With a medieval castle, a set of gorgeous Victorian gardens and one of Europe’s tallest obelisks, this vast green space provides a glimpse back through the ages.
As one of Europe’s largest capital city parks, Phoenix Park plays a key role in keeping Dublin green. It contains a range of impressive monuments and fascinating architectural vestiges, as well as scenic gardens and the municipal zoo. Take advantage of the greenery and scenic terrain that Dublin offers in this vast public park.
Bring your kids to see the animals in the Dublin Zoo, where you’ll share a corner of the park with elephants, giraffes and even penguins. Watch the lions, orangutans and sea lions at feeding times and listen to informative talks from the staff.
Nearby stands the Áras an Uachtaráin, where the president of Ireland resides and works. Notice how this 18th-century structure resembles the White House in Washington D.C. in layout, with a white portico, imposing columns and a strong pediment.
Admire the array of color in the Victorian People’s Flower Gardens, which was first laid out in 1840. Relax next to the ornamental lake here and let your kids frolic in the children’s playground. The gardens also have a picnic area beside fine examples of Victorian horticulture.
Gaze up at the impressive Phoenix Monument, featuring a Corinthian column topped by a phoenix sculpture. Eclipsing it in scale is the enormous Wellington Testimonial, a 203-foot (62-meter) obelisk that celebrates the military successes of the Duke of Wellington.
Note that the park was initially set up for hunting grounds in the 1660s, before opening as a public park almost a century later. Get a sense of the park’s history, with a visit to the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre in the 15th-century Ashtown Castle.
Phoenix Park occupies a huge portion of western Dublin. Take a train to Heuston Station and start walking northwest through the vast park. You can also ride a bus to one of the stops surrounding the edges of the grounds. Check out other nearby highlights such as the Kilmainham Gaol, the Farmleigh House and Gaels-Drumfinn Avenue Park.