When is the Best time to travel to Ireland?
You’re planning your trip to Ireland with pictures of green pastures and sunlight in mind. Ireland is beautiful, but you’re probably not thinking about the times when lots of people are there, or how the weather will change with the seasons.
If you have a choice of when you’re planning your trip, think about the best time to visit so you can make the most out of your holiday. Take a look at the planning and travel tips that we’ve compiled here in this guide.
Ireland’s Monthly Weather
The weather is never a guarantee in Ireland, but there are generally some months which have better weather than others. When you’re planning your trip, the time of the year can really impact your overall experience.
Best Time to Visit
It’s widely agreed that the perfect time to visit Ireland is throughout the summer months, although those months do vary a bit. Some people say that April, May, and June are best, while others include March and not June. You’ll even find people going until July and August, and through to November.
To be honest, there’s no significantly bad time to visit, and all these months will afford you sunny weather and longer days.
If you’re looking to visit when there are fewer crowds and lower priceshowever, you might want to avoid the peak of summer.In this case, April through May, and September through early October are usually best. This is because July and August are the most crowded times– big crowds of people might end up being a hassle.
You don’t have to go to Ireland around St. Patrick’s Day to have a good time. Honestly, you might not even want to go at this time, since there will be tons of people coming into Dublin on that day. If you don’t want to deal with the crowds, it’s best to avoid going in March.
You don’t need to go during the summer either. Feel free to visit during the winter, but of course, there will be colder temperatures and some closed attractions. The cities will be quieter though and easier to explore, not to mention that hotels will be cheaper too.
Don’t worry about snowstorms too much like what you’d see in the United States. It doesn’t usually get below freezing in Ireland, and you’re very unlikely to be caught in a random
The weather in Ireland can be somewhat unpredictable in general, although for the most part, you won’t see temperatures hotter than 70 degrees Fahrenheit during summer. Always make sure to have something to keep you warm, just in case.
This is especially true since colder temperatures in November through February usually see lots of rain and short daylight too. During this time, you might not want to be outside much.
Do be aware that the weather can sometimes change several times a day in Ireland, although it’s not usually extreme. Daily averages can range from between 42-70 degrees Fahrenheit, but it will rarely be colder or warmer than that. Honestly, days where the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit make headlines.
Expect rain no matter what time of the year you go. Rain is very common in the area, and there’s no reliable dry season. That’s why you should make sure you have the proper layers of dress and try to take advantage of dry days.
Road Trip: Helpful Tips
You’re in Ireland driving around in your car to see the beautiful landscapes, amazing castles, and pub scenes. So are many other people taking road trips alongside you. Ireland is a popular place for road trips since there’s not at much land as in other areas, meaning that you can drive all over the place to cities like Dublin or Belfast.
Before you take your road trip though, here are a few tips to make your travel that much easier.
Now, Ireland will look small on your map. Just keep in mind that you can’t see everything in one trip. You might not want to go over some of the narrow roads or some harder to get to places.
Plan your itinerary accordingly to pick the places that you want to go to most. At least have a list of your preferred places to help you make your plans while you’re there.
Driving is fun and all, but we all need a place to rest after a long day of exploring. That’s why you should make reservations before you get to drive. Keep in mind that some destinations won’t have a lot of vacancies, like Skellig Michael Island. Popular due to the Star Wars movies, you might not be able to find a place to stay if you don’t check beforehand.
Book your accommodations early. This is why it’s important to plan out your trip so that you definitely have a hotel to stay in when you arrive.
Plan for the Unexpected
No trip goes perfectly, no matter how much we might want it to. You need to expect that there will be problems. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Part of the fun of traveling is learning and discovering more along the way. This is another reason why you might not want to plan out your itinerary too much: so that you have more time to find discoveries along the way. Just plan reasonably for the unexpected so you won’t be caught out.
Visit the Less Popular Places
Don’t just visit the most common places when you look up where you should visit in Ireland. Make sure you give other sights a chance within the areas that you’ve already visited. You never know what hidden wonders or unexpected beauty you might find where you never thought to look.
Driving in Ireland
Driving is the best way to get around in Ireland. During the summer, the perfect time of the year to visit, driving will be relaxing and show you some great sights. You’ll also be able to move along narrow roads with ease, as long as you remember to drive on the left side of the road. If you haven’t done this before, this will probably be your biggest adjustment.
Don’t be afraid to drive slowly until you get used to it, and think about what will be different when you’re driving on the left. For instance, the steering wheel will be on the right side of the car, and you’ll use the shift with your left hand. Left turns will be easy, but right turns will be hard. If you end up on the highway, you’ll be going fast in the right lane.
When you’re driving, be prepared for the fact that there aren’t service stations everywhere like there are in America. There are no bathroom facilities everywhere, although you can still exit off the highway if you really need to find a gas station to go.
Take in the Sights
When you’re driving along, don’t be afraid to pull over on the side of the road when there’s space to do so. Roads often aren’t made to be wide enough to allow you to pull over so only pull over when there’s adequate space.When you see a good spot to stop, make the stop to take in the sights before you keep going.
Car Renting Guidelines
You already know that renting a car is the best way to learn about what Ireland has to offer. Having your own vehicle will let you move at your own pace so that you can stay at your favorite spots longer and move along from the places you don’t quite like as much.
Car rentals might seem light a straightforward concept, but it is indeed slightly different in Ireland than you might be used to in your home country. You’ll have a much easier time when you’re there if you already know how to rent a car beforehand.
Just like you want to pre-book your hotels to reserve a spot, you want to do the same thing with your rental car. Pre-booking will get you a better rate and will ensure that you have the dates planned out for your trip. Keep in mind that you might not need the car for the entirety of your trip since you don’t need one in places like Dublin.
In places like the United States, you need to be 25 to rent a car. You can rent a car at age 21 in Ireland. Bear in mind that you will have to pay a surcharge unless you’re 25, or if you’re older than 75. You’ll also pay more if you need to write more people down as drivers.
Think about whether you need an automatic car too. This is an option, but there are fewer automatic cars in Ireland. If you’re able to drive a manual, you’ll get a much better price.
Picking Up and Dripping Off the Car
When you arrive at the airport, you’ll be waiting around half an hour regardless of what airport you’re in. When you’re returning the car, plan to drop it off around 3 to 4 hours before your boarding time. This will afford you the most amount of time to handle that and still catch your shuttle.
You do get to pick your car when you’re renting. Try your best to pick the smallest car possible as Irish roads can be quite narrow and you’ll have a tough time maneuvering around them if you have a car that’s too big. Since you might need to parallel park in one of the cities you visit, it’ll be easier with a small car too.
That being said, in a small car, you probably won’t be able to fit two large bags. Try to have a wheeled duffle bag or backpack with you, which will be much easier to get up the stairs of many hotels too.
Driving in Ireland
When you’re driving, don’t worry about using the license from your home country. It should be fine as long as you get used to driving on the left side of the road. It’ll help if you get rental car insurance too. You can check the prices for the insurance, or call the customer service representative at your bank to check your insurance. Some credit cards will actually cover the insurance for you.
As with any trip, prepare yourself for extra charges. Keep your receipts to check credit card fees, and be aware that there may be possible credit card holds as high as $5,000 and high taxes on rentals.
A trip to Ireland will be something to remember. From the sprawling hills to the beautiful cities, there’s no better place to drive around on a vacation. Before you head off, just make sure that you know what kind of weather to expect, and follow our tips on car rentals to make your trip that much more memorable.