St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that inspires travel. For some reason, even though most of us grew up with cheesy St. Paddy’s Day celebrations that involved a lot of shamrocks and chocolate gold coins and rainbows, we grow up and want to experience it at the source. However, if you’re traveling for a holiday, you’ll want to know what to pack for St. Patrick’s Day.
I took a trip to experience St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin in 2013. Three friends and I spent the day decked in green and enjoying all the festivities. But we didn’t have much guidance before we set out when planning our trip.
To help with that, I’ve put together two resources: a guide on how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin (with tips and a daily schedule to help you plan) and this St. Patrick’s Day packing list so you can bring exactly what you’ll need.
Before we get to that, here are the basics of St. Patrick’s Day, in case you’re not aware:
- St. Patrick’s Day originated in Ireland to mark the day of St. Patrick’s death in 461 on March 17th
- There are St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around the world, especially in the U.S.; the biggest ones are in New York City, Boston, and Chicago
- In Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, St. Patrick’s Day is a multi-day celebration planned from March 16th-20th, 2023
- The biggest day of festivities in Dublin is March 17th, which is marked by a huge parade that nearly half a million people attend
- While there’s no set costume for St. Patrick’s Day, there is a general theme… and that theme is green!
Now you won’t show up like an ill-informed noob unaware that St. Patrick’s Day is way more than green beer and drunk Americans. You can also read my tips on what not to do as a tourist in Ireland.
What’s the Weather Like for St. Patrick’s Day?
Before jumping into the packing list, let’s cover the weather briefly.
Mid-March in Ireland is early spring – but the weather might seem more like winter! The average high temperature in Dublin in March is 50°F (10°C), and the average low temperature is 39°F (4°C). March is one of the rainiest months in Ireland, with an average of 24 days of rain. Thus, it would help if you planned to be cold and rainy on St. Patrick’s Day.
If the luck of the Irish is on your side and it happens to be a nice day, you can always peel off your raincoat and put on your sunglasses! No matter the weather, visiting on this holiday is a great item to check off your bucket list for Ireland.
You can read my whole post on what Ireland in March is like to further plan your trip.
What You Actually Need to Pack for St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin
I’ll be honest, I pretty much pack 90% of the same things over and over… and I bet you do too. Also, most packing lists are about 90% of those same things, right? If you’re attending St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin and then heading out on a 10 day trip around Ireland, I have a more general Ireland packing list that you may find helpful.
So instead of giving you a packing list that’s 90% of what you already know or are already planning to pack, here’s a packing list that’s 100% of the things you need specifically for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin.
Once you’ve gotten past the pairs of underwear, pajamas, tops, and trousers you know you’ll need for every trip, consider packing these ten items for St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin – they’ll help make an unforgettable day even more so.
1. Green Rainjacket
There are two considerations for celebrating St. Paddy’s in Dublin: “go big or go home” and “it’s March in Ireland and likely to rain.” This jacket solves them both. You have to really love green – and be willing to rock it – to pull off this bright verdant rain shell.
This layers up perfectly over an Irish wool sweater or light down jacket, both of which are good to pack if the forecast calls for a chilly March in Dublin.
2. Green Rain Boots
I mean, you could buy rain boots in a normal color like navy polka dots, yellow, or even cherry red… or you could seize this one opportunity to buy rubber rain boots in the same shade as the rolling fields of Irish clover you dream of running through.
I’ll let you decide. Choose your rain boots wisely.
3. Smartwool Socks
Smartwool socks are probably the most underused but highly beloved items in my everyday wardrobe. When I need them, I love them. With those rainboots above (go green! ?), you’ll need a pair of tall, warm socks for all the walking and standing you’ll do on St. Patrick’s Day.
Even if you don’t choose green, they have other colors and patterns to match.
4. Green Blanket Scarf
You already know I love scarves while traveling. This scarf is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day for several reasons:
- It’s a blanket scarf you can wrap up to stay warm.
- It has green.
- It also has orange and white, giving it a distinctly Irish vibe.
With black as the base color, you can get away with wearing this every day of your trip to Ireland, and it’ll look great.
As my mother used to tell me growing up: all your heat escapes through your head! A hat is an easy way to stay warm on a chilly/drizzly March morning while you’re waiting for the St. Patrick’s Day parade to begin. I especially love the “Instagram-worthy” giant pouf on top of these hats…
…and they come in a two-pack, giving you wardrobe versatility! Score!
Though I don’t run a ton, I’m weirdly a sucker for running gloves, which are meant to be super thin and warm. They always look sleek, and lately, the designs are very 21st century. These black ones even have touchscreen capabilities, so you won’t need to take them off to snap selfies with fellow merrymakers.
As I remember, Irish weather is notoriously fickle. It can be rainy and overcast one minute, then the sun breaks through and you’re blind the next.
Shamrock-shaped/colored glasses are weirdly popular for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, and I tried to pick the least lurid ones for this list (just look, here are the rest). These are at least kind of subtle enough to wear on the rest of your trip through Ireland.
8. Patent Leather Purse
I’m not typically too girly, but St. Patrick’s Day is a social event. As such, I paid a bit more attention to my outfit than I usually do. That included a super cute patent leather purse (read rain/beer resistant) where I could tuck my phone, wallet, and Airbnb keys.
This black purse is a great option, and I guarantee you’ll get other uses out of it after St. Patrick’s Day, such as stopping at Dublin pubs after for drinks in Ireland. It has a chain strap that gives it some extra class, and a magnetic clasp which will help keep it closed in crowds.
9. Body Jewels
This one is for those of you who want a little more bling in your life: most people will be covered head to toe in green – including bare skin! These glittery shamrocks are the ticket since they’ll stick to your hands, face, or… wherever!
There are even enough to share with the friends you’ll make new ones during St. Patrick’s Day.
10. Universal Adapter
Unless you live in the U.K., you will need an adapter to plug in your electronics. Aka, you need one to charge up your phone for all the Instagram stories you’ll take during St. Patrick’s Day!
I’m a huge sucker for multi-use anything, and this universal adapter is perfect. It has USB and receives any kind of plug, plus it has the necessary “Type G” prongs for Ireland. You may want to read more about Irish travel adapters to decide what to get.
What Else to Pack for St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin
Here are a couple of tips to help you pack for your trip to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day:
- Pack for late winter rather than early spring. While March 17th is right at the end of winter, it’s better to assume it will be cold and pack a few extra layers. The worst that happens is that you don’t end up needing them!
- Adjust your packing list based on how long you’re traveling. Whether you’re only spending one day in Dublin to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or 3 days in Dublin, add one more top for every two days of travel, and one more pair of trousers for every 3 days. Don’t forget extra undergarments and socks!
- Pack for travel in Europe. Dublin, like most European capitals, has a base level of fashion that’s slightly higher than in the U.S. You can’t go wrong with black pieces and classic items from your wardrobe.
- There’s no such thing as too much green. ‘Nuff said.
- Book your hotel in advance. Hotels book out months in advance, so check out the best areas to stay in Dublin (maybe you’ll want to upgrade to one of the Dublin hotels with balconies).
Have any other questions about what to pack for St. Patrick’s Day? Let me know in the comments!