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St. Patrick's Day in Ireland
(Photo: Shannon McMahon)

What St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland Is Really Like

SmarterTravel

Ever wondered what it’s like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, the holiday’s own green-hued homeland? Despite my long line of Irish heritage, my family has never been able to answer that question for me. Some said it’s a religious holiday, others claimed it’s a tourist play hijacked by beer companies, but most admitted they had no idea what exactly Irish locals do for the national holiday.

After heading to Dublin for a first-hand look at the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, I finally have an answer—and it’s not the one I expected. Yes, there’s plenty of beer, and just as much of the debauchery we have in the States—but there’s also plenty of family-friendly fun, and far fewer tourists than I anticipated. Here’s what St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is like, and how you can make the most of the travel-worthy holiday.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland

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Associate Editor Shannon McMahon visited Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day as a guest of the Guinness Storehouse, with additional support from Failte Ireland. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for more travel advice.

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