8 Reasons Why May Is The Best Time To Visit Ireland

Learn about the best features of Ireland in May. pictured: a field and coastal view on a bright cloudy day
Learn about the best features of Ireland in May. pictured: a field and coastal view on a bright cloudy day
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Ireland is an island country of Western Europe that is known for its connection to the internationally celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. The country offers travelers grand opportunities to explore rich history, breathtaking scenery and popular local cuisine. The epic mountain views, coastline cliffs and lush greenery of Ireland are just some of its most revered features. In May, travelers will notice that there are less crowds than in the peak months. This means that the abundant natural environment of Ireland can be appreciated to the fullest. Learn why May is the best time to visit Ireland and what travelers can get excited about for their potential travels abroad.

Average Temperature This Time of Year

  • 50-60 Degrees F

Weather 

The weather in Ireland during May is quite pleasant. May is one of the drier months, so travelers will not likely be overwhelmed by rainfall. Light rain is generally the extent of the small bit of precipitation that happens in May. The days are also longer in May. The sunrises are usually around 5:00 am and the sunsets about 9:30 pm. This means that travelers will have plenty of time to enjoy the sunny and flower filled country.

The weather of May makes for an ideal time to visit Ireland.
pictured: the lush green hills of Ireland
photo credit: Nils Nedel

Travel Tip:

  • Hiking is a popular activity in May due to the nice weather. The Dingle Way and Wicklow Way are some of the most popular places to explore on foot.

Galway Nightlife  

Galway is a great city for travelers to stay in to enjoy nightlife. The city is located on the west coast of Ireland and is popular for its nightlife scene. There are countless bars, clubs and venues for live music that travelers can choose from. In Galway travelers can even enjoy comedy clubs. But the majority of visitors simply enjoy the traditional bars of Ireland during May since there are plenty of parties and pleasant weather. Some of the most popular nightlife spots in the area include Crane Bar, Tig Coili and O’Connors Pub.

These nightlife spots provide exciting experiences for visitors. 
pictured: a miniature pub inside a pub
Photo credit: Dahlia E. Akhaine

Travel Tip:

  • For nightlife lovers, there are different hours to consider when planning a visit to the top spots around Galway. The Crane Bar stays open from 3:00 pm (or 4:00 pm) until 11:30 pm while O’Connors opens from 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm (or midnight) on weekends. Tig Coili is generally open from 10:30 am until 12:30 am on weekends.

Tours at Teeling Distillery

The Teeling Whiskey Company was founded in 2015 by an Irish family. Although it is the first new distillery in Dublin for over 125 years, it has won over 20 awards since it opened. It has highly rated tours. The tours generally take about 45 minutes and have an informational portion. Travelers that enjoy the Teeling Distillery whiskey can order it online and have it sent to places other than the US, Canada, Brazil, Russia or South Africa.

At Teeling Distillery in Dublin, Ireland travelers can take a number of immersive tours. The tours even include whiskey tastings. The tasting tour is a fully guided experience where travelers can sample Teeling’s Small Batch Whiskey and a whiskey cocktail. The trinity tour is another fully guided tour but travelers that book this tour can sample the famous trinity pairings, which include Small Batch, Single Grain and Single Malt whiskey. There are even premium experiences where travelers can fill a take home bottle directly from the cask, in addition to the fully guided tour.

This whiskey distillery offers travelers unique experiences.
pictured: two glasses of whiskey with ice cubes
photo credit: Anastasia Zhenina

Travel Tip:

  • One of the best ways to drink Teeling Irish Whiskey is adding cubed ice and topping it off with craft soda before stirring.

The Library of Trinity College 

The Library of Trinity College Dublin is the largest research library in Ireland. This library is historically significant due to it being a legal deposit library for the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland). It is a major research library with an international reputation for the services it provides. The library contains over 4.5 million books and countless significant archives. There may be many groups visiting the site in May but because it is a library, it is relatively quiet. Also, Dublin celebrates the International Literature Festival every May, around midway through the month. So there are exhibitions, guided tours of the city and talks that discuss the triumphs and challenges of great literature.

Learn about this significant library that travelers should not miss. 
pictured: the library of Trinity College Dublin
photo credit: Jonathan Singer

Travel Tip:

  • Travelers that appreciate unique literary finds should view the Book of Kells, which is housed in the library. The Book of Kells is a 9th century manuscript that is famous worldwide.

Burren perfumery in Ballyvaughan

The Burren perfumery is a small company that produces perfumes and cosmetics. The perfumery offers unique and handmade products. Travelers that appreciate sustainability will enjoy the small batches made in this underrated family owned business. The perfumery, which is located in the Burren Hills, has a full range of products. The naturally made body lotions, soap, herbal tea and more are organic and fragrant. Travelers can even enjoy the tea rooms which are open seven days a week in May from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. These picturesque spaces offer freshly baked goods and flavors from all over the world. The perfumery is very beautiful in May, especially for travelers determined to learn more about organic scents.

The perfumery in Ireland is a popular stop for travelers visiting in May. 
pictured: a bottle filled with perfume
photo credit: the blowup

Travel Tip:

  • Travelers can order the facial serums and perfumes of Burren Perfumery online with free worldwide shipping over a certain total.

Castledermot

Castledermot is a town on the southern end of Ireland. The inland town has many historically and culturally significant sites that travelers can enjoy. The historic town was formed around an ancient monastery so the medieval history of Castledermot is alive and well. Some of the most popular sites include St. James’ Church and Castledermot Abbey. This town is an underrated cultural gem, so travelers should not face crowds in May.

Check out this historic town and what travelers can see. 
pictured: a castle in the countryside of Ireland
photo image: Aldo De La Paz

Travel Tip:

  • To tour the Castledermot Friary, exploration should take around an hour or two so travelers should take that into consideration for their travel plans.

Cliffs of Moher

This is Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction so travelers will have plenty of sightseeing opportunities. In fact, surrounding cities carry out full day bus tours and the cliffs attract more than one million visitors per year. This sight is so breathtaking that travelers come from near and far to simply gaze at its views. The cliffs overlook the Galway Bay, the Connemara National Park and Aran Islands on days with high visibility. Fans of Harry Potter may have recognized the view at Cliffs of Moher since the Half-Blood Prince was partially filmed there.

In May, since there is not too much rain, there is likely to be less clouds to block the view. The Visitor’s Center offers travelers the opportunity to learn more about the rock formations of the cliffs and local wildlife.

Check out the Cliffs of Moher during a stay in Ireland. 
pictured: the Cliffs of Moher
photo credit: Abimelec Castillo

Travel Tip:

  • The Cliffs of Moher are over eight miles long and 700 feet tall, so travelers should wear comfortable and durable shoes to move along the terrain and get to the best viewing spots.

Bealtaine Festival 

The Bealtaine (or Beltane) Festival is a Gaelic festival in May. The festival is a marker for the beginning of summer and is usually held on May 1st. This is because it is halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. Bealtaine Festival is a national celebration that gathers people of all ages. At the festival travelers can observe (or take part in) traditional dances, workshops and even a communal fire. Much of the festivities involve art in some form, so creatives and nature lovers will love this event.

Learn more about the exciting events happening during May in Ireland. 
pictured: a roaring fire in the forests of Ireland
photo credit: Roya Ann Miller

Travel Tip:

  • Fire is a big element of the Bealtaine Festival, so travelers should expect plenty of nature and communal fun.

Overall, Ireland is a very pleasant place to visit in May. With its nice weather, community events and popular places to visit, travelers will not lack things to do. This is especially true since May is a time where nature and the community both bloom in their own ways.