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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Ireland in 2024

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Ireland in 2024

What's the best time to visit Ireland?

The best times to visit Ireland are in the spring, summer, or fall, with spring and fall offering smaller crowds and moderate prices. The summer season, especially from June to August, is ideal if you want to experience Irish culture through various festivals, including music, dance, arts, and literature events. March is also a great time to visit for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, including the famous parade.

Looking for a vacation that will make everyone happy? When the kids want to explore the great outdoors, Dad wants to discover a piece of history, and Mom wants a music-filled weekend, Ireland is the place to go!

Between its stunning scenery, iconic castles, and numerous festivals, you may want to take an extended stay on the Emerald Isle! Gather your partner and family, make a list of desired activities, and then look to us to determine the best time to plan your trip.

Overall Best Time to Visit Ireland

Sunrise in Dublin by the Samuel Backett Bridge during the best time to visit Ireland

Michael Kellner/Shutterstock

The overall best times to visit Ireland are in the spring, summer, or fall.  Suppose you’re looking for smaller crowds, lower prices on accommodations, and moderate weather.

In that case, spring and fall are your best times to head over to the Emerald Isle. These months, also known as the “shoulder seasons,” include the Easter holiday through May and mid-September through October. 

If crowds aren’t your worry, and you want to partake in rich Irish culture, then the summer festival season will be your best overall time to visit. Here is just a sampling of festivals: 

June

  • Dublin International Chamber Music Festival – with international musicians. 
  • Cork Midsummer Festival – live theater performance.
  • Body & Soul – live performances and experiences. 
  • Hinterland – a literature and arts festival.

July

  • Longitude – three-day music festival in Dublin.
  • Irish Youth Dance Festival – performances featuring emerging dancers. 
  • Galway Film Fleadh – an international film festival.
  • Galway International Arts Festival – multidisciplinary arts festival. 

August

  • Kilkenny Arts Festival – live music, outdoor theater, and multimedia installations. 
  • Waterford Walls – street art festival.
  • Chamber Music on Valencia – classical, contemporary, and Irish traditional chamber music from international artists. 

Lastly, suppose you are a full Irishman or woman or just feel akin to the Irish. In that case, you may find the best time to visit is in March as the springtime ushers in St. Patrick’s Day and the world’s most famous parade!

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Cheapest Time to Visit Ireland

The Temple Bar in Dublin by the cobblestone street during the cheapest time to visit Ireland

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The cheapest times to visit Ireland are in the months of November and January and just before Easter. As long as you don’t mind the cooler weather, these times are great for snagging deals on flights and hotels.

Although you may have less time outdoors due to fewer daylight hours, this gives you more time to enjoy the perfect pub to cozy up in after your afternoon adventure.

e aware that some countryside attractions close for the winter. But on the flip side, the accommodations are going to be less expensive during this time.

To save the most money, be sure to book your flights in advance. Using an online search engine like Travelocity or Skyscanner will gather almost all possibilities and help you find the one that best fits your budget. 

Least Busy Time to Visit Ireland

Dublin capital city below a unique stone bridge for a piece on the least busy time to visit Ireland

Kanuman/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Ireland is in the winter, from mid-November until early March. This is, of course, due to the cooler temperatures resulting in less outdoor activity.

Many people prefer the warmer weather to spend as much time outdoors on the greenways and parks. Suppose you’re looking to visit during the least busy time, and you’re okay with visiting some places like the magical Hill of Tara without a stop at the tourist center.

And finishing your day inside the St. James Brewery for a pint of Guinness sounds fantastic! In that case, the winter months will call you. January is the quietest month, with February coming in at a close second.

The Dublin Film Festival and Six Nations Rugby events will add some energy to February but not enough to feel crowded. 

November can also be a quieter month with summer holidays over, festivals completed, and people staying home to save their energy for the upcoming holiday season. 

Worst Time to Visit Ireland

Slieve League with a man looking over the cliffs and ocean during the worst time to visit Ireland

MNStudio/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Ireland will depend on what you consider “worst.” If it’s crowds and high tariffs that you consider the worst, then June through August is the time to stay away.

As with many countries in the northern hemisphere, the summer months are the busiest for tourism. Accommodations can be hard to find if not booked in advance, and favorite cities like Dublin and Kerry can be crowded. 

You can still have an enjoyable summer visit if you plan ahead of time. Book your perfect hotel and arrange a day or two to drive through the countryside away from the crowds.

Suppose crowds don’t bother you, but cold weather does. In that case, the worst time to travel to Ireland is between November and February.

Although it’s not likely to snow, the short daytime hours and abundant rain can make these months the least comfortable time to be out exploring. Still, a nice warm train ride through the south will supply beautiful scenery.

Likewise, a city tour through Belfast in the north, ending at the historic McHughs Bar built in the 1700s, can make wonderful Irish winter memories.

Best Time for Exploring the Outdoors

Rope bridge spanning the Carrick a Rede during the best time to visit Ireland

Lautz/Shutterstock

The spring, summer, and fall months are the best time for exploring the outdoors. Because of the unpredictable weather that Ireland is known for, it’s always best to be prepared for all four seasons no matter when you visit! 

Easter is an excellent marker to consider as that is when many attractions open up for the tourist season. The weather gets warmer, and the flowers on the hillsides begin to bloom. 

The first weekend of May includes the May Bank Holiday (first Monday) and the beginning of the festival season. May can have sunny days and warm weather, making for a nice entrance into summer.

Another bank holiday at the beginning of June will also bring the locals out to the countryside, attending the festivals and soaking in the sun.

As busy as they are with local and foreign tourists, July and August are filled with festivals, open tourist attractions, and as much sunshine as you see in Ireland. Spend a few days exploring castles in the countryside followed by a weekend festival. 

If it’s too much you can always run off to your – booked in advance – hotel room for a bit of calm and privacy.

September and October start to close the festivals, and the weather begins to cool. This can also be some of the best weather to explore and discover your heritage throughout the castle lands and Georgian mansions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Taxi in Trinity Collage at night during the best time to visit Ireland

Massimofusaro/Shutterstock

How much rainfall does Ireland get?

Ireland is known for its rainfall. However, the amount varies depending on where you are on the island. The east and southeast coasts get an average of 151 “wet days,” and the west can get up to 225 days a year of rainfall of more than 1mm (0.039 in).

So, What Is the Best Time to Visit Ireland?

There’s a lot to take in if you’re exploring Emerald Isle. From nature to history to contemporary jazz, Ireland is full of activities and destinations to satisfy anyone’s wanderlust. 

Even though the weather is a principal focus when people travel to Ireland, don’t let it dissuade you from visiting this magical island. It is rich in history, culture, and beautiful people!