Thinking about visiting Ireland but not sure when to go? It’s true that there are drastic differences between the seasons. Summer in Ireland is distinctly different than the wintertime. However, when you go also depends on your travel personality and your reasons for visiting this beautiful country.
Visit in the Summer
Most travel guides recommend visiting Ireland in the summertime. In the summer the days are not only warmer, they’re also longer. If you are a traveler who enjoys packing your visit from sunup to sundown, then these long days are invaluable. The country is in full swing and everything from bed and breakfasts to wacky attractions are open.
The downside is that because summer is such a pleasant time to visit Ireland, it's peak travel season. You’ll be amongst the many other tourists. You won’t have much luck finding cheap airfare or hotel stay.
Spring and Fall
During the spring and fall you’re likely to find wet weather. You’ll also find some deals on travel and thinner crowds. It’s also the prime festival season. Let’s not forget that St Patrick’s Day is in March and there are wonderful fall festivals to consider including the Folk Festival in Cork and the Fringe Festival in Dublin. Many travel experts strongly recommend visiting Ireland during the spring or fall. Bring a raincoat and a smile for a lovely stay.
Winter is generally considered the least desirable time to visit Ireland. It’s cold and wet, and the sun may not shine as often as you’d like. Additionally, many attractions including hotels and restaurants are closed during the winter – this is particularly true in the more rural areas. However, it’s also the cheapest time of the year to visit Ireland. You’ll be able to find good airfare prices as well as reasonable hotel rates. And you won’t have to fight the crowds.
The Bottom Line
If you plan to visit Ireland to explore nature and take in the coastline then winter is a time to avoid. However, if you plan on heading to a large city and checking out every pub within walking distance then winter may be a perfect acceptable and certainly more affordable option. The cities are abundant with opportunities for culture, dining, shopping and theater all year around.
If you’re not on a tight budget, then any other time of the year provides more benefits. You’ll have more options in terms of hotels, dining, and attractions. Identify your reason for visiting Ireland and establish a budget. Those two factors will lead you to the best time for you to visit Ireland.
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