As we detailed in our recent blog, ‘Cyber Monday — Are you Ready??’ – we had booked flights to London for an insane deal. The question that remained was–now what?
The options were overwhelming and luckily Evan took to the calendar. There it was, smack dab in the middle of our holiday–St. Patrick’s Day. We did some quick research and found that as it’s in the winter, the prices around the country were very reasonable, much cheaper in fact than other areas we were considering. We quickly booked a cheap hopper flight from London to Dublin via RyanAir.
Does Ireland Even Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day??
This may seem like a silly question, but in America we maaaayyy have been known to ‘rip off’ a few holidays and make them our own. For example, we go bonkers for Mexico’s Independence Day, which is Cinco De Mayo (May 5th)— right?? Wrong! In Mexico, Independence Day is actually celebrated on September 6. Case in point, it was/is a reasonable question.
Interestingly, many folks we spoke with, albeit American’s, assured us that St. Patty’s Day would only be mildly celebrated in Ireland. Nevertheless, we packed up our green glitter and shamrocks and set out for an Adventure.
Ireland Here we Come!
After four incredible days exploring London, we flew to Ireland and set out on a cross country road trip.
Early on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day we slipped out of a bustling Dublin, whose streets had already shut down in anticipation of a roaring parade. As the streets were closed we hauled our bags close to a mile to access the nearest transportation to retrieve our rental car.
Travel Tip: We had priced out a few rental locations and found that it was exponentially cheaper to pick up from the Dublin Airport. We also dropped it off at the Shannon airport vs. in town. Sometimes it’s cheapest to rent from local kiosks vs the airport, but you never know, always price check! Now, back to the story…
Thanks again to the holiday deals, we had secured the cheapest rental car–$86 for five days! From Dublin we drove west and cut across the countryside. In all of two hours we had reached the West Coast and arrived to Galway—an Irish port town brimming with traditional pubs, stone-clad cafes and quaint shops hunkered within 18th century walls.
Galway was unstoppable. Everyone cheered and live festive music filled every square. We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with Guinness and new friends along the fast flowing River Corrib.
Mystery Solved— St. Patrick’s Day IS a full blown national Irish holiday, and with leprechaun adornments and green tattoos we fit right in. In fact, we still have the Irish flag that we were given at the parade!
Want to Join in the Fun??
While we understand that almost every town and city in Ireland hosts St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, we absolutely loved the festivities in Galway.
If 2019 is your year to celebrate, mark your calendar for Sunday, March 17. As it’s in the off season, your flight and hotel will be much cheaper than in the busy summer months. Of course, be sure to dress appropriately, it was certainly brisk!
Where to Stay: Sunrise Lodge Bed and Breakfast may still be the most charming BnB we’ve ever stayed, and is set in the perfect location. Even on a national holiday, we paid less than $100 USD per night, and that price included a spectacular breakfast! The BnB is also within easy walking distance to the hussle and bussle of Galway.
Travel Tip: We always travel with a reusable and insulated cup. It sure came in handy as during our 15 minute walk to Galway. We stopped into the local grocery mart, where mixers and snacks were very inexpensive. And while it’s certainly fun to pop between pubs, we loved having a road cocktail to enjoy with the outdoor sites and sounds–you save a ton and there’s no waiting! Have you ever used a reusable plastic flask? Be sure to pick one up before your visit! Hint–the flask is also awesome to conceal when you go to a movie theater :).
So tell us, have you celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, or have we inspired you to head over to the Emerald Isle on the big day? Leave a comment below or pop over to Instagram. Also be sure to check out our next blog, which will detail our favorite day trip from Galway!
Hugs and Acorns,