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What To Wear In Ireland In January (Packing List)

What To Wear In Ireland In January (Packing List)

Wondering what to wear in Ireland in January? The guide below (based on 35 years of living here) will save you time.

Deciding what to pack for Ireland in January can be a right pain in the backside.

But don’t worry, it’s eeeeeeeeasy once you understand what January is like in Ireland.

Our Ireland packing list for January contains no affiliate links – just good, solid advice.

Some quick need-to-knows about what to wear in Ireland in January

Before looking at what to wear in Ireland in January, it’s worth taking 10 seconds to get up-to-speed on what this month is like:

1. January is winter in Ireland

January is the middle of winter in Ireland with cold temperatures and short days. Throughout the month, the sun rises at around 8:30am and sets at around 4:40pm each day. Although Irish weather varies a lot from year to year, generally, January is wet, windy, and cold, with average temperatures of around 7°C/44.6°F. If you’re following one of the itineraries from our Irish road trip library, make sure to keep daylight hours at the front of your mind.

2. Hope for the best and plan for the worst

Layers are key when travelling to Ireland in January as temperatures and rainfall can vary depending on where you are. In 2020, January was relatively dry and mild, however, there were strong winds thanks to Storm Brendan. On the other hand, 2021 was dry and cool with above-average rainfall in most parts of the country. The key takeaway here – you never know what the weather in Ireland in January will be like.

3. Where you’re from plays a big part

Where you’re from will play an important part in what you pack. One person’s ‘cold’ can be another person’s ‘mild’, so when you’re deciding what to bring with you, take this into account. If you’re not too sure how you will cope temperature-wise, again… layers are your friend!

4. We can get four seasons in a day

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, layering up is key. Yes, it’s January so you can expect it to be cold, but even in the depths of Irish winter, you can still have some mild and sunny days where your thick winter jacket will be a little too much. 

Ireland packing list for January

This is what I recommend you pack for Ireland in January:

  • A warm rainproof jacket
  • Long-sleeve t-shirts
  • A hat, scarf and gloves
  • A thermal undershirt
  • Pants/jeans
  • Socks and underwear
  • Winter boots/walking shoes
  • Sweatshirts, wooly jumpers or hoodies
  • Formal wear if fine-dining is planned
  • Swimwear if staying in a hotel with a pool

The list above gives you a quick insight into what to wear in Ireland in January and what to bring with you.

Below, there’s a bit more detail, including type of plugs we use along with a mix of other essential items for your Ireland packing list for January.

1. The essentials

essential things to pack for ireland in january

Photos via Shutterstock

To kick things off, we’d recommend you jot down alllll of your essential items – these are the things you 100% can’t do without.

The first thing on every list should be a valid passport, so get that checked well in advance!

If you take any medication, then it goes without saying that this is an essential item (we also like to bring painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen just in case). 

In Ireland, the sockets are designed for a type G plug (with three rectangular prongs), so you may need to bring an adaptor.

A small day bag or rucksack is also a great idea so you can bring along a change of clothes or easily stash away some layers if you remove them. 

Other essentials we recommend are a reusable water bottle, a neck pillow and any toiletries you might need. 

2. The waterproofs


Photos via Shutterstock

We talk about things to avoid in Ireland a fair bit on this website – one of the key points is not to assume the weather will be grand.

In an ideal world, your January trip will be filled with dry weather, but realistically, there will be some rainy spells.

Bringing along a reliable waterproof jacket, waterproof shoes, and waterproof trousers can make wet days a lot more tolerable.

But, if you’re heading to Ireland for a city break, then bringing a waterproof jacket and buying an umbrella once you arrive is also a good shout. 

If you plan on exploring a lot on foot or hiking, it may also be worth purchasing a rain cover for your day pack to keep your things dry. 

3. The cold-beaters

clothes for the cold

Photos via Shutterstock

When debating what to wear in Ireland in January, a good way to begin is to start at your feet and work up to your head.

With temperatures that can dip below freezing, you’re going to want to pack plenty of warm clothes to keep out the cold.

Numerous pairs of thick woolly socks, a warm hat, gloves, and a scarf are key and will help to keep your extremities nice and toasty. 

Other than this, we recommend (again!) layering up with items like vests, long-sleeve t-shirts, sweaters, and a nice thick coat.

If you don’t want to bring a bulky coat, then a packable feather-down jacket in between a waterproof jacket and a sweater also does the job. 

A great tip for women is to wear a pair of thick tights or even leggings under your pants to add an extra layer of insulation. 

4. The evening wear

evening wear

Photos courtesy Failte Ireland

When it comes to evening wear, Ireland is quite casual. In most places, it’s more than ok for men to wear jeans with a shirt or polo shirt, and for women to wear jeans with a nice blouse or a light jumper. 

If you plan on hitting up one of Ireland’s many fine dining restaurants or a more up-market bar, then we’d recommend planning ahead and packing something a little more formal. 

5. The activity-specific clothing


Photos via Shutterstock

If you’re planning on tackling one of the many hikes in Ireland, you’ll need specific gear – sturdy winter footwear, base-layers, and good-quality waterproofs are a must. 

If you love long walks along the coast, then bring some extra layers to shield you from the harsh winter winds. 

For city breaks, a comfortable pair of waterproof shoes are a must if you plan to discover attractions on foot. 

FAQs about what to wear in Ireland in January

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What Ireland packing list for January is the cheapest?’ to ‘Are pubs in January casual?’.

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 should I wear in Ireland in January?

With average temperatures of 7°C/44.6°F, you’ll want plenty of warm layers, a waterproof coat, plenty of socks, casual evening wear and the essentials (valid passport, any necessary medication and the correct charger).

How do people dress in Dublin in January?

This, of course, will vary from person-to-person. Warm layers, comfortable footwear and a good waterproof outer-layer are the essentials. Dublin is casual with the exception of fine dining establishments.

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