Home Packing for Ireland What to pack for Ireland in January: complete packing list for comfort and style

What to pack for Ireland in January: complete packing list for comfort and style

by Mama Loves Ireland
cliffs of Moher Ireland winter

What to pack for Ireland in January: full packing list, travel essentials and what to wear in January in Ireland to stay warm and stylish during the Irish winter. Updated December 2021.

January is the heart of winter in Ireland.

Cold, stormy and dark, it is not the first month that comes to mind when recommending a trip to Ireland but this doesn’t mean it hasn’t got anything to offer to its visitors.

Lower tourism means lower prices and cozy interiors make up for the unwelcoming outside temperatures and the occasional sunny day can still treat you to breathtaking views of the stunning Irish scenery.

We have talked before about visiting Ireland in January.

Today, we go into more details and get you ready to pack! This is my complete, tried and tested packing list for Ireland in January.

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Essential tips when packing for a January trip to Ireland

The biggest issue, when packing for January in Ireland, is space.

Winter clothing is bulky so, to avoid oversize bags that are difficult to carry and possibly costly to transport, a few tips can come in handy!

When packing for January in Ireland, I recommend you:

Opt for a versatile, rainproof coat that you can use during the day and for dinners out. Make sure you pick one with an outer layer that dries quickly, so you never have to put it on wet after a break in a cozy pub.

I recommend you pick one that covers you to your knees or even below – this is practical but also it is a trendy style in Ireland and you won’t feel out of place!

Wear boots. I find boots to be the most versatile type of shoewear for Ireland. A little bit like a great winter coat, the right pair of boots can bring you day to night and keep you warm and comfortable all day long.

Use packing cubes. Packing cubes are amazing to maximize your luggage space. I use them extensively and they almost double the space available in any given bag! Make sure you keep an eye on wight as you genuinely won’t realize how much you can pack in with clever use of those cubes.

What to pack for Ireland in January: travel essentials

I am going to start this packing list with essentials for all seasons and then drill down on the specifics for the month of January.


  • Passport and Visa if required (find Visa requirements for Ireland here)
  • Vaccination card and or negative test result – find info here
  • Driving Licence
  • International driving license if needed (check here Ireland’s driving requirements for foreigner)
  • Kids birth certificate and authorization to travel letter of the child’s guardian should be traveling to Ireland alone with a child with a different surname as your
  • Medication and prescriptions for ongoing conditions/ needs
  • A print out of your reservations (cars, hotels, tours etc)

Medications and toiletries

  • A well-stocked first-aid kit
  • Moisturizing cream for face/hands with UV protection (the wind and cold can be intense here)
  • Allergy cream/medications if needed
  • Paracetamol or similar for pain/fever
  • Any prescriptions and ongoing medications you are used to taking at home + the generic name of the active principle should you need to stock up. Commercial names in Ireland are often different than back home

Need to know: paracetamol is widely available in Ireland in supermarkets and pharmacies but there are rules on how much you can buy within the same transaction. If you think you will need more than a couple of boxes, plan ahead or bring a backup one from home.

All your basic toiletries including:

  • Body wash/shampoo/conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Tweezers
  • Shaving cream/blade
  • Women sanitary supplies
  • Brush/comb/detangler
  • Hair ties
  • Moisturizing cream for face /body
  • Nail clipper
  • Makeup if using

What to wear in Ireland in January

Official weather statistics say that Ireland in January

  • The average temperature in Ireland in January is 5C/41F
  • The average number of rainy days in Ireland in January is 24

In practical terms, these numbers mean that January is a dark, rainy month in Ireland and being ready for the rain and cold is paramount.

Indoor spaces tend to have good heating however, don’t expect to be able to stay in short sleeves indoors: even in well-heated hotels, you are likely to need a light cardigan at least.

This is what I recommend you pack for Ireland in January:

  • Rain resistant winter jacket, with hood.
  • Scarf, hat and gloves
  • Long sleeve tops
  • A thermal underlay (top only is enough)
  • Woolen cardigan/sweater
  • Long pants/ jeans
  • Tights if planning on wearing a skirt/dress
  • Winter skirt / dress
  • Good walking shoes ankle boots or tall boots, rain proof – opt for rubber sole and good grip if planning on a lot of outside exploration
  • You usually do not need snow boots however, I like lined city boots especially if planning on traveling around
  • Underwear and socks
  • Pajama/nightwear
  • Swimsuit and flip flops only if planning on staying in a spa hotel
  • Kids rain gear (rain pants or rain suit, ideally wellington boots)
  • A nicer outfit if staying in a castle / high-end hotel

Does it snow in Ireland in January?

January may bring snow in Ireland, especially on the mountains and away from the city (snow in Dublin happens but tends to be rare).

Most likely, you won’t need full snow gear when it comes to your clothing but you may well need snow chains for your tires. However, I recommend you do not drive up the mountains if there is any risk of snow!

Check with your car rental agency what they provide.

What to wear in Ireland in January for a stay in a castle

January is a lovely time for a castle stay. A slow season for tourism, you may be able to snatch some good offers, especially for a stay of 2 days or longer.

If staying in a castle, make sure you abide by the dress code, often enforced in the castle restaurants for evening meals.

Information for each is available on the website of the structure in question, however, usually, this means shirt/tie/suit for men, no sneakers and no denim for both men and women.

What to pack for Ireland in January: tech and gadgets

Need to know: January is a windy, stormy month and umbrellas hardly ever survive it! I do recommend you bring a travel size one but make sure it is sturdy and also, make sure you have a hood should the wind catch you outdoors.

Luggage and bags

You don’t need all of this however, I recommend you choose your bags for Ireland wisely so you don’t’ find yourself awkwardly dragging stuff around!

  • Hardshell luggage if driving (super handy to stack in the trunk of the car)
  • Trave backpack if traveling light / using the bus or train
  • Reusable tote bag for grocery shopping / extra bits
  • Wet/dry bags especially if traveling with young kids
  • Packing cubes (this stuff is magical, they pretty much double the space in your luggage)

What to pack for the kids

  • Safe and Ireland authorities approved car seat (official rules here)
  • Kids travel pillow for the plane/car
  • Well stocked changing bag
  • A lightweight stroller. I usually recommend an all-terrain stroller for Irwlane however, this is really not the time for outdoor pursuits so I feel a travel stroller for the city and a baby carrier work best
  • Stroller rain cover and sleeping bag /footmuff
  • Winter bodysuits for long days out
  • Rain gear for toddlers, such as rainproof pants and rain boots for puddles/mucky terrain
  • A well stocked changing bag: my favorite style are backpack diaper bags, which are handy on long sighgseeing days and usually more discreet that a shopper style baby bag.

You usually do not need to carry your own high chair or toddler crib: Ireland hotels and restaurants tend to be well equipped and, most of the time, will be able to provide what you need. If staying in smaller properties and B&Bs, ask for a cot in advance to make sure they have one available on your dates.

I hope you found this packing list for Ireland in January useful. Safe travels!

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