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A trip to Ireland wouldn’t be complete without visiting the beautiful west coast. Find out what to wear in Galway throughout the year and be prepared to expect the unexpected!
What to Wear in Galway
Written By: Fiona Ní Chéirín
If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, don’t just pack for the specific season in which you’re visiting, because the weather can be VERY unpredictable. It’s best to come prepared for all 4 seasons.
See our Ireland packing list here!
Even in the summer months–when you’d think that shorts and sleeveless tops should fill your suitcase–that’s just not the case! Instead, during the summer, you could wear a pair of sandals one day and a wooly pullover the next! (Read the best Ireland itinerary for travel tips.)
The same goes for every other season–you just never know. The phrase “the luck of the Irish”, definitely doesn’t apply to our weathermen!
Here are some tips on what to wear in Ireland in summer!
What to Wear in Galway in Spring
The temperature in spring (February, March, April) starts to become a little milder, but the weather is still unpredictable. For instance, in 2014 we had SNOW in MARCH, which was crazy!
If you’re traveling here during spring, I advise you to do a bit of research beforehand to see what kind of weather we’ve been having.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for spring travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer a Summer Dress for Spring
- How to Pack for Europe in Spring
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Here are some general items that are worth packing for Galway in Spring:
Waterproof Fleece Jacket
As mentioned, it could be quite cold in spring or it could be mild with showers. The best bet is to be prepared for both weather conditions. One of my favorite brands is Helly Hansen; they have some great waterproof fleece jackets.
Variety of Tops
With unpredictable weather, it’s difficult to know what to pack. Fall in Ireland could be chilly, wet, or sunny–but one thing’s for sure, we won’t be having a heat wave!
So, the most practical tops to pack would be a warm cotton jumper or cardigan and some basic long sleeve cotton tops that would be light enough to wear by themselves. And there’s no harm in packing 1-2 light t-shirts in case it’s sunny.
Galway is a great city to explore on foot. There’s a lot to see, so I’d recommend packing a comfortable pair of shoes for lots of walking.
I’d opt for a trendy pair of runners. A pair of converse always looks good, or maybe a flat pair of boots. I prefer ankle boots over knee high boots as they’re more fitting for this time of year.
Find out how to choose the best travel shoes for Europe!
Spring weather in Ireland–depending on which month you visit–could still be too cold for bare legs. Therefore, it’s definitely worth packing a pair of trousers or leggings.
These are the best leggings according to our readers!
Galway is buzzing during the spring and summer, so it’s definitely worth sampling a taste of its nightlife. I suggest packing either a dress or a nice top that you can team with your jeans.
Galway is a very picturesque city, so you might want to pack a camera.
Depending on when you arrive in spring, Galway hosts a great Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, so it’s worth getting some shots of that. There’s also the Galway Food Festival in March/April, which showcases the best foods/restaurants that the city and county has to offer.
What to Wear in Galway in Summer
First of all, summer is one of the best seasons to come to Galway because there are lots of big festivals and events in June, July, and August.
The weather is normally good during these months but again, expect the unexpected–we’re still prone to cold temperatures and showers in summer.
Summer doesn’t necessarily mean shorts and t-shirts–instead, you could find yourself wearing your winter attire! Definitely be prepared for changing temperatures and weather conditions so you can stay comfortable and enjoy your vacation.
July is the hottest month in Galway with an average temperature of 16°C / 60°F. The average high in April or spring time is 16°C / 51°F.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for summer travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Summer
- Top Summer Dresses Perfect for Europe
- Lightweight Jackets for Easy Layers
- Best Walking Shoes for Europe’s Cobblestone Streets
Some essentials to pack if you’re planning a trip to Galway during the summer:
Shorts & T-shirts
You can expect some good weather in Galway during the summer months even if it’s only brief!
Pack a casual pair of shorts and a t-shirt for the day time. A nice look for a night out on the town would be a more formal pair of shorts and a nice tee. Teamed with wedges, you’re good to go!
Dresses are such a great piece of clothing to dress up or down! Whether you’re planning on strolling the streets of Galway in your sandals or flip-flops or getting dressed up in a pair of heels or wedges to enjoy the nightlife, a nice summery dress is a must-pack!
Learn how to transform any one dress into many styles!
Swimsuit / Bikini
Whether you prefer a swimsuit or bikini, it’s definitely worth packing some kind of swimwear. Since Galway is on the west coast, you can find beautiful beaches in town and nearby. Salthill, a lovely beachside resort, is only a 10-15 minute walk from Galway city!
To be on the safe side, it’s worth packing one pair of trousers in case it’s too cold for shorts or a dress.
Since it’s summer, I’d suggest going with a cropped pair of trousers. Try to avoid dark colors. Embrace the summer and choose whites and pastels.
Summer in Galway cannot guarantee warm weather, therefore it’s essential to pack a sweater or cardigan in case it gets cold.
You could find yourself doing a lot of walking in Galway as it has so many small pedestrian streets. The best kind of footwear to wear during the summer is a pair of comfortable sandals or flip-flops.
Many cafés, pubs, and restaurants have outdoor seating. There’s nothing like enjoying a cold drink on a beautiful day with the breeze on your feet!
Find out the most cute and comfortable sandals for travel!
Wedges / Heels
Galway’s summer nightlife is busy with many great events and festivals. Between the Galway International Arts Festival, the Galway Film Fleadh, and the biggest event of all–the Galway Races (see the Ladies Day section below!), a chic pair of shoes is worth packing.
Some accessories worth bringing on your trip include sunglasses, a summer hat, a nice purse or clutch for night time, and jewelry. A cloth beach bag is great for the beach and can even double as a tote during the day.
Ladies Day at the Galway Races
This is one of thee biggest events in Ireland. It takes place at the end of July and is not to be missed if you’re visiting Galway!
The most popular day at the races is Ladies Day, where you see the finest of frocks! It’s worth checking the calendar if you’re planning on coming to Galway in July or August to see if you’ll stumble upon this event (and if you should pack that special dress!)
What to Wear in Galway in Fall
Let’s take a look at fall and winter and which items are worth packing when traveling to County Galway, which is situated along the tourism trail known as the Wild Atlantic Way.
Normally, the weather in fall turns a little cooler–not that it was super warm before that! But here are some essential things to know what to wear in Galway if you’re traveling in fall and winter.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for autumn travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer Clothes
- Use a Summer Dress to Pack Light in Fall
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
This is what to pack for Galway in fall:
This is one very important item to throw in your bag if you’re planning a trip to Galway. We’re well known for the occasional drizzle; it doesn’t matter which season it is!
There are so many great affordable brands for raincoats at the moment, plus they’re light to carry, so definitely worth investing in. Waterproof jackets are not too heavy to wear even if the weather is humid.
Here are some stylish travel raincoats!
It’s definitely worth packing two to three warm tops. Ideally, layer light long sleeve tops; it’s not too warm, yet appropriate to keep the chills away. (Learn to layer here.)
When planning what to wear in Galway in fall keep in mind that there may bring some rain, but often the temperature doesn’t call for heavy attire.
Find out how to stay warm in cold weather!
Galway has some very beautiful restaurants, especially in the heart of the city at Quay Street. Galway is a relaxed city–it wouldn’t be frowned upon to go out wearing a pair of sandals or runners; however, it does have some fine restaurants, so it’s worth making the effort to pack that special dress.
Here are a few tips on the best heels for travel!
Even though Galway is ranked as the 4th biggest city in Ireland, the streets are closely connected, making it easy to get around on foot. You can see a lot in one day, so it’s worth throwing in a pair of running shoes or sneakers to make it all more enjoyable.
Also, if you enjoy exercise, you should definitely head out to Salthill; the beautiful seaside-resort close to the city. You can walk from the city to Salthill in about 15 minutes.
There, you’ll find the stunning Salthill promenade with all of Galway’s fitness fanatics either running, jogging, walking, or enjoying a nice stroll with beautiful views of Galway Bay.
Alternatively, try one of these versatile sneaker styles!
If you’re visiting Galway during the fall, there are plenty of day trips to get you away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s worth packing a small backpack to carry all the little essentials.
You can take a day trip out to Connemara, where you’ll experience nature at its best, with beautiful landscapes, beaches, and mountains. You can also visit the Connemara National Park and work up an appetite by climbing Diamond Hill, or take a boat to the famous Aran Islands.
With all this travel, a cute backpack would be very useful!
Galway is a cultural city and just voted European Capital of Culture 2020. With many famous landmarks such as The Spanish Arch, The Claddagh (which is world famous for the Claddagh Ring) the Galway City Museum, and more, it would be a shame not to have the photos to look back on of your time in West of Ireland’s most beautiful city.
What to Wear in Galway in Winter
Winter in Ireland could bring you dry weather but the temperature normally won’t exceed 12°C/54°F. (Check the weather before you go for the most accurate forecast.) The main item you should pack is a warm coat or jacket that you’ll find yourself wearing each day on your trip.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
- How to Pack for Cold Weather
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather (without the bulk)
- The Best Travel Shoes for Winter
This is what to pack for Galway in winter:
A warm down jacket is great if you’re planning many outdoor activities but if you plan on spending most of your time in the city, opt for a chic but warm wool-blend coat like the ones shown above.
Remember that you’ll most likely be wearing your coat in most of your pictures. Why not use a fun bold winter coat instead of a traditional black style?
As with fall, remember to bring a waterproof jacket when planning what to wear in Galway in winter. It’s not going to take up much room in your bag, so throw in a raincoat, as we’re prone to some nasty gray clouds in winter. It’s best to be prepared!
While you want to be warm on your trip, you don’t need to sacrifice all style. I’d recommend packing some warm wool basics that you can mix and match with other items of clothing.
For example, try a long wool cardigan, a long sleeve top, and maybe a few pairs of tights that you could pair with a skirt or layer with a dress.
Find out why merino wool is the best fabric for cold weather travels!
Who doesn’t like wearing a nice pair of jeans? They’re probably the most comfortable and easiest items of clothes to wear for travel to Europe. They’ll keep you warm and can be dressed up or down.
Hat & Gloves
There’s a lot to do and see in Galway, therefore you’ll find yourself doing a lot of walking on foot, as the streets are very closely connected. Make sure to bring a warm hat and a pair of gloves to keep you nice and cozy!
Take a look at these stylish winter accessories for more ideas!
The best kind of footwear to wear in Galway during winter is a nice pair of boots. Bring one pair in a neutral color that goes with everything, either a pair of ankle boots or knee high boots would suffice.
If you’d really like to explore the city, throw in a pair of running shoes. There’s nothing like being comfortable when you’re out for the whole day. Or maybe, you might fancy a nice stroll along Salthill Promenade; Galway’s beautiful seaside resort.
Take a look at these waterproof boots for cold weather travels!
What are your tips on what to wear in Galway in Fall and Winter? Share them below!
Please note: Most of Europe’s budget airlines have this carryon bag allowance: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Always check your airline’s individual baggage rules and regulations in advance.
For more tips, please read these Europe packing lists:
Suggested travel resources:
- Lonely Planet Europe on a Shoestring
- Lonely Planet Ireland (Country Guide)
- Travel Shoes for Europe
- The Best Carry-on Suitcases for Europe
Please read our Ultimate Packing List for Europe featuring stylish outfits and travel tips for 9 countries.
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Author Bio: My name is Fiona Ní Chéirín and I live in County Galway in the West of Ireland. I work as a Freelance Assistant Producer in the Irish TV Industry, therefore I’m free to pack that case and set off exploring the world whilst staying stylish at the same time! Hope you enjoy all my travel advice!