Ireland in January: Weather and Local Culture

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Ireland has plenty to offer for culture vultures, history buffs and hardy hikers. The country’s weather conditions during this time are cold and wet while days are shorter. This could discourage some visitors from looking forward to hiking. However, for others, early nightfall is part of what makes the Irish pub culture so vibrant. Moreover, local attractions across the country are open year-round and are far less crowded during this month than at other times of the year. Plus, there are local festivals happening too. Plan a trip to Ireland in January and you will not be disappointed.

Weather in January

You will see a lot of rain on your trip to Ireland in January.
Be prepared for the rain on your Irish trip in January.

Ireland’s weather in January is the wettest, windiest and coldest you will get all year. High temperatures range from 3°C to 7°C on average during this month and days are short. The country’s southwestern region experiences some milder temperatures, but it also receives particularly heavy rainfall—more than 120mm throughout the month. Dublin, meanwhile, is much drier with around 60mm of rain during the entire month. You can expect around 80mm of rainfall in Belfast this month.

For a seasonal overview of Ireland, check out our travel guide on the best time to visit Ireland.

Weather in Ireland in January - Rainfall and Temperatures

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Daily (°C)771011151719191713108
Avg Nightly (°C)3345710121210855
Avg Daily (°F)44.644.65051.85962.666.266.262.655.45046.4
Avg Nightly (°F)37.437.439.24144.65053.653.65046.44141
Avg Rainfall (mm)706070505070508060806080

Why Visit Ireland in January

Hotels are cheaper in Ireland in January.
Get better accommodation rates when visiting Ireland at the start of the year.
Hop and a plane and head for your Irish holiday.
You will get great deals on flights on your Irish holiday in January.

Weather conditions (plus perhaps the tightening of belts after Christmas) mean that Ireland in January is a time for bargains and game travelers can make merry while the faint-hearted stay at home.

  • Festivals: Head to Dublin which plays host to the musical festival Tradfest during this month, while Astrofest, the world’s biggest astronomy festival, takes place in Galway in January.
  • More bang for your buck: Both hotel availability and rates are at their most appealing this time of year, with many establishments offering good deals.
  • Fewer tourists: Crowds are not a problem if you are heading for Ireland in January, meaning you can take advantage of all round-the-year tourist attractions with a lot less hassle.

Where to go and what to do

Visit Connemara National Park and be one with Ireland's nature.
Go for a hike in Connemara and view Ireland's amazing landscape.

Ireland’s capital never stops, not even in January. Dublin’s indoor attractions come into their own during this time of year even when the weather is inclement. Those wanting to sample some of Ireland’s most famous exports can head to the Jameson Whiskey Distillery or the Guinness Storehouse Factory. Architectural buffs can marvel at Dublin Castle, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral or Christ Church Cathedral. Check out our sightseeing tours in Dublin.

Galway presents a pleasant mix of options—Connemara National Park has some very doable walks if the weather holds. If not, the city offers quaint streets, a picturesque seafront and a handful of fine-dining establishments.

Ireland’s southwest is another possible destination, with the English Market giving you just an idea of the culinary offer available in Cork. The Cork Hopper bus allows you to see the local sights. The option to hop on and off a bus is an easy way to dodge showers. Nearby, the Ring of Kerry is a 179-kilometer-long road that takes you past local lakes, rivers and waterfalls as well as castles and mansions. Another day trip could be to Kinsale, a splendid harbor town with restaurants, a sandy coastline and Charles Fort, a military fortification that dates back to 1682. Have a look at our food tours in Ireland.

Explore Belfast's Custom House on your Irish holiday.
Explore the sights of Belfast and know Irish history.

Like Dublin, a trip to Belfast teems with history and politics. Stormont, Northern Ireland’s parliament, is an imposing Greek classical-style edifice that has become, in recent years, a symbol of Northern Ireland’s attempts to find peace. The political murals around the city can be visited on foot or—if the weather is not so kind—in taxis.

An altogether different kind of attraction is Belfast Castle, a stunning building from the 1860s which offers views of the present-day city as well as a glimpse of its history: it has been the site of numerous fortifications since the 1220s.

A much newer attraction, Titanic Belfast has been telling the story of the world’s most famous maiden voyage since 2012. Around 800,000 people a year visit its galleries and exhibits. Take a look at our history tours in Belfast.

For visitors willing to brave the elements, there are plenty of delights waiting for you in Ireland in January. The island’s natural beauty outshines any miserable weather, while its cities’ charms are equally enduring and there are festivals and nightlife to enliven early evenings.

Our local travel experts can help you choose the right custom tour to Ireland, so look no further if you are planning on booking a holiday in Ireland in January.

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  • Ludovica Natalini
    Ludovica Natalini
    Travel Expert in Ireland & Italy
  • Sean Power
    Sean Power
    Travel Expert in Ireland
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Sean Power Travel Expert in Ireland
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