There are an almost endless number of excellent parks in Dublin City and beyond.
From the heavweights, like the Phoenix Park and St. Anne’s, to often-missed Dublin parks, like the one in Newbridge, there’s plenty to explore.
In the guide below, you’ll find the best parks in Dublin, with everything from green spaces in the city to parks dotted along the coast.
The best parks in Dublin (in our opinion)
The first section of this guide is packed with our favourite Dublin parks – these are places that we keep coming back to over and over again.
Below, you’ll find the Phoenix Park and Killiney Hill Park to the brilliant St. Catherine’s Park and much more.
1. The Phoenix Park
Dominated by the 200ft tall Wellington Monument, the Phoenix Park is an enormous space and one of the largest enclosed public parks in any capital city in Europe (the Wellington Monument is also the largest obelisk in Europe!).
But enough about obelisks. Lying around 2-4 km west of Dublin city centre, the Phoenix Park is easy to reach and is a fine place for a windswept ramble.
If you’re driving, the car park over near the Papal Cross is your best bet. If you’re walking, enter at whichever gates are closest to you and head off on your merry way.
Other points of interest in this immense park include Dublin Zoo, lakes and glens and a herd of wild fallow deer (never feed the deer).
2. St. Anne’s Park
The second-largest of the many parks in Dublin, you’ll find St. Anne’s Park between the suburbs of Raheny and Clontarf on the northside of Dublin.
And to throw a bit of local celebrity stardust on the site, it was originally part of an estate assembled by members of the Guinness family – namely the descendants of Sir Arthur Guinness himself!
There’s a ton of stuff going on at St. Anne’s and you could spend all day if you so wished. Look out for historic buildings, walled gardens and a load of playing fields.
This is one of the best parks in Dublin for dog walkers, as there’s dog pens for big and small pooches. Parking can be tricky (info on a handy car park here).
3. Killiney Hill Park
More obelisks?! Ok, but this one’s pretty cool and it’s perched on top of a hill! It also used to have a railway station (albeit one that closed over 150 years ago, but still).
Located along the southern boundary of Dublin Bay, the main reason you’d head to Killiney Hill Park is for the gorgeous sweeping views from the viewpoint just south of the obelisk.
If you’re looking for Dublin parks where you can get a great view for very little effort, drive to the car park on Killiney Hill and take the 15 minute walk up to the viewpoint.
4. St. Catherine’s Park
With over 200 acres of woodland and grassland, St. Catherine’s Park is one of the most tranquil settings in Dublin and a lovely spot to come and get away from it all for a while.
Straddling the border between County Dublin and County Kildare, it takes around 30 minutes (maybe more depending on traffic) to drive there from the city centre and it’s also reachable on the 25A and 66A buses.
As well as its relaxing atmosphere and scenery, St. Catherine’s is also great for jogging, cycling, soccer, Gaelic football and canoeing. There’s a huge dog park, too!
We’ve been saying for a while that St. Catherine’s is arguably one of the best parks in Dublin and, if you venture here, you’ll understand why.
5. Marlay Park
While it’s now largely famous for hosting the huge Longitude music festival every year since 2013, Marlay Park is actually a lovely spot to come for a ramble the other 362 days of the year!
The land was in the hands of various wealthy local luminaries from the mid-18th century onwards until Dublin County Council acquired the land in 1972 and developed it as a regional park.
As well as a fine place for a stroll, there’s also a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, six soccer pitches, five GAA pitches, a cricket pitch, a dog park, two children’s playgrounds and a miniature railway. This is one of the best Dublin parks for a day out.
6. People’s Park (Dún Laoghaire)
Although the People’s Park in Dún Laoghaire is one of the smaller Dublin parks, it punches well above its weight!
An immaculately landscaped oasis of calm just moments from the harbour, the two-hectare park is well worth a visit, especially if you’re down here at the weekend when local vendors show off their colourful collections of arts, crafts and local produce.
Opened in 1890 and designed in the formal Victorian style, check out the wrought iron railings, stone walls, large gates and bandstand typical of the time period.
Overlooked Dublin parks worth a ramble around
So, some of the best parks in Dublin are ‘hidden’ a short drive away from the city centre, and they’re well worth a visit.
Places like Newbridge House (Donabate) and Ardgillian Castle (Balbriggan) are home to glorious grounds with endless walking trails to head off on.
1. Newbridge House & Farm
The Georgian-era Newbridge House mansion is indeed as alluring as it sounds, but did you know that it’s flanked by 370 acres of stunning parkland?
And within its vast space, you’ll find woodland walks, wildflower meadows, a traditional working farm, the ruins of Lanistown Castle and a deer park.
Located beyond Dublin Airport and just north of Swords, Newbridge House and Farm takes around 45 minutes to reach by car from Dublin city centre.
Open to the public since 1986, this is definitely one of the more underrated green spaces in the region and well worth a look.
2. Ardgillan Castle and Demesne
Ardgillan is another fine public park that lies just a little further to the north of Newbridge House (with the added benefit of being in view of the coast!).
Ardgillan Castle and the land date back to 1738 and they remained in private ownership until 1982 before being officially opened to the public in 1992. It’s now home to what’s arguably one of the best parks in Dublin.
Amid Ardgillan Demesne’s vast 200-acre expanse is a walled herb garden, a rose garden, a Victorian conservatory (or glasshouse), tea rooms, a children’s playground and an ice house.
Not only do you get to walk (or jog) along the peaceful scenes flanking the reservoir, you’ll also have some lovely views of the nearby mountains in all their rising glory.
It’s a simple enough drive out of the city too if you take the R117 and shouldn’t take much longer than half an hour. Although this is one of the lesser-known Dublin parks, parking can be scarce at times.
4. Corkagh Park
Ok, there’s a lot more to Corkagh Park than its baseball field but it’s certainly a curiosity that one doesn’t see too often on this side of the pond.
Covering 120 hectares, the park is located in Clondalkin around 10km from Dublin city centre. Its wide expanse is great for a little weekend stroll and you’ll be surrounded by a ton of different tree species (20,000 trees were planted in the early 1980s and1990s!).
Also, Ireland’s only purpose-built cycle track is located in Corkagh Park.
5. Tymon Park
Yes, it might be near a motorway but Tymon Park is actually a pretty nice spot and boasts over 300 acres of lush green space.
Located between Ballymount and Tallaght, it’s one of the best parks in Dublin for recreational activities, so if a gentle ramble isn’t enough to keep your energy levels from petering out then there’s loads of other stuff you can try here.
Tymon Park is typically also used for walking, jogging and contains 29 pitches for soccer, Gaelic football and hurling.
6. Fernhill Park and Gardens
Dublin’s newest public park, the former estate is a unique collection of heritage buildings, gardens, parkland, woodland and agricultural land dating back to around 1823.
Covering around 34 hectares of land on Dublin’s southern fringes, the elevated park means that in places you can clearly see Dublin Bay and the Dublin Mountains in the near distance.
Located around 10 km south of the city centre, it’ll take between 30-40 mins to reach by car and is also home to a unique plant collection, made up of acid-loving plants such as Rhododendrons, Camelias and Magnolias.
Dublin City parks where you can escape the hustle and bustle
So, there’s a fair few parks in Dublin City Centre, if you fancy escaping the hustle and bustle of the capital for a bit.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from the very popular St. Stephen’s Green to the often-missed Iveagh Gardens.
1. St. Stephen’s Green
Probably the most famous green space in the city, the rectangular St. Stephen’s Green is located right in the city centre just south of Trinity College and is surrounded by some of Dublin’s finest Georgian architecture.
The lake at the north of the green is a particularly nice part to stroll along and is often populated by ducks and other waterfowl.
Other points of interest for new visitors include a bust of James Joyce, the Yeats memorial garden with a sculpture by Henry Moore, a memorial to the Great Famine of 1845–1850 by Edward Delaney and a bust of Constance Markievicz on the south of the central garden.
2. Iveagh Gardens
Lying just south of St. Stephen’s Green yet far less conspicuous are the Iveagh Gardens. Since they’re almost completely surrounded by buildings, they’re a great spot (if you can find them!) to visit for a tranquil stroll and date back to around 1756.
Designed by Scottish landscape gardener Ninian Niven in 1865, you’ll find classic features such as a maze, a waterfall flowing over a handsome rockery (with rocks from each of Ireland’s 32 counties, no less!) and a large sunken lawn.
3. Merrion Square
Of much more prominence is Merrion Square, where some of Dublin’s most prominent locals have had addresses over the years.
A lovely blanket of green space located next door to the National Gallery of Ireland, notable residents have included Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and Daniel O’Connell.
Almost entirely lined with Georgian redbrick townhouses, it’s been open to the public since 1974. Despite the high status of some of its past residents, Merrion Square isn’t without its quirks, however!
Check out the famously languid Oscar Wilde statue and the surreal ‘Jokers Chair’, built in honour of comedian Dermot Morgan. This is one of the best parks in Dublin to escape the hustle and bustle without actually leaving the city.
Dublin parks: Which have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant parks in Dublin from the guide above.
If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about the best parks Dublin has to offer
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What is the famous park in Dublin?’ (the Phoenix Park) to ‘What are the biggest parks in Dublin?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best parks in Dublin for a walk today?
I’d argue that the nicest parks in Dublin for a stroll today are the Phoenix Park, St. Anne’s Park, Marlay Park and St. Catherine’s Park.
What Dublin parks are the nicest?
This’ll depend on what you consider ‘nice’, but it’s hard to beat Merrion Square and Fernhill Park and Gardens, in my opinion.