Travel News

Best time to visit Ireland

An adult and a child clamber on the rocks above a sandy beach backed by turquoise ocean in Ireland

With its famously unpredictable weather, it can be tough to decide the best time to visit Ireland.

The good news is that whatever month you decide to go, you’ll have lots of things to do. With stunning scenery, cozy pubs and a great food culture, there are plenty of highlights to suit every traveler.

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The end of October marks the year’s passage of mostly day into mostly night and, keeping in tune with the passing of this season is deeply rooted in the Irish DNA. This is the time of year when things slow down as ferries to the  islands scale back their service and smaller restaurants and hotels close for the season. Off-season isn’t the worst time to visit Ireland, though, as there are still plenty of things to see and do during wintertime.

The warmest months from April to August offer endless hours to explore the coastline or lush, rolling green countryside, but with a year-round temperate climate that rarely freezes in winter or blisters in summer, it’s possible to enjoy daytime outdoor activities in any month.

And don’t forget, while waiting for a pint of Guinness to draw or a train to arrive, talking about weather is always a good conversation starter with locals in Ireland. Here, a week of light rain can appear in July while December can offer bright crisp days.

Here’s our guide to help you decide the perfect time to visit Ireland.

Head to the Ring of Kerry in September or October, and you could dodge the crowds © benedek / Getty Images

The September and October shoulder season means harvests and vibrant festivals

Along with springtime, the months of September and October can be the best time to visit Ireland to avoid crowds and save money as prices plummet. Expect long days with mild temperatures and plenty of dry spells to explore the explosion of color throughout Ireland’s national parks and forests. Even the world famous Ring of Kerry, with its dramatic mountainous setting against a vivid ocean backdrop, can be navigated without a convoy of tour buses blocking the views.

Many of Ireland’s best festivals shift into gear at this time. Expect some tasty offerings like the Armagh Food and Cider Weekend or Galway’s International Oyster and Seafood Festival in September. County Cork has the monopoly on October events with the Kinsale Gourmet Festival and Guinness Jazz Festival. A sinister twist brings…

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