It’s worth taking a stroll around the city centre to see these spectacular buildings lit up in our national colour.

10. St. Patricks Festival Big Day Out

When: Sunday 19th 12pm to 6pm
Price: Free Entry
Need something to do on the Sunday? Merrion Square will be full of activities suitable for a family day out. There will be a street carnival, theatre music, workshops, crafts and much more.
Unwind with Yoga storytelling. It will be a magical creative day buzzing with entertainment for all the family. There will be a 50ft inflatable whale that you can step inside and meet a pirate. It will be a lovely day out and there will be a vast array of entertainment for the kids.
See more.