Are you planning a trip to Ireland in October, but also wondering it is worth visiting Ireland during this month? You are in the right place. I just came back from a month-long road trip in Ireland, precisely in October and the short answer is Yes, October is definitely a great month to visit Ireland. In this post, I will tell you all the reasons why.
First of all, if you fear that October is the beginning of cold temperatures, rainy days, and foggy weather, don’t. I was very well prepared to face the cold weather, but it was just chilly, and beautiful.
In a nutshell, what I saw in October in Ireland was: some rainy days, but also lots of rainbows, sunshine, sometimes wind, and the spectacular colors of the fall, which never disappoint.
Also in October, there are fewer crowds, cheaper accommodations, and lower car rental rates, and almost all the main attractions are still open before their winter closure.
I even went to visit two of the Aaran Islands, which was a fantastic experience. More about it in the post. Please keep reading because I am excited to share my experience in Ireland in October.
So yes, all in all, I can tell you that October is an amazing time to travel to Ireland. But let’s see it more in detail. (Also keep reading to see my beautiful pictures 🙂
Visiting Ireland in October at a Glance
🍁 Weather in Ireland in October
Generally, the weather in Ireland can be unpredictable, so no matter what month you visit Ireland, it’s best to be prepared for changing weather.
Still, October is in the autumn season, meaning there’s a slight chance for rainfall and crisp temperatures. But at the same time, there are warm and sunny days with pleasant mild temperatures.
So, in other words, in October, expect a little bit of everything. I was wearing a wool sweater or a fleece but always carrying with me a rain jacket and a light coat which I had used sometime during the day, especially when it’s windy.
🌡 Temperatures in Ireland in October
As mentioned, the weather in Ireland during October is changeable. However, expect average temperatures of 15 to 9 degrees Celsius.
Surely, these temperatures might not sound warm and friendly, but still, expect cool and fresh mornings perfect for a cup of tea and warm afternoons with sunny weather, perfect for exploring a leisurely stroll.
🎃 Season in Ireland in October
October is shoulder season in Ireland, so flights and accommodation are usually cheaper while the streets are often quieter.
However, in Ireland, Halloween is quite a celebration and it’s a public holiday, so at the end of the month, prices can rise again while the country is filled with spooky decor and more people around celebrating with customs, food, and drinks.
Also, some restaurants and bars may reduce their operating hours, especially I the most touristy area when tourism usually dies down in winter.
However, you may find some services still in operation until the very end of the month, like going to the Aaran islands, as I did. 🙂 More about that soon.
☀️ Daylight in Ireland in October
Daylight is definitely an essential factor for exploring and discovering new places when on a trip.
So, you should know that the days in Ireland during October are not so long, especially in the north. Specifically, the sun usually rises around 7:30 in the morning and sets at around 18:00 until the time switch at the end of the month and then it will set at 17.00 leaving your with fewer daylight hours.
And yet October is still a great month to travel to Ireland in my opinion.
The Weather in Ireland in October in Different Parts of the Country
Weather in Dublin during October tends to be quite pleasant, with an average temperature of about 7 to 14 degrees Celsius.
There might also be slight rainfall with a long-term average level of 80 millimeters.
The weather in Belfast is pretty similar to Dublin but with more rainfall. The average temperature is between 8 to 13 degrees Celsius, while the average rainfall level is 95 millimeters.
In west Ireland, Galway’s weather tends to be wet and mild. The average temperature is between 8 and 14 degrees Celsius, while the average rainfall level is about 130 millimeters.
The weather in Kerry in October is usually quite mild but very wet. The average temperature is 7 to 14 degrees Celsius, and the long-term average rainfall level is 157 millimeters. Expect quite a bit of wind at times.
The weather in Cork is similar to Kerry, with mild and pleasant days but quite wet. The average temperature is 8 to 14 degrees Celsius, and the average rainfall level is 152 millimeters.
The Pros and Cons of October in Ireland
October offers mild and pleasant weather and is generally drier than other months, allowing you to explore beautiful landscapes.
Furthermore, days are relatively long, (longer than winter months, at least) making it ideal for joining outdoor activities, such as hiking and cycling.
👍🏼 Autumn Foliage
Frankly, Ireland’s landscapes are known for their natural beauty.
But October offers an even more stunning view with the changing colors of the leaves, orange, red, and gold hues, and emerald fields.
So, October is a fantastic month to visit Ireland to capture memorable moments in gorgeous scenery.
👍🏼 Less Crowd
As indicated earlier, October falls outside the peak tourism season so you can expect fewer crowds at popular attractions and sights.
This means shorter queues, easier access to accommodation, and a more relaxed authentic experience.
👍🏼 Lower Prices
As it’s considered the shoulder season, October often comes with lower prices for accommodations, flights, and tourist activities.
This means you can enjoy a more affordable trip to Ireland and spend your budget on exploring the country, cultural immersion, and trying local cuisine.
👍🏼 Festivals and Events
October is often seen as the festival season since it offers numerous festivals and events in Ireland.
These events are the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Ireland’s fascinating culture and festivities.
👍🏼 Halloween Celebrations
Did you know that Halloween originated in Ireland about 2,000 years ago? This is why October gives you the chance to experience the holiday in its original setting.
You can participate in spooky events, haunted tours, or festivities in the ancient sites associated with Halloween traditions.
👎🏼 Some Attractions May Be Closed
Some tourist attractions, museums, or heritage sites may have reduced opening hours or be closed for renovations or seasonal closures.
So, it’s best to check ahead and plan your visits accordingly to avoid disappointment.
👎🏼 Limited Public Transportation
While public transportation in Ireland is generally reliable, there may be reduced services or altered schedules in October, especially in more remote or rural areas.
So, it’s essential to plan your transportation and connections in advance to avoid any inconveniences.
👎🏼 Limited Outdoor Accessibility
Due to the potential rainfall and changing weather conditions, some outdoor attractions may be closed for maintenance during the shoulder season. Check ahead and plan your itinerary accordingly.
👎🏼 Reduced Ferry Services
In case you wish to visit any of the offshore islands in Ireland, be aware that ferry services may operate on reduced schedules or even be closed altogether in October.
Therefore, make sure to check availability and plan your trips accordingly.
👎🏼 Limited Nightlife in Smaller Towns
While major cities like Dublin and Galway will still have lively nightlife, smaller towns and rural areas may have limited options for evening entertainment, especially on weekdays.
Still, you can opt for a more relaxed and cozy pub experience.
Festivals and Events in Ireland in October
🎊 Dublin Theater Festival
You shouldn’t miss the Dublin Theater Festival if you love theater, unique customs, and fascinating acting delivery.
It showcases various theater performances, including Irish and international productions, and celebrates the vibrant theater scene in Dublin.
🎊 Guinness Jazz Festival
The Guinness Jazz Festival is one of the biggest jazz festivals in Europe, with renowned jazz musicians from around the world.
The festival is in Cork and comes alive with performances in various venues.
🎊 Puca Festival
Puca Festival calls all witches and lovers of spookiness and mystery to celebrate Halloween in Trim and Athoby.
The festival includes live performances, stand-up comedy, as well as walking tours and boat trips to learn about Irish mythology.
🎊 Dragon of Shandon Samhain Parade
The Dragon of Shandon Samhain Parade is held on Halloween night in Cork City and brings forth the rise of the underworld.
Thousands of people walk with the dragon, a massive construction to celebrate Samhain.
🎊 Bram Stoker Festival
This festival celebrates the legacy of the Irish author Bram Stoker by focusing on horror, gothic literature, and all things vampiric.
It includes workshops, street performances, film screenings, and more.
🎊 Wicklow Walking Festival
Held in County Wicklow, this festival celebrates the county’s natural beauty.
It offers the opportunity to explore picturesque landscapes like Glendalough, Powerscourt Waterfall, and the Wicklow Way on foot.
🎊 Belfast International Arts Festival
Belfast International Arts Festival is an ideal festival for those seeking cultural immersion through various arts. It showcases performances in theater, dance, music, and visual arts.
Also, it usually features both local and international talented artists.
Things to Do in Ireland in October
✔️ Explore the Vibrant City of Dublin
Dublin is a bustling metropolis brimming with history, culture, and a lively energy that will surely captivate you from the moment you arrive.
In October, Dublin comes alive with a unique charm and a warm welcome that you can easily experience through leisurely strolls down Grafton Street, engulfed with colorful autumn leaves and some shopping therapy at the local boutique stores selling unique crafts and arts.
Additionally, October is the perfect month to visit historic landmarks like the magnificent Dublin Castle and Trinity College, where you can marvel at the famous Book of Kells.
But a must-do activity is spending an evening in the lively Temple Bar area, where you can enjoy traditional Irish music, cozy pubs, and delicious food.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a fun activity in October, seek Halloween’s spooky spirit by joining in on the festive celebrations and experiencing the city’s eerie legends and folklore.
✔️ Take a Scenic Drive Along the Wild Atlantic Way
With mild weather and long days, as well as less traffic, October is a fantastic month to go on a breathtaking adventure along Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way.
This scenic drive is an awe-inspiring coastal route stretching over 2,500 kilometers and offers unparalleled views of rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and charming seaside villages.
Furthermore, with stunning autumn foliage, the route takes on a whole new level of beauty.
Stop by the majestic Cliffs of Moher, explore the stunning Ring of Kerry, and navigate through the picturesque coastal towns of Dingle and Westport to experience authentic Irish culture and lifestyle.
You will enjoy the spectacular autumn foliage inside the Muskrow house and garden but all around the natural scenery of Kerry County.
✔️ Attend the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival
Festivals, especially local events, are undoubtedly an excellent way to indulge in a country’s culture and lifestyle. And thankfully, October is the month of exciting festivals and events.
A fantastic festival you should attend, especially if you’re a seafood lover, is the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival.
It’s a culinary extravaganza that celebrates Ireland’s rich seafood heritage.
Galway’s streets come alive with delicious aromas and lively festivities.
So, get ready to sample the freshest oysters, expand your seafood palate with a wide variety of delectable dishes, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as live music fills the air.
✔️ Visit the Historic Town of Kilkenny
The historic town of Kilkenny in central Ireland is a must-visit destination for exploring the country’s rich heritage.
With unique charm and October’s stunning autumn colors, it is a treasure trove of medieval wonders, rich history, and natural beauty.
Wander through its narrow, winding streets and marvel at the well-preserved buildings like the iconic Kilkenny Castle by the River Nore to take you back in time and immerse you in breathtaking views and fascinating insights into Ireland’s past.
Also, while at Kilkenny, make sure to stroll along the Medieval Mile to discover cathedrals, merchant houses, and quirky boutiques.
If you prefer a more relaxing day out, explore the town’s vibrant culture through traditional music sessions or visit the renowned Butler Gallery.
✔️ Tour a Famous Distillery
If you’re holidaying in Ireland, you shouldn’t miss the chance to visit one of the country’s famous distilleries.
Whether you find yourself in whiskey-loving Cork or the captivating Causeway Coast, there are plenty of opportunities to delve into Ireland’s liquid gold.
Explore the world-famous Jameson Distillery in Midleton, where you can immerse yourself in the art of whiskey-making through guided tours and tastings.
If you’re in Northern Ireland, don’t miss the chance to visit the Old Bushmills Distillery, home to the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world.
And then delve into the world of traditional methods used to craft these beloved spirits and uncover the fascinating stories behind their creation.
Marvel at the copper pot stills and age-old barrels as expert guides share their knowledge and passion for the craft.
✔️ Explore the Ancient Ruins of Newgrange
Situated in the lush Boyne Valley, Newgrange’s ruins are a UNESCO-listed site that showcases ancient Ireland’s creative craftsmanship.
Explore the towering stone monument, constructed over 5,000 years ago, making it older than both Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza, and marvel at the intricate rock carvings and the astounding engineering that allowed the passage to align perfectly with the winter solstice sunrise.
Of course, in October, you may not be able to witness this phenomenon, but you can still appreciate the mystical atmosphere, learn of the mysteries surrounding these ancient ruins, and immerse in their tranquil landscapes with rolling hills and the Boyne River.
✔️ GoHiking or Cycling in Wicklow Mountains National Park
With October’s favorable weather, you can still explore Ireland’s stunning landscapes on foot or by cycling.
An incredible spot in the country for exploration and an exhilarating adventure is the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
The park is absolutely breathtaking and is often referred to as the “Garden of Ireland.” It offers a picturesque setting with rolling green hills, serene lakes, and rugged mountain peaks.
So, at this park, you can hike through dense forests, breathe in the crisp autumn air, and listen to the soothing sounds of nature.
And once you reach the summit, you can feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as take in gorgeous views.
If you prefer cycling, it is recommended to take a leisurely cycle around the captivating Glendalough Valley to explore its ancient ruins and tranquil lakes.
✔️ Join One of the Many Halloween Events
Get into the spooky spirit and join one of the many Halloween events happening throughout Ireland in October.
From frightful festivities to family-friendly celebrations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
For instance, experience the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival in Derry, where the streets come alive with eerie enchantments, thrilling performances, and vibrant parades.
If you’re in Dublin, don’t miss out on the Samhain Festival, where ancient Celtic traditions blend seamlessly with modern Halloween fun.
From haunted houses and ghost tours to pumpkin carving and costume contests, you’ll be immersed in a world of ghoulish delights.
For a more mystical experience, head to the atmospheric County Meath and participate in the Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival, featuring spooky storytelling, guided tours of ancient sites, and even a hauntingly beautiful lantern parade.
✔️ Take a Boat Trip to the Aran Islands
Although some ferry operators stop running in October, it is still possible to visit the Aran Islands throughout the month.
So, if you’re seeking a memorable adventure, take a boat and visit these enchanting islands.
Located off the west coast, the Aran Islands are a true hidden gem, allowing you to step back in time and experience the traditional Irish way of life.
Featuring stone walls, thatched cottages, and ancient ruins, they are a stunning destination.
Explore Inishmore, the largest of the islands, and marvel at the famous ancient Dun Aonghasa, perched dramatically on the cliff edge.
Stroll along the winding paths, breathe in the fresh sea air, and bask in the tranquility of this unspoiled paradise.
Also, be sure to immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the locals, listen to Irish music in cozy pubs, and savor delicious seafood fresh from the ocean.
You can get to the Aaran island either from Doolin, Galway, or Rossaveel. I went from Doolin to Inisheer and from Rossaveel to Inishmore and loved both of them.
Top tip – Also from Doolin you can take a 45-minute boat tour to see the cliffs of Moher from the sea, which is a spectacular sight!
✔️ Visit Killarney Town
Killarney is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful towns in Ireland, and in October, it becomes even more enchanting.
Nestled in the stunning County Kerry, this picturesque destination is renowned for its natural wonders and old-world charm.
A must-do activity is exploring Killarney National Park, a stunning natural wonder with ancient oak forests, shimmering lakes, and cascading waterfalls.
Take a leisurely boat ride on the tranquil Lakes of Killarney, surrounded by majestic mountains and vibrant autumn foliage.
Additionally, to add more charm to your trip to the park, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and immerse yourself in the romance of the Irish countryside.
Furthermore, stroll through the charming streets of Killarney, lined with colorful shops, traditional pubs, and friendly locals.
Indulge in hearty Irish cuisine and listen to live music that will surely get your feet tapping.
What to Pack for Ireland in October
Generally, when visiting Ireland, it’s important to be prepared for changeable weather.
Similarly, when packing for a trip to Ireland in October, opt for lightweight, breathable clothing that you can easily add or remove.
Still, it’s essential to pack a waterproof jacket or coat to protect yourself from occasional showers. Also, don’t forget a sturdy pair of walking shoes or boots for exploring the beautiful landscapes.
A warm sweater or two will keep you cozy during cooler evenings, as well as a scarf, hat, and gloves for added warmth. An umbrella is also a handy item to have on hand.
Additionally, pack a travel adapter for your electronics, as Irish outlets use different plugs.
Lastly, consider bringing a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated on your adventures.
Ireland in October Travel Tips
📌 First and foremost, an important factor to consider for your trip to Ireland in October is the changeable weather.
📌 So be sure to pack layers, including a waterproof jacket, as rain showers are not uncommon.
📌 Before traveling to Ireland, it’s a good idea to check the opening hours of attractions and plan your itinerary accordingly.
📌 Furthermore, as the daylight hours decrease, make sure to plan your outdoor activities accordingly to fully enjoy autumnal landscapes painted in vibrant colors.
📌 I recommend you rent a car in Dublin when you land and drive around the country which is my favorite way to travel everywhere, but most of all in Ireland. However, drive slowly and pay attention to walkers and bikers, especially on narrow roads, which are almost everywhere. 🤭
📌 Lastly, while in Ireland, simply let yourself immerse in the local culture through traditional hearty meals, live music sessions, engaging with the friendly locals, and exploring various landmarks, marketplaces, and busy streets filled with shops, restaurants, pubs, and bars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You See the Northern Lights in Ireland in October?
It’s very rare to see the Northern Lights in Ireland, especially in October, due to its southern latitude.
What Time Does it Get Dark in Ireland in October?
On average, the sun sets between 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. local time.
Does it Rain a Lot in Ireland in October?
October is part of the country’s transitional period between autumn and winter, so expect frequent rain showers and overcast skies.
Is it Better to Visit Ireland in September or October?
September is generally considered a good time to visit as the summer crowd dissipates, and the weather is often mild.
From October, though, the autumn foliage creates beautiful landscapes with vibrant colors.
Additionally, Ireland’s Halloween festivities are a spectacular wonder loved by many travelers.
So, the choice between the two months is up to every individual’s preferences.
Is Ireland Still Green in October?
Yes, Ireland is still green in October. The country sees a good amount of rainfall throughout the year.
Therefore, the country’s landscapes are still lush green and verdant, along with various shades of yellow, orange, and red splashes due to the autumn foliage.
Is October a Good Time to Visit Dublin?
October is often considered one of the best months to visit Ireland due to the mild weather, less crowd, lower prices for accommodation, and various festivals and events.
Final Thoughts: Is October a Good Time to Visit Ireland?
Whether you want to explore bustling cities like Dublin and Kilkenny, visit fascinating ancient ruins, opt for scenic drives, hike through stunning national parks, or join exciting festivals and events, Ireland in October is a magical time of the year.
So, get ready to delve deeper into Ireland’s rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture, and enjoy an unforgettable holiday!
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About the Author, Founder & Editor
Hello there! This is Isabella, the author of this blog, and a cat lover and restless traveler. I am an Italian expatriate in Mexico, but I am now traveling full-time in and out of Mexico. After 7 years of living in Cancun, I have decided to leave my fancy job and explore the world, at a slow pace, one country at a time. Among my favorite countries so far, besides Mexico of course, are Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Ireland, Portugal, Norway, and the list goes on…