It’s a bit difficult choosing when to visit Ireland. So, when is the best time to visit this wonderful country in western Europe? While most countries have ‘ideal’ times of the year where touring is excellent, the perfect time to travel anywhere isn’t as reliant on the state of the weather as you might think. Rather, a trip is only as great as what you create of it; there will be plenty of things to do in any city, whatever the season is. Even cold or windy weather for many can be the preferred travel conditions.
This article is filled with recommendations that will plan your Ireland trip around the best flight and hotel deals you can discover or a festival/event that you think you’ll love. Temperatures in Ireland don’t differ greatly between seasons, you have the freedom to travel over Ireland whenever it’ll be convenient for you.
The Weather and Climate in Ireland
The country has a mild climate with four specific seasons. However, a lot of people identify Ireland (and numerous surrounding regions, like the UK) with unrestrained rain and grey skies, intense and torrential rain is very uncommon, but regular rainfall is to be expected. Being that Ireland has a temperate climate, the coolest month during winter (January) will normally not drop below 5°C, and summer only gets up to around 18°C for a daytime high. It doesn’t matter which season you want to visit Ireland in, just make sure that you pack a sweater, as you may be surprised that you require it even during the summer.
The majority of Europe’s busiest tourist season is from April to September, so proceeding in the off-season is a safe bet for smaller crowds, good airfare deal, hotel accommodation promotions, and bargain deals on entrance tickets and attractions. Though you do sacrifice the warmer weather–which is a huge draw for many who prefer summer travel– you’ll have the chance to experience Ireland at a much more relaxed pace and feel that much more like a local. Let’s break it down month by month.
Ireland in January
January is one of the coldest and wettest months of the year for Ireland. The temperature uniquely rises above 7°C, the days are little, and the temperature can drop below chilling at night. However, it’s unusual that we come to have snow in Ireland, there inclines to be several on the mountains in January.
You may expect that there will be a lot of rain (as much as 80% of the day in the month), and pack correspondingly; boots that cover your ankles, a packable rain jacket, plenty of layers, and warm socks, so that you can have bigger control over your body temperature for unforeseen drops or rises within a day.
This may sound a little too cold for several people but the cold weather does have plenty of bonuses. When it’s chilly out, the conditions are ideal for a warming, steaming, and comforting aid of Irish stew. On the other hand, if you love the outdoors or a fairytale fanatic, probably a trip to the snow-peaked Mourne Mountains is in order.
Ireland in February
February is nothing but cold, however, some of the wetness has been recognized to decline this month; rainfall days lessen to about 70% of the days in the month. Ridiculously, February 1st is the traditional marker for spring in the country, in spite of lack of buds and birds. Sunshine hours are slightly higher, though not by much, and cloud cover is in control most days, which prevents much in the way of warmth from getting into the bottom atmosphere.
Ireland in March
Let us guess, high chances are that you’ve been bitten by the St. Patrick’s Day buzz. Yes, there’s a considerable murmur around the country for the 17th, but there are a lot of reasons for visiting during March. Good news is, the temperature will start to climb a little bit this month! You may still consider some warming items, but the days of 3°C are falling behind you, and the new low should be set around 7-8°C. Rainfall, nevertheless, will remain the same, if not a little heavier than the previous month.
Regardless of what the weather has in store, you can be certain that people will be driving to bars, pubs, and nightclubs left, right, and centre, and you’re in for a completely memorable experience (particularly in the country that created Guinness).
Ireland in April
After a long time of waiting, it’s safe to say that you can venture out in lighter layers; April is the month spring will first begin to show itself. The result of months of rainfall, the countryside will be a lush green, and average temperatures will fall between 8 and 12°C. You may probably go without your boots for some days and use your stylish yet comfy sneakers instead.
Sunshine will be mostly present than the previous months also, so layering here may not be a good idea. It’s quite tricky because you never know when you’ll want to cast off your jacket without getting a chill. Annually, Dublin is having a festival in April that further cements its history as a place of literary understanding. The One City One Book festival inspires readers to read at least one novel during this month that connects with Dublin itself.
Ireland in May
During this month, you may expect that spring will reach its peak during this month. There will still be rain, but usually less than 20 days of the month. Sunless and cloudy skies will frequently remain, however, there will still be soaring amounts of sunshine hours so far in the year.
The town of Ennis in County Clare hosts its yearly Fleadh Nua musical festival though it’s a little farther out from Dublin. The festival involves an eight-day festival that assures everything from street entertainment to dance workshops and Irish music.
Ireland in June
This is the peak season where the weather is at its best, the crowds are biggest, and the accommodation and flights at their priciest. A lot of people love Ireland in June. The days are amazingly long (sunrise at the beginning of the month is just after 5 while sunset isn’t until 20 to 10 in the evening) and the midpoint high sits between 16 and 17°C. Today, just because it’s the summer doesn’t mean you won’t need rain gear. Just be ready and bring a light waterproof jacket.
Ireland in July
The peak season continues to go strong in July. You got the best weather, large crowds, and priciest accommodation and flights. This is clearly the start of the best travel time for Ireland as a whole (especially Dublin, being the capital city) because of such warmer weather. You may want to get ready for days averaging 16° and rising as high as 19. This nicer weather is also the beginning of the summer travel rush when traveller numbers will be at their highest.
If you don’t like the large crowds due to summer travel, then this month may not be for you. But if big crowds are okay with you, then you may try Galway. It hosts a yearly festival—the Galway Arts Festival—a very popular and suggested for anyone travelling in the area.
Ireland in August
The last month of summer in Ireland is in August. The country’s temperature averages will be much the same as July (such as the levels of travellers coming here— be ready for higher wait times & crowds), with near-unchanging complete or partial cloud cover. You can also expect that the days will also begin to turn shorter as fall comes, with almost two hours less of daylight by the end of the month compared to August 1st.
Every month of August, remarkable events are happening around the country such as the Dublin Horse Shoe, the Rose of Tralee Beauty Pageant, and the Puck Fair, which is one of the country’s oldest fairs.
Ireland in September
Autumn arrives early even if it’s just September. To some people, it’s the best time to visit Ireland. You don’t want to miss Dublin’s yearly Fringe Festival together with a multitude of harvest-themed gatherings such as the National Ploughing Championships and the Autumn Equinox (Mabon) will happen, with sun alignments occurring over Loughcrew (a megalithic structure).
The average temperature will go down a few degrees and settle around 14°C, so still at a snuggly temperature. In fact, rainfall will be a bit lower than the summer, as the early days of fall tend to be crisp and dry. This month’s condition is just the same as August. You’ll find that the sunlight by the end of September is about two hours less than it was at the beginning, as the days grow shorter and sundown happens earlier.
Ireland in October
Plenty of Irish people consider October as their favourite month to discover Ireland. The weather is fresh and crisp but not too cold, there are orange leaves as far as you can see and loads of attractions and things to do. Although there are plenty of events happening around Ireland this month, the most famous one being Samhain (pronounced Sa-wain). Samhain is like the Pagan ancestor of Halloween – an event that commemorates marking the end of the harvest season.
The average daily temperature will drop to between 8 and 11°C, there will be a little increase in rainfall, and a conclusive increase in cloud cover, with reduced sunshine hours. It’s cool and comfortable with hardly any tourists. Definitely, you are going to fall in love with your time here if this is your favourite season.
Ireland in November
November is the last of the autumn months, as icier weather hurries into welcoming the first whispers of winter. The temperature will go down to between 5 and 10°C, commonly hanging around 8°C, and possibilities of rain lessen over the course of the month. You may want to consider breaking out some warmer gear beginning this month, in case of instant drops in temperature.
If you’re finding an unforgettable experience and are getting ready to travel a little off-track to get there, the Northern Lights are visible between November and February, you may want to go to Donegal or Northern Ireland for the best location.
Ireland in December
Of course, there is no doubt that this is the cold weather in Ireland. December takes in an average temperature of 7°C, with a low of 4°C and a high of 9°C. Hours of sunshine are notably down this month, so what you’ll get is intensified cloud cover and higher rainfall.
Visiting Ireland in December generally is all about Christmas markets. There’s a load of various markets scattered across the country that you can visit on your trip. The days are sadly short in December. However, with Christmas lights sparkling away afar as the eye can see and a festive noise rocking about the place, it’s a little price to pay. The average temperatures for December tend to be similar to November at around 5°C. Temperatures can drop to freezing and biting during the day, and do so on many nights all round the month.
So, what do you think? What’s your favourite time to visit this country? Let us know what you think below!
Author Bio: Ivandrea Ollero is one of the writers for Isaacs Hotel Cork, an Irish boutique city hotel perfect for travelers who want to explore Cork City’s Victorian quarter and its award-winning restaurants and bars. She is also a content writer who researches and writes custom content about home improvements, travel, finance, law, fashion, health, and beauty. She graduated from St. Scholastica’s College, Manila, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2016. Ivandrea provides helpful tips and hacks on various topics for her readers. If she’s not in the mood to write, you can find her eating ice cream while listening to rap music.