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10 Things to Do in Dublin in April

Are you planning your trip to Dublin in April? You won't be short of special events to get to know the city - I'll tell you which ones!

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

10 Things to Do in Dublin in April

Dublin Farmine Memorial | ©Nick

Looking forward to a trip to Dublin but don't know when? There are always things to see and do in Dublin, but if you are considering going in April, I have several recommendations for you. Don't think it all starts and ends with the Easter celebrations, because there is so much more waiting for you in the Irish capital.

One of my favorite plans is to simply take advantage of the sunny days, which are becoming more and more, and get to know Dublin's parks; many of them host festivals during the month of April. I've been doing some research to share with you the plans you shouldn't miss, read on and take note!

1. Attend the 1916 Rising Commemoration Parade

Commemorative parade| ©CarrilloIuis
Commemorative parade| ©CarrilloIuis

April in Dublin is not only festive, but also historical. Why? Because on April 24, 1916, Easter Monday of that year, the Irish uprising against British rule took place.

The insurrection was organized by a number of Irish republicans and was to be national, but in the end it took place only in Dublin. Although it failed and the revolutionaries were executed, this date has great importance and, to this day, several commemorative events and parades are organized.

Despite the failure of the revolution and the fact that it was not widely supported, the shooting of its leaders revived the spirit of the Irish against Great Britain. From that moment on, the republican movement became strong.

As you can imagine, this still generates a lot of pride, so if you are in Dublin on April 24, you can attend the military parade and the reading of the Proclamation of the Republic of Ireland. It all usually takes place under the portico of the General Post Office, which is where it was first read.

If you want to join the commemoration by learning more about this historical event, I recommend you to visit Kilmainham Prison, where many revolutionaries were imprisoned, including those who started the Easter Rising. That was also where they were shot, so its value is immense. The entrance costs about 8 € and should be booked in advance, because they are usually sold out.

2. Enjoy the most literary and international Dublin in April

Ready for the Franco-Irish Literary Festival| ©Jackie
Ready for the Franco-Irish Literary Festival| ©Jackie

Every April, Dublin becomes the capital of literature. The Franco-Irish Literary Festival brings together writers, artists and professionals of this world (both French and Irish) to share their experiences.

The main theme of the festival changes every year, but the idea is the same: to organize talks, interviews, meetings and book markets to bring Franco-Irish literature to the public. If you feel like buying a book, listening to famous authors like John Boyne or attending an event in emblematic places of the city, check the program and buy your tickets (sometimes they are free).

It is clear that you can learn a lot by listening to important writers speak, but for me the most valuable thing is to go to Dublin Castle and see how it has become a great library. Indeed, one of the spaces where the festival takes place is there, where you can also see an exhibition, attend talks or get your hands on a book you want to read.

The best thing is that access is free so, despite not being able to visit in detail the Dublin Castle, it is an opportunity to enter to see it for free.

Book a guided tour of Dublin

3. Taste the best seafood at the Dublin Prawn Festival

Seafood Dish| ©y6y6y6
Seafood Dish| ©y6y6y6

Have you heard of Howth? You can get to this charming town in just half an hour thanks to an excursion from Dublin. Surely what you have been told is that it is very beautiful, but also that the quality of its seafood is incredible. That's right, but if you go in April you won't have many excuses not to try it, because in the middle of the month the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival is held, an event where prawns are the protagonists. Your palate will thank you!

The restaurants and bars in the Howth harbor area organize this tasty festival every year. They prepare their best recipes, in which prawns are always the main ingredient, although there is also room for other pieces of seafood.

When your stomach is full, don't miss the opportunity to get to know Howth. You can do it through the other activities organized around the event, such as concerts or fishing demonstrations, but you can also take a route along the cliffs or let yourself be guided by the recommendations of the locals, who are always willing to talk to visitors.

4. Run a popular (or professional) race through Phoenix Park

Great Ireland Run runners,| ©Peter Mooney
Great Ireland Run runners,| ©Peter Mooney

Have you heard of Phoenix Park? It is the great park of Dublin, and its extension exceeds 700 hectares. As you can imagine, running through it would take you almost a whole day, although if you go in April you can try to do it in a faster, more entertaining and challenging way: by signing up for the Great Ireland Run, a 10-kilometer race accessible to anyone.

In mid-April every year thousands of runners gather in Phoenix Park to participate in the Great Ireland Run. Although there is only one winner, everyone who crosses the finish line receives a commemorative medal. However, the greatest prize is the route that is run: 10 kilometers through the nature of one of the most beautiful and well-known places in Dublin.

Are you an experienced runner? There are actually two races, one amateur and one for experts, so you can choose which one to join. Be careful, in the professional section there are years in which world marathon champions have signed up.

5. Experience the arrival of spring at the Galway Spring Festival

Picnic at Galway Spring Festival| ©Thomas Humphrey Williams
Picnic at Galway Spring Festival| ©Thomas Humphrey Williams

Are you thinking of taking a trip from Dublin? Although you can choose from several destinations, being April I recommend you to go to Galway from Dublin. Why? Because you can attend the Spring Festival, which takes place in the first days of this month, when spring is already evident. To celebrate it, the Slieve Aughty Centre organizes all kinds of activities, from horseback riding to picnics.

Do not think that this festival is purely for children, because enjoying the flowers just when they have just come out or a bike ride through the woods of Coillte is a great plan, whatever age you are.

A unique way to get in touch with nature, since in addition to the vegetation around the center, many wild rabbits roam freely. If you ask, they will also tell you that there are fairies in the Enchanted Forest, although I don't know if I believe it.

In short, of all the things to see and do in Galway, if you go in April, one of the essential is to go to this festival; the perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and the magnificent forests of the city.

Book a tour to Galway from Dublin

6. Attend a croquet match and Alice in Wonderland themed party

Merrion Park.| ©Sergei Gussev
Merrion Park.| ©Sergei Gussev

For some years now, the famous characters from Lewis Carroll's fairy tale have been coming to Merrion Park. They do it to celebrate the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, an event not to be missed if you are in Dublin during the first days of April. There you will find activities for the whole family that I recommend especially if you are traveling to Dublin with children.

The park is filled with games like a giant people chess and some fairground attraction, like the one with the spinning cups. Be careful not to get dizzy! Although there's nothing that can't be fixed with a picnic on the lawn or at some of the wooden tables set up for the occasion.

It is clear that the little ones in the house will enjoy it more, but it will also be the opportunity for adults to watch a game of croquet, the king sport in Ireland.

Croquet consists of hitting balls with a mallet and directing them along the ground so that they pass under hoops placed on the field. If you would like to learn more about the rules, you can do so for free at the Merrion Park event.

7. Admire the cherry blossom in April

Phoenix Park Cherry Tree| ©Matthew Hutchinson
Phoenix Park Cherry Tree| ©Matthew Hutchinson

If you are traveling to the Irish capital in April you will have the luck of cherry blossoms, only possible during the last days of the month. You may not be in Japan, where it is a tradition, but Dublin has many parks where you can walk among these trees, although the best ones are undoubtedly Phoenix Park and Herbert Park.

Phoenix Park is the largest urban park in Europe, so forget about walking through it. Also, if you want to see the cherry blossoms, you will have to go specifically to the Farmleigh House, a house-museum that today is used to accommodate political visitors and organize government meetings. In April, however, the Experience Japan Hanami Festival takes place in the surrounding area, where you can learn about Japanese culture through dance performances, seminars and more.

If you don't mind going a bit further away from the center of Dublin, I recommend you to go to Herbert Park. It is a small enclosure, especially if you compare it with the spectacular Phoenix Park, but it has the largest number of cherry trees in the city. If you are looking for tranquility, go there.

8. Relax in Iveagh Gardens

Iveagh Gardens| ©William Murphy
Iveagh Gardens| ©William Murphy

Don't get me wrong, visiting big cities like Dublin is always a good idea. There's a lot to see and the atmosphere is unbeatable, but sometimes I like to take the opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle and find a more natural area, even if it's within the city itself.

If the same thing happens to you, listen to this recommendation: Iveagh Gardens, a paradise that in April also looks spectacular thanks to the first days of spring.

It may be difficult to find the Iveagh Gardens, as they are surrounded by buildings and are not so well known, but they are worth it. In fact, they are considered National Historic Property, as they are part of Dublin's cultural heritage. They began as the private gardens of the first Earl of Clonmell, but in 1817 they were opened to the public.

After being the scene of a revolt, a grazing area and even a kind of dumping ground, in 1865 the gardens were revalued thanks to Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, who built in them the Dublin Exhibition Hall.

Being so hidden, there are usually not many people, so take advantage of the days of good weather in April to organize a small picnic or just relax with the sound of its waterfall, which at that time is full of water and is quite a spectacle.

9. Attend the first markets of the year at Farmleigh House

Farmleigh House| ©Ashley C
Farmleigh House| ©Ashley C

Do you like to combine gastronomy with the history of the cities you visit? This is something you can do in Dublin thanks to the Farmleigh House market, which starts in April every year. It is held every Sunday for almost all day (from 10 am to 17h approximately).

There you can find products from local artisans, farmers and ranchers. All this in a historic place like Farmleigh House, located in Phoenix Park. You can not leave without buying or tasting some of the best cheeses in the country, which are sold there.

Farmleigh House is now a house museum belonging to the Irish government, although it was originally owned by the Guinness family. The market is placed in the courtyard, but you can take advantage of being there to visit the interior of the building, which is surprising for its Edwardian architecture and decoration. Of course, it will only be possible when there is no government guest staying there.

10. Shelter from the April showers with a pub crawl around Dublin

The Stags Head| ©Adam Bruderer
The Stags Head| ©Adam Bruderer

April is a month in which the winter rains don't quite say goodbye to Dublin (it rains about half the days), so expect to have to cancel outdoor plans on occasion. Don't worry, there's a never-fail alternative that will keep you safe: a pub crawl.

Don't know what it is? A guided tour of various pubs in the city. Without a doubt, it's a great way to liven up rainy days and get to know one of Dublin's most important cultural elements.

Because yes, pubs are part of the spirit of the city. In the best pubs in Dublin have drunk important characters such as Oscar Wilde or Bono, the singer of U2. Although they will not be there, you will find a lot of atmosphere and a lot of music, as it is very common to find traditional groups playing.

The good thing about going on a tour is that everything is more entertaining in a group, plus a guide will explain when to drink your Guinness (always wait until it is completely black) or if any of the pubs brews a traditional beer of its own.

Book your pub crawl in Dublin

Dublin temperatures in April

Packing| ©Surface
Packing| ©Surface

In April the Irish weather usually improves, reaching maximum temperatures of 13ºC, but do not be confident. It is clear that it will not be like going to Dublin in winter, but at night the thermometer drops to 4ºC. My advice is to pack some clothes for colder days, especially if you travel at the beginning of the month (at the end of the month temperatures rise a little more, reaching an average of 11ºC).

Surely another aspect that worries you is the rain, well, you will have to pack a raincoat in your suitcase because the forecast is 15 days of rainfall. They are not usually big storms, but they can ruin some plans.

Dublin prices in April

Money in Euros| ©Pixabay
Money in Euros| ©Pixabay

As it is not high season, prices for flights and accommodation in Dublin during April are rather low. You will find bargains, but remember to check everything in advance. Dublin is still a European capital and the cost of living while you are there will be rather high, so take advantage of this to save money by booking flights and hotel in advance.

What you will have to consider is that, if you travel during the Easter vacations, your budget will have to increase. It is a time when many visitors come to Dublin, both international and from other parts of Ireland, so prices may go up and accommodation availability may go down.

Dublin will welcome you with open arms during your visit in April, do you have everything planned?