When to visit Northern Ireland

by SmarterTravel Staff

Northern Ireland sees most of its visitors from May through September when temperatures are at their warmest. The winter season, from November through February, is the least popular time to visit due to cold and rainy weather. The spring and fall, particularly May and September, are potentially ideal times to visit, with a mix of pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices.

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

Weather Information

Northern Ireland's climate is mild and temperate year-round, although showers can occur at any time of year. Summer temperatures range from 60 to 70 degrees during the day. Winters are crisp with temperatures in the 40s and a higher chance of showers than of snow. Spring and fall temperatures average 50 degrees.

Crowd Information

Northern Ireland sees more crowds during the summer high season when there are country fairs, street markets, carnivals, drumming contests, and regattas. Fewer people visit in the winter low season. St. Patrick's Day in March and Belfast Festival at Queens in November are also busy times.

Closure Information

Shops and venues generally close on Christmas Day (December 25), Boxing Day (December 26), St. Patrick's Day (March 17), Good Friday, Easter Monday, July 12 (a major Northern Ireland public holiday), and various Bank Holidays in May, July, and August.

When to Save

The winter low season is the most economical time to visit. Reduced prices are also available during the shoulder seasons.

When to Book

Book as far in advance as possible, especially for high season travel, to get the best prices on airfare, hotel, car rentals, and other travel services.

Information provided by the Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau.

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