Present in thousands of bucket lists all around the world, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin is quite an experience to be lived. And with good reason: The Irish capital hosts the most famous March 17th festivities on the planet. However, while it’s hard to beat Dublin for the big day, the whole country is filled with many other Saint Patrick’s Day festivals. From way up in Northern Ireland to down south in Cork, these are some of the best places to visit in Ireland to go green and toast like a proper Irish!
Set up on the Western coast of Ireland, Galway started as a humble fishing village. Today the city rejoices in its diverse, bohemian spirit. Known for its festivals, bar life, art scene, and youthful student population, Galway’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day celebration is pretty popular, with a parade — that will march on the 17th through the city center to Eyre Square. The fountain in this square is dyed green just for the occasion! But visitors can also enjoy live music or even a ride on an authentic vintage carousel. You can totally expect to see plenty of local artists and rich talent on display throughout the festivities.
Located in southwest Ireland, Cork is a cosmopolitan city with plenty of coffee shops, art galleries, pubs, and museums. Based on the city’s popularity, it’s no surprise that Cork also holds quite a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. Filling up the calendar from the 13th through the 17th, Cork offers many events for Saint Patrick’s Day. You can expect plenty of events such as traditional Irish music sessions hosted at pubs all around Cork. Kids can get crafty in art workshops too, and there’s even a St. Patrick’s Hill Ball Run where 11,000 balls are launched down St. Patrick’s Hill!
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Less than an hour southwest of Belfast, you’ll find Armagh, the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland. This Northern Ireland city hosts its Home of St. Patrick Festival each year. Armagh allows anyone to go back to Saint Patrick’s roots: it was precisely here where, decided to turn this community into Ireland’s spiritual nexus, Saint Patrick began his Christian mission founding his first church in the 5th century. The city celebrates appropriately this honor with its own festival with parades, religious events, concerts, kids activities, and film screenings.
Settled into Western Ireland, Limerick proudly stands as the third largest city in the country. This city founded by Vikings is all about fun for Saint Patrick’s Day. Limerick keeps things lively for the celebration indeed, hosting St. Patrick’s events from March 15th through the 17th. Especially important is its parade, which is actually Ireland’s largest regional St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Celebrations also include live music, theater performances, and a food market to make your time worth if you plan to book flights to Ireland just in time for St. Paddy’s!
Please note: Most of these parades and celebrations have been canceled for St Patrick’s 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak, but they should be on again by 2021.
Have you attended another Saint Patrick’s Day festival in Ireland you’d add to the list? Share your pick with us in the comments below!