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.
Clothes to Pack for an Ireland Vacation
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.
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!)
- 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 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.
A rain cover if you are using a stroller.
A 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.
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.
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!