One of the questions we frequently hear people ask is: “What is the best time to visit Ireland?” The simple answer is that it is always a great time to visit Ireland! Yet, most people are looking for something more specific so we put together a bit more detail to help you out.
What is the weather in Ireland?
For some, having great weather on holiday is important. We can honestly say that nobody really goes to Ireland for the weather, unless the expectation is to experience four seasons in a single day which is quite possible in some places. While this extreme may not happen every single day, it is not at all uncommon to experience bone chilling cold, rain, and short sleeve sunshine and heat in a single 24-hour period. The Irish weather is always changing and the best approach is to simply go along with the flow and pack layers. A warm sweater, good rain jacket and good shoes are the most important things to bring. Even if it rains, as it probably will, you will be having so much fun that you really won’t notice the weather that much! Besides, you can always duck into one of the many pubs for a break and some craic and before you know it, the rain has passed.
What are the best months to visit?
For many Americans, there may be limited choices as most Americans get by on a mere two-weeks of vacation each year. Choice may not be an option, so go when you can! For those who do have flexibility in scheduling, the following overview may help you to decide:
Ireland in July and August
The months of July and August are peak season which means crowds, and higher prices. Airfares are substantially higher during these months and unless you book well in advance, the best hotels and B&B’s will already be filled leaving you with limited choices. The best places are usually booked quite full already by February for the upcoming summer season. July in particular is when many Europeans take vacation so besides the crowds of American tourists, there are also European families on holiday. One advantage of July and August is that there is extensive daylight and darkness does not fall until after 10:30 at night, which leaves plenty of time for outdoor attractions and other activities.
Ireland in November, December, January and February
These are the winter months and often wetter than the other months of the year. Still, many people enjoy visiting during this time. The daylight hours can be very short which can limit time for outdoor activities and attractions, and some attractions close down for the season. On the flip side, this leaves more time for relaxing by the fire in the pubs and listening to traditional music while enjoying your pint or hot whiskey. Christmas time can be absolutely magical in Dublin and other cities which makes December a great option for a weekend or longer trip.
Ireland in March
March is generally part of shoulder season although St Patrick’s Day can make March seem closer to the peak months of July and August. Also, if Easter falls in March, prices can be higher in terms of airfare and hotels in Dublin and other popular places. Plan to book well ahead if your plan to visit Ireland in March for the best prices. You will find many activities around St Patrick’s Day in all the towns such as Parades and other events.
Ireland in April, May, June, September and October
In our view, these are our favorites and the very best months to visit if you possible can. Except for Easter week, the crowds are lighter, airfares are much less, and there is plenty of availability in the choicest hotels and B&B’s. Although a bit less than July and August, there is also plenty of daylight for outdoor activities which helps to extend the busy itinerary. If you have the choice, this time of year can offer some of the best value for your money.