Insider Tips

Outdoor Dublin: City Parks & Nature Spots

By Visit Dublin

18th February 2022

For the foreseeable future, outdoor adventures reign supreme. Grab your picnic blanket (and a few warm layers) and prepare to explore four of Dublin's lushest green havens. With takeaway coffee and food options plentiful, Dublin's parks and waterways are the perfect locations for chilling out this season.

Group of wild deer at Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park

One of Europe’s largest enclosed city spaces, the Phoenix Park is a leafy oasis on the edge of the Dublin city-centre. Home to Dublin Zoo, Farmleigh House and herds of beautiful wild deer, this expansive green getaway is well worth a visit. Wide open space and fresh air abound, while bicycles are availabe to rent so you can find your own remote corner of this well-known park to enjoy.

Grand & Royal Canals

These two man-made canals encircle Dublin’s inner city and are perfect for a scenic stroll. Along the southside Grand Canal, you’ll find ducks, swans and of course, a statue of Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh, who wrote in his famous poem ‘Lines Written On A Seat On The Grand Canal’; ‘Commemorate me where there is water, canal water preferably…’. Discover a different perspective on Dublin by kayaking on the Grand Canal with Extreme Time-Off; a 5.5km route to Inchicore takes in some beautiful Dublin landmarks along the way. Alternatively, relax and take in the canal vibes on a canal barge tour with Bargetrips.ie. A stroll out by the northside’s Royal Canal meanwhile will bring you to iconic stadium Croke Park, home of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA); regular tours document the stadium’s rich history.

Fountain in Iveagh Gardens

Iveagh Gardens & St. Stephen’s Green

These two charming parks are just a short stroll away from the city centre. The Iveagh Gardens – a hidden Dublin gem – were lovingly restored by Benjamin Guinness (grandson of Arthur) in 1860 and contain a diverse collection of features, including rustic grottos, fountain centre pieces, wilderness, woodlands, a yew maze, a rosarium, an American garden and archery grounds. St. Stephen’s Green was opened to the public in 1880; spend some time spotting the fifteen commemorative sculptures located throughout the space. Both parks are ideal spots for al fresco picnics, with numerous coffee and food options nearby.

Couple admiring view from Three Rock in Dublin Mountains

Dublin Mountains

It’s a little further afield, but we couldn’t leave out the stunning range of mountains that lie less than an hour from the city centre. We recommend you check out the many biking trails that offer amazing views of the city. Or, if you’re after a more relaxing activity, book an outdoor table at the famous Johnnie Fox’s pub in Glencullen, at the top of the mountains. A bus runs from the city centre for just €5 each way, while a delicious al fresco menu awaits.

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