Are you wondering what to wear in Ireland? The small island nation cast in the Atlantic is known for inclement weather. How else can you explain why the countryside is so green and lush? That weather does make it difficult to determine what should go in the luggage and stay at home.
For many visitors to Ireland, it’s their first trip abroad. It’s little wonder as the Emerald Isle is idealistic and full of rolling green hills, castles, dramatic coastlines, welcoming locals, and small farms full of sheep. Ireland is safe and comfortable to visit, so it’s easy to see why the island attracts a crowd.
Don’t let any poor weather deter you, though; there’s no bad weather in Ireland, just the wrong clothes. We’re here to help you out with what to wear in Ireland with our packing list.
Tips For Packing For Ireland
There are several staple items that I would recommend everyone bring for their trip. Ireland is well known for being wet, so the weather will play a significant role in what you throw in your backpack or suitcase. Don’t stress, though, as most of Ireland is down to earth, and simple wardrobe choices feel right at home. There is always the odd exception like a night out to the Abbey Theatre in Dublin or an excellent meal in Galway.
We spend most of our time in Ireland wearing a sweater, jeans, boots, and a handy rain jacket. Most travelers, ourselves included, will spend their time outside exploring Ireland’s countryside. It’s filled with old walking paths, castles, sheep, and quaint towns; it’s the perfect place to lose yourself.
- Rain gear is always a good idea to pack, which means a rain jacket, umbrella, and weatherproof boots.
- Packing cubes help separate damp and dirty clothes from clean ones.
- Three pairs of shoes are the max you should pack—a nice shoe, casual, and athletic shoe/boot.
- Ireland is a relaxed place, so no need for fancy clothes unless you’re staying at one of the famed golf resorts.
- It’s almost always sweater weather, so pack your favorite wool sweater or cardigan.
- A scarf and hat are a great way to warm up if there is a chill in the air.
- It’s not always cold. Summers can be warm and have amazing weather. Be sure to check the weather beforehand and pack some warm weather clothes. We’ve had amazing weather on trips and weather that makes us question Ireland altogether. Our trip in October was far from ideal.
Weather in Ireland
Ireland has an oceanic climate that is cool, damp, and rainy year-round. Temperatures do not change too much throughout the year. It’s just as rare to have a hot day in the summer for snow in the winter. This is good news for packing as you won’t have to pack for a variety of climates.
It’s best to check the weather a week before your trip to get an idea of what the temperatures will be like during your trip.
Seasons in Ireland
|Spring||Springtime in Ireland is a very chilly time of year. March to April is frigid, and by May, things start to warm up a bit. We actually love spring as it is the driest time of year.|
|Summer||June to August temperatures are a mix of warm and cool with frequent rain showers. The average highs during the day are around 19/20C (66/68F) with cool evenings. There is the occasional sunny day with temperatures mid 25C or 77F, if not warmer.|
|Fall||September to November can be the rainiest and windiest time of year. Temperatures continue to fall from the more mild summer. Expect 10-17C (50-63F) for daytime highs in the fall.|
|Winter||During the winter, the weather can be cold, but it rarely reaches below freezing. It’s often cloudy, and the winds can be powerful. At night temperatures are a few degrees above freezing, and the daytime sees temperatures around 7-10C (45-50F).|
Essential Documents To Pack
- Passport – This is an obvious one, but you won’t make it very far without a passport.
- Credit Cards – We always go with several travel credit cards that offer purchase protection, rewards, and no foreign transaction fees.
- Visa – Make sure you have a visa if you need one.
- Debit Cards – It’s good to carry euros in Ireland. We never bother with money exchanges that provide awful exchange rates. Instead, we rely on the ATM when we arrive. Charles Schwab, Ally, and Capital One offer low or no foreign transaction fees. Keep in mind the Republic of Ireland uses Euro and Northern Ireland uses the Great British Pound.
- Driving License – If you plan to rent a car, you will need your driver’s license, plus it never hurts to have a second form of I.D.. If your license is not in English, you may need an IDP translation to English.
What to Wear in Ireland?
If there is one article of clothing made for travel in Ireland, it’s the wool sweater. Sweater makes a great travel outfit staple. They’re comfortable, stylish, and warm. It doesn’t matter the season either, as most of Ireland is temperate and remains fresh year-round. You can expect comfortable daytime temperatures and chilly evenings in the summer.
I have several sweaters, but my favorites are from organic materials like wool or Alpaca. It’s even become my favorite travel souvenir, and I treasure my Scottish wool and Peruvian Alpaca sweaters.
Ireland has some terrific wool and sweater producers, but it may take a bit of digging. In recent years we’ve found that the majority of tourist shops often sell cheap foreign produced versions. We put in a little legwork, and Tasha got hers in the photo above from Cottage Handcrafts in Connemara.
Shop For Wool Sweater
Right after you pack your wool sweater, reach for a rain jacket. If we were taking bets, we’d make a wager you’ll see some rain during your trip to Ireland. It doesn’t get that green without plenty of rain. The rain varies a lot in Ireland. Some days it may only be an afternoon shower, while other times, it can rain for days.
We suggest a packable rain jacket that is made for the outdoors/hiking. They are lightweight, durable, packable, waterproof, and windproof. Any rain jacket will do, but the top-dollar ones designed for the outdoors will hold up and help in inclement weather. They also do an exceptional job at blocking the wind, which can be unrelenting.
Shop For A Rain Jacket
Flannel shirts are fabulous mid-layers for both men and women. They provide warmth and go well with vests. Most of Ireland is a very relaxed place, and with a flannel or sweater, you’ll feel at home sipping a Guinness in the local pub.
Shop Our Favorite Flannels
In the summer, travelers can probably get by with a wool sweater and rain jacket to stay warm. Outside of the summer, a down jacket is an excellent idea. We recommend a packable down jacket on a trip with cool weather since they’re versatile.
With a destination like Ireland, they are a great way to keep warm without eating up too much space in your luggage. If you prefer a more stylish jacket option, a peacoat is a classic wardrobe choice, but it’s cumbersome, so you’ll need to wear it on the plane.
See Our Down Jacket Recommendations
A classic tee will never go out of style. We suggest sticking with solid colors like black, white, or grey. Hiking on a sunny day in the countryside can be quite warm and we found ourselves shedding layers often.
Please keep it simple when it comes to tees. No one needs a fancy designer tee as a base layer. Cameron prefers the grey as it’s super easy to stain the white ones. T-shirts are cheap, and we like to order a new pack before each trip.
Jeans go with anything, and despite the notion, they are “American” casual, the right pair is attractive. I see jeans everywhere I travel as well, and it’s definitely not just Americans wearing them. You’ll find plenty of Irish in well-cut jeans, but nothing baggy or ripped. That being said, the young Irish are well aware of the current trends.
With the often wet weather in Ireland, we suggest some technical pants made from synthetic material. The majority of these pants are designed for hiking but look more casual such as the prAna Brion and Halle pants.
Technical pants like these are water-resistant and dry quickly, not to mention they’re comfortable on long walks. Traditionally these pants were pretty ugly, but now the pants look similar to chinos or khakis. If you plan to spend some time outside in the Irish countryside, I suggest adding these to your Irish attire.
Shop For Travel Pants
Women’s Halle Pant
Men’s Brion Pant
A scarf is a travel staple and a great wardrobe choice for both women and men traveling in Ireland. They act as an accessory to your outfit, and they’re super comfortable giving you an added layer of warmth. Ireland is known for its windy days, so the scarf is terrific at protecting your neck.
Scarves are especially fabulous for travelers: They can spice up an outfit that you’ve already worn three days in a row and can be thrown into a bag or purse to pull out when the sun sets, and the weather gets chilly.
Shop For A Scarf
Hitting the sidewalk and letting the city or town unfurl around you is one of the best ways to get familiar with a new destination. A comfortable pair of shoes for both men and women are essential when packing your bag for Ireland.
I wouldn’t recommend those terrible clunky hiking shoes or athletic shoes many tourists like to bring. Since most of Ireland’s towns and cities are wonderful for walking around, we suggest packing good walking shoes. Our favorite travel sneakers are Allbirds Wool Runners because they’re sustainable, cozy, simple, and super comfortable. You can read our in-depth review of Allbirds here.
Shop For Allbirds
Pack a pair of lightweight hiking boots or leather boots to help cope with all the wet weather. Locals like to wear “Wellies” or Wellington Boots which are big rubber boots. We’re always happy in a decent pair of boots because we stay off farms and bogs.
I’m a leather boot fiend and love a classic boot. If you’re looking for the best boots for Ireland, check out an affordable option like Clark’s or Timberland for leather boots. If you want quality boots to last a lifetime check out Chippewa, Danner, or Red Wing boots manufactured in the United States.
See Our Boot Reccomendations
We’ve learned to love our feet with a good pair of socks. You will want to keep your feet nice and dry while you walk around. Most importantly, wool socks stay fresh for several days as they have natural antimicrobial properties. We travel with a couple of wool socks from Darn Tough, Smartwool, and Farm To Feet.
Shop For Wool Socks
Despite preconceived notions, Ireland does occasionally have sunny days. There are a lot of options for sunglasses, and everyone should own at least one pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes. We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Of course, there are always more affordable options!
Underlayers are the closest layer to your body and maintain your body heat. When we reference thermals, this includes long-sleeved thermals and underwear. It is a wee bit chilly in Ireland from about late September to April, and thermals will undoubtedly help with your layering. For most trips, most they’re not necessary.
Ireland Packing List for Women
If you want a stylish look that will keep you warm, I’d suggest picking up a peacoat. A peacoat is excellent for providing warmth and looking great. While we love our down jackets for their warmth and convenience, they aren’t the best looking things in the world, and you’d look pretty silly wearing one with a dress or suit.
Shop For A Peacoat
Long Sleeve Cardigan
A cardigan is one of my favorite items to wear in Ireland. A cardigan has a great relaxed style and look, plus it keeps you warm. They’re also light enough to eat up minimal room in the suitcase. I pack one during any season in Ireland as you can wear it with a coat in winter, and it’s rarely too warm in the summer.
Shop For Cardigans
While Ireland is casual people are still presentable in public. You’ll see most women will wear a nice dress shirt, blouse, or sweater on colder days. Should you get the rare warm summer day, they’ll bust out the summer dress.
Most women should shy away from graphic tees or short-sleeved shirts; instead, wear a light blouse. It’s a perfect item to wear in the summer as the right blouse is super cool and comfortable.
Shop For Blouses
Rompers are probably one of my favorite travel outfits because they’re stylish, comfortable, and practical. You really can’t go wrong here, and I’d suggest throwing at least one or two rompers in your suitcase for Ireland. They’re great for a night out on the town in Dublin and surprisingly great for Irish attire. We love Patagonia’s Fleetwith Romper for travel!
Shop For Romper/Jumpsuit
A pair of black flats is always great to have in a suitcase. They’re stylish comfortable, and they take up minimal space in your luggage. My tip, stay away from heels, many towns have cobblestone streets, and you don’t want to break an ankle trying to look good. Just let the locals impress you with their skills of walking in heels.
Shop For Black Flats
Ireland has several great hikes and adventure activities. I always bring a sports bra when I’m traveling. It’s easy to forget to bring a sports bra as you might not be headed to the gym, but they’re tremendous for active days.
We love sports bras from Handful! Of course, you should pack your usual undergarments like bras and underwear; it’s just easier to forget a sports bra.
Shop For Sports Bras
Men’s Ireland Packing List
Just like women, a stylish peacoat that will keep you warm. While we love our down jackets for their warmth and convenience, they aren’t the best looking things in the world, and you’d look pretty silly wearing one with a dress or suit.
You’d look pretty ridiculous wearing a T-shirt or a flannel out to a nice meal in Dublin. It’s a great idea to travel with at least one nice outfit that fits your style. Your travel plans in Ireland will also have a large impact. Bluffworks makes travel-specific men’s dress clothes that are wrinkle and stain-resistant. They also make a great gift!
Shop For Men’s Travel Clothes
A henley is a great clothing choice for Ireland. It’s lightweight yet provides some warmth from the wind and it’s more appropriate than a long sleeve graphic shirt or technical clothing.
Shop For Henley
It’s a great shoe to have in the summer as the right pair can you can wear with a low cut sock that shows ankle for a more relaxed look. It’s perfect for a night out while you listen to live music or you can go with those leather boots I love.
Shop For Loafers
You’ll need something to stash your photography gear, hand sanitizers, papers, phones, and anything else that you need for a full day out when traveling. We’ve tested out a ton of daypacks and backpacks over the year and have made
Our Recommendations For Backpacks
You will need an adaptor for your electronics on your packing list for Ireland. We always keep one handy in our carry-on bags; that way we can charge electronics on arrival or at the airport. You’ll need the British “Type G” three-prong adaptor for the United Kingdom. However, most of Europe uses the Type C, F, and E adaptor. Check out the one I have, which is good for all of Europe.
Shop For Travel Adapter
A high-quality camera is an important packing item for Ireland if you want some great shots while on your vacation We travel with a bunch of cameras, but the one we universally recommend is the RX 100.
They make several models at different price points, but it’s a simple to use point-and-shoot camera that anyone can operate. It also takes superb images with a 20mp resolution and full manual controls.
We always recommend bringing a travel towel when you’re on the road, Ireland is no exception. If you plan on staying in hostels or more budget accommodation you’ll often need your towel, consider a towel an essential for your Ireland packing list.
Our Recommendations For Travel Towels
While I love having a perfect book when I sometimes travel, it’s just not practical because of the weight. I’ve recently switched to a Kindle Paperwhite which is small and compact, plus it has a backlight for reading at night without a harsh glare. It’s tough to beat the feeling of warming up next to a wood stove with a cuppa tea and a good book.
Shop For Kindle Paperwhite
I love traveling with a power bank to make sure my phone never dies. The majority of the time I don’t need to use it on long flights as some of the nicer airlines provide entertainment systems with USB ports! We also make sure to find a charging point during layovers, but getting to a new city without your hotel reservations and map can be a major pain in the ass.
Anker Portable Charger
We spend enough time attached to our phones in everyday life and planning our trips. Once we reach a destination like Ireland, we put the phone away and pick up a guidebook to help with our trip.
Shop For Ireland Guidebook
We’ve suffered through enough red-eye flights never to forget to pack a travel pillow for international flights. My favorite travel pillow is the Cabeau Evolution Pillow, but we break down more of our favorite travel pillows here.
Packing cubes are great for any backpack or suitcase. They keep all of your clothes and toiletries organized. I’ve had these Eagle Creek cubes for three years now and think they were worth the investment to stay organized and create space in my luggage.
See Our Recommendations For Packing Cubes
For the women, I suggest traveling with an anti-theft purse that is black and stylish to hold belongings. Cameron has an excellent passport wallet that holds his passport and credit cards, so he never leaves it anywhere.
See Our Favorite Passport Wallets
Hanging Toiletry Bag
It’s always a good idea to keep your toiletries organized and separated from your clothes. So we love always travel with a toiletry bag; however, Irish bathrooms can be cramped and small. If you are limited on counter space a great option is to buy a hanging toiletry bag. This bag style tends to have a better organization system with a variety of sections for storage than the traditional option.
You Need This To Travel in Ireland!
We never travel without travel insurance with World Nomads. Natasha is a bit of a worry wart and would rather stay safe than sorry. World Nomads offers incredible flexible and great plans!
You never know if the worse could happen while you’re abroad, and often your insurance plan at home will not cover medical emergencies abroad. Having the peace of mind that we have a good backup plan helps us sleep at night.
What Not to Wear in Ireland?
This shouldn’t need to be said, but please do not wear a fanny pack it’s 2019.
Although Ireland is rapidly changing to be one of the most progressive countries in the world, it still has its Catholic roots, Irish Catholicism is still very much abundant in the country, and people generally dress conservatively, we’d suggest doing the same.
We touched on this earlier, but athletic clothes are meant for the gym or being active. Walking around in a pair of athletic shorts, tank top, or running shoes is frowned upon by most Irish. Don’t get me wrong, you can wear what you want when it’s hot out, but it’s an easy target for being a tourist.
For the most part, you’ll find shorts on very few Irish, as in almost none. That being said attitudes are changing and with global warming I’m sure they’ll warm up to the idea, pun intended.
White Athletic Socks
Europeans do not wear white socks. Try to wear patterns, black socks, or to match your socks to your pants.
Tips For A Trip To Ireland
When is the Best Time to Visit Ireland?
In my opinion, the best times to visit Ireland are April, May, and September – but it all depends on what you want! June-August is high season, but it is also summer in Ireland, and the cities are buzzing with locals and tourists alike. It’s also the best chance for sunny weather in Ireland.
However, my favorite time to travel to Ireland is during the fall months. It’s during September when you get the last of summer and beautiful products in the season the cherry on top is that tourism is slowing down.
How much does a pint cost?
If you have traveled to Ireland, you are probably going to want to get at least one pint of Guinness in the pub. A pint of Guinness should cost no more than €5, and if it does, you are more than likely in a tourist pub that is ripping you off.
We do, however, recommend visiting the Guinness Store House. At €17 a ticket it may be the most expensive Guinness you’ll ever pay for, but the whole experience and tour is well worth it when you are visiting Dublin. You can pick up priority access tickets here and skip the line!
Chase your family ancestry!
I think we were asked at least ten times what we made us plan a trip to Ireland. Were we chasing our ancestry? Did we have relatives in Ireland? Do we have Irish blood? Truth is we just came for the beautiful countryside, history, and friendly locals. (And I really love PS I Love You).
So, we always had to tell our new friends that we weren’t Irish and neither of us had Irish ancestors – at least not that we knew. The reason we were asked so much is that there are a lot of tourists in Ireland – specifically a lot of American tourists like us who are tracking down their ancestors.
Between 1820 and 1930, 4.5 million Irish immigrated to America. At one point they made up over 1/3 of the immigrants in the country. So, that means there are a lot of Irish Americans floating around today, and many of them want to chase their heritage!
You don’t NEED a car
I’ve traveled to Ireland twice now. The first time I was backpacking Europe and took public buses everywhere. The bus and train system in Ireland is efficient, affordable, and reliable, with most of the transport options featuring free WiFi. On our most recent trip, we rented a car to get around the island, which is also affordable and reliable.
Having a car is always the more comfortable and more convenient option, but if you are just one person, the cost of the rental and fuel may break your budget. I would suggest checking Ireland’s bus timetables to make sure you can get where you want to go by public transport. If you are a group of two or more, consider renting a car.
Just note that in both Ireland and Northern Ireland drivers drive on the left side of the road and you should know how to drive a manual car as automatics are expensive.
Speed limits are in kilometers per hour in Ireland and miles per hour in Northern Ireland – confusing. We were able to get a car from Dublin airport for two weeks for €150, and we paid €1.20/liter for fuel. You can drive the vehicle in and out of Northern Ireland as much as you like without border checks.
Protect Your Valuables
Ireland is incredibly safe, and we’ve never had even hint of insecurity in all our time while traveling around Ireland. Dublin is an incredibly popular tourist hub in Europe, and those hubs often attract pickpockets. These thieves like to operate in busy environments and crowds, so they have an excuse to be in close contact.
To protect your valuables, we recommend wearing clothes that help protect your items. When walking around cities, it’s a habit of mine to wear jeans with the wallet in my front pocket. It makes it incredibly difficult for a pickpocket to attempt. Then when wearing a jacket, I always store my phone and valuables in the inner breast pocket, ideally one with a zipper.
When it comes to theft while traveling, it’s all about minimizing opportunity — more than likely you’ll never experience any problems.
What To Wear in Ireland Summary
It’s best not to forget things like medications, toiletries, and any other personal items that you yourself might need when you travel. However, this is a general Ireland packing list for all to go off of.
Remember that Ireland isn’t the end of the world, and if you forget something it’s likely you’ll be able to find it when you get there.
Enjoy your trip! Sláinte!