I’m going to assume that you already know that Ireland has a reputation for, well, not the best weather. Rain, wind, more rain; you get the picture. But, when the sun comes out it can be warm and beautiful and, believe it or not, it does actually snow on occasion in the dead of winter. Needless to say, deciding what to wear in Ireland can be somewhat daunting as you need to pack a little bit of everything. But it is do-able! With that in mind, here is the ultimate Ireland packing for both men and women.
The Ultimate Ireland Packing List for Women
When it comes to figuring out what to wear in Ireland, you need to consider what you will be doing. Most of Ireland’s charm lies in its natural attractions so chances are you will be mostly exploring outside in which case your main goal is to be warm and comfortable. Dressy clothes really are not required unless you have some sort of formal event. That being said, the women of Dublin to tend to be a little better dressed than elsewhere in the country, so you may want to pack a couple of nicer tops for when you are out and about in Dublin, especially at the pubs.
With that in mind, here’s what you want to pack for Ireland.
• 5 shirts: A mix of shirts that you can explore/ hike in and wear in the city or for a night out. I love Encircled brand for this type of clothing. The evolve top is one of my top travel essentials as it’s just a soft t-shirt but the neckline and adjustable sleeves make it a bit dressier for exploring town. Another brand I love to travel with is Diane Kroe who has lots of multi-wear styles, perfect for travelling carry-on. (PS: you can use HANNAH10 on any Diane Kroe purchase and save 10%!).
• 2 tank tops: Perfect for layering or wearing if you happen to get a hot sunny day
• 2 Sweaters: Bring a warm pullover for outdoor activities and something a little nicer for in pubs, restaurants, or exploring the towns. In terms of pullovers, I highly recommend Under Armour Storm Women’s Fleece. It’s warm and cozy, moisture wicking, and water resistant. Perfect for all weather. In terms of a nicer sweater, I usually bring a black sweater since it goes with everything. My current favourite is the layer jacket by Diane Kroe. (Remember to use HANNAH10 for 10% off at Diane Kroe!)
• 7 pairs each of socks
• 7 pairs of underwear
• 3 bras (two normal bras, one sports bra)
• 1 sleepwear set
• 3 pairs of pants: 1 pair of jeans for city exploring and nights out. One pair of comfortable pants for travel and exploring; I like encircled’s clothing for these: the dressy sweatpants or minimalist leggings are great. The third pair of pants can be something for hiking if you are doing a lot of that, or something more casual for normal exploring.
• 2 pairs of shoes: A good pair of running shoes for exploring (or hiking boots if the theme of your trip is hiking), and cute casual shoes/boots for city exploring and pubs (Ireland has cobblestone streets so forget the heels!). If you are visiting during the summer months, consider adding a pair of sandals.
• A Hat: A hat is a good idea year-round to help protect your hair from the wild Irish winds and keep your head covered from the cold/ rain. Bring a cute ball cap during the summer months of a toque/beanie for the winter. Don’t bring a cute floppy hat- it will probably blow away.
• Waterproof Jacket: A MUST. Not water resistant- waterPROOF. Umbrellas will just blow away in Ireland so you really need a proper raincoat.
*Insider tip: Skirts and flowy dresses are always cute, but remember Ireland can be very windy, especially in the coastal areas like the Cliffs of Moher, which may result in some pretty awkward moments. For that reason, I find it safer to stick to pants and recommend you do the same.
The Ultimate Ireland Packing List for Men
When it comes to figuring out what to wear in Ireland for men, you’ll want to have options for both outdoor activities such as hiking as well as a couple nicer options for restaurants and pubs. Ireland is very casual, but European men always tend to be a bit better dressed than North American men. Keep this in mind as you pack and throw in a couple button down shirts and maybe a more tailored pair of pants to better fit in with the locals on nights out.
• 5 t-shirts/ long sleeve shirts: A mix of shirts that you can wear both for hiking and for city exploring.
• 2 button-down shirts or nicer shirts for nights out.
• 2 sweaters: A pullover for outdoor activities and hiking. I recommend Under Armour Storm Fleece; warm, moisture-wicking, and water resistant. Throw in another nicer sweater for city exploring or nights out.
• 7 pairs of socks
• 7 pairs of underwear
• PJ pants or an extra pair of boxers for sleeping
• 3 pairs of pants: Jeans, something you are comfortable out hiking in, and maybe a pair of chinos or something nicer for the city.
• 2 pairs of shoes: A pair of good running shoes or hiking shoes if you plan to be doing plenty of that. A pair of casual shoes for nights out and city exploring.
• A hat: Baseball cap in the summer or a toque/beanie in the winter.
• Waterproof Jacket: a must. Make sure it is actually waterproof, not water resistant. Umbrellas don’t really work in Ireland due to the wind.
• Shampoo & Conditioner (unless you are staying in all hotels as they are likely provided)
• Moisturizer (face and body)
• Razor/ shaving cream
• Hairbrush (I LOVE this travel hairbrush for women) & hair ties
• Body wash
• Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss
• Lip balm
•A travel medical kit
- Cell phone and charger
- Camera and charger
- Go pro and charger
- Backup memory card
- E-reading device like a Kindle or i-pad and charger
- Power bank
Luggage and Backpacks
Unless you are in need of new luggage, there is no need to buy new suitcases or backpacks to hold everything on your Ireland packing list. Wheeled suitcases may be a bit awkward on some of the narrow cobblestone streets in cities like Kilkenny, but it’s easy enough and a backpack will do the trick easily as well.
If you are in the market for new luggage, I recommend: American Tourister for suitcases (well made, sturdy, affordable) and Osprey for backpacks.
For winter: Winter in Ireland isn’t as cold as parts of North America, but they do occasionally get snow and it gets really damp. If you are visiting Ireland in the winter, be sure to add gloves/mittens and a scarf to your Ireland packing list. Also bring a warmer coat but, again, go for something waterproof.
For summer: If you plan on visiting some of the beaches or taking a surfing lesson, then you will want to add a swimsuit to your Ireland packing list. However, if the cold Atlantic Ocean doesn’t sound like your kind of fun- skip the swim gear and save yourself the room.
Remember, figuring out what to wear in Ireland can be daunting, but it’s easy to laundry when you travel. So do yourself a favour and save space by packing less knowing that should you need them, laundry facilities are readily available. It’s also very easy to find what you need in Ireland so if you forget something, you can always pick it up while you are there. Finally, the trick to staying warm and dry in Ireland really comes down to layering and having proper waterproof clothing. Follow my Ireland packing list above and you’ll be well on your way!