Friends celebrating St Patrick's Day in Dublin, Ireland.
Seasonal travelTrip inspiration

Things to do in Dublin in Spring

Spring is a wonderful time to visit Dublin, as the city shakes off its Christmas hangover and emerges, butterfly-like, from the cold of winter. It’s a time when rising temperatures bring beautiful blooms, fab festivals and a tentative trickle of tourists to the city streets; when mild and often sunny days make for great sightseeing weather. There’s also the not-so-little matter of the world’s biggest St Patrick’s Day street party on March 17, more (much more) of which later. For now, dive in for our guide to the best things to do in Dublin in spring, including:

  • The National Botanic Gardens
  • Picnics on St Stephen’s Green
  • St Patrick’s Day festivities
  • Long walks in Phoenix Park
  • The Guinness Storehouse
  • Foodie walking tours of Dublin
  • Dublin Dance Festival

Visiting Dublin in Spring

The difference between early and late spring in Dublin is significant. You’ll probably still want a winter coat and umbrella in March, a fairly damp month with temperatures that struggle to get out of the 40s. April is much milder and drier and, as temperatures approach a balmy 60°F, you might even get away with toning down the chunky knitwear and layers of thermal undergarments. Though not quite shorts and t-shirt weather, May is noticeably milder, especially in the afternoons, though mornings tend to remain crisp and cool. Indeed early- to mid-May could just be the ‘Goldilocks’ moment to make your Dublin vacation: the weather is pleasant, hotels have yet to hike prices for the peak summer season and that trickle of tourists is still more of a stream than a surge, meaning queues to get into the big-ticket attractions won’t be too daunting.

It’s also a fine time for day trips and long country walks outside of Dublin, as Ireland’s famously picturesque landscapes blaze back into life with vibrant wildflowers, emerald-green fields and gamboling lambs. Don’t forget though that the spring weather can change in a heartbeat here, especially along the coast, so be sure to check the forecast and dress appropriately. Pro-tip: always carry waterproofs with you even if the forecast is for a dry day. You’ll thank us later!

A pass from Go City can save you money while giving you the flexibility to visit Dublin attractions galore, including the Guinness Storehouse, Teeling Whiskey Distillery, Dublin Zoo, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Malahide Castle and more.

Things to do in Dublin in Spring

March is a good time to tick off some of Dublin’s big hitters, while the weather is cool and the temptation to stay largely indoors remains strong. We’re talking Trinity College, with its legendary Book of Kells; the Guinness Storehouse, where your perfectly poured pint (119.5 seconds, fact fans) is complemented by glorious 7th-floor views of Dublin’s skyline; and world-class cultural institutions such as the National Gallery of Ireland and the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI). Then of course there’s St Patrick’s Day (did we mention St Patrick’s Day?). Everyone should spend March 17 in Dublin at least once in their life; there’s truly no better place to celebrate the nation’s snake-chasing patron saint than right here in the capital. Revelers can expect a multi-day sensory extravaganza (usually running from March 15-19) that takes in live entertainment, funfairs, treasure hunts, art workshops, people (and animals) dressed as leprechauns and, of course, gallons of Guinness. The cobbled streets of Temple Bar, with their traditional Irish bars and folk music venues, are at the epicenter of the festivities, and the place to make new BFFs and unforgettable memories – well, at least until the next day when your powers of recall may be somewhat, shall we say, compromised. Don’t miss the huge St Patrick’s Day Parade, which weaves its colorful way along O’Connell Street from Parnell Square at around lunchtime on the 17th.

April and May are the time for more sedate pursuits, as the mercury creeps gently upwards and those biblical St Patrick’s Day hangovers become a distant memory. Take a trip to the National Botanic Gardens with their beautifully restored Victorian conservatories, intricate herbaceous borders, and heaven-scent rose gardens. Or picnic on the lush lawns of St Stephen’s Green, a Victorian idyll of manicured pleasure gardens, vibrant flower beds, and sculptures and statues galore. See if you can spot James Joyce, W.B. Yeats and Arthur Guinness as you munch on your Tayto crisps.

Spring is a fine time to explore Dublin on foot. Work up an appetite with a hike around fabulous Phoenix Park, home to herds of wild fallow deer, immaculate Victorian flower gardens, a prehistoric burial chamber and an ornamental lake. Afterwards, reward yourself with a walking tour of the city’s top foodie hotspots.

Should the mood take you, you can also be out of the city and into the countryside in no time at all. Join a bus tour to the charming seaside village of Howth, where you might spot puffins, gannets and seals, as well as sampling some of Ireland’s finest fish and chips! Spring day trips to the Cliffs of Moher and otherworldly Wicklow Mountains also run regularly from the city center.

What’s on: Dublin Spring Events

Spring in Dublin isn’t just about St Patrick’s Day. In fact there are, to be sure, several more major festivals worthy of your attention. May is particularly busy, with both the Dublin Dance Festival and International Literature Festival to get involved in. The first is an all-singing, all-dancing toe-tapper of an event, spanning nearly three weeks in which the world’s finest dancers and choreographers strut their spectacular stuff on stages across the city. In addition to the many dance showcases – from traditional to contemporary – there are workshops, film screenings and discussions galore, as well as, of course, classes designed to turn you and your two left feet into a pirouetting, pasadoble-ing professional in no time at all.

If you like nothing more than a good page turner, then the International Literature Festival Dublin is sure to be right up your street. And what better place to host the event than the city that bequeathed us such literary heavyweights as Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Iris Murdoch, James Joyce, Bram Stoker and Maeve Binchy. Bookworms will be in clover thanks to an epic roster of readings, interviews and signings with household-name authors and debates and discussions on genres that run the gamut from children’s fiction to stately poetry.

Save on things to do in Dublin

Save on admission to Dublin attractions with Go City. Check out @GoCity on Instagram for the latest top tips and attraction info.

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