Paris might lag behind Dublin or New York when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but March 17th is still an important date on the Parisian calendar. Expats and 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. Thanks to the city’s ever-increasing Irish community, St. Patrick’s Day in Paris is a fun event, free of the cliches and paddywhackery that characterized it in the past.
Whatever your taste, March 17th should not pass you by without some form of celebration, and Paris has plenty on offer to ensure you have a Lá Fhéile Phádraig (Happy St. Patrick's Day).
Irish Pubs in Paris
For many, March 17th is synonymous with Irish pub culture-- so it's not surprising that most of the St. Patrick's Day action is scheduled in Paris' impressive supply of Irish pubs, frequented by expats and those attracted by the laid-back, homey atmosphere often lacking in chic Parisian counterparts.
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).
A Few Favorites
Read our guide to the best Irish bars and pubs in Paris to find a great spot to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the city of lights.
More Irish Bars and Pubs in Paris (Scroll down to "Paris" to see list)
St. Patrick's Day 2015: Things to Bear in Mind
- March 17th falls on a Tuesday this year, so pubs celebrating St Paddy's may be having many of their parties the weekend previous to the actual day, and the partying may not be as lively as it would be on a weekend.
- 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 low on funds and are looking for a more low-key cultural experience, check out the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris, where you can enjoy a traditional concert from Irish group, Kila. The price is 15 Euros. Reservations are essential!
When: March 17th, 2015
Time: 7:30 p.m.
From the Irish Cultural Centre:"Hailed as one of Ireland’s most innovative and energetic bands, their most recent collaboration has seen them develop the music for Tomm Moore’s Song of the Sea. Long considered to be at the forefront of traditional and world music in Ireland, they have an ability to absorb influences from across the globe and infuse a solid rhythmical undercurrent with modern urban consciousness...."
Ceili Dancing/Traditional Irish Dance: If you can't make the concert on the 17th, the Irish Cultural Center is also hosting a traditional Irish dance ("Ceili") on March 14th. Get hopping! More info and booking here...
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.