Visiting Ireland in January has its fair share of negatives (and I’m saying that based on 33 years of living here!).
The weather in Ireland in January is often wet and wintery and the average temperature tends to hover around 7°C/44.6°F.
Throw in the fact that daylight hours are greatly reduced, and you quickly realise why this isn’t the best time of year to visit Ireland.
However, there are some positives to consider. Below, you’ll find info on the weather, festivals, what to pack and things to do in Ireland in January.
Some quick need-to-knows about visiting Ireland in January
So, the weather in Ireland in January can play a big part in the overall success of your trip, and it’s for this reason that some people dodge Ireland in January altogether.
Here are some quick nuggets of info to give you a speedy idea of what to expect from this month.
1. The weather is unpredictable
The weather in Ireland in January can be a very mixed bag. January is winter in Ireland and the days tend to be cold, wet, and windy.
2. Average temperatures
The average temperature in Ireland in January sits at around 7°C/44.6°F. We get average highs of 8°C/46°F and average lows of 3°C/32°F.
3. Limited daylight hours
One of the disadvantages of spending January in Ireland is the short days. The sun rises at around 08:29 and sets at around 16:38 each day. If you follow one of the itineraries from our Irish road trip library, make sure to keep the reduced daylight hours in mind.
4. Less crowds and better deals
As January is off-peak, you’ll meet a lot less people at many of the more popular attractions in Ireland in comparison to if you visited during the summer months. As demand is lower, you’ll often get good deals on accommodation, too.
5. Festivals and events
Very few events and festivals in Ireland run during January. One of the more notable to take place is TradFest Temple Bar, which runs at the end of the month. There’s plenty of other things to do in Ireland in January, as you’ll discover below.
Fast facts: The pros and cons of January in Ireland
One of the most common questions we get from people planning a trip to Ireland revolves around the pros and cons of visiting in X, Y or Z month.
When you visit can play a huge part in the overall success in your trip. Below, I’ll give you some pros and cons of visiting Ireland in January, having spent 33 Januarys here…
- Prices: If you’re visiting Ireland on a budget, it’s likely that January will suit your pocket best
- Flights: Flights are cheaper than those in the shoulder season and during the peak months
- Hotels: Accommodation is cheaper and you’ll often find deals running
- Crowds: Ireland’s usually busy attractions will be less crowded. The Guinness Storehouse, the Giants Causeway, the Cliffs of Moher, etc. will still get plenty of visitors
- Time: The days are shorter. At the start of January in Ireland, the sun won’t rise until 08:40 and it sets at 16:20
- Weather: The weather in Ireland in January will be wintery. While we may not get snow and ice, expect rain and wind at times
- Closed attractions: Some attractions in Ireland are seasonal, and may be closed during January
- Festivals + events: January is quiet event wise, however, TradFest, along with some other festivals in Ireland, are on
The weather in Ireland in January in different parts of the country
The weather in Ireland in January can vary quite a bit. Below, we’ll provide you with an insight into the weather in Kerry, Belfast, Galway and Dublin in January.
Note: The rainfall figures and the average temperatures have been taken from the Irish Meteorological Service and the UK Met Office to ensure accuracy:
The weather in Dublin in January tends to be less severe than other parts of the country. The long-term average temperature in Dublin in January is 5.3°C/41.54°F. The long-term average rainfall level for Dublin in January is 62.6 millimetres.
The weather in Belfast in January is, on average, historically worse than Dublin. The average temperature in Belfast in January is 4.7°C/40.46°F. Average rainfall levels sit at 88.51 millimetres.
The weather in the west of Ireland in January tends to be very wet and wild. The long-term average temperature in Galway in January is 5.5°C/41.9°F. The long-term average rainfall level for Galway in January is 116.7 millimetres.
The weather in Kerry in January tends to be wintery. The long-term average temperature in Kerry in January is 7.3°C/45.14°F. The long-term average rainfall level for Kerry in January is 173.8 millimetres.
Things to do in Ireland in January
Although it’s off-season, there are still LOADS of things to do in Ireland in January. While certain attractions in the more off-the-beaten-track towns and villages will be closed, many remain open.
If you’re looking for things to do in Ireland in January, nip into our counties in Ireland hub – it contains the best things to do in every county! Here are a handful of suggestions to keep you going:
1. Head off on a well planned road trip
Remember, the days are shorter in January, so you need to plan your Ireland itinerary properly, to ensure you make the most of your time here.
The easiest way to do this is to follow a guide – we have the world’s biggest library of Irish road trip itineraries, each of which is 100% free.
2. Keep an eye out for indoor attractions
It’s good to have a list of indoor attractions on hand, so you’ve somewhere interesting to head to if it starts raining, as it tends to do during winter in Ireland.
If you hop into our counties of Ireland hub, you’ll find guides to each county. Each section contains a mix of indoor and outdoor attractions to tackle.
3. Spend dry, chilly days walking
One of the more popular things to do in Ireland in January is to walk/hike (many of us are on the back of an indulgent Christmas, after all…).
4. And wet evenings tucked away in a cosy pub
There are few things that I enjoy as much as a wet winters evening whittled away in a cosy pub. Luckily, there are thousands of pubs in Ireland to choose from.
One of the Ireland travel tips I find myself repeating over and over is that, if you can, try and aim for the more traditional Irish pubs, as many of these tend to be like stepping back in time (see above).
5. Visiting Dublin in January
Although we have a dedicated guide to Dublin in January, I’ll give you some of the need-to-knows.
The LTA (Long Term Average) temperature in Dublin in January is 5.3°C/41.54°F with average rainfall of 62.6mm.
There’s plenty of things to do in Dublin in January. If the weather’s good, tackle one of the many walks in Dublin.
If the weathers bad, there’s plenty of things to do in Dublin in January when it’s raining, from museums and tours to castles and more.
What to wear in Ireland in January
So, we’ve a handy guide on what to wear in Ireland in January, but we’ll give you the quick need-to-knows below.
If you’re visiting Ireland in January, there’s two key bits of advice when it comes to packing – you need to pack smartly and layers are your friend.
The beauty with packing layers is that if you get too hot, happy days – you can strip off a layer. Too cold – bang it back on.
Now, keep in mind that what you bring will depend on the kind of activities that you plan on doing while you’re here. If you’re an avid hiker, you’ll be bringing a different set of gear altogether
Here’s a rough guide of what to pack for the weather in Ireland in January:
- A good jacket that’ll keep you warm
- Jeans, fleece-lined leggings and hoodies, plus a good coat (waterproof if possible).
- Lots of socks
- Gloves, woolly hats, and some comfortable walking boots/runners
Are you considering visiting during a different month?
Deciding when to visit Ireland is tough – and anyone that tells you otherwise is talking out of their hole (Irish slang for they’re full of sh…)!
It’s worth taking a bit of time to compare what it’s like here during the other months, as when you visit affects everything from your experience to the cost of a trip to Ireland:
- Ireland in February
- Ireland in March
- Ireland in April
- Ireland in May
- Ireland in June
- Ireland in July
- Ireland in August
- Ireland in September
- Ireland in October
- Ireland in November
- Ireland in December
FAQs about spending January in Ireland
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What are the best things to do in Dublin in January?’ to ‘Is the weather really that unpredictable?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What can you expect from the weather in Ireland in January?
The weather in Ireland in January can be very unpredictable. It rains an average of fourteen days out of the month’s thirty-one and the average temperature in Ireland in January hovers around 7°C/44.6°F.
Are there many things to do in Ireland in January?
Of course. You everything from hikes and walks to museums and castles. However, you need to plan your time accordingly, as days are shorter sun rises at around 08:29 and sets at around 16:38 each day.
What is the average temperature in Ireland in January?
The average temperature in Ireland in January varies. In 2021 it was 4.0°C/39.2°F, in 2020 it was 6.1°C/42.98°F and in 2019 it was 5.1°C/41.18°F.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.