Our tips on the best times to go to Ireland, for a dream itinerary (with sunshine to boot).
Whether it’s for a cross-country road trip, festivals or to see nature, we’ve done the research and uncovered the best months to visit the country so the weather conditions are ideal, the crowds are few and the holiday deals are rife.
Best time to visit Ireland
March-May and September-November
Spring and autumn are the ideal seasons to go to Ireland as they’re a happy medium of slightly cool weather without being in the peak tourist season.
During these months, there’s a greater chance of scoring a deal on airfare, car rentals and accommodation.
Summer, June-August, is Ireland’s peak tourist season with plenty of crowds and the highest prices. Temperatures are the warmest ranging from 9-18°C, rural B & Bs and restaurants are open and the country is busy with festivals.
Autumn, September-November, brings milder temperatures of 9-16°C with fewer crowds and lower prices, though still bears some action with festivals. You’re bound to have some rain but showers typically move on quickly.
If you’re travelling during winter, December-February, remember to bring a thick jacket as temperatures hover around freezing. Winter also experiences the most rainfall and the least amount of crowds, so you can score a deal if you’re willing to sacrifice on weather. Be careful if you’re planning to travel countryside as many rural B&Bs and restaurants close over winter.
Spring, March-May, is warm by Irish standards with temperatures reaching highs of 12°C. This season brings spells of sunshine and few crowds, with the exception of St Patrick’s Day. Showers are notorious, but generally don’t last long.
Weather and prices
Best time to visit Ireland, weather wise: Summer has the warmest weather and the least amount of rainfall. Remember that summer temperatures are considered warm for the Irish but will be mild or cool for Australians.
Cheapest time to visit Ireland: Winter is low-season in Ireland and is the best time to find a deal on flights, car rentals and accommodation.
Best time to visit Ireland for...
- Sightseeing: There’s no doubt that summer is the most comfortable time to visit Ireland as the weather is at its best. Many top sights are outside so good weather is ideal. However, if you have no desire to see castle ruins with all the other tourists aim to visit during spring or autumn.
- A road trip: Visit during autumn or spring when the busy season has died down and less tour buses are on the road. Avoid winter as snow and ice may amount to dangerous driving conditions.
- Travelling through Ireland and Scotland: Summertime is ideal for weather and festivals across both countries. However, if you’re visiting for a more scenic trip, autumn is best for wildlife and nature. Plus, autumn tends to feature lower prices and less crowds.
- Festivals: Festivals are on throughout the year in Ireland but most occur in summer between June and August. Many feature theatre, music and art performances and include Cork Midsummer Festival, Galway Arts Festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival.