Everyone in Australia is a little bit Irish – well, at least on St Patrick’s Day!

The Irish were among some of the first settlers to arrive in Australia and today, approximately 30 per cent of Australians have some Irish ancestry, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Despite only one third of the population identifying as being part Irish, and Ireland itself being on the other side of the world, the Irish tradition of St Patrick’s Day continues to be recognised all over Australia.

St Patrick’s Day is beloved by Aussies and passionately celebrated every year. At its core, St Paddy’s is a tribute to the patron saint Saint Patrick, with a dash of nostalgia for Ireland. In Australia, March 17 has evolved into a great excuse to dress up in green and have some fun. Some of the biggest and best St Paddy’s celebrations take place in Sydney.

If you are hankering for a holiday, grab this opportunity to hire a car and head to the Harbour City and enjoy the festivities – it’ll be great craic! Here are some of the best ways to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Sydney.

The Green Gathering

Sunday 19 March will see Prince Alfred Park turned into the epicentre for Sydney’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations. This is a completely free event (hip hip hooray!) that will see a parade of marching bands, Irish dancers in full regalia, and live entertainment keeping the crowds happy. The Green Gathering is a family friendly event, so bring your leanaí (that’s Irish for kids) along for face painting and storytelling fun.

Be sure to wear your best green get-up and and dancing shoes – all the excitement will have you busting out a jig.

young boy celebrating St Patrick's Day.
Get out your shamrocks and leprechaun hats – its time to start planning St Patrick’s Day!

See Sydney go green

Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative lights up landmarks all over the world with a green glow, in a bid to celebrate St Patrick’s Day and put Ireland in the spotlight. In 2017, Sydney will have not one, but two, landmarks going green. Sydney’s Town Hall and the State Library of New South Wales will both be bathed in green light, putting on a festive visual display.

This is a great excuse to check out some of Sydney’s historic buildings: The State Library of New South Wales is the oldest library in the whole country, while the Town Hall is the finest 19th century building in Australia.

Have breakfast at the Mercantile Hotel

Australia’s oldest Irish pub is the ideal spot to celebrate St Paddy’s and what better way to mark the occasion than with a hearty Irish breakfast? This way, you don’t have to wait to start your St Patrick’s celebrations, you can kick them off in the morning.

The Mercantile Hotel is a veritable institution, serving up food, drinks and Irish hospitality for more than 100 years, and the annual St Patrick’s Day breakfast at the Mercantile Hotel is an event not to be missed. A full Irish breakfast is complemented by Irish coffee and traditional Irish music and dancing. You’ll have to book ahead though; this is a popular event that sells out fast.

group of friends celebrating St Patrick's Day
Celebrate St Patrick’s day with some Guinness – and lots of green!

Get Guinnessed at Trinity Bar

There is no better place to lap up some Irish beverages than at a bar named after Trinity College in Dublin. The Trinity stays true to its pub roots, with traditional meals and heritage interiors. Don’t stop at a pint of Guinness; here you can sample a Guinness pie as well. With authentic Irish ambience and plenty of shenanigans, you can’t go wrong spending St Patrick’s Day in Trinity Bar.

Now that you have your St Patrick’s Day celebrations locked in, all you need to do is hire a car and find an all-green outfit!