Visiting Ireland in April: Weather, What to Pack, & What to Do

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While spring isn’t always the most popular time of year to visit Ireland, April is a great time to go if you don’t mind a little rain. This month leads to the most rainbows, which Ireland has become famous for (and who knows what you’ll find at the end of one!). There are actually tons of things to do in Ireland in April if you know where to look.

April in Ireland is full of festivals, including ones where you can enjoy music and art, as well as ones where you get to indulge in some of the best specialty food the island has to offer. You can also get outdoors, whether you want to participate in a race or take a casual trip around the country to mark places off your Ireland bucket list.

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Ireland in April, including the weather, what to pack, and the best events in April in Ireland to attend.

Travel Tips for Visiting in April in Ireland

Here are some things to keep in mind before visiting Ireland in April.

Ireland in April Weather

Ireland in April is a fresh breeze of aromatic flowers — quite literally because it’s smack-dab in the middle of spring. As the days get longer, Ireland’s weather in April is more welcoming, and chances of rain drastically decrease.

Ireland’s weather in April tends to be mild and dry. Daytime temperatures likely peak at about 53°F to 55°F, while lows typically range between 39°F and 46°F. These average daily temperatures allow swimming, hiking, and other fun outdoor activities.

While perpetual rainy days will be far and few in between, April still sees heavy rains, but they’re mostly short-lived. This makes it an ideal time of year to visit Ireland for 10 days to have plenty of time to explore.

What to Pack for Ireland in April

Unlike Ireland in March (where you can refer to my St. Patrick’s Day packing list), spring weather comes into full effect in April. So what should you pack for Ireland in April? Here’s a handy packing list for Ireland to get you started:

Best Things to Do in Ireland in April

While Easter celebrations overrun the early days of April, that’s not all that Ireland has in store for you. 

Take advantage of April’s sunny days for the rest of the month by visiting recreational parks and attending festivals. 

Here’s what you can look forward to in Dublin, Belfast, and Galway in April. 

Things to Do in Dublin in April

Dublin’s warm weather in April gets most people out into nature. April sees a significant rise in outdoor activities in Dublin, from road trips to festivals and parades. Here are a few things to get up to when you visit:

 1. Experience Japan Hanami Festival

Hanami
Image via Flickr: erikjohansson

Celebrate spring in Dublin at this fun and family-friendly festival on the lawns at Farmleigh House and Estate. The festival follows the traditional Japanese custom of hanami, where family and friends come together to watch the flowers bloom, marking the beginning of April in Ireland.

At the Hamani Festival, you can expect plenty of interactive activities, from live music and dance performances to martial arts demonstrations and an array of arts and crafts to peruse. You’ll also find a great selection of traditional Japanese cuisine to indulge in.

Attending the Hamani Festival is a must-do in April. You’ll get to see the spring flowers blossom, all while enjoying great music and the company of like-minded people. 

If you love to dress up, go ahead! Many festival-goers usually come dressed in Japanese fashion styles, like kimonos or cosplay. You’ll want to spend a weekend in Dublin to enjoy this.

2023 Date: Early April. Check their website for updates.

2. Rock Out at New Music Dublin

Are you a music lover with curious ears for various Irish music? Well, the New Music Dublin Festival is just for you. Taking place within the National Concert Hall and beyond, this spring festival aims to celebrate and uplift artists and composers across the music spectrum.

New Music Dublin Festival is a free event, giving the opportunity of seeing great performances to everyone in the community. The focus of this event is to create a platform for Irish artists and music makers to live broadcast their craft to a broader audience and to encourage the spirit of collaboration between them. This is one of the more unique places to visit in Ireland in April.

Note: They will announce the full festival program at the end of February.

2023 Date: April 20th – April 23rd

3. Stretch Your Legs at the Great Ireland Run

Great Ireland Run
Image via Flickr: paddy parrott

Embrace Dublin’s comfortable spring weather by participating in the annual Great Ireland Run. This 10K (6.2-mile) distance run takes place in Phoenix Park, the largest urban park in Dublin.

Participants will receive a t-shirt, and medals will be awarded to all finishers on the day. The Great Ireland Run is a fun way to see some of the most famous landmarks in Dublin, including the towering Wellington Monument.

Early bird tickets are currently up for sale. You can get yourself one for €25 ($27); this includes processing fees. Keep in mind that early bird tickets are available until January 2023. If you don’t quite feel like entering a race, you can also take a hike around Dublin at your own pace.

2023 Date: April 16th

4. Indulge at Dublin Bay Prawn Festival

Get your seafood cravings quenched at the annual Dublin Bay Prawn Festival in Howth. Every year Howth’s top restaurants, bars, and cafes serve up a tantalizing array of prawns and other seafood made any way you like it. Whether it’s barbequed, fried, marinated, or skewered — the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival has it all!

You can expect a jam-packed weekend full of cooking demonstrations using local produce, live music performances, history walks, and exciting day cruises across the bay. These are all great ways to explore this picturesque fishing village and its attractions. The festival is one of the top things to do in Ireland in April if you love seafood.

2023 Date: April

Things to Do in Belfast in April

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and an excellent departure point if you’d like to go on a Giant’s Causeway tour. This is one of the most exciting day trips from Belfast you can embark on, especially with April’s balmy weather in full swing.

Festivals are common in Belfast during spring, but that’s only some of what this gorgeous city has in store for you. Book a place to stay in Belfast and then check out these April events happening in Belfast:

5. Eat at the Irish Vegan Festival

Spend the day embracing an array of vegan food at the Irish Vegan Festival in Belfast. Presented by Farplace Animal Rescue, this festival brings you numerous vegan stalls selling top-notch food and drinks. 

You’ll also find several vendors selling quirky clothes, accessories, bags, and cosmetics. There are also stalls promoting great campaigns in Belfast. 

The Irish Vegan Festival will have documentaries and guest speakers who’ll engage you in matters of food choices and how they affect the environment, health, and animal welfare, making it an educational event in Ireland in April.

You can get a VIP early entry ticket for just £15 ($18.5); it comes with a goodie bag and some vegan treats. Advanced tickets go for £4 ($5), while those under 16 enter for free!

2023 Date: April 16th

6. Appreciate Art at Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

Presenting an eclectic atmosphere of music, comedy, theater, art, and literature, attending the annual Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is one of the best things to do in Belfast. This 11-day festival features over 100 events in 20 different venues all across the city.

You’ll get to see the best of Belfast’s arts and culture scene, from visual arts performances to film screenings and appearances by the likes of Kevin McGahern and Bell X1. 

The festival curates a fantastic blend of upcoming and established artists, thus drawing in about 60,000 people every year, being one of the more popular things to do in April in Ireland.

2023 Date: April 27th – May 7th

7. Shop at St. George’s Market

Strolling through a farmer’s market is one of the best ways to explore Belfast in April. While the weather is expected to be sunny, should the rain come, a market is the best place to be. 

Standing as the last surviving covered Victorian market in Belfast, St. George’s Market offers an enticing array of local produce, homemade bread, quirky souvenirs, and fresh seafood. 

This market happens weekly from Friday to Sunday, so it’s not so much an April thing but an all-year-round attraction that keeps people coming. You’ll enjoy everything about St. George’s Market, from live music to arts and crafts shows.

2023 Date: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays

8. Take a Giant’s Causeway Day Trip

Giant’s Causeway

April is a great time to embark on scenic drives in Ireland, and what better way to explore the country’s verdant landscape than by taking a day trip to the Giant’s Causeway? 

Located about 60 miles apart, your Giant’s Causeway day trip from Belfast will take about an hour and a half each way. During your trip, make sure to embrace the stunning countryside scenery along the way. 

If you’d like to see the coast instead, take the Antrim Coast Road and spot landmarks such as Red Bay Castle. 

But that’s not all you have to look forward to. Upon arrival, you’ll find that climbing the giant’s footsteps made of unique volcanic rock is an exhilarating experience. 

This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so expect to see some tourists (although fewer than in the peak season).

2023 Date: April, but make sure to check the weather forecast before you go.

Things to Do in Galway in April

 Cliffs of Moher

If you’re familiar with Galway, you’ll know that this vibrant harbor city in Ireland is the best departure point for a day trip to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher

Pair that with fun spring festivals, and you’re in for an epic April in Galway. Here are a few of the top April events to consider attending:

9. Celebrate Galway Spring Festival

Celebrate Galway’s spring blossoms in style at the annual Spring Festival in Ireland in April. Hosted by the Slieve Aughty Center, the Galway Spring Festival offers Easter celebrations, leisurely strolls through the Enchanted Forest, and plenty of other fun activities.

Children will love making crafts, riding ponies, and getting their faces painted. Adventurous bike rides through the Coillte Forest are also on the menu, and people of all ages can do this. 

Another thing you should take advantage of during the Spring Festival is taking a detour to the Three Towers Organic Kitchen. Here you’ll be greeted with the aromas of homemade cooking and freshly brewed coffee or tea.

Note: Ticket prices start at €7.50 ($8.15) per child and come with a complimentary sweet bag, while adults go in for free.

2023 Date: April 1st – April 16th

10. Attend Cúirt International Festival of Literature

Attention all bookworms, prepare for engaging conversations regarding literature and its key role in taking Irish writing to the world. Cúirt is one of the oldest book festivals in Europe. 

Bringing together various emerging and established writers to Galway, this annual event aims to continue highlighting Irish literature locally and internationally. 

During this week-long festival, many aspects of writing will be discussed by expert panels, while book publications and other forms of reading will be thoroughly celebrated.

2023 Date: April 17th – April 23rd 

11. Enjoy Galway Theatre Festival

The Galway Theatre Festival is one of Galway’s biggest and most celebrated annual events. From theater to circus and storytelling performances, there’s something for everyone at this April festival.

For nine full days, you’ll get a jam-packed lineup showcasing innovative and imaginative performances by Ireland’s emerging and established artists. These events will take place across various theaters and bookshops in the city.

Other fun things you can do in Galway during this festival include participating in workshops and competitions.

2023 Date: April 28th – May 6th

More Things to Do in Ireland in April

Apart from what’s been covered so far, there are plenty of exciting and fun things to do in spring in Ireland. Here are a couple of downtime activities that all Irish citizens love to do:

Ending of National Football League

If you’re a sports lover, you’ll appreciate the atmosphere in Ireland as the National Football League season comes to an end. In Ireland, watching Gaelic football — a cross between soccer and rugby is one of the most loved downtimes across the country.

Whether in Dublin, Belfast, or Galway, you can catch a match at the nearest stadium and get a front-row seat to the beautiful game. This is also a great place to meet locals and get a real sense of Irish living.

2023 Date: National Football League finals will take place on the weekend of April 1st – 2nd.

Music Performances in Pubs & Bar Crawls

Dublin Pub Drink

Pubs and bar crawls are available all year round, but April is quite a special time to explore Ireland’s best watering holes, thanks to the reduced crowd levels. 

Although rainy days are fairly scarce in April, a pub crawl in Dublin or watching a live music show in a bar is an excellent way to find shelter during light drizzles or gloomy days. 

Across all the best pubs in Galway, Dublin, and Belfast, you’ll find a cozy atmosphere with live performances by local bands and artists, as well as tasty Irish drinks on the menu. Take some time to explore original Irish beverages (both hot and cold). The likes of Irish coffee, Guinness, and Jameson whiskey are a must-try.

Tip: Take a Jameson distillery guided tour and whiskey tasting in Dublin and learn about this world-famous drink’s history and distillation process.

You’ll love exploring all the things to do in Ireland in April, no matter what the weather is.

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