It’s time to toss on your greenest apparel and start celebrating! St. Patrick’s Day awaits at these 8 destinations.
Top o’ the morning, or evening, or whatever time it is for ye’! Wherever you are, St. Patrick’s Day is just on the other side of the rainbow, and it’s time to start thinking about where you’ll celebrate. Whether it’s with some old-fashioned Irish whiskey in hand or black pudding to start your day, you ought to do St. Paddy’s Day right. Head to one of these eight cities and you’ll be celebrating with the best of them.
If you want to spend St. Patrick’s Day in the motherland without getting stuck in bustling Dublin, Limerick is a beautiful and exciting alternative. With the River Shannon flowing by, this brick-layed small city offers quaint charm and plenty of opportunity for revelry. Nearby Adare gives you a taste of the traditional Irish thatched roof village. Right in town, cozy pubs and restaurants keep you satisfied as you head on your merry way. Three days of parades, marching band shows and events unlike any other bring joy to Limerick each March. This year, visitors can expect the Limerick parade to have an eco-friendly theme (giving a new meaning to going green). We think it’s safe to say that Limerick is slightly more family-friendly than its mainstream counterpart (Dublin) for a St. Paddy’s Day getaway.
Every St. Patrick’s Day, Munich makes the grand gesture of shutting down popular Leopold Street (Leopoldstrasse), all for the sake of its celebratory parade. With thousands of spectators, this is considered one of the largest multicultural events in Munich after Octoberfest. Green floats, cheery music and Irish dancing sure make for quite the rumpus—especially when fused with traditional Bavarian-style partying. Throughout the weekend, an international street food fest and Celtic performances of every kind will keep your heart just as full as your stomach. Those looking to carry on the celebration can stop at one of the many Irish pubs in Munich all of which host St. Patrick’s Day parties. The best of these include Kilians Irish Pub, Molly Malone’s, and the Kennedy’s Bar. One Guinness stein for the road, please and thank you!
Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you plan on being in the South American region come St. Patrick’s Day, do yourself a favor and hop on over to Buenos Aires. This is where you’ll find the continent’s largest St. Paddy’s celebration. Considering the fact that Buenos Aires actually has the world’s fifth-largest population of Irish people, the annual Retiro District party makes total sense. Irish-Argentines young and old enjoy participating in events and dancing the jig looking like something right off the streets of Dublin. Discover the big party that lasts into the early morning, it sure is fun. Spanning 10 blocks, this is one mega throwdown. Music, dance, food and plenty of craic—this city has it all.
You may not realize it, but the mountainous Caribbean island of Montserrat has quite the Irish history. Montserrat is the only country outside Ireland where St. Patrick’s Day is recognized as a public holiday. After all, its nickname of “The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean” is no accident. Irish ancestry and Erin-like coasts sure make this a great place to be on St. Patrick’s Day. If we do say so ourselves, being in a tropical environment is a great way to spend any holiday. Whether you want to drink a green beer and some Jameson or be first in line to see who gets crowned Calypso royalty is up to you. The St. Patrick’s Festival lasts over a week and provides a great mix of Irish and African cultures, with some traditional Caribbean entertainment, making this one of Montserrat’s most popular events. Take a trip here for St. Paddy’s Day and there’ll be plenty of time to experience both sides of the culture.
Why not catch a game of Gaelic rugby…in Belgium? Each year on St. Patrick’s Day, Brussels does its part to keep the Irish spirit alive by throwing a major parade. St Patrick’s Day parades in Brussels take place in Schuman, locally known as the Irish village of the city. There are plenty of opportunities for raucous to accompany the parade, including sports matches and Irish eats. Don’t forget to visit the Parc Cinquantenaire; that’s where much of the day’s events will take place. Brussels is also home to some great Irish pubs, including O’Reillys, The Old Oak and The Hairy Canary. Be prepared to get your dancing shoes on, toast a Guinness and sing a song. This festival is about everyone being together in celebration.
When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, you probably don’t think of Tokyo. However, that perception hasn’t stopped this Japanese city from taking charge each March. Their “I Love Ireland” festival and parade is a unifying endeavor of fun and fancy-free. You can join the festival at Yoyogi Park for a taste of Irish stew, a short at hurling and even a glimpse of Irish music and dancing. As for the parade, it starts near Harajuku Station on Omotesando Street. The parade was started in 1992 by the Irish Network Japan, with support from the Embassy of Ireland, to introduce Irish culture to the people of Japan. From traditional parade floats to marching bands and plenty of costumes, you’ll have every reason to smile at this Irish-style affair.
While Sydney isn’t a big name in the world of St. Patrick’s Day parades, there’s no denying that the Australian-Irish population takes the holiday seriously here. Irish settlers first wound up at The Rocks. As a result, people gather there each year for the holiday to meet others of the same lineage. Paddy’s Markets are open-air stalls where you can spend an entire afternoon, making a holiday excursion out of them. As for food and drink, there’s no shortage of Irish pubs and restaurants in the city of Sydney—no matter the time of year. One of Australia’s longest-running Irish pubs, The Mercantile Hotel, hosts the best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Sydney. Everything from pop-up bars, Irish dancing and live Irish music will make your St. Patrick’s Day one to remember.
We left Dublin for last because it’s a given. However, that doesn’t make it any less worthy of an epic St. Patrick’s Day outing. Do yourself a favor and book your flights and accommodation as soon as possible, because this city gets crowded. However, come morning on March 17, you’ll hear slaintes from all over that prove your venture was well worthwhile. One of the largest parades for this holiday in the world, Dublin provides nearly a week of whiskey-fueled shenanigans. It really is quite the show. As the evening rolls around, the city’s cultural quarter of Temple Bar becomes a hub for anyone and everyone wishing to take part in the celebration. Best of all, you’ll have the memory of being in the famous Emerald Isle for an unforgettable St. Paddy’s vacation.
Make the Irish Proud
Irish heritage or not, you have every right to celebrate good ol’ St. Patrick’s Day. Bringing millions of people together from different parts of the world, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most anticipated celebrations of the year. Head to one of these eight great cities to celebrate. For the Irish, it is a great chance to enjoy their roots, and for everyone else, it is a perfect occasion to dive into the rich culture of Ireland.