If you are considering going to Dublin in April, I have several recommendations to make. Don't think that everything 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 simply to take advantage of the sunny days, which are becoming more and more, and get to know Dublin's parks, as many of them organize festivals during this month. I've been doing some research to share with you the plans you shouldn't miss, read on and take note!
1. Get to know Dublin in the most original way, on a cruise ship
Taking advantage of the arrival of the mild temperatures of April, book a sightseeing cruise in Dublin is a very original plan, as it will allow you to learn about the history and architecture of Ireland with a professional guide, but in an exciting and unique way.
In addition, while sailing on the River Liffey you can enjoy wonderful views of many of the sights of Dublin as the Custom House, the Docklands neighborhood or the Ha'penny Bridge. An experience that lasts approximately one hour.
2. Live the most Irish experience in the Guinness factory
The month of April, when there are still not too many tourists, is ideal to book an Irish Guinness and Jameson experience in Dublin, where you will visit the facilities of this famous international beer and learn about the process of brewing beer and whiskey with a specialized local guide.
This plan, which lasts approximately four hours, includes the tasting of a pint of Guinness and whiskey in the oldest pub in Ireland dating back to no less than the eleventh century.
Plus, if you're on a tight schedule, don't worry, as this ticket includes skip-the-line access, so you'll get in quickly when you arrive. Are you in for the most Irish experience that includes multi-sensory and interactive exhibits? 100% recommended!
3. Enjoy spring with a bike tour
And what better time than the arrival of spring, when the cold temperatures are behind us, to book a bike tour of Dublin in which you will tour the city in a very fun way.
During the whole tour, which lasts approximately two and a half hours, you will ride with a local guide who will give you all the details of the architecture and history of the most emblematic places of the city. In addition, you will have the opportunity to taste some snacks.
Please note that you will be provided with all the equipment: safety helmet and reflective vest, so that you will be equipped along the way. Because, remember, safety is the most important thing!
4. Take shelter from the April showers in a Dublin pub
April is a month when the winter rains don't quite say goodbye to Dublin, so expect to have to cancel your outdoor plans on occasion. Don't worry, there is an alternative that will keep you safe: a pub crawl. Don't know what it is? A guided tour of several pubs. Without a doubt, it's a great way to liven up rainy days and get to know one of the most important cultural elements of Dublin.
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 music if you book a pub tour in Dublin, as it is very common that there are traditional groups playing.
The good thing about going on a tour is that in a group everything is more entertaining, 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.
5. Enjoy the most literary and international Dublin in April
Every April Dublin becomes the capital of literature. The Franco-Irish Literary Festival brings together writers, artists and literary professionals (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 the guided tour of 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.
6. Experience the arrival of spring in Galway Spring Festival
Are you thinking of taking a trip from Dublin? Although you can choose between 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, in the Slieve Aughty Centre activities of all kinds are organized, from horseback riding to picnics.
Do not think that this festival is purely childish, because enjoying the flowers just when they have just come out or take 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, many wild rabbits roam freely around the center. If you ask, they will also tell you that there are fairies in the Enchanted Forest, although I do not know if I believe it.
In short, of all the things to see and do in Galway, going 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.
7. Go to the first markets of the year at Farmleigh House
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 the whole day (from 10am to 5pm 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.
8. Attend the parade commemorating the Rising of 1916
April in Dublin also has a historical character. On April 24, 1916, coinciding with Easter Monday, the Irish uprising against the British government took place. The insurrection was organized by several Irish republicans and was supposed to be national, but in the end it only took place in Dublin. Although it failed and the revolutionaries were executed, this date has a lot of importance and events and parades are organized.
Despite the failure of the revolution and that it was not widely supported, the shooting of its leaders fueled the spirit of the Irish against Britain. The republican movement grew strong and continues to generate much pride, so if you are in Dublin on April 24, you can attend the military parade and the reading of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic under the portico of the General Post Office.
If you want to join the commemoration by learning more about this historical event, I recommend a visit to Kilmainham Prison, where many revolutionaries were imprisoned, including those who started the Easter Rising. This is also where they were shot. The entrance fee is about 8 € and it is advisable to book in advance, because they are usually sold out.
9. Run a popular (or professional) race through Phoenix Park
Have you heard of Phoenix Park? It's Dublin's big park, and it's over 700 hectares in size. It would take you almost a whole day to run through it, but 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 biggest prize is the route you run: 10 kilometers through the nature of one of Dublin's most beautiful and well-known locations.
Are you an experienced runner? Actually, there are two races, one amateur and one for experts, so you can choose which one to sign up for. Be warned, in the professional section there have been years when world marathon champions have signed up.
10. Attend a croquet match and the Alice in Wonderland themed party
For several 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. Although there is nothing that can't be fixed with a picnic on the grass or on some of the wooden tables. It is clear that the little ones 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, on the ground, to 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.
11. Admire the cherry blossoms in April
If you are traveling to the Irish capital in April you will be lucky to have cherry blossoms in bloom, 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 the whole park. Also, if you want to see the cherry blossoms, you will have to go to the Farmleigh House, a house-museum that is used for government meetings. However, in April the Experience Japan Hanami Festival takes place in the vicinity, which promotes Japanese culture through dance performances, seminars, etc.
If you don't mind going a little further away from the center of Dublin, I recommend you to go to Herbert Park. It is a small park, especially if you compare it to the spectacular Phoenix Park, but it has the largest number of cherry trees in the city. If you are looking for tranquility, go there.
12. Relax in Iveagh Gardens
Visiting a city like Dublin is always a good idea. There is 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. If the same thing happens to you, don't miss the Iveagh Gardens, a paradise that, in April, also looks spectacular thanks to the first days of spring.
You may have trouble finding 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, it is not usually crowded, so take advantage of good weather days in April to organize a small picnic or just relax to the sound of its waterfall.
Dublin temperatures in April
There are always things to see and do in Dublin, but as you have been able to see in April plans are extended because the Irish weather usually improves**, reaching maximums of 13ºC, although 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
As it is not high season, prices for flights and accommodation in Dublin during April are rather low. You will find offers, but remember to check everything in advance. Dublin is still a European capital and the cost of living while you are there will be somewhat high, so take the opportunity to save by booking flights and hotel in advance.
What you should consider is that if you travel during the Easter vacations, your budget will have to increase. This 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?