Visiting Ireland in July: Weather, Festivals, and Best Things to Do

Ireland in July
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While I think Ireland is a beautiful time to visit no matter what the season, it’s hard to argue that Ireland in July isn’t one of the best times to visit. The rain has stopped for the most part, except for a few brief showers here and there, and there are so many outdoor activities and events that let you take advantage of the beautiful weather.

One part I love about visiting during this time of the year is there is no shortage of things to do in Ireland in July, whether you want to attend a music festival, see a derby, or go to a film festival. The general mood is a lot more joyous as visitors and locals alike spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Here’s everything you need to know about planning a trip in July in Ireland, including the weather, what to pack, and the best things to do in each city.

Weather in Ireland in July

July in Ireland is a beautiful time of year in the middle of summer. The weather is typically warm and sunny, offering you the pleasure of getting out and exploring all the Emerald Isle has to offer, and it’s not quite as crowded as Ireland during August

Unlike other summer destinations, temperatures in Ireland in July don’t come with unbearable heat, with average day temperatures of 66 °F. While the days are beautiful, the evenings can sometimes call for a light jacket or sweater, with nighttime temperatures often around 54 °F.

Even with such pleasant weather, it’s not uncommon for drizzles to be a thing in Ireland during July. Head to the coast or upland parts of the country like Northern Ireland, and you might encounter some strong winds.

Tip: If you want to extend your trip, consider visiting Ireland in June to experience the start and peak of the Irish summer.

What to Pack for Ireland in July

Now that you know what the island’s July weather has in store for you, it’s time to prepare for your visit. One of the first steps is to start packing all your summer essentials so you have the best time possible.

As it is summer, you’ll want to pack season-specific garments, including:

On the flip side of the warmer days are cooler evenings, meaning you’ll want to bring a few of these:

It goes without saying that you’ll also need those essentials that come with you regardless of the weather. I’ve mentioned these and more in my Ireland packing list.

Events to Attend in Ireland in July

With the gorgeous Irish weather comes a host of activities you can do and a list of events you should attend. While Dublin is often the hub of all the fun, the other cities aren’t too far behind.

If you aren’t sure what to do in July in Ireland, let me give you some of the unmissable events in the major tourist hubs.

Things to Do in Dublin in July

When someone thinks of Ireland, the capital city is often the first thing that comes to mind, and for good reason. Dublin is often bustling with life from sunset to sunrise, with the sights and smells of Irish culture everywhere. Couple that with the warm weather and friendly locals, and you have one of Ireland’s best cities to visit, with plenty of things to do in Ireland in July.

I wish I could mention every event the city hosts in July, but I can’t — there are just too many good ones. However, I can recommend the following as musts while in Dublin.

Longitude Music Festival

Longitude Festival
Image via Facebook: Longitude Festival

Dublin is a music-loving city, so it’s only fair that you attend one of Ireland’s most popular music festivals, Longitude. The long-running event has brought some of the world’s best artists to the city since 2013.

In 2023, Marlay Park will again be the place to be, with an epic lineup that’ll have you bouncing non-stop. A weekend-long event, you can dance till your feet hurt on Saturday and lose your voice on Sunday while singing along to your favorite tunes.

Chart toppers Calvin Harris and Travis Scott will headline the event, with other popular artists providing support during this festival in Dublin in July. Make sure to book your Dublin hotel in advance for this event.

1-2 July 2023 at Marlay Park

Irish Youth Dance Festival

Irish Youth Dance Festival
Image via Facebook: DYDC

Sometimes, you’d rather leave the dancing to others, and that’s exactly what you can do at the Irish Youth Dance Festival. The two-day event has been running for over 22 years at the hands of the Dublin Youth Dance Company.

Here, you’ll enjoy seeing the youth of all ages deliver exciting and uplifting dance performances. Bringing together Irish and international dancers, you’ll watch in awe as these youngsters bust out their best moves in various styles. It’s the perfect addition to your 3 days in Dublin itinerary.

1-2 July 2023 at the Pavilion Theatre

The Irish Derby

horse racing

While the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Festival is one of the biggest events, the Irish Derby is perhaps the nation’s premier horse racing event, typically in late June or early July. While Derby Day on Sunday is the main draw, the weekend festivities leading up to the race and the fiestas afterward are another highlight. Yes, it begins on June 30th, but you’ll agree it’s worth a little cheating by me.

On Friday, you can anticipate thrilling racing and a busy atmosphere driven by live music. Saturday, dubbed “Ladies’ Day,” celebrates chic fashion and horse racing, so come out in your best dresses, hats, and accessories.

All roads lead to the big Irish Derby, the pinnacle of Irish horse racing, fantastic fashion, and great entertainment, making it one of the best things to do in Ireland in July.

You’ll also get to enjoy plenty of traditional Irish foods and the best drinks in Ireland while you’re here.

30 June – 2 July 2023 at the Curragh Racecourse

Things to Do in Belfast in July

Renowned for its historical standing, Belfast is more than just a step into the old days. The long and dry summer days make for the perfect opportunity to explore the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Immerse yourself in Irish culture without missing out on what makes for a fun summertime with music and dance sandwiched between inspiring heritage at the following events.

Belfast TradFest

Belfast TradFest
Image via Facebook: Belfast TradFest

The Belfast TradFest is one of the city’s most popular festivals, with both winter and summer variations held annually. The week-long summer festival is a one-of-a-kind celebration of traditional music, song, and dance that brings together Irish and Ulster-Scots cultures.

During the festival, you’ll be blessed with a host of concerts and céil dances by some of the best traditional performers in Ireland. This time around, The Ollam, a folk music band, will be the headlining act.

If you’re an aspiring musician or love music beyond sound, you’ll enjoy the workshops, lectures, and sessions hosted during the week.

23-29 July 2023 in Belfast

Belfast Orangefest

Belfast Orangefest
Image via Facebook: Belfast Orangefest

A remembrance of the Battle of Boyne on the Twelfth, Belfast Orangefest is a somewhat controversial day. While many, i.e., Protestants, are out celebrating in the streets, others, i.e., Catholics, sit inside during Orangemen’s Day, as it’s otherwise known.

There will be street parades during the festivities, with marchers wearing suits and orange V-shaped collarettes. Stand on the side of the road, and you’ll see these people pass in a marching band with drums, flutes, and bagpipes.

Tip: Just be alert to any commotion while attending, as there’s usually a heavy police presence during the event in July in Ireland.

12 July 2023 in Belfast

Want to extend your time in this area? You’ll love going on a day trip from Belfast to explore more.

Things to Do in Cork in July

As you may expect for one of Ireland’s most famous cities, Cork certainly holds its own during July. While it isn’t buzzing with lively activities like Dublin, you still have the following festivals to attend when looking for fun things to do in Ireland in July (and will want to figure out where to stay in Cork in advance since it gets crowded).

West Cork Literary Festival

West Cork Literary Festival
Image via Facebook: West Cork Literary Festival

Bibliophiles rejoice in a world of summer music festivals; the West Cork Literary Festival has something for you. Beginning in 1997, the festival is now an annual highlight that’s a breath of fresh air on the Irish calendar. The organizers bring together Ireland’s and the world’s greatest literary minds to celebrate writing and reading.

During the week-long event, you’ll enjoy readings of many books in various genres at several locations. These are often brand-new novels and books by renowned authors. 

They also have a lineup of amazing poets whose performances will blow the minds of poetry fans.

Tip: If you’re an aspiring writer, you can meet with some of the invited authors to sharpen your skills, as they’re open to questions.

7-14 July 2023 in Bantry

Things to Do in Derry in July

Whether you call it Derry or Londonderry, you’ll still be blessed with a splendor of happenings in this incredible city, including the following.

Stendhal Festival

Stendhal Festival
Image via Facebook: Stendhal Festival

Okay, this isn’t precisely in Derry, but trust me – it’s worth the half-hour journey to Limavady. Since it began in 2011, Stendhal has quickly become Ireland’s most popular independent music and arts festival.

Music is the festival’s primary draw, with performances on all three days to bop your head to. However, Stendhal isn’t just for music lovers — it’s a whole experience for all the arts.

If you want to laugh your head off, you can, as several incredible comics will take the stage. Afterward, you can take in some traditional artwork by established and up-and-coming artists.

You can cater to your sense of taste between the sights and sounds of fine art and gut-busting laughter. The festival typically has light, mouth-watering delicacies like tacos, French fries, and everything in between.

6-8 July 2023 at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady

Summer is busy, so find where to stay in Derry a few months in advance to ensure a room.

Things to Do in Limerick in July

Limerick is Ireland’s fourth-most populous city, so it’s always got something going on for its citizens and visitors during July. While the Shannon River and its history of coffee are enough to warrant a visit, its festival is worth staying for.

Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Festival

Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Festival
Image via Facebook: Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Festival

Ireland has a rich history, leading to some iconic and significant celebrations. One such celebration is the Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Festival. It celebrates the Flight of the Wild Geese and the longstanding camaraderie between Ireland and France. The festival takes place on the weekend closest to Bastille Day.

While it’s in its infancy, founded in 2019, it’s fast becoming one of Limerick’s popular occasions. I recommend attending not only for the cultural significance but also for the festivities waiting there.

This includes time spent in a garden watching a reenactment of a historical event, listening to live music, looking at fashion, and doing other fun things.

15-16 July 2023 in Limerick

Make sure to find where to stay in Limerick a few months in advance.

Things to Do in Galway in July

Galway has consistently been named among the best cities to visit in the world, and it doesn’t lose its charm in July. In fact, it comes alive with many fun possibilities for different types of visitors in Ireland in July.

Galway International Arts Festival

Galway International Arts Festival
Image via Facebook: Galway International Arts Festival

One of Europe’s most anticipated festivals annually, the Galway International Arts Festival is the place to be in July. When you attend the event, you’ll enjoy a multidisciplinary display of art from national and international artists.

The two-week-long event will play host to a buzzing musical atmosphere by the banks of the River Corrib. Bell X1, Kaiser Chiefs, Tones and I, and others will lead the sounds this year.

For more fun, you can look forward to theatrical performances and premieres of plays from some of the world’s best. If you’d like something a little more lighthearted, be prepared to laugh loudly when watching comedians do their thing.

One of the festival’s most anticipated showcases is its street art, which doesn’t disappoint. Walk around the Galway streets, and awe-inspiring art creations greet you.

I also recommend heading to the Festival Garden, where delicious cocktails will flow, and fun tunes will be played until late.

17-30 July 2023 at the Black Box Theatre

Make sure to book your Galway bed and breakfast in advance for this event!

Galway Film Fleadh

Galway Film Fleadh
Image via Facbook: Galway Film Fleadh

Galway is home to both the best arts festival in Europe and the best film festival in Ireland. The Galway Film Fleadh, dating back to 1989, is a week-long festival celebrating all things cinema.

Whether an aspiring filmmaker or a cinephile, you’re in for loads of fun. Instead of sitting at home flicking through Netflix, you’ll have many movies premiering on the big screen.

The festival screens over 100 feature-length films and shorts from a diverse group of national and international filmmakers. Imagine being the first to see the next critically-acclaimed masterpiece. Exciting, right?

There are many great opportunities for people who work in the industry, such as masterclasses, forums, marketplaces, and even pitching competitions. If you only have one day in Galway, you’ll want to attend this.

11-16 July 2023 in Galway at Various Venues

South Galway Bay Music Festival

South Galway Bay Music Festival

A weekend of musical fun awaits south of Galway in the scenic village of Ballinderreen. Only in its second year, the South Galway Bay Music Festival is already a force to be reckoned with. 

While it doesn’t have the attendance figures of heavyweights like Longitude, it is even better if you ask me. Incredible live music sans the crowds? There isn’t much that can beat it.

Over the course of a weekend, several talents will switch places on stage, with one entertaining act after another. Leave your weather anxieties at the entrance; you’ll be serenaded all night, rain or shine, thanks to the covered dance floors and bars.

The Tumbling Paddies, Sinead Black, and Derek Ryan will be the headliners for the 2023 iteration.

28-30 July 2023 in Ballinderreen

You’ll love all the things to do in Ireland in July that are available!

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