When Is the Best Time to Visit Ireland | Weather, Seasons, & Activities

So, you’re planning your trip to Ireland, but you’re not sure when you should visit. With so much to do on the island, it’s understandable that choosing when and where to visit might be daunting. There are many variables to consider, from choosing the right season to deciding which activities you want to do.

Ireland is a country that has deep roots in a complex history with enduring myths and legends. From folklore to fairy tales, the culture of Ireland is rich with imagination, art, literature, and amazing people. It’s no wonder why so many people travel there all year round.

You’ve probably imagined yourself bundled up in a warm pub, drinking a pint of Guinness after a long day out. Or you’ve dreamed about seeing the Ring of Kerry and its gorgeous sights.

But did you know the Emerald Isle is known for its unpredictable weather? Or that the activities you may want to do are dependent on the season? This post will answer all of these questions and more. Keep reading to find out the best time of year to go to Ireland.

Best Time of Year to Visit Ireland | Seasons

ring of kerry mountain view

Choosing the ‘best’ time to travel to Ireland is incredibly subjective. There are so many factors involved in choosing the right time to visit. It may depend on the type of weather you like or your budget. Ireland’s climate is a mild, oceanic one with few extreme changes in weather.

However, that doesn’t mean a heat wave or big storm are out of the question. Luckily, wherever you visit, the temperature should stay the same, with the exception of more wind on the north and west coasts.

There are pros and cons to each season and month, which you can take into consideration when planning your trip. Continue reading for a breakdown of each of Ireland’s seasons.

Note: The weather and temperature can vary in each season from year to year. There may be more rain than expected for a certain season, for example. The best thing you can do is pack as if you’ll be experiencing each season when you visit Ireland.

Spring in Ireland

giants causeway rocks and water

Spring in Ireland is between March and May and is one of the shoulder seasons. A shoulder season is a time between the peak season and the off-season of a destination. That means that you get the benefit of warmer weather and longer days, as well as cheaper accommodation and fewer crowds.

The average high temperature for these months is 50°F (10°C), with lows of 39°F (4°C). However, as stated, this can vary by a few degrees. For the most part, the months of March through May tend to be quiet. There are still a number of events and activities to enjoy, though. You will also enjoy more outdoor activities at this time of the year as the daylight hours are longer in spring.

If you’re visiting in the spring, you can look forward to Easter and Saint Patrick’s Day festivities. Beware of jolly crowds near these holidays, especially if you want to avoid a lot of people. You can also visit some of the natural wonders Ireland has to offer, such as the Giant’s Causeway.

Summer in Ireland

summer in ireland connemara area

Summer, the peak season in Ireland, starts in June and ends in August. These are some of the best months to visit Ireland for outdoor activities, festivals, and events. As it is the peak season, hotel and flight prices skyrocket with the influx of tourists. The days are incredibly long, with the sun rising as early as 05:00 am and setting as late as 21:30 pm.

You can expect the weather to be warm, with an average high of 64°F (18°C) and an average low of 52°F (11°C). With more sunny days and a little less rain, most outdoor music festivals happen at this time. Notable events throughout the season include the Galway Arts Festival, the West Cork Lit Festival, and many more. You can also expect plenty of music festivals like Body & Soul and Indiependence, to name a few.

Tip: Pack sunscreen and a waterproof jacket during the summer. There is as much of a chance of burning your skin as there is of getting caught in the rain.

Fall in Ireland

cliffs of moher side view


The other shoulder season, fall, starts in September and ends in November. The year starts to wind down, and the rain picks up in fall. Average temperatures for the season have highs of 55°F (13°C) and lows of 43°F (6°C). There are fewer crowds and cheaper accommodations at this time.

The time during Halloween is an exception, with Derry’s Halloween festivities and the Bram Stoker Festival bringing in large crowds. Days also begin to shorten in these months, so you have less daylight to work with for outdoor activities. That shouldn’t stop you, though, as you can still visit beautiful sights like the Cliffs of Moher.

Winter in Ireland

christmas on grafton street in dublin with crowd

Finally, the off-season, winter, starts in December and ends in February. This season is the quietest, and there are fewer events at this time of year. Be prepared for more rain in winter, along with the coldest temperatures averaging highs of 46°F (8°C) and lows of 36°F (2°C). The days are the shortest during winter, with the sun only rising at about 08:00 am and setting at 16:30 pm. Many smaller businesses close at this time of year, but you will always be able to find good food and friendly people.

The chance to cozy up in a pub with a glass of whiskey is always there during winter. If you are still looking for events during your winter visit, you can always stop to enjoy the cheery atmosphere of any Irish pub and find comfort in their delicious food.

There are some notable events to look forward to during the winter season. There is the Dublin International Film Festival, the Galway and Belfast Christmas Markets, and the Belfast TradFest. The off-season also has the advantage of cheaper accommodation. But note that flights around Christmas may be more expensive with people coming home for the festive season.

Tip: Pack as many warm layers as you can and make sure some of them are waterproof. Not everyone can handle the cold, even if Ireland is a more temperate country.

When Is the Best Time to Go to Ireland | Activities

red temple bar dublin

Ireland is known for its many amazing activities and sights. Choosing when to go visit the island might be dependent on these factors alone. If you’re not bothered by Ireland’s varying weather from month to month, then the place you choose to visit might be more important. With so much to do in each county, there are seasonal events that could affect the time you go to Ireland.


lit up guinness sign in pub

Dublin is The Republic of Ireland’s capital and is known for its rich culture, buzzing atmosphere, and wealth of activities. If you visit Dublin in March, you can join in on the Saint Patrick’s Day festivities. At any time of the year, you can see the Guinness Storehouse and take a tour of the St. James Gate Brewery. There you can learn the history of the famous beer and its creator, Arthur Guinness.

Grafton Street is a popular area in Dublin that you can visit all year. You can find it between the famous Trinity College and St. Stephen’s Green. The area is known for its unique stores and a prominent busking scene, where musicians share their talents.

Overall, Dublin is a magical place to visit any time of the year. With endless options, you will never be bored in the capital.


pumpkins with faces halloween

Home to one of the largest Halloween events in the world, Derry is an excellent place to visit during your October trip to Ireland. Derry is an amazing little village to stop at because of its interesting history. It is the only completely walled city that remains in Ireland. The walls were built in the 17th century as a defense structure and have held up ever since.

Other than engaging in Derry’s historical sights, you can enjoy horseback riding, cycling, and long walks. You may also enjoy sustainably made food from the local restaurants and visit Glenveagh National Park.

Note: Derry is a county in Northern Ireland that is separate from The Republic of Ireland. While The Republic of Ireland uses the euro, Northern Ireland uses the pound and is considered a part of the United Kingdom.

Best Time to Travel to Ireland | Final Thoughts

a shot of the city derry near its river

Ireland is a magical destination with so much to offer. Regardless of the time of year, there will always be something to do when you visit. Whether you prefer summer’s eventful itinerary or the cold and quiet of winter, the choice is yours.

Affordability, activities, and where to visit should be considered when planning your dream trip. But don’t let anything stop you from exploring the Emerald Isle when and how you want to.

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