Even if you have no Irish ancestry, Ireland is a destination that calls out to many people. Blessed with beautiful countryside, compelling history and folklore, and a good presence in pop culture, Ireland is probably among the most well-known countries for American travelers.
Having visited many times myself, I can unequivocally state that Ireland lives up to the hype. I’ll never forget the rolling green fields or the sheep wandering down narrow two-lane roads.
The fish and chips I had along the Wild Atlantic Way were so exquisitely good, they tasted like the first fish and chips I ever ate. Even a monsoon-like downpour that limited visibility and soaked me through couldn’t dampen my spirits about Ireland.
If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, you might be curious about what to pack for Ireland. You may plan the most wonderful vacation, but it’s not going to be as enjoyable if you don’t have the right items. I’m here to help with your Ireland packing list, but first…
This post was first written in 2018 and last updated in January 2023.
Tips for Packing for Ireland
What’s the Weather Like in Ireland?
Ireland has four distinct seasons, which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because you can pack exactly what you need given the season you’re visiting; it’s a curse because you have to try and figure out which season you’ll be in and risk bringing the wrong items if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the weather each season so you’ll know what to bring to Ireland:
- Spring in Ireland is from March through May. Average temperatures in this season range from lows around 39°F (4°C) in March to highs around 59°F (15°C) in May. This is a pretty big swing, so it’s best to assume that March weather is a bit more winter-like (thus you pack more winter items) and May is a bit more summer-like (thus pack summer items). Visiting Ireland in April? Good luck!
- Summer in Ireland is from June to September. The weather is typically sunny, and average temperatures range from 63-69°F (17-19°C). By the end of September, temperatures are starting to drop, so don’t assume it will be as warm on September 30th as it was on September 1st.
- Autumn in Ireland is from late September to November. Temperatures start to drop, from the 60s°F (15°C) to the 40s°F (10°C). You can also expect the weather to turn a bit damper, though to be honest, Ireland gets rain year-round in certain parts of the country.
- Winter in Ireland is from December to February. Get ready for temperatures in the 30s-40s°F (10°C and colder) on average, and some of the rainier months of the year. Some parts of the country will even see snow! ❄️ Pack layers to stay warm and rain gear to stay dry during these months!
With this in mind, let’s dive into the travel essentials for Ireland that you need.
What You Actually Need on Your Ireland Packing List
I’ll be honest: I pretty much pack 90% of the same things over and over… and I bet you do too.
Most packing lists are about 90% of those same things, right? So instead of giving you an Ireland packing list that’s 90% of what you already know or are already planning to pack (yes, you do need one pair of underwear for each day…), here’s a packing list that’s 100% of things you need specifically for making a packing list for Ireland.
In addition to the list of things to bring to Ireland, you might add other things based on the activities you plan to enjoy. For example, if you’re doing a lot of hiking, you might want to swap out the waterproof hiking boots I recommend for a heartier pair you’ve already broken in. If you plan to take a tip in the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll need a swimsuit (and a brave soul!).
No matter what, though, these items won’t take up unnecessary space in your bag. Here are my specific recommendations on how to pack for Ireland.
1. The Lonely Planet Ireland Travel Guide
I love the feeling of a guidebook in my hands, ready to be opened for the first time to start helping me plan my trip. Whether you need restaurant recommendations or pro tips on scenic viewpoints, the Lonely Planet guide to Ireland is a worthwhile investment when wondering what to bring when traveling to Ireland. You can read it on the plane over too!
Other good options for helpful guidebooks include Fodor’s Essential Ireland as well as my favorite travel guide Rick Steves Ireland. You can put sticky notes on all the pages of interest as you read through it and go back to create your finalized itinerary later.
2. Wind-Proof Umbrella
Did you know that in some parts of Ireland, it rains up to 255 days per year?! It depends on the time of year you visit, but that means, on average, you can expect rain two days out of every three you’re in Ireland, especially when you visit Ireland in November and later into the winter season.
I don’t typically travel with an umbrella, but I was so glad to have one when I was in Dublin in the winter. It’s nice not to be dripping wet when stepping into a pub after an afternoon of exploring!
To combat this, invest in a good umbrella that can withstand the weather and won’t break the first second you step out to admire the view on the Wild Atlantic Way. They come in a variety of different colors if you want your umbrella to stand out from the others. It’s one of the must haves for Ireland travel so you don’t get soaked.
Similarly, you’re more than likely going to need a solid raincoat while traveling in Ireland. A good rain shell keeps out rain, dries quickly, and packs up small… because we don’t check luggage around these parts! The key is to get one that’s waterproof so you don’t end up getting your clothes underneath soaked.
This one also comes in a delightful Irish green if you want to be totally on-brand with the Emerald Isle when considering what to take to Ireland.
4. Green Blanket Scarf
You already know I love scarves while traveling, and a scarf is essential for what to bring on a trip to Ireland. This Irish scarf is perfect for travel in Ireland for several reasons:
- It’s a blanket scarf you can wrap up to stay warm.
- It has green.
- It also has orange and white, giving it a distinctly Irish vibe.
With black as the base color, you can get away with wearing this every day of your trip, and it’ll look great. There are a variety of colors you can choose from if you want something a little different.
5. Waterproof Boots
I cannot rave enough about these boots from Teva. I bought a pair a few years back, and they have held up so well. They are water-resistant, have great traction, and are comfortable, making them perfect for any adventure. They also have stylish boots to wear out at night or tall boots to wear on colder days.
They can handle whatever you throw at them, from plodding through soggy clover fields to hiking along the Cliffs of Moher or on the Giant’s Causeway. (Note: Teva has redesigned these boots, so they may look different when you click through.)
6. Moisture-Wicking Socks
Wet socks suck, and so do sweaty socks. I always bring multiple pairs of Merino wool socks everywhere I go so I have warm, dry feet, whether I’m hiking around Dublin or just exploring the city on a rainy day.
These moisture-wicking socks will help keep your feet warm even if you step in a deep puddle or get a bit of rainwater inside your boots. I also love recommending socks because they’re my #1 most forgotten-at-home item!
I know it seems weird to recommend sunglasses right after all that rain gear, but you’ll thank me. When you get to the Atlantic coast, and the sun comes out for two minutes and blinds you with its glare, you’ll be glad you included this in your summer packing for Ireland. Sunglasses also take up zero room in your bag.
If you tend to lose sunglasses on trips, you can always stock up on a few cheaper pairs so you won’t be upset if you break them or forget them somewhere.
8. Universal Adapter
Unless you live in the U.K., you will need an adapter to plug in your electronics. You’ll especially want this if you have a big day of photographing landmarks in Ireland and will need a fully charged camera.
I’m a huge sucker for multi-use anything, and this universal adapter is perfect. It has USB ports and receives any kind of plug – plus, it has the necessary “Type G” prongs for Ireland. You can also buy one with multiple ports so you can charge all your gadgets at the same time.
9. Phone Transmitter
If you’re a good reader taking all of my advice and planning to travel by taking a 10-day Ireland road trip, this will be your saving grace. This adapter plugs into the car, connects via Bluetooth and allows you to crank up your favorite Spotify playlist anywhere (may I suggest this Ireland Roadtrip playlist?). It also has a USB charger!
10. Irish Wool Sweater
Okay, so this one isn’t one of the things to pack for Ireland that’s absolutely necessary, but I would recommend leaving space in your bag for it if you don’t bring a sweater.
These sweaters are also perfect if you’re looking for Irish gift ideas to get others.
What to Pack for Ireland: On the Plane
Now that we’ve talked about what to pack for Ireland when you’re there, let’s talk about a few Ireland travel essentials for the plane ride.
11. Travel Backpack
I started traveling with a travel backpack years ago and haven’t looked back. If you’ve ever had a trip where you got to the plane with your backpack, only to have everything in a jumbled mess when you open it, you won’t have to worry about that with this pack.
There are numerous compartments to organize absolutely everything, from your laptop to books to snacks to travel documents. You’ll love putting this on your Ireland packing list so you’re ready to hit the road as soon as you land.
12. Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Chances are you’ll have a long flight to get here, so you’ll want to ensure you’re comfortable.
I’ve used these noise-canceling headphones for years, whether I’m waiting in the airport or working at a coffee shop on my travels. They’re so comfortable, block out a good portion of noise, and fold up to save space.
13. Portable Phone Charger
You will be taking so many quick photos and videos with your phone, as well as using it for directions. That means it’ll die quickly, which is the worst when you’re traveling. You’ll want to make sure your phone is fully charged and ready to go as soon as you get off the plane.
I learned the hard way that not every airline has a charger in its seat, so be prepared with this portable phone charger. I’ve been using this one for years and love it. Just recharge it when you get to your hotel for the night so you’re ready for the next day.
14. Travel Wallet
This travel wallet is one of the top items my readers buy because it’s so cute plus handy. It comes in over 40 different colors (I have rose gold) and has organized slots for your ID, credit cards, and cash.
You can also put your passport and a pen in it for when you have to fill out forms at customs, so this is a must for your Ireland packing list to ensure you’re prepared as soon as you land. I’ve used this for years and never looked back.
Optional Items to Consider Packing for Ireland
I’ve put together a weekend packing list to help you see some of the basics I pack for every trip. However, here are a few suggestions for what to pack for a trip to Ireland.
I tend to wear my tennis shoes during the day to explore, but sometimes these get dirty or just don’t fit the fancier restaurant I want to go to later. My travel backpack is often with me during the day, so I love having a pair of flats in it that I can quickly throw on to dress up my outfit.
It’s also comfortable to let my feet relax after a day of adventures. I love Rothy’s for both travel and every day because they’re stylish, plus they’re machine washable.
16. Winter Coat
While I listed a raincoat as something to bring anytime you visit Ireland, a winter coat is a must when exploring Dublin during Christmastime or anytime during that general season. It can get really chilly during this time of year, particularly when you’re on the coast and the wind is biting.
17. Packing Cubes
I used to think packing cubes were a waste of money, but I got them at my wedding as a gift and decided to use them for our European honeymoon (which ended in Ireland, in fact!). When you’re bringing a lot of clothes for a longer trip, these are crucial for helping you organize everything.
Sometimes I travel and only stay in one city for a night or two before moving on to the next, so these allow me to keep some items like socks and underwear in the smaller cubes without having them get lost in the sea of other clothes. I consider these essentials for traveling to Ireland if you like being organized like I do!
Additionally, here are a couple of tips to help you know what to pack for a trip to Ireland:
- What you pack for Ireland will vary a lot based on the season you visit. Ireland’s summer months are noticeably drier and warmer than the winter months. As such, you may find you don’t need to pack as many long trousers or waterproof items. Be sure to check the forecast before you start packing for Ireland – and throw in a rain shell anyway because it never hurts to have one!
- Don’t want to pack a guidebook? Snag a digital copy. Lonely Planet offers ebook versions of all their guidebooks, usually at the same price or cheaper. Here’s the link for the Ireland ebook.
- Adjust your Ireland packing list based on how long you’re traveling. Whether you’re only spending one day in Dublin to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or making a Northern Ireland road trip to accomplish your Ireland bucket list, add one more top for every two days of travel, and one more pair of trousers for every 3 days. Don’t forget extra undergarments and socks!
- Pack for travel in Europe. Dublin and other Irish cities have a base level of fashion that’s slightly less casual than in the U.S. You can’t go wrong with black pieces and classic items from your wardrobe.
- Visiting Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day? I have a special packing list for St. Patrick’s Day!
Have any other questions about this Ireland packing list or what to pack for Ireland? Let me know in the comments!