Asher & Lyric Travel & Family Journalism

31 Top Ireland Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT To Bring

31 Top Ireland Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT To Bring

Ireland, also known as the Emerald Isle, is a popular tourist destination for many reasons, including its over-the-top beauty. From historical castles to verdant landscapes, there’s no wonder it’s the backdrop for so many great movies and TV series!

Packing for Ireland’s different climates can be tricky. So I’ve included a section on what to wear in Ireland , the top items to pack, tips about what NOT to bring to Ireland, and common FAQs.

Remember to bring your friendliest smile, your love for exploration, and a strong sense of fun – you’ll surely enjoy the intricacies of Ireland!


What to Pack for Ireland – 31 Essentials

1. windproof travel umbrella.

Don’t worry, even the rain is gorgeous in Ireland, so you’ll still enjoy it as long as you have the proper gear! This windproof umbrella is fantastic and ideal for a place where both wind and rain tend to go together. It’s also fully collapsible and weighs less than a pound, which is a perfect travel size that won’t add much bulk to your daily load. This one comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee, so it’s ultimately the last umbrella you’ll ever need to buy!

travel umbrella

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2. Jet Lag Relief

A typical flight from the U.S. to Ireland is 6-12 hours (if flying direct) with a 5-8 hour time difference. Any experienced traveler knows how much jet lag can weigh you down when traveling, causing serious fatigue. Don’t let days of feeling sluggish ruin your trip – these pills can bring relief much sooner and, in many cases, prevent jet lag altogether. Simply take them during and after your flight. They’re homeopathic, and they don’t have any nasty side effects.

jet lag relief

3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

After having my credit card number stolen while using (what I thought was) a secure Wi-Fi at my Airbnb rental in Paris, I’ve learned that a good VPN is essential for any travel. I know from personal experience what an awful feeling it is to wake up with your privacy compromised and the inconvenience of trying to stop a hacker in action.

You may not know this, but whenever you access the Internet through a Wi-Fi network such as at an airport, cafe, BnB, or hotel – you’re opening yourself up to cyber thieves stealing confidential information like passwords, credit card numbers, and your identity. With NordVPN , you can protect yourself on all your devices with just a single tap, and their plans are very reasonably priced. It will also give you access to censored websites in Ireland to ensure you can surf the web just as you do back home.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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4. Neck Wallet

Experienced pickpockets are unfortunately common in places like Dublin and any major tourist attraction. How do you covertly hold all cash, credit cards, and I.D. docs while keeping them easy to access? We use a neck wallet to keep our valuables tucked safely away under our shirt where it’s nearly impossible to steal them — and it doesn’t scream “I’m a tourist” like a fanny pack. This one even has RFID-blocking material, so the bad guys (e-thieves) won’t be able to scan your bag for financial data.

Neck Wallet

5. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

You’ll need your phone with you if you want to stay connected in Ireland, and it’s never a good idea to risk the safety of your device when water, dirt/dust, and scratches are concerned. That’s where this amazing, inexpensive phone case comes in. Even if your bag gets wet, your phone stays dry — all while still allowing you to access the touchscreen and camera! We love the quality and the fact that it’s designed in Hawaii by a woman-owned company!

waterproof phone pouch

6. Travel Insurance for Ireland

Our coworker got hit with appendicitis while visiting Dublin and had to be rushed for immediate surgery. Luckily he had insurance and didn’t have to pay out of-pocket, or the medical bills would’ve been extreme. Accidents happen everywhere, and plans change in a second, so it’s best to have solid insurance on your side that will cover things like theft, flight delays, cancellations, and the cost of an emergency trip back home. Especially since your domestic provider generally does not cover you outside of your regional borders.

Faye is the first 100% digital travel insurance company with the entire purchasing and claims process accessed through its mobile app. They are modernizing the entire industry by making every other provider look like a dinosaur! You might be surprised how much peace of mind you get by having a quality protection plan. They even offer unique coverage for extreme sports, pet care, vacation rentals, and trip cancellation for ANY reason – which is super convenient in case your plans change.

Faye Travel Insurance

Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

7. Moisture-Wicking Scarf

It rains quite a bit in Ireland and tends to be on the chilly side, even during warmer months. With romantic rains and an ever-constant mist, you’ll want to find ways to stay dry and warm. A moisture-wicking scarf is a fantastic solution – it keeps you dry by simultaneously absorbing water and providing a layer of protection from the cold.

Moisture wicking scarf ireland

8. Ireland Power Adapter

This adapter is worth investing in for any world traveler, and you’ll absolutely need one if you plan to charge any electronics in Ireland since the outlets are not the same as in the US. The most common type of outlet in Ireland is “Type G,” which is the same as in the UK. A quality adapter is key because cheap adapters break easily, tend to be glitchy, and can damage your electronics.

Adapter Plug Ports

9. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

This little gadget is a must-have. It’s the optimal way to charge your devices on-the-go. It’s USB compatible, as small as a tube of lipstick, and holds multiple charges, so you’ll never be without power. Throw it in your daypack and you’ll quickly discover how useful it is for long days of sightseeing or nights out at the pub.

Lipstick-Sized Charger

10. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

There’s a reason the Emerald Isle stays so lush and green – it rains about 150 days per year! Bring along a quick-dry towel to dry off, cover a dirty seat, dab off sweat, or whatever moisture you run into. This is our go-to option because it’s made of premium microfiber material, and it dries 10x faster than cotton.

quick-dry travel microfiber towel

11. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

Luggage locks can really save the day, keeping you and your belongings safe while traveling. Secure your checked bags, carry-ons, and even day bags with a lock to avoid being a victim of theft while on vacation. I’ve had items stolen out of my checked luggage when flying internationally, so I never travel without them now. This set of two TSA-approved locks is super durable and 10x harder to crack than a 3-digit lock.

luggage locks

12. Travel Backpack

A daybag is a wanderluster’s best friend since you’ll often be traveling some distance to see sights and attractions, and you’ll want to have the essentials on hand. A tote or shoulder bag might not be ideal, as it could leave your shoulders and back sore or may lack sufficient space. This lightweight travel backpack is handy and small enough to not be obtrusive while still being large enough to hold everything you need.

Venture Pal Daypack

13. Waterproof Rain Cover

Whether it’s a backpack, satchel, or anything you want to keep dry – this rain cover is a thoughtful addition to your travel artillery. I wasn’t sure it would fit my 65L bag, but it easily clipped on and kept everything from getting soaked in a downpour! Rain or snow, this rain cover will stretch far enough to fully shield your daypack and then scrunch down to take up virtually no space.

rain cover for backpack

14. Packing Cubes

These are life savers . Instead of throwing clothes all over the room to see what you’ve packed, organizers (a.k.a packing cubes) will help maintain the sanity of the entire family. I label each cube (tops, pants, toiletries, etc.) so I never have to go digging for specific items again. You’ll always know where your essentials are, which makes packing and unpacking a breeze! And there are colors for each family member so no one’s belongings will get crisscrossed. They also make it easier to pack daybags for excursions and then seamlessly return things to your suitcase.

Available on with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO” .

packing cubes

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15. Discounted Tickets for Ireland Attractions

Get Your Guide is our favorite booking service for the best attractions in the Land of Saints and Scholars. I love using the Hop-on-Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour to get a quick lay of the land and determine where I want to return to later. You’ll definitely want to visit Dublin Castle and Giant’s Causeway , while thrill-seeking Vikings may opt for a Guinness & Jameson Experience Tour or walk through the Game of Thrones Studio .

There are also fantastic day trips to book, like hiking The Cliffs of Moher , horseback riding through Killarney National Park , boating to the Aran Islands near Galway, or whale-watching in Cork .

get your guide

See all Ireland attractions at ➜

16. Activated Charcoal

Traveler’s diarrhea is a common affliction that happens even to the most experienced travelers. It takes a few days for our stomachs to adjust to the local bacteria we aren’t accustomed to, so whether your indigestion is caused by something you ate, the water, or the stress of travel itself – activated charcoal can be the best way to go. It helps return your system to normal and even absorbs any toxins that may be wreaking havoc on your gut. Don’t settle for less than feeling amazing every day of your trip.

Activated Charcoal

17. Hand & Foot Warmers

Whether you’re rolling down the verdant hills or trekking through Connemara National Park – bring along some hand and foot warmers! Ireland can drop down to temperatures of 40°F/5°C, and even summers can have a crisp chill, so getting acclimated to the cold will be key to enjoying your time. These little gems can be added to your gloves, socks, or jacket pockets to give you a burst of heat when you need it most. They are easily activated by shaking them (and stay warm for up to 10-hours!)

hand and foot warmers

18. Rain Jacket

Preparedness will be pertinent to your comfort in this lush haven and will also prevent any sniffles or colds. This one is waterproof and warm for wilderness hikes but also has an urban-chic flair for days of city sightseeing or pub hopping. Windbreakers aren’t usually this gorgeous, but this one flatters your shape with a cinchable waist and detachable hood. Bonus points because it’s light and easily packed away when you don’t need it.

Rain Jacket

19. Waterproof Pocket Blanket

The Irish hillsides are damp, and you won’t want to sit directly on the grass. This pocket blanket is the solution to hillside picnics or finding a park in the city without having to sacrifice your clothes. It’s lightweight yet big enough to fit 3-4 people. If the ground is wet or muddy, it won’t seep through because of the durable waterproof material. And for travel, everything is better in pocket size!

Waterproof Pocket Blanket

20. Affordable Waterproof Camera

Pictures are a must in Ireland – almost everything you see will be photo-op-worthy. Unfortunately, rain and excessive moisture don’t tend to agree with regular cameras. A waterproof one is best and can really save you a lot of hassle. This option is very affordable and takes great pictures. If you want to, you could go all-in for a GoPro or a DSLR camera, but if you’re looking to stick to a budget, this camera will do the job admirably.

underwater camera

21. Hiking Shoes

Ireland boasts some incredible views, cliffsides, rolling hills, and natural parks, so you’ll definitely be doing some hiking. How comfortable you are on those hikes depends largely on the quality of your shoes. You’ll want water-resistant or waterproof hiking shoes that are snug and that you’ve had a chance to break in. These Merrells are extremely popular and get comfy quickly, plus they will keep your feet dry on even the soggiest days.

Hiking shoes waterproof camino

22. Compression Flight Socks

Even if you’re young, healthy, and fit – compression flight socks are necessary for long journeys overseas. The flight to Ireland can be over 10 hours, and the combination of elevation, a compressed cabin, and lack of movement can increase the risk of blood clots. Avoid the risk of feeling swollen like a marshmallow person! I use this pair which is very cozy and will increase circulation in your legs and feet, greatly reducing the potential for swelling or pain.

Compression Flight Socks

23. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

Travelers often underestimate how much shopping they’ll do along the way, plus the gifts they’ll want to share with friends and family. Bring this packable “just in case” bag for those inevitable purchases. This one is a real find since it fits perfectly under the plane seat and counts as your personal item.

Fill it with Irish trinkets like Claddagh rings, Waterford crystal, Irish linen, Aran sweaters, Connemara marble, smoked salmon, cream liquor, Guinness memorabilia, Blarney stone rock, and other lucky charms!

Just in Case bag

24. Thermal Wear

Ireland can be very cold and wet – this is a brutal combination that can chill you to the bone! But the secret to staying warm will be dressing in layers and not relying on any one piece. Whether it’s a flowy sundress or heavier pieces like a rainjacket, having a thermal-wear set on under your clothes can make all the difference. This is a set with a shirt and leggings that can be worn separately. I sometimes layer leggings under my jeans if they’re thin.

Thermal Wear

25. Water Bottle with Built-In Filter

These water bottles make having clean, tasty water on-hand much easier. Water in Ireland can be a little iffy in some spots, and it’s likely not going to taste like the water back home without some extra filtration. If you carry a filtered bottle, you’ll always have access to clean-tasting and free water without endless wasteful single-use water bottles. We prefer Brita because it noticeably improves the taste of the water and reduces the smell of any chlorine.

Water Bottle with Built-In Filter

26. Hangover Relief

Between the pub crawls, Bailey’s tastings, and Guinness Factory tours, you’ll thank your future self for bringing hangover supplements. These preventative pills can be taken before or after drinking to lessen the likelihood of a hangover. It uses liver-cleansing herbs like prickly pear and milk thistle to naturally detox the alcohol out of your system. Skip the headache, fatigue, and that morning air of regret – these work!

hangover pills

27. Hanging Toiletry Bag

European bathrooms are generally teeny tiny and won’t offer tons of storage space. Maintain your sanity with this hanging toiletry bag that works as a built-in shelf, vertically optimizing your life while on vacation. It can hang on any door, hook, or pole to keep your items organized and folds back up compactly. We’ve never had any luggage leaks since using this!

Hanging Toiletry Bag

28. TSA Travel-Sized Bottles

Don’t risk having to throw away all of your favorite products because they exceed the 3-ounce limit. Not only is that a waste of money, but large bottles can lead to spills. Irish stores may not carry your preferred brands, so use these travel bottles to bring your skincare and haircare products wherever you roam. They’re easy to fill and prevent leaks with a 3-layer lid – seriously, they are the best travel bottles I’ve ever used!

TSA Travel-Sized Bottles

29. Gorgeous Dress

Days of sightseeing and touring castles won’t require a fancy wardrobe, but you’ll want at least one nice dress for nights out on the town. This fit is somehow sexy and modest at the same time. With an elegant silhouette, it highlights your legs but downplays your middle section (which is why it looks great on many body types). It can be styled in many ways – off-the-shoulder, two-sleeved, shorter, longer, midi dress, tunic shirt, etc.

Gorgeous Dress

A shawl is one of the most versatile items you can ever pack. It can be used as a towel, a jacket, a packing cushion, a changing curtain, and more. If you’re entering a church or historical site, you may be required to have covered shoulders out of respect, so you can carry it with you as a modesty wrap. This one is so soft, vibrant, and beautiful. Not to mention, reversible!

printed shawl

31. Wellies (AKA Rainboots)

Most of your time in Ireland will be spent strolling through old-world towns, natural roads, glens, cliffsides, coastal planes, and river-filled mountains. While these landscapes are breathtaking, there’s nothing fun about having freezing, wet toes! This is why we recommend bringing at least one pair of rainboots with you. Wellies are ideal since they’re native to the U.K., keep your feet dry in damp areas, and also have traction for muddy areas. You can hook them to your backpack when not in use, and there are tons of patterns to choose from.

Wellies (AKA Rainboots)

Other Ireland Packing List Items Not to Forget

  • Solid shampoo
  • Soap travel tin
  • Facial cleansing wipes
  • Steripod toothbrush covers
  • Dental floss
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Mini hairbrush
  • Nail clippers
  • Contact solution
  • Motion sickness patches
  • Insect repellent
  • Loofah glove
  • Travel pillow
  • Travel sheet
  • Lightweight flashlight
  • Spare fashlight batteries
  • TSA approved locks
  • Touchscreen gloves
  • Compression flight socks
  • Sweater Women
  • Sweater Men
  • Sunglasses Women
  • Sunglasses Men
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Headphone splitter
  • Stain remover wipes
  • Flash drive
  • Memory card
  • Plastic bags
  • Prepackaged snacks
  • Flip Flops Women
  • Flip Flops Men
  • Travel towel
  • Thick socks
  • Ireland power adapter

What to Wear in Ireland

What to wear in Ireland

  • Durable, quick-dry clothing
  • Appropriate activewear
  • Hiking/walking shoes

Durable, seasonally appropriate clothes are key. Having garments that can withstand lots of outdoor activities is important, and good rain gear is just as crucial.

Choose quick-dry pants when possible, or plan to have access to a laundry dryer in the event that your pants get too wet.

Waterproof hiking shoes are the best choice, but make sure they’re already broken-in by the time you travel with them to avoid blisters.


Ireland may have plenty of moisture and chill, but the weather is seldom extreme. Under their coats (if the season calls for one), you’ll see local women wearing sweaters and cardigans with comfortable pants and boots. Rain boots are fine as long as they’re not too flashy, but the preferred shoe is a hardy but nice-looking walking boot for day-to-day. Scarves can be both useful and a fashion accessory, so I recommend bringing a few, and at least one that is moisture-wicking (all of the ones I bring are – they’re both attractive and helpful in keeping me dry!). Jeans are perfectly fine, just avoid heavily distressed ones. I also recommend bringing a knockout outfit that is also comfortable – you may find that you need it for a night on the town. Pair it with some cute but practical shoes and you’re ready to go. What should MEN wear in Ireland? – (Click to expand) Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience)


The things to pack for Ireland depend on the time of year you visit:

Packing for the seasons in ireland.

Ireland doesn’t experience much extreme weather, but it does experience frequent changes. Plan for anything, and enjoy the splendor of the isle!

SPRING: February, March, and April

This time of year is cooler than the average US spring, but April is quite enjoyable. February is by far the coldest month in Ireland, but it’s still considered spring.

You can still expect some moisture during this time of year, so be sure to bring quick-dry layers and good rain gear . Temperatures average between 45°F and 55°F (7°C to 13°C).

SUMMER: May, June, and July

This is, as you would expect, the warmest time of year in Ireland, but it can still feel chilly to those traveling from warmer places.

Be sure to bring adequate clothing to suit your need for warmth, and to pack layers that can be easily added and removed as the days warm up and cool down. Temperatures average between 60°F and 70°F (15°C to 21°C).

FALL: August, September, and October

ireland wildflowers

It starts to be a good idea to have a hat and gloves in this season, as winds can really nip at you. Bring your camera , too: seasonal foliage change in Ireland is gorgeous! Temperatures average between 55°F and 65°F (13°C to 18°C).

WINTER: November, December, January, and February

February is technically a spring month in Ireland, but it’s the coldest of the year, so pack accordingly. Snowfall is fairly uncommon, but cold should be expected and temperatures hover right around freezing (32°F, 0°C) much of the time.

irish castle winter

The force of the winds is very strong and even on a warm day. Make sure you wear comfortable hiking/walking shoes, DO NOT wear shoes without traction or sandals! Walking along the cliffs is very dangerous and there are many sections where it is easy to slip. Bringing a hat and moisture-wicking scarf is recommended as well to keep your ears and neck warm, as the wind along the Irish coast has a bite to it!

Out In Dublin

What should I NOT take on my trip to Ireland?

1. don’t bring items with sentimental value.

It’s a good rule of thumb to never pack anything that you would greatly regret losing or that can’t be replaced. Items that hold a significant emotional value are nice to have, but imagine how you’d feel if that item you treasure most was lost or stolen. That potential loss is not a risk worth taking.

2. DON’T TAKE fanny packs

In this case, it is best to just say no. Ireland might not be the style capitol of the world but do you really want to stand out as the most unfashionable tourist that ever roamed the earth? I thought not. Additionally, fanny packs are fairly easy for pickpockets to gain access to – best to just avoid them altogether.

3. DON’T TAKE camouflage clothing

Believe it or not, it’s best to leave the “camo” at home. Wearing it could cause you to be mistaken for a member of the military and if it resembles Irish DPM then it’s actually illegal to wear if not on duty. Besides, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb and look like a tourist.

4. DON’T PACK fancy clothes

You can get by with business casual in most places that you’ll be going, and most are more casual than that. Pub wear is normally jeans, a shirt, and a jacket. However, the main attraction in Ireland is the scenery so there’s really no need to bring along formal clothes.

5. DON’T PACK heavy items

This could mean books, extra shoes, too many belongings in general, or even just a very heavy suitcase. In today’s world of high-charge baggage fees, it’s best to avoid checking bags whenever possible. Even if you can’t avoid checking a bag, you’ll be thankful that you don’t have to lug around an extremely heavy bag when you’re en-route.

6. DON’T BRING anything expensive

It’s really easy to misplace expensive items or have them stolen while traveling to wherever you’re staying. Violent crime might not be as prevalent in Ireland as it is in some other countries, but there are still plenty of people that would be happy to walk off with that new computer you brought on your trip.

The most important clothing NOT to wear in Ireland is athletic clothing or sweatpants. Ladies, this means yoga pants! While casual athletic clothing is perfectly acceptable in the United States and other countries it is not considered classy in Ireland. Not unless you are working out or going to a sporting event. In fact, if you wear sweats, you will find yourself being turned away from restaurants and certain establishments. This is because sweats and tracksuits are not appropriate attire for going out to eat in a restaurant or grabbing a drink at the local pub. This is especially important in Dublin, which is more of a business center. Button-down shirts and slacks or jeans are more appropriate.

Ireland Travel Tips and FAQs

1. where are the main airports in ireland located.

Ireland Travel Road

The main airports that North American travelers will probably pass through are near Shannon (SNN) and Dublin (DUB). Dublin’s airport is located a short way out of the city but it is well-equipped with everything travelers could possibly need. It can be found on the upper eastern side of the island.

Meanwhile, Shannon Airport is much smaller and there aren’t many facilities available at the airport itself. However, it can be cheaper to fly into Shannon instead of Dublin if you’re visiting from the States.

The trouble with using this airport is that the nearest small town is a good thirty minutes away and there’s not much there. A couple of larger towns can be found if you’re willing to stay on the road for another half-hour. This airport nonetheless provides easy access to a lot of popular destinations as it is located on the midwestern coast of the island.

Other Irish airports can be found near Belfast (BFS), Cork (ORK), Waterford (WAT), and Kerry (KIR).

2. What do you need to enter Ireland?

To enter Ireland, you will need a valid passport, this will also serve as your form of photo ID. Some travelers may be required to have a visa, but not all, so you’ll want to check with your country’s embassy or consulate.

3. What is flying on Ryanair really like?

Ryanair Reviews

We’ve all heard horror stories but there’s got to be a reason they remain in business, right? For short flights to other places in Europe, using Ryanair is actually not too bad, as long as you follow the baggage restrictions to the letter and remember to print out your ticket before showing up at the airport. The company has good safety ratings but the aesthetics of the cabins are somewhat lacking and the seats aren’t the most comfortable. It can still be fun to walk out on the tarmac to board the airplane like you’re in an old movie rather than go through the jetway that’s used by most major airlines.

These flights don’t have anything in the way of onboard entertainment so you’ll need to bring your own, but they do make up for it by offering very reasonable prices to elsewhere in Europe. On longer flights, you might want to bring along something to eat and upgrade yourself to a reserved seat so you don’t find yourself stuck in the middle of the row for long periods of time. However, I’d probably opt for another carrier if the flight I was looking at was in the air longer than a couple of hours unless the price could more than make up for it.

4. What is the best way to get around Ireland?

Private cars are widely considered to be the best way to get around the country. However, this is only an option if you don’t mind being on the opposite side of the road and you are a good driver. There are trains available to some areas but they’re limited in scope and cost more than the buses, which go everywhere. In fact, the bus is the primary mode of transportation and it’s very reasonably priced. Just be sure that you don’t get on the Airport Express bus if you’re really trying to get from Galway to Dublin city. It doesn’t stop in town first, a factor that can be particularly frustrating during rush-hour traffic.

While you can also get budget flights between the regional airports, they often connect somewhere else first. As a result, they aren’t usually the most efficient or cost-effective options for getting around Ireland.

5. What is the best time to go to Ireland?

The shoulder season months of April, May, September, and October offer the best compromise in terms of good weather, affordable prices, and uncrowded sites. At such times, the Irish weather may be slightly more rainy or cold than travelers would like but the upside is lower prices and fewer people at popular attractions.

6. What is peak tourist season in Ireland?

Ireland national parks

The warmest, sunniest weather occurs during the summer months, but the crowds are also at their thickest and prices are at their highest during this time. On the other hand, winter is probably the worst time to visit Ireland since the weather is at its coldest and most attractions are operating under reduced hours at such times. The upside to winter travel is that prices are at their lowest and most of the cities are still fully functional. It’s a beautiful time to visit if you’re able to brave the cold and are willing to forgo the more touristy attractions!

7. Is Ireland a safe place to visit?

Ireland is a comparatively safe place to visit. And while no country, county, or city is crime-free, those visiting Ireland, as a whole, enjoy a lower crime rate.

8. Is Dublin, Ireland safe?

As with any major city, crime does occur, and it is important that all visitors remain aware of their surroundings. However, Dublin is still considered to be a safe city. The majority of reported crime is non-violent.

9. What are some of the best sights to see in Ireland?

Even if museums aren’t your forte, the Titanic Museum in Belfast recently received an award for being one of the world’s best museums and it’s certainly worth a visit. However, the natural and historical sites in Ireland tend to have more universal appeal.

The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher are very interesting places to visit. The Giant’s Causeway is likewise intriguing but it’s certainly not as large or extensive as photographs would lead you to believe. Of course, there are castles everywhere in the country, some of them famous and decently preserved, and others simply ruins.

If you want to get away from the mainland, islands like Inis Mór near Galway and Skellig Michael are great options. Other popular sites to see in Ireland include the Dark Hedges, Newgrange Tomb near Dublin, The Dingle Peninsula, and Blarney Castle.

Explore all local excursion options through our favorite booking service, Get Your Guide .

10. What’s the best way to see out-of-the-way places if I don’t want to bother with a car?

Giants causeway ireland

Although they cost a bit extra and don’t offer as much freedom in terms of sightseeing, group day tours are the best way to get a taste of everything in a short period of time. The downside here is that if you’re traveling with a large group, it can sometimes spoil the ambiance of a place and mess up your chances at taking people-free photos. On the positive side, traveling with a group keeps you moving if you’re prone to lingering in spots. The guides can also be great at pointing out interesting features, suggesting places to eat, and helping you see the most attractions possible in a limited amount of time.

11. What language does Ireland speak?

In Ireland, Irish Gaelic is the first official language. English is also recognized as an official language.

12. What do Irish people eat?

Hearty Irish stews and soups are very popular, as is Champ and Colcannon. Irish cuisine tends to feature ingredients like onions, potatoes, carrots, lamb, Canadian bacon, cabbage, and kale.

13. What food is Ireland famous for?

Irish food

  • Irish stew – this hearty stew is typically made with earthy veggies and lamb.
  • Bacon and cabbage – steamy and delicious, this cabbage and meat mixture consists of boiling bacon (a different cut from American-style bacon) and cabbage.
  • Boxty – Irish potato pancakes, loaded with flavor and pan-cooked or fried.
  • Brown bread – this bread is fairly dense and extremely tasty. Made with molasses which gives the bread its distinct brown color.
  • Carvery – many pub or brewery-style restaurants in Ireland serve meat that’s carved-to-order. This keeps the meat fresh and juicy!
  • Colcannon – these doctored-up Irish mashed potatoes generally contain sautéed kale and leeks, plus onions and plenty of butter.
  • The full Irish – an old Irish saying insists that breakfast should be the heartiest and biggest meal of the day. This breakfast is no exception: meat (bacon, sausage, black and white puddings), veggies, eggs, potatoes, bread, tea, and sometimes juice. Arrive hungry!

Note that corned beef and cabbage is not on the list…

14. Is it rude to tip in Ireland?

You can leave a bit of change on the table if you received good service at a pub or restaurant – it will certainly be appreciated.

However, the Irish policy on tipping is different than in the States; waiters in Europe aren’t dependent on tips to round out their salaries, so it’s perfectly fine not to leave a tip.

15. About how much money will I need to enjoy a day in Ireland?

Dublin, Ireland

While prices tend to fluctuate along with the current exchange rates, a basic daily budget of $75 per day should be enough to cover most expenses. This amount allows for three meals a day, admission to some attractions, a dorm bed at night, and the occasional bus ride between major towns. Travelers who want to stay in private rooms will obviously need to allot more money per night. Keep in mind that accommodation costs as a whole are naturally higher in cities like Dublin, and lower in small towns and villages.

16. What are some ways to save money while traveling through Ireland?

Here are some ideas:

  • Split a private room with a friend or two if staying in a hostel dorm doesn’t appeal to you.
  • Make your own meals. If you don’t have the time, you can still save a little bit by opting for takeout food. After all, most places in Europe charge an extra fee for sitting down and eating in the restaurant.
  • If the place where you’re staying provides you with a free breakfast, take advantage of it. Some of the Irish hostels have very good breakfasts. If you luck out yours might even have freshly baked goods and homemade jellies on their menus. Toast with toppings, cereal, and basic beverages are available pretty much everywhere.
  • Take the bus instead of the train in places where this is an option.
  • Drink water instead of soda, beer, or wine when eating out.
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The Ultimate Ireland Packing List

The waterproof layers and sturdy boots you’ll need for an unforgettable trip.

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Travel + Leisure / Brian Kopinski

From its striking coastline to the lure of its lush landscapes, famous castles, iconic golf courses, world-class museums, and more, Ireland is a destination that draws millions of tourists year-round. Whether you’re headed to the Emerald Isle to bask in its natural beauty or just to enjoy an authentic pint of Guinness, there are ample activities to delight every kind of traveler, rain or shine. Most likely, you should expect some rain.

“In Ireland, you can experience all four seasons in a single day, so it is always advisable to pack a sweater and a rain jacket with you when visiting,” says Michael Leahy, head of concierge at Ashford Castle, a historic 5-star hotel in County Mayo (which used to be home to the Guinness family). A hooded rain jacket is perhaps the single most essential item you can bring, agrees Isabelle Hoyne, an Irish luxury travel blogger and founder of Cultured Voyages. “I wouldn't bother with an umbrella — Ireland can be quite windy so a hooded jacket is more suitable,” she explains.

From wind- and waterproof layers to warm sweaters, packable jackets, day bags, and more, we’ve researched and curated a list of the essential items you’ll need to have a fabulous trip to Ireland at any time of year.

Ireland is famous for its rapidly shifting weather, so it pays to be prepared with layers — particularly waterproof and breathable ones.

“While temperatures don't fluctuate hugely in Ireland, it will always be in some way humid and the weather can change on a dime,” explains Hoyne. “Once you've got something that is both wind- and waterproof you're a long way toward being prepared!”

While you can experience sunny skies and a brief drizzle in practically the same breath, Ireland’s temperature is far from drastic. It rarely dips below freezing in the winter months, and tends to max out at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer. Lightweight layers, like a cozy sweater and a packable jacket, are must-haves no matter the time of year, whether you’re sightseeing or hitting the links on an iconic golf course. Rain jackets are also a non-negotiable, as intermittent showers tend to occur in all seasons.

Generally speaking, athleisure is great for most hikes or other outdoor excursions, while casual clothing is suitable for most city explorations — think jeans, T-shirts, and boots or sneakers. Evenings call for a bit of spiffing up, so focus on packing versatile pieces that can be easily dressed up with a skirt or a pair of nice trousers, or worn with jeans for a laidback daytime look.

“Athleisure is fine for exploring during the day, but people like to dress up at night. Smart casual is usually fine, but I would completely draw the line at turning up to a restaurant in the evening in leggings, sweatpants, or hiking boots,” says Hoyne. Instead, look to pieces that can be worn day-to-night, like our go-to pair of pants from Everlane .

Best Daywear

Everlane the wide leg dream pant.

Whether you’re heading on a tour of the iconic Jameson Distillery or exploring the charming suburb of Stoneybatter, these easy, breezy pants from Everlane are a must. Not only are they exceptionally comfortable with an easy pull-on elastic waistband, but they look polished thanks to the darling pintuck detailing and flattering ankle-length fit.

The double-knit fabric is breathable yet almost sweatpant-like in terms of weight and softness, so you’ll stay warm even on cooler days and won’t overheat if the temperature climbs. Deep side pockets and the wrinkle-resistant fabric are the cherry on top.

Athleta With Ease Tee

Super soft and sweat-wicking, this cozy T-shirt from Athleta is a traveler’s BFF. Throw it on to hike the Great Sugar Loaf (where, on a clear day, you can glimpse Wales from the panoramic summit) or simply to sample some local snacks at St. George’s Market in Belfast.

This is far from your run-of-the-mill tee: it’s breezy and breathable, dries quickly, and even boasts odor-eliminating antimicrobial properties to keep you smelling fresh all day long, making it a perfect companion for Ireland’s humidity. While the odor-resistant technology means you can go longer in between washes, you’ll be glad to know that it’s safe to toss this top in the wash for quick and easy cleaning. Plus, it boasts a UPF rating of 25+ for sun protection.

Best Raincoat

Outdoor research women's aspire super stretch jacket.

No matter what time of year you’re heading to Ireland, know that it will rain. Whether it’s a passing summer storm or a drawn-out drizzle in the wet season (which runs November through February), you’ll be glad to have come prepared with a top-notch raincoat so that the weather can’t impede on any of your planned outdoor activities.

Outdoor Research earned our vote as the best raincoat for both men and women in our extensive testing, thanks to its lightweight construction and impeccable waterproof coating. The material ensures water slides right off, meaning you’ll stay dry even in a deluge (although the rain in Ireland tends to be scattered showers, rather than full-on storms). In addition to being easily packable, the material is super stretchy, so you’ll maintain your full range of motion for hikes and other activities.

Best Sweater

Kotn women’s hamatah sweater.

Sustainability and style are woven together in this easy, relaxed layer from Kotn, a certified B Corporation. Consider it your new elevated essential for pairing with everything from wide-legged trousers to lived-in jeans, leggings, and more. Crafted from super soft and sustainably sourced Egyptian cotton, it’s cozy enough to wear on its own but also looks great on top of a turtleneck or fitted base layer.

A good, light-to-mid-weight sweater that provides warmth without adding bulk to your suitcase is a crucial item year-round in Ireland, as the temperature can fluctuate widely throughout the course of a single day. We love that this timeless piece — which features elegant ribbed detailing on the hem, collar, and cuffs — looks just as good on as it does slung around your shoulders, waist, or across your torso if the weather heats up. Best of all, it comes in five beautiful shades, including classic black, white, and an autumnal golden oak.

Best Jacket

Quince lightweight down packable puffer hooded jacket.

Few things are more practical for a trip to the Emerald Isle — or just about anywhere, for that matter — than a lightweight and packable down jacket. They take up minimal space, are versatile enough to wear with most outfits, and keep you warm without making you feel sweaty or sticky.

This model from Quince comes at a much more attractive price point than similar pieces from competing brands, and packs up into a small pocket that you can easily tuck into your day bag when the sun comes out. Best of all, it’s water-repellent and wind-resistant, so you can feel confident no matter the weather as you tackle longer treks like Croaghaun Cliffs in County Mayo (which is best seen at sunrise or sunset for the most epic views).

Best Nightwear

Staud meander dress navy.

If you’ll be indulging in a few nights at one of Ireland’s top resorts , you might as well dress for the occasion. After all, it’s not every day that you can sleep in an 800-year-old castle, like the luxurious Ashford Castle. For evenings spent dining in the stately George V Dining Room — named after the Prince of Wales, who visited the property in 1905 — a more formal dress code is required.

A slinky, satin dress like this strappy number from Staud is a one-stop shop for an elegant and pulled-together look that doesn’t require much effort. Adjustable straps and a hidden zipper make this easy to get on and off, and we love that you can even dress it down for daytime wear by layering a chunky sweater on top, or a thin turtleneck beneath it.

Best Evening Top

Reformation dusk knit top.


For nights on the town in Dublin, opt for this trendy yet timeless top from Reformation. The sleeveless style is versatile enough to dress up or down, easily elevating a pair of jeans for a night at the pub, or creating a more formal silhouette for dinner at one of Ireland’s 17 Michelin-starred restaurants. It’s fitted throughout and crafted from deadstock fabric, so you can feel good about wearing a more sustainably-made piece. While we love the black velvet style, it’s available in seven other shades, ranging from cozy and colorful knits to two sleek, sparkly options that are perfect for a party.

There’s no shortage of outdoor activities to keep you busy during a trip to Ireland, whether you’re taking in the views from the magnificent Cliffs of Moher ( an easy day trip from Dublin ), wandering through a mossy forest, or summiting Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest peak. Coming prepared with sturdy and water-resistant footwear is a must, and Hoyne suggests packing hiking shoes for those looking to get out into nature. While rain boots wouldn’t hurt, they unfortunately tend to take up quite a bit of space in a suitcase. (Luckily, some of the most luxurious resorts, like Ashford Castle, provide rain gear free of charge for their guests to explore their expansive grounds).

For sightseeing in cities — think touring the historic Titanic Belfast, or the Guinness Storefront in Dublin — a versatile pair of flat or low-heeled boots or sneakers will do the trick. In the evenings, you’ll want to reach for slightly more polished shoes, like an easily packable pair of heels that you can wear out to a nice dinner.

Best Versatile Shoes

Vivaia square-toe water-repellent ankle boots (riley pro).

Say hello to your new favorite travel companion. Vivaia’s stylish and soft ankle boots are not only fashionable and comfortable enough to carry you from day to night, but they’re also highly water-repellent. These boots were practically made for a trip to Ireland, where you’ll likely get caught in the rain on more than one occasion.

Rather than packing a separate pair of rain boots, save some space by slipping these sophisticated and supportive shoes into your luggage (or even wear them on the plane — they’re breathable and flexible enough). Your feet won’t tire of their cloudlike comfort, thanks to the updated arch support present in the Riley Pro model. These feature extra cushion and pressure relief on the insoles, as well as an anti-slip rubber outsole that provides great traction for walking around. All five autumnal shades are easy to dress up for evenings out, or to pair with casual daytime looks; they’re available from sizes 5 to 11, including half sizes.

Best Sneakers

Danner trail 2650 campo women's hiking shoes.

We love these lightweight sneakers from Danner, as they’re stylish enough for wearing around town during the day, yet functional enough to wear hiking on a variety of terrains — and crucially, won’t weigh down your luggage.

They easily earned our pick for the best hiking shoes for travel, thanks to their portable construction. We were impressed with the shock-absorbent midsoles topped with extra cushioning, the breathable mesh liners, and the extra grippy outsoles that provided excellent traction on wet and dry terrain. The same model is also available for men .

Best Evening Shoes

Vivaia pointed-toe slingback sandals leah 2.0.

It’s hard to beat the allure of Vivaia’s mesh slingback sandals: beyond being perfectly on-trend, they’re also incredibly easy to pack, breathable, and feature excellent cushioning. The soft and stretchy mesh upper allows for plenty of airflow, so your feet will feel (and smell) fresh all night long.

The insole itself is cushioned and features a moisture-wicking lining that helps to rapidly absorb and disperse sweat. An adjustable buckle on the ankle strap helps to secure your perfect fit, ensuring your feet won’t slide around when you’re out on a pub crawl — even after a few pints. The anti-slip rubber outsole provides top-notch traction, while the teardrop-shaped heel offers stability and a little lift. While we recommend neutral tones for optimal versatility while traveling, these come in seven fun shades, including a vibrant, summery orange.

Unless your trip is focused entirely on hiking, cycling, or other outdoor adventure activities, you’ll have some flexibility to choose whatever bag is best for you, as you’ll likely be staying in hotels or bed and breakfasts where you can stash your suitcase while you set out to explore. A checked bag or carry-on with spinner wheels will come in handy for easy maneuvering through the airport, and will offer plenty of space for your essential belongings — picking between them is mainly a matter of how long you’ll be away for and if you don’t mind checking a bag. A duffel may offer a bit more flexibility for those who will be on the move more frequently, as there’s no need to roll it around and it still boasts an impressive capacity.

Best Duffel

Yeti crossroads 60l duffel bag.

Crafted from ultra-durable TuffSkin nylon, this bag from trusted cooler brand Yeti was designed to stand the test of time. The material is stain- and tear-resistant, so you can feel confident that it will hold up on rugged outdoor adventures. Externally, the bag’s base features a reinforced shell for additional protection, while internal dividers and several small pockets offer ample organizational opportunities to separate your clothes, shoes, laundry, and gear. There are even two top exterior pockets, although these are only large enough to hold your most compact essentials. This trusty duffel, which earned our top pick out of the 25 duffel bags we tested, can be carried via handles on either end, a top handle, or a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap.

Best Carry-on

Away the carry-on.

Away’s carry-on has been my constant companion through over a dozen countries this past year, and it still looks as good as when I first bought it. The wheels continue to roll smoothly, there aren’t any dents — despite some rather aggressive trips through baggage claim when I’ve had to gate-check my bag — and it comfortably fits everything I need for two, sometimes even three weeks (yes, weeks!) of traveling at a time, thanks to the compression provided by three interior mesh pockets. Note that the brand recommends bringing this along for shorter, three-to-five-day trips, but I’ve found it’s perfectly suitable for longer getaways if you pack light.

It complies with most airline requirements (but always be sure to check your specific carrier), and is a breeze to pop into an overhead bin even when fully packed, thanks to its lightweight shell and easy-grip handles on the top and side.

Best Checked Suitcase

Samsonite winfield 2 hardside luggage with spinner wheels.

Less expensive than both the duffel and the carry-on, Samsonite’s expandable checked suitcase is an excellent value purchase that’s designed to stand the test of time (and rough baggage handlers). Out of 65 checked suitcases we tested, it easily earned the highest score thanks to its generous capacity, lightweight construction, exceptional durability, and attractive price. Plus, it boasts an expandable storage system and interior compression straps, helping to maximize packing space so you can fit an extra sweater or pair of pants in there, too.

Whenever you set out on an adventure abroad, it’s crucial to pack any medications you may need, as well as specialty toiletries you may not be able to find in a new country (like hair products or specific moisturizers tailored to your skincare routine). Packing an adapter is also essential, as it will ensure your devices stay powered up throughout your trip (plus, having to spring for one at the airport costs a fortune).

Other gear we’d suggest bringing includes a camera, a day bag, a reusable water bottle, a trusty pair of sunglasses, and more. As always, a zippered crossbody bag — like this durable, spacious pick from Baggu — provides a handy way to keep your belongings secure and free up your hands while traveling through crowded cities. Leahy notes that while theft isn’t common in the countryside, it’s always a good idea to be mindful of your personal belongings when in the city.

Hoyne also suggests remaining vigilant in more dense or touristy areas, explaining that it’s a “rare enough occurrence, but the most likely misfortune that may befall you in Dublin is having your phone snatched from your hand by a teenager on a bike,” she warns, noting you should “pay a little extra attention if you have it out to take pictures or use Google Maps to navigate.”

Best Daypack

Bellroy lite daypack.

While crossbody bags are great for navigating cities, a packable backpack will be more useful for those planning to spend ample time enjoying Ireland’s lush countryside. Many of Ireland’s best hikes are 3 to 4 hours long, so you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared with water, sunscreen, snacks, and the like.

This 20-liter option from Bellroy is our go-to day bag , thanks to its recycled construction, ample organizational features, and compact design. The bag is made of recycled plastic bottles, and rolls up for easy portability when not in use, so you won’t have to sacrifice precious suitcase space to bring it (alternatively, you could use it as your personal item on the flight over). It’s so compact that you’ll be shocked to see how much you can fit inside: a rain jacket, a change of clothes, extra chargers, a water bottle, and more.

Best Power Adapter

Epicka universal travel adapter.

We tested a range of travel adapters and converters , and the Epicka Universal Travel Adapter came out as the clear winner thanks to its compact design, ability to charge multiple devices at once, and its variety of prongs that will easily carry you to over 150 countries.

Rest assured all of your devices will be juiced up and ready to go, thanks to four USB-A ports, one USB-C port, and an AC socket that allow you to charge up to six devices simultaneously, including iPhones, Androids, laptops, cameras, power banks, and more. Note that it is not a voltage converter, so it shouldn’t be used with high voltage appliances like hair dryers.

Best Water Bottle

Hydrapak stash.

Extremely light yet made from supremely durable TPU, this collapsible water bottle from HydraPak earned top marks during our testing . Despite weighing just 3.7 ounces, this bottle stands up stiffly when you’re filling it, and boasts a 34-ounce capacity that will ensure you stay hydrated throughout a morning hike or an afternoon of sightseeing. The best part is how it rolls up into next to nothing when empty, helping to free up more space in your bag. We love that it features a wide, 2.5-inch mouth for easy sipping on the go, and that it’s dishwasher safe.

Best Camera

Panasonic lumix dc-zs70s.

The beauty of the Emerald Isle is endlessly tempting to capture, and a pocket-sized point-and-shoot camera like the Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70S is both a user-friendly and comparatively budget-friendly way to do so.

Despite its compact size, this camera packs in quite a few notable features that take it beyond smartphone photography, including capturing both JPEG and RAW format images. The Leica lens also boasts an impressive 24 to 720-millimeter zoom range, allowing you to capture those adorable puffins from a distance. Charging is a breeze, thanks to a micro-USB port that will ensure you’re always ready to capture the moment.

Best Sunglasses

Kaliyadi unisex sunglasses for driving uv protection.

Designed to look like super wallet-friendly Rayban Wayfarer dupes, these unisex sunglasses from Kaliyadi are great for protecting your eyes in style without having to splurge. For anyone who’s ever lost a pair of sunglasses on vacation, you know how relieving it is to have a pair that you’re not terrified of breaking or misplacing, which is why these are perfect for everything from windy cliffside walks to exploring Dublin and beyond. The lenses are polarized and provide full UVA and UVB protection, so you can keep your eyes on the prize (aka the magnificent Irish landscapes).

Tips for Packing for Ireland

Don’t forget rain gear.

No matter the season, you should expect rain when heading to Ireland. While you may experience only brief sun showers in the summer, winter can bring stormy, dreary days, and it will pay to be prepared with proper rain gear. While luxury hotels like Ashford Castle may provide rainboots and rain jackets for use during your stay, you may not want to rely on that if you’ll be moving around during your trip — it’s best to opt for a lightweight raincoat and waterproof shoes to ensure you’re ready to tackle all the activities on your itinerary, regardless of the weather.

Remember your power adapter

While many hotels will likely have adapters available for you to borrow, it’s best to be prepared with one of your own to ensure you can always keep your phone, laptop, camera, and other essential devices powered on. If you happen to forget yours, it’ll be easy enough to track a new one down in the larger cities — but Hoyne warns that if you’re out in the countryside, you may have a harder time.

“If you're heading outside of larger urban centers, then I'd make sure to have any medication and electrical equipment (phone chargers, adapters, etc.) with you if you're visiting across a weekend, as smaller, local pharmacies will be closed on Sundays; some on Saturdays too,” she explains. “You may be able to pick up charging cables in village shops, but few will likely have adapters.” While your hotel may have a spare on hand, it will be much more convenient to have access to your own.

Prioritize versatility

With limited packing space, it’s essential to focus on pieces that can be worn repeatedly throughout your trip and in a variety of combinations, like tops that can easily be paired with a sweater and jeans for a casual daytime look, or gussied up with a pair of heels and a skirt for a nice dinner. Stick to neutral colors and patterns in order to optimize your ability to mix-and-match pieces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should i bring a water bottle to ireland.

Traveling with your own reusable water bottle is always a great way to help reduce waste — not to mention, it’ll save you from shelling out money on overpriced water bottles at the airport and beyond. We recommend the HydraPak Stash Collapsible Water Bottle , which earned a top spot in our tests for its sturdy and easily portable construction, as well as its easy-to-sip-from lid.

Hoyne agrees: “I'd absolutely recommend bringing a reusable water bottle with you. Tap water is perfectly safe to drink in Ireland, although I'd tend not to refill water bottles from bathroom sinks, as this can often be stored in a tank.” She notes that it’s easy to find places to fill up your bottle as you move throughout the country as well, and “most places will be more than happy to refill your bottle for you.” When it comes to drinking water at restaurants and bars, tap water should be provided free of charge.

How should you dress in Ireland?

“I think tourists to Ireland can sometimes be surprised at how style-conscious many Irish people are,” says Hoyne. For daytime, she suggests packing a mix of more casual pieces, such as athleisure, jeans, and tops that can easily be paired together throughout your trip. For dinners out or nights on the town, opt for dressier pants, skirts, and a sturdy pair of heels or heeled boots. Crucially, layering is key both day and night. Waterproof layers are ideal, whether you’re heading out on a hike or wandering around a picturesque village.

While local trends can skew somewhat casual, cities are a great place to show off your style, and versatile pieces that can be dressed up for nights out and layered with sweaters or base layers for more casual ensembles during the day are a light packer’s best friend. Think about which pieces will mix and match the best in order to create the maximum number of outfits as you’re packing, and consider the fluctuating temperature when packing layers — you want things that will keep you warm without adding bulk.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this story, T+L contributor Sophie Dodd extensively researched the essential items you’ll need to best enjoy a trip to Ireland, from waterproof layers to versatile walking shoes. She also relied on her expertise as a travel writer and frequent packer when considering which pieces were most versatile and easy to pack. Sophie also received expert advice on what visitors should pack from luxury travel blogger Isabelle Hoyne , the founder of Cultured Voyages, as well as Michael Leahy, head of concierge at Ashford Castle in County Mayo.

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Condoms can be purchased at supermarkets and pharmacies and in pub toilets across Ireland, though the pill is only available on prescription.

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The economic crash of has seen prices fall to some extent in the Republic though they had been wildly inflated during the boom years that preceded it.

Though it’s still possible to get a main meal in cafés and pubs for around €10, a three-course restaurant dinner will usually cost at least €35, with a bottle of wine setting you back €20–25, though some offer “early bird” menus at reduced rates. The price of a pint in a pub is €3.70–5, significantly higher in some city-centre clubs.

The cheapest accommodation is a hostel dorm bed, which will cost around €12–20, rising to as much as €35 at peak periods in Dublin. Alternatively, it’s also possible to get a decent bed and breakfast from around €35 per person sharing or €45 in Dublin. So, even if you count the cents, you’re likely to spend a daily minimum of around €35, and more than double this if you’re eating out and staying in a B&B.

The main change in the North over the last few years has been the fall in the value of the pound. This has meant that while quoted prices are roughly the same as their euro equivalents in the Republic, they are comparatively cheaper.

Crime in Ireland is largely an urban affair and generally at a low level compared with other European countries. However, thieves do target popular tourist spots so don’t leave anything of value visible in your car and take care of your bags while visiting bars and restaurants. It’s sensible to seek advice from your accommodation provider about safety in the local area and take as much care as you would anywhere else.

Crimes against the person are relatively rare, except in certain inner-city areas, and seldom involve tourists. The Republic ’s police force is An Garda Síochána ( w, more commonly referred to as the guards or Gardaí , whom you’ll find generally helpful when it comes to reporting a crime. The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (Mon–Fri t 01/661 0562, Sat & Sun t 01/666 8109, w ) offers support to tourist crime victims.

Away from the sectarian hotspots, crime in Northern Ireland is very low. In the unlikely event that your person or property is targeted, contact the Police Service of Northern Ireland ( t 0845600 8000, w The presence of the British army has diminished almost to invisibility, though it is just possible you might encounter police or army security checks on the rare occasion of a major incident.

The Heritage Card is worth considering if you’re planning to visit many historic sites and monuments in the Republic. It provides unlimited entry to attractions run by the Office of Public Works and can be purchased at many of the sites themselves, some tourist offices and online, and lasts for a year.

Members of An Óige also receive discounts on entry to certain sites. A number of historic buildings and sites in the North are operated by the National Trust . Membership (£47.50; under-25s £21.50, family £82, one-adult family £62; w provides free and unlimited entry to these and all National Trust–run sites in Britain too. More than eighty premier attractions across Ireland are members of the independent Heritage Island organization ( ) whose booklet (€8.90 with free worldwide shipping) contains over €300 worth of discounts. The majority offer reduced rates for children (under-5s usually get in free), students and senior citizens.

An International Student Card ( w; £9/$22) can provide significant discounts (generally around ten percent), especially in Dublin, on hostel accommodation, museum entry charges and food.

The standard electricity supply is 220V AC in the Republic and 240V AC in the North. Most sockets require three-pin plugs. To operate North American appliances you’ll need to bring or buy a transformer and an adapter; only the latter is needed for equipment made in Australia or New Zealand.

UK nationals do not need a passport to enter the Republic, but it’s a good idea to carry one – and note that airlines generally require official photo ID on flights between Britain and Ireland. Under EU regulations, British passport holders are entitled to stay in the Republic for as long as they like.

Travellers from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa can enter the Republic for up to three months with just a passport. For further information on immigration and visas, contact the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service, 13–14 Burgh Quay, Dublin ( t 1890 551500, w ). A full list of Irish consulates and embassies is available on the Department of Foreign Affairs website, w

US, Canadian, Australian, South African and New Zealand citizens can enter Northern Ireland for up to six months with just a passport. Full details of British diplomatic representatives overseas are available on the Foreign Office’s website, w The Border Agency handles immigration issues ( w ), with a dedicated visas page at w .

The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic has no passport or immigration controls.

Across Ireland, in the case of an emergency call either t 999 or t 112.

Visitors from the UK are entitled to medical treatment in the Republic under a reciprocal agreement between the two countries. This will give access only to state-provided medical treatment in the Republic, which covers emergency hospital treatment but not all GP’s surgeries – check that the doctor you’re planning to use is registered with the local Health Board Panel. Citizens of some other countries also enjoy reciprocal agreements – in Australia, for example, Medicare has such an arrangement with Ireland and Britain.

None of these arrangements covers all the medical costs you may incur or repatriation, so it’s advisable for all travellers to take out some form of travel insurance . Most travel insurance policies exclude so-called dangerous sports unless an extra premium is paid; in Ireland this could mean, for example, horseriding, scuba diving, windsurfing, mountaineering and kayaking.

Most cities and major towns have internet cafés , at which you’ll typically pay €4/£4 per hour, sometimes less. For lists and maps of free wi-fi hotspots, try w Many B&Bs and hostels and most hotels now offer free wi-fi; the same B&Bs will generally let you access the internet on their computer for free, while hotels and hostels generally charge for this service. Otherwise, many local library branches offer internet access either free or very cheaply.

In the Republic , post is handled by An Post (the national postal service); allow two days (or more) for a letter to reach Britain, for example. Small letters and postcards to any destination overseas cost 82c. Main post offices are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm (in cities and large towns until 5.30pm on Saturday). From the North with the Royal Mail, postcards and the smallest airmail letters cost 67p to destinations outside Europe. Post-office hours in the North are generally Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am to 5.30pm and Wednesday and Saturday 9am to 12.30pm – later on Wednesday in large towns and cities.

The maps in this guide will provide you with sufficient detail to navigate your way around cities, towns and counties, though, if you’re visiting Dublin you might want to purchase the Rough Guides map of the city (£4.99/$8.99). The Rough Guide 1:350,000 scale Ireland map (same prices) is handy if you’re touring the country or, alternatively, for more detail there’s the Ordnance Survey of Ireland’s ( w four Holiday maps at 1:250,000 scale (€8.35), dividing the country into quadrants, and its Complete Road Atlas of Ireland (€12.99) is extremely useful if you’re driving.

The majority of tourist offices will provide free local maps, but, if you’re planning on walking or exploring a locality fully, then the OSI’s Discovery 1:50,000 scale series of maps (€8.60 each) is the best bet for the Republic. The Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland ( w produces a similar Discoverer series (£6).

If you’re walking or cycling, the OSI/OSNI also produce special-interest 1:25,000-scale maps covering areas such as the Aran Islands, Killarney National Park, Lough Erne, Macgillicuddy’s Reeks, Slieve Croob, and the Mourne and Sperrin mountain ranges.

All of these maps can be purchased via the internet, but, if you’re visiting Dublin, the most comprehensive selection of maps in Ireland is provided by the National Map Centre, 34 Aungier Street ( t 01/476 0471, w

The currency of the Republic is the euro (€), divided into 100 cents (c). Northern Ireland’s currency is the pound sterling (£), though notes are printed by various local banks and are different from those found in Britain; however, standard British banknotes can still be used in Northern Ireland.

Exchange rates fluctuate but, at the time of writing, £1 sterling was equivalent to around €1.20, €1 was worth £0.82 and US$1.22. The best exchange rates are provided by banks, though it’s easiest to use an ATM, for which your own bank or credit card company may charge a fixed-rate or percentile fee. Unless you’re absolutely stuck, avoid changing money in hotels, where the rates are often very poor. In areas around the border between the Republic and the North many businesses accept both currencies.

Credit and debit cards

The handiest means of obtaining cash is to use a debit or credit card . ATMs are very common throughout Ireland except in remote rural areas, with most accepting Visa/Plus, MasterCard and Cirrus/Maestro. Major credit cards, such as Visa/Plus, MasterCard and American Express and all cards bearing the Eurocard symbol, are widely accepted, though in rural areas, you’ll find that they’re not accepted by many B&Bs.

Banks are usually the best places to exchange money and travellers’ cheques, though when they’re closed you’ll need to visit a bureau de change , found in some major tourist destinations and at international arrival points. Banks in large towns and cities of the Republic are open from Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm, and until 5pm one day a week, usually Thursday; in the North, they open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm, with some opening for longer hours and on Saturdays. Outside the cities and bigger towns, many bank branches in the Republic and some in the North close for lunch, and in some cases may only be open a few days a week.

Shops and businesses across Ireland usually open 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday, though newsagents and petrol stations (many of which also have grocery stores) are often open earlier and later. Most large towns generally have a day when all shops open late (until 8pm or 9pm), usually Thursdays, and some also open on Sundays from around noon (1pm in Northern Ireland) until 6pm. Lunchtime closing still applies in many smaller towns, where also some businesses (except pubs) close for a half-day midweek. In rural areas opening times are far more variable.

Throughout Ireland cafés tend to open from 8am or 9am until 6pm, Monday to Saturday. Restaurants are usually open from around noon until 3pm and from 6pm until 10pm daily, though, away from the major towns and popular tourist areas, many may be closed at lunchtimes or all day on certain days of the week (especially out of season).

Pubs in the Republic open Monday to Thursday 10.30am to 11.30pm, Friday and Saturday 10.30am to 12.30am, Sunday noon to 11pm; in the North the hours are Monday to Saturday 11.30am to 11pm and Sunday 12.30pm to 10pm. Across Ireland clubs have variable opening days, though the majority are open from Thursday to Sunday and hours tend to be from around 10pm to 2am (or later in the major cities). Note that in the Republic off-licences (including pub off-sales) and other shops with a licence to sell alcohol are only permitted to do so between 10.30am–10pm Mon–Sat and 12.30pm–10pm Sun.

On public holidays , away from the cities, most businesses will be closed, apart from pubs, newsagents, some supermarkets, grocers, and petrol stations. If St Patrick’s Day or Orange Day falls at the weekend, then the holiday is held on the following Monday.

Payphones can be hard to find in Ireland these days, especially in rural areas; calls start at €1 in the Republic, 40p in the North. Many payphones will accept debit or credit cards, but at a premium. In the Republic, Eircom phonecards, costing from €4 at newsagents and post offices, offer savings on international calls over the standard rates; they can be used in payphones, as well as on hotel phones. Throughout Ireland, there’s a choice of private phonecards, such as Global Caller, which can generally also be used on certain mobiles, though check compatibility carefully. Calls from a hotel or the like are pricey, while the cheapest way of making international calls is via VoIP (eg w on your laptop or at an internet café.

The international dialling code for the Republic is +353, and for Northern Ireland, as part of the UK, it’s +44. If you’re calling the North from the Republic, however, knock off the 028 area code and instead dial 048 followed by the eight-digit subscriber number.

Mobile phones

Both the UK and Ireland use the GSM system for mobile phones , so British travellers only need worry about the high roaming charges for making calls, texting and receiving calls in the Republic. Travellers from other parts of the world will need to check whether their phone is multi-band GSM, and will probably also want to find out from their provider what the call charges are. The cheapest way to get round roaming charges is to get hold of a UK or Irish pay-as-you-go SIM card to insert in your phone, which will give you a local number and eliminate charges for receiving calls. Virgin in the North ( w and O2 in the Republic ( w, for example, now offer free SIM cards, with local calls charged at around 20p/30c per minute amongst a complex system of tariffs.

In the Republic (Eircom):

Directory Enquiries t 11811

International Directory Enquiries t 11818

Customer Service t 1901

In the North (British Telecom):

Operator t 100

Directory Enquiries t 118141 (payphones, cash only) or, more expensively, t 118500

International Directory Enquiries t 118060 or, more expensively, t 118505

Smoking is illegal in all public buildings and places of employment across Ireland. Some hotels, but increasingly few B&Bs, have bedrooms available for smokers. Many pubs in cities and large towns have outdoor areas allocated for smokers, some covered and heated.

Ireland is on GMT , eight hours ahead of US Pacific Standard Time and five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Clocks are advanced one hour at the end of March and back again at the end of October.

Though discretionary, tipping restaurant staff or taxi drivers is the expected reward for satisfactory service; ten to fifteen percent of your tab will suffice.

Public toilets are usually only found in the big towns in the Republic (especially in shopping malls), though in the North are much more common and generally well maintained. Toilet doors often bear the indicator Fir (men) and Mná (women).

The Irish tourist development agency, Fáilte Ireland ( w, and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB; w both provide a wealth of area-specific information on their websites and the latter includes brochures which can also be ordered or downloaded. Abroad the two boards combine as Tourism Ireland ( w; offices are listed below. There are also plenty of local and regional tourism websites.

Both Fáilte Ireland and the NITB provide an extensive network of tourist offices , covering every city, many major towns and almost all the popular tourist areas. Additionally, some local councils provide their own offices. The majority of offices offer plenty of information on local attractions, and can book accommodation for a small fee (Republic: €5 for all accommodation; Northern Ireland £1 for hostels & £2 for B&Bs/hotels). Bear in mind though that Fáilte Ireland and NITB offices will usually only direct you towards approved accommodation, thus excluding some fine hostels and campsites, and that, away from the cities, many tourist offices operate seasonal opening times, days and months.

Disabled travellers should glean as much information as possible before travelling since facilities in Ireland are generally poor. For example, older buildings may lack lifts and their entrances may not have been converted to allow easy wheelchair access.

The main transport companies transport companies have, however, considerably improved their facilities for disabled travellers, with, for example, low-floor city buses and kneeling coaches on many routes.

Disabled drivers travelling with their cars from Britain can usually obtain reduced rates for ferry travel. Discounts vary according to the time of year and the ferry companies usually require membership of Mobilise.

Both the Republic and the North have a wide range of daily and weekly newspapers, the latter often county-based in their coverage. The choices for Ireland-based TV are more limited both sides of the border, but there’s an abundance of local radio stations, together with several national stations in the Republic.

Newspapers and magazines

The Republic’s most popular middlebrow newspapers are the Irish Times and the more populist Irish Independent. Though generally liberal, if sometimes tinged by old-fashioned Ascendancy attitudes, the Times offers comprehensive news coverage of events both at home and abroad and often excellent features – its website also has plenty of listings. The Independent ( has a more right-of-centre outlook, while the Irish Examiner (formerly the Cork Examiner; has a Munster-based focus and generally less analytical coverage of news. Sundays see the publication the Sunday Independent (same website as its daily sister), and the Sunday Business Post (, which offers a wider selection of stories than its name implies. British newspapers are commonly available in Dublin and other cities and some produce Irish editions.

Every county has at least one weekly newspaper, often conservative and usually crammed with local stories of little interest to outsiders. However, some, such as the Kerryman, the Kilkenny People and the Donegal Democrat often provide good coverage of local events and very readable features. To delve deeper into the seamy world of Irish politics, turn to the monthly Village ( or the satirical fortnightly magazine Phoenix (

The North’s two morning dailies, both tabloids, are the Nationalist Irish News ( and the Unionist News Letter (, while Sunday sees the Sunday World ( The widest circulation however belongs to the evening broadsheet Belfast Telegraph (which now comes out around noon and has a very informative website (; its Unionist stance has become progressively more liberal over the years. Also worth purchasing is the biweekly Derry Journal ( All UK national daily and Sunday papers are also available in the North.

Television and radio

In the Republic, the state-sponsored Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ; operates three TV channels. As well as imported shows, the main news and current affairs channel, RTÉ 1, also features the popular home-grown Dublin-based soap, Fair City, and Friday’s Late Late Show, a long-standing chat and entertainment institution. RTÉ 2 is a little more bubbly, with a smattering of locally produced programmes, though still swamped by imported tat and overburdened by sporting events. Some of the most innovative viewing is provided by the Irish-language channel TG4 (which provides English subtitles;, including excellent traditional-music shows and often incisive features on the culture of Irish-speaking areas. The independent channel TV3 ( churns out a dire mix of dated films and imported soaps and sitcoms, while its sister channel 3e offers even more programmes you’ll be very keen to miss. In most of the Republic, the four major British terrestrial TV channels are available on cable or satellite, as well as a vast number of other digital and freeview channels such as Sky, CNN and Eurosport. The Republic also has its own dedicated cable/satellite sports channel, Setanta (

RTÉ also operates four radio stations, three of which are English-language: the mainstream RTÉ Radio 1 (FM 88–89), whose morning shows are largely devoted to current affairs and chat; RTÉ 2FM (FM 90–92), which is more music- and youth-oriented; and Lyric FM (FM 96–99), which mixes popular classics with jazz and occasionally inspiring world-music shows. Raidió na Gaeltachta (FM 93) is the national Irish-language station, with broadcasts including much traditional music. The national commercial radio station, Today FM (FM 100–102), offers a largely bland schedule of MoR music shows, and Newstalk (FM 106–108) is self explanatory. There are also numerous local radio stations across the Republic.

Northern Ireland receives television and radio programmes from the BBC ( and has a limited, if often keenly followed, number of locally produced current-affairs productions. On BBC Radio Ulster (FM 92.4–95.4), Talkback (Mon–Fri noon–1.30pm) offers lively discussions on the North’s political situation. The BBC’s main commercial rival, Ulster Television ( relies on the standard ITV diet of soaps and drama. In most parts of the North you can also watch or listen to RTÉ programmes.

Ireland likes to describe itself as the land of Cead Míle Fáilte (“a hundred thousand welcomes”), which you’ll often see inscribed on pubs, and that’s essentially true for most visitors. In terms of general etiquette, wherever you go, you’ll encounter the standard Irish greeting – an enquiry about your health (“How are you?” sometimes just abbreviated to “About you?” in parts of the North) and it’s reasonable to return the compliment. Also, if someone buys you a pint in a pub, then an even-handed gesture is to pay for the next round.

Children are very well received, though few places, including cafés, hotels and many key attractions, are actually designed with them in mind. Baby supplies are readily available and most B&Bs and hotels welcome children, and an increasing number have cots. It’s usually fine to take a child into a pub during the daytime, though definitely not so legally in the Republic after 9pm.

Irish women’s economic and social status has much improved over the last couple of decades, with the Republic even outranking Germany and the Netherlands in terms of gender equality. Whether this progress has extended beyond the major cities is debatable, though, as rural areas often preserve entrenched sexist attitudes.

In terms of the travel experience, female visitors are unlikely to encounter problems. For all their charm and prodigious drinking, Irish men tend to be remarkably polite around women and the most you can expect is the odd cat call or drunken chat-up line. However, as with anywhere, if you’re travelling alone or to an unfamiliar area, it’s worth adopting a cautionary attitude, particularly when enjoying pubs and nightlife. In the rare case of experiencing a serious personal assault, it’s worth contacting either a rape crisis centre (t1800778888, in Dublin, (t028/9032 9002, in the North), or the Tourist Assistance Service (Mon–Fri t01/661 0562, Sat & Sun t01/666 8109,, as local police forces are unlikely to be experienced in these situations.

The arrival of refugees and, latterly, large numbers of migrant workers over the last decade or so has undoubtedly shifted attitudes in the Republic towards those from other cultures and had a significant effect upon the population’s long-standing homogeneity. That being said, it’s still possible that black visitors will encounter racist attitudes at some point in their travels, especially in rural areas, but these are generally not threatening and usually the result of ignorance rather than intended to cause deliberate offence.

The situation is less optimistic in Northern Ireland where, especially in Belfast, Loyalist gangs have attempted to “cleanse” the city’s ethnic population, targeting mainly the Chinese and other Asian communities, and there have been several reported attacks on migrant workers across the region. Tourists, of whatever culture, are very rarely the victims of assaults.

Ireland also has its own recognized ethnic minority, the Travellers (widely known by a range of insulting epithets), against whom discrimination remains widespread, both North and South.

Gays and lesbians

Attitudes to gays and lesbians remain discriminatory amongst the general population (especially Northern Irish Protestants), and the gay community in Ireland keeps a low profile, the only “scene” largely concentrated on the nightlife of Belfast and Dublin. That said, in 2015 – 22 years after homosexuality was decriminalized in the Republic – a public referendum saw 62% of the Republic’s population vote in favour of the legalisation of gay marriage, with the law subsequently changed to reflect popular opinion. Away from the larger cities, however, public displays of affection may produce hostile verbal reactions, and many small-town and rural B&Bs will look askance at a pair of men wanting to share a bed for the night. Be aware that known cruising areas, such as Belfast’s Cave Hill and Dublin’s Phoenix Park, are often patrolled by the police.

The pub has long been at the centre of Irish society and the ready availability of alcohol has played a major part in the development of the national psyche and as a Muse to some of the country’s greatest writers (O’Brien, Kavanagh, Behan) and actors (Richard Harris and Peter O’Toole).

The Irish are amongst Europe’s heaviest drinkers, imbibing as a whole on average some twenty percent more than their continental European neighbours, and that’s despite the government’s heavy excise duties on drink. According to Alcohol Action Ireland, more than half of the population have harmful drinking patterns (40 percent of women and 70 percent of men) and binge-drinking, especially amongst the 18–25 age group, is a significant problem. Contrastingly, thanks to movements such as the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, around a fifth of the Irish population are teetotal.

However, consumption is gradually falling. Partly this reflects Ireland’s economic woes, which, in conjunction with the smoking ban and drink-driving legislation, have seen some 1500 licensed premises close in the last five years. The majority of these have been in rural areas, especially in the southwest, but towns and cities have suffered too.

New Year’s Day

St Patrick’s Day – March 17

Good Friday

Easter Monday

May – first Mon

May – last Mon

June – first Mon

Orange Day – July 12

Aug – first Mon

Aug – last Mon

Oct – last Mon

Christmas Day

St.Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day – Dec 26

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Warm light covers a scenic bike path next to water as two people ride next too each other.

The essential guide to visiting Ireland

Here’s everything you need to know about exploring the Emerald Isle—when to go, where to stay, what to do, and how to get around.

Why you should visit Ireland

Landscapes as green and lovely as everyone says. Literary giants in Dublin; Titanic history in Belfast. A pint and good craic in a traditional pub. The lure of Celtic legends .

Best time to visit Ireland

Spring: Easter and St. Patrick’s Day draw crowds, but not quite as many as in the summer. It’s a bit easier to navigate popular sites in the bigger cities like Dublin and enjoy wildflower-dotted areas along the western coast .

Summer: The peak season brings plenty of events, like the Galway Arts Festival . Cycle a trail like the Great Western Greenway , kayak a blueway , or hike in Connemara National Park .

Autumn:  October festivals, such as the Cork Jazz Festival and the enthralling Púca   Halloween festival in County Meath, start filling the calendar. It’s also a great time to sample the local harvest at farmers markets in towns and villages.

Winter : It rarely snows in Ireland, but it rains quite a bit. There are fewer crowds, so winter visitors will feel more of the local vibe, especially in the pubs. Christmas is big, with holiday events like Winterval in Waterford.

Lay of the land

Cities: Capital city Dublin is easy to explore on foot, with Trinity College, home of the Book of Kells , not far from the EPIC Irish emigration museum beside the River Liffey. Laid-back Galway has a thriving arts and music scene plus ferries to the Aran Islands . County Cork and Limerick are market counties, with the historic English Market at the former and the Milk Market in the latter. Known for its shipping history —and mid20th-century troubles— Belfast is also gaining recognition for its food scene .

East:  In County Wicklow, get lost in Powerscourt and Mount Usher gardens or hike in Wicklow Mountains National Park . In County Meath, history buffs find Neolithic monuments Newgrange and Knowth , plus other Boyne Valley treasures like Trim Castle and Loughcrew Cairns .

Southeast:  The city of Waterford’s Viking roots are on display at the Waterford Treasures museums. In Kilkenny city, follow the Medieval Mile walking trail and explore the narrow alleyways that reveal hundreds of years of history.

Southwest:  Backdropped by mountains like the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, gorgeous peninsulas, and colorful harbors, Cork and Kerry draw artists and writers. Killarney National Park and the Dingle Peninsula are sightseeing favorites during long summer days.

West:  The sea-lashed Cliffs of Moher and the otherworldly limestone plateaus of The Burren are just a few miles apart in County Clare. To the north, County Galway is home to the blanket bogs of Connemara . County Mayo preserves Céide Fields , one of the world’s oldest archaeological sites.

( Follow the trail of Ireland’s legendary pirate queen .)

Northwest:  Flat-topped mountains like Ben Bulben and Knocknarea overlook County Sligo ’s lively surfing scene. Donegal is famed for Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) sea cliffs, endless golden beaches, and hilly or lakeside hiking trails at Glenveagh National Park .

The Midlands:  The River Shannon , the country’s longest waterway, snakes through Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and feeds into Lough Derg , popular for boating. Clonmacnoise , founded in A.D. 544, preserves the ruins of one of Ireland’s most influential monastic sites.

Northern Ireland:  The Causeway Coast leads to the natural wonders Giant’s Causeway and the Glens of Antrim . Visit Derry for its walled city and history. The Mourne Mountains are ideal for solitude and sea views.

Getting around Ireland

By plane:  There are daily flights between Dublin Airport and regional hubs including Kerry Airport and Donegal Airport .

By bus:  Bus Eireann is the national operator with local services in cities and towns. It also runs the inter-city Expressway . Private bus services, such as , connects cities. Plan journeys via the app or website Transport for Ireland . Services in Northern Ireland are run by Translink .

By train:  The rail network is operated by Irish Rail/  Iarnród Éireann , with good connections between main cities and towns. Trains from Dublin to Galway or Cork take around 2.5 hours. Rail services in Northern Ireland are operated by Translink .

By car: Driving in Ireland is on the left. Ireland’s network of motorways (M) includes the M1 from Dublin to Belfast, the M6 crossing the country from Dublin to Galway, and the M8 from Dublin to Cork. Road types include national (N), regional (R), and local (L). Regional and local roads can be narrow and winding, so allow for plenty of time.

By boat: There are seasonal and year-round passenger ferries servicing Ireland’s populated offshore islands such as the Aran Islands. These are for foot passengers (visitors can’t bring cars to the islands).

( Uncover the hidden legends along Ireland’s southern coast .)

Know before you go

Irish language: Irish and English are the country’s two official languages. Irish (a Gaelic language but not called Gaelic in Ireland) was the country’s first language until the 19th century, when English became dominant. While 40 percent of the population can speak some Irish, it is only spoken daily by about 2 percent of the population, particularly in the Gaeltacht , where place names and road signs are in Irish.

Hours:  Some restaurants open only three or four days, especially in smaller towns or during low season (October to Easter). Kitchens can close as early as 8 p.m.

LGBTQ+ : In 2015, Ireland became the first country to approve same-sex marriage by referendum . Ireland has lively LGBTQ+ communities in the larger cities like Dublin, Galway, and Belfast, and a calendar of pride festivals .

How to visit Ireland sustainably

Outdoors: Help preserve habitats by staying on the main trails and boardwalks. Consider joining a tour led by a registered guide to reduce your impact. Leave no trace—remove trash when picnicking or camping.

Shopping: Purchase from independent shops, markets, and small farms. Look for sustainable souvenirs and locally-made gifts like Aran wool sweaters, pottery and ceramics (the label will indicate where they are made).

Dining: Ireland is a land of fishers, farmers, and makers, so eating local isn’t too difficult. Plus, there are several sustainable tourism initiatives, including Origin Green ’s certification program for food producers. Food tours are easy eco-friendly options, but you can also find individual spots on Tourism Ireland’s website. Tap water is drinkable , so bring a reusable bottle.

What to read

A Short History of Ireland , by John Gibney. The historian takes you through five centuries, from 1500 to 2000, covering key events including the Great Famine and the fight for independence.

Dubliners , by James Joyce. The famed novelist’s collection of short stories depicts life in Dublin in the 1900s.

Travelers’ Tales Ireland: True Stories , by James O’Reilly, Sean O’Reilly, and Larry Habegger. Short stories like kayaking around an island and climbing Ireland’s holiest mountain capture some of the country’s magic.

( For more tips on what to do in Ireland, see our Explorer’s Guide .)

Read This Next

Visiting ireland here’s what the locals love, 10 best things to do in ireland, the essential guide to visiting alaska, the essential guide to visiting north carolina.

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What type of clothing should I pack?

Ireland has a saying: There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. In other words, a little planning goes a long way. "Packing for Irish weather can be summed up in one word: layers", says Gerry Britt, veteran visitor to Ireland from Virginia, USA. "T-shirts, light sweaters, a good waterproof jacket and a waterproof hat."

But it's not ALL about layers: do pack swimwear for Ireland's magnificent beaches. "They'll be golden, glorious, usually deserted and begging for you to dive straight in," says Gerry, who also advises bringing sunglasses to protect your eyes from hail, rain and wind – and the sun, when it does shine.

"Last, but not least, walking is one of the pleasures of Ireland so bring a solid pair of walking boots or at least a comfortable pair of trainers."

Once the rain stops and the sun comes out, you’ll be in awe of the scenery before you can shake the drops off your jacket. Gerry Britt, Virginia, USA

Connemara National Park, County Galway

Connemara National Park, County Galway

Hiking in Connemara

What currency is used in Ireland?

The currency used in the Republic of Ireland is the euro (€) while Northern Ireland's currency is the pound sterling (£). When crossing between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland you can exchange your money in shops, gas stations, bureaux de change and banks. You should also check the exchange rate when changing money.

ATMs are found all over the country and it's a convenient way of dealing with your money during your stay.

Credit cards

Visa and Mastercard are widely used, while American Express cards may not always be accepted. Credit cards can be used for purchases and also to access money from ATMs. Each ATM has a list of card symbols that can be used there (bank charges may apply).

Ireland has a "chip and pin" system for debit and credit card purchases, which means you key your pin into a pinpad. If your card doesn't have a chip, most retailers will still accept it and you can just sign for your purchases.

Traveller's checks are not widely used and most banks won't accept them, so bring cash or cards instead.

County Antrim

County Antrim

Capturing the County Antrim scenery

What electronics should I bring?

Smartphones, e-readers, tablets and laptops – where would we be without them? If you're planning to bring your favourite devices with you when you travel, here's what you need to know. Plugs in Ireland are three-pronged and the electricity supply is 230v/50hz. Bring an adapter so you can keep your devices charged up. And consider a portable power bank to avoid the dreaded dead battery.

Shopping in Galway

Galway City, County Galway

Shopping in the city

Useful links

Citizens Information

Everything you need to know about travelling to Ireland, from customs and visas to bringing your pets.

If you're planning on visiting Northern Ireland, the NI government website has lots of tips and travel information.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Want to hit the road? Toll information, how to pay and more from the national body that manages the Republic and Ireland's road network.

Kate Storm standing on a pebble beach on Dingle Peninsula, Ireland. Minard Castle is behind her. This is a great example of what to wear in Ireland!

The Ultimate Packing List for Ireland (+ What to Wear!)

Ireland is an absolutely phenomenal place to travel, but its famously temperamental weather and the sheer variety of available things to do can make putting together the perfect packing list for Ireland a bit tricky–especially if you want to avoid lugging around extra gear!

We’ve now spent more than a month exploring Ireland in-depth over multiple trips, and have walked away with quite a list of recommendations for your Ireland packing list, including must-have gear, what to leave at home, and what to wear in Ireland.

Trying to decide what to pack for Ireland, and worried that you’re forgetting something (or bringing too much?). 

We’ve got you covered.

Here’s exactly what to bring to Ireland, including some of our personal favorite clothes and accessories!

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm sitting at a breakfast table at a bed and breakfast near Cork Ireland.

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Table of Contents

The Absolute Essentials for Your Packing List for Ireland

Travel gear you should definitely pack for ireland, what to wear in ireland for women, what to wear in ireland for men, other important items for your ireland packing list.

Passport — Without a doubt, your passport is the most important item on your Ireland packing list–good luck visiting without it!

Travel Insurance — We don’t ever suggest traveling without travel insurance–anything can happen, and visiting (and probably road-tripping!) Ireland is definitely a time to be better safe than sorry. We use and recommend Safety Wing for trips to Ireland.

Photo of a rowboat in a lake in Killarney National Park Ireland--definitely be prepared for all weather when putting together your Ireland packing list!

Visa (If Needed) — Generally speaking, most readers of this website, including citizens of the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada, can enter Ireland for tourism purposes for up to 90 days without a visa.

However, as always, be sure to double-check these regulations before packing your bags for Ireland–though we doubt there will be dramatic changes to this policy in the near virtue, it’s always best to dot your i’s and cross your t’s where visas are concerned!

Money — We recommend bringing two credit cards (one to use, and one to keep as a backup), and two debit cards. Ideally, bring cards with no foreign transaction fees. We’ve never felt it necessary to obtain currency before arriving in Ireland (we just withdraw from an ATM when we get there), but you can purchase currency in your home country traveling if it makes you feel more comfortable.

Note that the Republic of Ireland uses the Euro, but as Northern Ireland is part of the UK, it uses the Pound Sterling. If your trip will take you to both parts of the island, be prepared to change currencies during your trip!

Photo of building in Dublin Ireland with flowers and flags on it. There are people walking in front of the building.

Proof of Age of Driver’s License — On both our trips to Ireland, we’ve run into issues when renting a car where proof of a license of a certain age (we’ve seen 1-4 years old) is a requirement to rent a car–which is tricky for those of us hailing from states in the USA where the “issued date” on our driver’s licenses is the date it was last renewed, not the date we were first licensed to drive.

Read your rental contract carefully before taking off for Ireland, and if you’re worried, consider bringing extra proof of your driving experience along–at the recommendation of our rental company, we brought some of Jeremy’s old/expired licenses with us on our most recent trip.

Photo of car parked on the side of the road during an Ireland road trip. Two bikers are visible passing by on the right side of the photo.

That’s not the only rain gear you’ll want to have, though–more on that below.

Camera — We completely adore our Sony a7R III , but whatever camera you’re comfortable with works–just make sure you have something with you to preserve your memories! 

Travel Adaptors for Ireland — Ireland uses the same plugs that the UK does–and note that these are different from the bulk of mainland Europe (you’ll want to specifically select the Type G UK adaptor).

Double-check you add the right ones to your Ireland packing list! We use these and have never had any issues.

Small beach visible along the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

Comfortable Day Bag  — We currently use  Pacsafe’s sleek anti-theft backpack  and love it, but if you don’t want to shell out the cash for this trip, that’s totally understandable. Just aim for something comfortable to wear, not flashy, and medium-sized–we used a  Northface Jester backpack  for years and loved it as well.

Kate Storm in a yellow raincoat standing in front of Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park Ireland

Student ID — If you’re a student, you’ll find a fair number of discounts at museums and attractions throughout Ireland by showing your Student ID, so be sure to bring it along!

Cell Phone — We spent more than a year traveling without working cell phones, just relying on wifi… and while that’s completely fine, we would never go back. Consider purchasing an international plan for your cell phone (most carriers offer them), or, if you have an unlocked phone, you can just by a local SIM card once you land in Ireland.

Bear in mind that if you rent a car, having your cell phone handy and working will also allow you to avoid renting a GPS!

travel essentials ireland

Personally, I love to live in dresses most of the time, and casual dresses like this paired with these tights (or fleece-lined tights in colder months) are my go-to option.

Consider staying away from full maxi dresses outside of cities–if you wear a maxi dress to traipse around Killarney National Park or the Cliffs of Moher, there’s a good chance the bottom of it ends up wet.

This dress isn’t quite as long as a traditional maxi dress, and I loved wearing it on our latest trip to Ireland (but be warned–the slit is HIGH and it blows around a lot–definitely wear it with leggings or tights). 

Kate Storm in Cobh Ireland wearing the red dress recommended on this packing list for Ireland

Even during the summer, light sweaters like this are a great option for Ireland, as are long-sleeved shirts like this .

Short-sleeved tops like this are also a cute choice, but you’ll want to make sure to bring a jacket along with you for the day in case the weather turns!

I also loved having a more rugged, comfortable flannel for days spent out in nature–the perfect combo of cute and cozy. Mine is similar to this .

Though Ireland is of course not a Nordic country, Nordic sweaters are also a cozy look that I think is perfect for Ireland–the patterns look beautiful against the countryside!

Kate Storm in the distance walking into Hore Abbey--this dress and tights combo is one of my go-to outfits when packing for Ireland.

Leggings are a fantastic and cozy choice when deciding what to wear in Ireland–I love this pair and tended to throw them on whenever we had a long drive ahead.

Be sure to bring along a pair of jeans as well– this is my favorite pair –even in the summer.

Skirts like this layered with tights are also a great option for what to wear in Ireland!

I love these tights (they’re super durable, very comfortable, and hold up forever), and I tend to wear them constantly under dresses and skirts. If you’re traveling in the colder months, consider swapping these from your Ireland packing list for some cozy fleece-lined tights .

Kate Storm sitting on a wooden split level fence in Ireland with countryside behind her.

In my opinion, waterproof boots are an absolute must-have item on your Ireland packing list year-round. They’ll keep your feet warm and dry regardless of the circumstances, they’re comfortable to wear, and they can be adorable, too!

This is my pair , and I absolutely love them. Even when my jeans got completely drenched (like just-climbed-out-of-a-pool levels of drenched) during a rainstorm in Dingle, they still kept my feet completely dry.

Kate Storm in a red dress at Hore Abbey. She's sitting on a stone wall looking out at a field of cows. Her boots are recommended for your packing list for Ireland!

First and foremost: any packing list for Ireland requires a rain jacket! 

This is mine , and I love and recommend it. It folds up incredibly well to fit into your suitcase, it’s comfortable and flattering for photos, and–most importantly–it’s completely effective at keeping you dry.

You’ll also want another comfortable, light jacket with you in the summer (I brought a very basic one similar to this on our most recent trip).

In the winter, you’ll want something a bit heavier–think something like this . It doesn’t get extremely cold in Ireland–you won’t need a full-on down parka here–but you’ll definitely want to bundle up.

Kate Storm in a yellow raincoat on the ferry from Inisheer to Doolin. You can see the Cliffs of Moher far off in the distance.


travel essentials ireland

Even in the summer, a scarf is a great option to bring along–but keep in mind that souvenir stalls and shops selling Irish wool hats, scarves, and gloves (not to mention sweaters) are absolutely everywhere. If you want to bring home some wool souvenirs, you may want to consider holding off on packing these and simply picking them up while you’re in Ireland!

If you’re planning on hitting the spa while in Ireland, or you’re just far more willing to jump into a chilly ocean than we are, consider bringing a bathing suit along to Ireland as well.

Though they’re far from necessary, I also personally love  these cuffs  to mix up my look when wearing boots.

Souvenir shop in Ireland selling wool sweaters. The building is stone and red. If you want to buy wool in Ireland, don't overpack when deciding what to bring to Ireland.

Light sweaters like this  and long-sleeved shirts like this  are great options for Ireland.

Short-sleeve t-shirts like this are also absolutely fine during the summer and are definitely Jeremy’s preference (but maybe throw a light jacket or sweater in your day bag in case of a shift in the weather).

Jeremy Storm drinking a Guinness when spending a couple days in Dublin Ireland

Casual chinos like these and a pair of jeans are just about all you need as far as pants in Ireland go.

If you’re wondering what to wear in Ireland in the summer and are considering bringing shorts, you sure can, especially if you tend to get hot–but in a reversal from most of Europe, you’ll see the occasional local wearing them, and very few tourists in them!

Generally, it stays cool enough in Ireland year-round that shorts aren’t necessary.

Jeremy Storm standing at an overlook in Killarney National Park, facing away from the camera with his arms in the air.

You’ll definitely want comfortable waterproof boots on your packing list for Ireland: Jeremy wore these for the entirety of our most recent trip and found that they were perfect for all occasions.

Ireland’s infamously rainy weather calls for a rain jacket: Jeremy opted not to bring one and definitely had plenty of regrets! This one is a great choice.

You’ll also want a light, preferably water-resistant jacket (Jeremy likes this one ), and if you’re traveling in the colder months, a warmer coat as well.

Jeremy Storm carrying a pacsafe backpack and wearing a gray jacket, looking out over Conor Pass in Ireland

If you’re packing for Ireland outside the summer months, a warm scarf , hat , and gloves are an absolute must!

If you’re planning on hitting the spa while in Ireland, or you’re just far more willing to jump into a chilly ocean than we are, consider bringing a bathing suit with you as well.

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm standing in front of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland shortly before sunset

Binoculars — Coastal regions in Ireland are home to all sorts of delightful creatures, including a wide variety of birds (like puffins!) and beautiful dolphins. Binoculars are an inexpensive & easy-to-pack item for your Ireland packing list, and they’ll greatly enhance your trip to the coast!

travel essentials ireland

Basic Medication — Some people prefer to buy medication for basic headaches, fevers, and stomach aches as needed, but we prefer to bring our own along–no one likes tracking down pharmacies when they’re sick, right?

Two photos of Ireland: top photo of Rock of Cashel, bottom photo of a woman sitting on Inch Beach. Black and red text on a white background reads "The Ultimate Ireland Packing List"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

4 thoughts on “The Ultimate Packing List for Ireland (+ What to Wear!)”

Where would you stay in Cohb? My cousins and I are planning a trip to Ireland in May.

We didn’t stay within Cobh, but I was booking a hotel for myself, I’d look for something with an 8.0 rating or hire on Booking(.)com that was within walking distance of the Cobh Heritage Center (most things in town are).

We took a day trip to Cobh from Macroom and stayed in this fantastic B&B, though sadly it looks like they may not be taking reservations right now:

Hi. What is your opinion of our (2 60 year old ladies) plan for our first trip to Ireland? We don’t want to rush around, so 3 days in Dublin (Temple); 3 days in Athlone (no reason – it looks pretty); and three days in Howth to completely unwind or catch up on anything we missed in Dublin. We are not renting a car and our main goal is history and nature by day, good food and old world pubs at night.

We are travelling late March, 2024.

Personally, we love the Irish countryside the most, so I’d be tempted to recommend that you head to some smaller villages and coastal viewpoints if you can! Ireland is not the easiest company for public transportation, but there is a workable bus system.

In your case, you might want to consider signing up for a guided day trip or two as well, as it’ll allow you to access less-populated spots without driving. Howth is lovely but small, so if you’d like to go further afield, trimming a day trip there in order to visit somewhere else (many day trips leave from the Dublin area) could be a good option.

We personally love the west coast (the Dingle Peninsula is one of our favorite places in Ireland), but the whole country is beautiful!

Hope you guys have an amazing trip!

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Travel Around Ireland

Ultimate Packing List for Ireland: Be Prepared for Every Scenario (+free checklist)

Looking for a local’s guide on what to pack for Ireland? Need the ultimate packing list for Ireland so you know exactly what to bring for your trip to the Emerald Isle? Then you are in luck!

Discover exactly what you will need for a trip to Ireland with my ultimate packing list for Ireland that comes complete with a printable Ireland packing list checklist.

No more trying to decide what to put in your suitcase. No more guessing games because now you have my local’s knowledge to lean on. This post has got details on everything you could possibly need and more to make your trip to the beautiful island of Ireland smooth and totally memorable.

What to pack for Ireland in fall/autumn

Other things to bring to ireland, ireland packing checklist.

*This post contains affiliate links, which may include Amazon affiliate links. To read more about affiliate links, please visit my Disclosure Policy page.

Whether you will be hiking, road tripping, or sightseeing your way around Ireland, there are a few staples you need to pack and a few things that I would suggest are nice to have. You also need to consider your toiletries, electronics and gadgets, and, most importantly, the documents you will need for your trip.

I have compiled a list of suggested clothing, and this is included here, but if you want more information about the clothing you might need, I’ve written a post about what to wear in Ireland which can help you prepare your clothing further.

I have also put together a handy, printable Ireland packing list so you can tick everything off as you put them into your suitcase or backpack.

So, let’s take a look at my packing list for a trip to Ireland.

The Ultimate Ireland Packing List

Unless you have done zero research, you should know by now that Irish weather is extremely changeable. One minute it will be sunny, then dark clouds roll over and the heavens open. Drizzly rain can be a nightmare and very common in Ireland, no matter the season.

So, deciding what clothes to pack for Ireland can be tricky. You need to pack for all eventualities, but when packing for a trip to Ireland, the time of year will dictate exactly what you need to bring.

There are staples you will need in your luggage and then, depending on the time of year you are visiting Ireland, you will either need bulky, warm clothes, or lighter clothing for slightly warmer weather. I have put together a short synopsis for each season of the year to help you further and you can find them below.

You can also read my post about the best time of year to visit Ireland if you are still deciding exactly when to go and what to pack as a result.

When it comes to packing for Ireland, there are a few things to remember.

  • The saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing is very true of Ireland.
  • The perfect Ireland wardrobe has layers, raincoats, and waterproof shoes.
  • You should be able to layer your wardrobe easily, but they should also be easy to remove if the weather improves suddenly.
  • Always bring a daypack or small backpack when you are out and about to put layers you remove into.
  • Always remember your umbrella. You never know when you might need it.
  • Even if you are visiting in summer, it is worth packing a sweater.
  • Other things to remember (and included below) are your water bottle, sunscreen and hat, and scarf.

Ireland packing list for women

In this section, you will find an Ireland packing list for women. These should form the staples for every season and can be adjusted accordingly.

A picture of a woman in a wine coat and woollen hat crossing the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in Northern Ireland

Coat – You will need either a lightweight or heavy coat, depending on whether you are visiting in Summer or Winter. Winter coats should be warm and preferably padded.

Rain gear for Ireland – This can be as simple as a waterproof raincoat , but I also bring a set of waterproof legs outside of summer to keep my legs dry, especially at outdoor venues such as castles and historic houses and gardens.

Trainers – Pack comfortable trainers for walking and sightseeing. Just remember they are likely to get wet, be prepared.

Waterproof hiking boots/shoes – If you are likely to be walking or hiking, or spending most of your time outdoors exploring, then a set of waterproof boots or shoes is a must. Proper hiking boots/shoes will also support you on slippery surfaces outdoors.

Socks – Bring warm socks and preferably thermal for winter, and hiking socks if you plan some hiking during your trip.

T-shirts – You will need 4-5 T-shirts per week, assuming you will be doing laundry when you need to. It is worth packing 1-2 long-sleeved ones, even in summer, as you never know when you might get a cooler-than-average day.

Sweaters – 2 to 3 sweaters per week, bringing warm woollen or fleece for winter, and lightweight sweaters for summer. You could opt for a cardigan for summer instead.

Jeans – 1-2 pairs per week is enough, especially if you plan to bring the next item.

Cargo pants – Cargo pants that are lined are ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing, while convertible cargo pants are perfect for warmer, summer months to save you packing shorts.

Long skirt – A long skirt, heavy for winter and lightweight for summer that is versatile enough for day and evening wear is a good idea.

Tops – You may need 1-2 smart tops for evening weather to team with your skirt or jeans.

Dress/Jumpsuit – A long dress or jumpsuit makes an ideal item of clothing for evening wear or for an event.

Men’s Ireland packing list

For the male members of your party, the packing list is quite similar. Again, the list can be adjusted accordingly to your trip and the time of year you visit.

A picture of a man enjoying views of the Cliffs of Moher

Coat – Heavy winter coat for October to March visits, a lightweight coat for other months.

Rain jacket – You cannot visit Ireland without packing a waterproof raincoat .

Trainers – For comfortable walking and exploring.

Waterproof boots/shoes – Be they hiking boots or simply good-quality waterproof shoes , pack these to keep your feet dry at all times.

Socks – Bring an adequate number with the right amount of warmth for the time of year of your visit.

T-shirts/Tops – 5 T-shirts or tops and remember to ensure they are a mixture of short and long-sleeved ones, even for summer.

Cargo pants – Again, opt for lined for winter and convertible cargo pants for summer.

Jeans – 2 pairs should suffice per week, assuming you will be washing when possible.

Evening trousers – Bring 2 per week.

Evening shirts/polos – Bring 1-2 unless you are planning to have fancy restaurant meals every night of your trip.

Sweaters/hoody – Bring at least one hoody for your trip and 2 additional sweaters or jumpers. Hoodies can keep you warm in your accommodation while you relax after dinner before bed.

Kid’s Ireland packing list

The kid’s packing list for Ireland should be almost the same for Mum and Dad with the exception that you should pack at least one or two additional trousers and tops for them. Kids tend to get dirty and mucky quicker than adults and they can find puddles hard to ignore. Here is an idea of what I pack for my son for our trips to Ireland.

A picture of a boy in a blue woollen jumper and dark trousers standing at the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland with a smile on his face and arms open wide

Coat – This is a heavy, padded coat for winter and a lighter, windproof coat for summer.

Raincoat – We never, ever travel to Ireland without a waterproof raincoat for our son.

Waterproof all-in-one suit – If we are planning on going sightseeing in Ireland, I always bring my son’s all-in-one waterproof over suit . This means we can be exploring castles, gardens, or beaches without fear of him getting soaked should the heavens open.

Jeans – I bring 3-4 pairs per week, mainly because there is always the risk of him getting wet and mucky. I do laundry where and when I can.

Sweaters/jumpers – Again, I bring 3-4 per week, with a mixture of warm woollen jumpers and lightweight, fleece sweaters that can be layered.

Socks – I always bring 2 pairs per day just in case he gets one pair wet (jumping in puddles).

Waterproof walking boots – We always travel with a pair of waterproof walking boots or shoes for our son as rain is such a common occurrence. I also get one of my sisters to buy me a pair of wellington boots for our son before our arrival if we are going on a road trip so he can use them for those all-important puddles.

Trainers – I bring a pair of dark trainers for sightseeing in towns.

T-shirts – 3-4 T-shirts per week is standard for us.

Long-sleeved tops – I substitute some of the short-sleeved T-shirts for long-sleeved for winter and combine them with base layers if we are visiting between October and March as we are coming from a warmer country.

Seasonal clothes to pack for Ireland

As well as the staples, you may want to tailor your wardrobe for the season in which you will be visiting. Whether you are wondering what to pack for Ireland in summer or winter, here are a few more ideas for you.

Things to pack for Ireland in winter

Ireland is generally cold and wet throughout the winter months. Average high temperatures range from 3˚C to 8˚C (37˚F to 46˚F) and this season is the wettest season of the year. Packing for Ireland in winter will involve lots of warm layers.

Here are specific things you will need to pack for Ireland in winter.

  • Lined trousers – To keep your legs warm.
  • Warm jacket – A down-filled winter coat won’t go astray. Make sure it is warm, windproof, and preferably waterproof too.
  • Sweaters/Fleeces – You are going to need a mixture of sweaters and fleeces for keeping warm.
  • Hat/Gloves/Scarf – If you are going to be out and about, do not forget your winter woollies.
  • Base layers – If you are coming from a warm country (like us) or cannot stand the cold, a set of base layers for under your clothes while outdoors and exploring will come in handy. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience of exploring ruined castles during a bitterly cold set of days in March.
  • Thermal socks – If you are anything like me, thermal socks are a must for winter to keep your feet warm and dry.

A woman in jeans and a jacket standing at the coast edge looking at the Crohy Sea Stacks in Ireland

Ireland summer packing list

When it comes to your packing list for Ireland in summer, you can leave the heavy, bulky clothes at home and opt for more lightweight versions. That said, you will still need a sweater or two and your raincoat.

Average high temperatures in Ireland during summer range between 16˚C and 20˚C (60˚F to 68˚F). It tends to be the driest season, although you will most likely experience isolated showers. But it should be warm at least from June to August.

Here are a few more ideas of what you can pack for summer in Ireland, assuming you will see a few nice days.

  • Shorts – You can opt for convertible cargo pants that can act as both trousers and shorts, saving you some precious packing space.
  • Maxi dresses – For the ladies, these can double up as both day and evening wear.
  • Skirts – Team them with simple T-shirts or tops on warm, sunny days.
  • Sundress – Ladies, pack one or two to wear on nice, warm days.
  • Light sweaters – Bring one or two lightweight sweaters for early mornings, days when the weather is changeable, or for cool evenings.
  • Walking sandals – Depending on the activities you plan on doing, walking sandals can be a better option than shoes or boots. I love the Teva range of sandals.
  • Lightweight raincoat – Because showers…
  • Sunscreen – Even through the clouds you can still get burnt in Ireland. So, if you don’t fancy looking like a beetroot, pack the factor 30.
  • Sunglasses – To protect your eyes.
  • Swimwear – Swim shorts for men and swimsuit or bikini for ladies. Remember the kids’ swim costumes as well if you are visiting Ireland as a family. You may also need these if your hotel or accommodation has a pool or spa.
  • Flip flops – For beach days.

Ireland packing list spring

While winter is starting to recede, spring is still a chilly time of the year to visit Ireland. Average high temperatures range between 8˚C and 15˚C (46˚F to 59˚F). Early spring experiences cold days, while in later spring things start warming up. Days are also brighter and sunnier.

Here are a few ideas for things you’ll need for Ireland in spring.

  • Long-sleeved tops – To help keep you warm.
  • Hat/Gloves/Scarf – You are going to need these for exploring outdoors as spring days can still be cold.
  • Lightweight Jacket – Make sure it is both windproof and waterproof.
  • Warm socks – As I have already said, no one enjoys exploring and sightseeing with cold feet.
  • Fleeces – While you could leave the heavy sweaters at home, fleece jumpers are ideal for keeping warm and layering. Plus, they are generally less bulky and will easily fit into your daypack.

When autumn arrives in Ireland, temperatures start to drop quickly. For this season, you are going to need to pack warm clothes. Average high temperatures range from 5˚C to 17˚C (41˚F to 63˚F), depending on when in fall you visit Ireland.

Here is what you are going to need to pack for Ireland in fall/autumn.

  • Waterproof and windproof jacket – For those returning chilly days.
  • Warm sweaters – These are needed, especially in late fall.
  • Long-sleeved tops – For keeping warm and layering.
  • Warm socks – To keep your toes toasty.
  • Waterproof boots – Leave the summer sandals at home and bring waterproof boots/shoes for this season in Ireland.
  • Hat/Gloves/Scarf – For comfort on cold days.

A picture of a woolen hat and scarf

Ireland packing list – The Essentials

Your Ireland travel packing list needs to include some essentials for Ireland. This section is dedicated to all the other things you will need to pack.

First Aid Kit

You can either purchase a pre-packed first aid kit from the likes of Amazon, or you can prepare one yourself. You never know when you might need it, and if you have one that you can pop in your daypack, you’ll be glad you brought one should anyone trip, fall, and cut themselves. If you are opting for your own, ensure you include the following items:

  • Pain-relief medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Bandages and tape
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Alcohol wipes

A picture of a small travel first aid kit in a tin

Next up are your basic toiletries. Now, you can either choose to use your weight allowance to bring your favourite brands and full-sized bottles. Or, you can go my route, which is to bring travel-sized bottles and stock up on the necessities once you’ve arrived in Ireland.

Supermarkets and stores such as Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Aldi, Lidl, and Supervalu all stock toiletries, so if you want to save on your luggage weight, go small and buy once you are in Ireland. Pack them all in a toiletries bag that rolls up for handy storage and opening.

But here is an idea of what you’ll need for your first few days until you hit the shops.

  • Shampoo and conditioner, preferably a 2-in-1
  • Shower gel (in case your accommodation does not provide it)
  • Shaving foam
  • Perfume/aftershave
  • Face care such as fash wash and moisturiser.

A picture of a hanging toiltry bag

There are a few essential documents you will need to remember. Some are self-explanatory and others you might not have thought about.

  • Passport and a copy of it – with at least 6-months validity left, depending on the requirements for your country of origin.
  • European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – All citizens of EU countries should carry this when travelling to avail of the health system in member states.
  • Travel insurance – Never travel without it as you never know when you might need it.
  • Driving Licence – Super important if you are hiring a car.
  • International Driving Licence – Issued in your home country, you might need this alongside your normal driving licence. Check with the hire car company before you travel.
  • Hotel and excursion confirmations – It is best to have a printout of your hotel confirmations and excursions to be on the safe side. You never know when your phone might let you down.
  • Document wallet – To keep everything together and safe.

Electronic & Gadgets

You are not going to travel to Ireland and not take hundreds, if not thousands of pictures. So, you’ll need to consider your electronics and gadgets to bring.

  • Electric shaver
  • DSLR and Lenses – My DSLR of choice is my trusty Canon 5D Mark II . Lenses I tend to bring include my 24-105mm lens, 50mm prime lens, and my 17-40mm landscape lens.
  • Handheld camera – I never travel anywhere without my Canon G7X Mark II . It is such a great, all-round camera.
  • Action camera – Such as the GoPro Hero 8 Black (our GoPro of choice).
  • Drone – If you want stunning aerial shots, go for the DJI Mavic Pro II . My husband has this drone, and it is excellent. You can find out about drone laws in Ireland here .
  • Unlocked smartphone – Ensuring your smartphone is unlocked or SIM-free means you can buy a local pre-paid SIM for calls/texts/data. Our smartphones are dual-SIM.
  • Laptop – If you want to process pictures on-the-go.
  • External hard drive – Handy if you don’t have access to WiFi and want to store your pictures.
  • Memory Cards – Lots of them. Or ensure they have lots of space.
  • Camera Tripod – For windy days or selfie-type shots.
  • Portable phone charger – You’ll need this if you are opting to take your pictures on your phone or are using it as a GPS replacement.
  • Noise-cancelling headphones – A must for the plane and for evening relaxation. We love the Bose QC 35 headphones .
  • Waterproof Phone Case – Rain, need I say more.

As if all that was not enough, here are a few more items that you might want to bring to Ireland. They are not necessarily must-haves.

  • Travel guidebooks – Lonely Planet and DK Eyewitness are my favourites.
  • Travel coffee mug
  • Universal travel adapter – A must when travelling to Ireland for plugging in your electronics safely.
  • Earplugs – Great for sleeping on the plane and in noisy hotels or hostels.
  • Packing cubes – These make luggage much easier (see below).
  • Multi-socket plug – Handy for hotels or accommodations that do not have lots of sockets in your room.
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunscreen/Lip balm – For warm and windy days, respectively.
  • Windproof umbrella
  • Quick-dry towel – Just in case your accommodation does not provide any or you need one while out and about. Can double up as a picnic blanket.
  • Daypack – A must for exploring Ireland and outdoor activities.

A picture of a blue universal travel adapter

Ireland packing tips

Now that we’ve covered what to pack for a trip to Ireland, let’s talk about how to pack for Ireland. Here are a few packing tips to ensure this part of your preparations isn’t a chore.

  • Keep your valuables in your hand luggage. This will avoid potential damage by baggage handlers. Also, try to keep valuables locked in a hotel safe, or with you in your daypack.
  • Check airline baggage allowances before you travel. Low-cost airline Ryanair has very strict luggage policies and hefty fees if you don’t comply with them. Normal hand luggage is only available at a certain ticket price and hold luggage can bump up the costs.
  • Lay everything out before you pack and ask yourself “Do I really need it?”. Don’t bring unnecessary things.
  • Wear bulky items on the plane. Wear your waterproof boots/shoes and your coat on the plane to save luggage space.
  • Use packing cubes . These revolutionised how we pack as a family and means we can easily identify who owns what by colour coding. They also act as drawer inserts for easy unpacking.
  • Roll, roll, roll. Rolling your clothes instead of packing flat saves on space and can reduce the number of wrinkles your clothed will have.
  • Spread your clothes across your luggage. What do I mean by this? Instead of everyone having one piece of luggage dedicated to them, split your luggage across all the suitcases. That way, if one gets lost, you all still have some clothing to wear until the lost suitcase is located and returned to you.
  • Don’t fill your suitcase before you go. Leave some space for souvenirs and be mindful of the weight. Pack a travel scales to double-check weights before you get to the airport.

For an idea of the type of souvenirs, you might pick up in Ireland, read my post about the best Irish souvenirs .

And, to make your life even easier, I have put together a printable Ireland packing checklist that you can get free by clicking the download button. I find having a checklist for packing for Ireland means I am unlikely to forget anything as I pack my suitcase. You can simply cross out anything that does not apply.

The best Ireland packing list printable

The checklist is a printable and downloadable pdf file. Download and print it before your next trip to Ireland to help you get organised.

Final thoughts on packing for Ireland

I hope this packing list for Ireland has been helpful and has reminded you that when it comes to what to wear in Ireland, the most important things to remember are waterproof boots or shoes, a good quality raincoat or jacket, and layers.

I’ve also included some packing tips for Ireland that I’ve found useful over the years. If there are any you would add to the list, let me know in the comments below.

Read more hints and tips for visiting Ireland:

  • More Ireland Packing List Essentials
  • What to Wear in Ireland
  • Can You Travel to Ireland on a Budget?
  • Can You Get Around Ireland Without a Car?
  • Getting Around Ireland by Car, Train, or Bus
  • The Best Reasons to Visit Ireland
  • The Best Time to Go to Ireland
  • Essential Ireland Travel Tips

travel essentials ireland

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The Irish Road Trip

Ireland Travel Tips: 16 Useful Things To Know Before Visiting Ireland

By Author Keith O'Hara

Posted on Last updated: December 29, 2023

Ireland Travel Tips: 16 Useful Things To Know Before Visiting Ireland

If you’re visiting Ireland and you’re looking for some handy Ireland travel tips, the ones below are based on my 34 years of living here.

Many guide with tips for traveling to Ireland consist of telling you to ‘Make sure to have the craic’ ….

You’ll have the craic (Irish slang for fun!), don’t worry about that – however, there’s some extremely useful travel tips for Ireland that some tend to miss (like how and when to tip).

Below, you’ll discover a load of handy info for visiting Ireland – dive on in!

Table of Contents

Handy Ireland travel trips worth taking note of

tips for traveling to ireland

Below, you’ll find some handy Ireland travel tips. I’ve put these together based on the thousands of emails from tourists that we reply to (and receive) each year.

I strongly believe that, if you take note of the below, you’ll place yourself in a better position to have a more enjoyable trip.

1. Taking time to carefully map out your Irish road trip is worth its weight in gold

ireland itinerary 7 days

Click to enlarge map

We speak to people traveling to Ireland frequently. It might surprise you how many visit without any real plan of action (it surprised me, anyway).

Mapping out an Ireland itinerary that you have confidence in is worth it’s weight in gold and it ensures that you make the most of the time that you have here.

Hate planning? Don’t worry – we’ve done all the hard work for you. Hop into our Irish road trip library (the largest available anywhere) and you can choose your trip length, start point and  much  more.

2. Deciding when to visit is a tricky but hugely important task

best time to go to ireland

Click to enlarge

The trickiest part of planning a trip to Ireland is often deciding on the best time to visit Ireland – each month has its pros and cons.

Personally, I like traveling during the ‘shoulder season’ – September, October, April and May, as its quieter and you generally get better deals on accommodation and flights.

However, you need to weigh up the pros and cons and determine the best time for  you .

This can be a pain, but if you take note of one of our tips for traveling to Ireland, make sure it’s this one, as when you visit will have a direct impact on your overall experience.

3. We frequently get four seasons in one day

best month to visit Ireland

Click to enlarge image

Yes, you heard correctly – the weather in Ireland is mental. If you’re thinking, ‘Sure, I’m visiting in June – I’ll just pack shorts and t-shirts – it’ll be grand’ , think again.

Summer in Ireland can go from dry and toasty one minute to cold, wet and windy the next. One of the best travel tips that I can give you if you’re visiting Ireland is to pack for every kind of weather.

If you’re traveling to Ireland during the summer months, make sure to bring summery clothes, but also pack a light rain jacket and a warm hoody or cardigan.

4. We don’t have a ‘US Style’ tipping culture in Ireland

is tipping customary in ireland

Many guides on Ireland travel tips spread misinformation about tipping in Ireland, stating that it’s seen as rude if you don’t tip everyone from the bartender to the staff in your hotel.

In Ireland, aside from in places that serve you food (table service only), tipping isn’t customary. Is it appreciated? Sure! However, there isn’t a tipping culture in Ireland like there is in the USA and Canada.

In our guide to tipping in Ireland , you’ll find out where to tip and when along with how much to tip and when you really don’t have to.

5. You don’t have to use a car to get around Ireland – you can use a combination of tours and public transport

do you tip in ireland taxi

Yes, getting around Ireland without a car is very possible (in fact, we have  lots  of Irish road trip itineraries that only use public transport).

You can easily combine buses, trains and day tours to get around Ireland, you just need to be a bit more astute with your planning.

The advantage of not renting a car is it’s cheaper. The disadvantage is that you don’t have as much flexibility.

Note: Public transportation in Ireland is notoriously bad in places like Donegal

6. Renting a car in Ireland can be a pain for several reasons

Ireland car rental tips

This is one of the Ireland travel tips I tend to pass on most frequently.

We published the world’s most useful guide to renting a car in Ireland recently. If you nip into it, you’ll see me rant… quite a bit.

Personally, I believe that the car rental industry makes renting a car as confusing as possible.

I’m not the only one to think this, either. There has been a number of consumer reports outlining the shady practices of the car rental industry in Ireland.

7. If you plan on driving in Ireland, take time to prepare before you arrive

driving in ireland for the first time guide

Many people driving in Ireland for the first time do absolutely zero preparation in advance of arriving.

Then they get here and panic. Especially when they reach the likes of  Conor Pass (a narrow mountain road on the Dingle Peninsula ) or sections of the Ring of Kerry .

I’d  strongly  recommend taking time to understand the rules of the road in Ireland along with how to navigate roundabouts.

Yes, it’s a boring task, but it’s only you’ll thank yourself for when you get behind the wheel. Few Ireland travel tips are as useful as this one.

8. Don’t be fooled into thinking the only airport in Ireland is in Dublin

ireland airports map

Yep, there are several airports in Ireland that you can fly into, depending on your departure point.

Now, you’ll remember that the first of our tips for traveling to Ireland was to plan your itinerary  before  booking  anything .

One of the reasons for this is that picking what airport you fly into will have a massive effect on your itinerary.

For example, if you fly into Shannon (Clare) you’ll be finely placed to tackle the Wild Atlantic Way from the moment you leave arrivals.

If you land in Belfast, you can get onto the Antrim Coast Road in under an hour. This is another of the Ireland travel tips I find myself repeating over and over.

9. Be aware of the various laws in Ireland before you arrive

best Irish beers

Unsurprisingly enough, there are numerous laws in Ireland that you need to be aware of in advance of your visit.

Now, most of them are common sense. However, others, like the smoking ban, can catch people out.

That and the fact that there are many Irish drinking laws , from not drinking in public to the age that you can legally drink from.

Related read:  We’ve published the world’s largest free collection of self guided driving tours of Ireland

10. It’s possible to do Ireland on a budget, but you may need to leave out certain places

Merrion Square

Photos via Shutterstock

The cost of a trip to Ireland has been going up-and-up in recent years. However, doing Ireland on a budget is still possible – it just requires a lot of advanced planning.

One of the more useful tips for traveling to Ireland on a budget is to use the likes of Skyscanner to track the price of flights. Then, when they reach a price you’re comfortable with, pounce!

You’ll also likely need to dodge some of the cities in Ireland , like Dublin, as that’s where accommodation prices have reached unreasonable levels.

11. Make a copy of your passport and bring it with you

passport copy

Photo left: Spencer Davis. Top right: by_nicholas (Canva)

This is one of the more basic Ireland travel tips, and you likely won’t need to use it. However, if you ever do, you’ll thank yourself for it.

Personally, I have a digital copy of my passport stored on my phone and I have a folder with three copies of my passport that I leave in my backpack.

That way, if anything were to happen, you’ll make life an awful lot easier.

12. Currency converting ‘stores’ generally have the worst rates

currency exchange

Left: Oleksandr Filon. Top right: martaposemuckel. Bottom right: 400tmax (Canva)

This is one of the more obvious visiting Ireland travel tips – if you convert money via currency exchange providers you’ll be hit with a hefty fee.

You’re generally better off just leaving the Dollars in your bank account and then withdrawing for an ATM when you arrive (there are plenty of them).

Or, if you’re using something like a Revolut or Wise credit/debit card, they tend to get you a good rate.

13. Some visitors can shop VAT-free

vat refund ireland

Bottom left: Massonstock. Top right: simarik. Left: Corelens (Canva)

If you’re traveling to Ireland from a non-EU country, you’re entitled to a VAT refund on eligible purchases made during your visit. Now, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t apply to things like hotels, food or car hire.

In fact, it’s intended to only apply to items that you can carry home in your hand luggage. In our guide to claiming a VAT refund after traveling to Ireland, you’ll find out everything you need to know.

14. Irish slang and humour can be tricky to get your head around

irish slang words

Irish slang words and Irish curses are part of everyday life in Ireland. The tricky thing is, however, that different parts of the country have different slang terms.

There’s obvious ones, like ‘the Craic’ (i.e. ‘fun’) but there’s less obvious terms, like referring to ‘Yer one’ and ‘Yer man’.

If you’re confused during a conversation, ask the person to clarify what it is they said – it’s rare you’ll meet someone that won’t help you understand a bit of slang.

Related read: In need of a giggle? See our guide to the funniest  Irish jokes

15. Understand the differences between Ireland and Northern Ireland before arriving

partition of Ireland

One of our final tips for traveling to Ireland relates to the differences between the Republic of Ireland vs Northern Ireland . In a nutshell, the 6 counties of Northern Ireland are part of the United Kingdom.

The remaining 26 are part of the Republic of Ireland. Now, there’s no ‘hard’ border between Ireland and Northern Ireland – you can drive from one to the other without noticing.

The things you need to be aware of are that the currency in Ireland is Euro and the currency in Northern Ireland is Pound Sterling.

16. Always opt to visit traditional-style pubs over modern cafe bars

Galway Pubs

Photos courtesy Failte Ireland

There’s endless pubs in Ireland , however, not all are equal.

There’s traditional pubs and there are modern pubs and you’ll always, in our opinion, want to opt for traditional.

Traditional Irish pubs are ones that have stood the test of time and that boast a charm and character that you won’t encounter anywhere else in the world.

17. Limit the time you spend in Dublin to 2-3 days max

Ha’penny Bridge

Although there’s plenty of things to do in Dublin , don’t spend more than 2-3 days max there (see our guides to 2 days in Dublin and 24 hours in Dublin ).

Many people fly into Dublin and then spend 5 days to a week there, but it’s far too much (unless you’re doing day trips to Wicklow, Meath and Kilkenny).

When visiting Dublin it’s worth using the likes of the Dublin Pass , which will save you cash if you’re visiting the main attractions, like the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery.

Related Ireland travel tips: The  Heritage Card is similar to the Dublin Pass in that it’ll get you into multiple fee-paying attractions for a single fee

19. Don’t just stick to the main tourist track

Beara Peninsula

Go and visit the Cliffs of Moher , the Giant’s Causeway and all of the other tourist favourites (if you want to, that is) – but make a conscious effort to step off the beaten path.

It’s only when you do this that you really start to discover how mighty our little island really is. Places like the Beara Peninsula in Cork, the North Mayo coast and the Mourne Mountains in Down tend to get left off of many Ireland itineraries.

Which is a shame. As it’s in these lesser-known/visited corners of Ireland that you’ll discover how powerful the combination of natural beauty and peace and quiet can be.

19. There’s more to Irish culture than drink (and there’s more to tradition than Paddy’s Day)

trad music

Many people looking for tips for traveling to Ireland never really ask about Irish culture or Irish traditions .

Ireland’s culture has benefited from sport, music, literature, art, language, storytelling (see our section on Irish mythology ), farming and food and you should try and experience as much of it as you can during your visit.

Similarly, traditions stem far beyond St. Patrick’s Day – there’s  countless  ancient festivals in Ireland , many of which take place outside of the busy summer months, that are worth a visit.

20. Pack layers – lots of layers

what to wear in Ireland

Many people visiting Ireland make the mistake of packing for the season, e.g. bringing  only  shorts and t-shirts during summer in Ireland .

One of the more useful what not to do in Ireland travel tips is to assumer that Irish seasons act as they should.

In our guide on what to wear in Ireland , you’ll find info on what you should bring for each season – in a nutshell, layers are  always  needed.

What travel tips for Ireland have we missed?

Although we’ve spent a lot of time putting our visiting Ireland travel tips guide together, I’m sure there’s som handy tips and tricks that we’ve missed.

If you have any travel tips for Ireland that you’d like to recommend, feel free to shout in the comments below.

FAQs about tips for traveling to Ireland

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Do I need cash?’ to ‘What are no-go areas?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

What do I need to know before traveling to Ireland?

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are two separate countries on the one island (and thus have differences), the weather is a little bit crazy and a well-planned trip itinerary is worth its weight in gold.

What are some essential Ireland travel tips?

Plan your itinerary before you book anything, prepare for 4 seasons in one day, choose the right time to visit based on how you like to travel/your budget and determine what mode of transport suits your travel style.

How do I not stick out in Ireland?

Although we’d argue that there’s no fun in just ‘blending in’, if you’re looking to avoid standing out, how you dress and how you conduct yourself in public places are key.

travel essentials ireland

Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.

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What to pack for ireland: only packing list you’ll ever need.

Bradley Williams

One of the many great things about dating Cazzy is that she is Irish!

Meaning I get to spend at least a couple months every year living in Ireland and taking time to explore the many incredible sites on offer.

Our biggest trip so far was our epic two week Ireland road trip that took us all the way around the coast of the island, discovering almost a dozen different counties and experiencing the true beauty that the country has to offer.

With such fondness for the country I figured it time to put together our own ultimate Ireland packing list.

Weather in Ireland can fluctuate pretty quickly, and it seems to have an altogether different climate to neighbouring countries of England, Wales & Scotland.

So here’s an overview at what to pack for Ireland, with a specific look at different times of the year you may be visiting and what extra essentials you might need.

So, first up ...

Travel insurance tip

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For more info, check out my in-depth SafetyWing review .

Ultimate Ireland packing checklist

Men's packing list, women's packing list, travel essentials, tech/gadgets, health & safety, miscellaneous, other items to consider, different seasons in ireland.

As it’s not a particularly big country, the landscape and geography across Ireland is pretty consistent.

It’s mostly made up of beautiful lush green countryside and forest.

This is a result of Ireland having a pretty damp climate throughout most of the year.

As you’ll see below, the country does have a summer when weather definitely can pick up; but across the board Ireland is well known for its rain .

But that’s what has helped to turn it into such a beautiful, wondrous place to visit.

There are 4 clear seasons, and here’s how they each affect what to bring to Ireland.

summer in ireland

Packing for Ireland in Summer

People often ask us … “When is the best time to visit Ireland?”

Well, if you want the nicest weather and longest days, then summer is definitely your best shout!

Summer runs from June to August and when we road tripped Ireland in June, the weather was INCREDIBLE!

Calm blue skies and hot sun were present almost every day, and the days were also at their longest, with the sun not setting until 10pm at night.

Which was perfect for us as we had lots of things to see in Ireland and only a limited time to see them all.

In the summer months, expect temperatures to frequently be high teens - low/mid 20s, with the possibility of 30 on some very rare days.

This is not to say that it won’t rain, when in fact there’s a good chance it will for at least once or twice a week.

Packing for Ireland in Winter

Winter in Ireland runs from December to February and, as you’d imagine, these are the coldest and shortest days in which to visit Ireland.

Average temperatures are in the low single digits and there will typically be a lot of rain.

There is also less daylight, with December 21st being the shortest day of the year.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t visit Ireland at this time. 

In fact, Christmas is a particularly magical time, especially in big cities like Dublin where there is plenty of craic to be had!

Packing for Ireland in Spring & Autumn

Spring in Ireland runs from March to May and autumn runs from September to November.

In many ways, Spring is my favorite time in Ireland.

Particularly from April onwards as trees and the countryside gradually come to life and bloom.

Weather-wise, things can be really hit and miss; one day you might have gorgeous clear skies and warm sun, and the next could be raining and hailing.

As such, if you choose to visit in these months, you almost need to be prepared for a bit of everything!

But if you are able to visit in these months, then you will definitely find that popular tourist attractions are a lot less busy.

Also, you’ll be able to get better deals on things like hotels, car hire, campervan hire and even flights.

Choosing the right bags for Ireland

The perfect bag for Ireland, really depends on what you’re planning on doing there! 

Your two main options are to go for are:

  • Roll-on luggage

backpacking for ireland

Ireland backpacks

If you are backpacking Ireland, then your best bet is a 60-75 litre backpack which will be able to hold everything you could possibly need.

When packing for countries like Thailand , you wouldn’t normally need such a huge pack unless you’re planning on backpacking for a few months.

However, because Ireland is typically much colder and wetter, you’re going to need to pack a few extra changes of clothes, as well as more warm weather gear like jumpers and jackets.

Based on our travels, the best backpacks to opt for are those made by Osprey .

They have an incredibly large range, and their backpacks are made to a very high quality, so they’re designed to last for years.

I’ve been using mine for all of our incredible backpacking adventures over the years and it’s still going strong.

Here’s my top 2 recommendations when choosing the best backpack for Ireland:

Bradley's choice



Cazzy's choice.



Choosing roll-on luggage.

I have only used a few roll-on luggage brands in recent years, but Horizn Studios has to be my favourite!

In particular, the M5 Smart , which comes with a bunch of really cool bonus features that most other carry-ons don't have, such as a built-in portable charger.

You can read more about what sort of luggage they offer, in my in-depth Horizn Studios luggage review . Bottom line though, they are super top quality and built to last a lifetime.

If you're in the market for other premium luggage, then you can read my guide on the best luxury carry-ons .

carry-on roll-on

Choosing the perfect day bag

Regardless of whether you are road tripping Ireland in a rental car , backpacking or going on an organised tour, a good day bag is essential for Ireland.

It needs to be big enough to carry around everything you need for a day of sightseeing; but also have a few practical essentials.

In particular, a rain cover!

Rain is very common in Ireland, even in the summer months and it can come out of nowhere.

So make sure that you pick up a rain cover ( like this one ) so you’re not caught unawares.

When travelling Ireland, we had one day bag each, and these are the same ones that have done us well when packing for India and dozens of other countries around the world.

My smaller Osprey bag is well suited for more adventurous activities where it may get bashed around more. Alternatively, the Endeavor of Lifepack backpacks from Solgaard could be a good fit as a sort of 2-in-1 backpack.

Tropicfeel's Shell backpack is an awesome second choice. It can actually be expanded if necessary and serve as an all-in-one main rucksack and day bag if you're keen to save space! We also use it as our go-to camera backpack whenever possible.

If you just want a lightweight anti-theft bag, I recommend reading my review of Loctote's bags here.

2 in one packing system

salkan backpack

If you're looking for a backpack and daypack combination that's waterproof, spacious and practical, then we highly recommend the Salkan.

We've conducted a full review on the Salkan backpack and daypack which you can find here , but I seriously feel it's a fantastic investment that will last you a lifetime of travels.

We've been using it for a while now across Canada and the USA, and wish we had it for our trip to Ireland.

It's available a green colour too, so Irish themed ;) 



Tropicfeel Shell backpack

Tropicfeel Shell Backpack

What to pack for ireland: travel essentials.

Here’s a breakdown of the most important things to take to Ireland. Feel free to skip ahead to whichever section you’re interested in.

After these sections we dig into more of the fun stuff, like our photography equipment.

What clothes to wear in Ireland for men

As I discussed at the start, you should expect there to be at least some degree of cold and rainy weather, regardless of which time of year you choose to visit Ireland.

So the start of this travel packing list includes the things that I would pack for Ireland at ANY time of the year.

Afterwards, I’ve included a couple of bonus sections for summer and winter.

  • Trainers - Based on my experience, Tropicfeel offers the best all-in-one travel trainer currently available. Perfect for moderate walking, driving and sightseeing. Plus they are naturally quick-drying, which makes them possibly the best shoes to wear in Ireland where they’re likely to get damp very often. Check out my in-depth Tropicfeel review for more info.
  • Hiking boots - If you plan on doing serious walking in Ireland, then trainers aren’t enough. Instead some rugged hiking boots for Ireland are a must have. 
  • Hiking socks
  • 5 t-shirts 
  • 1 evening shirt - Unless you’re planning on dining in high-end restaurants, then nothing too fancy. In fact, most pubs you visit for dinner will be filled with people in their normal day-wear.
  • 1 lightweight rain jacket - Always have one of these with you! Even if it’s cold out, I still prefer having a lightweight rain jacket that just slips over my jumper or hoodie. Plus, it can fold up nice and small and you can pack it away in your day bag for when you need it.
  • Jorts - Except for winter, I would say it’s always worth having at least one pair of shorts with you in Ireland. You do get randomly hot days throughout both Spring and Autumn so it’s useful to have some at hand to take advantage.
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 2 comfy trousers - When you’re lounging around in the evening, there’s nothing better than having warm, comfy tracksuit bottoms to wear. Or when you’re out and about exploring for the day, want to stay warm and don’t have anyone to impress!
  • 2 pairs of long socks
  • 2 Jumpers - Jumpers are a great way to stay warm in the day, but help look smart enough in the evening if you’re eating out. Plus, there’s just something so cosy about sitting in an Irish pub, in front of a fire with a nice wooly jumper on!
  • Sunglasses - Especially important if you’re planning to rent a campervan in Ireland (or a car) to get around.

what to wear in ireland

What to pack for Ireland in Summer

  • Swim shorts - Once that sun comes out, there are plenty of chances to get in the water in Ireland. Sure, you do need to be a little crazy as the water will still be cold, but who cares! Wild lake swimming is pretty popular in parts of Ireland, and we saw a bunch of locals doing this at Kilteery Pier, one of our wild camping spots in Limerick.
  • Flip flops - If ever there is a chance to bust out my Reef flip flops , I take it! These were the first backpacking gift I ever received and I still take them with me wherever I can.

What to pack for Ireland in Winter

  • Thick coat - To be honest, I would take a warm coat with me to Ireland all year round, but it’s especially important in winter! Those night times really do get cold, especially if you’re out late at night in a buzzing city like Galway . Plus, don’t forget these added accessories ...
  • Woolly socks

What to wear in Ireland for women (from Cazzy)

Since I grew up in Ireland, I have a pretty good idea of the type of clothing and accessories you need to pack for an epic adventure. 

Unfortunately, Ireland is prone to a bit of rain, BUT, that’s why everything is so green! 

We do get lots of nice sunshine too though, so it’s always a good idea to pack something warm and waterproof, just in case. 

  • Hiking boots - If you plan on doing any hiking in Ireland then proper hiking boots are a must have. The mountains get very muddy, slippery and treacherous so they're worth having.
  • 3 pairs of hiking socks
  • 5 pairs of trainer socks 
  • 1 light rain jacket - It can rain at random points of the day and rain a lot in winter
  • 4 t-shirts 
  • 1 pair of jeans - It gets colder in the evenings 
  • 1 long skirt 
  • 1 pair of light trousers: I recommend Buddha Pants for this, they're versatile, easy to pack and look awesome.
  • 1 playsuit or jumpsuit - This is perfect for dressing up in the evening for bars in Killarney
  • 1 light jacket - The sea breeze in Ireland is strong! Check out Apricoat for a stylish, and functional jacket!
  • 1 pair of trainers - It’s best to pack some decent waterproof walking shoes for Ireland, even if you don’t plan on hiking

clothing for visiting ireland

Ireland Summer packing list

Because of the nicer temperatures, summer packing for Ireland should include light and airy clothes, like summer-style dresses, or shorts and t-shirts. But it can still get cold in the evenings, so I would recommend a jacket and a pair of jeans too. 

  • 1 pair of sandals/shoes- Another great type of shoes to bring to Ireland to take advantage of those rare beach day opportunities
  • 1 pair of sunglasses - Keep those eyes protected
  • 1 swimming costume/bikini - If you’re brave enough to swim in the sea! 
  • 3 pairs of shorts 
  • 3 sun dresses
  • 1 pair of light trousers:   These are essential if you want to keep cool, but still keep your legs covered. I recommend Buddha pants , since they're lightweight, easy to pack away and come in a range of designs and styles to suit everyone.

Ireland winter packing list

It can get very cold and wet in Ireland in winter (which does add to the romance !), but you need to be prepared. The best clothes to pack for Ireland in such conditions a warm coat, warm socks, and hat, scarf and gloves. I would make sure your coat/jacket is waterproof, or bring an umbrella with you too. 

  • 3 warm socks 
  • Extra jeans

Washing clothes in Ireland

  • If you’re backpacking Ireland , then you’ll find places to wash your clothes in most hostels.
  • If you’re staying in hotels, then it’s very likely that your hotel will offer some sort of laundry service, but don’t expect it to be cheap.
  • If you’re road tripping the Emerald Isle, then one of the amazing things about the country is that there are washing and drying machines located in all major cities and towns. You’ll typically find them outside of large supermarkets (like Tescos) or outside of petrol stations. It costs maybe 5 Euros per load and you just wait around for an hour or so until they are done. You can then put them in the dryer for another 3 or 4 Euros and again wait til they’re finished. It’s so handy that they have these, but do be aware that they can get busy in busy summer months when so many people are in Ireland.
  • If you're staying in campsites, then you can get tokens and use their facilities to wash your clothes.

First aid kit

A good first aid kit is a key part of any Ireland packing list, regardless of whether you’re backpacking or roadtripping.

Just in case of any minor injuries or ailments. 

We take ours with us on all trips and it’s come in useful all the time. 

For any more serious injuries, then there are of course plenty of hospitals everywhere (if you’re from Europe, be sure to pack your EHIC card ) .

Here’s the basics that are in our first aid kit ...

  • Paracetamol
  • Bandages & tape
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Scissors/nail clippers
  • Moleskin tape
  • Needles and thread

Complete first aid kit

Ready-made travel first aid kit

If you don’t yet own a travel first aid kit, then here’s a good option to buy.

It contains the majority of what you need and you can then just add in any other items you want to take with you.

Plus, it’s small enough to tuck away in your backpack and not take up much space.

Prices for toiletries in Ireland are relatively average compared to most European cities and you can get everything below pretty cheap from big supermarkets (Tescos, Lidl, Aldi). Here’s what we took with us on our road trip.

  • Wash bag - Get one ( like this one here ) that has a handle. That way, it’s much more handy for hanging up when using hotel/hostel/campsite toilets.
  • 2 x toothbrush 
  • 2 x toothbrush travel container
  • Men’s deodorant
  • Women’s deodorant
  • Small perfume
  • Small aftershave
  • Shampoo & conditioner 2 in 1
  • Dry shampoo
  • Electric razor
  • Disposable razors
  • Shaving foam

Travel Banking

Ireland is definitely NOT one of the cheapest countries to visit.

Even by European standards, things like hotels, car hire, fuel, food and alcohol are very expensive. 

That’s why it’s important you at least have a way to help get the most Euros in exchange for your home currency.

That way your hard-earned travel money will go as far as possible!

Almost everywhere in Ireland takes card payments, so you don’t have to worry about having much cash on you.

And even if you do need to draw money out, then ATMs in Ireland don’t charge any fees for use.

Just make sure you have a travel card with you that offers the best possible exchange rates.

When we visited Ireland, we had 4 travel cards with us (2 each).

We always travel with 4 as we can separate them across my wallet/car/baggage, so that in case something gets lost or stolen then we always have backups.

Which travel cards do we use?

Monzo and Revolut .

We’ve been using these ever since we started travelling and have never had any issues with either.

In fact, they’ve only gotten better over time as they’ve each started rolling out their own cool features.

As of writing, Revolut is available in both the UK and America, and Monzo is available in the UK (soon to launch in America).

Check their websites/app as they have plans to roll out to more countries soon and are definitely worth checking out.

For a detailed breakdown of each, check out my guide ...

Monzo vs Revolut: Which Is Best For Travel?

Both are free, and offer the best possible exchange rates + 0% fees on withdrawal up to £200 a month in foreign currencies.

They are free to use and sign up for, all you need to do is go ahead and download the app ...

  • Find Monzo here: Apple / Android
  • Find Revolut here: Apple / Android

What are the best banks in Ireland?

We have no favourites as they all work absolutely fine with both Monzo and Revolut and none charge any fees.

The same goes for Northern Ireland (they use £GBP up there, not Euros).

Important Documents

Here’s a look at the final travel essentials for Ireland ...

  • Passport - Duh ...
  • EHIC card - If you’re from the EU
  • Driving license and international driving license - If you plan on renting a car or campervan in Ireland then you’ll need to have your driver’s license and possibly an International Driver’s Permit . It all depends on which country you come from; we didn’t need one for the UK.
  • Copy of your vaccinations - Again, we didn’t need this, but you may depending on which country you come from.
  • Printed copy of your passport and travel insurance - We keep copies of both of these and have them on us when traveling as you never know when they might come in handy.
  • Travel insurance - It’s 100% worth getting travel insurance before visiting. That’s even if you’re from the EU and can get health cover through your EHIC card. EHIC only covers certain things, not necessarily more expensive or life-threatening accidents. If you’re coming from America to backpack, then SafetyWing typically offer good prices. If you’re from the UK, then they are far too expensive. Instead, go through something like Compare The Market to find a policy perfect for you. ‍
  • Wallet to hold important documents - Great for organising everything and making sure you can find important printouts/confirmation/reservations as and when you need them.

Cameras & other tech

Now that’s all out the way, here’s a look at all the cameras and other tech that we took to Ireland to help capture all those awesome pictures you see plastered across our Ireland travel blogs !

Nikon D780

A DSLR is the first step to take in upping your photography game. And what better place to test your new gear than Ireland! Many of the best places to visit in Ireland are outdoors, so there’s tonnes of chances to take scenic photos and capture those green rolling hills and ancient Irish castles . As well as a top quality DSLR, you will want to pick up the right lens for the sort of photography you intend on doing. For more info, check out our lens guides here: Sony a7 / Sony a7ii / Sony a7iii / Sony a7riii / Sony a6000 / Sony a6300 / Sony a6400 / Sony a6500 / Sony a6600 / Sony z6 / Canon M50 / Canon 80D / Canon 90D / Canon 6D Mark II / Panasonic GH5 / Nikon D750 / Nikon D850 / Nikon D3100 / Nikon D3200 / Nikon D3300 / Nikon D3400 / Nikon D3500 / Nikon D5600

G7 X Mark II

Handheld video camera

We’ve taken our handheld video camera with us everywhere around the world and it really is an awesome little camera! It takes high amazing quality travel photos and videos, and does a great job of picking up on sound. So if you’re planning to create some travel videos and vlog your adventures, then this is a great tool to have. It’s also much smaller and more compact than a DSLR, so perfect if you’re out for the day and don’t have too much space. For a better rundown of options out there, check out our guide on the best cameras for blogging . These are just as good for non-bloggers too!

GoPro Hero 8

Underwater camera / action camera

We took our GoPro with us to Ireland but didn’t get very much use out of it. The GoPro is an amazing tool, and one that we love when doing more adventurous things, such as surfing or paragliding. So if you plan on surfing in Ireland or doing something a little more wild, then definitely take a GoPro with you, or at least an alternative to GoPro if you're on more of a budget.

DJI Mavic Mini

Without a doubt, my favourite piece of tech that I took to Ireland was our DJI Mavic Pro drone. We bought this to take to Sri Lanka and in the last couple years it’s allowed us to capture some truly stunning photos (at least in my opinion) that would otherwise have been impossible without it. Drone laws in Ireland are fairly reasonable, you just need to be sensible. Many of the biggest tourist attractions in Ireland have signs clearly displaying when you are not allowed to fly a drone, so keep an eye out. To help make your choice, check out our detailed guides on the best travel drones as well as a rundown of the best affordable alternatives to DJI drones .

Other Gadgets we travel with

travel essentials ireland

Miscellaneous things to bring to Ireland

Here's a few final things to pack for Ireland to help make for a truly epic trip!

  • Physical books/travel guides - Whenever I travel, I much prefer digital eBooks and travel guides that I can just read from my phone. But that’s not to say taking a physical Ireland travel guide is a bad thing. The two most popular choices would be through Lonely Planet or Rough Guides . If you’re staying in hostels, then you’ll find that most should have at least a copy or two there that you can read.
  • Reusable coffee mug - If you’re as much of a coffee fanatic as Cazzy, then it’s worth picking up a foldable coffee mug or one that you can reuse. Perfect for helping to avoid using disposable coffee mugs every time. You’ll find a stand in almost every Irish petrol station called “Barista Bar”, they’re very cheap and the coffee is great! Perfect for road trips .
  • Handpresso - The best way to save money on great coffee in Ireland is to make your own! We only got this after our trip to Ireland, so didn’t take it. However, it would have been perfect for the road trip as you can make your own espresso coffee every day at a fraction of the price!
  • International travel adaptor - A must have on any Ireland packing list!
  • Ear plugs - A great idea if you’re planning to stay in hostels.
  • Packing cubes - If you’re taking a backpack with you to Ireland, then the best way to organise all of your stuff is to use packing cubes.
  • TSA Approved Padlock - It’s always worth taking padlocks with you travelling so you can properly secure your bags when not in your site. Especially for if you plan on using hostels.
  • Sunscreen - You won’t need this if you’re visiting in the winter months, but you likely will in the summer. It’s not exactly Bali temperatures, but the sun is strong enough to burn at least a few days every month!
  • Umbrella - At least a small foldable umbrella will come in very handy in Ireland!
  • Quick drying towel - All hotels in Ireland should provide you with towels, but it’s always worth having a small, quick drying towel with you. Especially if you will be using hostels.
  • Selfie stick - Gotta be getting those selfies in!
  • Pin to open a sim card hole on the phone - If you plan on getting a local sim in Ireland, then it’s worth getting yourself a small pin tool to open the sim card slot on your phone. I keep a metal one in my wallet at all times so that it’s always there for whichever country we find ourselves in.
  • Playing cards - For those long nights spent getting drunk in Irish bars!

What NOT to pack for Ireland!

Now that we’ve gone through all the things to pack for Ireland, here’s a look at a few things you don’t need to take.

  • Sleeping bag - Unless you’re planning on wild camping in a tent, then you shouldn’t need a sleeping bag in ireland. All hotels and hostels should have suitable bedding.
  • Water purifier - Tap water in Ireland is perfectly safe to drink.
  • Fancy clothes - The best places to eat out at in Ireland are local traditional Irish bars. They serve great homemade food, usually have comfy seats and ideally a nice warm fire. You don’t need to dress to impress, instead dress to be comfy!
  • Lots of valuables - Like when travelling to any country, there’s no need to take lots of jewelry and other valuables with you as it’s just more thing to worry about getting lost or stolen.

How to pack for Ireland: 5 Packing Tips

1. keep your valuables closer to hand.

When packing, we always like to keep as many expensive things as possible in our day bags. 

For example, we keep our travel laptops and cameras on us almost all the time. 

It just gives us peace of mind, and can also avoid them getting bashed around when being put in the hold of the plane.

If you are particularly worried about doing this, I recommend picking up one of these anti theft travel bags , specially designed to keep your valuables safer.

2. Double check airline baggage policies

Especially if you plan on flying with Ryanair! 

Yes, they are a low-cost airline, but they have extremely limited baggage policies and you have to pay for everything else. 

For example, you are no longer allowed a normal piece of hand luggage on the flight unless you pay for it. 

The only bag you are allowed must be very small, so that it can slide under the seat in front of you.

3. Lay everything out before you pack

This is a great packing tip for any country! 

Before you start stuffing things away in your bags, it’s best to lay out everything on the bed or floor. 

That way you can see exactly what you’ve packed and mark off anything from your personalised Ireland packing checklist that you’ve forgotten.

4. Ask yourself if you really need everything!

Another great reason for laying everything out before packing is that you can see just how much you are preparing to take and ask yourself if you honestly need it. 

If you’ve got just a week or two driving across Ireland, then you won’t require 17 pairs of pants and 20 t-shirts. 

Instead, be smart and only pack what you’ll really need. 

The great thing about Ireland is that if you do forget anything then you’ll be able to pick it up when there.

5. Think about what to wear on the plane

When packing, think carefully about what to wear on the plane to Ireland! If you’re coming from a hot country, then you may be surprised by how much colder it is there. Especially if you’re landing late at night or early in the morning. In such cases, take trousers, a jacket and a coat with you on the flight to change into.

what to pack for visiting ireland

Ireland really is an amazing country to visit, and we had the most wonderful time exploring all of it in 2019. 

We continue to revisit every year, and have travel plans for another epic road trip to see the middle of the country in the very near future.

As such, we will update this Ireland packing list with any additional travel tips as we discover them!

For now, you should have a pretty solid idea of what to pack for Ireland.

If you think there’s anything else we forgot to include, then drop a comment below and it might be worth a spot in the post!

When planning the rest of your visit to Ireland, here’s some posts you may find useful ...

For help planning the rest of your Ireland adventure, here’s some other guides you might find useful:

  • Getting Around Ireland - Everything You Need To Know
  • Spaceships Campervan Rentals review
  • Best Things To Do In Ireland

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Essential tips for people traveling to Ireland

Irishcentral contributor jannet l. walsh shares her tips and tricks to help you plan and pack for your next trip to ireland..

Everything you need to know before you pack your bags and plan a trip to Ireland.

Do as I say about packing and planning trips to Ireland, and not what I do.

Packing and planning for international travel is difficult, especially with headlines about lost luggage, delayed or canceled flights, and stranded passengers.

With five trips during my life to Ireland, and about four years of living and working in Europe, I wish I could say I learned to minimize my luggage, but it’s challenging.

Here, I’ve put together some tips and resources to hopefully lessen the stress of traveling to Ireland!

Packing for Ireland

Luggage at Kerry Airport – Bags packed and ready for air travel on January 2, 2019, travel from Kerry to Dublin. (Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.)

Luggage at Kerry Airport – Bags packed and ready for air travel on January 2, 2019, travel from Kerry to Dublin. (Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.)

One bag for travel, if possible

The less you must manage or haul around in your luggage, the less there is to go missing. Check directly with your airlines about carry-on luggage and other baggage limits and requirements. Carry extra pair of prescription glasses and a prescription card for eyeglasses, as well as any medications you may need. Here's a handy  travel checklist  from

My four tips for packing for Ireland

  • Wear : Plan one outfit to wear for the day of travel to Ireland with the bulkiest items, like hiking boots, and outerwear (jackets or coats).
  • Spare:  Pack one spare outfit in your bags
  • Double duty:  Pack one outfit for sleeping that can double for a daytime outfit, such as a comfortable workout outfit.
  • Ireland sells clothing : Buy what you need in Ireland if necessary.

Make copies of important documents, including:

  • Driver’s license
  • Bank and credit cards
  • Travel insurance policy
  • Travel documents

Luke Gerard Lanigan, a Qualified Irish National Tour Guide   with  Destination Ireland Tours  in Co Galway, says travelers need to be prepared for the unexpected. He shared on social media recently, “It’s a good idea to take photocopies of important documents and bring a copy with you, and maybe leave a copy at home with someone you trust.”

“This means if your luggage goes missing or a bag is stolen containing these important documents, you will have a copy with you, including information on what to do if something goes wrong, for example, contact details for your bank or travel insurance company."

(In June 2022, Lanigan sent me an email stating he knew the location of a 1953 Kodachrome image taken by my late father, Martin J. Walsh Jr. of Murdock, Minnesota which was featured in my story  Seeing Ireland through my father’s vintage Kodachrome images ! Lanigan believes it's 144 Bohermore, Galway, in Co Galway, the present-day location of Tonery’s Bar .)

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How to carry valuables in Ireland

Here’s what I do: Carry your passport , cash, credit cards, and travel documents in a secure, hidden travel pouch always attached to you. It’s best if hidden under your coat or other garments. Consider wearing a coat or outerwear that’s a size larger than usual to accommodate for hiding your values. Secure your smartphone in a zippered, closed pocket, not an open pocket. If your important items are hidden and secured, then you have a better chance of surviving the actions of thieves when your valuable documents are in your backpack or other bags. Learn more tricks to outsmart pickpockets and thieves by   travel professional Rick Steves .

Getting to and around Ireland

Driving from Dublin Airport by taxi over the O’Connell Bridge and River Liffey, cars, double decker buses, bicyclists, cars and pedestrians merge near the D’Olier Street and O’Connell Street Lower, Dublin, about 4 pm, January 2, 2019. The large building on the left with the Heineken advertisement on the facade is called the O’Connell Bridge House. Learn more about the architecture of the large 1965 building, and what the locals think of the structure. (Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.)

Driving from Dublin Airport by taxi over the O’Connell Bridge and River Liffey, cars, double decker buses, bicyclists, cars and pedestrians merge near the D’Olier Street and O’Connell Street Lower, Dublin, about 4 pm, January 2, 2019. The large building on the left with the Heineken advertisement on the facade is called the O’Connell Bridge House. Learn more about the architecture of the large 1965 building, and what the locals think of the structure. (Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.)

Flights and ferries

You can travel direct by plane or ferry to Ireland, depending on where you originate your travels. There are nine airports in Ireland , with Shannon Airport and Dublin Airport being the two main ones. 

Getting around Ireland

After arriving in Ireland, there are many options for getting around. Car, bus, train, taxi, ferry, cycle, and airplane are a few ways to get around Ireland after you arrive. Learn more about public transportation in Ireland here .

You might consider renting a car, or as it's called in Ireland, hire a car. Cars travel on the left side of the road, with the driver seated in the right front seat nearest the center of the road if the road is divided. If you travel in rural area, you might be on a one-lane or one-track road and will need to negotiate the road with oncoming traffic, or sheep, like in the Black Valley, County Kerry, or other locations.

Speed limits are posted in miles in Northern Ireland and kilometers in Ireland. Seat belts are required for the entire island of Ireland. Learn more about driving laws in Ireland at .

Walking around Ireland

Getting around by foot in Ireland is an incredible way to meet nature in Ireland and travel along the Dingle Way, Kerry Way, Wicklow Way, Burren Way, and other established walking paths. lists walks and maps, as well as hiking shoes and other gear. Tripadvisor also lists both city walks and grand nature walks.

The Ireland Walking Guide is a list of walking guides in Ireland. I’ve walked parts of the  Kerry Way , and highly recommend day walks. The  Ordnance Survey Maps  for Ireland are excellent and are very detailed. Ordnance maps are also very helpful if you are driving back country roads seeking farms and townlands of your ancestors or remote locations as many rural roads do not have names posted. Your smartphone GPS might not be as helpful as having a map in your hands when you are lost. Consider bringing a small pocket compass for orientation.

Where to sleep in Ireland

A hot pot of coffee on a winter afternoon, about 3 pm, at the No. 27, The Shelbourne  Bar, attached to the Shelbourne  Hotel, located at St. Stephens Green, Dublin. (Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.)

A hot pot of coffee on a winter afternoon, about 3 pm, at the No. 27, The Shelbourne Bar, attached to the Shelbourne Hotel, located at St. Stephens Green, Dublin. (Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.)

There are many options to stay in Ireland ranging from self-catering, bed and breakfast, hotels, hostels, and more. Here’s an overview of places to call home in Ireland  found at

When looking for where to stay, ask friends and family where they stayed in Ireland. Look beyond hotels, consider self-catering locations like cottages. My favorite places to stay are Irish cottages as it’s wonderful to meet local Irish families and have an inside connection to Ireland.

Before booking a room, understand what happens if you need to change or cancel your reservation.

A few places I’ve stayed in Ireland. (Not a complete list as I can recommend most of the places I’ve stayed!)

  • Stauntons on the Green , next to St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin
  • The Shelbourne , next to St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin
  • The Arbutus Hotel , Buckley’s Bar attached with Irish music, Killarney, County Kerry
  • Killarney Royal , Killarney
  • Shamrock Cottage , Black Valley and Gap of Dunloe, rural Killarney
  • Crosstown Cottage , rural Killarney
  • WatersEdge,  Cobh, County Cork

Some extra tips before you head to Ireland

The Serpents Lake in the Gap of Dunloe, near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, December 26, 2018. (Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.)

The Serpents Lake in the Gap of Dunloe, near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, December 26, 2018. (Photo by Jannet L. Walsh.)

Emergencies, health, and money in Ireland

  • Emergencies :  Who to call, vehicle breakdowns, tourist support services
  • Health : Medical and travel insurance, pharmacies, opticians
  • Money :  Euros in Ireland, pound sterling in Northern Ireland

Gadgets and electricity

Electrical plugs in Ireland are three-pronged, and the electricity supply is 230v/50hz. Bring an adapter so you can keep your devices charged up. Check the requirements for your device with the manufacturer of your gadgets or laptops. Consider a portable power bank to avoid the dreaded dead battery for cameras and smartphones. Learn more about gadgets and requirements for power  in Ireland.

Postcards and Irish postage stamps

You can’t use US postage stamps to send mail from Ireland. I can still remember my late Aunt Agnes tell me this fact when I visited Ireland for the first time in the 1980s. There are several locations to buy postage stamps in Ireland for postcards to send back home. Ask local Irish folks to direct you to a post office about buying stamps. If you are in Dublin, consider visiting the historic General Post Office, GPO, located on O’Connell Street, headquarters to the An Post, the Irish Postal Service. You can buy postage stamps and visit the GPO Museum Witness History , and see the location known as a stronghold for Irish independence during the 1916 Rising against British rule.

Shipping souvenirs home

On my last trip to Ireland in January 2019, I shipped a box of personal items home to avoid carrying them in my luggage. The hotel I stayed at in Dublin had An Post shipping boxes ready, and help me send off my box. You can inquire at any Irish post office when you are in Ireland or enlist help.

When you are buying souvenirs, especially bulky wool items like Aran sweaters, ask before you buy if the store will ship your purchase.

Plan wisely for your trip to Ireland, and enjoy your adventures!

* Jannet L. Walsh of Murdock, Minnesota is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of the forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative “Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota,” scheduled for publication in 2022 by  Shanti Arts Publishing . You can follow Walsh on  Facebook  and  Twitter , and on her other social media channels , with the hashtag #IrishFamilyHistoryDetective. View additional details for Irish travel online on her Travel to Ireland Guide .

* Originally published in 2022, updated in June 2023

This article was submitted to the IrishCentral contributors network by a member of the global Irish community. To become an IrishCentral contributor click here .

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Wondering what to pack for Ireland? We’ve got some outfit ideas for every season! Follow these tips and you’ll be ready for everything!

What to Pack for Ireland

Written By: Niki Landry

Table Of Contents

Ireland holds an appeal for many travelers: English-speaking, rugged beauty, incredibly friendly people, and fascinating history. For me, it’s the place I’m always longing to get back to.

Planning what to pack for Ireland comes with a special set of instructions. It’s always colder than what you might expect – you have to be ready for rain, and the wind is strong.

travel essentials ireland

To combat rain, wind, or cold, the Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down Jacket with a DWR finish could be an Irish companion! 

When you’re planning what to pack for Ireland, remember that even on warm and sunny days, the wind and rain can make it feel colder. Ireland is known for its four-seasons-in-one-day weather. Unpredictable would be a good word to describe it, so plan for rain, bring layers, and remove as needed. 

Always check the weather forecast before you go. Once you’ve researched the weather, you can focus on creating a travel capsule wardrobe , which should easily fit in a carry-on suitcase with the help of packing cubes to compress your clothing.


  Sweater 1 | Top | Sweater 2 | Tee | Pants 1 | Cardigan | Jacket | Pants 2 | Crossbody  | Scarf | Boots |   Sneakers

What to Pack for Ireland in the Spring

Springtime in Ireland means bright and sunny days, with temperatures ranging from 46°-54°F, but you can expect bouts of rain and/or wind throughout your trip. As the weather changes rapidly in Ireland, especially during the springtime, readers recommend that the key to dressing right is lightweight layers, waterproof shoes , and a raincoat always on hand.


Quince Merino Wool Crew Sweater | Sizes XS-XL

Tops for Spring

Chilly spring weather in Ireland calls for sweaters! Choose something lightweight yet warm, such as a cashmere sweater. It’s a fantastic layering piece and will keep you feeling cozy and looking chic. Overall, the most warm sweaters are either cashmere or merino wool . 

Quince’s cashmere crewneck sweater is a cute pick that readers love for its soft and warm feel, classic fit, great quality, and affordable price. It’s a super versatile top that you’ll be reaching for over and over!

Check out the best packable and beautiful cardigan sweaters  that you’ll want for your next trip!


Everlane Felted Merino Cardigan | Sizes XXS-XL

A cozy cardigan is another great option that’s perfect for layering.

The Everlane Felted Merino cardigan is super warm, with a slouchy fit, gorgeous knit wool fabric, and lovely details. You can layer this cutie between a thermal and a rain jacket , for a day of touring castles and nature walks, or snuggle into it for a night of bar hopping in a town or city!


Athleta Brooklyn Pants Sizes: Regular 0-26 | Tall 0-16 | Petite 0-14

Bottoms for Spring

Choose you r travel pants based on the adventures you have planned. Trips to Ireland are often quite active, so if hiking , bike riding, horseback riding, or just long days of walking are on the agenda, you’ll want a sportier pair of pants that’ll keep you comfortable and allow you to move around freely. 

The Athleta Brooklyn ankle pants are an elevated take on a classic jogger, with a more tailored fit and sleek fabric. But these pants are perfect for the sporty traveler: they’re lightweight and durable, with UPF 50+ sun protection! 


Shop Eddie Bauer Departure Ankle Pants: Amazon | Eddie Bauer  | Moosejaw Sizes: Regular XS-XXL | Petite S-L | Tall M-XXL | Plus 2X-3X

The best travel pants are suitable for all kinds of activities and versatile enough to be worn for both casual and dressy occasions. Another pair that checks all these boxes are the Eddie Bauer Departure pants , which is a high-performance option that’s polished yet ready for adventure. 

These trouser-like pants are made from technical fabric that are light, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, UPF 50+, and overall super comfy.


Shop Columbia Autumn Park Jacket: Amazon | Columbia | Moosejaw Sizes: Regular XS-XXL | Plus 1X-3X

Jackets for Spring

While some days can be quite sunny and moderately warm, springtime in Ireland is generally quite chilly, so you’ll be happy to have a packable down jacket when the weather turns. Plus, evenings are always much colder, so a warm jacket is a must after the sun sets. 

Readers suggest a puffer jacket, which is lighter and easy to carry, and they usually boast a cute and versatile look to go with any of your outfits. 

The Columbia Autumn Park down jacket has a classic design and lightweight warmth that’ll offer you plenty of mobility as you explore. While insulated and heat-reflective, it’s highly breathable and dissipates moisture.


Shop TNF Antora: Amazon | The North Face | Backcountry | REI |  Dick’s Sporting Goods Sizes: Regular XS-XXL | Plus 1X-3X

If you run warm or are expecting warmer weather, a simple waterproof windbreaker or light rain jacket will get the job done. Be sure that you can layer underneath, for extra cold or windy days, and that’s sturdy enough to handle any outdoor excursions that you have planned. 

The North Face’s Antora jacket is waterproof, windproof, and breathable, so you’ll be able to comfortably explore in any weather. It’s durable, has a relaxed yet flattering shape, and allows for plenty of movement and layering. There’s a protective hood, so no need for an umbrella , and it’s very easy to store when not worn.


Shop Allbirds Wool Runners: Nordstrom |  Allbirds | REI | Dick’s Sporting Goods

Shoes for Spring

While you want to be fashionable, comfort should come first when choosing what travel shoes to wear in Ireland. You’ll be walking a lot – probably a lot more than you do at home, so it’s important to choose shoes that are suitable and supportive for a lengthy day of walking.

And when it comes to Ireland, waterproof sneakers are a good choice, regardless of the season! 

If you’re visiting the many gorgeous trails in the Irish countryside, the Allbirds Wool Runner Mizzles are perfect. These sneakers are waterproof and made of a cozy merino wool blend that’ll keep your feet warm, while allowing them to breathe, plus the insole is moisture-wicking and odor-repellent. They have excellent traction and cushioning, too, so you’ll be strolling through the blooming wildflowers with happy and dry feet! 


Shop Sorel Emelie II: Amazon | Zappos |  Sorel

Waterproof ankle boots are a must for Ireland, too, as they’ll keep your feet dry when it rains and warm for when the temperature drops. And, as always, versatility is key. Bring along a pair that can handle everything: from nature walks to city treks to nights out.

Chelsea boots like the Sorel Emelie boots are a perfect style for Ireland and a great addition to your travel packing list. 

Readers always recommend the Emelie boots for rainy destinations, both urban and rural, as they’re casual yet cute, and look great with jeans , trousers , and dresses , while remaining amazingly comfortable. Their grippy soles, cushioned and supportive footbeds, and waterproof leather will allow you to conquer grassy hills or cobblestone streets with ease (and style)!


Tee | Shirt | Top | Longsleeve | Dress | Jacket | Pants 1 | Pants 2 | Crossbody | Scarf | Boots | Sneakers

What to Pack for Ireland in the Summer 

Summer in Ireland means lush landscapes, moderate weather, and long, sunny days (with an occasional drizzle here and there, of course). With temps ranging from 50°-70° F, you’ll be set with light tops, long pants, and some waterproof outerwear. 

Readers rave about all the wonderful outdoor adventures Ireland has to offer in the summer, from exploring castles and historical sites, hiking, or even enjoying some water sports, so you’ll likely want to pack clothing that you can be active in. 


Spanx Pima Cotton Crew Neck Tee | Sizes XS-3X

Tops for Summer

Although the sun might be shining, summers will never get too hot in Ireland, so on the warmest of days, a simple t-shirt is the way go-to. 

Pick something that’s simple, versatile, and breathable, like Spanx’s Pima Cotton tee . It has a feminine yet relaxed fit to go with any pant option, and the fabric is soft and high quality, so you can’t go wrong here. You could also opt for a black t-shirt too, which is a smart neutral to pack.


J.Crew Perfect-Fit Long-Sleeve T-Shirt | Sizes XXS-3X

Another staple for your summer packing list should be a long sleeve t-shirt . With wind chills and cooler evenings, something with sleeves will keep you regulated at the perfect temperature. 

J.Crew’s Perfect-fit long sleeve crewneck is loved by readers for its classic and flattering fit. It’s made from soft and cozy cotton fabric that’ll keep you warm on chillier days and nights but is still light, so you’ll be comfy under the warm sun.


Spanx AirEssentials Pant | Sizes XS-3X

Bottoms for Summer

The perfect travel pants will give you freedom of movement, hold their shape well over time, and look a bit elevated — even if they’re a sportier pair. Stretchy, lightweight pairs are best, and if they can be dressed up for evenings, it’s even better!  

The AirEssential pants was made for travel, offering a sleek look with tons of function. The fabric blend is so light, durable, and soft. Readers say they’re really flattering, too!

TFG readers voted for the best black travel pants ! Check them out!


Lululemon City Sleek Wide-Leg Pant | Sizes 24-33

Quick-drying and moisture-wicking pants are a great idea for Ireland, too. They’ll keep you dry and comfortable if it rains or if you’ll be doing some rigorous walking or adventuring. 

Wide leg pants are comfy and quite popular with readers. The Lululemon City Sleek pants are made of a lightweight cotton blend fabric that dries quickly, wicks away sweat, offers plenty of stretch, and feels smooth and soft. They’re high waisted with a relaxed leg, giving you an effortlessly stylish look, whether on an excursion or at the pub!


Quince Tencel Rib Knit Dress | Sizes XS-XL

Dresses for Summer

If you want to wear a dress in the summer, opt for something that has sleeves like this Quince rib knit dress , which is simply classic yet stretchy. A jacket and cute black sneakers can be added to jazz it up. 

The great thing about dresses is their ability to be layered, either with leggings , tights , or even over cropped pants .


Woolx Lexie Dress & Cover-up | Sizes XS-1X

But material matters too, as the wrong kind of material might leave you a bit chilly in the fickle Ireland climate. That’s why a merino wool dress like the one pictured by Woolx is the best of both worlds: wearing a dress and keeping warm if the weather turns! 

Merino wool naturally retains heat but also draws away moisture and it doesn’t retain nasty odors. So, it works in both warmer and colder temperatures.


Shop Eddie Bauer Girl on the Go Coat: Amazon | Eddie Bauer | Kohl’s Sizes: Regular XS-XXL | Petite XS-XL | Tall S-XXL | Plus 1X-3X

Jackets for Summer

As you may have guessed, when it comes to your jacket, it should definitely be a waterproof jacket ! Make sure your jacket isn’t too heavy or thick, so you don’t feel too hot or stuffy. Adjustable hoods, roomy pockets, cinch-able waists, and flattering silhouettes are more features to look out for. 

Eddie Bauer’s Girl on the Go trench is a stylish pick that readers rave about. It’s fully seam sealed yet highly breathable, and the has a slimming and flattering fit. To top it off, it has an adjustable, removable hood and secure pockets! 


Arthas Light Rain Jacket | Sizes S-XXL

Trench coats are perfect for summer in Ireland. Another cute option is the Arthas trench , which is light and airy yet offers excellent protection from the wind and rain. 

It’s comfy and offers ample mobility, so it’s a great pick for sporty activities. But it also has a chic look, so it’s just as suitable for a day out in the city!


Shop Ecco Modtray Ankle Boots: Nordstrom | Zappos |  Ecco

Shoes for Summer

Depending on the city, the streets in Ireland can be hilly, uneven, and slippery when wet, not to mention all the cobblestones! While great to look at, cobblestone streets aren’t always the easiest to walk on and can make your feet sore, even if you don’t normally have discomfort. Needless to say, make sure your shoes are plenty comfortable, supportive, and grippy. 

Ankle boots are a staple for Irish locals, so be sure to pack a pair that’s waterproof and comfortable to walk long distances in.

The Ecco Modtray boots are a dream — they’re sturdy but also beautiful! Plus, they’re grounded on a chunky sole that gives them a stylish edge and excellent traction to conquer slick streets and rugged terrain. 


Shop Sorel Out N About III: Amazon | Nordstrom  |  Macy’s  |  Moosejaw  |  Sorel

With all the walking and adventuring you’ll be doing, you can’t go wrong with a comfy pair of waterproof sneakers. 

The Sorel Out N About sneakers are cute and sporty, with a durable design that can handle some serious wear and tear. They have a great grip on the soles and will keep your feet dry in a downpour, and they’re super comfortable, too.


Shop Teva Tirra Sandals: Amazon  |  Zappos  |  REI  |  Teva

If you really want to pack open shoes, consider more hiking sandals , it’s best to choose closed toe versions that has some grip and are water-resistant, like these popular Teva Tirra outdoor sandals . Readers love them for the very reasons we mentioned: they’re comfy and can handle tougher elements, but are still cute looking!


Longsleeve 1 | Longsleeve 2 | Tunic | Sweater 2 | Pants 1 | Jacket 1 | Jacket 2 | Pants 2 | Bag | Scarf | Sneakers | Boots

What to Pack for Ireland in the Fall

With fall comes shorter days and cooler weather, with average temps ranging from 45°-57° F. The change of season brings the fall foliage which is simply breathtaking, as well as countless activities to partake in; from hikes and walking tours to whale watching to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. With thick sweaters and waterproof gear, you’ll be all set — but you can always pop into a traditional pub to warm up with an Irish coffee! 


ibex Tranquil Long Sleeve Pullover | Sizes XS-XL

Tops for Fall

Your tops should be nice and warm, and slightly on the thicker side to account for the cool and crisp autumn air. Think sweatshirts and knit sweaters that are made from cozy yet breathable fabrics. 

Readers recommend the ibex Tranquil pullover . This piece is made of a merino wool and cotton blend, so it’s temperature-regulating and super soft. It’s a great option for hiking or active days, as it’ll allow you to move freely and will keep you at a comfy temp throughout the day. But it’s still chic enough for grabbing lunch in the city, too! 

If you tend to run cold or are going to be faced with chillier temps during your stay, pair this sweater with the ibex Woolies thermal top underneath for the added warmth!


Shop prAna Ibid Sweater Tunic: Amazon | prAna | Zappos (Sizes XS-XL)

Whether photographing the beautiful Irish coasts or spending time in the capital, a cozy knit sweater is a fall must! A turtleneck is especially great for blocking out the cold wind. 

PrAna’s Ibid tunic sweater has all the stylish and comfy features you could want, from a turtleneck and longer length to its soft, knitted fabric that is available in a lovely color. Wearers say the fit and drape are perfect and it keeps them warm on the chilliest of days.


Betabrand Classic Dress Yoga Pant | Sizes XS-3X (Regular, Petite, Long)

Bottoms for Fall

Pack bottoms that are light yet warm, and can handle a bit of wind and rain, as well. While jeans are always a great travel staple, many readers advise against these for Ireland, especially in the wetter season, as they tend to take a long time to dry, so they’ll make you feel colder throughout the day if they get damp from the rain. 

A pair like Betabrand’s Dress Pant Yoga Pants are ideal as they’re made of comfy ponte fabric that’s warm yet breathable (and wrinkle-resistant, too)! They have a chic, dress-pant look with a stylish bootcut silhouette offering a flattering fit, and they’re also incredibly comfortable! 


Spanx AirEssentials Tapered Pant | Sizes XS-3X

If you’re spending the day exploring the great outdoors or want a sportier option, go for these Spanx AirEssentials joggers . They have a relaxed fit and are made from lightweight and airy fabric, making them perfect for active days. While they’re easy and casual, you could totally dress them up a bit with ankle boots and a sweater.


Shop Eddie Bauer Charly Jacket: Amazon | Eddie Bauer | Moosejaw Sizes: Regular XS-XXL | Petite XS-XL | Tall S-XXL | Plus 1X-3X

Jackets for Fall

For outerwear, think warm and waterproof. And be sure that you can add layers under your jacket if need be!

Readers love the Eddie Bauer Charly waterproof jacket because it’s breathable, so you won’t feel stuffy or too hot. It has a chic style, with adjustable cuffs and a hood, and you can cinch in the waist for a more feminine fit. There are multiple pockets to organize your smaller essentials, too.


ibex Women’s Wool Aire Down Jacket  | Sizes from XS-XL

A puffer jacket is another great choice for keeping out the wind and rain as you explore. The ibex Wool Aire waterproof jacket has an athletic fit and an elasticized hem, cuffs, and hood for extra protection. It’s super lightweight and packs down into its own small pocket, but its merino wool insulation will keep you toasty warm, even when outdoors for long periods of time.


Shop Blondo Dyme Chelsea Boot: Amazon | Nordstrom | Zappos

Shoes for Fall

As fall is typically quite wet — with late fall being among the rainiest times of the year — your shoes should be waterproof and have top-notch traction to keep you stable and comfy. 

Lug soles offer both function and a bit of an edgy look, perfect for keeping things practical yet stylish. The Blondo Dyme waterproof boots have a Chelsea boot style and they’ll grip slippery surfaces with ease. These stunners have a cushy foam insole with support and extra gel cushioning at the heel!


Shop Sorel Evie Boot: Amazon

When it’s wet in Ireland, you really want to be conscious of the weather and what ground you’re walking on. The Sorel Evie waterproof boots are great for tackling both the rugged Irish terrain and the slippery cobblestones in town. As you take in Ireland’s natural beauty, these sturdy boots will keep every bit of water out, while giving your feet ample arch support, a healthy alignment, and cushioning! 


Thermal Top  |  Sweater  |  Jacket 1  |  Longsleeve 1  |  Thermal Pants  |  Jacket 2  |  Longsleeve 2  |  Pants  |  Gloves  |  Beanie  |  Boots 1  |  Boots 2

What to Pack for Ireland in the Winter

Winter in Ireland means cold, wet, and cloudy — but oh, so beautiful and festive! With temperatures ranging from 39°-46° F, you’ll simply need to bulk up your outerwear, add some extra thermals and winter accessories, so that you can comfortably enjoy all that winter in Ireland has to offer!


Quince Cashmere Crewneck Sweater | Sizes XS-XL

Tops for Winter

You’ll no doubt be reaching for a warm, cozy sweater every day on your winter trip, so opt for a toasty option like Quince’s cashmere sweater . Readers love this sweater because it is made from 100% Mongolian cashmere that feels super soft and luxurious. The fit is classic and chic, and you can easily layer a thermal underneath when needed!


Woolx Peyton Turtleneck | Sizes XS-3X

Turtlenecks are great for layering under thermals and will add that extra bit of warmth around your neck which will come in handy on a windy day. Opt for something that’s versatile and simple so you can style up in different ways or layer under thicker jackets or sweaters if need be. 

Made of soft and warm merino wool, the Woolx Peyton turtleneck is a traveler’s dream. It’s ultra-lightweight yet temperate-regulating and is moisture-wicking, so it works to keep you feeling fresh and comfy on an active day. Plus, it has a slim, flattering fit that’ll work for any occasion, day or night.


Camii Mia Windproof Ski Hiking Pants  | Sizes 26-38

Bottoms for Winter

You’ll likely see a fair amount of rain on your winter trip, so you’ll definitely be glad to have a pair of warm winter pants . 

The Camii Mia pants are made for adventuring, with a stretchy and durable design to tackle whatever outdoor adventure the day brings. Their soft fleece lining adds to their warmth, but they’re also lightweight and moisture-wicking to keep you feeling fresh and comfy.


Shop Eddie Bauer Polar Fleece Pants: Amazon | Eddie Bauer Sizes: Tall 8-18 | Plus 22-24W

Fleece-lined leggings or pants will be a dream in the biting cold. Another pair with this cozy feature, as well as excellent waterproofing, is the Eddie Bauer Polar pants . This pair has a relaxed fit, functional pockets, and a sporty yet flattering design.


Woolies Tech Long Sleeve Shirt  |  Woolies Tech Layer Bottoms  (Sizes XS-XL)

Readers say that thermal underwear is an essential part of your packing list for Ireland in the winter, especially as you’ll be spending lots of time outdoors. 

The ibex Woolies Tech top and bottoms are reader faves. They’re made from merino wool which is a travel all-star, as it’s warm yet temperature-regulating. Readers love that its soft, durable, moisture-wicking, and anti-odor; so you’ll still feel fresh after repeatedly wearing it and it can be worn under virtually any outfit for lightweight warmth!  


Terramar Thermasilk Pointelle Scoop:  Top  |  Bottoms  (Sizes XS-XL)

You could also explore cold and gorgeous Ireland with a pair of silk thermals . Terramar’s Thermasilk top and bottoms are super thin yet sturdy and warm. They’re smooth, moisture-wicking, temperature-regulating, and will keep you fresh throughout your trip (no washing needed)! 


Shop Eddie Bauer Superior 3.0 Down Parka: Amazon | Eddie Bauer | Moosejaw

Jackets for Winter

While winters in Ireland don’t get as freezing cold or snowy as other European destinations, you’ll still need something insulated and waterproof. The wind can get intense and you’ll definitely see some rain, so readers suggest packing a cozy winter parka.  

A hugely popular one is the Eddie Bauer Superior coat . This is a great outer layer that’ll allow you to feel warm and comfortable, while still allowing your body to breathe, and you’ll have ample mobility. It’s simple yet stylish, too! 


Shop Columbia Carson Jacket:  Amazon  |  Columbia  (Sizes XS-3X)

Columbia’s Carson Pass II jacket is a similar option that readers love as well. It has a thermal reflective lining for the utmost warmth, as well as excellent, seam-sealed waterproofing to keep the elements out. There’s a cute faux-fur trim on the hood and a belted waist for styling versatility, and while it’ll warm you up on the coldest of days, it’s still lightweight and breathable.


Kamik Snow Mid-Calf Boot

Shoes for Winter

Rugged and comfortable winter boots are a must-have for exploring Ireland in the winter, whether trekking through the countryside or wandering around the city. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t be stylish, too! 

Pick something like the Kamik combat boots , which are designed to handle the most intense of adventures. They’re sturdy, supportive, and waterproof, with an edgy style that’ll be the perfect finishing touch to your wintery looks! 

Find out what our TFG readers chose as the best womens waterproof leather boots !


Shop Eddie Bauer Lodge Boot: Amazon | Eddie Bauer | Moosejaw

If you’re visiting Ireland in winter, you may want a tall boot in addition to or instead of an ankle boot. In colder seasons, these Eddie Bauer Lodge waterproof boots are recommended. They’re durable and will keep your feet warm and dry, but they are still chic! They’re comfortably cushioned for long hours on your feet.

What Accessories to Pack for Ireland in Winter

When it comes to bringing extras for Ireland, keep in mind that you’ll definitely need some gloves and scarves. And choose gloves that has touchscreen tech, so you can use a phone when needed! 


Neosan Thick Ribbed Infinity Loop Scarf

Warm Scarf and Gloves

Readers love the functionality of a circle scarf , as it adds a stylish element to your outfit, will keep you extra warm, and has the benefit of staying put, even if the wind is blowing strong! They’re perfect for trips to Ireland as they’re cute, cozy, and hassle-free! 


Shop Isotoner Spandex Gloves: Amazon | Kohl’s | Walmart

Gloves will definitely come in handy as the temps drop, but don’t let them prevent you from snapping that perfectly-timed photo or using maps to get around. Choose a pair that has touch-screen fingertips, so that you can use your phone without compromising on warmth!   

The Isotoner gloves are a particular reader favorite. They’re warm and super sleek, with a contoured and flexible fit and palm strips to help grip your phone. 

  What Luggage to Bring to Ireland 

If you’re traveling carry on, you’ll need a suitcase that’s spacious yet compliant with international airlines. Whether on the hardside or softside, go for something sized at 19” or 20” so that you won’t face any issues when boarding.


Delsey Luggage Helium Aero 19” Carry-on

For a hardside, readers like the Delsey Helium Aero 19” suitcase . Beyond its gorgeously sleek exterior, this suitcase opens up to a roomy interior with compression straps and two pockets. It rolls smoothly and has locking and expandable zippers, and TFGers say this suitcase will hold up beautifully from the rigors of airplane travel and to being rolled around rough terrain!

To help you avoid overweight baggage fees, we’ve rounded up the best lightweight luggage for your next travel!


Shop Travelpro Platinum Elite 19”:   Amazon  |  Travelpro

A reader-favorite softside is Travelpro’s Platinum Elite 19” suitcase . This beauty is ultra-lightweight and flexible, so you can pack it to the brim without worrying about it being weighed down. The material is super robust and sturdy and holds up amazingly well over time, as do the smooth spinner wheels and firm handle. It holds multiple inner and outer pockets, TSA locks, and expandable zippers add to the function.  

In addition to your luggage, we recommend using packing organizers like the Compass Rose packing cubes . They help you stay organized, feel less stressed while traveling, and make it easier to travel carry-on only. Find out why packing cubes are essential — our readers swear by them and so do we! We recommend using these packing cubes — they’re loved by many and it holds up well.


Shop Baggallini Calais: Amazon | Macy’s |  Target | Zappos | Bloomingdale’s

Day Bag or Personal Item

To go with all of your waterproof gear, don’t forget to bring a bag that’s water-resistant as well! You can’t go wrong with a functional crossbody for Ireland, as they’re secure and comfortable to carry. 

Traveling in Ireland is generally very safe, but wherever you go, there’s always a possibility of theft — especially if you’re in a particularly touristy or crowded area — so many readers opt for an anti-theft purse to stay extra safe while sightseeing. 

The Baggallini Calais crossbody fits travellers’ needs. It’s water-resistant, anti-theft, lightweight, and a compact size that’ll easily fit the necessities for a day of exploration. Oh, and it’s super cute, too! 

We’ve rounded up the best anti theft travel bags for women, and our readers have voted for their favorite styles!


Monos Metro Sling Bag

A sling bag will keep you hands-free yet give you easy access to your phone or camera so that you can snap pictures of Ireland’s amazing wildlife, spectacular coastal views, or vibrant moments in the city. Plus, you can conveniently wear them in several different ways. 

The gorgeous Metro sling bag from Monos is made of high quality vegan leather that’s fully waterproof, so a sudden drizzle here and there will be no biggie. Interior pockets help keep things organized, and the exterior pocket is designed for easy access to your phone or wallet!


Matein Anti Theft Travel Laptop Backpack

If you’re setting out for a day that requires some extra items, then choose a waterproof backpack! 

The Matein travel backpack is loved and consistently recommended by readers for its superior organization. It features two compartments, each with multiple pockets, as well as a laptop sleeve, a USB charging port, and a luggage sleeve. It’s conveniently very lightweight, too, and its breathable and adjustable shoulder straps make it extra comfy to carry.


What are your tips on what to pack for Ireland? Share them below!

For more Europe packing tips, please read:

  • Packing for Ireland in the Summer
  • What to Wear in Budapest: Summer Style Guide
  • What to Wear in Ireland: Packing List Ideas for Dublin
  • What to Wear in Europe: Packing Lists for Every Destination!

Suggested travel resources:

travel essentials ireland

  • Lonely Planet Ireland (Country Guide)
  • Travel Shoes for Europe
  • The Best Carry-on Suitcases for Europe



Hope you liked this post on what to pack for Ireland. Please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

travel essentials ireland

Author Bio:  Niki is an interior designer and artist from Louisiana. In addition to her design work, she writes for local and online publications sharing her experiences and passion for travel. Niki is currently adding stamps to her passport while building her design practice, Niki Landry Designs .



I found this post so helpful for planning what I need for my trip to Ireland next spring. I bought my luggage and raincoat based on the recommendations here. I’m going to wait til I get to Ireland to buy a scarf and sweater! I also sent this post to my cousin who is traveling with me. Thanks for the great recommendations!

Sharon McMahon

Good info on the weather and what to pack. To get a “heads up” on a wet spring will be helpful for planning


This list is super helpful for guiding me in what to bring for a fall trip without overpacking. Thank you!


Found this list very helpful for our trip to Ireland this summer. Layering is key!


This is exactly what I needed! Thank you!


Hello, do you remember what brand the sandals are in the “Northern Ireland” section? Thank you!


Hi Jane, thanks for your question! We’ll share your question here so the author of the article can reply! 🙂


Planned our first overseas trip to Ireland this July. I keep coming back to your site! I would love to see how your mixed and matched these pieces. We are flying into Shannon and then traveling to Galway then south to Killarney and beyond. I have my pieces in mind but still struggle with how to mix and match them for maximum uses!

Hi Sarah, if you liked this post you might also like this Ireland packing list: and this one for the most recommended shoes: for tips on how to mix and match outfits, these two articles might help offer some tips: and Hope this helps! have a great trip ?


I would love to know where you bought the cream rain jacket in the “West” pic! It would be a perfect piece to finish my packing, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere!


great tips im moving to belfast end of july


Thanks Zoe!

Diana Deering

Very helpful, will be in Ireland the end of July! Excited!


What a great site you have created. Thanks!!!

Thanks Lorna!

Melissa Conn

This is seriously the perfect packing list for me! We leave tomorrow for Ireland 😀

Travel Fashion Girl

Yay! Glad you like it Melissa 🙂 Have a great time!

Abigail dowell

This is really helpful! I’m headed there this summer!!

Glad you liked it Abigail! Have a great time!

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Get €150 off your next Wild Atlantic or Castles & Classics Essential Ireland Tours with this Black Friday special offer code: Ireland‍ or €115 off the True North Tours with this code: Ireland-North

Limited places so Book Now! Offer valid until 4 December

travel essentials ireland

Fáilte - Welcome from stephen mcphilemy, ready for 2023!

Our travel philosophy.

Our fun concept of cost-effective, VIP travel for small groups,  was a response to the hundreds of travel requests from international friends, our clan and families, and people in our extended networks who desired:

Luxury Tours - with a value-for-money, affordable price

Small-group Tours - 8 to 16 people average - safe & unique

Lively Tours - Itineraries framed by Stephen & Patrick’s unique travel style; relaxed, insightful, fun and focused on essential Irish experiences

Tour-time & Free-time - A nice mix of tour-time/free-time philosophy, freedom to enjoy your own free time while also maximising your tour activities.

100% Irish Experiences – A tour that emphasises authentic Irish experiences and meeting the Irish people, everyday!

Your Experience

We aim to have you experience life like a local for the week  (except of course you’ll sleep in luxury hotels and B&B’s). Our  tours immerse you in the local culture for a week

Stephen McPhilemy and Patrick Wade are the co-founders of Essential Ireland Tours. One Irish and one Irish-American, they met 20 years ago while Patrick was backpacking through Ireland and Stephen was his tour-guide. Two decades later they (and their Irish Wolfhounds) are experienced and respected figures in the Irish tour and hospitality scene with a passion for providing high quality tours. Authentic Irish experiences for unbeatable value.


One of the unique features of Essential Ireland Tours is that we bring our own in-house professional travel-photographer and videographer with us on all tours.

Eagle owl lands on a woman's gloved hand at a falcony demo at Ashford castle, part of the Essential Ireland Castles & Classics Tours


"we loved our tour with essential ireland. stephen was an excellent tour leader — professional and organised, a passionate irish patriot and what really impressed us was the amount of local irish characters and personalities he was able to introduce us to. the small group of 15 people was ideal for us and made our vacation a more authentic experience", "fantastic tour. thanks to patrick, stephen and all the team. oh and can't forget seamus their gentle-giant irish wolfhound and handsome mascot. my family and i loved every minute of our irish adventures. we will definitely return and we'll be sure to take your tours once again. thanks for going the extra mile helping us reconnect with our irish ancestry", "great service and fun times in ireland. bravo to essential ireland tours".

travel essentials ireland


Catch up with the latest news from Essential Ireland Tours

We Never Cancel

We Never Cancel! Essential Ireland Tours have a 'never cancel' guarantee

Newgrange on Winter solstice. Stephen McPhilemy wins the lottery!

This is an incredible honour for Irish people. Newgrange is one of Ireland's most sacred ancient sites.

Hollywood Premiere in Ireland! After-Party hosted by 'Essential Ireland Tours'

Get in touch.

If you have any queries or questions, or would like to Stephen McPhilemy (who has Rick Steves' trusted right-hand man and tour-guide in Ireland for over 20 years) to custom build a special itinerary for your own private group of family or friends, send us a wee note right here

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Explore the wonderful world of Essential Ireland Tours

Founded by Stephen McPhilemy and Patrick Wade. Essential Ireland's mission is to introduce its guests to wonderful Irish experiences in small groups that allow them to see the real Ireland.

Wade McPhilemy Teo, company reg # 535035, registered in Ireland

Milltown House, Dingle, County Kerry, V92DP93

[email protected]

(+353) 83 1477 363

NI weather: Motorists warned only to make essential journeys

  • Published 7 days ago

snow in ni january 24

Only "essential journeys" should be made on Northern Ireland's roads on Thursday due to cold weather and limited gritting, the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has said.

It said roads would be hazardous, with limited gritting due to planned strike action.

Police are also urging motorists to lower their speed and be cautious.

It comes as Northern Ireland experienced its coldest day in more than a year.

Temperatures did not rise above -2C in some areas.

Met Office warnings for snow and ice are in place for the rest of the day on Wednesday and all day on Thursday.

'Extreme caution'

"The road network will be hazardous for travel due to widespread icy conditions and will not have been gritted apart from some limited gritting on the M1 and M2 motorways, the A1 and the A4," a DfI spokesperson said.

"Roads leading to the limited salted part of the network will not be treated, so extreme caution will be required for anyone travelling tomorrow on any part of the road network."

snow in derry 17 january 2024

Provisionally, the weather station at Altnahinch filters didn't record a temperature above -2.4C on Wednesday afternoon.

The last time it was the cold was on the 12 December 2022 when a number of weather stations didn't get above -2C.

Coincidentally, the County Antrim station also recorded the lowest overnight temperature anywhere on the whole island of Ireland on Tuesday night with a low of -6.6C.

It is likely to be just as cold on Wednesday night with a widespread frost developing.

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Snow in Northern Ireland proves both fun and disruptive

Another weather warning for ice on Friday was issued by the Met Office on Wednesday afternoon.

It comes into force at 00:00 GMT on Friday and lasts until 10:00.

Milder, but much more unsettled weather will move in at the weekend with the potential for some stormy conditions.

Forecasted strong winds have resulted in a wind warning being issued for Northern Ireland on Sunday.

Along with heavy rainfall, gusts of wind up to 100km/h (60mph) can be expected in some inland areas, while coasts and exposed areas could get speeds up to 115km/h (70mph).

staff on snow sweeper in city cemetery in derry

Translink said bus services in Magherafelt and Coleraine had been affected by poor weather conditions, with delays and disruption expected.

Oakgrove Integrated College in Londonderry said "despite its best efforts" it was unable to open on Wednesday morning.

Pupils were asked to work from home.

flight waiting to take off in snow at city of derry

Derry City and Strabane District Council said some of its services were also affected on Wednesday morning.

The council's cemeteries at Ballyoan, Altnagelvin, Strabane and the City Cemetery in Derry were closed for a time but have since reopened, while bin collections were also expected to be affected.

In pictures: Snow blankets parts of Northern Ireland

  • Northern Ireland weather forecast

"Householders are advised to leave out their bins as normal and council will endeavour to service them when it is safe to do so," a spokeswoman said.

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Weather warnings have also been issued across parts of Great Britain in the coming days.

In the Republic of Ireland, Met Éireann has warned of severe frost and icy stretches on the roads on Wednesday morning.

snow van

Gardai (Irish police) say main routes are passable with care, and are advising motorists to slow down and allow extra time for their journeys.

A separate alert for snow is in place for counties Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo

Related Topics

More on this story.

Further weather warning as temperatures to plummet

snow van

  • Published 16 January

Arctic blasts brings snow and ice to NI

  • Published 15 January


Yellow weather warning for snow and ice issued

  • Published 12 January

Snow covered garden and trees

What are cold weather payments and who gets them?

Young woman wrapped in a blanket in a cold house


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