How To Pack For Ireland In Any Season
Planning your trip to Ireland? Check out this ultimate packing list for Ireland to have you covered during your travel, whatever the season you decide to visit!
You must have heard how Ireland has an unpredictable weather. The weather here changes a lot, many times during the day, and doesn’t necessarily follow the same patterns of weather that you expect for a given season and it is very different from other countries in Europe.
In general Ireland has a mild climate; it is never too hot or too cold (thought the late is definitely open for discussion in my opinion…). It hardly ever snows and hardly ever gets to temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius (77°F) , unless you come when a rare heat wave hits.
But it can get quite hot even with low temperature if the wind is not blowing too hard. Therefore a trip to Ireland can challenge even the most experiences packers because weather changes might drive you to over-pack or then run the risk of being too cold or too wet the entire trip!
The Weather In Ireland
The weather in Ireland is mild, meaning that you don’t get extreme temperatures, neither hot nor cold. This is great news for visitors as you can visit the country all year round.
The average maximum temperature in the middle of winter is about 8 degrees while it is 20 degrees in the middle of summer, so you can see it is not a big difference!
Rain is expected at any time of the year so be prepared, but the West Coast is wetter than the East Coast. The rainfall and mild climate is the reason for the luscious green terrain that makes the scenic landscapes.
Though the whole country has a fairly typical climate, the West Coast of Ireland is prone to the full force of storms coming from the Atlantic, especially during Fall and Winter.
- The wettest months: December and August.
- The driest month: April.
- Daylight hours in the summer: up to 19 hours!
Here is the average high and low temperatures for each month of the year:
The weather in Ireland per season:
Ireland in the Spring (March, April and may): You can have a mix of cold or hot weather, it is unpredictable! Temperatures can vary from 3 to 15 °C (45 to 60°F).
Ireland in the Summer (June, July and August): Summers are relatively drier compared to winters but you should always expect rain, no matter the season. Highest average temperature around 20 °C (66°F) while the lowest average temperature is 10°C (50°F).
Ireland in the Fall / Autumn (September, October and November): Fall can be a mix of temperature too making it quite tricky to pack properly. Winters in Ireland are rainy with the highest average temperature around 7 – 8 °C (45°F) while the lowest average temperature is 3°C (38°F).
Ireland in the Winter (December, January and February): Winters in Ireland are rainy with the highest average temperature around 7 – 8 °C (45°F) while the lowest average temperature is 3°C (38°F). It does not snow often.
What To Pack For Ireland
This list includes everything you need to enjoy time in Ireland, from clothing items to handy accessories.
I am a huge fan of traveling light and for this guide I am giving the absolute necessary items that will save your life while in Ireland.
I light packing I like to follow the 5-4-3-2-1 rule:
- 5 tops
- 4 bottoms
- 3 accessories
- 2 shoes
- 1 jacket
Obviously you can adapt and add more items! It is a just a rule of thumb that I like to refer to when packing so I don’t go overboard putting unnecessary items in my carry-on.
The exactly number of items depends on your travel length (and your willingness to find a launderette). I plan a washing about every 3 days of a trip so all is clean to be reused no matter the length of my trip!
General Packing List For Ireland
Here it is where it gets tricky. The number one advise for traveling to Ireland is dress up in layers. Weather can vary drastically in the same day and go from storm, to rain and sunny in no time.
To be prepared you will find that some of the most important pieces to have in your luggage are a good windproof, waterproof or water resistance jacket.
Those are great to keep the you warm during the summer too. These are normally made of smart lightweight material.
The list below includes the staple clothing items for your trip to Ireland, for any season.
Considering the relatively small variation in temperature between the seasons, the items in the list don’t change much, you will just have to adapt for warmer versions of the same clothing item for the cooler seasons.
Here is the basic list, below I will detail each season and favorite items for you.
- Walking shoes
What does it mean to dress in layers:
To avoid being overly hot or overly cold it is smart to dress in layers, so you are always comfortable regardless of the weather and level of activity.
Any trip to Ireland normally involves a reasonable amount of time spent outdoors, and because the weather moves quickly it is important to understand exactly which layers you need.
Here are the 3 layers you need for you trip to Ireland, regardless of the season you are traveling:
- Base layer: This is the layer next to your skin, your normal tops and bottoms (you don’t need a winter sport base layer, as we already discussed even winter in Ireland are mild).
- Mid layer: This is the layer that insulate your body heat and protects you from the cold.
- Outer layer: This is the layer that protects you from rain and wind.
Every day you step out of you accommodation in Ireland TAKE ALL THE LAYERS WITH YOU in your day bag.
Specially important if you are traveling with kids. If you don’t need them when you set off, put them in your bag regardless! Even if the forecast is amazing, even if the sun is the brightest you have ever seen in your life… it can all change – so fast!
Obviously you have to adapt what you pack in each layer depending on the season but you will find that not a lot change for Ireland.
What to wear in Ireland
Wondering what clothing items to pack for Ireland? Check out the items below:
You will need a mix of t-shirts/long sleeves that you can wear for outdoors or city breaks, along with perhaps a couple of fancier tops for the evening.
Some materials are soft and breathable and perfect to regulate body temperature. These are my go-to items when I am packing.Women’s top ideas
It is good to have a mix of light, comfortable or fancier looks bottoms to mix and match with your tops giving you plenty of outfit variations.
Wrinkle-free textile are perfect for backpacking Ireland. If you are visiting Ireland in June, July or August thing about packing a pair of convertible trousers that can become shorts if the weather changes.
If traveling during the winter months you may want to pack a fleece lined legging too.Women’s travel pants
Men’s travel pants
If you are coming in the winter months you will need both a winter jacket and warm layers for underneath. But do not ignore the need for vests or pullovers during the warm months too.
As I mentioned before, it doesn’t really snow here but the wind will make the temperature feel really cold. The best materials for this mid layer are fleece, wool or down insulated jackets to keep your body warm.
Ideally you will want to have a couple of them for your trip, maybe one heavier than the other, to give more outfit possibilities and adjust better to the weather.Women’s sweater ideas
Wind and Raincoat (with hood)
This one is a must, the wind is strong and you might get caught in the rain. The outer layer will protect you from the elements and make sure you enjoy the outdoors.
These items are made with materials that dry fast and also don’t take much space in your jacket.
If you are traveling between October and March then you will need a winter windproof and waterproof jacket.Women’s coat ideas
Even if you don’t plan any hiking activity, it is still likely that you will be doing a lot of walk in the cities so comfort is of utmost importance. Therefore waterproof shoes for Ireland is a must!
But if you intend to see some of the most striking and scenic lotions in Ireland you must be prepared to do a fair bit of walking.
I recommend a good walking/hiking shoes for the day and another casual pair for the evening.
It is important to bring a pair of walking shoes that can withstand the weather too so consider to bring a waterproof one. Columbia or Timberland boots are good ones to bring.
Insider tip: You can skip the rain boots though. Yes, sure the weather can be unfavorable and rain a lot but unless you are going to the bog to cut turf or plan on herding the sheep, you don’t need this rather large piece in your suitcase.
Bring a couple of socks for each day unless you have plans to do washing during your trip. Nobody wants to end up with wet socks (hence my suggestion of packing waterproof shoes) so these breathable moisture control socks are a good option!
Depending on how windy the day is you can definitely use a scarf, even during summer months. I suggest you pack one that is appropriate for the season you are visiting.
A lightweight scarf takes no space in the luggage and might come in handy! Some are perfect to even store phone and cards.
Beanies or Hats
Choose either of them or both, but do bring something to protect from the wind or sun.
Though Ireland is not exactly a tropical destination, being surround by water gives plenty of opportunity for swimming on its beautiful beaches and loughs.
Surfing is one of the experiences I think everyone should have in Ireland. There are plenty of surfing schools around the coast which offer swim lessons.
You can book a 2 hour lesson which includes wetsuit rental and board, so take your swimwear for sure!
Pack one or two sets of season appropriate pjs.
Only necessary through the winter (maybe…).
Packing for Ireland (travel accessories)
Here are some general items and travel accessories to pack to your trip to Ireland.
This is a must obviously because Ireland has a 3 point electrical plug (type G) that connects to the 230 voltage. Get your adapter here:
Camera & Tripod
We hardly ever forget our camera during a trip but a tripod is not something everyone takes on vacation. However I highly recommend taking one specially if you have plans on photographing the beautiful sunset and sunrise.
These tripod below are lightweight and super easy to take with you on your travels:
Traveling in Ireland will provide plenty of opportunities to see the wildlife. Depending on where you travel to you can expect to see dolphins, (sea)birds and other animals.
Portable charge/power bank
The one mistake that travelers make is not taking a portable charge power bank with them. Nothing worst than getting to a bucket list place and realize you ran out of battery.
These are popular portable chargers:
Personal Things To Pack For Ireland
Pack them for a trip to Ireland:
- Sun screen
- Chapstick and moisturizing cream to protect against the wind
- Windproof umbrella
- Reusable water bottle
- Backpack for day trips in Ireland.
- Packing cubes to keep clothing items organized.
- Memory cards to keep taking more photos
- Phone charger
- Driver’s license
- Travel document
- Travel insurance
Ireland’s weather brings up a challenge when it comes to packing your travel bag but with a little of planning you will be covered for any weather!
I hope this ultimate packing list for Ireland will help prepare for your trip. If you thing there is something I am missing I would love to hear, please let me know in comments below.
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