Are you heading on a trip to Ireland soon? If so, you may already know that this country is famous for its unpredictable weather conditions. So, it can be tough to know what to bring in your suitcase, especially if this is your first time on the Emerald Isle.
With this in mind, we’ve created the ultimate Ireland packing list to help you decide what to take with you and what to leave at home. We’ll start with some general tips for packing for Ireland that are relevant no matter when you plan to visit. From there, we divulge our detailed packing list, including essential items like rain gear, the proper shoes, and travel plug adapters.
Then, we break down what to wear in Ireland depending on the season (summer, winter, fall, or spring). From rain jackets and comfy walking shoes to sweaters that are perfect for layering, this list has everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay in Ireland.
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Table of Contents
General packing tips for Ireland
Plan to wear layers.
When traveling to Ireland, you’ll want to make sure you pack clothing that can be layered. The weather in Ireland is famous for being erratic, so you’ll want to be prepared for both warm and cold temperatures.
It’s often cool and foggy in the morning, but the temperatures tend to warm up as the day goes on. So, if you plan to be outside for most of the day, you’ll want to bring a sweater or jacket that you can put on in the morning and take off later in the day. We suggest wearing tights or leggings underneath if you want to wear a dress.
Packing layers will also allow you to be prepared for any weather conditions that might come up during your trip. For example, if it rains unexpectedly, you’ll be glad to have a raincoat. Then, if the sun makes an appearance, you can simply take off your coat and enjoy the warmer weather in short sleeves.
Bring rain gear, no matter the season.
Apart from wearing layers, another way to be prepared for Irish weather is to always pack rain gear, like an umbrella, poncho, or rain jacket. At the bare minimum, make sure to have at least an umbrella or a poncho before leaving your hotel room.
We know that sometimes the forecast can be tricky, and it can be tempting to leave your rain gear at home when it seems like a perfectly sunny day. However, remember that the weather in Ireland can change at the drop of a hat, so you don’t want to be caught unprepared in a downpour. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
If you can only bring one pair of shoes, we recommend waterproof boots.
Shoes are one of the bulkiest items to pack in your suitcase. With this in mind, if you only have room for 1-2 pairs of footwear, we highly recommend bringing at least one pair of flat waterproof boots to Ireland. They can be more casual, like combat boots or Chelsea boots, or even more durable hiking boots (if you’ve already broken them in!).
We usually wear our boots on the plane to save space in our bags. If you have room for two pairs of shoes, we suggest bringing comfortable tennis shoes. Regarding other types of footwear, you’ll only need flip-flops or sandals if you’re planning to go swimming or are staying in a spa hotel at some point during your trip.
You’ll rarely need “nicer” clothes.
Ireland’s vibe is laid-back, meaning you’ll mainly see people wearing casual pants, t-shirts, and pullovers. You only need to pack a more formal outfit if you’re planning to dine at an upscale restaurant or if you’re going to stay at a luxury hotel during your trip. For example, some of the Irish castle hotels have a dress code for evening meals (dinner jackets for men).
Wear pants the day you visit the Blarney Stone.
If you plan to go to Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone on your trip to Ireland, make sure to wear pants on the day of your visit! After all, you’ll have to lie on your back and bend backward to kiss the stone. Of course, a castle employee is there to ensure you do so safely. However, you won’t want to wear a dress or skirt to do this activity.
Essential things to pack for Ireland
If you’re wondering what to pack for Ireland, you’ll want to start by checking that you have a durable rain jacket. Rainfall is typical throughout the year, especially along the west coast. So, even if you’re visiting during the summer months, you can expect to encounter some showers.
Plus, the Irish forecast is notoriously unreliable, so it’s always best to be prepared for wet weather. Not only will a rain jacket keep you dry, but it also protects you from the wind! Having a waterproof coat that can double as a windbreaker is particularly crucial if your Ireland itinerary includes the Cliffs of Moher.
Comfortable walking shoes
A trip to Ireland is a beautiful opportunity to explore the Emerald Isle’s stunning scenery. However, most activities in the country are outdoors and, therefore, best enjoyed on foot. So, whether you’re hiking through the hills of Killarney National Park or taking a stroll through Dublin, you’ll want to have comfortable shoes.
Depending on the activities that you plan to do in Ireland, not everyone will need shoes as sturdy as hiking boots. With this in mind, we suggest that most people focus on bringing comfortable walking shoes that are close-toed (plan to treat them with waterproof spray if they aren’t already water resistant). For example, tennis shoes or leather boots are both excellent options.
Reusable water bottle
Packing a reusable water bottle for your Ireland trip is a responsible way to stay hydrated as you travel. Not only will you save money by avoiding the need to purchase bottled water each day, but you’ll also be helping to reduce plastic pollution. In addition, many tourist sites in Ireland offer free refills for reusable water bottles, so you’ll never have to go without water as you explore the country.
One of our best packing tips for Ireland is always to bring a portable charger. Just think about it: you’ll likely be using your phone to take photos, as a GPS, and to keep in touch with family. Therefore, a dead battery could really put a damper on your day.
We suggest choosing a portable charger that’s light enough to throw in your purse or backpack. Remember that you’ll have to carry it with you throughout the day! You’ll also want to be able to recharge your phone on your flight quickly.
Travel plug adapter
When packing for Ireland, it’s important to remember that the country uses a different type of plug than the United States (type A/B) and most other European countries (type C & E/F). In fact, plug type G is the standard in Ireland. With this in mind, most foreign visitors will need to bring a travel plug adapter to be able to charge their electronic devices.
Note that many hotels in Ireland also have USB ports, so you should be able to charge multiple devices at the same time if necessary. Having the proper travel adapter will ensure that you can keep your devices up and running and avoid any potential problems.
A travel backpack is an essential item for any Ireland vacation. In fact, we also recommend using the same bag as your personal item that you carry onto your flight. You’ll want to make sure to choose a comfortable backpack that’s big enough to hold anything you might need while you’re out exploring during the day.
For example, your camera, phone, wallet, chargers, external batteries, and any rain gear should all fit in your travel backpack. Depending on what you’re most comfortable wearing all day, you may also want to check out shoulder bags.
No matter what time of year you’ll be in Ireland, we always recommend packing a thicker knit sweater. After all, the weather can be unpredictable during any season, and you may experience fog, wind, sunshine, and rain all in one day. To save room in your suitcase, it’s best to plan to wear a bulkier sweater on the airplane.
If you don’t own any good sweaters to bring on your trip, you can also wait to buy one in Ireland! In fact, the Emerald Isle is famous for its Aran sweaters, also called “fishermen sweaters.” These cable-patterned pullovers are perfect to wear on your trip! Plus, they make fantastic souvenirs to bring home.
When packing for a trip to Ireland, we recommend including at least one pair of wool socks, especially if you plan to do any sort of outdoor activities. These socks are the best choice to keep your feet warm and dry–plus, a high-quality pair lasts for years!
In a place as wet as Ireland, it’s vital to have moisture-wicking socks since you’re likely to encounter rain. There are lots of choices out there. However, our favorite brands are Darn Tough and Smart Wool (you can find both on Amazon).
If you’re wondering how to pack for Ireland, our answer is always: with packing cubes. Whether backpacking or checking a suitcase, packing cubes are a great choice to keep your clothes organized. They also help you create valuable space in your bag.
You’ll be surprised how much room you can make by rolling your clothes into packing cubes! We pack a few different outfits into each cube and then have a separate cube for underwear/socks. While on your trip, you can also use the packing cubes to separate your clean and dirty clothes.
No matter the time of year, you do NOT want to forget an umbrella on your ultimate packing list for Ireland. Irish weather is notoriously unpredictable, and even the sunniest days can turn wet and dreary in the blink of an eye. In fact, some parts of the west coast see 225 “wet days” each year.
We recommend packing a small travel umbrella that can easily fit in your day bag to avoid getting caught in a downpour. That way, you’ll be prepared for anything the Irish weather throws your way!
Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees are one of the most important things to take to Ireland. For this reason, we always travel with our Chase Sapphire Preferred card! On our last trip to Ireland, we used our card for about 99% of our purchases and rarely needed cash.
However, you may want to pass by an ATM once you arrive in Ireland in case you need it. We think having the equivalent of $50 in your wallet is more than enough for 1-2 weeks. Nonetheless, don’t forget that you’ll use euros in Ireland and pounds in Northern Ireland.
Most Ireland packing lists you’ll find online will suggest bringing hiking boots. However, we believe that the proper footwear really depends on your activity level while in Ireland. For example, the average tourist visiting the country will be perfectly fine with a comfortable pair of waterproof tennis shoes or boots.
Of course, if you plan to do any long hikes, you’ll need a good pair of hiking boots. Remember that if you’re purchasing a new pair of boots, you should go up one size and break them in a bit before your trip.
Nonetheless, we feel that packing light is the way to go for most travelers. For shorter hikes and walks, sneakers will be perfectly adequate, and rain boots or “wellies” are essential for weather that can change at the drop of a hat.
When deciding what to bring to Ireland, chapstick was not on our minds. However, the wind in Ireland can be particularly harsh, and if you’re not prepared, it can quickly lead to dry, cracked lips.
Even worse, if you forget to pack lip balm with UV protection, you could end up with sunburned lips. So next time you’re packing for a trip to Ireland, make sure to throw a tube of chapstick into your bag. Your lips will thank you for it!
First aid kit
If you’re going on an Ireland road trip, backpacking, or even taking a guided tour, it’s always a good idea to have a small travel first-aid kit in case of emergencies. Make sure to include the basics, like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and antibiotic ointments. You may also want to add other items like pain relievers, allergy medication, and motion sickness medication.
When packing your first-aid kit, keep it in an easily accessible place. That way, if you do need to use it, you won’t have to waste time rummaging through your luggage. A good rule of thumb is to keep it in your travel backpack on day trips so that it’s always within reach.
When packing for a trip, most people focus on the essentials like clothes, toiletries, and their passports. However, a few other items can make a big difference in your travel experience, including compression socks. Wearing compression socks during long flights can help to prevent blood clots, swelling, and fatigue.
They work by promoting circulation and helping to prevent fluids from pooling in your legs. As a result, you’ll arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to explore! So, be sure to buy a pair of compression socks to wear on the plane to Ireland.
A travel pillow can be a lifesaver on long flights or road trips. Not only will it help you to get comfortable, but it’ll also support your neck and head, preventing pain and stiffness. Whether you’re planning to nap on the plane, the tour bus, or in the car rental, a travel pillow can help you relax and fall asleep, even amid noise and commotion.
Noise canceling headphones
When compiling your checklist of things to bring to Ireland, make sure to include noise-canceling headphones. These headphones prove to be incredibly useful both during your flight to Ireland and once you arrive at your destination.
During long flights, they effectively block out the constant drone of the aircraft engines, the chatter of fellow passengers, and any other ambient noise. Moreover, they can be beneficial during train rides or bus journeys, providing you with a tranquil atmosphere to relax and enjoy the trip.
Medical emergencies can happen at any time, and accidents can occur even when you are being careful. If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, purchasing travel insurance is a good idea.
World Nomads and Safety Wing are two reputable companies offering travelers comprehensive coverage. In addition to medical expenses, their policies can cover lost baggage, trip cancellation, and other unforeseen circumstances.
There’s nothing worse than getting to your travel destination only to realize that your luggage is nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, lost luggage is a common problem, especially when flying with large airlines. With this in mind, one way to help avoid this stressful situation is to use an AirTag in your luggage.
AirTags are small Bluetooth-tracking devices that connect to your Apple device and appear in the Find My app under “items.” Simply put the AirTag inside your suitcase, and you’ll always be able to see its location. This way, if your luggage gets lost, you can track it down quickly and easily.
A good travel guidebook can be an invaluable resource while you’re on your trip, especially for a destination like Ireland. There are so many things to see and do in the country, and for tourists who prefer to “go with the flow,” a guidebook can help you make the most of your time.
Our favorite travel guidebook for Ireland is by Rick Steves. Don’t worry if you don’t have room to carry a physical guidebook with you! You can always download the Kindle version and keep it on your phone.
Other items to pack for Ireland
- Aleve, Tylenol, or other pain relief
- Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner
- Body wash
- Makeup remover
- Face wash
- Bathing suit (for spa or hotel pool)
- Feminine hygiene products (if needed)
- Sleep mask
- Travel pillow
- Brush or comb
- Hair ties
- Toiletry bag
- Everyday socks
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
- Contact lenses
- Passport holder
- Hand wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Reusable coffee mug
What to wear in Ireland in the summer
Summer in Ireland is the peak tourist season, running from June through August. It’s one of the best times to visit the Emerald Isle, thanks to two factors: warmer temperatures and longer days. For example, the average low during this time of year is around 50°F (10°C), while the average high is approximately 67°F (19.4°C).
Additionally, in June, the sunset in Ireland isn’t until close to 10 p.m. So, you’ll have plenty of daylight hours to explore! Although it’s the driest season in the country, you can still expect to see some rain, especially along the west coast. With that said, plan to keep a small umbrella or even a poncho with you throughout the day.
If you’re wondering what to pack when traveling to Ireland in the summer, focus on light jackets or cardigans and at least one sweater. You’ll also need jeans or pants (2-3 pairs); shorts and sundresses are optional. Moreover, be sure to pack a light rain jacket in case of showers. Personally, we don’t think you need to pack sandals unless you plan to go swimming.
If you’re the type of person who runs hot, you may want more than one pair of shorts. However, most people should focus on pants and, as far as tops, something you can layer. On an average day, plan to wear a short-sleeve shirt with a light jacket or sweater that you can easily take off if you get warm.
Remember that mornings and evenings will be cool and often foggy. Nonetheless, you may experience sunny afternoons during this season! So, you’ll always want to keep some sort of jacket in your day pack. You’ll also want some sunscreen and chapstick on hand.
What to pack for Ireland in the summer
- Light rain jacket
- Light jacket or cardigan
- One pair of shorts
- One sundress
- 2-3 pairs of pants/jeans
- Walking shoes
- Flip flops (if needed)
- Bathing suit (if needed)
What to wear in Ireland in the winter
The winter in Ireland runs from December through February and is much milder than in many other European countries. For example, you can expect an average high of around 48°F (8.9°C) and an average low of about 36°F (2.2°C). Wintertime is the lowest season for tourism on the Emerald Isle, making it a popular time of year for budget travelers to visit.
You’ll find cheaper airfare and accommodations during the winter. For those open to traveling to Ireland during its colder months, you’ll encounter significantly fewer tourists at popular attractions like the Cliffs of Moher and the Ring of Kerry.
However, be aware that there are certain drawbacks to visiting during the low season. For example, smaller businesses often close down for the winter and open back up in the spring. Additionally, the days are shorter during this season, with day length reaching its shortest at 7 hours and 30 minutes during Winter Solstice.
Winter is also Ireland’s rainiest season, so you’ll need to come prepared for the cold and with the proper rain gear. Thanks to the shorter days and cloudier weather, you most likely won’t need sunscreen during this time of year. However, you will need to pack items like a thicker raincoat, thermals, sweaters, scarves, gloves, and warm hats. Remember–you may even see snow!
Plus, even though the temperature rarely drops below freezing, it’s important to be mindful of the wind chill. For this reason, we recommend packing an insulated jacket with a hood. You may also want to bring a neck warmer! Regarding shoes, we suggest selecting waterproof and insulated boots for this time of year.
What to take to Ireland in the winter
- Heavy-duty raincoat
- Fleece-lined leggings
- Down jacket
- Knit sweaters
- Wool socks
- Gloves or mittens
- Winter hat
- Waterproof boots
- Neck warmer
- Hand warmers
What to wear in Ireland in the fall
Fall in Ireland is from September through November and is one of the two shoulder seasons for tourism (along with spring). You’ll notice a higher number of visitors in early fall when the temperatures are mild and the days are still longer. However, tourism eventually moves toward the low season as the weather grows colder and rainier.
During the autumn, temperatures can be hit or miss, fluctuating between 40-60°F (4.4-15.6°C). Therefore, when packing Ireland travel gear, you need to be prepared for both rainy and sunny days and cooler weather. The advantage of visiting Ireland in the fall is experiencing fewer crowds at the main tourist attractions and possibly getting to see fall foliage.
In our opinion, September and October are two of the best times to plan a trip to Ireland. However, there are upsides to visiting in late fall, too. For example, If you happen to plan your trip for mid-November or later, you can catch the Christmas markets in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Belfast, and more.
Make sure to pack a warmer jacket and sweaters to wear on cooler days. You’ll also want all of the cold-weather essentials, like a beanie, lighter gloves or mittens, and Merino wool socks. Moreover, layers (like long-sleeve tops and pullovers) and scarves that you can easily peel on and off will be critical during this time of year!
Remember that no matter the season, you’ll always need a rain jacket while in Ireland. During the fall specifically, we recommend choosing a soft-shell hooded rain jacket. Regarding footwear, if you only have room for one pair of shoes, opt for a nice pair of waterproof boots.
What to pack for a trip to Ireland in the fall
- Warmer jacket
- Thicker sweater
- Scarf or neck warmer
- Insulated rain jacket
- Gloves or mittens
- Wool socks
- Sweater dress
- Waterproof boots
- Thermals (if visiting in November)
What to wear in Ireland in the spring
Spring in Ireland is from March through May and forms one of two shoulder seasons for travel in the country (along with fall). You can expect a similar climate to fall, with temperatures ranging from approximately 38-60°F (3.3-15.6°C). Although the weather can certainly be hit or miss, especially during the beginning of the season, we would argue that spring is one of the best times to visit Ireland.
As we mentioned above, there are fewer tourists this time of year, leading to a much more intimate experience at the bigger attractions. Another advantage to visiting the Emerald Isle in the spring is that it’s the least rainy season. We can’t exactly call it the driest season because you can always expect rain in Ireland!
You’ll want to cover all your bases when packing to travel to Ireland in the spring. For example, you’ll still want to be prepared for chilly evenings with sweaters, hats, and gloves. However, you’ll also want to wear layers you can take off as the temperature rises during the day.
Of course, if you’re planning a trip in March, you may want to bring some of our winter packing list items. Meanwhile, if you’re going to be in Ireland in May, you can lean toward some of the summer items. April is the most unpredictable month for weather, so you’ll want to focus on layering long-sleeved shirts and sweaters under a waterproof jacket.
What to bring when traveling to Ireland in the spring
- Warmer jacket
- Thicker sweater
- Fleece vest
- Wool socks
- Insulated rain jacket
- Gloves or mittens
- Sweater dress
- Neck warmer
- Waterproof boots
- Thermals (if visiting in March)
Check out these other Ireland travel guides!
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This article was first published in August 2022 and has since been updated.