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Ireland in March
The feeling of spring starts to creep into the air in Ireland in March, particularly toward the latter part of the month. March also heralds the beginning of the tourist season with many tourists visiting Ireland to join in the celebrations of the national holiday, St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th.
While the weather can still be mixed and as always, you should expect some rain, the feeling of winter is starting to feel like a more distant memory. It can be still cool, with average temperatures fluctuating around 7 °C (45 °C), so layer up and bring a good waterproof jacket to be prepared for all weather conditions.
The days are also getting longer which makes road trips and sightseeing along the Wild Atlantic Way or Ireland’s Ancient East more favorable. Although it is still early in the season, trips to some of the islands, such as the Aran Islands could be considered for a travel itinerary.
City breaks in Ireland are good at any time of the year and March is no exception to this, although it can be busy around the St. Patrick Day celebrations, particularly in Dublin.
Don’t forget to pack your hiking shoes if you fancy exploring some of the Irish countryside by foot! The range of possible outdoor activities starts to increase again with the improvement in the weather.
Read our article here for a better insight into Ireland in March.
Weather in Ireland in March
During the early part of March, Irish weather can often tend to be more similar to the conditions experienced in February.
As the month progresses, the weather conditions usually tend to improve with a gradual rise in temperatures and calmer conditions associated with the spring season. However, this is Ireland after all and there are always exceptions to the norm when it comes to the weather!
It is still cool at this time of year with average daily temperatures roughly between 6 – 8 °C (43 – 46 °F). Depending on the daily conditions, you are also likely to experience some rain and windy conditions from time to time.
If you are wondering what to wear in Ireland in March, you should pack your suitcase with plenty of layers to make sure you are ready for all eventualities when it comes to the daily (very changeable) weather conditions in Ireland.
There is also a noticeable increase in the length of the daylight hours at this time of year. Dublin receives roughly 2 hours more sunlight at the end of March than at the beginning.
This is good news for anyone planning on doing a road trip or longer day tour as part of their Ireland vacation.
Temperature in Ireland in March
Slightly milder average temperatures are associated with the west coast of Ireland, due to the moderating effect of the Gulf Stream. These temperature differences are pretty negligible though and across the country you can expect the average low temperature to be about 3 °C (37 °F) with the average max temperature reaching about 11 °C (52 °F).
|Dublin||Cork||Galway||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Average temperature March||6 °C|
|Min. and max temperatures March||3-10 °C|
|Sunrise and sunset March 1st||7.11 a.m. - 6.03 p.m.||7.18 a.m. - 6.14 p.m.||7.22 a.m. - 6.15 p.m.||7.12 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.|
If you fancy a swim, be prepared that the max water temperature is still very cold at around 10 °C (50 °F).
When it rains during cool weather, it can make you feel quite chilled to the bone. (There is nothing worse than a day of sightseeing while wearing wet jeans after getting a good soaking.)
Some practical tips are to bring fast drying clothes (if possible) and invest in good waterproofs to make your trip to Ireland more enjoyable.
Rain in Ireland in March
Did you ever wonder why Ireland as a country is so green? The mild temperatures combined with decent amounts of rain help contribute to the famous patchwork green fields that you see when you fly over Ireland.
During March, you can expect to have some level of precipitation on about half the days of the month. (This is a bit of a rough estimate though.) The March average for rainfall varies across the country with the east coast of the country receiving less rainfall around this time.
For example, Dublin gets about 50 mm (ca. 2 “) while in Cork it tends to be a bit wetter with average rainfall roughly double that amount.
|Dublin||Cork||Galway||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Average Rainfall March||52 mm|
|No. of wet days (> 1.0 mm 0.04″ precipitation)|
Keep a close watch on the weather forecast and always bring waterproof clothes with you. With this in mind, a few drops of “liquid sunshine” are unlikely to hinder your Ireland travel plans too much.
Wind in Ireland in March
It can be windy in Ireland in March and especially on a cold day, you will soon start to feel a chill. (This is quite likely if you are standing for a long time watching the St. Patrick’s Day Parade).
Over the course of the month, the average wind speed tends to reduce closer to April with the average wind speed in Dublin Airport roughly 24 kmh (15 mph).
Wind speeds are very localised though, and conditions elsewhere in the country can be more wild than the relatively sheltered Dublin location.
Weather in Dublin Ireland in March
Dublin has the advantage of being on the more sheltered side of the county, which means less rainfall during March than in other areas, but it can also be a little cooler. The lowest average temperature is about 3 °C (37 °F) with highs of about 10 °C (50 °F).
It is definitely time for a good jacket to keep you dry and warm. Towards the end of the month, there may be some opportunities to avail of outside seating in cafés and restaurants without feeling too cold.
Refreshing day trips to Howth, Bray and Greystones are all fun things to do if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin city around this time.
Visiting Ireland in March?
March is a good time to travel to Ireland if you want to avoid the high season, get some better deals and also to experience some lively Irish culture (which is especially popular with visitors from the United States).
The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations usually include many (free) events in the bigger cities.
Many travel guides about Ireland focus a lot on the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in March, but these may not be suited to all tourists. What to do in Ireland in March that is not connected with St. Patrick’s Day?
Firstly for film buffs, the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival takes place in March and has an eclectic mix of cinema from around the world.
It is also a lovely time to get outdoors and explore the Irish countryside.
While the first daffodil flowers can be seen as early as January or so in Ireland, by March there are many other beautiful spring flowers to enjoy. This sight makes hiking or a wander in a national park, such as Killarney National Park, even more enjoyable.
The east coast of Ireland is an interesting place to explore throughout the year, but in March you might still beat the crowds when delving into Ireland’s fascinating historical past through romantic castles (Cahir Castle), intriguing ruins (Rock of Dunamase) and impressive forts such as Spike Island in Cobh. Why not check it out for yourself?
There are also lots of great sights to discover in Northern Ireland as well and March is a good time to visit.
Whether you want to explore the filming locations of Game of Thrones, catch some of the awesome views along the Causeway Coast or experience the great vibe that the city of Belfast has to offer, a Northern Ireland tour is well worth including in your vacation itinerary.
Aside from the usual travel tips about being prepared for the weather, keep in mind that hotels and other types of accommodation will also be busier around mid-March. When you are researching places to stay, try to book ahead around this time.
Regardless of whether it is your first time to Ireland or not, March is likely to be a good option for an Ireland vacation. If you are still undecided, read more about Ireland in March post here or check our best time to visit Ireland article.