A visit to Ireland will bring a different experience depending on the time of year that you visit.
If you want to ensure the best possible experience whilst visiting the Emerald Isle it’s important to note a lot of factors such as the climate, daylight hours, and popular times of the year vs quieter times.
Below you’ll find a quick breakdown of what you can expect at different times of the year when visiting the island we call home.
When is the Best Time to Visit Ireland?
Ireland is known for its lush green landscapes, but that’s because there is a significant amount of rainfall across the country and on average it rains every two days!
It can also get pretty windy due to our position right beside the power and might of the Atlantic Ocean. There is plenty of sunshine though, with around 1,200 hours of sunshine every year on average, so plenty of chance to see the best of what the country has to offer.
The average temperatures here vary across the different seasons, with winter, as you’d expect being the coldest with an average temperature of around 8 degrees (Celsius). Spring sees temperatures rising slightly to between 8-10 degrees, and summer hitting the mid-teens. Autumn sees the temperatures drop back down to between 10 and 13 degrees.
We’ll admit, even our hottest days normally aren’t too hot. So don’t come expecting to be sun kissed the entire time. On the flip side, it generally never gets too cold, so as long as you pack a good coat, you should be set!
When you plan a trip to Ireland it’s also important to take into consideration the available daylight hours, especially if you’re planning outdoor activities as part of your holiday.
Due to our position on the globe, and distance away from the equator, our daylight hours fluctuate massively between winter and summer.
November to January sees the least amount of daylight hours in Ireland with as little as 6 hours a day, of daylight available. February to April sees this improving to between 8-10 hours per day, before hitting the peak months of May, June, and July where you can expect 10-12 hours per day. August, September, and October see the amount of daylight reduce; however this will be very minimal in the early stages.
That golden period between May-July will see daylight as late as 11pm at night…and it’s glorious!
Low Season vs High Season
With millions of guests coming to our shores every year, there’s no denying that Ireland is a hugely popular tourist destination for people from across the world, which is something that you need to consider when planning your visit.
Unfortunately, because our best weather season is short this sees most people visiting the country between June and August, so you may wish to consider visiting at other times of the year if you don’t like crowds.
January – March:
Anytime during this period is going to be the quietest time in terms of tourists in Ireland so if you want to avoid the crowds it’s a great time to visit. However, with daylight hours at a minimum and rainfall at a maximum you’d need to be well prepared for short and wet days! If you’re wishing to avoid the crowds, then you might also wish to avoid St. Patricks Day which falls on 17 March and sees people from across the globe descending on Ireland to celebrate our Patron Saint.
April – June:
This is as good a time as any to visit Ireland because the busy tourist season hasn’t started yet and the weather improves, with less rainfall and more daylight hours to be able to enjoy outdoor activities.
April can be chilly, but we personally think our best weather usually pops up around May-June time. This is anecdotal but take what you will from it…
July – September:
Undoubtedly, this is Ireland’s most popular tourist season so if you don’t mind crowds then it’s a great time to visit. You’ll also get to see the best of Ireland’s weather (in theory…) and have the most available daylight hours at your disposal. One downside is that because of the demand for hotel accommodation prices will be higher than other parts of the year.
October – December:
As we head into the darker autumn and winter months the weather will once again not be favourable for visiting, along with a lack of available daylight hours. However, one highlight of this time of year are the excellent Christmas markets that can be found across Ireland and are well worth checking out if you are visiting!
Also, if you’re fond of a nice quiet pint beside the fire in a cosy pub, then this could be the perfect time to visit!
To summarise, we feel that the best period to visit Ireland is between April and June, simply because you can head to all the places you want to visit without worrying about the busy tourist season and you’ll also benefit from the cheaper accommodation prices as it’s out of the main tourist season and not during the school summer holidays.
That being said, any time is a good time to visit our beautiful island!
We hope to see you soon.