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Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

When is the best time to visit Ireland?

The best time to visit Ireland is between March and May, and September to November, when it’s not as crowded as it is in summer, or as cold as it is in winter. That said, Ireland has a mild, temperate climate and although it’s rainy at times, you can visit all year round. The changes in weather are not normally extreme.

Summer (June, July and August) is the warmest time of year, when Ireland’s landscapes are at their most vibrant and the days are at their longest. However, it’s also crowded and prices are at a premium.

Some sites close from late October, and temperatures drop, but on average, they remain above freezing even in winter. This can be a wonderful time to see Ireland at its most calm.

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Ireland Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Belfast 6°C 93mm 7°C 67mm 9°C 68mm 11°C 63mm 14°C 64mm 17°C 69mm 18°C 77mm 18°C 94mm 16°C 97mm 13°C 95mm 9°C 97mm 7°C 95mm
The Burren 8°C 105mm 8°C 75mm 10°C 76mm 12°C 62mm 15°C 72mm 18°C 69mm 19°C 72mm 19°C 91mm 17°C 105mm 14°C 110mm 10°C 114mm 8°C 113mm
Cork 8°C 121mm 9°C 95mm 10°C 85mm 12°C 60mm 15°C 74mm 17°C 60mm 19°C 63mm 19°C 84mm 17°C 98mm 14°C 107mm 11°C 102mm 9°C 121mm
Dingle Peninsula 9°C 169mm 9°C 123mm 10°C 122mm 12°C 79mm 14°C 90mm 16°C 82mm 18°C 77mm 18°C 112mm 16°C 127mm 14°C 158mm 11°C 152mm 10°C 162mm
Dublin 8°C 70mm 8°C 52mm 10°C 53mm 12°C 50mm 15°C 60mm 18°C 55mm 19°C 54mm 19°C 72mm 17°C 75mm 14°C 76mm 10°C 72mm 9°C 80mm
Kilkenny 8°C 94mm 8°C 71mm 10°C 68mm 12°C 56mm 15°C 67mm 18°C 54mm 20°C 59mm 19°C 74mm 17°C 83mm 14°C 90mm 10°C 81mm 8°C 97mm
Limerick 8°C 108mm 8°C 78mm 10°C 77mm 12°C 65mm 15°C 75mm 17°C 63mm 19°C 70mm 19°C 84mm 17°C 98mm 14°C 102mm 10°C 106mm 8°C 115mm
Waterford 8°C 110mm 8°C 88mm 10°C 84mm 12°C 62mm 15°C 71mm 17°C 59mm 19°C 61mm 19°C 81mm 17°C 96mm 14°C 102mm 11°C 98mm 9°C 109mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in Ireland

Galway

Visiting Ireland in January - February

Temperatures are at their lowest but still hover around 5.5°C (42°F). Many hotels in rural areas will be closed but it’s still possible to base yourself in large towns or cities and explore from here. Towards the end of January, a traditional music and culture festival is held in the Temple Bar district of Dublin.

Events & Festivals

  • Tradfest music festival celebrates traditional Irish music. One of the highlights of the festival is the historic venues, from St Patrick’s Cathedral to Dublin’s City Hall.
Cliffs of Moher

Visiting Ireland in March

St Patrick's Day is on 17th March and is a national holiday for the Irish. Expect crowds in all the cities and a party-like atmosphere over the whole weekend, with live music and dancing, and the streets awash with people in green.

Events & Festivals

  • On the 17th March Ireland erupts in festivities to celebrate St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
Dunluce Castle

Visiting Ireland in April - May

Temperatures get warmer and spring flowers reach their peak. Vivid fuchsias lining the roads along the west coast, particularly around Kerry, begin to flower. In May, summer visitors start to flock to Ireland and prices rise accordingly.

Kinsale

Visiting Ireland in June

Gardens throughout Ireland sing with vibrant hues and temperatures are pleasantly warm, averaging at around 13°C (56°F). In mid-June, Bloomsday is celebrated in Dublin, focused on the life of poet and novelist James Joyce.

Events & Festivals

  • Bloomsday is a cultural festival with performances and readings marking the day when Ulysses, a novel by James Joyce, was completed.
Connemara

Visiting Ireland in July - August

This is the busiest time of year for visitors, coinciding with the schools finishing for the summer. Temperatures are at their warmest and, in theory, these are the driest months, although visitors to Ireland should really expect rain at any time of year. Galway International Arts Festival is held during mid to late July, while the Dingle Regatta (a water festival of boat races), is held in early August.

Events & Festivals

  • At the Dingle Regatta spectators gaze at the rowers as they navigate their way around the course in traditional Namhóg canoes, jostling for first position.
  • From 17th to 30th July, the small Irish town of Galway hosts an international arts festival. Expect live music, theater and art.
Dark Hedges

Visiting Ireland in September

This is the last month possible to visit the Skellig Islands, as between October and April the weather is deemed too unpredictable. This also tends to be the last month most wildlife boat tours operate as beyond September a lot of marine wildlife journeys to warmer climes. The deepening foliage of the season spreads from mid-to late-September and the hillsides turn purple as the heather flowers. A number of food festivals are held in September, including the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival.

Events & Festivals

  • Feast on fresh, native Galway Oysters in the longest standing oyster festival in the world.
Killarney National Park

Visiting Ireland in October

The changing hues of the season reach their peak in October, and the mountains take on russet shades as the bracken dies. Some sites close towards the end of October as visitor numbers and temperatures decrease. The Kinsale Gourmet Festival is held in early October, a celebration of local produce, and Cork's International Jazz Festival is usually held towards the end of the month.

Events & Festivals

  • Jazz lovers flock to Cork in late October, and with good reason. This international festival boasts an impressive list of past performers, with Ella Fitzgerald and Herbie Handcock topping the list.
  • Kinsale Gourmet Festival celebrates local, fresh food in ten restaurants around the seaside town.
Giant's Causeway

Visiting Ireland in November

This is when Ireland truly begins to quieten, and some hotels outside the cities may close for annual renovations. It’s also typically the wettest month and temperatures average around 10°C (50°F) in the south and 5°C (45°F) in the east and north.

December in Dublin

Visiting Ireland in December

Christmas festivities start at the beginning of the month, with decorative lights in towns and cities, plays and Christmas markets. December is a fairly cold month, but this can result in beautifully picturesque landscapes of frost-covered hills and trees. It's fairly windy along the coast, but those hotels that remain open often welcome guests with roaring log fires and hearty food.

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Travel advice

Practical tips for travelling to Ireland, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest government travel advice.

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