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St Patrick's Day and Celtic Heritage

By Viator, February 2014

Held in honor of the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick’s Day is not only celebrated in its home country but all around the world, and there’s no better time to get in touch with your (or someone else's) Celtic heritage. Held each March 17th, St Patrick's Day is synonymous with all things Irish so don something green, sip a pint of Guinness and get lost in a flurry of leprechaun costumes, shamrock emblems and Irish dancers. Cities and Irish communities all over the US and Europe will be hosting parades and festivities for the big day, but the biggest and best events are held in these top locations.

Dublin and Ireland

As the cradle of Celtic civilization, Ireland is the obvious choice for celebrating St Patrick’s Day, and a trip there is the perfect opportunity to rediscover your Irish roots. March 17th is a National holiday, but the biggest party will be in Dublin where the five-day St Patrick’s festival culminates in an enormous St. Patrick’s Day Parade, featuring thousands of dancers, marching bands, acrobats and street entertainers accompanied by dazzling floats and spectacular costumes.

While you’re in town, make sure to sample the national brew at the world-famous Guinness Storehouse, let loose at a traditional Irish house party, or experience the best of local culture on an Irish music or literary themed pub crawl. You don’t have to stay in the capital either – take a trip to the magnificent UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland; kiss the legendary Blarney Stone; hike along the Cliffs of Moher; or step back in time on a Celtic Heritage day trip from Dublin to Boyne Valley, the Hill of Tara and Loughcrew Celtic tombs.

New York

If you’re celebrating stateside, the colorful New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade is the oldest and largest in the US, with the city’s Irish community hosting the event for over 250 years. March 17th sees the Big Apple awash with green, as thousands of costumed marchers start out from the steps of Saint Patrick's Cathedral and proceed along Fifth Avenue.


Renowned as the epicenter of Celtic and Irish culture in the US, Boston is another top spot for St. Paddy’s Day celebrations, with over 600,000 taking to the streets for its vibrant St. Patrick’s Day parade. They’ll be plenty of other ways to indulge in Irish culture too, with cooking demonstrations, cultural events and traditional music held all around the city, but finish off your day with a historic pub crawl around Boston or a visit to one of the city’s many Irish bars.


With its large Irish population, the Windy City is another prime destination for St. Patrick’s Day and Chicagoans welcome spring in style with a giant celebration of all things Irish. Irish-themed food and drinks take over pub menus, costume shops stock up on shamrock sunglasses and orange beards, and a giant parade marches through the city center, but the highlight has to be the dying of the Chicago River – the unique tradition sees a section of the river dyed green for several hours, drawing over 400,000 spectators.

Tours & Tickets

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Northern Ireland Day Trip from Dublin: Belfast Black Taxi Tour and Giant's Causeway

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 273 Reviews

Leave Dublin and travel by luxury coach to Belfast for a black cab tour, followed by a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Giant’s Causeway and the ...  Read more

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 13 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $84.83

Giant's Causeway Day Trip from Dublin

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 301 Reviews

See Northern Ireland's spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site – Giant's Causeway – on a day trip from Dublin. From the comfort of your luxury coach, you'll see ...  Read more

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)

From USD $73.52

Skip the Line: Guinness Storehouse Entrance Ticket

4.5 star rating: Recommended 1539 Reviews

Skip the line at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin with this fast-track entrance ticket and enjoy this seven-floor, immersive experience at leisure! Breeze ...  Read more

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Duration: Flexible

From USD $20.36
$22.62 Save $2.26

Skip the Line: Guinness Connoisseur Taste Experience at the Guinness Storehouse

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 136 Reviews

Visit Guinness Storehouse in Dublin with a skip-the-line ticket, and take a seat in the Guinness Connoisseur Experience – the attraction’s luxurious bar-lounge ...  Read more

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

From USD $55.43

Northern Ireland including Giant's Causeway Rail Tour from Dublin

4.5 star rating: Recommended 295 Reviews

Sit back and relax on this combined rail and coach day trip from Dublin to Northern Ireland. With all your travel arrangements organized for you, you'll see ...  Read more

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 13 hours (approx.)

From USD $123.29

Chicago Pizza and Beer Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 14 Reviews

On this Chicago pizza-tasting tour with a friendly guide, visit four local pizzerias to try Chicago’s famous pizza and relax over cold beer or fine wine. ...  Read more

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Duration: 3.5 hours

From USD $79.99

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