Visiting Ireland in September 2020: Advice From A Local (Weather, Things To Do + More)

A No-BS Guide

September in Ireland
Photo by Failte Ireland via Ireland's Content Pool

So, you’re planning on visiting Ireland in September, but you’re not sure if it’s the best time to visit.

You’re also not sure of what to expect (will the weather be sh*te?!). Which is fair enough. 

Understanding what the various months of the year bring to Ireland in advance of booking your trip is pretty damn important.

You might want to avoid the peak season, as prices will be banjaxx-your-pocket high.

Or maybe you want to spend your time outdoors hiking, and you’re looking to visit when the weather is at its best.

There’s a tonne of pros to visiting Ireland in September and only a handfull of cons. In the guide below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

What you’ll get from reading this guide

  • Honest no-BS advice on what it’s like to visit in September 
  • A guide to the weather and what to expect
  • What to wear in Ireland in September
  • What to pack
Visiting Ireland in September guide
Photo by Chris Hill

Would I visit Ireland in September: An Honest Answer

Yes. I. Would.

September is a graaand time of the year to take a spin over to Ireland. In September, the weather is generally pretty OK (more on this in a minute) and the air starts to get slightly crisp.

Crisp. I love that word… crisp… moving swiftly on…

September in Ireland is what’s known as ‘Shoulder Season’ (read more on the seasons of Ireland). The Shoulder Season is the little chunk of time that sits between the peak and off-peak seasons.

Translation: It’ll be slightly cheaper to visit during this time and the crowds will be a little less manic. Which is why, if I wasn’t living here, I’d absolutely visit during this month.

Climbing Carrauntoohil
Photo via Failte Ireland

Is September a good time to go to Ireland?

September in Ireland, like every other month, has its pros and cons. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning on visiting during this month:

  • The weather in Ireland in September is hard to predict, but it’s generally OK (more on this in a minute)
  • The days still have a decent bit of length in them
  • You’ll find that there’s very little difference in accommodation costs between the peak season and September

Let’s dive into more of the pros and cons of visiting during this month.

Pros of visiting Ireland in September

  • There’ll be fewer crowds
    • As we move out of peak season, crowds begin to die down
    • Note: it’ll ALWAYS be busy at the main attractions, like the Cliffs of Moher
  • The weather tends to be OK (more on this in a sec)
  • Flights should be a little cheaper during the shoulder season 
  • Those of you with children can expect attractions aimed at kids to be wayyyy quieter
    • School starts back in Ireland in September (some start in late August)

The cons (not many)

  • The days are shorter

Yep, that’s a fine short list of cons.

Weather in Ireland in September 2020
Photo by Martin Flemming

The Weather in Ireland in September 2020

The weather in Ireland in September tends to be pleasant. Visitors can expect average highs of 13°C and average lows of 9°C. 

Keep in mind that the here is generally a little all over the place. It’s sunny when it shouldn’t be, snowing when, yea, it shouldn’t be, and raining… yea, it tends to rain a fair bit.

To give you a sense of what the weather’s like in September, let’s look at what it was like for the last two Septembers (via MET Eireann – Ireland’s National Weather Service):

2019 was mild, wet and sunny

  • The average temperature in September 2019 was 12.8 °C
  • The first two weeks of September were relatively dry with some sunny interludes
  • The settled weather broke mid-month and brought thundery rain
  • The end of September was very unsettled and there was plenty of rain

2018 was terrible

  • Storm Ali hit Ireland in September 2018
  • The storm arrived on September 19th and it brought gusts that reached 142km on the west coast
  • Ali also brought heavy rain to the north and west of Ireland. Tragically, two people were killed
  • Another storm, Storm Bronagh, hit Ireland on September 20th

Average Temperature in Ireland in September

The average high temperatures in Ireland in September can rise to a mild 13°C, while the average lows tend to hover around 9°C. As it gets closer to October, the temperatures will start to fall further.

Average Temperature in Ireland in September
Photo by Gareth McCormack

What to Wear in Ireland in September

With the weather in Ireland being so changeable, it can be difficult to decide what to wear in Ireland in September, but there’s a simple solution – pack for every season.

There’s a joke (that’s heavily based on fact) that we can experience 4 seasons in one day in Ireland. 

That’s no lie.

Any time that someone asks me what to wear in Ireland in September, I’ll generally tell them that it depends on:

  1. The type of activities they have planned
  2. Where you’ll be staying

What to pack for Ireland in September

So, take the below advice with a pinch of salt. Realistically, if you pack smart, you’ll be fine. 

If you forget to bring something, just pick it up when you arrive. Here are some suggestions of what to pack:

Those on an active holiday

If you’re visiting Ireland for an active holiday, you’ll need:

  • Hiking boots/shoes
  • A warm, waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Warm socks, gloves, and hat
  • Appropriate layers

Those on a city break

If you’re going to spend the majority of your time wandering around a city, bring:

  • A good jacket (ideally waterproof)
  • Woolly socks, woolly gloves, and, you guessed it, a woolly hat
  • Layers, e.g. a hoody, long-sleeved t-shirt, etc.
The Cliffs at Benwee Head
Photo by Gareth McCormack

Things to do in Ireland in September 2020

  • Visit the fEast Cork food festival
  • Take a spin out to the Clarenbridge Oyster Festival
  • try the Festival of Food on Dublin’s Airfield Estate
  • Make your belly happy at a Taste of West Cork
  • If the weather’s fine, head for a long walk or hike 
  • If it’s manky, explore museums and indoor attractions

There’s no end to the number of things that you can do in September. The days are still reasonably long, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore.

That being said, here are a handful of suggestions to give you a bit of inspiration:

Events in September

There are a heap of different events that take place in Ireland in September. Food festivals take place most weeks during December in many of the counties of Ireland

The fEast Cork food festival is a week-long festival held at various locations throughout East Cork, with everything from guest chefs, cooking demonstrations and the all-important food tastings.

The Clarenbridge Oyster Festival is another one. This event is held in Galway around mid-September. If you’re a fan of shellfish, you might want to repeat the experience at the Cork Oyster and Seafood Festival or the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival later in the month.

If oysters fail to tickle your fancy, try the Festival of Food on Dublin’s Airfield Estate. You’ll be able to get stuck into street food from five different continents. 

Road trips galore

This site is dedicated to road trips. And there’s PLENTY to choose from in Ireland.

The only factor that really comes into play when planning a road trip is how much time you’re here for. We’ve built this site on detailed guides to exploring Ireland.

Here are some are the most popular ones for you to use to plan your trip:

clonmacnoise round tower
Photo by Liam Murphy

Wrapping it up: Is September in Ireland a bad idea?

I’d genuinely have no reservations about recommending that you visit Ireland in September.

It’s shoulder season, the temperatures should be OK and the crowds will be a little less. Yes, the weather could go against you, but that can be the case with any month in Ireland.

Howaya! 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 (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

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