Packing for Ireland is one of the harder destinations to pack for mainly because the weather is so unpredictable. But with this Ireland packing list as a guide you’ll be sure to pack everything you need to stay warm, dry and still be fashionable on your Ireland trip.
Keep reading to learn what to bring to Ireland for any season and don’t forget to find out the best time to travel to Ireland before you decide when to go!
Weather in Ireland
Weather in Ireland is notorious for being unpredictable, it is an island after all. Even the locals will make fun of the weather and they’ll be the first to tell you to wait a few minutes and the weather will change. Rain and wind are common, it can snow in the winter and in the summer temperatures get warm.
Summer temperatures from June-August are cooler compared to many countries, 9°-19°C. Fall brings mild temperatures making it a great time to travel from September-November with temperatures of 8°-17°C. Spring, March-May is also similar in temperature. Winter is obviously the coldest with temperatures not often reaching below 0° and highs of around 10°C.
Rain is expected year round with the most participation in the late fall to winter months, October-January.
If you’re backpacking Ireland the first step is to get a backpack. A more expensive backpack does not necessarily mean that it is a better backpack. Look for quality, some of the best brands are North Face, Osprey, Gregory and Deuter. But don’t brush off the store brand packs as they are generally cheaper and of the same quality.
Backpacks are made for both men and women and it’s a good idea to try some on in store to get a feel for what is comfortable on you. In store weights are placed in the bag so you can tell if there are any areas that don’t feel good. Do some research beforehand by browsing backpacks on Amazon so you’re better prepared. REI is your best bet to find a pack in the USA or MEC in Canada.
Below are some recommended packs that are around 50 liters, I don’t recommend getting a bigger pack because you really do not need it. Some are slightly higher than 50 liters and that’s because they have a removable daypack (a bonus I personally have and love)!
Packing Tips for Ireland
- Less is more!
- Roll everything (sorry I’m a roller not a folder!)
- Pack items around the edges of your pack to save space
- Packing cubes to stay organized
Use the following sections to create your own personalized Ireland packing list.
What to Pack for Ireland Essentials
Without a doubt there are a few things that you will need in Ireland regardless of what time of year that you will be travelling.
Waterproof and Windproof Jacket
It’s Ireland, there is a high chance that you will encounter rain on your trip so a waterproof jacket is in order. Wind is a guarantee so it’s important to have a shell that will block the cold wind for pretty much any time of the year, making a rain jacket for Ireland an essential.
Good Walking Shoes
Ireland has beautiful hikes so if you’re planning on doing any then it’s best to invest in a pair of decent hiking shoes that are also lightweight to keep your bag easy to carry. If you don’t plan on hiking still get yourself a pair of shoes that you have broken in ahead of time as you will be walking a lot in Ireland. You will most likely venture off trails too where the grass will be wet and sheep poop abundant so watch your step! Shoes that are waterproof are a bonus, I brought a pair of Vans and there were totally done by the end of my month in Ireland. The best shoes for Ireland will be waterproof and comfortable.
Depending on what time of the year it is you’ll need a hat to either keep you warm or to keep you sun safe. You’ll be spending plenty of time outdoors so a simple baseball cap to help the sun (crossing my fingers for you that you get lots of sunny days!) stay off your face or a beanie to keep your ears warm in the cooler temperatures.
Do yourself a favour and get an adapater that is good around the world, they’re decently priced these days and you’ll never have to worry about looking for or buying an adapter again.
What to Wear in Ireland
The most important thing to remember when dressing for Ireland is layers. The weather can change with a snap of the fingers and that’s both temperature-wise and rain-wise.
Talking fashion, Ireland in general is pretty casual and laid back when it comes to style but Dublin, Belfast and Galway you will see people dressing trendier as these are the larger cities. It’s most important to wear things that are practical first, you will stand out if you show up on the streets wearing a crop top. Be presentable and you’ll fit in just fine with Ireland fashion.
Below are what you’re going to want to take no matter what season you’re travelling in. You’ll have to decide what to take to Ireland based on the length of your trip!
- 1-3 tanks
- 2-4 t-shirts
- 1-3 long sleeve tops
- 1 dri-fit shirt (excellent for when trekking or getting active)
- 1-2 lightweight sweater or long sleeve button down (for travel days and cooler nights)
- 1-2 chunky sweaters
For the most part you’re going to be packing for comfort and practicality but also make sure to add in a few cute tops for when you have nights out.
- 1-2 shorts
- 1-2 legging/yoga pants (whatever is comfortable to wear on the plane and for hiking)
- 1-2 pairs of jeans
- 1-2 dresses and/or skirts
Bras and Underwear
- 14 pairs of underwear (maximum)
- 2 regular bras
- 1 sport bras
- 1 bralet
- 3-7 pairs of socks
I always like to bring lots of underwear because it takes up so little room and that means I can get away with doing laundry less!
- Travel scarf (I always travel with one no matter how hot a destination is)
Other Must-Pack Items
- 1 lightweight rain/windproof jacket (because Ireland)
- 1 bathing suit (summer only and only if you think you’re going to hit that cold water!)
- Hat (baseball cap and/or beanie)
- Scarf (awesome if it doubles as somewhere safe to store your passport like this scarf)
- 1 running shoe and/or hiking boots (bring both if you plan on hiking a lot)
- 1 comfortable walking shoe (think Vans or Converse-type shoe)
- 1 travel sandal (summer only)
If you plan on hiking a lot invest in some low ankle hiking boots, if not running shoes are fine for longer walking days.
Don’t worry too much on packing toiletries because it is easy to pick them up if you run out. Minis are available everywhere and are what I recommend to travel with. I’ve used minis for 4-month trips before!
- Shower gel or soap bar
- Toothpaste, toothbrush and floss
- Tampons or menstrual cup (I highly recommend the Diva Cup)
- Tweezers, nail clippers and nail file
- Travel Medical Kit (see what you’ll need here)
READ MORE: What to Pack in a Travel First Aid Kit
As a digital nomad I tend to pack more than the typical traveller so go off of what you need and the less the better because these things get heavy and it’s nice to not worry about any valuables.
- Laptop/Tablet + charger
- Kindle + charger
- Phone (unlocked) + charger + waterproof case
- GoPro + charger
- GoPro accessories
- Extra GoPro battery
- Portable power bank (this one is perfect because of its size, small enough to fit in your purse)
- Universal adapter
- Grid-It (to keep your gadgets altogether)
READ MORE: 8 Easy Tips for GoPro Beginners
All of the miscellaneous things that you don’t normally think of that make travelling so much easier. If want your pack or suitcase organized don’t go without packing cubes, they are a game changer!
- Small purse
- Water bottle
- Packing cubes
- Ziplocks or useable zip up bags
- Microfibre towel (for hostels)
- Rain cover for your backpack (if backpacking)
- Locks (for your backpack and to use on lockers)
READ MORE: Amazon’s 20 Best Travel Accessories Under $20
Packing for Ireland By Season
Add on these items based on what season you’re travelling in.
Don’t expect summer to very warm, though you may have days where it’s warm enough to wear shorts also be prepared for the unexpected so be sure to pack pants and a few layers!
- Leather and/or denim jacket
- Medium weight scarf
- Medium weight hat for warmth
- Light gloves or mittens
- Buff (awesome for hiking and for added warmth when outdoors)
- Lightweight thermal (especially if hiking)
- Warm socks (having a wool pair to warm at night in the morning is a bonus)
- Winter jacket (a pea coat will do but it’s recommended to have a longer jacket for extra warmth)
- Beanie and/or lined hat
- Mittens and/or gloves
- Thermal (especially for hiking)
- Warm boots or boots that are large enough that you can fit thicken socks in them
- Warm scarf
Don’t even try and go to Ireland without travel insurance! I’ve personally used travel insurance in Asia (when I got sick in the Philippines) have friends who have been hospitalized and have read too many stories to not travel with travel insurance. I personally used and recommend World Nomads, but if you’d like to do your own research you can use this guide to help you pick the right one for you.
READ THIS: A Guide to Choosing Travel Insurance