An insider guide to the best time to visit Dublin and what to expect in each season.
Dublin is a great destination for a city break all year round, however, different seasons make for a very different experience.
Perched on the Irish Coast, Dublin has long, wet and dark winters, good for museum visits and nights at the pub, but glorious bright and mostly dry summers, wonderful for sightseeing and day trips.
Which one is best depends entirely on your taste and what you hope to get from your city trip to Dublin (if you can, come more than once and experience it all!) but if you can only come once, then this guide will help you pick the best time.
I have been living in Dublin for almost 15 years and, based on weather patterns and my own experience, this is what you can expect when visiting Dublin in each season.
I hope it will help you plan your trip to Ireland at best!
Dublin in winter
Dublin has a long dark winter, spanning the month of December, January and Feb (the Irish calendar is slightly different from others)
Overall, these are pretty miserable months in Dublin: the temperature is cold, the rain is frequent and daylight scarce.
Temperatures usually range between 2 and 9 degrees C/ 35-48F
Once you are in the heart of winter, it gets dark at about 4.30 pm, also crippling your opportunities for sightseeing.
However, now all is bad about winter in Dublin and there are a few cool things to look forward to.
December in Dublin
December is a fun month to be in Dublin.
Christmas in Dublin is a wonderful extravaganza of lights, cribs and carol singers and exploring the city at this time is a delight.
The best things to do in Dublin in December are a mix of sightseeing of Dublin must-see, shopping and enjoying the city interiors that, at this time, dress up so much many will make you believe you are on a Christmas movie set!
Dublin in January
January is not a great month to visit Dublin, the low after the holiday hitting the city quite hard.
However, it can be good for a certain type of visitors and even great if you love traditional Irish music.
If you are interested in visiting museums, indulging in afternoon tea or nights at the pub, Dublin’s low season is a great choice.
Also, January in Dublin is a bit of a treat for music lovers as this is the time when the Irish Trad Festival takes place, filling Temple Bar area and the city with live music events.
Dublin in February
Maybe surprisingly, February in Dublin is quite nice.
At this time, the winter starts to lose its grip and blossoms start returning to the city.
February is still cold in Dublin and can get some bitter days but it is the time when daylight gets longer and sightseeing can be great
A note about storms in Ireland. The last few years have seen many storms battering Ireland in the winter. They are a recent phenomenon brought by climate change and come at different strengths: the vast majority of the times they can be overall ignored in the city but occasionally they can be dangerous and trigger a weather warning. If you are staying in town this is unlike to impact your plans much but it can cause delays at the airport and would be a problem on day trips. Alway keep an eye on Met Eireann (the Irish weathr service) for up-to-date weather warnings.
Dublin in spring
Spring in Dublin is in March, April and May and it is a wonderful time to visit Dublin and Ireland in general.
Temperatures usually range between 3-16C/37.4-60F.
March is usually still cold and wet but the weather tends to steadily improve and May in particular usually gets wonderful bright days.
The spring has some festivities and days of notice that you need to consider when planning your trip.
Dublin in March
The most noticeable festivities in spring in Dublin are at Patrick’s Day and Easter.
St Patrick day is on the 17th of March and celebrates the Saint patron of Ireland with a national holiday and parades across the country.
I will be honest, being in Dublin on St Patrick’s day is a mixed blessing. On one hand, the atmosphere of the festivities is fun and cool (everyone loves Patrick’s Day) but it is also a time when Dublin gets awfully crowded and there is a lot of drinking going on.
I personally avoid the city center on this day but I am notoriously crowd-averse and many love the buzz so really, it is a personal decision.
If you don’t like crowds but still want to experience St Patrick’s in Ireland, I recommend going outside of Dublin to Wicklow, which is a smaller town with a much more manageable parade
Dublin in April
Easter is celebrated in Dublin and can be a lovely time to be in the city.
Tourism is in full swing at this time but the Easter weekend can affect services such as the bus network.
This is also a busy time for tourism in Dublin and hotel prices are high: advance planning is highly recommended.
Dublin in May
May is my favourite months to travel to Ireland and a great time of the year for both a visit to Dublin and the surrounding countryside.
At this time, you can visit all Dublin’s must-see sites, enjoy the city parks and also venture out of town: May is wonderful for short day trips out of Dublin!
If you are in Dublin in May, I recommend you visit some of the city’s parks such as St Stephens’ Green or St Anne’s and also spend an afternoon at the beautiful Botanical Gardens.
Summer in Dublin
June July and August are summer and probably the best time to visit Dublin in terms of weather.
In June through August, the weather tends to be mild and the days long and bright, perfect for sightseeing.
While hardly ever hot, this is the time when Dubliners wear their summer clothes and flock to the many outdoor terraces and parks in the city – summer is glorious and lifts the mood of the city which, at this time, shows its most pleasant personality.
Temperatures usually range between 9-20C/48-68F.
The only downside to visiting Dublin in summer is the crowds: this is high season for tourism and you must book hotels in advance and you will genuinely be stuck for a spot!
The summers months are also an expensive time to visit: hotels and airfare reach top prices and places sell out fast.
Budget in advance and tweak your dates as much as possible for the best deals
Summer sees a few bank holiday weekends (aka: Mondays off) and this means locals travel around Ireland as well as tourists. Book months in advance and be prepared for higher costs if traveling at this time.
Dublin in June
June is a lovely time to visit Dublin and a month with something special: Bloomsday, on the 16th of June!
Bloomsday is an annual festival celebrating the Ulysses by James Joyce (set in Dublin on the 16th of June 1904) and it is a great day to be in the city.
Many events take place around town, with music and fairs and many locals dress up evoking Joycean times and the atmosphere of the Ulysses.
This is an easy day to enjoy also if you are not familiar with the Ulysses and a very accessible one for the whole family.
Dublin in July
July is the heart of the summer in Dublin and a great time to visit the city except for the crowds.
I highly recommend you book your accommodation early if coming at this time and consider staying in areas a little outside of the center if you want evenings at a more relaxed pace.
A good list of family hotels and areas to stay in Dublin is here.
Dublin in August
Like July, August is a summer month in Dublin and usually sees pleasant weather.
This is a very busy time for tourism and advance booking of hotels is paramount.
An important date in August in Dublin is the August Bank holiday weekend, the first of the month.
This is a long weekend for locals so everything is twice as busy and hotels twice as expensive. Plan accordingly.
Fall in Dublin
Autumn comes to Dublin in September October and November
This is a surprisingly good time to visit Dublin and one not many tourists know about so I highly recommend you come in the fall if you can to see a lesser crowded, more authentic and beautiful side of the city.
The weather gets consistently colder as we get close to winter and rain is possible but often Dublin gets sunny bright days at this time and wonderful foliage.
This is a wonderful time to visit the city and take short day trips just outside.
Dublin in September
September is the month when the Dublin summer ends and the transition towards colder days happens very fast.
If coming to Dublin in September, you can expect some chilly days but overall, you should still get decent weather.
Tourism is limited at this time and especially the start of the month, when you still have the end of summer over the city, it can be a wonderful time to visit.
Dublin in October
Autumn is also the time for one of Ireland most important festivities, Halloween
Halloween originated in Ireland: houses and shops take out Halloween decorations and the city organizes several events to mark the occasion.
This is a fun time to visit Dublin and especially fun if you are in Dublin with kids, who can partake in many of the events (not all, some area really scary and for grown-ups only!).
Dublin in November
November is dark and wet in Dublin but it does see the beginning of Christmas, and its extravaganza of lights.
Shops and streets starting to flaunt beautiful decorations as early as the first week of the month and this makes the dire weather more bearable.
This is a great time to visit Dublin if you want to shop, visit museums or spend evenings in pubs or cozy hotels but it is not a great time at all if you are hoping to also visit the countryside.
Do wait for spring or at least February for that!
I hope you enjoyed this guide and it helped you decide the best time to visit Dublin for you. Safe travels!