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Best Time and Season to Visit Ireland: Complete Guide

Team AckoFeb 12, 2024

Fancy a trip abroad? Why not visit the lush countryside of Ireland? Full of rolling hills, quaint towns, and friendly people, it's one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. Whether you're a couple looking for a romantic trip or a family longing to explore nature; Ireland has something for everyone interested in a quality getaway. Like any destination, however, there is an optimum time to visit this glorious country. In this article, we'll highlight the best time to visit Ireland along with other related details. 

Contents

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When is the best time to visit Ireland?

The best time to visit Ireland is July and August, however if you're looking for smaller crowds and cheaper prices then May, September and October are ideal. During the summer in Ireland, beautiful sunny days are almost a guarantee with longer and brighter days making it a great time to explore the country. So no matter when you decide to visit Ireland, you are in for an unforgettable experience.

When is the best season to visit Ireland?

The best season to visit Ireland is in spring, summer, and fall. Springtime is a great time to witness the beauty of nature as days lengthen and the countryside blooms. The summer months bring sunshine and warmth, with extended daylight hours around the solstice in June. High tourist numbers make June a popular choice but September and October often have fewer crowds and lower prices. Finally, fall presents an array of vibrant colours as the countryside turns red, orange, and yellow. Those who prefer cooler weather and fewer tourists may find autumn to be an ideal time for their visit to Ireland.

Peak season: Ireland’s peak tourism season lasts from June to August. Due to the influx of tourists, the destination is crowded. And this results in a price rise when it comes to accommodation and dining.

Off season: October to March can be considered as an off season when it comes to Ireland tourism. Tourists generally avoid travelling to Ireland during this time of the year. 

Shoulder season: Ireland has two shoulder seasons, April to June, and September to October. You can travel through the country during this time at less expense as compared to the peak season. 

A month-by-month guide to travel in Ireland

For those looking to explore Ireland throughout the year, it can be helpful to have a month-by-month guide. Here are the details. 

Ireland in January

Even though the days are cold, wet and windy, there is a certain beauty and tranquillity that comes with winter in Ireland. The countryside is often in hibernation, making it the perfect time for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The high temperatures range from 3°C to 7°C on average during this month, so be sure to bring your warmest clothes if you plan on visiting during this time. And don't forget to pack your rain gear, as January is one of the wettest months of the year in Ireland!

  • Temperature: 2°C – 8°C

  • Events: Brigid of Faughart Festival, Temple Bar Tradfest

Ireland in February

February is an ideal time to explore the city of Dublin and the Emerald Isle in general. Although it is still off-peak season in Ireland, with fewer tourists visiting during this time, it can be a great way to experience the country cost-effectively. The weather in February can range from mild to chilly, but it's usually quite pleasant. The days are getting longer and brighter as we head towards spring, but if you're looking for a more vibrant atmosphere then you may want to wait for the summer months. July and August are the sunniest months and offer great conditions for exploring, while September and October provide a more relaxed experience with vibrant festivals and harvests.

  • Temperature: 2°C – 8°C

  • Events: Concertina Cruinniú, Russell Memorial Weekend

Ireland in March

March in Ireland brings a transition from winter to spring, with a mix of occasional rain, strong winds and sunny days. Expect medium-high rainfall, normally in the form of light drizzle rather than large downpours. Temperatures are still cold overall, but can become even colder if northeast winds dominate. As this is an off-season month, there will be fewer crowds and more availability for room booking, perfect for those who want to explore the beauty of Ireland without having to fight with crowds. Keep warm and prepare for a wonderful getaway!

  • Temperature: 4.4°C – 10°C

  • Events: Saint Patrick's Festival, Fresh Film Festival

Ireland in April

After the winter, many hotels, restaurants, and other attractions are open again. This is a great time to take in the sights and sounds of the Emerald Isle without the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season. Plus, with temperatures starting to rise, it's a perfect time to explore the outdoors and discover some of Ireland's hidden gems. Many find April to be one of their favourite times to visit Ireland, especially if they're looking for smaller crowds and more peaceful exploration. With all of the many attractions around the country, April is an ideal time to explore Ireland's cultural heritage and natural beauty.

  • Temperature: 4°C – 13°C

  • Events: Clifden Traditional Music Festival, Cork International Choral Festival

Ireland in May

The weather is milder than in the summer months, the days are sunnier, and there are fewer crowds. May marks the beginning of the festival season and includes the May Bank Holiday, making it a great time to experience some of Ireland’s culture while avoiding the peak tourism season. 

  • Temperature: 9°C – 13°C

  • Events: Dublin Dance Festival, Litfest

Ireland in June

Despite the fact that it's not the warmest time of year, the weather is still relatively mild and can be surprisingly sunny. Plus, as it's not as busy as July and August, you'll have more space to explore and enjoy your time in the country without large crowds. This is also a great time for families travelling with children, as you won't have to worry about them getting lost in crowded areas. For those looking for a peaceful getaway, Ireland in June is the ideal choice!

  • Temperature: 11.6°C – 18°C

  • Events: Dublin International Chamber Music Festival, Hinterland, Sea Sessions Music Festival

Ireland in July

The summer months bring with them some of the country’s highest temperatures and longest hours of daylight, making it an ideal month for outdoor activities. In addition, July is typically a dryer month than June and water temperatures reach their annual maximum, making it a great time to take advantage of Ireland’s stunning coastlines and beaches. With beautiful scenery, warm weather and plenty of activities to enjoy, July is a great month for visitors to explore all that Ireland has to offer.

  • Temperature: 12°C – 19°C

  • Events: Galway Film Fleadh, Longitude

Ireland in August

August is another one of the best months to visit Ireland. With long days, warm weather and plenty to see and do, it's a great time of year to explore the Emerald Isle. Wildflowers are in bloom in the hedgerows and on the hillsides, creating a colourful landscape that's perfect for exploring. It's also peak tourist season, so if you don't mind crowds, then this is an excellent time to visit. The weather is generally warm and sunny, making it ideal for outdoor activities or beach trips. However, bear in mind that July and August are the busiest months of the year, so make sure to plan ahead. 

  • Temperature: 11°C – 18°C

  • Events: Kilkenny Arts Festival, Chamber Music on Valencia, Puck Fair

Ireland in September

September is a great time to visit Ireland for those looking for a pleasant, less-crowded experience. The days are still nice and long, making it perfect for outdoor adventures and exploring the country's stunning natural landscapes. Additionally, the September and October shoulder season means harvests and vibrant festivals are abundant across the country, a great way to immerse oneself in the local culture. Visitors to Ireland in September will find plenty to do and enjoy without having to worry about overcrowded attractions or hotels.

  • Temperature: 9°C – 13°C

  • Events: Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking, Galway Oyster Festival

Ireland in October

October is the perfect time to visit Ireland! The temperatures are mild, with average highs ranging from 10-14°C. You can experience the beauty of Ireland’s natural scenery, as well as enjoy some of the country’s unique festivals and events. October is a great time to explore the Irish countryside, and there are plenty of outdoor activities on offer, such as hiking, biking, golfing and more. Whether you want to explore ancient ruins or take in the stunning landscapes, October is the ideal time for a trip to Ireland. With its crisp autumn air and beautiful fall foliage, this month is perfect for a peaceful getaway.

  • Temperature: 6°C – 13°C

  • Events: Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival, Guinness Kinsale Jazz Fringe Festival

Ireland in November

November is a great time to visit Ireland if you are looking for a quieter, more relaxed experience. Temperatures tend to be mild with less than 8 hours of daylight, and with fewer international visitors competing for accommodation and airfares, you can take advantage of some great low season deals. This is the season when you can truly indulge yourself in Irish culture, so why not make the most of it?

  • Temperature: 6.2°C – 11°C

  • Events: TULCA Festival of Visual Arts in Galway, the Taste of Dublin, Wexford Fringe Festival

Ireland in December

December is a special month to visit Ireland. Although the weather is cooler and days are shorter, there are still plenty of activities and sights to experience. The temperatures during this time of year range between 5°C and 10°C, so it's best to pack some warm clothing. December also signals the beginning of winter in Ireland, making it the perfect time to cosy up by the fire and get out your mittens! From exploring ancient castles and medieval towns to witnessing the magical winter solstice, there is something for everyone in Ireland during this festive season.

  • Temperature: 8°C – 10°C

  • Events: Irish Craft Festival, Waterford Winterval

When is the cheapest time to visit Ireland?

November and January, right before Easter, are often the cheapest times of year to visit Ireland. The good news is that while you might experience colder and wetter conditions, prices for flights and accommodation tend to be considerably lower throughout these months. So if you don't mind the chill in the air and drizzly skies, you can expect a much better bargain during this less popular time! And who knows, you might even catch St. Patrick's Day celebrations in full swing!

When is the most expensive time to visit Ireland?

If you're looking to travel to Ireland on a budget, it's best to avoid the summer months, especially July and August. During these months, flights tend to be more expensive than those available in the shoulder seasons and winter.

When is the best time to visit Ireland for a honeymoon?

The best time for a honeymoon to Ireland is in the months of May through September. This is when days are longer and the weather only slightly warm, allowing you and your partner to explore and enjoy some of the island's most stunning sights at your own pace. The mild summer climate makes it ideal for soaking up all that Ireland has to offer in terms of its landscape, culture, architecture, food and history. 

When is the best season to visit the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland?

May, June, July, August, September and October! These are considered to be the finest months for visitors seeking an unforgettable experience at Ireland's longest sea cliffs. During these months you'll have a much better chance at enjoying warm weather, clear blue skies and wide open spaces, all required ingredients for a beautiful sightseeing experience!

Why you must get travel insurance when visiting Ireland

Vacationing abroad doesn’t always go smoothly. There are plenty of things that can go wrong, and they often catch us unaware. Besides the mental trauma of being stuck abroad and feeling helpless, incidents such as medical emergencies, loss of baggage, and flight delays can leave a big dent in your pocket. So in order to eliminate the uncertainty, it's best to buy travel insurance online before your trip to Ireland.

Here’s a list of common questions and answers related to the best time to visit Ireland.

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Which is the best month to visit Ireland?

If you're planning a trip to Ireland, the best time to visit is during the spring, summer, or fall. Each of these seasons offers something unique and special, beautiful weather, smaller crowds, and more reasonable prices on accommodations. Out of these three options, one month stands out as being particularly ideal for visiting the country: September.

What is the tourist season in Ireland?

Tourism to Ireland is popular throughout the year due to its temperate climate and amazing scenery, but the peak tourist season is during the summer months.

How many days are enough for Ireland?

A 10-day stay is often recommended since this is enough time to fit in Dublin or Belfast and explore the countryside with outdoor activities and sightseeing. This isn't too long that you'll suffer from exhaustion, but also enough time to cover more than just the highlights.

What is the rainiest month in Ireland?

The rainiest month in Ireland is October. With an average of 80 mm (3") of rain throughout the country, it can be difficult to plan an outdoor trip during this month. However, there are also other months that usually receive high amounts of rainfall per year: November, December and January.

What are some non-touristy things to do in Dublin?

If you're looking for some non-touristy things to do in Dublin, then Ireland is calling! There are plenty of activities outside of the usual tourist hotspots that can give you a truly authentic experience of the country. Consider taking part in Gaelic football – an Irish traditional sport full of culture, history and excitement – or go paddle boarding around Dublin. Get your dancing shoes on and experience a traditional Irish dance party, or take a leisurely stroll around Grafton Street and St Stephen's Green. Cycle around the charming Georgian surroundings of Dublin or make sure not to miss out on visiting the National Botanic Gardens while you're in town. With so many options to choose from, whatever activities you enjoy, there's something for everyone to explore off-the-beaten-path in Dublin!

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Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.

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