If you hate pubs, drinkin’ and fightin’, then maybe a St Patrick’s weekend in Dublin isn’t for you. But but, but, there’s plenty going on if you want to have an Irish experience this weekend.
I don’t like the craziness that the St. Patrick’s festival brings. It’s messy, and can be edgy depending on where you are. It’s a boozefest for many, which is a sad conclusion to what people think should be highlight of a visit to Ireland: getting slaughtered drunk.
Here are some alternative things to do that don’t involve booze, and will give you an Irish experience.
AIB Club Championship Finals
A uniquely Irish experience. Clubs, made up from parishes, from all over the 32 counties compete to reach the finals, which are on in Croke Park.
The hurling is on at 3 pm and the football at 5pm. If I had to choose, I’d pick the hurling, which is one of the best spectator sports in the world. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, if I could pick one thing to do in Dublin on March 17th that doesn’t involve alcohol or parades or green hats and shamrocks, going to the All Ireland club hurling final would be it.
I’m not a big fan of Gaelic football, which is kind of like Australian Rules Football, but it’s still worth a look if you have the time.
Adult tickets are €25 which includes both games. More details here: http://www.gaa.ie/
Surfing in Co Clare
If you’re here for a long weekend, why not get out of the city, rent a car and head to the west coast of Ireland? Clear your head and get into the Atlantic Ocean. It’ll set you up for the weekend. Lahinch in Co Clare is a popular spot, and it’s not far from the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren.
If there are waves, they’re always suitable for beginners, so you don’t have to have the ability of Kelly Slater to burn off a few calories.
Go for a walk
There are lots of walking routes in and around Dublin. Howth offers some fantastic views on a nice day, as does the Bray to Greystones walk. You could do any of these in a day.
Apart from the official ones which are listed here: http://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/events, there will be tons of other stuff happening around the country. Most pubs will have music on St Patrick’s day, and it’ll most likely be traditional music, but you can find gigs of any genre happening too.
If you’re in Dublin, my pick would be American singer songwriter, Damien Jurado, who is playing on St Patrick’s night in The Pavillion in Dun Laoghaire. More info here: http://www.paviliontheatre.ie/events/view/damien-jurado
But there are so many venues and events around Ireland, I couldn’t possibly list them all here.
Do what most Irish people do at the weekend. Stay in and watch tv.