Every season in Ireland is unique and has its own characteristics. From a summer breeze on the surfboard to enjoying a typical Irish drink in the pub in winter. However, there are two periods of the year when the climate in Ireland is optimal: late spring and early autumn. The months of May and September are known as the best time to visit Ireland. These months offer the best chance of dry, clear and sunny weather. Despite this fact, every season in Ireland is beautiful in its own right. Here are the best times to visit Ireland!
Table of Contents
Spring weather in Ireland
Flower buds that pop open, lambs frolicking in the meadow and a lovely spring sun. Spring is a time of revival and bloom. Likewise in Ireland. The average temperature during the Irish Spring is between 8°C and 12°C. The number of hours of sunshine is increasing, which means that it is gradually getting warmer.
In April, the average temperature is already 15°C. Spring in Ireland is one of the cheapest months to go hiking and trekking in Ireland. You might have some rain during your walks, but you should always bring a good rain coat and a golf umbrella with you when visiting Ireland!
One of the most amazing activities to do in Ireland in spring is visiting a working sheep farm! What is more Irish than that! There is a cheap Hill Sheep Farming and Sheepdog Trialling Experience in Galway that will teach you everything there is to know about sheep dogs and sheep farming in England!
There is another farm in Galway that will allow you to tour the sheep farm and give you a sheep dog demonstration. Spring is the absolute best time to do this because the lambs will be out and it will be cuteness overload!
There is a lovely walking path along the lakes in Killarney that goes right past a sheep farm! It’s the perfect way to combine a scenic walk with your obsession for all things sheep related!
Summer weather in Ireland
‘Make the most of your evening.’ It’s a well-known saying in Ireland, where it doesn’t get dark until after 11pm in summer. During the Irish summer the temperature rises to between 16°C and 20°C. You will notice it is never really very hot, and that in winter the temperature drops to between 8°C and 12°C. With so much water in the air, it often feels quite humid. There may be a cooling shower, but generally this is the driest season. The perfect weather for surfing! And that is possible in many places in Ireland.
However, the best surf spots are along the Wild Atlantic Way: from Donegal via Sligo to Erris in County Mayo. This part of the Irish coast is also known as the ‘surf coast’. Another great place to surf is Lahinch in County Clare. In addition to the fine surfing conditions Lahinch has a very good beach for swimming and fantastic views out to sea. There is a large variety of food and drinks available here to suit all tastes. There are three hotels, two on the seafront and one inland with camping facilities as well as several restaurants to choose from.
One of the best surfing spots is found on the small peninsula of ‘Mullaghmore Head’ in County Sligo. Surfers from all over the world come here to experience some of Ireland’s biggest waves.
If you are staying in Dublin – no worries as there are surfing daytrips you can take to surf the West Coast!
Those who are a bit more serious about the waves can even go on a 2 day surf camp with surf lessons included!
Autumn weather in Ireland
Autumn in Ireland is a magical time to visit. The cool air of late October sets the stage for the vibrant colors and flavors of the changing leaves, pumpkin-spiced lattes, and hot apple cider. It’s the perfect time to explore Ireland with a colorful array of festivals and events.
The Irish weather in Autumn is still quite good with a lot of sunshine in September and the beginning of October. It may be a little colder but it can still be warm enough to be comfortable outside. You can throw a light long sleeve shirt underneath. What attracts a lot of tourists, however, is the changing of the leaves and the colours in the forests.
The average temperature in Ireland fluctuates between 14°C and 18°C and drops to 10°C at the end of the season. Precipitation levels in Ireland are among the highest in Europe. The monthly average precipitation ranges from 54 mm in July to 118 mm in October and November. The distribution of annual precipitation across the country is very uneven, with a tendency for rainfall levels to be higher in the west than in the east. This means it is the perfect time to go walking as it is not too hot and not too cold while you can see the gorgeous autumn colours in the leaves.
Ireland hosts many walking festivals at this time of year. The ‘Wicklow Walking Festival’ is highly recommended. At this festival you can choose from different walks based on length and level. Led by a guide who knows everything about the flora and fauna, you walk through the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Enjoy the vast valleys, beautiful fall colors and breathtaking views!
In autumn you can also head out for whale watching week! Humpback whales migrate past the South coast and the Dingle Peninsula. If you have whale watching on your bucket list – autumn in Ireland is when to do it! You can easily book a dolphin and whale watching tour from Dingle.
Winter weather in Ireland
Winter in Ireland ideal time to dive into a cozy pub and enjoy an ‘Irish Coffee’ by the crackling fire. The Irish winter is not extremely cold and will often be accompanied by temperatures between 4°C and 6°C. Rain is the norm during this time of year but showers are not extreme and normally do not last for long. If you happen to visit Ireland during December or January you may get a glimpse of the famous ‘January sun’! Be aware, however, that day to day weather is often a little different from the general weather for this time of year. December and January tend to be on the cooler side compared to November and March.
Winter is the perfect time to go on pub crawls or pub tours. There is a traditional Irish musical pub crawl you can book in Dublin – perfect for those who like Irish music! If you like books and literature you can go on a Literary Dublin Pub Crawl where you will visit the favourite pubs of some of Ireland’s most famous authors such as James Joyce. Last but not least you can also book a historical pub tour in Dublin that is 100% personalised and private.
Snowfall in Ireland is rare but it can snow in the Irish mountains. One of the most beautiful winter pictures can be taken at ‘Mount Errigal’ in County Donegal. Snowfall is most common in the country’s mountainous regions but may occur anywhere in winter. Although snow on the ground is less likely, it can still be seen in areas such as eastern county Dublin or the hills near Rosslare on the south coast.
Mount Errigal is part of the ‘Seven Sisters’ mountain range. The other six sisters Mackoght, Aghla Beg, Aghla Mór, Ardloughnabrackbaddy, Muckish and Crocknalaragagh are also worth a visit. These mountains are all situated within the Glenveagh National Park. Winter is the perfect time to hike in Glenveagh if you want to see awe-inspiring and dramatic landscapes with snowy peaks in the background.
Best time to visit Ireland
The best time to travel to Ireland is from May to September, when the weather is at its best. This is also when a lot of tourists visit, so book in advance to secure a room in one of the many bed and breakfasts and B&Bs all over Ireland. Some visitors plan their Ireland vacation around the parades in Dublin (usually St. Patrick’s Day).
July is the hottest month in Ireland, with temperatures reaching 20°C. The weather at this time is often very unstable and changeable, with winds from both the Atlantic Ocean and European mainland. The average rainfall for July is 89 mm in Dublin and up to 122 mm in the east of the country. Average daytime temperatures are generally around 17 to 19 degrees, although more sheltered and elevated areas are typically 3 or 4 degrees cooler.
It is driest in spring (February to April) and sunniest in May and June. The months of November and December have the least sun in Ireland. Some travellers find the end of summer and the beginning of autumn the best time to travel to Ireland (August to October) because there are less tourists in Ireland and the weather is still very pleasant.
Fewer tourists come to Ireland in winter, as it is dark and cold between November and February compared to the rest of the year. However, the weather is often nicer than in mainland Europe and there are still a number of things to do which will be enjoyable in those conditions.
January, July, August and December are the months with the most rain in Ireland. It is relatively dry in March, with an average of 10 rainy days. When the seawater warms up in the summer, it stays warm for a long time, with temperatures of 14°C in August and September. The sea is coldest in March, when the water temperature does not rise above 7°C.
The best time to travel to Ireland at a glance:
May: 15°C, 7 hours of sunshine, water temperature of 9°C, 11 rainy days
June: 18°C, 7 hours of sunshine, water temperature of 11°C, 11 rainy days
July: 20°C, 6 hours of sunshine, water temperature of 13°C, 13 rainy days
August: 19°C, 5 hours of sunshine, water temperature of 14°C, 13 rainy days
September: 17°C, 4 hours of sunshine, water temperature of 14°C, 12 rainy days
The best time to travel through Ireland
Ireland is a country with many different landscapes and cultures to explore. The best time to visit Ireland will depend on what kind of experience you’re looking for. Summer is the busiest time to visit Ireland, when many Irish families get out and about to enjoy the sunshine and the long days. But despite the crowds, summer is a great time to see the country in all its green glory.
Many travellers choose to travel around Ireland at the end of spring, in summer and the beginning of autumn, and find that the best way to discover Ireland’s unique charm. The Wild Atlantic Way, the longest coastal route in the world, is particularly popular with tourists in these seasons. It is honestly more than worth it to book a tour of the Cliffs of Moher and the Wild Atlantic Way – just for the beautiful and breath-taking scenery and picture opportunities!
May and September are particularly good for a trip around Ireland as there are not as many tourists around while the weather is still amazing. Some hotels and B&Bs in Ireland are closed during the low season. Make sure you check whether the B&B you chose is open if you decide to travel in autumn or winter!
There are quite a few lovely tours you can take through Ireland. You can do a 6-day all Ireland tour from Dublin which shows you the most important sights in the country. You can also decide to take a 9-day tour instead of a 6-day one. There are tours you can take through the South of Ireland and tours exploring the North of Ireland. If you are heading to Ireland around Christmas I would recommend taking a special Christmas tour, and if you are staying in Ireland for a longer time, you can also invest in a 12 day tour of the whole island.
Best time to visit Dublin
What is Ireland without its charming capital Dublin? Located on the east coast, the Fair City has already won many hearts. In the evenings, there are plenty of opportunities to experience Irish pub culture by spending the evening in one of the many bars in town. Listening to live music with a beer in hand sounds like the ideal way to spend your evening, right? June and September are the best months to visit Dublin, with the hottest and driest days. In July and August, temperatures can range from as low as 14°C (57°F) to over 30°C (86°F). During the day, however, it is usually cool enough to visit Dublin without a jacket. Don’t get me wrong , it does rain and you will need an umbrella for at least a few days of your visit.
On average, July has 13 rainy days. The April weather in Dublin is very unpredictable. A light rain shower immediately followed by bright sun rays is quite normal. The average day temperature in April is 8°C. This drops to 5°C at night time. It is a moderate climate at the middle and lower heights, but colder at higher elevations. There are some scattered showers in April that provide average rainfall of 45 mm.
You can really visit the historic city of Dublin at any time of the year. Even in winter Dublin is charming and it is often slightly warmer than the surrounding regions. It is one of the few cities in Europe that can be enjoyed throughout the year. From about October until March, a blazing orange sun sets over the city for an hour and a half or so, and it can be truly spectacular. The rest of the year is quite pleasant as well. Spring and autumn can be very enjoyable times to visit, and summer offers long days for outdoor sightseeing.
If it is raining, there are quite a few great experiences to be had in Dublin. First of all, you can visit the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street. These are must see attractions when visiting Dublin! You can even enjoy tastings of beer and whiskey at each of these locations! If you are more into history I would recommend visiting Dublin Castle and the beautiful library in which the Book of Kells is stored. On a rainy evening you should book in The Irish House Party Dinner and Show which not only allows you to taste some great traditional Irish food, but you can immerse yourself in a night of traditional Irish entertainment! A great dinner-and-show event for those who love Irish culture.
Ireland has a maritime climate, with mild winters and relatively cool summers. The climate is moderated by the surrounding oceans. Temperature extremes in Ireland are moderated by its latitudinal position, that in turn is influenced by the proximity of the Azores high to the south-west. As the winds cross the ocean from the Azores high to the south-west they lose their warmth and humidity. A humid north-westerly wind blowing from the west of Ireland is rare, particularly in summer.
Temperature extremes in Ireland are rare. It has a maritime climate, tempered by the North Atlantic Current and warmed by prevailing westerly winds. In recent years the country experienced several major flooding events, especially in the northeast.
In summer the temperature does not often rise above 25 degrees in Ireland and real winter weather is rare along the coasts. Inland there is a bit more chance of frost and snow. The east coast is a different matter with better chances of cold spells. Milder air flows in from the north and west but more importantly, high pressure builds across Ireland.
Rain in Ireland
Because most depressions are brought into Europe via a westerly current from the Atlantic Ocean and Ireland is regularly the first country to be affected by a rainfall depression, the country has to deal with above-average amounts of rain.
This is the case almost all year round, although in summer it can be dry for quite long periods under the influence of strong high pressure areas east of Ireland. The air in Ireland is then supplied across the Channel from south to south east from France and often contains warm and dry air.
Storms in Ireland
Due to the location of Ireland to the west of England and mainland Europe, the wind often has free rein. The chance of strong winds and storms is therefore fairly high in Ireland. It is not unusual for summer rainfall to be quite low in the south of Ireland and heavy showers and thunderstorms in the Irish Sea area.
It can be windy all year round. Notorious are the autumn storms in Ireland, which are sometimes the remnants of a hurricane that moved east across the Atlantic Ocean. In the mountains, storms can often strike in winter when the temperature falls below freezing point.
January storms can cause a lot of inconvenience due to the gusty winds. This is particularly disruptive to traffic – so watch out if you rent a car in Ireland in winter or autumn to drive around the country!
Best beach weather in Ireland
As a beach destination, the Irish seawater is often too cold and the weather too unstable. However, if you want to enjoy nature and the beautiful cities and villages that the country has to offer, you can go almost all year round, because the weather has few extremes and every type of weather shows a beautiful side of the country. Ireland’s coastal areas, for example, look better with a combination of dark clouds and bright sun.
If you are looking for the best beach weather in Ireland for surfing, you need to go to Ireland in late summer. There are many beaches on the Irish coast that have good surfing conditions. Ask locals for information or check weather reports before you go to a beach in Ireland to surf.
Ireland weather by region
As Ireland is an Island in the Atlantic Ocean, there are some differences in weather when it comes to Western Ireland, Northern Ireland, Eastern Ireland and Southern Ireland. In order to help you plan your Ireland Trip, here are the differences in weather when it comes to the different regions of the Island.
Weather in Western Ireland
There is no doubt that the mountainous west of Ireland receive more rainfall than the flat interior of Ireland or the west coast. There is also no doubt that rainfall in the mountainous west of Ireland is slightly higher in winter than in summer. The reasons for this are complex and best not examined here, however, the climatic effect is dramatic, particularly on vegetation. In the hills, trees are largely absent, apart from an occasional rowan, so the landscape is dominated by grasses and wildflowers which makes for amazing pictures!
Also in this part of the island there can be strong winds. Yet millions of people visit the breathtaking landscapes along the Wild Atlantic Way every year.
In Connemara, Dingle and the Burren, average temperatures are higher than the inland, north and east coasts of Ireland. There is relatively much rainfall in Western Ireland, especially in the mountainous areas.
Weather in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is without a doubt the coldest region of the island. It has the coldest winters of both sides of the island. As with the rest of the island, it experiences rare heat waves in summer. It is also the part of Ireland that receives the least amount of precipitation annually.
Still, County Antrim is one of the driest and sunniest places in all of Ireland – perfect conditions for a multi-day hike!
Weather in Eastern Ireland
The east coast of Ireland is remarkably sunny and dry compared to the rest of the island. On the coast it is quite warm in the summer months, but inland the temperature decreases somewhat. However, a good deal of rain falls on the east coast and thus the only true summer period is around mid-July to early August. Atlantic storms are frequent but they usually result in little more than high winds, heavy seas and rain that occasionally does not reach the ground.
The weather in Dublin is very dry by Irish standards. Wicklow’s mountains and lochs receive slightly more rainfall, but much less than similar areas in western Ireland. There are almost no extremes of temperature, although quite a few days can see temperatures of 20–25 °C (68–77 °F) and sometimes in winter just over 0 °C (32 °F). A sunny day between showers is most common in July and August. Cool nights are common in winter.
Weather in Southern Ireland
You can visit the South of Ireland all year round. Thanks to the North Atlantic Ocean Current, this part of Ireland is particularly mild, both in the summer months and beyond. However, temperatures tend to drop off quite a bit in the middle of winter.
Average temperatures for the coldest month are around 1 to 2 degrees, and yet even in this month it still averages between 3 and 5 degrees. The hottest month is usually around 18 degrees, but in the last ten years it has reached as high as 28 degrees. The summers are wonderfully warm and in September it is often still possible to walk around without a jacket.
Ireland Weather Rules of Thumb
There are many sayings in Ireland that have to do with the weather. Most of these statements have a grain of truth.
Don’t plan your activities based on the weather as the weather is quite fickle on the Emerald Isle. One minute you can hike in bright summer sun while the next valley over it is raining cats and dogs.
These are the rules of thumb when it comes to the weather in Ireland
Always expect rain – this means it is a good idea to bring a small umbrella or a waterproof jacket.
Always expect the cold – take a sweater with you when walking or going out.
Never take sunshine for granted – in fact, when the sun is shining you should make the most of it!
Never underestimate the power of the sun – as Ireland is quite Northern the ozone layer is thinner here which means you are likely to burn, even when it is relatively cold. Try to wear sunscreen on sunny days.
Whatever the weather: a pint of Guinness or Cider is always a good idea!
What is the warmest month in Ireland
July and August are overall the warmest months in Ireland with an average temperature of 19.5 degrees Celsius. This can increase dramatically during the summer months and is generally accompanied by very pleasant, sunny weather.
This all changes in September as temperatures drop to a more average 14 degrees Celsius. This average temperature stays for October, November and December with the highest temperatures on average being around 14 degrees Celsius and the lowest temperatures being around 8 degrees Celsius. You can expect a little more rain in these months too but again, this shouldn’t put you off too much.
How many hours of daylight are there in Ireland
The average amount of hours of sun per month in Ireland fluctuates between 51.5 hours a month in December and 186 hours in May. Sunshine lasts for just over seven hours in the afternoon during mid summer (July), while less than an hour of sunshine can be expected during late winter (January). More than three hours of sunshine during the day is typical throughout the year.
How many hours of daylight are there in Ireland
The coldest month in Ireland is January with an average of 7 degrees Celsius. But the temperatures reach -10 degrees. At Malin Head in Co Donegal, the lowest temperature in Ireland was recorded on a land surface in 1981: -17. 4 degrees Celsius. This is, however, incredibly rare.
What are the wettest months in Ireland
You should always expect rain in Ireland. The wettest months in Ireland are December and January. The rainiest place in Ireland is located in Kenmare in County Kerry. It rains there 161 days a year. The average amount of precipitation is 551 mm, which corresponds to almost 26 inches.
What are national holidays or public holidays in Ireland
There are 9 public holidays in Ireland. Plan your trip accordingly as shops, restaurants and attractions may be closed. The 9 public holidays in Ireland are:
New Year’s Day (1 January)
Saint Patrick’s Day (17 March)
First Monday in May
First Monday in June
First Monday in August
Last Monday in October
Christmas Day (25 December)
Saint Stephen’s Day (26 December)
What is the busiest month in Ireland
Peak season in Ireland is June through to September with most tourists visiting in July and August.
The best time to visit Ireland is in the fall and spring when the weather is relatively pleasant. It can also be a good time for sightseeing as some of the most popular sights such as Trinity College, Book of Kells and Blarney Castle will be less crowded than during the summer months. However, most of the country will be wet throughout these seasons and rain can spoil even a day in the sun.
What is the cheapest time to visit Ireland
November, January and February are the cheapest times to visit Ireland. Prices then peak between March and July and drop again from September through November. In the off-season (mid-November to mid-March), many hotels are closed , the weather is gloomy and the deserted beaches can make for a quiet and melancholy experience.
Lieze Neven is a globetrotting travel writer and expat currently based in Nepal. With a passion for exploration, she has lived in Dubai, the UK, and Belgium, alongside her international teacher husband. Her parents live in France and she tries to visit Paris at least once a year. Together, they travel the world looking for the best hotels, experiences and food locations have to offer!