If you told your friends that you’re planning on visiting Ireland in January and they fell over laughing, don’t mind them.
It’s not as mad of an idea as some websites (and a lot of people!) make it out to be.
OK, it isn’t the best time to visit Ireland, but it has plenty of advantages that are worth weighing up.
In the guide below, you’ll find info on everything from the weather in Ireland in January to things to know before you book. Dive on in!
Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Ireland in January
So, the weather in Ireland 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 with an average temperature of 7° C. More info on what the weather has been likes in years past below.
2. The days are short
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, giving you less time to explore. However, if you plan your Ireland itinerary properly, this shouldn’t hinder you too much.
3. 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. More on this below.
4. There’s plenty to do
So, unpredictable weather and short days aside, there’s still plenty of things to do in Ireland in Janaury, from hikes and walks to historical sites, areas of outstanding natural beauty and more, as you’ll discover below.
5. Make an informed decision
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, when you have a moment:
- 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
The pros and cons of spending 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, and it’s a fair question.
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 31 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. Keep in mind 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 may 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
What to expect from the weather in Ireland in January
The weather in Ireland in January is very unpredictable. In years past, we’ve had storms, flooding and the type of weather that can render a road trip pointless. In fact, it rains an average of fourteen days out of the month’s thirty-one, but don’t let that worry you.
However, we can also have mild sunny weather – as I type, from my home in Dublin in January 2022, it’s sunny and mild. Here’s what the weathers been like during previous years.
- The weather in Ireland in January 2021 was very mixed
- It was dry and cool, but we recorded above average rainfall in most places
- Some parts of the country (parts of Cork) recorded 15 days of rain while others (parts of Mayo) recorded 29
- The temperature for the month was below average and ranged from -1.6 °C to 13.3 °C
- The weather in Ireland in January 2020 was reasonably mild and dry
- Storm Brendan hit in the 2nd week bringing strong winds
- Rainfall was below average in most places. Some places (Dublin Airport) recorded 13 days with rain while others (Newport in Mayo) recorded 23 wet days
- The temperature was above average and ranged from 0.4 °C to 14.4 °C
Average temperature in Ireland in January
The average temperature in Ireland in January hovers around 7° C. Average high temperatures can rise to a chillyish 8°C, while the average lows tend to fall to around 3°C (again, this can change drastically).
Those from colder temperate climates should find the weather in Ireland in January fairly OK to handle. Those who come from more tropical regions may find Ireland’s January climate quite cold.
The average temperature in previous years
- 2021: 4.0°C
- 2020: 6.1 °C
- 2019: 5.1 °C
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 road trip itinerary properly, to ensure you make the most of your time here.
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.
If you can, try and aim for the more traditional ones, as many of these tend to be like stepping back in time (see above).
5. Visiting Dublin in January
There’s plenty of things to do in Dublin in January if you’re visiting the capital. 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 pack / what to wear in Ireland in January
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 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
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.
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?
It varies. In 2021 it was 4.0°C, in 2020 it was 6.1 °C and in 2019 it was 5.1 °C.
Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories!