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12 Best St. Patrick's Day Celebrations Around the World, Because Green Beer Apparently Has Global Appeal

As a proud Irish American, I love celebrating my Irish heritage, and while I'll be happy drinking green beer anywhere, there are a few cities that go above and beyond to have the best St. Patrick's Day celebrations. From the Emerald Isle itself to the traditional Irish hubs of Boston and New York and all the way to Tokyo and Auckland, celebrating St. Patrick's Day is a global affair. Looking for a place to party? Here are the 12 most festive cities to visit in the world.

Dublin, Ireland

Along with drinking and partying, Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration involves four days of traditional music, folklore, and dance. It’s more of a cultural festival than a single day of revelry, and a beautiful homage to Ireland’s history.

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Buenos Aires, Argentina

Another city that likes to party, Buenos Aires actually has the fifth largest Irish population in the world — due to the English invasion in the early 1800s that involved predominately Irish soldiers. St. Patrick’s Day brings dancing, singing, drinking, and a parade to the streets of the Retiro district.

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New York, New York

When my family first immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland in the mid-1800s, they came to New York — and didn’t leave until the 1960s. So many of our Irish ancestors started here, and the city still has one of the largest Irish American populations in the country. New York uses St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate that history, as well as the continued influence of Irish Americans in the city, with a huge parade that lasts nearly six hours!

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Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Despite being the heart of French Canada, Montreal hosts a St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebration that goes on through rain and snow. Montreal is also home to a bunch of cool Irish pubs, like McKibbin’s and Ye Olde Orchard Pub.

Image: Rodolphe Breard/Flickr

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago has a large Irish American population, and every year the city sponsors a St. Patrick’s Day parade on the Saturday closest to March 17. The festivities are kicked off with the dying of the Chicago River. After the parade, you can head to one of the many Irish pubs like Cork & Kerry, or make an appearance at Fado, a favorite spot recommended by locals and visitors alike.

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London, England

England and Ireland haven’t always gotten along (hundreds of years of oppression and religious persecution will do that), but the British still throw a mean St. Patty’s celebration. Usually held on the Sunday closest to March 17, London has a parade and a festival — and you can always pop into a few of the numerous Irish pubs in the city.

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Boston, Massachusetts

Like New York and Chicago, Boston has a very robust Irish influence. I was in Boston a few years ago, and there are some neighborhoods where there are at least two Irish pubs on every block. And aside from all of the great pubs and restaurants, there is also the St. Patty’s parade through South Boston.

Image: Bryan Maleszyk/ Flickr

Auckland, New Zealand

If you’re looking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day away from all this snow, Auckland, New Zealand is a good choice — our winter is their summer. Many Irish immigrants arrived in Australia and New Zealand during the Great Famine, and the city has an awesome St. Paddy’s Day celebration that includes a parade along with a music and dance festival.

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Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles might not have the biggest Irish American population, but it’s a city that never turns down a chance to party. Downtown and the surrounding areas have numerous pub crawls and events, including a street festival hosted by the popular Casey’s Irish Pub.

Image: Gaston Hinostroza/Flickr

Montserrat, West Indies

Called the Caribbean’s Emerald Isle, Montserrat in the British West Indies is another sun-filled destination to spend St. Patrick’s Day. Though alive with island flare, Montserrat honors its Irish connection — Irish indentured servants fled to the island in the 1600s — with a week-long festival.

Image: Patrick Nouhailler/Flickr

Savannah, Georgia

The South might not seem like the most Irish of places, but the city of Savannah definitely comes recommended as a place to spend St. Patrick’s Day. Savannah has hosted a St. Patty’s parade every year since 1813. Savannah has a beautiful historical downtown area where the parade is held, and the show goes on rain or shine.

Image: Bruce Tuten/Flickr

Tokyo, Japan

The Irish spirit is alive all over the world, including in Japan’s capital of Tokyo. Tokyo only started hosting a parade in 1992, but it continues to increase in popularity.

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