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Ireland public holidays 2020: Turn 28 days of leave into 60 days of travel

When are the public holidays in Ireland in 2020 and how to make the most of your annual leave this year? Start planning for the best possible holidays in 2020 to give yourself the maximum amount to travel time. Make your annual leave go further by building bank holidays into your plans and then find cheap flights. Here, we've outlined the key dates and destinations to aim for!
Woman jumping on the beach - Ireland Public Holidays 2020: Turn 28 days of leave into 60 days of travel

How much annual leave am I entitled to in Ireland?

The vast majority of workers in Ireland who work a 5-day week must receive at least 4 weeks annual leave. Your employer will ultimately decide when you can take your annual leave but they are obliged to consider factors including your family responsibilities and discuss with you at least one month before the leave is to be taken. You can begin the conversation about your annual leave and aim to take full advantage of public holidays in Ireland. Be a smart traveller, follow our guide and get your holiday dates requests in.

When are the bank holidays in Ireland in 2020?

Three friends drinking beer on a holiday in the mountains

There are nine public holidays in the Republic of Ireland each year. Public holidays include St. Patrick’s Day on 17th March and Christmas Day on 25th December. It’s worth noting that Good Friday, celebrated on 10th April in 2020, is not an official public holiday. While some schools, banks and businesses will close on that day, you have no automatic entitlement to time off work on that day and you should not presume that your workplace will be closed. Check before you book your Easter holidays so you know how many days of your annual leave you are using for your trip.

Consult the table below to see all 2020 public holidays in Ireland:

DATEDAYPUBLIC HOLIDAY
17th March TuesdaySt. Patrick’s Day
13th AprilMondayEaster Monday
4th MayMondayMay Day
1rd JuneMondayJune Bank Holiday
3rd AugustMondayAugust Bank Holiday
26th OctoberMondayOctober Bank Holiday
25th DecemberFridayChristmas Day
26th DecemberSaturdayBoxing Day
1st January 2021FridayNew Year’s Day

When a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, many people assume that the following Monday is treated as the public holiday. This is not the case in most circumstances.

Remember, where a public holiday falls on a weekend, workers do not have any automatic legal entitlement to have the next working day off work.  When this happens, some employers will be treating it as a public holiday but your employer can require you to attend work on that day. Keep this in mind when planning your annual leave and consult with your employer.

What’s the best way to stretch my time off in 2020?

Two travellers cooking in a camper van - Ireland Public Holidays 2020

Some workers’ contracts count public holidays as part of their 28 days of annual leave. In many cases in Ireland, public holidays are outwith the annual leave allocation. This means you can stretch your time off considerably by booking all your trips around public holidays.

For example if you book 19th- 27th December you would have 9 days of holiday but you would only be using up four, or in some cases three days of annual leave.

For bank holiday Mondays, the best strategy is to ask for the rest of  the week off. So in May, ask for the 5th to the 8th – this way, again you get 9 days of holiday for the price of four, if you factor in the weekends at either side.

Plan longer breaks without using up your annual leave in 2020

Three friends watch the sunset on the beach

Fly out on the Saturday before the bank holiday and home again on the following  Sunday. If you work in Ireland, this is how you turn your annual leave into 59 days of holiday – and have one final day off to spare at the end of it too. That makes 60 days in total.

Where to go from Ireland for Easter weekend in 2020

Ronda in Malaga - Ireland Public Holidays 2020

Fly to Malaga for the Easter holidays and use the Easter Monday public holiday so you are maximising your annual leave. In some cases, Good Friday may be included in your contract as an extra day off.

Explore the resorts and beaches of the Costa Del Sol and use Malaga as a base to travel to nearby destinations like the glamourous Puerto Banus marina or the charming rustic village of Ronda with its distinctive architecture.

Beach in Malaga

Malaga has a thriving food scene, endless wine taverns, historic sites and attractions including the Pablo Picasso museum dedicated to the influential painter. Expect sunshine and warm hospitality.

READ MORE: 10 best things to do in Malaga: a local’s guide

Where to go from Ireland for the May bank holiday in 2020

Lisbon - The May Bank Holiday is one of the best times to visit Portugal

The May Bank Holiday is one of the best times to visit Portugal, as you can expect an ideal climate and a lively social scene. Stroll through the fashionable neighbourhoods of Lisbon with their hip cafes, sip wine in the Douro valley or kick back on one of the country’s beautiful beaches. Both Lisbon and Porto are popular destinations for short city breaks, but sun-worshippers should fly into Faro and explore the Algarve’s coast.

Red rooftops in Porto, Portugal - Ireland Public Holidays 2020

Find travel inspiration, tips and ideas for your holiday to Portugal:

Where to go from Ireland for the June bank holiday in 2020

Couple on the grass in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Book your annual leave and enjoy a wonderful June holiday in Paris, one of the great cities of the world. Wander by the river Seine, take in the stunning architecture of Paris’s boulevards, taste outstanding cuisine in Michelin star restaurants and visit some of the city’s most famous attractions including the Louvre art museum, the Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe national monument and the iconic Eiffel Tower.

Where to go from Ireland for the August bank holiday in 2020

Resort in the Maldives - Ireland Public Holidays 2020

Book your flights for the August bank holidays and fly to the Maldives to enjoy stunning sunsets on the Indian Ocean, world-class diving locations, white sand beaches and a secluded, romantic getaway. Relax in the sunshine at one of the Maldives leading resorts.

READ MORE: When is the Best Time to Visit the Maldives in 2020

Where to go from Ireland for the October bank holiday in 2020

Athens by night, the Acropolis and Monastiraki area - Ireland Public Holidays 2020

How about a sun-kissed city break in southern Europe this autumn? Days might be chillier by Greek standards, but Athens still enjoys plenty of sunshine this time of year. It’s the perfect weather to stroll through Monastiraki, Plaka and Thission taking in the captivating views of the Acropolis and the Ancient Agora of Athens, followed by the Psyrri and Koukaki districts – both jam-packed with quirky shops, restaurants and cafés.

The Athens Electric Railway is a great way to get around Athens and Pireaus

Ιf you ‘re looking for an arty evening in the Greek capital, check out what’s on at Stegi, a thrilling culture hub on Syngrou Avenue regularly hosting theatre, dance, and music events.

Where to go from Ireland over Christmas and New Year in 2020

Beach in Tenerife -

Enough of winter already? Fly to Tenerife for a sunny Christmas and New Year – one of the top destinations for Irish travellers – taking advantange of the public holidays during this time of year to add to your annual leave.

Enjoy a fantastic break with friends or family and spend December relaxing on the Playa del las Americas beach. Visit the striking landscape of the UNESCO listed Teide National Park with Spain‘s highest mountain, the Teide volcano.

The Teide volcano - Ireland public holidays

Playa de Las Teresitas is a palm-fringed yellow sand beach close to Tenerife hotels. Other popular things to do include Jungle Park, a wildlife attraction and Siam Park, an outdoor adventure water park with thrill rides, swimming pools and a beach.

READ MORE: Top 9 things to do in Tenerife

Now you know all the 2020 public holidays in Ireland, find cheap flights over the 2020 bank holiday period:

*Updated March 2020. Information correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change and/or availability.

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