Dublin City has over 120 public parks and there are now impressive plans recently announced by Dublin City Council to further improve these hugely popular green areas. The suggested improvements include more art and sculptures, tearooms and added bicycle facilities as well as increasing the amount of outdoor seating in city centre parks.
However, as Travelodge Ireland Hotels know so well, the parks in Dublin are already pretty wonderful so we decided to pick out 5 of the best Public Parks in Dublin below.
1: Dublin’s Phoenix Park
You can’t claim to have seen the best of Dublin if you haven’t concluded an excursion to Europe’s largest enclosed park. The Phoenix Park is completely free and close to the centre but you can walk for miles through open terrain and woody enclosures as wild deer gambol alongside. For the more energetic there are plenty of places to run around and extensive cycle paths for the committed cyclists. There are loads of things to see and do while you’re in this Dublin park; it’s home to Áras an Uachtaráin (the President of Ireland’s official residence) and Dublin Zoo, one of the oldest in the world, there’s also a terrific café and an impressive visitor centre. There’s even a 17th-century castle in the park, Ashtown Castle, such is the sheer size of the Phoenix Park.
2: St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin City Centre
If Spring has sprung, you can be sure that this Dublin park will be packed to the tree branches with lunch eaters, tourists taking a time out and relaxed strollers soaking up the warmer weather. Right in the middle of Dublin’s busiest shopping area and steps from our budget hotel, St. Stephen’s Green is a calming spot for Dubliners. It also has many literary and historical associations due to its central location, around practically every corner, there is a statue or memorial. St. Stephen’s Green was opened in 1880 and its nine hectares are still beautifully maintained with tree lined walks, colourful flowerbeds and an ornamental lake where Dubliners come with their children to feed the ducks.
3: Dublin Iveagh Gardens
The Iveagh Gardens are a wonderful surprise when you enter their gates just behind the National Concert Hall on Earlsfort Terrace. Practically hidden from the streets outside, inside there are graceful fountains, impressive monuments and fragrant gardens to tempt you away from the Dublin city centre. Designed in 1865, the Victorian Iveagh Gardens are named after Lord Iveagh, a member of the famous Guinness family, and a celebrated benefactor to the city of Dublin. Set out in a combination of French formal and English landscape styles, Iveagh Gardens are a splendid secret garden to visit while you’re in Dublin city and a great place to enjoy a quiet picnic at the same time.
4: Dublin’s Marlay Park
On the other side of the city from St. Anne’s, Marlay Park in Rathfarnham lies at the foot of the Dublin Mountains and its 300 acres hardly lack for activities. Not only is it the starting point for the celebrated long-distance trail, the Wicklow Way, but you could list the children’s playground, BMX track, tennis courts, football pitches, cricket pitch, golf course, fairs, concerts, farmers’ markets and still not have covered the full range of uses Dubliners put Marlay Park to. A much more modern park than the others on this list of Top Dublin Parks, Marlay only opened in 1975 but has since carved out a favoured place in the pantheon of Dubliners’ most loved parks. And it’s close to our Travelodge Rathmines Hotel.
5: St. Anne’s Park in Dublin City
St. Anne’s is Dublin’s second largest park and one for all the family. Set between the suburb of Raheny and the coastline at Clontarf, this was donated to Dublin by the Guinness family in the early 1900s and has been enjoyed by generations ever since. A great spot for sport, there are over thirty playing pitches, multiple tennis courts, playgrounds and even a golf course within this Dublin park. In addition, there’s a very impressive walled garden, a vibrant rose garden and some follies for the more sedentary of visitors to St. Anne’s to enjoy like the Herculaneum Temple on the banks of the duck pond.