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Ireland in May
May is often one of the best times of the year to visit Ireland. The days are getting longer, the weather forecast tends to be more settled than earlier in spring, average temperatures increase, average rainfall amounts are not too high and there are so many things to do!
There is also plenty of color in the landscape of the Emerald Isle too as nature really flourishes over the course of this month. (If you are visiting the west coast, it is a great time to visit the Burren in County Clare if you want to catch some amazing flower species!)
Road trips along the Wild Atlantic Way coastal route exploring the Dingle Peninsula or the wilds of Connemara are really perfect at this time of year as the long days means that you can fit in a lot more sightseeing. Outdoor activities including hiking, surfing, golfing are also highly enjoyable in the late spring weather.
If you fancy adding a castle visit to your itinerary, then follow Ireland’s Ancient East historical trail and you will be spoilt for choice with the amount of fascinating Irish historical attractions to choose from.
If you would prefer a city break tour, then cities like Dublin, Kilkenny, Galway or Derry in Northern Ireland also have a lot to offer around this time. Many attractions operate on their summer schedules, but luckily you still don’t have the same numbers of people visiting as during the peak summer season in June, July and August.
As many travel guides about the country point out, May is a great time to plan an Ireland travel vacation. To help you get a better idea about visiting Ireland in May, check out our post here.
Weather in Ireland in May
Based on the annual weather averages for each month, May is often a very good time to plan an Ireland vacation. Increasing average temperatures (with a low temperature of about 6 ° (43 °F) are very pleasant for sightseeing and also some outdoor activities such as hiking.
As the number of daylight hours also continues to increase during the month, you can really maximise your holiday by visiting some of the popular attractions early in the day or late in the evening. (They are often even more impressive if you have them mostly to yourself!)
In Ireland the weather forecast is often unpredictable, so even in May you should be prepared for some inclement weather conditions.
The average number of rainfall days (> 1.0 mm 0.04″ precipitation per day) are about 13, but this varies from place to place and should only act as an indication of what the weather might be like.
Wind is unlikely to cause many issues at this time of year.
Temperature in Ireland in May
In May, you can expect the average daily temperature to be about 11 °C (52 °F). There is little variation across the country and generally speaking the average temperatures fall between 7-15 °C (45-59 °F).
In the summer season of June, July and August, the temperatures increase a little more.
The water temperature is still cold, even by Irish standards. Generally, at this time of year the water temperature is about 11 °C (52 °F).
|Dublin||Cork||Galway||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Average temperature May||10 °C|
|Min. and max temperatures May||6-14 °C|
|Sunrise and sunset May 1st||5.50 a.m. - 8.55 p.m.||6.03 a.m. - 8.58 p.m.||6.01 a.m. - 9.06 p.m.||5.44 a.m. - 8.58 p.m.|
Rain in Ireland in May
You should expect to encounter rain all year round in Ireland, but in May you might be lucky and avoid some of the heavier rainfall. On average Dublin receives about 60 mm (2″), while Cork as usual receives a bit more (ca. 80 mm or 3″).
|Dublin||Cork||Galway||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Average Rainfall May||60 mm|
|No. of wet days (> 1.0 mm 0.04″ precipitation)|
Wind in Ireland in May
Unlike December and January, which can tend to be windy thanks to the winter weather, May is not a very windy month in Ireland. This is good news for outdoor activities and if you want to try camping!
Dublin Airport weather data records show an average wind speed of about 19 km per hour (12 miles per hour) for the month of May.
The areas near the coast are likely to be windier and a good coat is still essential to keep off the rain and wind chill at this time of year.
Weather in Dublin Ireland in May
May is a great time to explore the countryside, but also the cities in Ireland and Dublin is certainly no exception.
In between visits to the main attractions (check our post here for the must-see sights), you can often relax and soak up the atmosphere, and maybe even some sunshine, in Dublin’s many parks. (They are particularly lovely and refreshing at this time of year!)
The average temperatures in Dublin in May fluctuate around 10 °C (50 °F), with a high temperature of about 14 °C (43 °F) and low temperature of 6 °C (57 °F). In terms of average rainfall, in May Dublin receives about 60 mm (2 “) spread over about 11 days.
While you will still need to wrap up a little, if you layer your clothes, you should be prepared for whatever kind of weather Dublin has to offer!
It is a good time of the year to travel outside of the city on a day trip or two. Bus tour operators offer a selection of day trips from Dublin to all over the country including the Cliffs of Moher on the west coast and the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.
You are likely to enjoy the tour even more on a day with good weather, so check the weather forecast ahead of time to see when you should book the tour.
Visiting Ireland in May
It is hard to pick a better all round time to visit the Emerald Isle and Northern Ireland than in May.
While the Irish weather can never be guaranteed, generally the weather in the month of May can be quite good, with not too much rain and is favorable for sightseeing. The days are long and nearly all attractions are open and getting ready for the busy tourist season.
May is a superb time to go hiking in Ireland and the longer days mean that longer hikes can be attempted in daylight. Other outdoor activities are also well suited to this time of year.
While many tourists look forward to the idea of doing a road trip in Ireland, some find it a bit daunting driving on the left side on narrow roads.
By traveling to Ireland in May, you tend to beat the crowds and extra traffic associated with the peak season, particularly around the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry on the Wild Atlantic Way.
In your packing list for Ireland in May, don’t forget to include plenty of layers. The average temperatures are increasing, but when you wear layers of clothes, you should be able to deal with all sorts of weather that you might just encounter in Ireland at this time.
There might be a small saving when it comes to booking your Ireland travel plans for May rather than later in summer, but any savings on air travel (especially on long-haul flights from the United States) and accommodation are not likely to be very big.
Although it is not peak season, it might still be a bit difficult from time to time to book hotels, especially at weekends if it coincides with sporting events. (We have also experienced this problem in Dublin!)
Check your accommodation options in advance to make sure you are not caught out! While you are visiting Ireland, why not try some different accommodation types like a castle hotel or even a lighthouse?!
Trying to find the best time to travel to Ireland is for your itinerary? Then avoid the travel guides as you will find all the travel tips and useful things to know about in our best time to visit Ireland post. Read it here.
For more information about Ireland in May, you can read our other post here. Perhaps you want to compare the weather in Ireland in May with the weather in Ireland in April or the weather in Ireland in June? Read all the information you need in our month specific posts.