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Ireland: When to Go

Ireland receives relatively temperate weather throughout the year, ranging between 36 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain is a constant year-round, but you'll find that the heaviest showers occur during the winter. Lighter rainfall comes with the warmer summer, but dress in layers to combat cool drizzles.

The country's high season begins in the spring with mild temperatures, blooming flowers and longer days. Rain is frequent with alternating bursts of showers and sunshine. A few attractions are not open yet, and some may have abbreviated hours. A Pan-Celtic Festival is held at rotating locations in Ireland every April, while June brings Dublin's Bloomsday Festival celebrating James Joyce.

In July and August you'll find high-season rates and more crowds. During these months the sun rises as early as 6am and sets as late as 11pm, allowing for ample sightseeing time. Attractions, restaurants and lodgings are all fully operating at this time of the year. Temperatures are comfortably warm with light breezes. The Galway Arts Festival takes place in July, and August shines the spotlight on Ireland's oldest festival, Puck Fair.

Prices start to drop in late September as fall begins. This shoulder season is often considered the best time to travel value-wise. During these months the days are still pleasant with some rain; daylight lasts until around 9pm and most attractions are open. Shuck away at Galway's Oyster Festival in September, and celebrate art and music with Belfast Queens Festival and Cork Jazz Festival in October.

Lodging rates are at their lowest during winter. Though the country is still lush and green due to the rain, days are much shorter with sunsets as early as 4:30pm. Some attractions and smaller hotels close or have reduced hours during the low season. A five-day St. Patrick's Festival is hosted every March in Dublin.