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Is May a good time to visit Ireland?
If you are completely flexible with your holiday plans, then really consider visiting Ireland in May as it is simply one of the best, if not the best time to travel to the Emerald Isle.
The long days are a welcomed break from winter and spring season. Nature is flourishing at this time of the year, attractions are gearing up for the busy summer season and the number of tourists is still reasonably low.
What’s the weather like in Ireland in May?
Weatherwise you should always expect the unexpected in Ireland, but May often tends to be on average relatively good regarding the amounts of sunshine and rainfall.
Temperatures are also slowly increasing (on average about 11°C or 52 °F), so while layers do still come in useful you should (optimistically) pack some tee-shirts too.
For detailed information about the weather in Ireland in May, read this post.
Things to do in Ireland in May
May is one of my favourite times for exploring Ireland. You can enjoy stunning beaches and landscapes in quiet solitude in many places along the Wild Atlantic Way coastal route.
Road trips around the Irish countryside are ideal at this time of year. While you might really like to see the main attractions, it might also be worth going for a drive off the beaten track and away from the main locations mentioned in Ireland travel guides.
Try to find some of your own hidden gems along the Dingle Peninsula, cycle country roads lined with stone walls on the Aran Islands or explore some of the lesser known spots along the west coast, such as the Pollock Holes in Kilkee.
Ireland’s often underrated midlands also have a surprising amount to offer and should not be bypassed en route!
Castles, ruins and fascinating history about Ireland await you in Ireland’s Ancient East Coast or take a journey up north to see some of the treasures that Northern Ireland has to offer including the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Giant’s Causeway and the utterly unique Gobbins Cliff Path.
If you want a vacation with some hiking, Ireland in May is a great destination. The same can be said for a lot of other outdoor activities, including surfing, golf, fishing as well.
The weather is not too hot, but the number of daylight hours are long and as another advantage, and you are unlikely to be bothered too much by insects at this time of the year.
One of the longer walking routes that can be attempted during this time of year is the Wicklow Way. Starting in Dublin , this walking trail is 132 km (82 mile) and ends in the scenic Wicklow Mountains.
Generally, most hikers walk the route over the course of 5-7 days. It is also possible to just do sections of the route, depending on the weather and what you have planned for your Ireland itinerary.
While it is easy to get blown away by nature at this time of year, the towns, villages as well as the big cities are also worth checking out.
The city of Galway in May is a fun, lively place to visit. If you get a chance, take a trip to Connemara to explore some of Ireland’s most breathtaking coastal and mountainous landscapes.
Dublin Ireland in May
Dublin in May is completely charming. In addition to a fascinating mix of culture and top class attractions (read or 3-Day itinerary for inspiration or hidden sights in Dublin for something a little more special), this city offers a wide range of green spaces where you can just soak up the atmosphere at your own pace.
Saunter around the Phoenix park and observe the deer or find the “Secret Garden”, that most Dubliners are not even aware of! To get some ideas about some of Dublin’s best parks, read our popular information guide.
Visiting Ireland in May
The high summer season (Mid-June through to August) is particularly popular with visitors from the United States, so by coming in May, it might be possible to experience Ireland before the busy season.
The prices of hotels and flights also increase over the summer season. Although they are not yet at their most expensive in May, there may be few bargains on Ireland vacation packages found at this time of the year.
Look around early if you want to have the widest accommodation options. In addition to many great bed and breakfast and other self catering accommodation options, one novelty that you might like to try is a night or two in a luxury castle hotel!
To sum it up, May is probably the best time to visit Ireland and certainly my favourite month for sightseeing. The main attractions are all open at this stage of the year and the reasonably good weather means that you won’t be restricted to only indoor things to do in Ireland.
Do you want to get an idea of what the weather in Ireland in May is like? Read our longer post here. It can be difficult to decide on the right time to visit Ireland. Check out our comprehensive guide to the best time to visit Ireland to get all the information you need.