The Complete Packing Guide for Ireland
“What should I pack for Ireland?” People I know well, people I haven’t spoken to in years but know I live here, and even my mom ask me this before a trip over to the Emerald Isle. Ireland isn’t known for their great weather and that goes for all year long. As I am writing this it is 51F/10C and raining when only 2 days ago it was 72F/22C with the sun shining. You never know what you will get, but you can almost guarantee it won’t be fabulous. That said, when I first visited Ireland it was May 2012 and the whole trip was amazing. I went all around the country and the weather was cool with the sun shining, but now that I have lived here I know that was some fluke I was lucky enough to be around for. Basically, you’ll need to pack for all types of weather because like most jokes, there is a bit of truth it when people say you can get all 4 seasons in one day in Ireland.
This probably goes without saying, but this is a packing list for women. I am not a member of any affiliate programs, so I will not make any commission (I wish I did!) if you do purchase any of the items linked in this post. One more thing, all items linked are in a budget I would be happy spending and I consider myself reasonable. I don’t mind spending more money for a good quality product. I tried to pick neutral items but obviously my own style and preferences sneak in too!
RAINCOAT – First things first, bring a raincoat with you. More than likely you will experience some rain while you are visiting. Raincoats are also light, so they are good for layering and easy to pack. Depending on when you are visiting, a light raincoat can make all the difference to your warmth and comfort. I have the coat from Marley Lilly and I love it! I think Columbia do amazing rain/winter coats. I have owned a few different jackets from them over the years and they are well worth the money.
LIGHT SWEATER/JUMPER – Just like the raincoat, a light sweater is essential for layering when visiting. You can adjust how you wear the sweater with layers either worn under or over it. The sunshine won’t keep you too warm, but a light sweater will even if it is moderately hot for Ireland. If the weather still feels a bit wintery throwing a layer underneath should sort you out. Sweaters are versatile which is exactly what you need when traveling!
UNDERSHIRT/TANK TOP – I have been living in Ireland for years and still find it hard to dress for the weather, but I have found tank tops to make such a difference for me. Pop a shirt under your sweater if you’re feeling the cold. If you end up getting too warm you can take it off. Layering is key here, people!
JEANS/LEGGINGS – Plain and simple, do not pack shorts with you to visit Ireland. If you want to bring a skirt or dress with you to go out, that’s fine but be sure to pack tights as well because it is typically too cold to go without them. That said, you can go out to the pub in jeans and won’t look out of place. Jeans will keep you warm and are functional. You can wear them if you go out for a day trip or if you are going out for dinner and drinks. I would recommend bringing leggings too because they are comfortable when traveling and if you plan on doing any nature walks they are more suitable for that than jeans. I have the leggings linked below and they are the best leggings I have ever owned! They are comfortable, super thick so there is no seeing through them, and high waisted.
THICK SOCKS – Thick socks are great for a few reasons. Your feet stay warm, they are comfortable, and can be easily washed in sinks if need be. When my dad purchased Smart Wool socks for me when I first travelled to Europe I was honestly not impressed because like a little brat I thought they were ugly. Well, six years later and I am still using these exact socks. They keep your feet cool in hotter climates, warm in cold ones, and because they are thicker, your feet will thank you after all the walking. These are also super cosy to wear on long plane journeys.
COMFORTABLE SHOES – I cannot stress how important bringing comfortable shoes with you to Ireland is. It doesn’t matter if you are visiting the countryside or only coming to Dublin, comfortable shoes are of the utmost importance! I would say leave the wellies behind because you don’t really need them, they aren’t the most comfortable shoes, and they are bulky. I bought Hunter Boots when I was moving here, and I have not gotten my money’s worth out of them. Often, they sit in the closet because a good pair of sneakers/runners (Nike is my preference) are more sensible for walking around than heavy wellies!
KNITTED TURBAN HEADBAND – Something I don’t think is advertised enough about Ireland is how windy it can be. Rather than wearing a beanie, sometimes I like to wear a knitted turban headband. The headband keeps your ears warm and it keeps your hair from blowing all around. Practical and cute!
BAG WITH A ZIPPER – This is really something you should bring on any trip with you. As nice as the Irish are, some people will still try to rob you. This is true for every country though. Just have some common sense and keep the bag zipped, don’t bring out anything that is special to you, and keep an eye on your bag always. The zip will help to keep your necessities safe but still be mindful because a zipped bag does not automatically mean you will not be robbed. My personal favourite is the Le Pliage Backpack.