It may seem odd to celebrate Ireland’s national holiday in Germany, but just like in the USA there are plenty of people with Irish heritage, Irish expats, or people simply looking to party in green. Some of the country's top sites even take on a green hue as they are lit as part of the "Global Greening" project from Tourism Ireland.
The Irish Embassy in Berlin estimates the number of Irish residents in the city to be 1,500 to 1,700 people. And that isn't counting the boatloads of people who are proud of Irish ancestry.
The largest celebration is in Munich, but Irish pubs everywhere will be a popular center for St Paddy's festivities. Look for live music, parties, and food and drink specials. Also be prepared to pay a small cover (usually under €5) at some locations.
This guide will help revelers track down the best St. Patrick's Day parties in Germany. Put on something green, practice ordering a Guinness in German ("Ein Guinness bitte!") and give thanks to the Irish. Slainte!
A small gathering of Irish expats in 1996 has turned into a parade of thousands of participants and spectators. It is billed as the largest multicultural event in Munich with Irisch, Bayerisch und bunt (Irish, Bavarian and colorful).
Along with the boisterous and boozy parade, the festival has religious overtones. Celebration begins with an Irish mass and the parade is ordained by a priest.
2020 St. Patrick's Day in Munich
This year marks Munich's 25th St. Patrick's Day celebration in Germany. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Munich is a whole weekend of events on March 14th and 15th in 2020. There are more than 1,300 participants with everything from live music and dancing, to traditional Irish food.
Top Irish Pubs in Munich
In addition to the official festivities, every Irish bar worth its Guiness will be hosting their own special events. Everywhere from the Olympic Tower to the Kilians, Kennedy's and Hard Rock Cafe will be lit in green. There is also the Dubliner, classic Molly Malones, Ryan's Muddy Boot which looks like it could be your Irish buddy's living room, or Shamrock Irish Pub and Irish Folk Pub (better known as The Old Irish) right off the English Garden.
St. Patrick' Day in Berlin
A ragtag start of a St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2011 has turned into an enthusiastic celebration of Irish culture. The parade has been phased out, but an official festival now takes center stage. Also look for the Funkturm, the west's TV Tower, lit in grün (green) as a beacon of cross-cultural appreciation.
2020 St. Patrick's Day Festival in Berlin
St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Berlin will take place in Kreuzberg at modern biergarten, Birgit & Bier. Along with plenty of beer and good vibes, there will be performances by The Broken Jug Ramblers, The Sunbeams, the Wilder Garten crew and Sara Miller, rugby showings, as well as Irish dancers, bagpipers, and appearances by special guests. The festival will take place over the weekend of March 14th and 15th.
Top Irish Pubs in Berlin
Berlin is a city of bars from old German kneipe to classic Irish pubs, all perfect for the festival after party.
These include the oldest Irish bar in the city, The Harp, in Charlottenburg. Kilkenny Irish Pub Berlin beneath the Hackescher Markt S-Bahn is another boisterous favorite in site of the city center. The Lir provides a more intimate atmosphere in a basement in Hansaviertel near the Tiergarten, and prides itself on a perfectly poured Guinness. Another established location for the holiday is Finnigan Irish Pub, Irish Pub im Europa-Center (the oldest mall in the city), Murphy’s and Blarney Irish Pub. For something a little different, MacLaren's Pub Berlin is a How I Met Your Mother themed Irish pub in Friedrichshain. Or if you want more beer options than just Guiness, Castle Pub's craft beers will satisfy your need and offer an English-language community.
St. Patrick's Day in Hamburg
Located a short walk from the rathaus (town hall), you can have a grand time at Paddy’s Bar. Within the city's party center of the Reeperbahn are Shamrock Irish Pub and Molly Malone's Irish Pub. If you want more electronic than Irish dancing, Thomas Reed Pub and Club is a multi-level space on the riverfront with a nightclub on top.
St. Patrick's Day in Frankfurt
Frankfurt drops its business facade after hours and gets ready to party for St Paddy's. O'Reilley’s near the hauptbahnhof (main train station) is the best place to party in green. There will be music, drinking, and dancing, along with a karaoke competition on the main stage. Encouraging the singing, drinks are half price.
There is also Waxy's, a pub that could be mistaken for being located in the Irish countryside. Irish beers and whiskey are all on offer, as well as their famed buffalo wings.
St. Patrick's Day in Dresden
The rebuilt East German city of Dresden also has some Irish pubs where you may be green. There is a special Irish-themed river tour, as well as the Shamrock Irish Pub, Tír Na Nóg and Gisela Club which serves green beer and prosecco.
St. Patrick's Day in Cologne
St. Patrick's Day in Köln (Cologne) is a subdued affair except for a few key Irish pubs. The Jameson Distillery Pub Cologne offers the true whiskey experience. Pubs The Corkonian, Flanagan's, and The Harp Irish Pub also provide the St Paddy's experience.
St. Patrick's Day in Düsseldorf
The city of Düsseldorf has several Irish pubs to choose from. Ever-popular O'Reillys Irish Pub is the main site of entertainment for St. Patrick's Day in Düsseldorf. Classic music, drinks, and food will be served and anyone with a green face can get in for free. Other Irish bars include Fatty's Irish Pub (which also bizarrely offers Mexican food along with Irish) and McLaughlin's.