Are you wondering what to wear in Ireland and what clothing in Ireland is best? We’re here to help with this informative guide. While Ireland is known for its lush green landscapes and inclement weather, it doesn’t have to impact your wardrobe choices.
All that weather does make for some wonderful sights. It’s tough not to love the country’s verdant rolling hills, crumbling castles, dramatic coastlines, welcoming locals, and charming farms.
Don’t let poor weather deter you; Ireland has no bad weather, just the wrong clothes. We share our favorite essentials for a comfortable and stylish trip to Ireland. Hopefully, this guide has something for everyone, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler.
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.
What do people wear in Ireland? Well, 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, cozy pubs, sheep, and quaint towns; it’s the perfect place to lose yourself.
- Rain gear is always a good idea to pack: a rain jacket, umbrella, and weatherproof boots.
- Packing cubes help separate damp and dirty clothes from clean ones.
- Three pairs of shoes are the maximum you should pack—a nice, casual, and athletic shoe/boot.
- Ireland is a relaxed place, so there is 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 fantastic weather. Be sure to check the weather beforehand and pack some clothes for warm weather. We’ve had glorious weather on trips and miserable weather that made us question our trip to Ireland altogether.
The Weather in Ireland
When thinking about what to wear in Ireland, always research what the weather will be like. Ireland has a cool, damp, and rainy oceanic climate year-round. Temperatures do not change too much throughout the year. It’s just as rare to have a hot day in the summer as snow in the winter. This is good news for packing as you won’t have to pack for various climates.
It’s best to check the Irish weather a week before your trip to get an idea of what the temperatures will be like during your trip.
Seasons in Ireland
|Springtime in Ireland is a very chilly time of year. March to April is frigid, and things start to warm up by May. We love spring as it is the driest time of year.
|From June to August, temperatures mix warm and cool with frequent rain showers. The average daily highs are around 19/20C (66/68F), with cool evenings. There is the occasional sunny day with temperatures mid-25C or 77F, if not warmer.
|The weather can be cold during winter but 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).
|The weather can be cold during winter but 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 obvious, but you won’t make it very far without a passport.
- Credit Cards – We always use 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 Luggage To Bring To Ireland?
I have two bag recommendations for a trip to Europe. You can opt for a traditional hardshell suitcase with four wheels or a travel backpack.
Suitcases with four wheels are best as the ability to roll sideways down the aisle of a train or a sidewalk makes life a lot easier. We prefer hardshell as it does a better job at protection and security. Our favorite hardshell suitcase is the Delsey Helium Aero 25″.
Travel backpacks are great for young backpackers, digital nomads, or minimalists! They are also great if you want to save on any checked bag fees your air carrier may charge you.
If paying for taxis or car rentals makes you hesitant, you’ll want to book accommodation near public transport or have a backpack. Our favorites are the Peak Design Travel Backpack and the NOMATIC Backpack but read about the best backpacks for Europe if you’d like to learn more.
What to Wear in Ireland?
If there is one article of clothing made for travel in Ireland, it’s the wool sweater. A sweater makes a great travel outfit staple. They’re comfortable, stylish, and warm. The season doesn’t matter, 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 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, most 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.
Wool Sweater Recommendations
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 storms can last 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.
A Shell Jacket
Flannel shirts are fabulous mid-layers for both men and women. A nice flannel provides warmth, comfort, and style. They’re super easy to style for a relaxed outdoor look. A cozy flannel is perfect for travel days, sightseeing, or casual hikes.
Most of Ireland is very relaxed, and you’ll feel at home with a flannel or sweater. You can pair a flannel with a travel vest for a classic look that is great for warmth. It’s an easy addition to any suitcase.
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.
For a destination like Ireland, a down jacket is a great way to keep warm without wasting 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 can be pretty warm, and we often shed layers. A classic cotton tee shirt is adequate if you have plans for casual hikes or walks around the village if you already have a few technical shirts.
However, a merino wool shirt is a worthy investment and one of the best pieces of travel clothes. Wools shirts stay fresh longer and do an excellent job at temperature management. I’ve tested a lot of wool shirts out, and my favorite for travel so far is from Unbound Merino.
We suggest you 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. We love the quality and ease of ordering from Bombas if you’re after a classic cotton tee.
Merino Wool Shirts
You’ll find plenty of Irish in well-cut jeans, but nothing baggy or ripped. Jeans are an Ireland fashion staple but aren’t the best packing or most comfortable travel pants. However, travelers have options such as DU/ER jeans. The organic cotton jeans look sharp, but a subtle blend of polyester and spandex allows the jeans to stretch and resist wrinkles.
Fit is exceptional, with a slim fit throughout the leg. You can comfortably wear the jeans on long travel days without any discomfort. Thanks to the synthetic blend, they’re great for lengthy trips as there is no need to wash the jeans.
DU/ER Performance Slim Fit Jeans
A pair of chinos or travel pants are great for traveling around Ireland. Our first choice is a reliable pair of “travel pants” with synthetic materials. These pants are often stain-resistant, dry quickly, weigh less, remain fresh for multiple wears, and are more comfortable than traditional pants or chinos.
We love that these technical pants, previously only made for hiking, now resemble chinos. It’s a classic pant that goes with a sweater, dress shirt, t-shirt, or blouse. When choosing a color, try to match the destination and season. However, light tan pants tend to be the most versatile.
For women, we suggest the Kuhl Freeflex Pants for outdoor adventures and the Everlane Utility Barrel Pants for a more stylish city/town look. Men should check out the KUHL Renegade Rock Pants for outdoor adventures and the Western Rise Evolution 2.0 Pants for everything else.
Travel Pant Recommendations
A scarf is a travel staple and a great wardrobe choice for women and men traveling in Ireland. They act as an accessory to your outfit and are super comfortable, adding warmth. Ireland is known for its windy days, so the scarf protects your neck.
Scarves are fabulous for travelers: They can spice up an outfit 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.
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 lovely for walking around, we suggest packing good walking shoes. Our favorite travel sneakers are Allbirds Wool Runners because they’re sustainable, cozy, simple, and comfortable. You can read our in-depth review of Allbirds here.
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, big rubber boots. We’re always happy in decent boots because we stay off farms and bogs.
I’m a leather boot fiend and love classic boots. 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. However, our go-to boot for travel is the Blundstone.
See Our Boot Recommendations
It would be best to pack several pairs of sports/travel underwear. Generally, we’ll pack five to seven pairs of underwear for a typical trip. We recommend several pairs of underwear made from wool or synthetic material.
These materials are antimicrobial, so they stay fresh longer and can dry quickly overnight if you hand wash them. For women, it’s best not to wear your typical cheap cotton undies. Women’s hygiene is essential, so antimicrobial undies are a lifesaver when you’re active in the heat.
Check Out Our Recommendations
We’ve learned to love our feet with a good pair of socks. You will want to keep your feet dry while walking around. Most importantly, wool socks stay fresh for several days as they have natural antimicrobial properties. We travel with several pairs of wool socks on any trip. Our recommendations for socks are Darn Tough and Smartwool.
Our Favorite Wool Socks
A stylish pair of sunglasses is an excellent addition to an outfit. Everyone owns at least one pair of sunglasses. However, it’s best to ensure they have UV protection for the health of your eyes. We always travel with two pairs of sunglasses as we’re pretty active. A pair of Smith Optics for hiking and outdoor adventures and a couple of stylish sunglasses to wear at the beach or around town for the day. My stylish ones are Persol, and my Active ones are always the Smith Lowdowns.
Ireland Packing List for Women
If you want a stylish look that will keep you warm, I’d suggest picking up a peacoat. An overcoat 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.
Long Sleeve Cardigan
A cardigan is one of my favorite items to wear in Ireland. A cardigan has a great relaxed style and look and 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.
While Ireland is casual, people are still presentable in public. Most women wear a nice dress shirt, blouse, or sweater on colder days. They’ll bust out the summer dress if you get a rare warm summer day. Most women should avoid 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.
Unbound Merino Wool
A merino wool shirt is a worthy investment for travel clothes. I’ve transitioned many of my clothes to the material despite the price. Wool shirts stay fresh longer and do an excellent job at temperature management anywhere in Ireland.
I prefer them to cotton shirts that often take one or two wears to feel oily and heavy, while wool shirts last for days. I’ve tested many wool shirts out, and my favorite for travel so far is from Unbound Merino. Their shirts are a perfect weight, and the material is soft and durable.
Merino Wool Shirts
Fleece Lined Leggings
It can get quite cold in Ireland, especially come late October until about April. This is when I often turn to fleece-lined leggings that look great while walking around cities like Dublin or Galway but keep me extra warm. Fleece-lined leggings are perfect to wear like regular leggings and go with any sweater or jacket you have!
These are great for warmth and abrasion resistance and even have hidden reflections in hem turn-ups to stay visible. These are tightly knitted to look sharp on the outside but fleece-lined on the inside. The Crash tights come in different colors, but my favorite is the solid black since they go with everything.
Rompers are probably one of my favorite travel outfits for Ireland because they’re stylish, comfortable, and practical. You 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 superb for Irish attire. We love Patagonia’s Fleetwith Romper for travel!
A pair of black flats is always great to have in a suitcase. They’re stylish, comfortable, and take up minimal luggage space. 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.
Men’s Ireland Packing List
Just like women, a stylish overcoat 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 Glasgow. It’s a great idea to travel with at least one nice outfit that fits your style. Your travel plans in Scotland will also have an enormous impact. Western Rise makes travel-specific men’s dress clothes that are wrinkle and stain-resistant. They also make a great gift!
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-sleeved graphic shirt or technical clothing.
You’ll need something to stash your photography gear, hand sanitizers, papers, phones, and anything else for a full day out when traveling. We’ve tested out a ton of daypacks and backpacks over the years.
Our Recommendations For Backpacks
Keeping your toiletries organized and separated from your clothes is always a good idea. It almost feels like a toiletry bag is essential for any trip. Plus, it’s not uncommon to find small or cramped bathrooms in Ireland.
Buying a hanging toiletry bag is a great option if you are limited on counter space. This bag style tends to have a better organization system with various sections for storage than the traditional option. We love the Peak Design Wash Pouch. It contains a hidden hook to hang and features terrific organization.
Peak Design Wash Pouch
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 Type C, F, and E adaptors. Check out the one I have, which is good for Europe.
Travel Adapter Recommendation
A high-quality camera is an essential packing item for Ireland if you want some great shots while on your vacation We travel with a bunch of cameras. Still, 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.
See Our Recommendations For Cameras
We always pack a travel towel when we’re on the road. It’s one of the best travel essentials for international travel you can buy. They pack up small, antimicrobial, and lightweight, so they will save you from always needing a new towel or constantly washing yours. A towel is necessary for backpackers as hostels often do not supply a towel. However, they’re also excellent for those not on a budget for excursions and tours.
See Our Recommendations
A Kindle is an essential travel accessory for travelers who love to read. As much as we love an actual book, they are too heavy and take up too much room in my suitcase. We recently upgraded to the Kindle Paperwhite and love it. It’s small, has touchscreen functions, and has a backlight to read 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.
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.
Packing cubes are phenomenal for the organization of any backpack or suitcase. They are one of those packing essentials that should be in every bag as they keep all of your clothes and toiletries organized. Cubes also keep clothes folded and protect them from wrinkles.
Our favorite packing cubes are currently from Peak Design. It’s a slick design, and each cube has a divider to separate clean from dirty clothes. This saves the need for additional cubes and makes organization easier.
Packing Cube Recommendations
For the women, I suggest traveling with an anti-theft black and stylish purse to hold belongings. Cameron has an excellent passport wallet with his passport and credit cards, so he never leaves it anywhere.
See Our Favorite Passport Wallets
You Need This To Travel in Ireland!
We never travel without travel insurance with Heymondo. With all the risks of travel in a foreign country and insurance coverage, we never have to worry about a good health plan. Heymondo offers incredible flexibility and great plans!
You never know if the worst could happen while you’re abroad, and your insurance plan at home often will not cover medical emergencies abroad. Having the peace of mind that we have a good backup plan helps us sleep at night.
Get A Quote For Travel Insurance
What Not to Wear in Ireland?
So now we’ve covered what to wear in Ireland, so now, what NOT to wear. First and forecast a traditional fanny pack. Wearing a fanny pack automatically means you are pinpointed as a tourist.
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 outside the large cities.
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 tops, or running shoes is will make you stand out, unless you are coming or going to the gym. Don’t get me wrong, you can wear what you want when it’s hot out, but it’s an easy target for a tourist.
For the most part, you’ll find shorts on very few Irish, as in almost none, and they aren’t usually necessary. 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 typically wear tall white socks that show. Try to wear patterns and black socks, or match your socks to your pants.
Tips For A Trip To Ireland
When is the Best Time to Visit Ireland?
I think the best times to visit Ireland are April, May, and September – but it all depends on what you want! June-August is the 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 will probably want to get at least one pint of Guinness in the pub. A pint of Guinness should cost no more than €5; if it does, you are more than likely in a tourist pub 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 visiting Dublin. You can pick up priority access tickets here and skip the line!
Chase your family ancestry!
We were asked at least ten times what made us plan a trip to Ireland. Were we chasing our ancestry? Did we have relatives in Ireland? Do we have Irish blood? We just came for the beautiful countryside, history, and friendly locals. (And I 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. We were asked so much because many tourists in Ireland – precisely many American tourists like us- 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 many Irish Americans are floating around today, and many want to chase their heritage!
You don’t NEED a car
I’ve traveled to Ireland three times now. The first time I was backpacking Europe and took public buses everywhere. Ireland’s bus and train system is efficient, affordable, and reliable, with most 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 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. Consider renting a car if you are a group of two or more.
Just note that drivers drive on the left side of the road in Ireland and Northern Ireland, 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 got a car from Dublin airport for two weeks for €150 and 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 a hint of insecurity in all our time while traveling around Ireland. Dublin is a trendy 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 a 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 other personal items you might need when traveling. However, pharmacies are readily available in every Irish city and town. 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!
Ireland Travel Planning Resources
- Packing Guide — Check out our Ireland Packing List to help pack your bags and ensure you don’t leave anything at home.
- Rent a Car — We suggest most visitors consider renting a car for the best trip possible. Try Discover Car Hire to compare quotes from different rental agencies. Check the Price Here!
- Protect Your Trip — We don’t travel without travel insurance, and neither should you. You never know what can happen while traveling, so it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo provides excellent short-term and long-term travel insurance plans.
- Tours in Ireland — Check out our list of the best tours you can enjoy in Ireland!
- Travel Adapter – Make sure you find a suitable adapter to keep your electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.