8 must see parks in Dublin

Published by: BouncePosted

Dublin is said to be one of the most friendly and welcoming cities in the world, and it is without a doubt a fascinating place to be. Anyone who lives or visits the city can attest to the fact that it has the liveliest bars and locals, and it is a place well known for its drinking and nightlife. But that's not all that there is to do in Dublin, and this charming city also has a lot to offer for history lovers with notable landmarks like Dublin Castle, St Patrick's Cathedral and the Kilmainham Gaol which each have their own story to tell.

As you explore this easily navigable city you might be surprised by how beautiful it is, and there are numerous lovely parks and green spaces where you can spend some much needed time outdoors. There are plenty of parks in and around Dublin's city centre, and with the coast not too far away, your options for exploring nature are almost endless. Did you know this city is also home to the biggest enclosed park in all of Europe? Learn more about it and other must see Dublin parks by reading below.

Both locals and people who are visiting the city for the first time can enjoy these natural landscapes. Drop off your backpacks and bags before renting out a bike to sightsee or prior to playing sports in the parks. Download the bounce app to find a Dublin luggage storage facility near your favorite recreation space.

Merrion Square Park

You'll find Merrion Square in the middle of the National Museum of Ireland, the Merrion Hotel and the Irish Parliament. This charming Dublin park is bigger than it seems, with a beautifully maintained garden in its midst and several fun landmarks, like the statue of Oscar Wilde relaxing on a stone near the west entrance or the Joker's Chair built in memory of Dermot Morgan, the comedian. Fun fact; Wilde was actually a resident of Merrion Square up until he was 20 and was born just around the corner. Other former residents include Daniel O'Connell and W.B. Yeats.

This park has been around since 1762 and has been open for public use since 1974, although it went by the name of Archbishop Ryan Park up until 2010. Once you get past the woodland you'll find a nice clearing that is great for picnics, playing ball or just relaxing in the sun with a book. If you pass by on a Sunday you're in for a real treat, since that's often when local artists come to hang their paintings on the fence. It's like a free art gallery that changes every weekend.

St Stephen's Green

A lush, green oasis right in the heart of the city close to Trinity College, this park gives an undeniable pop of color and life to the busy city centre. Although the sounds of the city will still be heard from within the park, it's the perfect spot to go when you just need somewhere to take a break and enjoy the fresh air. Inside the park, there is a peaceful lake and bright, colorful flower beds plus several significant landmarks, like a bust of Constance Markievicz, an Irish politician with many firsts to her name and the Yeats memorial garden. The Famine Monument greets you right as you enter the green space in the northwest corner. St

Stephen's Green has been a place where locals and visitors go to celebrate Irish history since the 17th century and even has some displays to commemorate important figures like Arthur Guinness and James Joyce. Take your time exploring the 9 hectare park, with an abundance of walking paths shaded by trees and lined with tulips, petunias, wallflowers and geraniums. As you pass by the lake you'll probably spot mallard ducks, moorhens and swans enjoying the water.

This is one of the most famous parks in Dublin but did you know that it was used as an execution site in the 18th century? It was only in the 19th century when the Guinness family paid for it to be redesigned that it was finally opened as a public green space.

Killiney Hill Park

With a more rugged and wild atmosphere than some of the other Dublin parks, Killiney Hill Park is a suitable space for adventurous outdoor enthusiasts. As stated in its name, the green space is made up of a hill that has a decent incline and is a pleasant challenge to climb. Once you make it to the top you will be more than rewarded with breathtaking views of the Irish Sea below, and it's one of the best viewpoints in south Dublin Bay.

From the summit you'll be able to spot Brayhead, the Wicklow Mountains and the beautiful city itself, but if you want to take things to the next level you can also climb up the steps of the Pyramid of Dublin to see even further beyond. If the weather is particularly clear you could have the chance of spotting the Welsh Mountains all the way across the sea as well. Although you can't tell now, about 150 years ago this park had its own railway station.

Phoenix Park

Here it is, Europe's largest enclosed park which spans 1,750 acres and is nicknamed Dublin's Green Lung. That's five times bigger than Hyde Park! This green space was originally landscaped back in 1662 to act as a deer hunting ground for when the British royalty would visit the city, and later on served as local government housing and for military use. Today, it's home to the official residence of the US ambassador and President of Ireland, which can be explored on a free guided tour on Saturdays.

The large, open fields make it the optimal spot to get away from the city and forget about life for a while, and it has plenty of important monuments and small hidden gems for you to discover. Among them is the Wellington Monument, which stands at 200 ft tall making it the biggest obelisk in Europe, as well as the Papal Cross and the unmissable Ashton Castle.

Make sure to visit the charming 22 acre People's Flower Garden while you're here, and the Dublin Zoo, which is one of the oldest in the world, is an absolute must for those traveling with kids. Rent a bike to see as much of the park as possible, and there are also hurling and cricket pitches inside the grounds plus opportunities for orienteering, inline skating and jogging. You'll even find a children's playground and designated BBQ and picnicking spots.

St Anne's Park

St Anne's Park is a lush green space located on the east side of the city, right on the coast with Bull Island found just across the water. This park offers much to the residents and tourists of the city, including a rose garden and myriad walkways to discover. It's a good choice for people who want to be up and active doing things and with 35 different playing fields plus a golf course, you'll find plenty to entertain you. If you're wondering how the space has room for all of this it's because St Anne's Park is the second biggest in the city at 240 acres in size, coming second to Phoenix Park, of course.

Inside the park, you'll find certain events and celebrations depending on the time of year, like the Rose Festival which happens every July, and the farmer's food market that's put on every Saturday for buying local produce and treats. The grounds were part of an estate owned by the Guinness family and even today it has multiple historic buildings nearby.

Feel free to bring your four legged friends since this park is dog friendly and even has a dog park for big and small pups. It's also common to see plenty of wildlife like badgers, foxes, rabbits and hedgehogs, plus a pond that is often home to ducks. A Herculanean Temple, Roman viewing tower, Chinese gardens and Pompeian Water Temple are found on site as well.

Iveagh Gardens

Situated just south of the famous St Stephen's Green, this is one of the most underrated green spaces in the city and is often overlooked because of its popular neighbor. The fact that it's less known is quite nice because that means that it's quiet, and its perfectly manicured gardens, which were designed by Ninian Niven back in 1865 for the Dublin Exhibition Palace, are the perfect spot to sit and unwind.

There are some pretty cool attractions here like an archery field and a miniature yew maze similar to the one that can be found in the Hampton Court of London. You'll also find a picturesque waterfall flowing over rocks that were taken from the 32 different counties of Ireland, and there is a sizeable lawn where people can gather for picnics or just to hang out.

Marlay Park

Marlay Park, located in south Dublin, is composed of wild woodlands with paths to explore and lovely walled gardens that offer a scenic place to take a stroll. The property was owned by several wealthy locals for most of its time but was eventually purchased by the County Dublin Council and turned into a regional park in 1972.

You'll find a nine hole golf course on site plus a weekend farmer's market, and with 210 acres of space to explore you can spend an entire afternoon walking around the grounds. If you happen to come by in the summer you may get to attend one of the outdoor concerts the park hosts and it has been the venue for the Longitude music festival since back in 2013. Tennis courts and two children's playgrounds make it a great place for the whole family, and the kids will particularly enjoy the miniature railway train, too. Bring your pets to play in the dog park while you're here and don't forget your sports equipment since there are a total of six soccer pitches and a cricket pitch inside the grounds.

If you want to go for a bit of a hike this is the starting point for the Wicklow Way which will bring you on a trek through the Wicklow Mountains and is the oldest National Trail in all of Ireland. A fun little challenge that you can do is to try and find the fairy tree, which has an intricate castle carved atop it. Once you see it, you'll know.

People's Park

The People's Park has a nice location on the coast at Dun Laoghaire. You can easily visit it if you're already at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. It's the ultimate picnic spot with seafood restaurants right next door, although there's also a restaurant within the park itself plus markets that are set up on the weekends where you can buy food, honey, or handmade jewelry and soap.

A favorite among the locals, this park has been around since 1890 and still has a very distinct Victorian design with some of its original features still in place like the railings, bandstand and park lodge. The playground for children, on the other hand, is a newer addition to the area and the gorgeous views of the Howth peninsula are stunning. The park is fairly small at only 2 hectares in size but is still very much worth checking out.

Discover the best of Dublin's parks

The Dublin city centre has a surprising amount of greenery and the places listed above aren't even all of the best parks in the city. Whether you're looking for somewhere to take a walk, hang out with friends or play sports, there are more than enough options nearby.

Check out the best hikes in Dublin too; there are lots of fantastic places to go for a trek or do other outdoor activities close to the city. With a beautiful location close to the coast, Dublin might also have some nice places to relax in the sand. Take a look at these best beaches near Dublin to see what kind of options you have close by.

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