Many rate April as one of the best months to visit Ireland, period. Everything is open after the winter closures of many hotels, restaurants and attractions and the weather is vastly improved: in fact, depending on where you are, it could just be sunnier and more settled than at almost any other time of year. The year's crowds are not yet here, though, making your explorations more enjoyable and stress-free.

Weather

Ireland is not a large enough country to have distinct regional weather patterns. Generally, though, April sees weather improving in every area: more sunshine, less rain, higher temperatures. In fact, dismiss notions of April as a fickle spring month weather-wise: this is a time when you can grab the very best weather of the entire year. Right around the coast, one hangover from winter is that water temperatures remain low: the water simply has not had a chance to warm up at all yet.

Killarney & Southwest Ireland

April begins to show off this region in its true loveliness. The sun helps: there is more of it this month than any other save June. Average rainfall and average numbers of rainy days are way down on preceding months, too, with April's 21 days with some form of precipitation low by regional and national standards. Ireland's warmest weather is in this region this month, with 53.6°F/12°C the expected average high. Light is fantastic along this region's extensive coastline too. 

Dublin & Eastern Ireland

April in Dublin and along the eastern seaboard ties for the driest period of the whole year, with just 1.96 inches/ 50mm of average monthly rainfall in Dublin (low, for Ireland!). Average air temperature highs (51.8°F/11°C) and daily hours of sunshine (5) are creeping up although water temperatures remain quite low. Along the coast, light is fantastic at this time of year.

Belfast & Northern Ireland

There could not be a greater change weather-wise in this region, where monthly rainfall has almost halved (just 1.96 inches/ 50mm for the month) and where daily hours of sunshine have rapidly increased (to 5 in an average day). The increase in air temperature is less dramatic in and around Belfast, with 51.8°F/11°C an average high. The light is especially fantastic on the Causeway Coast in April. 

Crowds & Costs

With Easter falling at its absolute latest by April, this month sees the start of Ireland's tourist season. However, because things are only just getting going crowds are not too bad and costs for accommodation and some attractions well below their high season maximums. Indeed it is the relative lack of crowds as much as the improved weather which make April one of the very best months to enjoy Ireland while benefitting from the full range of visitor facilities.

Where to Go

Killarney & Southwest Ireland

In short: anywhere in the region! After months of activities largely being confined to the indoors, Ireland properly wakes up this month, with sunnier, drier weather and wonderful light to entice you to explore the Great Outdoors. And in this part of Ireland, the country's most remote, there is more on the agenda than ever.

Try the Ring of Kerry or Dingle Way (in Co. Kerry) for some of this region's most exquisite hiking. For the Dingle Way, base yourself in vibrant Dingle which is coming alive in April with music in its magical pubs, and plenty of water-based activities out in its photogenic sheltered bay from dolphin-watching tours to kayaking. Take a trip across to the rocky Skellig Islands near Dingle or, better yet, to the otherworldly and traditional Aran Islands near Galway. Afterward, stop off in Galway itself, buzzing during its food festival this month.

See here for more on a suggested itinerary for exploring County Kerry.  

Dublin & Eastern Ireland

Ditch the city and head out into the countryside, where the most obvious choice south of Dublin is the Wicklow Way for some of the most delightful hiking in the whole region and a top drawer selection of the very best things to do: think chocolate box villages like Enniskerry, crashing waterfalls like Powerscourt Waterfall on the enchanting Powerscourt Estate, wooded hills and monastic ruins like Glendalough Abbey. Gorgeous sandy beaches line the coast here; some, like Loughshinney, are located within Co. Dublin and are within an easy drive of the city.

Belfast & Northern Ireland

If you do linger in Belfast, try to combine it with outdoor activities, such as taking in a city panorama from Cave Hill Country Park, named for five caves located in the cliffs here. But in April the Causeway Coast should be your focus, where the Unesco-listed Giant's Causeway, a swathe of thousands of interconnecting basalt columns, makes for one of the most spectacular coastal attractions you could ever hope to see.

Try an exploration of mythical Rathlin Island, where exiled Scottish leader Robert the Bruce once took refuge. Or experience the country's northernmost point with a hike to Malin Head. For a longer hike, there is nothing more epic than the Ulster Way, a 625-mile loop passing through almost all of Northern Ireland and one of the UK's longest and loveliest hiking routes. See here for an itinerary taking in Belfast and Northern Ireland.

What to Do

Killarney & Southwest Ireland

Hiking should dominate any April itinerary. Try the hikes such as the Dingle Way mentioned above or just explore the Wild Atlantic Way and stop off in whatever remote part of it you wish. Cycling too is fun in April, before roads get too busy see here for a self-guided cycling tour around the Ring of Kerry.

Further north in this region, the snaking lake and surrounding emerald-green hills by Lough Gill inspired WB Yeats and will likely entrance you, too. You can hike here, or go kayaking on the lake. Waves and swells are still perfect for surfing in April too, especially in the Sligo and Donegal areas. Sligo has the highest concentration of megalithic monuments in Ireland and a walk to see some of these, such as Carrowkeel and Carrowmore, is special: these monuments are older than the Pyramids at Giza! 

Dublin & Eastern Ireland

Hiking the Wicklow Way, a lovely walking trail that kicks off from the edge of the Dublin suburbs and meanders through the Wicklow Mountains passing lonely ruins, waterfalls and woodlands, is the region's best activity this month. Or try exploring some of the region's stunning sandy beaches, lacing all of the eastern coast and never better than in the improved, sunnier weather.

For cultural activities, a great insight into Ireland's history can be had without spending too much time indoors at the Irish National Heritage Park, taking you through 9000 years of the country's history in a magical open-air setting.

Belfast & Northern Ireland

Hiking is the activity this month that showcases just how incredible Northern Ireland is. The Causeway Coast is dramatic, but for all the publicity given to the Giant's Causeway, the hike that reveals this region's fantastic scenery better than any other is the 625-mile Ulster Way, taking the walker to high mountains, wild forests, and lonely lakes as well as the breathtaking coastline.

For a shorter but nevertheless heart-in-mouth walk, brave the vertiginous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge connecting the wild island of Carrickarede to the mainland. 

April Events

Easter Festivities Should Easter or any of the important days in the Easter period, fall in April, then April Easter celebrations and events include the Stations of the Cross mass on Good Friday, where a cross is carried around the church to the 12 stations of the crucifixion story, and the giving of chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday events also include remembering those who died in the 1916 Easter Rising, when many Irish rebelled against British rule in Ireland. 

Galway Food Festival Food-related events and activities including open-air markets announce the beginning of six months of festivities in the west coast city of Galway, in early April.

Traveling in Ireland in April? Check out these great itineraries. 

Hiking the Antrim Coast: Ballycastle to Belfast (7 Days). On this tour, you'll traverse some of the island's most beautiful hikes around the Antrim Coast, complete with dramatic coastlines, rugged and windswept cliffs, spectacular scenery, and fabulous unspoiled beaches. End your trip in the historically-rich city of Belfast.

Guided Ring of Kerry Hike (8 Days). See County Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula on a series of stunning day hikes, returning to town in the evening for a hot meal and a hearty pint at the neighborhood pub. Discover medieval monastery ruins, nesting bird colonies, and mountainous peninsulas carved deep with steep inlets.

More Information

Ireland in March
Ireland in May
Best Time to Visit Ireland
Getting Around Ireland