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The Best Time of Year to Visit Ireland

by Roberto
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For some reason, Ireland drew me to it before I ever had the chance to visit. Now, I’ve “visited” twice and moved to the island permanently! #IslandLife, am I right!?

Ireland is known for its green rolling hills, quaint traditional pubs, and fields of sheep, but it’s also known for its rain, clouds, and mist. So when are you supposed to visit Ireland? Well, it depends on whether you are visiting for “warm” weather, or whether you want to go for a specific “Irish” experience!

How do I decide when to visit Ireland?

Personally, I think the best months to visit Ireland really are May/June and September/October. You’ll have much better weather than if you travel from November to April, and you’ll have longer and brighter days. July and August have the best weather and longest days, but it’s a VERY popular time to take summer holidays for all countries across Europe, so travel on the continent in general can be very expensive. If you don’t mind the crowds and cost, then maybe the summer is for you!

When traveling to Ireland, you’ll also need to consider the three day weekends (bank holidays). There are about 7-8 peppered throughout the year. These weekends tend to be higher in cost as the Irish take advantage of the extra day off (as they should!).

The other thing you’ll want to consider is any festivals going on (whether you are going or not). Once you start traveling outside of Dublin, the towns can get very small. Travelling to one of those towns while a festival is on might restrict your hotel and even restaurant options. That’s not to say you shouldn’t go, just be aware and plan/book accommodation in advance if that town is on your itinerary!

One of the MUST DOs when visiting Ireland is going to the Cliffs of Moher. I’ll tell you now, that there really isn’t a “best” time to visit. The cliffs are located on the west coast of Ireland which is constantly getting hit by Atlantic storms, so 80% of the time, your visit to the cliffs will be cloudy, probably misty, but oh so beautiful!!

January, February, March

These are definitely the coldest months to visit Ireland, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad time! This is perfect PUB weather! Ireland has more pubs per capita than any other country in the world (well, that’s the story all the Irish will tell you anyway) and Irish pubs are known for their Traditional Irish Music sessions (or best known as TRAD MUSIC). SO many pubs all around the country host trad sessions anywhere from afternoon to evening!

If you are planning on visiting in January, then you won’t want to miss the Dublin Tradfest!! The Tradfest is held every January (usually the last weekend) and showcases the best in traditional Irish music in amazing venues around the city! So grab a pint of Guiness and cozy chair next to a fireplace and experience some of the best parts of Irish Culture!

This time of year there is also one, pretty well known holiday – St. Patrick’s Day! There is nothing like the buzz of Ireland during this historically Irish holiday and Dublin hosts a big St. Patrick’s Festival. If you want to “drink as the Irish do”, it’s actually more traditional to head to the pub on March 16th! The 17th is given as a day off work and it’s not uncommon for Irish to attend mass or spend time with family.


Bank Holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • St. Patrick’s Day – March 17

Related Post:

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April, May, June

April showers bring May flowers? Well, I’m not sure if that’s true, but I’m sure most of us Americans have heard this. The Irish though, are more used to the “exam week brings sunshine” concept. The story is that while students in their last year of high school are taking their final exams at the end of May, the weather in Ireland always seems to get much sunnier! While I admit that May and early June tend to be some of first sights of sunshine after a long winter (at least it feels like it), the Irish do also just loooove a good story! Myth or reality? Come on over for a visit and we’ll let you be the judge!

Gap of Dunloe during the June bank holiday

The June bank holiday weekend is one of my favorite times of the year to travel around Ireland. It’s almost impossible to get bad weather!

Slieve League during the June bank holiday.

If you are visiting Ireland because of the Literary history, then May is a great time to visit. Dublin hosts an annual International Literature Festival over 9 days which brings in big names in literature from all over the world.


Bank Holidays:

  • Easter Monday – The Monday after Easter
  • May Bank Holiday – First Friday of May
  • June Bank Holiday – First Friday of June

July, August, September

This time of year is by far the busiest season in Ireland. Not only is the weather the warmest for people visiting outside of the country, but the Irish tend to do all of their summer travel as well! If you don’t mind the crowds, the days are long (like light from 5am to 10pm long!) and the weather is warm(er), so it’s a great time to visit Ireland!

View from Killiney Hill Park in Dublin in September

There are a few popular events held around the country during this time of year where you will find a lot of locals! Try heading to Galway in July for either the Galway Races or the Arts Fest, but make sure to book your hotel WELL in advance!

Traditionally, after the harvest was gathered in September, farmers would head to town and look for a wife. Are you single and ready to find your perfect Irish partner? Well, then head to the Matchmaker Festival in September in Lisdoonvarna.


  • Galway Races – July
  • Galway Arts Fest – July
  • Rose of Tralee – August
  • Matchmaker Festival – September
  • Culture Night (various Irish cities) – September

Bank Holidays:

  • August Bank Holiday – Typically the first Monday of the month

October, November, December

The end of the year is a great time to visit Ireland with both Halloween and Christmas happening!

Halloween is a holiday that we celebrate with carved pumpkins, fun (and sometimes scary) costumes, and trick or treating.  But did you know, the holiday originated WAYYYY back (like 2,000 years back), with a Celtic celebration called Samhain.  The Celts (who lived in what is now Ireland, the UK, and northern France) would light bonfires and dress up in scary costumes to ward away ghosts.  So, basically, the Irish invented Halloween. 

One of the BIGGEST Halloween celebrations in the country can be found in the town of Derry. Derry Halloween hosts events the whole month of October and has everything from carnivals to parades to Halloween makeup workshops. There really is something for everyone!

December is when the magic really happens. It’s my personal favorite time of the year. Every single pub decks their halls with garland, many Dublin bridges get covered in strings of lights, and Dublin City Council lights up major buildings all around the city!


  • Bram Stoker Festival – October
  • Derry Halloween Festival – October
  • Dublin City Council Lights – December

Bank Holidays:

  • October Bank Holiday – Usually near Halloween
  • December Holidays – Christmas Day (25th) and St. Stephen’s Day (26th)

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