January in Ireland can offer visitors plenty of unique and wonderful experiences. Though many people might want to avoid the weather this time of the year, if you are prepared, its easily dealt with. The low season is also a great time for a city break as you might, practically, have the place to yourself.
Plenty of people enjoy coming to Ireland this time of year. I have given countless tours to people during the low season who were more than pleasantly surprised about the things to do in Ireland during the month of January. However, there are also certain things that you should be aware of…
Pros and Cons of Visiting Ireland in January
Visiting Ireland in January can be a memorable experience, but it’s important to consider both the pros and cons before making your travel plans. Here is a table that outlines the key advantages and disadvantages of visiting Ireland during this time of year:
|Peaceful and less crowded
|Annual events and festivals
|Reduced daylight hours
The Pros of Visiting Ireland in January
- Peaceful and Less Crowded: January is considered low season in Ireland, meaning fewer tourists and crowds at popular attractions. This will give you a more relaxed and peaceful travel experience.
- Budget-Friendly Travel: January is one of the most affordable times of year to visit Ireland. There will be plenty of deals to take advantage of. So make sure to keep an eye out for those cheap flights and hotel rooms.
- Annual Events and Festivals: There is plenty on in January. Some of the great events on this time of year include the Temple Bar Tradfest, which showcases the best of Irish traditional music. New Year’s Eve in Dublin can also be a great experience. But, you need to make sure you know where to go as many people have found some of the main events disappointing.
The Cons of Visiting Ireland in January
- Cooler Temperatures: January is one of the coldest months in Ireland, with average temperatures ranging from 4°C to 7°C.
- Rainfall: Rain is common in Ireland during the month of January, with rainfall reaching 50-70mm on average.
- Reduced Daylight Hours: With shorter days, there may be limited time for outdoor activities and exploring, so it’s important to plan accordingly. There will usually be around 8 hours of daylight this time of year.
Visiting Ireland in January offers a unique and peaceful travel experience, but it’s important to consider the cooler temperatures and potential for moderate rainfall. Whether you’re interested in experiencing the annual events and festivals or simply looking for a budget-friendly travel option, January can be a great time to visit Ireland.
What might be more important for some people however is the crowds. This is one of the best times of the year to beat the crowds in Ireland. If you want to see the country without large numbers of tourists or even go to local pubs that the Irish like to visit, this might be the best time of year to visit Ireland.
Weather in Ireland in January
Ireland in January is often characterized by cold temperatures, overcast skies, and moderate rainfall. Although the weather may be less than ideal for some, the old adage is that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear! If you know what to expect, you should have little to no problems with the Irish weather.
Overview of the Weather in Ireland in January
The average temperature in Ireland during the month of January ranges from 4°C to 7°C, with rainfall reaching 50-70mm on average. Overcast skies are also common during this time of year, but its important to note that conditions can change quickly, so it is best to be prepared for all possibilities.
What to Pack for Ireland in January
When visiting Ireland in January, it is important to pack appropriately to stay warm and comfortable. Here are a few items to consider when packing for your trip:
- Layers: To stay warm and accommodate for fluctuating temperatures, I recommend you pack layers such as long-sleeved tops, warm jumpers (sweaters), and an insulated jacket.
- Waterproof gear: With moderate rainfall that can often come out of the blue, it is important to pack a raincoat or umbrella to stay dry. I have gone into more detail about this here.
- Warm accessories: To keep your extremities warm, be sure to pack a hat, gloves, and scarf.
- Comfortable footwear: waterproof shoes or boots are ideal for navigating the wet and possibly slippery conditions. I have already given some great local advice about shoes in Ireland.
With these items, you’ll be well equipped to handle the weather in Ireland in January and fully enjoy your trip. Despite the potential for inclement weather, January is a great time to visit Ireland for those looking for a peaceful, less crowded, and budget-friendly travel experience.
Events in Ireland in January
There are plenty of things on in Ireland during the month of January. These are great if you are looking for some great and unique events that you might not get to experience anywhere else in the world. These are also great for planning your trip around.
While you probably won’t want to attend every event, there should be something on for everyone. If you are looking for some great traditional Irish music or something a little more classical, there will be something for you.
Of course, you will also be able to ring in the new year during the month of January. While Dublin might not have the best New Year’s festival in the world, there are still plenty of different ways to celebrate in Ireland this time of year!
Temple Bar Tradfest
The Temple Bar Tradfest is a celebration of Irish traditional music, taking place over five days in the heart of Dublin. The festival is a showcase for some of the best traditional musicians in Ireland. It provides you with a unique opportunity to experience the soul of Irish music.
The festival features concerts, workshops, and jam sessions, allowing you to not only enjoy the music but also participate in it. The festival takes place in the Temple Bar district, surrounded by some of the city’s most iconic landmarks and cultural attractions.
New Year’s Festival Dublin
The New Year’s Festival Dublin is a series of events and concerts taking place throughout the city. You can celebrate the start of the new year with music, dance, and entertainment. The festival is a great way to ring in the new year in Ireland, and provides you with a chance to experience the city’s energy and excitement.
There will be outdoor concerts and indoor music events, to name but a few of the things on offer. However, in 2023, I heard many people on my tours who were disappointed by the official events. Most locals tend to go to smaller venues and establishments for New Years.
Also, by this time of the season, many Irish people are exhausted! The two weeks or so over Christmas is by far the busiest time of the year in Ireland on most people’s social calendars. So by New Year’s many either stay home or get out of the bigger cities.
Cork International Choral Festival
The Cork International Choral Festival is a celebration of choral music, taking place in the lively city of Cork. The festival features concerts by choirs from around the world, showcasing the diversity and beauty of choral music.
In addition to concerts, this festival also offers workshops and opportunities for attendees to participate in the music making. The festival takes place in various venues throughout the city. This includes historic churches, concert halls, and cultural centers, providing a unique and memorable experience for visitors.
These are just a few of the top events and festivals taking place in Ireland in January, offering visitors a chance to experience the rich cultural heritage and vibrant energy of the country.
What to Do in Ireland in January?
While there are plenty of events to keep an eye on in January in Ireland. You might prefer to just relax and take in the best sights that the country has to offer this time of year. Here, I want to talk about some of the more interesting things to in January in Ireland, both indoors and out.
Outdoor Activities in Ireland in January
If you enjoy being active and being surrounded by natural beauty, you’ll be in luck visiting Ireland during January.
The Wicklow Mountains, just outside of Dublin, have breathtaking views of the countryside, along with great hiking and walking opportunities. There are a variety of trails to choose from, so whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, there’s something for everyone.
The Ring of Kerry provides visitors with the chance to see some of Ireland’s most stunning landscapes, including the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range. The Ring also has some amazing small villages to explore that are practically empty compared to the summer months.
If you are looking for a way to explore the Irish countryside from Dublin, I always recommend checking out Howth. This is a peninsula that you can get to by train in about half an hour. It has some of the best views and easy hikes accessible to Dublin and the views are breathtaking.
Indoor Activities in Ireland in January
If you’re sick of the ever-changing Irish weather, or even if you just want to get warm inside, there are plenty of indoor activities in Ireland.
If you want to just get cozy, remember that Irish pubs are some of the best in the world and you will be able to find plenty of places to get warm. Even if you don’t want to drink, this is one of the best ways to soak in the local culture.
The National Museum of Ireland has a range of exhibitions that showcase the country’s rich history and heritage, and is a great place to learn about Ireland’s past. Additionally, the National Gallery of Ireland is home to a wide collection of Irish and international art, making it a must-visit for art lovers.
If you’re looking for other advice on things to check out when in Dublin city, I have my full list of recommendations here.
FAQs About Ireland in January
What is the weather like in Ireland in January?
The weather in Ireland in January is generally cold and damp with temperatures ranging from 35°F to 42°F. It is usually rainy and windy, so you should be prepared with waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear.
What events take place in Ireland in January?
Some of the annual events that take place in Ireland in January include the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival. This is a celebration of Chinese culture and heritage, and the Cork International Short Story Festival, which is an annual celebration of short fiction.
Is January a good time to visit Ireland?
While the weather can be cold and damp, it can also be a quiet time to visit, with fewer tourists and lower prices than in the peak summer season. You can enjoy cozy indoor activities, such as museums, theaters, and historic sites. Or you can embrace the crisp, fresh air and explore the outdoors with scenic walks and hikes.