Dublin city is no concrete jungle: it’s dotted with open spaces where you can stretch your legs, get some fresh air and soak up nature. First among them is Phoenix Park, one of the largest urban parks in Europe and unique in Dublin. It’s home to a beautiful array of local flora and fauna, as well as historic built heritage: nestled within the park is Áras an Uachtaráin, the home of the president of Ireland; as well as Farmleigh, past home of the Guinness family; medieval tower house, Ashtown Castle; and Dublin Zoo.

Phoenix Park Dublin

Deer in Phoenix Park Dublin

A little closer to the city centre, you’ll find the oases of St Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square – perfect for a mid-afternoon stroll on your lunch break. Take an hour or two to get lost in the yew maze at the Iveagh Gardens, known as Dublin’s secret garden and one of its best summer music and comedy gig venues; or take a tour of the Great Palm House and see the extraordinary species on display at the Botanic Gardens.

In the suburbs, two of the best are Marlay Park – where Longitude music festival takes place each year and the weekend market is a treat – and St Anne’s Park, where you can enjoy 35 playing pitches, 18 hard-surfaced tennis courts, four boules courts and a par-3 golf course.

Want to make a day of it?

Take the train to Killiney and Dalkey by the sea; or explore the Howth Peninsula in north Dublin. And if you’re willing to go further afield, why not explore the Wicklow Mountains? They’re crisscrossed with hiking trails that lead to spectacular views and hidden glens. View more parks and gardens on VisitDublin.com.

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