September is a month when seasons collide on the island of Ireland. Summer is not quite over, but autumnal changes have already begun. A warm and hazy day hiking in the Mourne Mountains can be followed by a cool and crisp evening out in Belfast. You might take a trip to the beach for a stroll with an ice cream, or you could lie back on the grass in a city park and marvel at the changing foliage all around you.
So, if you can’t decide on a summer holiday or an autumn break, visit Ireland in September and experience the best of both worlds. Star attractions, fun festivals, and amazing landscapes await...
Apple orchard, County Armagh
Autumn in the air
September heralds the arrival of autumn in Ireland, which means it’s harvest season for farmers and food producers around the island. One of the best ways to make the most of this is to visit an apple orchard in County Armagh, known as “The Orchard County.” Orchard Tour Armagh and Ballinteggart Farm both provide tours around lush fertile orchards and come complete with a cider and apple juice tasting experience at the end! Walking through a picturesque orchard, sipping on a refreshing cider, sounds pretty idyllic to us.
Or you could go all out at the Armagh Food and Cider Weekend, which bills itself as the biggest foodie event of the season in the apple-loving county. The festival features an eclectic range of events, including a woodland supper, a sundown market, and even a murder mystery dinner!
Ireland’s landscapes are breathtaking all year round, but national parks and beauty spots are at their most colourful at this time of year. From Killarney National Park in County Kerry to the Phoenix Park in Dublin, it’s the perfect time to visit these natural wonders and see the island as it transforms into a kaleidoscopic world of reds, yellows, browns, and oranges.
Ireland’s star attractions
September is past Ireland’s peak travel season of the summer months, making it a great time to visit the island’s must-see sights and top tourist attractions. While some might still be busy, you’ll avoid big crowds of tourists, and at more remote spots, you might find you have the place all to yourself!
What should you see? The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare are near the top of everyone’s Ireland bucket list, and when you visit you'll see why. Bathed in golden autumnal light, these mighty sea cliffs on the Wild Atlantic Way take on a whole new perspective, feeling at once softer and more intimate.
In Northern Ireland, Titanic Belfast is a must. Having recently re-opened after an extensive refurbishment, the infamous tale of “the Ship of Dreams” is told in suitably GIANT fashion, playing out across multiple floors, galleries, and interactive exhibitions. Booking tickets in advance is essential.
Elsewhere around the island, there’s no end to the star attractions you can visit. Try the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary and see why it’s been called “the High King of Irish monuments.” In Dublin, explore Trinity College Dublin before a pint of “the black stuff” in the Guinness Storehouse. In County Wicklow, Glendalough offers lakeside walks and forest trails in a postcard-perfect setting.
Wherever you go, seeing the best that this island has to offer and knowing that you’ve beaten the crowds makes it feel like you’re officially winning on your trip to Ireland.
Lisdoonvarna, County Clare
Festival season is still in full swing on the island of Ireland in September. The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival in County Clare is Europe’s biggest singles festival and has been running for over 165 years! Join people from around the world who are looking for love and a bit of legendary Irish craic.
Apart from Tinder IRL, September sees Ireland’s biggest music and arts festival roll into town – Electric Picnic. Join 70,000 revellers in the countryside of County Laois for unforgettable performances from 2023 headliners Billie Eilish and The Killers.
For something a little more sedate, try a walking festival. The Weebinnian Walking Festival features routes for all walking levels in the epic landscapes of the Mourne and Cooley mountains. The mild weather makes it the ideal time to hit some trails in the great (and green) outdoors. For amazing views, check out the Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail in County Fermanagh, or the Coumshingaun Loop Walk in the Comeragh Mountains of County Waterford.
Foodies can delight in the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival, which boasts lots of fun events, from oyster opening competitions and cookery demos to a masquerade party!
The Wicklow Way, County Wicklow
Top travel tips
The weather on the island of Ireland in September is mostly sunny with some clouds. The temperature ranges from 9° to 17°, but Ireland often experiences an Indian summer around this time, with long spells of warm and dry weather. Evenings can be a bit cooler, so the best advice is to pack for a variety of conditions. Ireland’s weather is famously changeable at the best of times after all!
If you’ve decided that Ireland in September is the trip for you, check out these 10 things you have to do in Ireland in autumn, which covers everything from birdwatching and cosy cafés to unmissable autumn festivals.