Don your favorite green sweater, pin a shamrock on your collar, and grab a pint of Guinness, folks! St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and it’s time to join your fellow friends, leprechauns, and Emerald Isle progeny to celebrate the most Irish holiday that ever existed.

But, where are the best St. Patrick’s Day parties happening? You’ll find celebrations all over the globe, from Ireland to the Caribbean and beyond. But, a few spots in the U.S. and the U.K. — two places with an inordinate amount of Irish people — really know how to get it done.

So get ready to turn green, folks — here are six of the best places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. You’ve never experienced the luck of the Irish quite like this before.

Dublin, Ireland

st. patrick's day dublin ireland
Don’t look so surprised — you knew the Irish capital of the world would be first on this list. If you want to do St. Patrick’s Day right, the best way to do it is to head to the motherland. Take a trip over to Ireland and hang out in the country’s capital city for the festivities, which last for a full weekend.

Get started with the parade, a wild, colorful affair that winds throughout the whole city, and move on to the citywide festival that surrounds the parade route. You’ll find film screenings, live music, Gaelic-language events, and more — plus the general merrymaking that St. Patrick’s Day entails. For a historical twist, drop by the Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest Celtic pub.

Related: Don’t Fall for These Myths About St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland

New York City, New York

Elzbieta Sekowska/

Dublin might be the motherland, but New York City is the fatherland. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held back in 1762 by homesick Irish soldiers serving in the British army. Today, if you take flights to New York, you’ll experience one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the entire world.

A bit more dressed down than the parade in Dublin — no floats or other vehicles are allowed — don’t mistake this celebration for a somber affair. The parade might look a bit like a military march, but the crowd around the parade route is rowdy and ready to party.

Chicago, Illinois

St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago gets seriously weird. In addition to the usual festivities — a giant parade, a city full of green-clad revelers, a newfound roaming leprechaun population — the Windy City dumps a bunch of green dye into the Chicago River, making the water run completely green. A little freaky, am I right?

Apparently, local environmentalists aren’t worried, so you shouldn’t be either. Party it up, but maybe don’t go for a dip in the river unless you’d like to turn into a walking St. Patrick’s Day mascot.

Boston, Massachusetts

St. Patrick's Day Boston, Massachusetts

Image via Flickr – CC by 2.0Bryan Maleszyk

Boston isn’t just the honorary capital of New England, it’s also the locus of a giant St. Patrick’s Day celebration. And, nearly a quarter of Massachusetts residents are of Irish descent, so South Boston sure knows how to throw a good St. Patrick’s Day party. Take in the colorful parade floats and live music as the marching and pipe bands walk through the neighborhood.

New Orleans, Louisiana

st. patrick's day new orleans louisiana

Image via Flickr – CC by 2.0Infrogmation of New Orleans

Want to celebrate more than one holiday all at once? Obviously, yes. New Orleans has taken St. Patrick’s Day to a whole new level, pairing its celebration with St. Joseph’s Day to create a full week of awesomeness.

Start the festivities off with the festive Irish Channel Parade. You’ll party hard, obviously, and then two days later, you can pick it up again with St. Joseph’s Day. Enjoy the lively parade as they march through the French Quarter. If a week-long, multicultural celebration is what you’re looking for, then New Orleans is the place to go.

Montserrat, West Indies

st. patrick's day montserrat west indies

One of the most unique, historical places to party it up on St. Patrick’s Day, Montserrat throws one awesome Irish celebration. Deemed the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, Irish folks started showing up on its shores in the 1600s as indentured servants fleeing religious persecution on neighboring islands.

Today, the calypso, Afro-Irish St. Patrick’s Day celebration lasts a full week and serves double commemorative duty. In addition to the Irish saint, the party also honors a slave revolt that occurred on the island on March 17, 1768. If you’re a history buff with a penchant for island beats over bagpipes, Montserrat is the place to be.

Where will you be spending St. Patrick’s Day? Tell us in the comments below!

One Response

  1. Patty

    Nice article, however, you forgot Savannah, Georgia which is bigger than Chicago and Boston.


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About The Author

Hannah Winsten is a freelance writer and marketing consultant living in New York City. A total travel junkie, Hannah came to CheapOair as a French translator and SEM associate after returning from a stint living abroad in Paris. She’s also working on her first book--you know you want to read it. Find her on Twitter at @HannahRWinsten.