Paris might lag considerably behind Dublin or New York when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but March 17th is still a fun and lively date on the Parisian calendar. English speaking residents and French locals alike flock to the city's numerous Irish pubs to raise a toast to the man responsible for green Guinness and some of the world's liveliest street parades. While no true parades happen in the French capital for the occasion, St.
Patrick’s Day in Paris is still worth celebrating. Mostly free of the cliches that sometimes characterized it in the past, it's feted by the city's increasingly large Irish community, giving it a degree of authenticity.
Whatever your tastes (and whether you choose to indulge in Guinness or not), March 17th should not pass you by without some form of celebration. Paris has plenty on offer to ensure you have a Lá Fhéile Phádraig (Happy St. Patrick's Day).
Irish Pubs in the French Capital
For many, March 17th is synonymous with Irish pub culture, so it's not surprising that most of the St. Patrick's Day action takes place in Paris' impressive collection of Irish pubs. These watering holes make wonderful spots to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the city of lights, and are generally frequented by expats, as well as anyone attracted by the laid-back, homey atmosphere often lacking in traditional Parisian bars and brasseries.
Regular bars will also be jumping on the Paddy’s Day bandwagon, offering specials to pull the crowds, but are best avoided in favor of an Irish equivalent, where you will be guaranteed craic, sport agus spraoi (fun and games).
St. Patrick's Day 2018 - Things to Bear in Mind:
March 17th falls on a Saturday this year, so pubs celebrating St Paddy's are generally going to be putting on some pretty lively parties and special events like live music, in some cases throughout the weekend.
Do be prepared for considerable crowds, though; when the holiday falls on a weekend, you're much more likely to have to battle for a spot inside! Arrive early if you want to secure a table at a pub playing live music or staging other special events for the holiday.
Drinking in Irish pubs is an expensive pastime, even by Paris standards, so if you’re fond of the black stuff, be prepared to fork out up to 15 euros for a pint of second-rate Guinness.
Not Interested in Pub Culture? More Ways to Celebrate
There may be no parade on the streets of Paris this year, but non-drinkers, families and those in search of Irish arts and culture can still partake in the festivities while avoiding the pub scene. Here are some alternatives:
Music and Dance
If you're looking for a more low-key but authentic cultural experience, check out the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris. This year, traditional Irish group Atlas is giving what's set to be a memorable concert on the evening of the 16th. There's also a St Patrick's Family Day scheduled on the 17th, offering music, fun and games for all ages!
On the evening of the 17th, enjoy another concert from Moxie, who play traditional songs inflected with influences of rock, bluegrass, jazz and funk.
This year, concert tickets are 18 Euros/15 Euros with a valid student card. Reservations are recommended.
When: March 16th and 17th, 2018
Time: 1PM - 9PM (concerts start at 7:30PM).
From the Irish Cultural Centre: "Saint Patrick’s Family Day [brings together] Music, magic and mischief, face-painting, food trucks and The Green Goose pub… a great opportunity to dress up in green and join in the fun!"
The Cultural Centre also has a variety of additional concerts, film nights and other special events planned for their annual St Patrick's Festival.
St. Patrick's Day Family Fun at Disneyland Paris
If, despite all this, you're still hankering after a real St Patrick's Day parade, then there's nothing for it but to get yourself over to Disneyland Paris, less than an hour outside of Paris and accessible by the RER A train.
The kitschiest of all Paddy's Day parades awaits you here, with green-clad Disney favorites, Irish dancers, face painters and a dazzling green fireworks display to finish the evening.