Destinations,Europe,Ireland

A nature lover’s guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland

When the sun rewards Dublin with its presence, locals and tourists visit the city’s parks and gardens to bask in the warmth and natural beauty. The best part? Most of these tranquil green spaces are free to visit. In this post, I’ll share insider tips and tricks to help you explore Dublin’s best parks and gardens like a true local, including some hidden gems.

A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

Note:

The address and opening times are also included in the post. Still, it can change anytime, especially the opening time, so check it on their sites to make sure you catch your dreamy Dublin parks and gardens.

Best parks and gardens to visit in Dublin, Ireland

The following map (My Maps by Google Maps) shows Dublin’s top parks and gardens, mentioned in this blog post.  

By clicking on the tab next to “Dublin’s must-visit parks and gardens”, you can see the actual points, and it’s also possible to turn off and on layers. Furthermore, you can also save this map (if you have My Maps account) by pressing the star next to the map title. 

To create your map, check out my blog post and video about How to plan your next travel itinerary with Google My Maps?

Watch this Short video on YouTube for Dublin’s best parks and gardens!

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Dublin’s natural gems – A guide to must-see parks and gardens

Phoenix Park

Having the title of one of the largest enclosed urban parks in Europe, Phoenix Park is a natural wonderland. Here, you can roam wherever your heart desires. As you enter the park, you’ll come across a charming little garden with vibrant flower beds and plenty of benches for relaxation.

The park’s main symbol is the towering obelisk, located closer to the city centre. While there, don’t miss the numerous monuments. One of the highlights of Phoenix Park is the historic Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President of Ireland. You can book a guided tour of the house and its gardens or admire the fancy building from the outside. 

Phoenix Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Phoenix Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Phoenix Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

How to get around Phoenix Park?

For a more in-depth exploration, rent a bicycle to observe the park’s diverse fauna. In the quiet parts of the park, you can see deer, foxes, and a variety of bird species. 

You can reach further areas in less time by bicycle. We rode after the cross and could finally spot the deer. They were lying down and walking around. A few of them even approached people (hoping for food…). The “prepared” people brought carrots and fed the deer.

Then we biked all the way to the end and back. There’s a tiny bit of incline from the city centre, so sometimes you need extra effort, though riding a bike on the way back was easier. 

Deers in Phoenix Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Deers in Phoenix Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

Phoenix Park bicycle rental prices

There is a bike rental place at the park’s beginning, but I suggest using Dublin bikes

Prices at the Phoenix Park Bikes rental place:

  • 1-hour rental – 7,00 EUR
  • 3 hours rental – 14,00 EUR
  • Full-day rental – 20,00 EUR 

Dublin bike prices:

  • The cheapest option is the daily subscription with 3,50 EUR. The first 30 minutes are free, then 0,50 EUR every half an hour. 
  • We used the bikes for more than 1,5 hours, so our additional cost was 1,50 EUR. So, just 5,00 EUR in total. I recommend using Dublin bikes instead of the rental place.
Cycling in Phoenix Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

National Botanic Garden

National Botanic Garden is located in North Dublin and is easily accessible by bus. It’s the perfect destination for any nature lover looking to escape the city for a few hours. This expansive green space features glasshouses, rock gardens, flower beds, rose gardens, and lush fruit and vegetable gardens. 

My favourites were the glasshouses, especially the cactus and palm houses. The palm trees and tropical plants completely mesmerised me. You can also see cactuses and desert plants in every size and shape. 

You’ll find a coffee shop and restroom near the entrance.

National Botanic Garden - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
National Botanic Garden - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
National Botanic Garden - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
National Botanic Garden - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
National Botanic Garden - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

St Stephen’s Green

Located in the heart of Dublin, St Stephen’s Green is probably the city’s most famous park. On sunny days, it is busy with people enjoying picnics, relaxation, and outdoor activities.

The most charming part of St Stephen’s Green is its serene lake, complete with a charming bridge and resident swans and ducks. Take a moment to sit on a bench and watch them swimming across the water’s surface.

Throughout the spring and autumn, the park showcases a vibrant display of flowers, including cherry and magnolia trees in full bloom.

St Stephen’s Green - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
St Stephen’s Green - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Magnolia tree in St Stephen’s Green - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
St Stephen’s Green - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

Merrion Square Park

Just a short walk from St Stephen’s Green, Merrion Square Park is another favourite of mine. The park is home to a beautiful central bandstand and many sculptures. The most famous is the statue of Oscar Wilde, reclining on a rock. Consider yourself lucky if you’re there without tourists taking photos 😛

Merrion Square Park offers a variety of trees, pathways, flower gardens, playgrounds, and open green spaces for leisure and relaxation. Keep an eye out for the cute squirrels that occasionally make an appearance. 

Take a moment to stroll along the garden’s exterior and admire the charming Georgian buildings with their colourful doors.

Merrion Square Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Merrion Square Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Merrion Square Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Merrion Square Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

Iveagh Gardens

This hidden gem is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. Wander along the winding paths, adore the colourful annuals and towering trees, and enjoy the greenery that makes you forget you’re in the heart of Ireland’s capital.

Don’t miss the rest of the garden with its rose garden, hedge labyrinth and green spaces. You’ll find many vast grass areas to lay down and enjoy the sunshine. It’s more peaceful than the nearby St Stephen’s Green.

Iveagh Gardens also offers an unexpected surprise… Would you expect to see a waterfall in the centre of Dublin? Well, Iveagh Gardens makes that possible. The cascading water is so beautiful, and its pod is surrounded by lush greenery. 

Iveagh Gardens - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Iveagh Gardens - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Iveagh Gardens - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Iveagh Gardens - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

Dublin Castle Garden (Dubh Linn Garden)

This charming garden is located behind Dublin Castle. You can appreciate the perfect balance of historic and modern design as the garden’s contemporary elements blend seamlessly with its ancient stone walls. 

Wildflowers flourish around the oval-shaped central green area, once designed as a helicopter landing pad and decorated with six interlocking brick pathways inspired by Celtic design. When you think you’ve already discovered every corner of the park, wander around and find the hidden corners and gems. 

You can see the Dublin Castle buildings from the garden, including the rounded tower, chapel and colourful facades. A gallery and a coffee shop are accessible from the garden.

Dublin Castle Garden (Dubh Linn Garden) - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Dublin Castle Garden (Dubh Linn Garden) - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Dublin Castle Garden (Dubh Linn Garden) - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Dublin Castle Garden (Dubh Linn Garden) - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

Herbert Park

If you’re a cherry blossom lover, mid-April is the ideal time to visit Herbert Park. The long passage lined with blossoming cherry trees is an absolute spectacle. Get ready because you might not have the park to yourself during cherry blossom season. 

Don’t overlook the other parts of the park, like the lakeside promenade. 

But even outside of the spring season, Herbert Park is a beautiful destination for a stroll or a picnic. The tranquil atmosphere and stunning scenery make it the perfect place to relax and unwind. 

Cherry blossoms in Herbert Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Cherry blossoms in Herbert Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Herbert Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Herbert Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

The Secret Garden of St. Audeon’s Church

Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to read a book or a peaceful place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, The Secret Garden of St. Audeon’s Church is the perfect hidden gem to explore during your visit to Dublin. Located in the heart of Dublin’s historic quarter, Christ Church and its garden are just a few minutes walk from here, though this one is more intimate. 

You’ll find various plants and flowers here, including roses, lavender, and honeysuckle. The garden is also home to many fruit trees.

As you wander through the garden, you’ll come across several hidden corners and secluded spots. For a unique experience, try out the musical instruments and the singing hollow in the garden. Just follow the description and hum into the stone’s hollow. 

The Secret Garden of St. Audeon's Church - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
The Secret Garden of St. Audeon's Church - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
The Secret Garden of St. Audeon's Church - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

St. Patrick’s Park

Situated next to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Park offers stunning views of the magnificent cathedral from all angles. Different flowers bloom every season, and you can often spot birds enjoying the pretty fountain.

The park’s upper level offers a fantastic view of the whole park and the cathedral. There are also some funny-looking trees up there. 

You can also grab a coffee and pastries from the nearby Soren & Son or The Fumbally and enjoy them in the park. 

St. Patrick’s Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
St. Patrick’s Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
St. Patrick’s Park - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire

Dún Laoghaire is located in South Dublin and easily accessible by train (Dart). It’s a popular day trip from the city centre. You can stroll on the seaside, walk to the lighthouse on the pier, adore the charming buildings, and even visit a nearby beach at Sandymount and Forty Foot. During your visit, don’t miss the lovely People’s Park.

The park is home to various plants and flowers, playful fountains and inviting green spaces for sunbathing and relaxation. Grab a coffee at Bibi’s Café or Happy Out and unwind in the lush park.

One of the highlights of The People’s Park is the Sunday market, where locals sell their homemade goods, and you can sample a variety of artisanal treats.

People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire - A nature lover's guide to the best parks and gardens in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

With this comprehensive guide to Dublin’s best parks and gardens, you’ll be ready to embark on a green adventure through the city. Discover the beauty of these natural spaces, each with its unique charm and character, and make the most of your visit to Dublin, Ireland. Start planning your trip today!

Which one was your favourite one? Leave a comment below. 

For more travel tips about Ireland and Europe, read the following posts:

Pin the photos for later on Pinterest. Also, write a comment on Pinterest and tell me your opinion.

Parks and gardens you can't miss in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland
Best parks and gardens to visit in Dublin, Ireland | Aliz’s Wonderland

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