When is the Best Time to Visit Ireland?

When is the Best Time to Visit Ireland?

Never too hot, never too cool. Green year round from consistent rainfall, Ireland is known for being comfortable in whatever season you visit. However, the weather can change quickly, so make sure to always have a raincoat and sunscreen on hand.

Peruse our quick guide to the best times to visit Ireland and the benefits of each season while planning your next big trip to the land of Eire.

When to Visit Ireland

Spring

Polnabrone ruins in the Burren
Polnabrone ruins in the Burren

Stretching from February to April, Ireland is at it’s greenest. Shoulder season for most travelers, Spring is a great period to experience the beauty of the Emerald Isle while avoiding most tourist crowds. Enjoy relative solitude as you look out over the Cliffs of Moher at the beautiful Altantic Ocean. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, travel along the King’s Road through the Dark Hedges with a day trip from Dublin.

Dare to experience the revelry of St. Patrick’s Day in it’s home country? Expect large local crowds in Dublin come mid-March as this national festivals brings out the lively spirits of Ireland.

If you’re looking for a more relaxing visit, take in the beauty of nature with the Burren in Bloom Spring Festival.

Summer

The cliffs of Inishmore Aran Islands
The cliffs of Inishmore Aran Islands

Peak travel season runs from May to July, drastically increasing hotel prices and airfare to the Emerald Isle. Despite this, Summer is a beautiful time to experience Ireland, so dodge the big cities and get out into nature with a camping trip or self-drive itinerary.

The Wild Atlantic Way will be crowded at the hot-spots, but it’s such an expansive route that you can enjoy a variety of off-the-beaten path attractions.

You can also get away from the mainland with a visit to the Aran Islands, a stunning trio of islands featuring natural and archaeological wonders. This is also the last major season to visit Skellig, the island made famous by in Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi.

Combine nature and music at Sea Sessions, a fantastic Summer music festival in June that celebrates 3 days of sun, surf, and music!

Summer is also the season of literary festivals, celebrating Ireland’s rich literary history, from Oscar Wild to James Joyce. Make sure to slip in Belfast for a variety of events come June, including the Belfast Book Festival.

Autumn

Autumn Leaves on the Trinity College
Autumn Leaves on the Trinity College

Autumn colors settle in between August and October, turning the Emerald Isle a shade of bronze. With the Summer crowds trickling away, this shoulder season lets you really experience the major cities, from Dublin to Belfast. Brook a roomy pair of pants to enjoy the harvest spoils with a series of delicious and tantalizing food festivals.

Enjoy the Autumn leaves in Phoenix Park, Dublin, or take to the countryside with a rental car on a fall foliage road trip. Surfers will also love this season as the Altantic swells bring the best waves to Ireland’s shores.

Don’t forget to pack a costume, as Ireland is the home of both Bram Stoker and Halloween, making it one of the spookiest countries to visit.

Winter

Christmas in Dublin
Christmas in Dublin

Though the temperature drops throughout Ireland, the Emerald Isle still enjoys comfortable weather, so long as you pack some mittens and a jacket. Take this time to enjoy low prices at most major city hotels, enjoying city breaks in Dublin and Belfast while warming up in charming pubs or strolling through Christmas markets.

If you’re okay with daring the cold, head out to Connemara National Park, where you can enjoy panoramic views of this snow covered park from Diamond Mountain and explore Kylemore Abbey with few crowds.

Those looking for a spiritual experience should definitely head to Bru na Boinne for the Winter Solstice. Stick around into late January for TradFest, one of Ireland’s largest music festivals to experience traditional music.

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John Gray

A poet by heart and an editor by trade, I have traveled across the world in pursuit of my studies and to criss-cross destinations off my bucket list. While a student at the University of Iowa, I traveled to Cuba, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, where I lived for 6 months. I am currently planning a return trip to see the Great Barrier Reef and Western Australia.

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