Pack Perfect: The Ireland Vacation Clothing You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without

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Packing for a trip can be tricky, but choosing the best Ireland vacation clothing can give even the most experienced traveler a moment's pause. 

Ireland weather chatter often includes “if you don't like it, wait 5 minutes, it will change” and “four seasons in one day”. 

While that's not overly helpful when choosing what to wear in Ireland, it is hopeful when you wake to a grey day.

packing tips for your Ireland vacation

Clothes to Pack for an Ireland Vacation

Ireland's Weather

Average high temperatures in the Republic of  Ireland don't often go above 75°F in the warmest months of June, July and August while lows in the coldest months of January and February rarely dip below freezing (32°F). 

Northern Ireland is slightly cooler, but not a wholly noticeable difference. 

No matter what time of year you visit the Emerald Isle you are likely to experience rain, though December and January tend to be the wettest (and coldest) months.

The shoulder season months of April, May, September and October bring a lovely mixture of weather- you may wake to a cool, rainy morning which turns to a warm, sunny afternoon.  Or exactly the opposite.

Across the Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge, County Antrim, Ireland.
What to Pack for Ireland: think layers! On this late fall day we had jackets, flannels, and light woolen layers, along with waterproof hiking boots.

The weather is part of Ireland's charm and, as I've often heard said, “If the Irish waited for the rain to stop before they did anything, nothing would ever get done!”

But that doesn't help you choose the clothes to pack for an Ireland vacation- does it?

Onward to my tips for what to wear in Ireland!

Ireland Vacation Clothing

Your Ireland Packing Lists- no matter the season:

  • warm socks
  • water resistant walking shoes or boots for exploring the countryside (My family wears Keen hiking boots for long hikes and I wear the Keen Kaci Slip-ons for more relaxed walks)
  • jeans or warmer travel pants
  • light jacket or sweater 
  • water resistant or rain jacket to stay dry (I love SCOTTeVEST jackets and travel pants!) Special discount for Ireland Family Vacations readers! Save 15% sitewide with code VEST15 !
  • cozy hat (though this is a terrific souvenir to bring home!)
  • knit gloves
  • short and long sleeved shirts for layering – my favorite are thin Merino wool 1/4 or 1/2 zip. (Amazon has some great options and Columbia Sportswear often has terrific sales.)
  • comfortable shoes for walking in the cities, a nice flat or leather boots with cushioning support

Try to keep your clothing monotone so it will mix and match well; add a few accessories or easy-to-wear items like t-shirts for color.

Tip:  I usually bring 4-5 outfits and have laundry done every 3rd or 4th day.  Your B&B host or hotel concierge can direct you to a launderette where, for a nominal fee, your clothes will be washed, dried and folded- and you won't miss any sight-seeing time!

Planning a nice evening dinner or event?

For ladies and girls add a simple dress that won't wrinkle, a good pair of comfortable, attractive shoes, and easy accessories.

For men and boys a pair of pants, button down shirt, and a jacket should do the trick.

What to Wear in Ireland

What to Pack Tips for Kids

For young kids I recommend adding 2 extra outfits per 5 days, in case of messy play. 5 days = 7 outfits. (If you plan to do laundry 7 total outfits should be enough.)

Don't skimp on socks! I recommend 2 pair per day if you plan outdoor activities.

A pair of water-resistant shoes or boots are always a good idea.

If bringing tennis shoes make sure they can get dirty. 

Pack an extra jacket- just in case the first one needs laundered.

Don't visit Ireland without:

A “pocket size umbrella” that can fit easily in a tote or backpack.

A camera to capture every incredible sight and event.

rain cover if you are using a stroller.

travel journal.  You want to remember everything – colors, sounds, tastes, textures.

Read more: Must Have Travel Gear

Terrific Ireland Clothing Souvenirs

A fabulously warm Aran sweater will remind you of your Ireland vacation every time you wear it.

Woolen socks, gloves, or hat are perfect gifts for yourself or someone else.

Read more: Best Ireland Souvenirs for Everyone in Your Family

How to Pack for Your Trip to Ireland

No matter if you travel carry-on or check a bag, organization is key when packing your suitcase.

I swear by good packing cubes. I, personally, love compression packing cubes- it's amazing how much you can fit in such a small space!

I like to pack outfits together- especially when packing for children- so I know I have everything I need.

If you are checking a bag I recommend packing at least one outfit, and extra pair of shoes, and any toiletries you might need, into your carry-on. Just in case your bag doesn't arrive at the airport when you do.

If you are traveling with family pack a few outfits for each person in each checked bag. Then, if one gets lost, there will still be clothes for everyone.

Read More: Carry On Necessities for Your Flight to Ireland

More Ireland Travel Tips

When you're planning a trip to Ireland it's understandable that you will have questions.

Visit the Ireland Travel Tips & FAQs page to find the answers you need!

If you're overwhelmed with options of what to do and where to go, check out my free Ireland itineraries.

Need more travel gear recommendations? You'll find everything from luggage to travel guides listed in my store.

Do you have a question about what to wear in Ireland?  Or do you have a favorite piece of Ireland vacation clothing to recommend?  Let's chat in the comments- I always respond!


  1. I am from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado at 9200ft and live part time in southwest Ireland. I always bring a winter ski coat and would freeze most of the year if I brought a light jacket only. the winds and humidity make it much colder than what the temperature reads. Warm hat, boots, gloves a must. an umbrella will only be useful if no wind- the winds will blow it away! Best to count on hoods in the rain. I find January feels colder sometimes than Colorado.

      It is very true that winds and rain can definitely make it feel colder. I definitely think hoods are a must, as well. The reason I recommend a lighter jacket is for layering purposes, and the fact that *most* tourists visit in the summer months. No need for a winter jacket then (in most cases). In my articles specific to winter I do recommend heavier jackets.
      As to winter travel… in the heart of the Midwestern US, where I live, January is brutal, usually hovering below 20F, and often below zero. Ireland feels balmy to me in January.

    Been reading your site with interest and appreciate your advice/suggestions for travel to Ireland. My husband and I are flying in to Dublin the third week of September, spending a night there, then picking up a rental car and touring on our own. Plan to head south and do a loop of the southern half, up the Atlantic side and back to Dublin for a 10 day trip. I am celebrating a big BD while there and would like to spend that day in a fun town. We have no set plans and would appreciate any suggestions you may have. Overall, we are easy going and like to visit the less traveled roads! Thank you in advance!

      If you wish to visit the southern part of Ireland I have 3 pre-made itineraries that may be just what you are looking for: the Southwest Sampler, 7 Castles in 7 Days, or the 2 Week Itinerary for Adventurers.

      If you are looking for a custom itinerary catered to your interests, accommodation preferences, and fitness levels, my Custom Itinerary Coaching is exactly what you are looking for.

      I hope one of those options will be just what you need. Please do let me know if I can answer any questions.

      Hi Laurie, Sounds like we are on the same schedule and may bump into you guys. We were taking advantage of the Dingle Food Festival the first weekend in October, which unfortunately coincides with the Cork Folk Festival. We are wondering how we can do both! Not many festival activities around that time frame and wish they would have separated them.

      Safe Travels

    We will be visiting Ireland in September. We live in Va and am use to 80-90 degree weather what should I pack as far as warmth?

      Hi Lisa! The packing list I have on the article is really a year-round basic. Ireland doesn’t get too warm or too cool, so if you pack to layer your clothing you’ll be set.

      That said, you won’t be experiencing 80-90 degrees. Averages will be 50-65F, so think about a short sleeve layer, maybe a q-zip over that (I like a Merino wool blend for warmth) and a jacket on top of that. By dressing in layers you’ll be able to add or subtract clothing as needed.

      Do you have any special activities planned that you need specific advice for?

      September is a beautiful month to visit Ireland- have a wonderful trip!

      Safe travels!

    Leaving for Ireland May 31st for 2 weeks. 2 full days in Dublin on own and then joining an 11 day tour. At a loss about what to take. Short sleeve T-shirts, long sleeve tops, sweat shirts & hoodies, jeans leggings, rain coat,sneakers, short leather boots, rubber Hunter boots? How warm will it get in early June? Should I take warmer stuff? or will I die of heat? Confused Help!

      HI Marica. Late May could be warm and dry or chilly and wet. I’ve experienced both- often in the same 2 week period.
      My best advice is to dress in layers so you can add or remove as needed.
      For shoes I usually rely on a pair of waterproof Keen hiking boots and wool socks for warmth. I will bring a pair of flats for city walking or days that don’t including hiking.

      Ireland’s weather doesn’t vary a large amount; late May and early June have an average temperature of 60-65 F/ 16-18 C. You will have some amount of precipitation most days, though it does tend to blow over quickly.

      I would check Accuweather or another weather site before you begin packing to see what the predictions are, but my main packing list remains pretty true. Do check out the ScotteVest Margaux Cargaux pants linked in the article- I have found these to be perfect in Ireland.

      I hope that helps.

    Hi, my sister and I are leaving the day after Christmas to go to Dublin and then starting on the 29th – we will be with a tour group on a 6 day southwest tour. We will possibly be doing some hiking and such. I have heard to dress in layers. Can you tell me for hiking what would be good to wear? Any other suggestions for this time of year would be helpful. Thanks!

      How exciting! For December you will definitely want warm layers! I recommend a light merino wool ‘long underwear’ set- they are thin but so warm! If you have a Costco nearby I know ours has them now. Woolen socks and water-resistant hiking shoes. A warm and water-resistant coat. And definitely a woolen hat.

      I hope that’s helpful. Have an incredible trip!

    Hi! My husband and I along with our 3 girls, ages 8, 5, 3 will be traveling to Ireland this coming February. We will be staying with friends for a few days in Dublin and then we plan to travel a bit. I am looking for recommendations for must sees that are within an area that we can do something the kids enjoy as well. We are willing to drive but don’t want to spend all day in the car. I am thinking definitely going to Kerry, specifically Killarney, but I am not sure what specific things would be enjoyable. I would also like to go to one other area but am not sure which would be best. Any suggestions on Kerry activities and another area? Also, would we be best suited to stay in a B&B in those areas? Thanks in advance!

      Hi Tiffany- and thanks so much for your question! I’m sure your friends in Dublin will have their own recommendations but here are my thoughts:

      Traveling in February you may find attractions in rural areas operating on shortened hours or reduced days- so do be sure to double check everything.

      Killarney is a wonderful spot for families- but you might feel like you are in the car ‘all day’ driving between there and Dublin. You might consider stopping in Kilkenny for a couple days. You’ll find some great sites there and in nearby Cahir.

      Weather in February could be nice, or it could be awful. Be sure to have plans no matter the weather. Ireland has a few ‘show caves’- it’s always the same underground no matter the weather outside.

      I recommend using the interactive map here on Ireland Family Vacations to help you plan your itinerary. You can see recommendations for kids friendly spots all over Ireland. For your visit take a look at Counties Kilkenny, Kerry, and Clare (Bunratty Castle & Folk Park is a great spot with kids!)

      There are some really great B&Bs in the area- but again, you would have to do some checking on their open dates. Try the clickable map to narrow your search for B&Bs with family rooms that are open on your travel dates.

      Hope that helps! Do let me know if you have more questions!

    Going the for the first time the first full week of September, to the southern part. Would you suggest a light jacket or will a heavier one be necessary? Scarves & a light sweater with a long sleeved shirt and jeans were pretty much the things I was going to pack. We are coming from the southern part of the United States and the first part of September is still fairly warm here.
    Also, if you have any suggestions on sites that are off the beaten path (crowded tourist zones) that a couple would enjoy seeing I’d love to know. We love the country side, and small quaint eateries over the restaurants in town with crowds. We aren’t as interested in going on tours as seeing the people and the country.

      Hi Daphne. September is fairly mild by Ireland standards, average temps will be mid 50s to mid 60s. For me, being from the Midwest, I would bring a light jacket- like the Molly by Scottevest – and layer under it. For warmth I use a Merino blend long sleeve shirt.

      Out of the way places in the southern part of Ireland-
      If you enjoy a stunning walk head out to the Sheeps head Peninsula in West Cork. Drive to An Cupan Tae and walk to the lighthouse. It’s about 3km (as the crow flies). (more info about this area at the bottom of this article)

      Wells House in Wexford is lovely- and very few Americans know about it.

      Most tourists miss Cahir Castle as it is so near Cashel…

      Will you be near Kilkenny? If so, contact Jerpoint Park to see if they can put you on their schedule.

      In Killarney look at a day tour of the lake and Gap of Dunloe. There are a couple companies that do it very well- it’s like being along with a cousin (if you had one in the area).

      Hope that helps! Have a great trip!

    Hats and gloves at Moher and other ocean locations but necessary elsewhere in first 2 weeks September? Warm socks always? No flats in Dublin? Only low boots always? Thans

      You shouldn’t need a hat and gloves in early September; the weather is quite temperate. Flats and no socks are ok in Dublin if the weather cooperates. Even a hiking sandal is fine- again, depending on weather. Use a weather website to check what conditions you can expect and plan accordingly.

    Hi,I will be coming to Cork Ireland for business reasons from September till December.How would be the weather.And what should I keep in mind.

      Hi Shivani. You don’t say where you will be coming from, so I’m not sure how different the weather will be from where you are currently.

      In autumn the days get shorter, wetter and cooler. You can expect the temps to be temperate in September , between mid-50s to low 60sF. as you move into November & December the temperatures will drop into the low 40sF, and can dip down into the 30s.

      Plan to dress in layers and get a good pair of leather boots.

    We leave for Ireland on April 5. From what I’ve read, the weather could be anywhere from freezing to 65. We will be there for nine days and only have our first night booked in Dublin. We are wanting to rent a car and just wing it so to speak. It’s me and my best friend traveling. Any safety concerns for us…two girls… And advice on how much cash to carry, essentials to pack etc

      Hi Sarah! Thanks so much for your question!

      My first trip to Ireland was solo- and it was amazing! You really shouldn’t have any issues with safety. Just be aware of your surroundings.

      As with any travel keep your credit cards and passport safe, practice common sense, especially in the evenings.

      I was in Dublin with my daughters last fall and we never felt unsafe or worried by our surroundings.

      Are you planning to take your car into Dublin? I don’t recommend it – driving in Dublin is difficult for me (and I’ve been driving in Ireland for 15 years!) so if you’re just off a plane, tired, and not used to driving on the left pick up your car before you head out into the countryside.

      Follow the road where it leads, for sure, but do be sure to have a map with you – your car rental company should have one- just so you can find your way if you get lost.

      I don’t usually carry much cash; my Visa debit covers most of my purchases. But do have 2Euro coins handy for parking & tolls. So, maybe 100Euro. If you choose to carry more cash, keep it separate – a bit in your bag, the rest in another location, just in case.

      My own essentials include a portable charger for my phone, a camera and extra batteries, refillable water bottle, water-resistant jacket & shoes, and plenty of warm socks! Dress in layers- the weather is always changing!

      Take a look at all my vacation planning tips– especially the car rental tips- those will provide a lot of information!

      Have a wonderful trip!

    visiting ireland this coming august 20, is it cool to be wearing knee high boots in august?

      You’ll have a great time, Janette.

      If you are asking is it cool, as in weather, then, probably not. Ireland is at the end of summer in August. Though it doesn’t get as warm as most of the US, it’s not likely to be cool enough for high boots.

      If you are asking is it cool, as in stylish, then yes. You see lots of high boots in Ireland. But probably not in August.

      If you can tell me where you will be, I can offer advice on shoes you should pack.

        will be in limerick, cliffs of moher, galway, rathbaun farm, adare, ring, of kerry, blarney, rock of cashel, dublin. just want to bring 2 shoes the most, the high boots is from fit flops (not the sexy pointy type). and yes i’m referring to… if its cool meaning stylish, to be wearing one come end of august. is it cold at those times, i come from a tropical country….

          If you come from a tropical country you might find Ireland chilly at the end of August. Tall boots are worn in Ireland, so you won’t get strange looks for wearing them. With the places you are talking about visiting, though, I would recommend a good pair of hiking or walking boots as opposed to a fashionable tall boot.

            Noted Jody, thank you so much, cant wait to see your side of the world 🙂

        Hi there! We will be in Ireland in June. What are the best shoes to pack? Do I need a converter for my phone charger?

          Hi Bonnie.
          The best shoes depend on where you will be and what you will be doing. I usually bring a pair of durable, waterproof hiking shoes or boots (Keen is my go-to brand) for exploring and a comfortable pair of flat shoes for the city or if I need something a bit fancier.
          As to your phone, you will want a travel adapter – this is the one I use.

    Are there any specific attractions that are a must see for children from ages 4-8?

      @manayunk Ireland is so filled with kid friendly fun…  It’s difficult for me to make recommendations unless I have an idea of where you will be.  Birr Castle in Offaly is great, as is Bunratty Castle & Folk Park in Clare.  Killarney in County Kerry is a terrific base with loads of fun activities nearby.  
      If you could give me dates and an idea of what you like or where you might be staying, I could make some specific recommendations.  Thanks for reading!

    @oannaokateo So glad it was helpful to you! Please lmk if you have any #Ireland questions. We just returned- and can’t wait to go back!

      @iatraveler Thanks! What impressed you the most about #Ireland? What impressed you the least? Glad to see more Midwestern travelers! 🙂

        @oannaokateo Love the people and the history. I’ve been 5 times; fell more in love w/each visit. Least impressive? The weight I gain. 🙂

          @iatraveler I guess I should bring some stretchy pants then!

          @oannaokateo Or sturdy walking shoes. 🙂 Have a terrific trip!

    @iatraveler thanks! We’ll be in Dublin, Kilkenny, Killarney, and then eventually London. Ireland for 6 days.

      @JennaNathan All great places! You’ll have a wonderful time. Though if you will be in London, I would skip Dublin- very similar w/o Guinness

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