At 1,752 acres (709 hectares), Dublin's Phoenix Park is one of the largest urban parks in Europe. This is the home of the Dublin Zoo, as well as the Victorian People’s Flower Garden, Áras an Uachtaráin (the official residence of the president of Ireland), and a herd of about 300 deer, which roam freely around the woodland areas and grassy lawns.
Though it began as a royal deer park for King Charles II during the 17th century, Phoenix Park is now a public park and one of Dublin’s most beloved recreational spaces. It attracts a steady stream of dog walkers, joggers, strollers, and picnickers.
Many out-of-town visitors come to the park to visit Dublin Zoo or to tour Áras an Uachtaráin, where the president of Ireland lives. Some travelers arrive at Phoenix Park via hop-on hop-off tour buses, and explore the park on foot or by bike. Bicycles are available for rent near the park’s main entrance.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Phoenix Park is a must for families, active travelers, and anyone who wants a break from the city streets.
- For more information on the park, stop by the visitor center, which contains exhibits on the history of the park.
- Phoenix Park offers many wheelchair-accessible paths.
How to Get There
Phoenix Park is 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) from Dublin city center. Ride the Red Line Luas tram to the Museum or Heuston stops. Dublin bus routes 25 and 26 go to Parkgate Street near the main park entrance.
When to Get There
Summer is the busiest season, but thanks to its huge size, the park never feels crowded. Go in autumn to see the park’s many deciduous trees display their fall foliage. Fall is also deer rutting season, when bucks vie for the attention of does. Visit during daylight hours when most of the park’s attractions are open.
What to See in the Park
Adjoining the visitor center is Ashtown Castle, a restored medieval tower house. Áras an Uachtaráin, the grand residence of the president of Ireland, can be explored on a guided tour (Saturday only). Near the Parkgate Street entrance sits Dublin Zoo. The Victorian People’s Flower Garden is situated between the Parkgate Street entrance and the North Circular Road Gate entrance.