Ireland in January can also be a good idea. This usually green state gets another color, as snow covers some of its parts especially in hills, mountains, and forested areas. It is an off-peak season in Ireland but it doesn’t mean there won’t be enough things to see and enjoy.
Some of Ireland’s parks are especially beautiful during winter, plus there are events that are quite interesting. If you’ll be spending a post-holiday vacation in Ireland, here are a few things to take note of to make your stay worthwhile.
Things you'll find in this article
- What is the weather like in Ireland in January?
- What should I pack for Ireland in January?
- Where you should stay in Ireland in January
- Things to do in Ireland in January
- Tours you should do in Ireland in January
- Practical Tips for Ireland in January
What is the weather like in Ireland in January?
Average Temperature in Ireland in January
The average temperature in Ireland is around 7°C and lows of 3°C in January.
Rain in Ireland in January
There is 70mm rain over 24 days on average in January.
Wind in Ireland in January
10 – 16 miles per hour
Sun in Ireland in January
An average of 1-1.5 hours of sunshine every day as Irish skies are usually overcast around this time.
What should I pack for Ireland in January?
January is considered to be one of the coldest months in Ireland. This tail-end of winter is also expected to have more rain so be sure to pack rain-proof and cold-proof clothes along with you. Remember that when traveling, there is no such thing as bad weather…but only a poor choice of clothing.
Raincoat – protect yourself from the unpredictable Ireland weather. A good packable raincoat like this Lightweight rain jacket from Amazon will always come in handy when traveling to Ireland in January since it only takes a small portion of your bag.
Rain Boots – ordinary walking shoes will not save you from the wet season so be sure to prepare your rain boots. This Sperry Rain boot looks durable and chic– perfect for trendy female travelers out there.
On the other hand, here’s another pair of rain boots for men. If you’re not planning to do extensive outdoor stuff, be sure to check them out.
Hiking Boots – Planning to do more hiking in January? Be sure to pack a good pair of hiking boots to keep your feet warm and comfortable amidst the cold Ireland weather. This hiking boot from Timberland is a good option.
Waterproof trousers – These waterproof trousers are good to layer on top of your thermal underwear. If you’re planning to pack lightly, check out these pair of trousers for men and women.
Thermal socks – a good pair of thermal socks will also make you feel comfortable walking in the middle of the cold. Check out this unisex thermal socks from Amazon.
You can also check out our Ireland packing list for all season.
Where you should stay in Ireland in January
Although there are a lot of accommodations in Ireland that will fit any traveler’s budget, nothing beats the experience of staying in castle hotels in Ireland. So here are some of the affordable castle hotels that you can stay in Ireland for the month of January.
Cabra Castle Hotel still has the 18th-century castle vibes but with the modern touch from its amenities. A 4-star castle hotel in Cavan situated in a quiet neighborhood in Kingscourt, Cabra Castle Hotel is a mix and match of royalty and modern luxury. Rates start at $162. To book, click here.
A Gothic castle dated from 1209, Kinnitty Castle Hotel is located at the foot of Slieve Bloom Mountains. If you want the unique experience that comes with this castle, better check it out before it’s too late. Also, the rates start at only $110 a night. To book, click here.
Things to do in Ireland in January
1. Feast on Some Irish Food
Have you ever wondered why people tend to eat more during cold seasons? In Ireland, there’s no need to work up an appetite especially if you’re served some of the heartiest and most delicious traditional Irish food.
Warm-up with a giant bowl of Irish stew, or savor some hearty seafood chowder. Try also sone if their spiced beef delicacies and don’t forget to finish your meal with a warm pint of Guinness.
2. Powerscourt Estate and Gardens
There are places in Ireland that are especially beautiful during winter, and Powerscourt Estate is one of them.
Located in County Wicklow, the Powerhouse Estate and Gardens is one of Ireland’s most famous tourist spots, known for its magnificent main houses, gorgeous themed gardens and it even has its own waterfall.
It’s lovely during other times of the year, but Powerscourt just looks magical during winter as most of it gets covered in snow. Make sure you visit, stroll through the grounds, and don’t forget to take photos!
3. Temple Bar Tradfest
One of the most iconic parts of Dublin and all of Ireland doesn’t stop partying even in winter. Temple Bar Tradfest is Ireland’s biggest traditional music festival and a must-see for visitors who haven’t heard of traditional Irish songs yet.
The festival lasts for five days during January of each year and features both Irish and international folk and traditional musicians.
4. Drive the Wild Atlantic Way
Yes, it is possible to drive the Wild Atlantic Way during winter, just be sure to set out early so you can better enjoy the sights. This stunning coastal route is a must when in Ireland. National Geographic even called it one of the most beautiful places on earth.
The Wild Atlantic Way stretches through 2600 kilometers spanning the western coastline— from Malin Head in County Donegal to Kinsale in County Cork.
You’ll also pass by some of Ireland’s most breathtaking regions like Connemara, Galway, and Kerry.
A must even in January, a winter drive through the Wild Atlantic Way offers unparalleled views of scenic coastlines, dramatic cliffs, and picturesque bays and inlets.
5. Winter by the Coast
If you’re in Ireland on a January, a must-try is staying at a place that offers amazing seascape views. Check out places like the Blackhead Lightkeeper’s House in County Antrim, or the Temple House out west in County Sligo.
These are both centuries-old structures that offer some of the coziest accommodations and a definite must-do as it offers a unique experience.
6. Watch the Sky During Astrofest
Astrofest is the world’s biggest astronomy festival, and it happens in Ireland every January of each year. It takes place every last week of January, in Galway. The festival has events such as exhibits, film screenings, and talks.
This is a must both for the merely curious and those who are passionate about anything related to space sciences, earth studies, and astrophysics.
7. Stargazing at Ring of Kerry
Watching the skies once the sun is out, while it’s cold outside — in gaps and valleys, forested hills and slopes and even cliffs? Why not?
Ireland’s diverse natural wonders are found in the stunning Ring of Kerry, and it’s a must if you want something different to do. Set against the backdrop of geographical wonders that date back to hundreds or thousands of years, stargazing in Ring of Kerry is a definite must.
Hop on a bus tour or drive there yourself — the sights are are quite magnificent and along with the tiny lights dotting the night sky, it just looks splendid.
8. Northern Lights
January is among the best months nor just for astronomy festivals or stargazing, bit also for chasing the rather elusive Northern Lights. There’s no need to go to Iceland or Norway to wait for the Aurora Borealis to appear. There’s already plenty of locations in Ireland for nature’s amazing lights display.
Head on to the northwest or northern coastlines of Ireland, such as Donegal, Leitrim, and Mayo where there’s almost zero light pollution. These places are where you’ll most likely see ‘the lights’.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll witness this magical phenomenon right away when you visit, but it’s surely worth a try.
9. Take a scenic road trip in Dingle
The 46-km Slea Head Drive from Dingle in Ireland is one of the best and most spectacular driving routes in Ireland. It’s part of the Wild Atlantic Way route which is considered one of the most scenic road trip routes in the world.
The route consists of breathtaking views of the coastline, offshore islands, and cliff-top roads and it’s best to access through driving on your own.
It is one of the most popular activities in Dingle.
Tours you should do in Ireland in January
Practical Tips for Ireland in January
1. Make sure you bring clothes that are suited for cool, wet weather such as an insulated rain jacket, gloves, and a warm hat.
2. When you go out at night, make sure you have with you either a sturdy windproof umbrella or a water-resistant raincoat.
3. The sun doesn’t always shine during winter and skies are mostly overcast and gray. It’s definitely cold so it’s best to dress in layers to keep your body warm.
4. Visit the Irish pubs for some amazing winter treats — fireside storytelling, fresh hot pancakes any time of the day, and warm beer.
5. In between planned destinations, take time to stroll through town centers or check out the mountains (such as the Mourne Mountains in County Down, or Croagh Patrick in County Mayo) if they’re close by as they’re especially pretty during winter.
6. Check out this list for more travel tips for Ireland for first-time visitors.
Travel Insurance: I never leave home without travel insurance. My personal opinion is if you can afford to travel, you can afford to buy a travel insurance. All things can happen while on the road and you can never be too sure. And it's something that you'll be glad to have when you need it. For my preferred travel insurance, I use Safety Wing.
What To Wear: If you want some ideas on what to pack for Ireland, check out this packing list guide for Ireland.
Where To Stay: I personally use Booking.com for all my accommodations. Check out for their latest deals here.
Reading Resources: Check out our best reading resources here.
Hi, I’m Christine – a full-time traveler and career woman. Although I’m from the Philippines, my location independent career took me to over 40 countries for the past 8 years. I also lived in 3 continents – from the Caribbean, South East Asia to Africa. But despite living in several countries, my love for Ireland remains the same. A country that had been a part of my life since I was 14 because of my love for Irish music and bands. Ireland Travel Guides was born because of this passion and hopefully, in some little ways, this website will be able to help you on your next trip to Ireland.
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