Celebrating the culture and heritage of the Irish, Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious celebration held every year on March 17th. It marks the introduction of Christianity in Ireland during the 5th Century by St Patrick himself. The day is celebrated all over the world with festivals, street parties, parades, and is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland.

If you’re travelling in March, we’ve selected a handful of the best places with the most exciting celebrations for you to check out:

St Patrick’s Day in Dublin

With its own 5-day festival and dedicated public holiday, more than 100,000 visitors head to Dublin every year to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Kicking off at midday and lasting 2 hours, the Festival Parade on the day itself is the main event with floats, dancers, costumes, marching bands and lots of music for the crowd to dance to. There’s also a daily funfair at Merrion Square complete with theatre performances, street food and all your favourite rides and amusements. The most popular pub is the locals favourite Temple Bar, and if you head to nearby Dame Lane, there are plenty of other watering holes where you can wet your whistle and get swept up in the day’s merriment.

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Dublin Bus Tour Tickets

For the Festival Parade:

Red Route, Stop: Parnell Square
Red & Blue Route, Stop: Merrion Square
Red & Blue Route, Stop: Dame Street/Temple Bar

St Patrick’s Day in London

Usually held over the weekend closest to 17th March, London celebrates St Patrick’s Day with a host of fun activities and events for the whole family to enjoy. A parade is held at Trafalgar Square and is completely free to attend, making it an excellent activity for anyone wondering what to do with kids in London during the month. Go and listen to traditional Irish music, watch ceilidh dancing, have your face painted and then stop for a bite to eat at the nearby Irish Street Food Market. There’s also an Irish Film Festival celebrating the best works from that genre with various screenings, talks and workshops held at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square and at the London Film School in Covent Garden.

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London Bus Tour Tickets

Red Route, Stop: Trafalgar Square
Red & Green Route, Stop: Covent Garden

St Patrick’s Day in Washington DC

With live music stages, an Irish Village and carnival rides, ShamrockFest is the largest St. Patrick's Day festival in the United States. Featuring more than 30 bands each year, the huge street festival has been headlined by Shaggy, Sum 41 and Coolio and prides itself on creating an atmosphere that everyone can enjoy. The event usually takes place on the Saturday closest to 17th March and is held on the grounds of RFK Stadium from midday to 8pm. The north fountain at the White House also gets a St Patrick’s Day makeover with the water changing to bright green to commemorate the day.

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Washington DC Bus Tour Tickets

Yellow Route, Stop: White House North

St Patrick’s Day in Sydney

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in Sydney with a series of emerald green events throughout the city. The biggest event of them all sees the Entertainment Quarter transform into the Green Quarter where a parade with floats decorated by social groups and communities is held. There are also delicious food stalls selling everything from traditional Irish food to the more typical Australian cheap eats. Lookout for the marching bands and Irish dancers as you make your way to the nearest bar, there are so many to choose from at Green Quarter. Like the White House, the Sydney Opera House also turns green to mark the special day which is a unique sight you’ll definitely want to Instagram.

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Sydney Bus Tour Tickets

For Green Quarter:

Blue Route, Stop: Centennial Parklands
Red Route, Stop: Sydney Opera House

St Patrick’s Day in Hong Kong

Known to kick off the celebrations earlier than anywhere else, Hong Kong usually holds a St Paddy’s Parade the Sunday before St Patrick’s Day where locals and tourists take to the streets in all green attire. If you’re Irish it may seem like a very long way from home, but one look at the traditional music groups that are flown in for the event and the attention to detail that goes into creating an authentic experience, and that thought will be quickly disappear. The parade starts at the Hong Kong Observation Wheel and features lots of dynamic acts and performances that will fill you with the luck of the Irish.

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Hong Kong Bus Tour Tickets

Red & Green Route, Stop: Central Star Ferry Pier 7

Although both are encouraged, there’s more to the holiday than wearing green and having a pint of Guinness. Over the years St Patrick’s Day festivities has become bigger, better and more widely celebrated across the globe. Experience next year’s at one of the above cities and you’re bound to have an unforgettable St Patrick’s Day. Remember, we operate in all these cities so if you want to explore all the landmarks and attractions when the celebrations are done, hop on a Big Bus tour.