Are you planning your Ireland trip? If it’s your first trip to the Emerald Isle, you’re likely including a few days exploring the best things to do in Dublin in your itinerary. But what is the best time to go to Dublin? While I believe any time of year is a wonderful time to visit Dublin and Ireland in general, there are some considerations to make regarding the season to plan your trip.
Understanding each season’s weather and unique experiences is crucial to planning an unforgettable trip. In this post, I’ll share with you what to expect throughout the year so you can decide the best season for you to plan your trip to Ireland.
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Ireland travel resources
- Book your flight to Ireland with Skyscanner
- Get reliable travel insurance with World Nomads
- Find awesome accommodation with booking.com or Hostelworld
- Check out this awesome Galway Food Tour
- Must haves for your trip to Ireland: my favorite waterproof booties, this power bank to stay connected, and a reusable water bottle
Dublin in Winter: December to February
I’m planning my second winter trip to Dublin. The first was in January, but this time, I’m going in December to enjoy the holiday festivities. I’ve also visited Dublin in January and can confirm it gets downright cold. The average temperatures in the winter months range from 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F).
Don’t let the chilly temperatures stop you from visiting Dublin in the winter. As long as you follow this Ireland packing list, you can fully enjoy the charm of Dublin in the winter!
The winter is considered the off-season for tourism, so you can expect fewer crowds at tourist attractions and enjoy lower prices on accommodation.
Winter Activities in Dublin
The winter season in Dublin brings with it a festive flair. Grafton Street and Temple Bar are decorated with Christmas lights. It’s the perfect time of year to cozy up in a pub and listen to traditional music.
If you want to get a taste of Europe’s Christmas markets, the Dublin Castle hosts Christmas at the Castle, where you can shop for holiday gifts. Local artists and vendors are selling unique goods that would make a unique souvenir from Ireland.
The winter is also a great time to head inside for some museum visits. The National Gallery of Ireland showcases a wide collection of European art from notable artists like Monet and Picasso. Bonus: it’s free to enter the permanent exhibitions!
While not free, the Little Museum of Dublin showcases a quirky side to Dublin’s history.
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is a great place to learn about the impact of Irish emigration in Ireland and abroad.
Dublin in Spring: March-May
Spring is a beautiful time to visit Dublin, with warmer weather and longer daylight hours. The average temperature during the spring ranges from 6°C to 13°C (43°F to 55°F). You can still expect a few rainy days, but Spring is a great time of year to get outdoors and explore some walks!
Except for March, crowds will be moderate, as will hotel prices.
Spring Activities in Dublin
Perhaps the busiest time of year in Dublin surrounds St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. Dublin hosts a massive, multi-day St. Patrick’s festival with live music, street performances, and other events highlighting Irish culture and traditions. This festival culminates in the St. Patrick’s Day parade!
With warmer temperatures, the Spring is the perfect time of year to take a free walking tour. The free walking tours in Dublin cover the city’s main attractions, like Temple Bar and Trinity College.
The National Botanic Gardens are the perfect place to visit in the Spring as the gardens come to life with blossoming flowers!
Spring is also a good time of the year to visit the Kilmainham Gaol Museum. Tickets sell out fast; visits are only allowed with a guided tour! However, you are likely to secure one if you purchase it well before your visit.
Dublin in Summer: June to August
The summer months in Dublin offer the best chance of good weather, with occasional rain showers and average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F).
In addition to the nice weather, the summer months also bring summer crowds. Tourist season is in full swing!
As this is the peak season, you’ll see higher prices on accommodations and larger crowds. This, combined with longer days, makes it a great time of year to escape the bustle of the city for outdoor activities.
Summer Activities in Dublin
Escape the busyness of the city without leaving it by checking out Phoenix Park. In addition to the Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park has miles of walking trails and sprawling lawns for a picnic on a sunny day.
On June 16th, celebrate the day immortalized in famed Irish author James Joyce’s novel Ulysses with the Bloomsday Festival. The Bloomsday Festival includes various events, from readings to visiting places mentioned in the novel and wearing straw boater hats that were in fashion during the novel’s time period.
One of the best things to do in Dublin is to take a cliff walk in Howth or Bray. Each offers stunning views of the rugged Irish coast, and the towns have delicious food. However, when I’m writing this post, the Bray to Greystones cliff walk is closed, so head north for the Howth cliff walk instead.
Dublin in Fall: September to November
I believe the best month to visit Dublin, and Ireland as a whole, is October. The Fall months bring mild temperatures ranging from 8°C to 14°C (46°F to 57°F). As always, it could rain! However, you still have enough hours of daylight to explore!
Fall is considered the shoulder season, so you’ll see fewer crowds than in the summer months, and hotel prices will begin to decrease.
Fall Activities in Dublin
Held annually in September and October, the Dublin Theatre Festival showcases a diverse range of plays and performances at various venues throughout the city.
Stroll into St. Stephens Green for a glimpse at the fall foliage. Or escape into the Wicklow Mountains for amazing views of the season’s bright colors.
Fall is also the perfect time of year to get a little spooky. Take a haunted history tour where you explore the city’s dark past and discover haunted landmarks under the cover of the autumn night.
What to Wear in Dublin
As mentioned in every section of this post, expect rainy weather in Dublin. Some seasons, like winter, will have more rainy days than others. But if you pack for rain, you will be comfortable.
Also provided throughout the post are ranges for temperatures in Dublin; make sure to check the weather a week or so out from your trip so you make sure you have the appropriate clothing.
Here are a few items to pack for Ireland no matter what time of the year you decide to visit:
- A waterproof jacket to stay dry during occasional rain showers.
- A sturdy pair of waterproof walking shoes if you plan to explore the scenic landscapes. I love Blundstones or these Sorel Chelsea Boots for exploring Ireland.
- Whether a warm beanie or a baseball hat, a hat is essential for staying warm and protecting your face from the sun.
- A warm jacket, like a down puffer jacket, will keep you warm at night. A cozy sweater is also lovely to wear to the pubs, even during the warmer months, as it still gets chilly at night.
- Every time you pack for Ireland, always include a small travel umbrella like this one!
Where to Stay in Dublin
Make sure you check out the complete guide on where to stay in Dublin, which details the best neighborhoods and hotels to stay in Dublin. If it’s your first time in Dublin, I recommend picking a hotel near Grafton Street. That will place you near all of the fun things to do in Dublin!
Here are my top 4 picks for where to stay in Dublin:
- Best Budget-Friendly Hostel: Jacob’s Inn Hostel
- Best Budget-Friendly Hotel: Sonder the Earl
- Best Boutique Hotel: Wren Urban Nest
- Best Luxury Hotel: The Westbury Hotel
- Best Overall Hotel: The Dean Dublin
There is no bad time of year to visit Dublin. Each season brings different weather to consider and lends itself to different activities. But no matter what time of year, you’ll receive a warm welcome from the Irish people, and there’s never a bad time for a pint in a pub!