St Patrick's Day: Inside Ireland's Festivals

What's the most authentic way to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint? In Dublin of course!

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Dublin, Ireland. The parade starts on Parnell Sq and heads down O’Connell St, through College Green to an appropriate end at St Patrick’s Cathedral.


Five days around 17th March each year.


Wherever in the world there’s a Plastic Paddy, there’s a St Patrick’s Day festival with green beer, blarney and craic, but the most authentic way to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint is in the country’s capital, Dublin. The mother of all Irish festivals, it sees hundreds of thousands gather on city streets and in venues throughout the centre to ‘honour’ the saint who apocryphally drove out Ireland’s snakes. You’ll find street theatre, a fairground and a music festival, with the famous St Patrick’s Day street parade on 17 March to round out the festivities. The parade begins at midday.

If you can’t make it to Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, think about heading for Chicago instead, where the Chicago River is dyed green to mark the occasion.

Level of Participation

3 – take a spin on the festival ferris wheel and drink the green beer, but you’ll only be watching at the parade.


Your beer should be drunk green on St Patrick’s Day. For the best parade view, you can purchase grandstand seating through the Festival Shop link at the festival website.

Other Local Attractions

Spend a day among Temple Bar eateries and drinking holes, an equally traditional way to spend a St Pat’s Day. Go to the source of much of the merriment with a tour of the Guinness Brewery.

Travel Safety Tips

It really is common sense. If you want to stay in control, make sure you don't drink TOO much. It's easy to get swept up in the atmosphere, but you will pay the price if something goes wrong and you are under the influence. Especially if you have a World Nomads insurance policy - it's highly unlikely that any claim will be paid if you injure yourself under the influence of alcohol.

For the boys, as far as the good old fisticuffs are concerned, make sure you don't get too mouthy or you could find yourself with a fat lip, or worse. The atmosphere of St Patricks day is quite frivolous - it can turn from a party into a punch up in a matter of seconds. And you don't want to be on the receiving end of any bad irish vibes. Be there for a good time, and you should have no problem.

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