Skip to Content

Ireland In May 2022/23: Advice From A Local (Weather, What To Pack + More)

Ireland In May 2022/23: Advice From A Local (Weather, What To Pack + More)

If you’re thinking about visiting Ireland in May but you’re not sure what to expect, you’ve landed in the right place!

May is the best time to visit Ireland, in my opinion, if you want to visit before the summer mayhem starts to kick-in (more on this below).

The weather in Ireland in May tends to be decent and the days are nice and long, which gives you lots of daylight hours to explore.

In the guide below, you’ll find everything from things to do in Ireland in May to the different pros and cons of visiting during this month.

Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Ireland in May

weather in ireland in may

Photo by ohannes Rigg (Shutterstock)

Although a visiting Ireland in May is pretty straightforward, there are some need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

Below, you’ll find info on the weather in Ireland during this month along with some handy info.

1. The weather

The weather in Ireland in May can be very hit and miss (there was a lot of rain last year!). The average temperature in Ireland in May tends to be pretty consistent, with mean temperatures ranging between 9.0°C and 13.0°C over the last three years.

2. The days are lovely and long

Although May is still spring in Ireland, the days are nice and long with the sun rising at 05:17 and setting at 21:26 (mid-May). This makes planning out your Ireland itinerary easy as you’ve lots of daylight hours to play with.

3. Book accommodation in advance

When planning a trip to Ireland in and around the summer months, it’s always worth booking accommodation in advance. This way, you’ll avoid 1, being unable to nab a place to stay in the area you want to stay and 2, avoid being forced into paying for expensive accommodation (better value rooms tend to book up first).

4. There’s plenty to do

There’s endless things to do in Ireland in May. The long days give you plenty of time to explore and the extra sunlight means you can avoid cramming everything you want to see/do into a short window of time.

5. Make an informed decision

Picking when to visit Ireland isn’t easy, and there’s an awful lot to consider, so it’s well worth spending some time comparing what it’s like in Ireland during the other months, when you have a second:

The pros and cons of spending May in Ireland

Portstewart beach

Photo by Ballygally View Images (Shutterstock)

If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, it’s good to have an idea of what pros and cons are associated with the various months.

I’ve spent 32 years in Ireland, and I’ve never missed a May (not intentionally…), so these advantages and disadvantages are based on first hand experience.

The pros 

  • Weather: The weather in Ireland in May can be good (more info below)
  • Long days: From the middle of the month, the sun rises at 05:17 and sets at 21:26
  • Festivals: There are several festivals in Ireland and Irish music festivals taking place in May
  • Summer buzz: Long, mild days and the incoming summer tends to bring tourists and atmosphere to many towns, villages and cities

The cons

  • Weather: Yep – it’s a pro and a con – the weather in Ireland in May can also be awful (it was last year!)
  • Prices: Accommodation and flights costs will be near peak level
  • Crowds: Better weather and long days mean more people travelling around Ireland

What to expect from the weather in Ireland in May

visiting ireland in may

Photo by Christian Antoine (Shutterstock)

Although it hasn’t yet reached summertime, the weather in Ireland in May is usually quite good. However, last year was a bit of an exception (see below).

Here’s what the weathers been like during previous years. Note: this data comes from MET Eireann, Ireland’s Meteorological Service

May 2021

  • The weather in Ireland in May 2021 wasn’t great, and it was cool and wet in many places across the county
  • The number of days where rain fell ranged from 16 (at the Phoenix Park in Dublin) to 24 days (on Valentia Island in Kerry)
  • The month experienced below average temperature everywhere, but it was coldest in the West. The average temperature was 9.0°C

May 2020

  • The weather in Ireland in May 2020 was very dry and sunny
  • The number of days when rain fell ranged from 5 days (Oak Park in Carlow) to 14 days (Malin Head in Donegal)
  • The average temperature for the month ranged between 10.9°C and 13.0°C

Average temperature in Ireland in May

Maghera Strand

Photo by Lukassek (Shutterstock)

The average temperature in Ireland in May tends to be pretty consistent, with mean temperatures ranging between 9.0°C and 13.0°C over the last three years.

Those from colder temperate climates will find the weather in early May in Ireland pretty easy to handle while those from tropical corners of the world may find Ireland in May quite cold.

The average temperature in previous years

  • 2021: 9.0°C
  • 2020: 10.9°C to 13.0°C
  • 2019: 10.1°C

Things to do in Ireland in May

temperature in ireland in may

Photos via Shutterstock

There’s a never-ending number of things to do in Ireland in May, regardless of what the weather is like.

If you’re on the hunt for things to do in Ireland in May, dive into our counties in Ireland section – it’s packed with the best places to visit in every county! Here are a handful of suggestions to get you started:

1. Set off on a well planned road trip

Diamond hill walk Ireland

Photos via Shutterstock

The long days in May are perfect for a road trip. Luckily, you’ve a never ending number of routes to head off on, depending on what you’re looking for.

If you’re in need of inspiration, our 5 days in Ireland or our 7 days in Ireland guides are two of our most popular itineraries.

2. Hikes and walks

ballycotton cliff walk

Photo left : By Luca Rei. Photo right : By Daniela Morgenstern. (on shutterstock.com)

Ireland is a walkers paradise, with tracks and trails to suit every level of fitness.

There are endless walking trails in Ireland, from massive mountains to stunning coastal strolls. Find walks in the county you’re visiting right here.

3. Tourist favourites and hidden gems

things to do in ireland in may

Photo left: rui vale sousa. Photo right: Corey Macri (Shutterstock)

Some of the more popular things to do in Ireland in May amongst visiting tourists are the ‘Old-Favourites’, like the Cliffs of Moher, Slieve League and the Ring of Kerry.

However, there’s plenty of off-the-beaten-path corners of the island to discover. See our guide to the best places to visit in Ireland for some unique attractions.

4. The pub scene

Gaffney & Son

Photos by The Irish Road Trip

If you fancy soaking up a bit of Ireland’s pub scene, you’ve plenty to choose from, which isn’t necessarily a good thing!

If you can, try and opt for the more traditional pubs in Ireland, as these tend to have the most character.

5. Visiting Dublin in May

vico baths

Photos by Peter Krocka (Shutterstock)

There’s loads of worthwhile things to do in Dublin in May. If the weather’s good, set off on one of the many walks in Dublin.

If the weathers bad, there’s plenty of things to do in Dublin in May when it’s raining! See our 2 days in Dublin and 24 hours in Dublin guides for an easy-to-follow itinerary.

What to pack / what to wear in Ireland in May

doo lough valley

Photo by RR Photo on Shutterstock

If you’re scratching your head and trying to figure out what to pack for May in Ireland, then the below should help.

The best piece of advice that I can give you is to pack for sun AND rain. Here’s some more advice:

  • Keep an eye on the 10-day weather forecast so you have an idea of what weather to expect
  • Pack for warm dry weather and rain… definitely pack for rain

The essentials

  • Layers (t-shirts, hoodies, shirts etc.)
  • Some decent hiking/walking footwear
  • A light waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Appropriate layers that you can remove or put on if it gets too hot/cold
  • Casual clothes for evening wear (shirt/polo-shirt and jeans/chinos are all appropriate ‘going-out wear’ in Ireland)

FAQs about spending May in Ireland

 

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is May rainy in Ireland?’ (it can be!) to ‘Is Ireland warm in May?’ (yes).

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.

Is May a good month for Ireland?

May is one of the best times to visit Ireland. Days are long (sun rises at 05:17 and sets at 21:26) and mild (9.0 °C and 13.0 °C). It’s also just before the schools finish, so it’s not as busy as the summer months.

What is the weather in Ireland in May like?

It’s hit and miss. The days are generally mild (between 9.0 °C and 13.0 °C) but the island can receive plenty of rain, which happened last year.

Are there many things to do in Ireland in May?

Yes – endless! The long days provide plenty of daylight hours to explore, and the mild weather provides enjoyable conditions, especially for hikes and walks.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sheri

Friday 1st of April 2022

Howaya Keith! I'm planning a trip early part of May and would love to know what festivals would be good to catch. Thanks

Keith O'Hara

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Hey Sheri - we've actually just published two festival guides. For tunes, see our guide to music festivals in Ireland in 2022. For everything from food to Halloween, see our Ireland festivals guide. Have a lovely trip!

Tom

Saturday 20th of March 2021

Howaya, Keith! Trying to plan ahead for a 2022 trip... We are interested in getting a backroads horse caravan in May 2022. Can you give us any specific advice about that? (It seems like an idyllic thing, to Americans.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.