What to Pack for Ireland in March

If you are wondering what to pack for Ireland in March, then you’ve come to the right place. With my local’s knowledge of Ireland in March, you will discover exactly what you need on your packing list for Ireland in March.

If you are going to be spending time during March in Ireland, then you might be wondering what to pack to ensure you are comfortable. March is a transition month, the weather in Ireland in March can still be cold, wet, and windy month in Ireland with average daily temperatures of 10˚C/50F. Rain is a regular occurrence across the country, with the east generally being dried than the west.

When preparing for your March visit to the Emerald Isle, you need to be prepared and pack accordingly, and this is where this post comes in with details of what to pack for Ireland in March. You will also need to pack something that you generally wouldn’t need for other months of the year. Read on to find out what!

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What to Pack for Ireland in March

The main aim for any packing list for Ireland in March is warmth and weatherproof. And depending on exactly when you are visiting during the month, something with a certain colour.

While daytime temperatures average 10˚C, night-time temperatures average around 4˚C meaning layers and warm clothing is a must for this month. This guide will help you discover what to wear in Ireland in March.

Packing list for Ireland in March – Clothing

Weatherproof Clothing and Equipment

While March in Ireland is a transition month, as the country begins to leave Winter behind and gets ready to welcome Spring, this month can still be quite chilly and at times cold.

So, you still need to go prepared with layers and a good mixture of warm and weatherproof clothing. This means warm coats and rain gear, as rain can be expected throughout the month.

A warm coat is advisable if you are visiting Ireland in March. Now, down jackets and coats are a good choice for this month in March. But if you find them too big and bulky, a good windproof and waterproof jacket should suffice, particularly if you are layering with fleece tops underneath.  

A lady in a hat and green winter coat sitting on top of the Cliffs of Moher

If you already have a suitable coat or jacket but are unsure if it is waterproof, then add a packable rain jacket to your list.

Something else you should consider for your packing list for Ireland in March is waterproof boots or hiking shoes. With frequent rain, wet feet are a big possibility while exploring the natural landmarks of Ireland.

I have a pair of waterproof Merrell women’s hiking shoes which I always bring to Ireland, no matter the season. They are comfortable to wear and keep my feet dry.

Something that might prove useful is some waterproof over trousers that you can slip on when out and about and the rain starts. These pack down small and can be the difference between staying dry while exploring and being wet!

And finally, you may want to consider packing a windproof umbrella. With wet days common during March, an umbrella that won’t blow away with the wind would be useful.

A picture of colourful umbrellas strung across buildings in Dublin in the air

Clothing essentials

As already mentioned, the aim of your packing list for March in Ireland is warmth and remaining dry. Since we’ve covered dry above, let’s look to warmth now.

Layering is ideal as you will find indoor places such as shops, museums, and restaurants warm compared to outside. So being able to remove layers easily is advised. Here is a concise list of clothing that each member of your travel party will need.

Jeans – Jeans are a staple to any Irish wardrobe and can be worn anywhere and any time of the day or night. Pair them with a flannel shirt and sweater for daytime and with a less casual top for evening wear.

Technical pants – When shopping for these types of pants for packing for Ireland, opt for water-resistant versions that dry quickly. They are a great alternative to jeans, especially for outside the cities where you are more likely to be hiking or exploring outdoors. Lined technical pants are best for winter in Ireland.

T-shirts – Make sure to pack a few t-shirts, either short or long-sleeved, whichever is your preference.

Flannel shirt – These can be useful daytime tops for both men and women and can easily be teamed with fleece tops or a woollen sweater.

Fleece tops – These are ideal elements for a layering system. They are lightweight, versatile, and warm.

Wool sweater – Whether you opt to bring one with you or buy your wool sweater in Ireland as an Irish souvenir, a wool sweater is a good addition to your winter clothing for Ireland. If you are going to buy your sweater in Ireland, make sure to buy it early in your trip so you can weather it for the rest of your trip.

Hat, gloves and scarf – To help keep warm outside if you are prone to getting cold.

A picture of a woolen hat and scarf

Base layers – Depending on how much the cold affects you, a set of base layers for particularly cold days might be worth packing. Myself and my son have used base layers in Ireland during a trip in March and April as we were coming from a warmer climate. They kept us nice and warm, even when the wind was bitingly cold.

Wool socks – A few pairs of wool socks are advisable for your packing list. These will keep your feet warm while wicking away moisture.

Long sleeve cardigan – A long sleeve cardigan for ladies would be great for evenings in restaurants or your hotel bar for keeping chills off you.

Fleece-lined leggings – If you don’t fancy wearing jeans or need to save some space in your luggage, then fleece-lined leggings for women can be a great option. They’ll keep your legs warm and are versatile enough to wear with shirts or even short dresses.

Evening shirt – For men, an evening shirt or dress shirt might be advisable for restaurants, particularly if you are staying in one of the top luxury hotels in Ireland where the restaurants may have a dress code. An evening shirt or top for ladies is also advisable.

Chinos – For men, chinos are a better alternative to jeans for evening wear.

Winter dress – For ladies, one or two winter dresses are great choices for evening wear. Combine with your fleece-lined leggings or a warm pair of tights and you are all set for dinner.

Loafers – For evening wear for men, a pair of loafers that can be worn with your choice of chinos are the ideal footwear for after a day of sightseeing. You won’t want to be wearing your waterproof boots if you are going from your hotel room to the restaurant.

Black flat shoes – For the ladies, a pair of black flats is ideal with either jeans or a dress. They pack small and usually don’t weigh too much either.

Flip flops – These can be useful in your accommodation for wearing in your room, down to breakfast, and even at the hotel pool or spa.

Swimsuit/shorts – If you are planning to stay in a hotel with a pool or spa, remember to pack your swimsuit or shorts.

Packing cubes – Above all else, packing cubes are the best way to pack for any trip. Roll your items up tight, pop them into colour coordinated packing cubes per person and use them to store your clothing in drawers straight from the bag.

Packing for Ireland in March – Essentials

With your clothing packing list for Ireland complete, let’s to turn to other essentials for Ireland. These include your travel essentials, and electrical items and gadgets.

Travel essentials

Passports – You need to ensure your passport is in date and for certain countries, that it is valid for 6 months from the time of your visit. Find more information here.

Visas – Visitors from certain countries require a visa to enter Ireland. Click this link to find out if you need a visa to enter Ireland.

A picture of two passports and boarding cards on top of a map

Credit/Debit cards – Make sure you have a valid credit card with sufficient credit available to cover your excess on your car insurance if you are hiring a car and deciding not to take out Super Collision Damage Waiver with the car hire company. Some will not access third-party SCDW policies and will still look to cover the access on a credit card. Your credit card will also be handy for those souvenir purchases. And remember your debit card for taking money out of an ATM.

Travel Insurance – Do not travel to Ireland without travel insurance. Even if you think you don’t need it, you never know when an accident or flight cancellation might occur, and it is much better to have peace of mind than a headache of worry. You can get a free quote from SafetyWing (for longer travel) or World Nomads for adventure travellers and general travel.

SafetyWing – Ideal for digital nomads and long-term travellers.

Driving license and IDP – Don’t forget your driving license and International Driving Permit (if required by the car hire company). Each individual car hire company has different requirements regarding IDP’s. Those from the EU and the UK generally do not need an IDP but check before you go to Ireland whether you need one or not.

Travel document holder – A travel document holder or wallet is great for keeping passports, visas, and all your hotel and tour bookings in one place.

Day Pack – A waterproof day pack is something else to consider for your Ireland packing list for March. A waterproof one will ensure the personal items you carry with you remain dry, even if you get caught in a downpour. The Outlander Lightweight Travel Daypack is an ideal day pack for Ireland.

Guide book – If you have decided not to plan your entire itinerary, then an Ireland travel guidebook will be a useful addition to your packing list. You can spend your evenings deciding your itinerary for your next day’s exploration with the help of a guidebook.

I recommend the Lonely Planet Guide Book for Ireland. I have used Lonely Planet for years and have their 13th edition for Ireland and still refer to it for our own trips.

A picture of several Ireland travel guidebooks sitting on a desk

Travel Pillow – For long-haul flights, long bus trips, train journeys, and long car rides, a travel pillow will make it more comfortable for travellers.

Travel Towel – A travel towel can prove useful if your accommodation doesn’t leave you enough or if you need to dry yourself at your rental car after a downpour.  

Reusable tote – Ireland gave up giving out plastic bags for purchases a long time ago. Nowadays, retailers provide paper bags. However, if you are shopping on a rainy day in Ireland, paper bags may disintegrate. Take a reusable tote bag with you to pop your purchases into to avoid your purchases ending up on the wet ground.

Electrical items and gadgets

Universal travel adapter – Don’t forget to pack a universal travel adapter. Ensure you choose one that will accommodate your plugs and one that has some USB ports.

A picture of a blue universal travel adapter

Portable phone charger – If you plan on using your phone to take all your photos, ensure you have a portable phone charger with you, just in case your battery starts to run low. Our own choice of power banks is the Anker chargers.

Reusable water bottle – Pack a collapsible water bottle to refill when you can. These are far more eco-friendly than buying water bottles everywhere you go. And yes, tap water is safe to drink in Ireland.

Kindle Paperwhite – I never travel anywhere without my Kindle Paperwhite. It has all my books at my fingertips.

Camera batteries/memory cards – If you are bringing a separate camera with you to capture your pictures of Ireland, then ensure you pack enough batteries, chargers and memory cards for your camera. You don’t want to run out of power or memory just as you find the perfect spot to capture a sunset over the Cliffs of Moher.

A picture of the sun setting in the distance, lighting up the Cliffs of Moher along Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way.
The Cliffs of Moher

What to Pack for a Trip to Ireland in March – Toiletries

With clothing and essentials sorted, next on the list is toiletries. There are two things to consider here.

Firstly, are you going with hand luggage only? If so, you need to ensure your liquids and creams do not exceed hand luggage limits and are no more than 100ml.

Secondly, if you are taking hold luggage, try not to use up your space and weight allowance with full-size bottles. You can buy toiletries in any pharmacy, beauty store, and supermarket throughout Ireland. Just pack what you need for your first few days and top up when you need to.

Remember to pack the following:

  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Deodorant
  • Women’s sanitary products
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste/mouthwash
  • Razor (check whether you can carry a razor in your hand luggage before your departure)
  • Shaving gel
  • Lip balm (the wind in Ireland in March can be very drying)
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair ties
  • Hand warmers (if you think you will need them)
A picture of someone holding up a clear plastic bag containing travel-sized toiletry bottles

Also, remember to pack any specific pain medication you might need and any regular prescription medication you take. And take more than you need.

Most prescription medication can only be purchased in a pharmacy in Ireland with a doctor’s prescription note. It is also a good idea to bring a copy of your latest prescription note from your doctor, just in case you need medical attention or to see a doctor. They at least can then see what your own doctor prescribes.

There is also a limit on the quantity of pain medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen that you can buy over-the-counter in one transaction.

And no, they won’t split them between you and your husband if they know you are together, as myself and my husband discovered recently.

The same goes for medication such as antihistamines for allergies!

Store all your toiletries and medication in a hanging toiletry bag. Bathrooms in guesthouses and traditional B’n’B’s in Ireland can be small with little space for a roll-out bag.

Things not to forget when packing for visiting Ireland in March

Something Green – If you are visiting Ireland for St Patrick’s Day, you will need to remember to pack something green to wear while watching the parade.

And you need not be worried about standing out, almost EVERYONE attending the parades and festivities on the 17th of March will be wearing something green.

A picture of four revellers in Dublin celebrating St Patrick's Day, all dressed in green, white and orange
Picture Source: Giuseppe Milo from Dublin, Ireland, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Earplugs – Some hotels can be noisy, especially if they are in the centre of a town or city. Also, if you are staying in Temple Bar over the St Patrick’s Day festivities, you’ll need them if you are planning an early night.

So, if you are a light sleeper, pack some earplugs. Personally, the best ones I’ve found are Mighty Earplugs. They mold to the shape of your ear and are super comfortable.

Sleep Eye Mask – A sleep mask is a good idea for your plane journeys. And, if you plan on having a lie-in on any day of your trip, bring a sleep eye mask as not all hotels and accommodation choices have blackout blinds or curtains.

Sunglasses – Even though you are visiting Ireland in March, you may regret not taking a set of sunglasses. The winter sun sits low on the horizon and driving at sunrise eastwards, or westwards at sunset can mean the harsh sunlight is shining right in your eyes. So, pop your favourite pair in your bag.

Now that you know what to pack for March you will be well prepared to face whatever the weather throws at you and all eventualities. And you will be ready to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Ireland.

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Cath is an Irish expat now living in Portugal. She regularly returns to Ireland to explore more of the wonderful island with her family.

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