The best parks in Dublin

St Stephen's Green, photo by David Hawgood

Dublin is a city where much of the attractions are indoors, starting with museums, galleries or churches to the famous Irish pubs. But when you need to take a breath of fresh air in Dublin you won’t find yourself without a place to go. Although it is a thoroughly modern capital, Dublin has more than enough green spaces for outdoorsy people. Some of the best parks in Dublin are the perfect place for a stroll any time of the day, to kick back and relax at a picnic, or just walk off last night’s pints of Guinness.

St Stephen’s Green

St Stephen’s Green is one of the oldest, largest and most popular parks in Dublin, and during daylight hours there will always be people strolling, running or walking their pets along its alleys. The park was enclosed sometime in the 17th century, and its current design dates back to the 1880’s. The highlights of the parka are the lake and the fountain, and of course the many memorials dedicated to famous Dubliners.

Iveagh Gardens, Clonmel Street

Iveagh Gardens, photo by William Murphy

The lovely Iveagh Gardens on Clonmel Street are some of the finest in the city, but also one of the least known, which makes them the perfect place if you want some privacy and quiet. The garden was opened in 1863 and it’s obvious from the first glance that they still retain their quiet Victorian elegance. You can wander among flower beds, a rustic grotto, fountains, rosarium, cascades and even archery grounds.

Merrion Square Park

Merrion Square is the largest public square in the city, and it also has one of the best parks in Dublin even if not the largest. The buildings lining the square are the epitome of Georgian elegance, and the garden of Leinster House is filled with colorful flower beds and quaint shrubs, but the centerpiece of the park is without a question the very life-like statue of Oscar Wilde, lounging lazily on a rock with an ironic smile on his lips.

Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square

Garden of Remembrance, photo by William Murphy

The Garden of Remembrance is a somber yet beautiful park, dedicated to the memory of the people who died fighting for Ireland’s independence. The garden was built on the site where several leaders of the revolution were held for one night during the Easter Rising of 1916 before being taken to be the Kilmainham Gaol. The garden is small and peaceful, and it’s main attraction is a statue of the Children of Lir sculpted by Oisin Kelly.

St Anne’s Park

Although it isn’t in the city center, this park shared between the suburbs of Raheny and Clontarf is the second largest in Dublin and a great spot for an outing. The small Naniken River crosses the park, and another interesting feature is the duck pond and its winged residents. Don’t forget to take a look at the elaborate Tudor stables and the many follies.

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