If a short break is on your agenda for St. Valentine’s Day, perhaps you need a push from the man himself — St. Valentine. Wouldn’t you know it? The Irish actually have relics (some of the remains) of the patron saint of lovers.
You need to head to Dublin for this. The St. Valentine’s Shrine is in Whitefriar Carmelite Church, Aungier Street, a few minutes walk from Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green and the famous Temple Bar, the center of Dublin’s shopping, culture and craic in the Irish capital.
If you can, visit St. Valentine’s Shrine on February 14 itself—the saint’s actual feast day, and the origin of the annual celebration of love, although it’s still a place of pilgrimage for those celebrating love at any time.
You can do a lot in Dublin on a long weekend. In Europe’s friendliest city; you can talk to anyone. It’s said the city is as intimate as a pub. But it’s probably better not to over-prepare for Dublin, or anywhere in Ireland. Be ready to go with the flow, build in one or two key activities and expect the locals to throw a surprise or two your way.
Dublin hotels and restaurants will be pulling out the stops to create a traditional romantic atmosphere on Valentine’s night, so candle-lit dinners will be the norm. Flowers are no problem either— Smithfield Flower Market — and one Dublin temple to the art of all things— chocolate— is actually not far from St. Valentines’ Shrine. Chocolatier Cocoa Atelier on Drury Street oozes handmade Irish chocolate deliciousness.
Finally, the all-important card.The Emerald Isle’s charm is more along the style of literary son Sheridan: “Won’t you come into the garden? My roses should like to meet you.”
Ireland is a land that reaches deep into the heart, lifts spirits and stirs you to your very core.