When you’re thinking about taking a trip to the Emerald Isle, but hoping to dodge the peak tourist season and the premium prices that come with it, Ireland in November should definitely be on your radar. The summer crowds have long dispersed by then, making it easier to explore its bustling cities and cozy countryside without a wait. Sure, you might need to pack an extra sweater and be ready for the occasional Irish drizzle, but there’s a unique charm to the island during this month that more than makes up for it.
November in Ireland isn’t just about the off-peak perks. As the holiday season approaches, cities like Dublin, Cork, Belfast, and others come alive with festive markets, twinkling lights, and a palpable buzz in the air. Warm drinks, artisan crafts, and local delicacies await you around every corner. Also, here’s a little tip: November tends to be milder than December in Ireland, so if you’re seeking that winterish vibe without the deep chill, this month is perfect for you.
We’ll give you all the important information about this month, such as the Irish weather in November, provide you with a packing guide tailored for the season, and spotlight the events and festivals that will make your trip unforgettable. Whether you’re into cultural immersion or simply savoring the local flavors, you’ll find many things to do in Ireland in November.
Ireland Weather in November
You can always be sure that Ireland is a fantastic destination, regardless of the time of year. However, the November weather in Ireland does play a significant role in what you can expect from daily life on the Emerald Isle and may impact your list of what to do in Ireland in the fall.
Shifting weather conditions at this time of year welcome the start of winter in Ireland. As the beautiful autumnal colors of its landscapes start to dwindle, the unique flair winter brings to the island begins to rise.
Yes, winter does mean fewer hours of sunlight, rainy days, and colder (but not freezing) temperatures. Nonetheless, planning a trip to Ireland in November is a fantastic choice.
Although the victim of dropping temperatures, visiting Ireland in November does have its upsides. Autumn is commonly known as the low season due to the slow encroachment of winter. So you can expect fewer tourist numbers and lower prices on accommodation and activities.
However, this is an advantage if you’re going on a road trip in Northern Ireland, as places will be less crowded.
Ireland in November Weather
It goes without saying, but temperatures in Ireland in November start to drop. The change from autumn to winter does not happen overnight, though. Within the first week of November of winter in Ireland, you can expect average daily temperatures of around 54°F (12°C).
Keep in mind that Ireland is not big enough for these temperatures to vary significantly as you travel around.
The significant temperature drops only start during the last week of November, when you can expect 49°F (9.5°C) as an average. Temperatures can drop to as low as 39°F (4°C), but this generally only happens during rainfall.
A fair warning, though: the wind chill will affect the expected temperature if you travel around the West Coast of Ireland during November.
Rainfall in November in Ireland
Surprisingly enough, rainfall in Ireland in November is a bit of a mixed bag. If you’re looking to experience the rainy days the island is known for, visiting in November is a great option.
Each day, at the very least, threatens the chance of rain. But, compared to other months, November only sees about 3 inches of average rainfall. I understand that a rainy vacation doesn’t always light a sparkle in travelers’ eyes, but these conditions enrich attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher.
Wind Conditions in November in Ireland
If you’re concerned by the wind conditions during November in Ireland, you can rest easy knowing that the overarching winds are reasonably calm. Speeds of around 5 miles an hour permeate most days in November, but they can reach peaks of about 9 miles (14 km) an hour.
This does not mean you won’t experience the occasional windy day during your travels, so you might expect it for Dublin weather in November. As calm as most days are, some November days can get windy enough to make you feel like you’re being swept away.
Be cautious when exploring the stunning cliffs of Ireland, though, as most face the aptly named Wild Atlantic Way, and as a result, wind speeds do increase. Should you plan on visiting any of the islands off the coast of Ireland, wind conditions also impact ferry operations.
Make sure to book your car rental in advance! I love using Discover Cars when I travel.
What to Pack for Ireland in November
Many spots in Ireland were used to film the television series Game of Thrones (and you can visit Game of Thrones locations while you’re there), but one famous line perfectly sums up the island in November. Winter is coming, so you’ll want to be prepared by knowing what to pack for Ireland.
Nothing like a poorly planned packing list can ruin a trip when traveling to Ireland in November. So here’s what you’ll absolutely have to bring along on your Irish adventure:
- Long-sleeved shirts and long pants: If you’re planning on an early morning or late afternoon adventure, warm clothes like Merino wool will ensure you don’t suffer from colder temperatures.
- Layered clothing: Being in Ireland in November’s weather means you can expect cold temperatures outside and roasting hot temperatures inside. Be sure that you can add or remove a layer of clothing, such as a fleece jacket, as the need arises.
- Winter coat: As many of the country’s best attractions during winter are outside, packing a suitable winter coat is essential.
- Comfortable jeans: Pack more than one pair of comfortable jeans, as these keep you warm. But they can get wet, and nobody wants to walk around in wet jeans.
- Winter essentials: These include suitable hats, warm gloves, and scarves.
- Thermal underwear: For men and women, include one or two pairs of thermal pants and tops.
- Boots: A pair of sturdy waterproof boots is a lifesaver in cases of heavy downpours.
- Umbrella: An absolute must; you can opt to buy one once you’re in Ireland or bring one from home.
- Daily jacket: Ideally, you should include a windproof and waterproof everyday jacket that you can easily layer on top of fleece or a long-sleeved shirt.
- Comfortable walking shoes: As you explore city streets, museums, art galleries, and pubs, pack a pair of comfortable shoes.
- A travel adapter: This one is important to ensure that your electronics work no matter where you are.
- Chapstick and hand cream: These are not a must, but they are worth it as the air can get very dry. Your lips and hands will thank you for this.
Don’t forget to plan your trip ahead by knowing how to get from the Dublin airport to Dublin city center.
Best Things to Do in Ireland in November
If you think things in Ireland have begun to slow down just because the winter months have started, think again. Just because the spookiness of Ireland during October is over, there are a variety of events, festivals, and highlights that the Emerald Isle is known for that continue throughout the month. You can even celebrate Thanksgiving in Ireland!
Here is a comprehensive guide to the best events and festivities to indulge in during your November trip to Ireland.
Best Things to Do in Dublin in November
No trip to Ireland, regardless of when you visit, would be complete without experiencing the quintessential Irish city of Dublin. Throughout its streets, the temperatures might drop, but for the most part during November, rain isn’t an issue. There are plenty of things to do during the winter in Dublin, and this month is a good time to visit if you want to avoid crowds during Christmas in Dublin.
The Rugby Internationals
One of the many things Ireland is famous for is its excellence in the sport of rugby. An extremely fast-paced sport, it’s sure to excite anyone in the city during November. The best thing to do in Dublin in November is to attend a game at Aviva Stadium.
During the international competition, three games are hosted at the stadium throughout November. Ticket prices start at €30 ($29) and can skyrocket to €300 ($290) for premium seats.
- still pending for 2023
Dublin Gallery Weekend
At the end of November, the art scene in Dublin heads onto its streets, where everyone is welcome to indulge their artistic side. A whopping 40 galleries around the city take to the streets to create epic free art exhibitions, so stop here if you’re looking for things to do in Dublin in November.
Some of the city’s premier galleries, such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Dublin City Gallery, and Hugh Lane, participate. The best part? Immersing yourself in the art of Dublin during this event comes at no cost, as there are no entrance fees. Afterward, head over to a Dublin pub to discuss what you saw that day.
Dates: November 23rd–26th
Save up to 50% off attractions with the Go City Pass! It’s a great way to save money if you plan on visiting multiple sights in Dublin.
Blanchardstown Ice Rink
The start of winter signals the installation and operation of the many ice rinks throughout Dublin. The largest rink in Ireland is located here in Dublin; at a massive 8,000 square feet, Blanchardstown is a must-visit. This is one of the best things to do in Ireland in November if you love being outdoors.
It usually opens during the third week of November, and entrance tickets start at €15 ($24).
Dates: Opening dates not released yet for 2023
Take Part in the Jonathan Swift Festival
Jonathan Swift, the famous author of “Gulliver’s Travels,” is an Irish literary icon. Coming to Ireland, one thing is clear: the Irish have a special love for their heritage and culture. This love is expertly showcased in this annual festival held in November.
Over the course of four days, head to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Here, events to celebrate his works take place, such as live-performance recitals and micro-theater shows. The festival entrance will cost you about €10 ($14), which is will worth it when you visit Ireland in November.
Dates: dates pending for 2023
This attraction is part of the Dublin Pass, which allows you to save money while seeing multiple places around the city.
Best Things to Do in Belfast in November
The largest city in Northern Ireland, Belfast, is a fantastic destination when looking for November attractions. The city starts to feature numerous Christmas-themed events and festivities that are among the best things to do in Belfast when you’re here.
Belfast Christmas Market
As November reaches its second week, Belfast becomes a winter wonderland with an emphasis on Christmas. Lasting until the 23rd of December each year, the Belfast Christmas Market exudes fun and entertainment. It’s a fun thing to do with kids in Belfast during your trip.
At the market in Co. Antrim, you can peruse your way through numerous booths selling everything from jewelry to quirky trinkets. Of course, you can also indulge in delicious foods and a winter staple of Ireland’s November weather — hot wine.
Dates: November 18th, 2023 to December 22nd, 2023
Location: Belfast City Hall Grounds
C.S. Lewis Festival
Born in Belfast, the famous author C.S. Lewis has a special place in the hearts of the Irish. And if you’re in Belfast during November, this annual event held in November celebrates his works and legacy.
A program filled with discussions, workshops, and performances awaits. There are even a number of tours operated during this period. These take you to places and areas that inspired his most famous works.
Dates: 2023 dates haven’t been announced yet
At the start of November, nearly 130 traders take to the streets of Belfast to showcase everything from arts, crafts, cuisine, and drinks. Expect dozens of pop-up restaurants, live music performances, and high-octane DJ sets.
Located at the St. George’s Market grounds, this market is only open for two days and two nights. So you’ll have to do some careful itinerary planning.
Dates: Dates not released yet for 2023
Staying overnight? Here are some of the best places to stay in Belfast.
Best Things to Do in Galway in November
You simply have to spend at least one day in Galway, the harbor city on Ireland’s west coast that abounds with exciting and must-do events during November. Known locally as the festival capital of Ireland, expect to have a trip filled with the best events Ireland has to offer (and then book a stay at a charming Galway bed and breakfast after).
Galway Science & Technology Festival
This is a two-week-long festival where everything science and tech-wise is on display for all to see. With workshops and live shows, it’s a welcome dose of modern events in such a classical city. It also even serves as the home ground for emerging tech companies.
It all culminates on the final day when you can explore and discover countless displays of science, engineering, and technology. Hosted on the NUI (National University of Ireland) campus grounds, it’s a true feast for the intrepid mind.
Dates: November 12th – November 24th, 2023
Location: University of Galway Campus
Galway Christmas Market
Venturing through Galway as Christmas looms, you’ll quickly stumble upon the famous Galway Christmas Market, which is one of the best places to visit in Ireland in November. Held in Eyre Square is a collection of circus fun blended with holiday activities. Expect to find highlights such as the Big Wheel, traditional carousels, and Santa’s Grotto.
When it comes to other event highlights, the many food vendors serve up a massive selection. Treat your tastebuds to bratwurst, French pastries, crêpes, and waffles. Also at the market are an enchanting array of gardens illuminated with Christmas lights is genuinely a visual treat.
Event Dates: November 11th – December 22nd, 2023
Location: Eyre Square
Other Things to Do in Ireland in November
The best thing about exploring Ireland in November is that you can experience unique events throughout the entire country. Outside of its big cities, here are some of the most popular things to do and see in the rest of Ireland.
The Cork International Film Festival
The Cork International Film Festival is easily the most exciting film festival you’ll be able to attend while in the country during November. A 10-day event that brings together every genre of film in modern entertainment, this is a must if you love the silver screen.
Dates: November 9th – November 19th, 2023
Location: Castle Chambers 6 Castle Street
Held in the picturesque city of Kilkenny, this is one of the more unique festivals you can attend in November. It is unique because it blends comedy with economics. The first of its kind in the world, you can expect humor and thought-provoking discussions.
Dates: November 2nd – November 5th, 2023
Explore the Cliffs of Moher
If you’re a scenery-chaser and looking for what to do in Ireland in November, then taking a Cliffs of Moher tour is a must. These sea cliffs in County Clare are one of Ireland’s most visited sites.
At a very high 702 feet above the ground, you’ll be treated to some of the most amazing views in the entire country. You can also read my guide on how to visit the Cliffs of Moher without a tour.
Event Dates: Dates confirmed upon tour booking
Visit The Guinness Storehouse
No trip to Ireland would be complete without diving into a pint of Guinness. There is no better place to do this than at the seven-story Guinness Storehouse.
It is the home of the most famous beer in the world, and you can indulge in a tasting session here suitable for when the Ireland weather in November gets colder.
While here, why not join a Guinness Storehouse tour where you can learn about the history of the famous drink and view its creation process.
Event Dates: Dates confirmed upon tour booking
There are plenty of things to do in Ireland in November, so you’ll be able to plan a fun trip there!