The Best Time to Visit Ireland

Climate in Ireland

Ireland is known for its rugged landscapes, lush fields ad endless expanses. So, it’s no wonder the Emerald Isle is so popular among so many of you travellers. Even though Ireland isn’t exactly well known for its high temperatures and neverending sunshine, the Gulf Stream does bring a mild climate to Ireland. During the summer, the temperatures can reach up to 20°C, while in winter it drops to a pretty chilly 2°C. A quite warm summer will await you here, and winters are fairly mild and rarely see snow. Ireland has typically changeable weather. Don’t be deceived by clear skies – it can even rain on beautiful clear days! But, you should still bring your sunglasses for those moments when the sun shines, Ireland’s landscape really comes to life in the sunny weather. In my article “Best Time to Visit Ireland”, I will explain a little more about the Emerald Isle’s climate, and let you in on the best months for a trip around Ireland. I’ll also fill you in on what weather awaits you in the capital city, Dublin.

Climate data for Ireland

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. temperature in °C 8 9 10 13 15 18 20 19 17 14 9 8
Min. temperature in °C 2 2 3 3 6 9 11 10 9 5 3 2
Hours of sunshine per day 2 3 4 6 7 7 6 5 4 3 2 2
Water temperature in °C 9 8 7 8 9 11 13 14 14 13 12 10
Rainy days per month 13 11 10 11 11 11 13 13 12 12 12 13

Overview

Best time to visit Ireland

The best time to visit Ireland is from May to September when you’ll find the best weather. July is the hottest month in Ireland, with temperatures of up to 20°C. The weather is the driest in spring (so from February to April), and it is sunniest in May and June. The months of November and December see the least sunshine when it’s normal to have just two hours of sunshine a day. Some travel lovers find that the best time to visit Ireland is in autumn (so from August to October). This way, you avoid the high season months of summer (May to July) but you can still look forward to some warmer temperatures. There are fewer tourists in Ireland in winter, as the months of November to February tend to be quite dark and cold compared to the rest of the year. Compared to some other European countries, winters are actually pleasantly mild here. There is really only snowfall on the mountains or in hilly areas. January, July, August and December are the months with most rainfall. It’s relatively dry in March when there’s an average of 10 rainy days. When the sea warms up in summer, you can expect the warm water to stick around, with water temperatures of 14°C in August and in September. The sea is coldest in March, when water temperature only reaches 7°C.

The best time to visit Ireland at a glance:

  • May: 15°C, 7 h of sunshine, 9°C water temperature, 11 rainy days
  • June: 18°C, 7h of sunshine, 11°C water temperature, 11 rainy days
  • July: 20°C, 6h sunshine, 13°C water temperature, 13 rainy days
  • August: 19°C, 5h sunshine, 14°C water temperature, 13 rainy days
  • September: 17°C, 4h sunshine, 14°C water temperature, 12 rainy days

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The best time to tour Ireland

Many visitors to Ireland opt to tour the country as the best way to discover Ireland’s unique charms. The Wild Atlantic Way, the longest coastal road in the world, is particularly popular with tourists. Those of you who love to get active will find the summer months the best time to travel. As the temperature is around 20°C and there’s up to 7 hours of sunshine, the island really is at its best at this time. June is probably the best time to travel, with the longest days and with favourable weather conditions to make any tourist happy. Though, be aware. Hotels and hostels can get quite crowded, and you’ll need to share the beautiful sights and natural wonders with other amazed tourists. So, I suggest having a look at the off peak season. May and September are particularly good for a trip around the island. In autumn, the water can hit around 14°C, and it’s even warmer in the summer months. During the off peak season, expect that some hotels and B&Bs in Ireland could be closed. Be prepared beforehand, and there’s nothing getting in the way of your Irish adventure.

The best time to visit Dublin

What would Ireland be without its charming capital city, Dublin? The Fair City is located on the east coast, and has already won the hearts of so many In the evening, you have plenty of opportunities to experience Irish pub culture by passing the evening in one of the city’s countless bars. Listening to some live music with a pint in hand sounds like the ideal way to spend the evening, right? June and September are the best months to visit the capital, with the warmest and driest days on offer. But, don’t be surprised if you see some rain in July – there are an average of 13 rainy days in July. April is the true embodiment of Ireland’s changeable weather. It’s normal for a light rain shower to be followed immediately by bright sunshine. Really, you can visit the historic city of Dublin at any time of the year. Dublin is even superbly charming in winter, and it’s often a little warmer than the surrounding regions.

Weather in Ireland – spring, summer, autumn and winter

The weather in Ireland may be ever changing, but there is one constant – the rain. It doesn’t matter what time of year you want to come and visit this beautiful island, there is always a chance of rain. You can never truly escape the occasional shower or rainy day. The weather throughout the seasons can differ depending on what part of the island you’re in. The west is generally more rainy than the east, and the south can be up to three degrees warmer than it is in the north. It’s also interesting to know that the seasons work a little different in Ireland. Spring, for example, actually starts in February rather than in March like we’re used to over here.

Spring

best time to visit ireland

Like I said, in Ireland spring begins on the first of February. Even so, February is among the darkest and coldest months in Ireland. Travelling to Ireland in April and May is an especially popular insider tip among seasoned travellers.

In the springtime, Ireland really lives up to its name as the Emerald Isle.

In those first moments of sun, Ireland becomes a colourful backdrop as the winter months fade into memory. March has the fewest rainy days. In May it can reach up to 15°C, which is pretty warm in comparison to most places.

Summer

best time to visit ireland

Ireland is at its hottest between June and September, with average highest temperatures of 17°C – 20°C. But, it will rarely get much hotter than 30°C – a little like what we’re used to here. Ireland’s summers are rather cool – so perfect for those of us who like to keep active while on holidays. But, that does mean it’s not ideal for us mermaids, or for anyone who just wants to laze under the sun. July is the warmest month, where the temperature can get to about 20°C, while the water is hottest in September at about 14°C. These pleasant days can attract a lot of tourists, both from outside Ireland or the Irish themselves looking for a staycation. Hotels are often fully booked, and the popular attractions are often full to bursting. At least there’s plenty of time in the day to enjoy these. In summer, you can look forward to longer days. June, for example, can see days of up to 17 hours.

Autumn

best time to visit ireland

September is the most popular off season month to travel Ireland. You can still expect some pretty mild temperatures, and the golden autumn days of October are delightful. Those colourful leaves really transform Ireland into a beautiful palette of colours. In September, the temperatures often climb to a maximum of 17 ° C, while in October it can reach 14° C. Like us, the school year begins in September, so the main season for holidays to Ireland has passed.  If you’re lucky, you can come and visit the stunning highlights of Ireland all by yourself!

Winter

best time to visit ireland

From late October to February, you’ll find the darkest days, and often the coldest and wettest weather. But, luckily temperatures will rarely fall below freezing, and snow will mainly only fall on the mountains. It might not make for perfect road trip weather around Ireland, but the country is still worth a visit even in wintertime. City trips are a fantastic alternative, especially in Dublin where you can dive straight into a truly festive atmosphere. In December, the city comes to life as Christmas markets entice you with mulled wine or hot chocolate. The fairy lights hanging from the light poles really do give a beautifully festive atmosphere.

My conclusion on the best time to visit Ireland

It doesn’t really matter when you visit Ireland – it’s definitely worth a visit. The temperate climate ensures mild winters and cool summer months, which are perfect for nature lovers who want to lose themselves in Ireland’s vast expanses. I particularly recommend the months of May and September, which have warmer temperatures and longer days. Just be prepared for some pretty changeable weather. Bring an umbrella, your sunnies and a good mood and you’re set for your trip to Ireland!

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