In honour of the greenest, most festive day on the Irish calendar – St Patrick’s Day – this coming Friday, 17th March, here are STA Travel’s top picks of the best places to celebrate with a Guinness (or three)…and try your Irish luck with how you recover the morning after.
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Fun fact before we dive right into the best places to go green: St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival, making it one of the most anticipated days in the whole year
An obvious one, we know. But how could we not include ol’ St Patrick’s home city? The St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Dublin are next level – parades, pubcrawls, dancing, markets are all part of the huge national celebration. Dublin also takes it upon itself to literally turn green every year thanks to lighting set up at all the major buildings and sites. It’s safe to say the Irish know how to throw a party. St Patrick’s Day is so big in Dublin that it isn’t just one day – no, no. It’s a WHOLE weekend festival that runs from the 16th March through till the 19th.
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
The fifth-largest Irish community call Argentina home, so it’s no surprise that Buenos Aires has made the cut. Over the years, the day has become known as Dia de la Cerveza or “Beer Day”. All-night street parties host up to 50,000 people every year. If the street parties aren’t your jam, The Hurling Club of Buenos Aires hosts a dinner and dance night to celebrate their Irish community and tango their night away in the local clubs and bars.
Sydney plays host to the biggest St Patrick’s Day Parade in the southern hemisphere and the only celebration outside of Ireland sponsored by the Irish Government. Every year Sydney welcomes over 80,000 people for the celebrations. The “Green Gathering” features traditional Celtic dancers, performances, family activities, crafts from local artisans and marching bands, making it a celebration not to miss.
Running with the theme of turning green for St Patrick’s Day, the good people of Chicago literally turn Chicago River green every year in honour of what has been established (let’s face it) as the world’s favourite annual celebration. Chicago is transformed into the “Emerald City” each year to mark St Patrick’s Day, with the skyscrapers and buildings illuminated in a green glow. Chicago is littered with Irish pubs where the Guinness is flowing and the people are merry. Between the annual dyeing of the Chicago River, the massive parades throughout the weekend and the festivities that form all of the above, you’re missing out if you don’t try to make it to Chicago for at least one St Paddy’s Day.
By now we’ve established that parades are pretty much a given on St Patrick’s Day, but Tokyo one-ups us all with their annual “I Love Ireland” Festival in Yoyogi Park. Sport, food, marching bands, cheerleaders, performances, costumes and plenty of spectators – it’s got it all. St Patrick’s Day has been celebrated with parades since 1992 in Japan – pretty awesome, huh?
“Festa Irlandese” is held every year in Italy’s north and is one of the biggest St Patrick’s Day celebrations in the whole of Europe. There is 30,000 square meters of outdoor bars (yes, you read that correctly), several stages for live acts and entertainment and plenty of places to stop and re-fuel. Every year it attracts over 25,000 people and has the Italo-Irish people celebrating their Irish heritage for a whole five days every year.
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
While Auckland is a long way from Ireland, it is crawling with Irish pubs and celebrations. It is also thanks to the Daylight Time zone, the first city to celebrate St Patrick’s Day worldwide. The famous Sky Tower is lit up every year in green to commemorate St Patrick’s Day and the streets are gilled with dance festivals, Irish music, parades and a fair day.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
The city that never sleeps turns it up a notch for St Paddy’s Day with their annual bash – one of the biggest NYC events for the month of March. The parade marches along Fifth Avenue and passes some of the biggest NYC attractions such as Central Park. Bagpipes, Celtic dance performances and more Irish pub crawls than you could possibly fit into one day will lead to you getting well and truly into the Irish way of living (and celebrating).
Whether you’re in the motherland, the United States, Europe or the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll never be far from St Patrick’s Day celebrations. In ode to the greenest day of the year, STA Travel’s unbeatable Irish deals are currently even more affordable. Get your shamrock on and head to STA Travel for further information.