When to visit Ireland

by SmarterTravel Staff

Ireland has mild weather year-round, but sees most of its visitors during the long, warm days of summer. Winter is the least popular time for tourism, as it gets cold and rainy. Spring and fall are potentially ideal times to visit because the weather is still favorable—although it can vary from warm to cold in the same day—and there are fewer crowds and reduced prices on many travel products and services.

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  • high season: May to September
  • low season: November to March
  • shoulder season: April, October

Weather Information

Ireland has a mild, temperate climate with summer temperatures generally ranging from 60 to 70 degrees. Winter weather drops to between 40 and 50 degrees. Snow is rare, but showers can occur at any time of the year. Spring and fall temperatures typically hover around 50 degrees. Longer days and late sunsets characterize summer.

Crowd Information

There are the fewest crowds during the winter low season and the most crowds during the summer. Festivals that attract large crowds include the Cork International Film Festival in October, the Galway Races in the summer and fall, the Rose of Tralee Festival in August, Puck Fair in Killorglin in August, and the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle at the end of August.

Closure Information

Many hotels, shops, and other venues remain open year-round. Some sites have limited access during the winter, but visitors can make appointments with managers or owners for viewing. Many places will officially close for public holidays such as New Year's Day (January 1), St. Patrick's Day (March 17), Christmas Day (December 25), St. Stephen's Day (December 26), Easter Monday, and various Bank Holidays in May, June, August, and October; however, most guesthouses and hotels will remain open for business.

When to Save

The cheapest time to go is during the low season. May through September is the most expensive time to visit.

When to Book

Although it's possible to find sale fares or rates at any time, it's best to book at least three months in advance.

Information provided by Tourism Ireland.

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