There’s something amazing about the fact that something as quintessentially Irish as St Patrick’s Day has become an international phenomenon. Perhaps because it’s essentially an excuse for a giant party and the language of revelry is universal. Maybe it’s just because everyone secretly wants to drink green beer (Why? Who knows…). Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that St Paddy’s Day has well and truly taken off around the world. This coming St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so it may be a little late to start making travel plans now (unless you’re a fan of ultra spontaneous road trips!) but it’s the perfect time to start planning next year’s celebration.
There are a few cities in the world that do St Patrick’s Day like no other, and offer a particularly awesome day (sometimes more than one) of Irish-inspired revelry to visitors and locals alike. Take a look below to discover the ultimate St Paddy’s experience and perhaps find some entirely new places to explore into the bargain!
No St Patrick’s Day list could be complete without mentioning Dublin, capital of Ireland and the home of Guinness. Dublin’s quintessential St Patrick’s Day celebrations are four days of dance, traditional music, Irish folklore… and of course beer. Events take place across Dublin over the four days, in a massive citywide festival that revels in history, culture and epicurean delights in equal measure. Heading to Dublin for St Patrick’s Day is a must for anyone with Irish roots or even just an affinity for the dark frothy goodness of Guinness.
After the festivities, picking up a Dublin car rental
will allow you to explore the rest of the island. The Emerald Isle is packed with stunning scenery and quaint little villages just waiting to be discovered. Starting your road trip in Dublin gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to your itinerary - one particularly popular route proscribes a large circle around the island, visiting iconic Irish locations such as the Ring of Kerry, Limerick and Belfast before returning to Dublin.
New Zealand is about as far away from Ireland as you can get, but that doesn’t mean that St Patrick’s day is forgotten in the antipodes. Far from it. New Zealand was a haven for many Irish immigrants in the wake of Ireland’s Great Famine, and the country hasn’t forgotten its Gaelic heritage. Christchurch, the largest city in New Zealand’s South Island, is home to plenty of folks with Irish ancestry, and offers visitors the unique chance to celebrate St Paddy’s at the opposite end of the world. Grab a traditional Irish breakfast (black pudding compulsory) before going on to join other revelers at one of the city’s many Irish pubs. Another big plus to commemorating St Patrick’s Down Under is the fact that the weather is likely to be considerably better - March is early autumn in New Zealand, a generally lovely time of year.
Renowned as one of the most beautiful spots on Earth, New Zealand’s South Island has wonders and delights in store for everyone. Christchurch is one of the best places to start your journey, as a New Zealand car rental
from this centrally located city will give you the run of the South Island, an almost mythical place that features glaciers and golden beaches, whale watching and swimming with seals, skiing and wine tasting. Grab a car hire at Christchurch Airport
and head on down, or why not make a trip of it and travel south with an Auckland Airport car hire
Of all the cities in the United States, perhaps it’s not surprising that Boston wins out when it comes to St Patrick’s Day. After all, this east coast city has a higher percentage of people with Irish ancestry than any other American city, at over 20%. The South Boston St Patrick’s Parade
is among the largest parades in the country, but that’s only one part of the festival. Whether you choose to head to the Irish Film Festival, catch a concert or discover Boston’s Irish heritage, a St Paddy’s Day spent in Boston is guaranteed to be a spectacular and unforgettable experience.
Starting a road trip in Boston gives you an immense amount of flexibility when it comes to deciding your destination. Discover the coastal charms of New England in your Boston car rental
or head down to Washington DC to delve into American history - you can even drive west to Chicago and beyond on an epic US road trip!
In spite of somewhat shaky relations (to say the least) with Ireland over the years, England still knows how to throw one hell of a St Patrick’s Day party. London in particular has a massive extravaganza of a St Paddy’s Day fest (held on the closest Sunday to the 17th of March), with floats, pageantry marching bands… and that’s just the parade! Trafalgar Square is the place to go for the festival itself - sample food at the artisan Irish market, check out the music and dance, and families can bring the kids along to enjoy the many family-friendly activities at Trafalgar.
Starting from London will put you in the perfect position to dive right into the history, culture and landscapes of Great Britain. Getting yourself on the road is super straightforward - you can pick up your UK airport car rental
directly from Heathrow. Whether you head west to meander along the gorgeous Welsh coastline, drive north to discover the vibrant urban scenes of cities like Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester, or go all out and shoot for the Scottish Highlands, a British road trip has immense potential for wonder and adventure.
The Irish were among the first Europeans to settle Australia, and as many as 30 percent of Aussies are believed to have Irish ancestry today, so it’s no surprise that this is a country that really knows how to go all out on St Patrick’s Day. Melbourne celebrates St Paddy’s Day with a parade, floats and marching bands, as well as in typically casual Down Under fashion, with a picnic style atmosphere, plenty of live music, dancing, food, street entertainers and a whole range of fun activities for the little ones.
Arriving in Melbourne will put you in the best place possible to experience one of the world’s finest coastal road trips: the Great Ocean Road. Tracing its way along the southern coast of Victoria from Torquay to Allensford, the Great Ocean Road treats travellers to expansive oceanic views, green rolling hills and spectacular limestone formations that jut dramatically from the sea. Others may choose instead to head north from Melbourne to discover Canberra, Australia’s capital
, and further on the vibrant cosmopolitan city of Sydney. A Melbourne Airport car hire
opens up all these choices to you and much more.