The best time to visit Ireland: weather, price, and crowds overview

Planning on visiting the Emerald Isle but wondering when to book your trip? Check out this handy guide to find out the best time to visit Ireland.

We may be biased, but there is no such thing as a wrong time to visit Ireland.

Whatever season you choose to plan your visit here, some things will always remain the same; you’ll be welcomed by some of the friendliest locals around; you’ll be treated to some stunning natural beauty. And you’ll make memories that will stick with you for a lifetime.

But when it comes to logistics, there are a few things you need to think about before planning your trip here. How much are you willing to spend? What will the weather do?

We’ve put together a handy guide for you on what to expect from your trip in each season of the year – including our pick for the best time to visit Ireland.

Winter – time for layers

Winter is a great time to visit Ireland.
Credit: / @MattStone007

Okay, we know what you’re thinking. Winter in Ireland? I’d freeze! Well, you’re not far wrong. But hear us out.

Think twice before discounting an Irish winter if you haven’t witnessed the majestic sight of wild deer in a snow-dusted Killarney National Park, or sipped a pint beside a roaring fire in a cosy Irish pub.

Plus, Christmas in Dublin or Belfast is a festive experience worth travelling for.

While Christmas markets have been cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will still be plenty of festive cheer to go around. Feast your eyes on the famous holiday window displays at Brown Thomas and explore the cobbled streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, adorned with twinkling Christmas lights.

Temperatures indeed drop, but that also means that you can take advantage of the cheaper hotels and flights. You’ll also miss out on the hoards of tourists that descend on Ireland’s towns and cities in the summer.

Spring – beautiful, but avoid St. Patrick’s Day if possible

Spring is one of the best times to visit Ireland.

The transitional seasons are a great option if you want to avoid the coldest of the Irish weather, while also getting cheaper deals.

Ireland in spring is a landscape that is bursting with the hope of new life. In the countryside, the hedgerows come alive with colourful wildflowers, and it’s hard not to feel the magic in the air as nature stirs with life once again.

Any trip to Ireland in the spring runs the chance of coinciding with the abundance of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, too. Bear in mind, though; these celebrations attract tourists from all over the world. As such, prices of accommodation and flights tend to skyrocket around the week of 17 March.

Temperatures will average out at low double figures, so sweaters and light jackets are a good shout for the temperate spring days. We recommend packing an umbrella, too.

Summer is beautiful in Ireland.

Summer is, without doubt, the most popular time to visit Ireland, and it’s not hard to see why.

The Irish landscape is glowing with greenery, and the various cliffs, forests, and beaches look more attractive than ever. Outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, watersports, and beer gardens are just waiting to be experienced.

Summer is indeed the height of tourist season, and the prices of accommodation, as well as the crowds in Ireland’s cities, will reflect this. But this also means that you can enjoy all the festivals and events that summer in Ireland offers.

While the average temperature isn’t sweltering – somewhere between 16°C and 20°C (60°F to 80°F) – heat waves have been rising in recent years. If you’ve got pale skin and freckles, make sure to pack your high factor sun-cream.

Autumn natural beauty abounds

Autumn is the best time to visit Ireland.
Credit: / @cathal100

For us, Ireland in the autumn is the best time to visit.

Visiting in September means you will miss out on the hiked-up prices of the peak of the tourist season, while still getting the best of the Irish weather.

Visitors can expect an average high of 13°C and an average low of around 9°C. Still, the chances of rain and lower temperatures will increase the further into autumn you choose to visit.

While you’ll probably still need to pack an umbrella, the natural Irish landscape in autumn is a sight to behold.

A trip to the Wicklow Mountains National Park is worth the visit simply for the breath-taking views of the vibrant russet-coloured trees. But even an autumnal stroll in Dublin‘s St. Stephen’s Green in October or November is enough to lift the spirits at this time of year.

However, whatever time of year you choose to visit Ireland, it is sure to be a trip to remember!

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