What to Pack For a Trip to Ireland

July 5, 2012 by

Local Guides, Travel Tips

Stay Warm in Ireland! Photo courtesy of LizMarie_AK via Flickr.

Stay Warm in Ireland! Photo courtesy of LizMarie_AK via Flickr.

Now, you’ve probably heard that it rains a lot in Ireland. With that in mind, I guess you’ll assume that a simple coat with a hood or an umbrella should suffice to deem the weather powerless against your touring in Dublin and Ireland. Ah, there’s something more important to consider than the risk of getting wet.

The cold. Oh, in Ireland it’s cold. Well, that’s what we say, anyway. Ireland’s not an arctic country; it normally experiences mild winters, so why do I insist that it is a very cold place? According to the thermometer, it is not that cold, rarely less than 0 degrees, but your bones tell a different story.

Ireland’s climate is a damp climate. You knew that already, of course. But, the cold we experience here is also a damp cold. I’ve been 200 kilometers further north than the Arctic Circle. What I realized is that in most places that are regarded as ‘cold’, there is a dry cold. We nearly never experience a ‘dry cold’ in Ireland.

So what does this ultimately mean for me, a prospective visitor to Ireland or Hibernia (land of winter)? Well, the way I like to think of it is this: if it’s 9 degrees in Ireland and 0 degrees in Sweden, you’d prefer to be in Sweden (but this would be the only case in which you would prefer Sweden to Ireland, unless you’re very much into hip fashion styles) because it won’t feel as cold there.

So, if you’re just about to come to Ireland and you’ve researched the weather for your arrival, keep that in mind. Dress warmer than you think. I nearly always wear three layers (t-shirt, shirt, jumper/sweater) and a jacket. And that would be all-year round as well! For the non-Irish, you should be wearing as many, if not more layers than me.

Ireland is also one of the windiest countries in the world. You’ll notice this particularly on the west coast of Ireland. This, naturally, will exacerbate your cold sensations.

Take heed now before your most common Irish phrase out of your mouth is not ‘sláinte!’ (the Gaelic for ‘cheers!’), but ‘ah, it’s cold!’

- Garvan Rushe

Planning a Trip? Browse Viator’s Ireland tours and things to do, Ireland attractions, and Ireland travel recommendations. Or book a private tour guide in Ireland for a customized tour!

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