Both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have several public and bank holidays throughout the year. Although they have many in common, there are a few that differ so be sure to check on the situation in the country which you will be visiting.
There are many special days and observances that are important to the nation but are not public holidays. These do not usually affect businesses opening and closing times or public transport but be aware that things can become more crowded or have different operating hours on these days.
Below are public and bank holidays only – days on which things may be closed or running a greatly reduced service – in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
01 January: New Year’s Day
Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland: Most shops, pubs, and attractions are closed and, if they do open, it will be later than usual and closing earlier. Public transport does operate in most places but has a limited service.
17 March: St Patrick’s Day
One of Irelands biggest festival days, particularly in the Republic of Ireland, where it is a public and bank holiday. Pubs are usually packed, shops close earlier or remain closed, and public transport may be reduced or disrupted. There may be parades, parties, and various events to celebrate.
Northern Ireland is usually more restrained, although many people do celebrate it. It is a public holiday but not a bank holiday.
March/April (varies): Easter weekend
Many people in Ireland are Catholic and, therefore, Easter is a very important time of great religious significance. If you are travelling over the Easter weekend, we recommend checking in advance what will be open and to anticipate that many of the places you’d like to visit will be closed or have restricted times, and that transport may also be restricted.
Republic of Ireland: Not an official public holiday but many schools and business do close or close early.
Northern Ireland: Pubs may only sell alcohol between 17h00 – 23h00. Smaller towns may have many closed businesses, but in cities, it is generally ‘business as usual’.
Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland: Businesses, including pubs and shops, may be closed, or open later and close earlier than normal. Public transport is usually reduced.
03 May: Northern Ireland bank holiday*
04 May: Republic of Ireland bank holiday*
31 May: Northern Ireland bank holiday*
07 June: Republic of Ireland bank holiday*
12 July: Northern Ireland Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne
Public holiday in Northern Ireland which marks the Protestant King William III’s victory against the Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. It is also called The Twelfth, The Glorious Twelfth, or Orangemen’s Day.
02 August: Republic of Ireland bank holiday*
30 August: Northern Ireland bank holiday*
25 October: Republic of Ireland bank holiday*
25 December: Christmas Day
Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland: Almost everything will be closed, including shops, banks, and pubs. Public transport will not be running and you may even struggle to get a taxi so, if you will be travelling on this day, planning ahead is crucial and you may need private transfers.
26 December: Boxing Day / St Stephen’s Day
Pubs and shops in larger cities are generally open, and public transport tends to run on a restricted service. In big cities, this often marks the start of the post-Christmas sales.
In Republic of Ireland, this is St Stephen’s Day (as in many other European countries). In Northern Ireland, this is Boxing Day.
*WHAT ARE BANK HOLIDAYS
Banks and many businesses are closed but shops and pubs are usually open in larger towns. In smaller towns and rural areas, shops are generally closed. Public transport may be restricted.
- Sunday/Monday: Note that, if a public holiday falls on a Sunday, it is usually moved to the Monday.
- Private transfers: An ‘out of hours’ rate is usually charged for private transfers on public holidays.
- Car hire: Care hire companies are generally closed for pick-up and drop-off on public and bank holidays.