Five Unusual Places To Spend St Patrick’s Day

UPDATE: Check out our 2012 Guide to Planning for St. Patrick’s Day.

As everyone knows, the feast day of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, is also a day when all things Irish are celebrated the world over. To that end, IrishJaunt has rounded up some of the stranger spots where you may be surprised to find Paddy’s Day festivities this 17 March. Stay tuned to IrishJaunt for much more St Patrick’s Day coverage in the coming weeks.

5. Beijing

Purportedly one of the highlights of the Chinese capital’s social calendar, The Irish Ball is an annual black tie dinner organized by Irish Network China featuring Irish food and Irish musicians. And IrishJaunt can personally recommend Paddy O’Sheas, Beijing’s first Irish-owned bar, as one good spot for a Guinness amid incongruous surroundings.

4. Bangkok

The Amari Watergate Hotel is the place to be in the Thai capital around St Patrick’s Day. The St Patrick’s Society’s Annual Gala Ball features Irish music and dancing, a five-course dinner, Irish drinks and even an Irish breakfast the next day all for 3,000 baht, or about €65.

3. Oslo

The Oslo St Patrick’s Day Association, an Irish expat group of some ten years’ standing, stages a colorful and, by the sounds of it, noisy St Patrick’s Day parade through the centre of the Norwegian capital each year. Dozens of Irish expats in Norway can be found on Facebook.

2. Sao Paulo

Even though it’s Brazil’s biggest city and home to some 20 million people, it still seems surprising that Sao Paulo can boast four different Irish pubs. Finnegans,  the city’s first, is somehow serving green draft beer for the occasion, which will doubtless be needed by any Irish person there to witness the somewhat off the mark bagpipes and jazz band. O’Malleys does better with four days of festivities planned.

1. Dubai

The United Arab Emirates certainly isn’t the first place you think of when you think of St Patrick’s Day, but there’s four days of festivities planned in Dubai to mark the annual celebration. Plenty of Irish drinks, dancing and food, plus a performance at Irish Village, one of the city’s Irish bars, by none other than Live Aid organizer and former Boomtown Rats lead singer Bob Geldof.

By Bill Lehane

About Megan Eaves

Travel writer and wanderluster, Megan Eaves is the author of two travel guidebooks and runs the Irish travel website Having traveled to 25 countries and lived in five, she is an expert on Ireland, China and the American Southwest, where she grew up. She also often writes about her adventures around Europe, especially London, where she is currently living.


  1. Is your city hosting events for St Patrick’s Day? Feel free to tell our readers about them here.

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