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When is the Best Time to Visit Ireland?

EileenMM
Best Time to Visit Ireland

Ever wondered when the best time to visit Ireland is?

You’re not alone!

By navigating the travel season in Ireland, this striking Emerald Isle showcases its charm both during peak and off-peak seasons. Whether it’s delighting in extended daylight hours of summer sunsets painting a magnificent canvas over historic castles or wrapping up cosy for brisk winter walks along idyllic coastlines, you’ll never forget your journey here.

As colourful festivals burst into life across calendar months, the changeable weather offers a medley of moments and moods. Spectacular tourist attractions beckon year-round, so really isn’t there an ‘always-perfect’ time in Ireland?

My first swig of a traditional Irish brew – now that was unforgettable – but when will yours be?

Let’s embark on this tale woven by tempests and sunshine… Ready?

☝️ Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here is my short answer:

The ideal time to visit Ireland is during the shoulder seasons of spring (March-May) and fall (September-November), offering mild weather and lesser crowds than summer. If you’re new to Ireland, consider April when the weather is good, and tourism isn’t at its peak. Despite this, Ireland’s temperate climate makes it enjoyable year-round, with July and August being the warmest. Make sure to check travel restrictions before planning your trip.

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What to Consider When Planning Your Trip

Here are some factors to think about when deciding when to visit Ireland for the best experience:

  • Weather – Average temperatures, rainfall patterns, daylight hours
  • Crowds – Busy tourist seasons or quieter off-peak times
  • Prices – Flights, hotels, tours – high season or low season rates
  • Events – Cultural festivals, concerts, public holidays

Weather in Ireland by Season

Ireland’s weather changes quite a bit through the seasons. Here is an overview of the average climate in Ireland by season:

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Spring Weather (March – May)

  • Temperatures – Average highs of 12°C to 15°C
  • Rainfall – Moderate rainfall, averages 75-100 mm/month
  • Daylight – Days rapidly lengthening, nearly 16 hours by May

Spring is mild, with a mix of sun and showers. Weather is changeable yet pleasant for sightseeing.

Summer Weather (June – August)

  • Temperatures – Average highs of 19°C to 21°C
  • Rainfall – Lower rainfall, averages 50-80 mm/month
  • Daylight – Long summer days, up to 17 hours in June

Summer brings the warmest weather. Days are long, sunshine increases, and rain showers are briefer.

Fall Weather (September – November)

  • Temperatures – Average highs of 12°C to 18°C
  • Rainfall – Heavier rainfall, averages 90-130 mm/month
  • Daylight – Days rapidly shorten, under 10 hours by November

Fall sees more changeable weather, with increased storm activity. Temperatures cool but foliage colors come out.

Winter Weather (December – February)

  • Temperatures – Average highs of 6°C to 10°C
  • Rainfall – Heaviest rainfall, averages 90-150 mm/month
  • Daylight – Short days, under 8 hours in December

Winter brings cool temperatures, wind, and plentiful rain. Short days mean limited sightseeing time.

When to Visit Ireland by Season

Below is a comparison of the best times to visit Ireland in each season:

Spring in Ireland

Spring in Ireland
Copyright: petrkahanek

March and May are two of the best months for springtime travel in Ireland.

Pros:

  • Mild weather, with a mix of sun and rain
  • Lower crowds and prices before summer
  • Plenty of daylight for sightseeing
  • Vibrant St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

Cons:

  • Weather is changeable, with some rainy periods
  • Attractions start opening for season in April

Overall, spring is a refreshing time to visit Ireland before peak summer crowds arrive. Mild weather and budding greenery make for a pleasant trip.

Summer in Ireland

June to August bring the warmest weather and long summer days.

Pros:

  • Warm temperatures, most sunshine
  • Long days, up to 17 hours in June
  • All attractions and sites are open
  • Busy festivals and events

Cons:

  • Peak crowds from tourism
  • Highest prices for airfare and hotels
  • More expensive car rentals
  • Rain showers still possible

Overall, summer is the most popular time for visiting Ireland despite larger crowds and prices. The weather is ideal for outdoor activities.

Fall in Ireland

September and October are nice months for a fall visit.

Pros:

  • Fewer crowds than summer
  • Lower hotel and flight costs
  • Pleasant weather, still mild
  • Vibrant foliage colors

Cons:

  • More frequent rainfall
  • Some attractions start to reduce hours
  • Limited festivals or events

Overall, fall offers a compromise with fewer tourists than summer, but still decent weather. A great time for deals on travel packages.

Winter in Ireland

December to February is the low tourist season in Ireland.

Pros

  • Least crowded major sights
  • Lowest costs for flights and hotels
  • Cozy pubs and city shopping
  • Magical holiday ambience

Cons:

  • Cool temperatures
  • Wind and frequent rain
  • Limited daylight, under 8 hours
  • Some minor closures

Overall, winter travel isn’t for everyone, but offers serious fans lower costs and crowds. Cities still shine with lively pubs, restaurants and holiday spirit.

Ireland by Month

This chart summarizes weather factors, crowds, and costs during each month:

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MonthAvg HighRainfallCrowdsPricesNotes
January8°C120mmVery lowLowCool, wet weather. Quiet sightseeing.
February8°C100mmVery lowLowImproving weather into spring. Valentine’s Day.
March10°C90mmLowModerateMilder weather. St Patrick’s Day events.
April12°C60mmLowModerateMix of sun and showers. Easter celebrations.
May15°C70mmLowModeratePleasant weather. Long daylight.
June19°C60mmMediumHighWarm weather. Long summer days.
July21°C50mmHighVery highPeak of summer. Crowded and costly.
August20°C80mmHighHighWarm weather, some crowds ease.
September17°C90mmMediumModeratePleasant weather, fewer crowds.
October14°C100mmLowModerateCooler temps, foliage viewing.
November11°C120mmLowLowIncreased rain, shorter days.
December9°C130mmVery lowLowCool, wet weather. Festive ambience.

Best Times to Visit Ireland’s Cities

Dublin

Dublin offers plenty to do year-round as a lively capital city. Peak summer is busy with tourists. Spring and fall are good compromises with fewer crowds and costs.

Galway

Galway is best from May to September for pleasant weather, summer festivals, and local culture. Expect rain by late fall.

Cork

Cork is worth visiting any time of year. Spring and fall avoid crowds, while summer offers historical re-enactments and food festivals.

Belfast

Belfast is great to visit in spring and summer for attractions like the Titanic Quarter. Expect some showers year-round.

Kilkenny

Medieval atmosphere shines in Kilkenny from late spring to early fall. Summer brings arts festivals while fall features medieval re-enactments.

Killarney

Killarney is fantastic from May through October for temperate weather. July and August peak with crowds and costs.

Key Events and Festivals

Ireland hosts many lively festivals and cultural events throughout the seasons. Here are some top annual highlights:

  • St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, nationwide parades and celebrations
  • Easter Week – March/April, events and festivities countrywide
  • Bloomsday – June 16, Dublin festival honoring James Joyce
  • Galway Arts Festival – Mid-July, theatre, comedy and street performances
  • Rose of Tralee – August festival crowning the Rose in Tralee
  • Puck Fair – August, medieval fair with goat coronation in Killorglin
  • Dublin Fringe Festival – September, alternative theatre and comedy acts
  • Dublin Theatre Festival – October, showcases Irish and international theatre
  • Cork Jazz Festival – Late October, gigs across Cork by top jazz bands
  • Wexford Opera Festival – October/November, renowned opera performances
  • Christmas Markets – December, festive German-style markets nationwide

Travel Tips for Ireland

  • Pack layers and waterproof outerwear – Irish weather can quickly shift from sun to showers
  • April through September offer the most daylight and warmest temperatures
  • Prices and crowds peak during summer months
  • Look for shoulder season deals in late spring and early fall
  • Plan indoor visits like museums for inevitable rainy days
  • Public transport improves but driving provides maximum flexibility
  • Book popular hotels and events well in advance
  • Expect lively pubs, music, and craic year-round!

Conclusion

The best time to visit Ireland often comes down to your own travel preferences. Summer promises the warmest weather but with lively crowds and high costs. Shoulder seasons like spring and fall offer moderate temperatures, blooming or colourful foliage, fewer tourists, and lower prices – though with some rainy periods mixed in.

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While winter sees the fewest crowds and costs, wet weather and short days limit sightseeing. Still, Ireland’s warm hospitality shines year-round, especially in cozy pubs. Whenever you choose to visit the Emerald Isle, its magnificent scenery, fascinating history, and welcoming spirit are sure to captivate.

Frequently asked Questions

When is the best time to visit Ireland?

The best time to visit Ireland is during the summer months of July and August. The weather is mild, and you can enjoy longer daylight hours. It is also the peak tourist season, so you can experience all the vibrant festivals and events happening across the country.

What is the shoulder season in Ireland?

The shoulder season in Ireland refers to the months of April, May, September, and October. During this time, the tourist crowds are thinner, accommodation prices are lower, and the weather is still pleasant. It’s a great time to explore Ireland without the peak season rush.

Is there a worse time to travel to Ireland?

While Ireland is beautiful throughout the year, the winter months from November to February can be quite chilly and wet. Many tourist attractions may also have reduced operating hours during this time. However, if you don’t mind the cooler weather and enjoy a quieter atmosphere, you can still have a good time exploring Ireland during the winter.

What is the best time to visit Ireland?

The best month to visit Ireland depends on your preferences. If you’re looking for warm weather and a lively atmosphere, July & August are ideal. If you prefer milder weather and less people, April, May, September, and October are great choices. Ultimately, it’s important to consider your interests and the type of experience you want to have in Ireland.

What is the Emerald Isle?

The Emerald Isle is a poetic nickname for Ireland. It represents the country’s lush green landscapes, which are often associated with its rainy climate. The nickname captures the natural beauty and unique charm of Ireland.

What is the average temperature in Ireland?

The average temperature in Ireland varies depending on the season. During the summer months of July and August, the average temperature ranges from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F). In winter, the average temperature is around 5°C to 8°C (41°F to 46°F). However, it’s important to note that Irish weather can be quite unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for changing conditions.

What is winter like in Ireland?

Winter in Ireland is characterized by cooler temperatures, shorter daylight hours, and a higher chance of rain. It’s a quieter time to visit, and you can enjoy cosy evenings in traditional pubs and explore the beautiful landscapes without the crowds. Just make sure to pack warm clothing and waterproof gear to stay comfortable during your winter trip.

When is the cheapest time to visit Ireland?

The cheapest time to visit Ireland is during the shoulder season months of April, May, September, and October. This is when you can find lower accommodation prices and take advantage of off-season deals. Additionally, travelling during weekdays and avoiding major holidays can also help you save on expenses.

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What are the top towns and cities to visit in Ireland?

Ireland is home to many charming towns and vibrant cities. Some of the top destinations to explore include Dublin, Galway, Cork, Killarney, and Belfast (in Northern Ireland). Each place has its own unique attractions, from historical landmarks to lively music scenes.

📣 Local Insider Tips: Plan Your Dream Trip to Dublin with Our Guide!

👉 What’s the Best Way to Get Around Dublin and Ireland?

By Car – We’re a big fan of renting a car and driving ourselves while touring the island. It allows us to see attractions at our own pace outside the city centre too. We find the best rental deals through Discover Cars. (Read more)

👉 Where Can I Book a Place to Stay in Dublin?

Maybe – For hotels, we recommend Booking.com to compare places. If you are looking for a vacation rental, VRBO is a top choice. We advise reading reviews carefully before booking. (Read more)

👉 Which Site Finds the Cheapest Dublin Flights?

Check out Expedia first when booking airfare. Setting up price alerts is an easy way to grab deals when fares drop. (Read more)

👉 What’s the Best Way to Get from the Airport to Dublin City Centre?

By Bus – The Dublin Express Bus is an affordable and convenient option. Taxis are readily available as well. (Read more)

Private Transfer – Travel to and from Dublin Airport in style and comfort with a private luxury van or minibus transfer. Skip the taxi queues and enjoy a personalized meet-and-greet service, ensuring a smooth start or end to your Dublin adventure! (Read More)

👉 Is There a City Pass to Access Multiple Dublin Attractions?

Absolutely – The Go City All-Inclusive Pass is your ticket to over 40 top attractions in Dublin. It includes spots like the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin hop-on hop-off bus tours, Christchurch Cathedral, and many more. (Read more)

👉 What Are Some Recommended Attractions in And near Dublin?

Dublin, located along Ireland’s east coast, offers several nearby attractions worth exploring. The Giants Causeway, Cliffs of Moher, Galway, and Belfast are all accessible by a short drive or flight. (Read More)

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