Located within a shouting distance of Dublin city, Phoenix Park is a real dream. It is rich in its history and occupies 7 km square , making it the biggest city park in Europe. Without a doubt, it is one of the Top 10 Parks in Dublin and provides of of the 10 best walks in Dublin.
Opened in 1660 s, Phoenix Park was originally a royal hunting Park. To the public it was opened in 1747. Not only does the Ireland’s President live there in Aras An Uachtarain, but it’s an even more historic place of residence. It hosts a big number of Dublin events every year.
Phoenix Park is one of the Top 10 Free things to do in Dublin.
Good to know
There are two main entrances to the Phoenix Park: at Parkgate Street and Castleknock Gate. While mane gates are open 24 hours, all side gates are open from 7am until 10.45pm (can be different times depending on the season.)
There is no charge to enter the Phoenix Park.
What’s on in the Phoenix Park?
Found just 2 kilometers from Dublin city, Phoenix Park hosts lots of Dublin events each year. Some of them worth a mention :
- The Great Ireland Run
- Bloom in the Park
- Motor racing
- high-profile concerts over the years including U2, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran,Red Hot Chili Peppers and Snow Patrol.
- National Bike Week
- The Eucharistic Congress
- Tree Walk at Ashtown Castle Arboretum
Top Phoenix Park highlights:
- Aras An Uachtarain
- Dublin Zoo
- An Garda Siochana HQ
- Wellington Monument
- Aras an Uachtarain (President Residence)
- Dublin Zoo
- Phoenix Monument
- People’s Garden
- Papal Cross
- Visitor’s Centre
- Ashtown Castle
- Magazine Fort
The Phoenix Park hosts a huge amount of sports facilities including:
12 soccer pitches. Just to name a few:
- seven for GAA
- 3 for camogie
- 2 for cricket
- exclusive pitch for the Army
- for gardai
- a model aeroplane area
- a polo ground
- a seasonal cross country circuit.
Phoenix park is a must place to visit in Dublin
Phoenix Park is a must-add to your schedule of things to do in Dublin. You cannot miss out on all the wonderful Dublin attraction within the park. If you came on this vacation with your kids, then, this should be your first visit in town – your kids will have you almost visit this park every day. This is simply because the greatest sights and sounds of Dublin will be experienced here undoubtedly.
Want to see deer in the Phoenix Park?
Phoenix Park is massive, but on a beautiful day you can get a chance to see deer in Phoenix Park. Very often they graze around Papal cross and the American Ambassadors residence. And also deer often often can be seen towards Castleknock.
Deer start birthing around middle May until July, so good chance of seeing babies around this time.
Phoenix Park deer are lovely creatures and could form a background to family snapshots on an amazing summer’s afternoon, making it even better with unforgettable experience. It can also be an ideal opportunity for a quick visit on Christmas Day to thank Rudolph for his generosity and commitment to the work ethic on Christmas Eve.
You walk amongst the many wild deer who live in the park (please be aware you are not allowed to feed our Fallow Friends) making it perfect family fun day out or a stroll in the park.
While somebody get a good chance of a glimpse of deer, other can come close enough, take photo and even touch them. So have your camera ready for that perfect shot.
10 Facts You Need To Know About Phoenix Park
See the list of 10 important things you need to know about Phoenix Park, to throw more light on the relevance of your visit.
1. The biggest city Park in Europe
The Phoenix Park occupies 1,752 acres (707 hectares) which makes it the largest city parks in all Europe.
Not only this !
UNESCO has designated Dublin’s Phoenix Park as a world heritage site, due to its international importance and as one of the biggest designed landscapes in all Europe.
Phoenix park is rich in history, that dates back more that 350 years.
2. Viking Burials
Phoenix Park is home to the largest Viking graveyard in the world outside of Scandinavia.
In 19th Century archaeologists has discovered the site of 40 graves, one of them was women’s grave. The site contained swords and decorative Viking jewellery.
3.Dublin’s Greatest Green Space
Approximatly one-third of Phoenix Park is covered with trees like beech, oak, ash, lime, sycamore and horse chestnut. It has 50 per cent of the mammal species and 40 per cent of the bird species found in Ireland. It’s one of the sites in Ireland, that contains a widest variety of plant and animal species.
Phoenix Park is the best outdoor exercise spot. Dubliners come here for a long-distance run, breathe in the fresh air and clear the head. Families came to the park with kids, and kids has so many space to run and explore.
It’s a real dream and if you’re in the park, you will to see people jogging from first light in the morning til moonlight. Dublin’s most beautiful green spaces with historic architecture, woodland and top events and some most popular Dublin attarctions.
4. How the Phoenix Park Began
This is the most ancient landmark in the whole of Dublin and Ireland, dating back to 1662, when the park was first established by James Chester, the Duke of Ormond, representing King Charles II. It all began when the Dublin was first captured by the Normans during the 12th century; Castleknock gave to Knights Hospitaller a vast area of land of which Phoenix Park is a part of. These Knights lost control over this land as the King of England, Henry VII dissolved the Monasteries in 1537.
The ownership of the land was changed after eighty years to the reps of the king. This led to the Duke of Ormond a rep of King Charles II founding a royal park for hunting on behalf of the King of England on this large area (1752acres) of Land in 1662.
5. The Phoenix Park Visitor Center
If you have planned to visit this refreshing Dublin attraction, then your journey within must begin at this center. This is where you will learn all about the park – these lessons are mandatory because there are so many places, with a whole lot of things to do within this large park. The people at this center will educate you on all the places and events within. You are able to get tickets here to visit places that would require tickets to get access to. A typical example is the ticket needed to gain access to Aras an Uachtaran on Saturdays.
6. The Beautiful Victorian Kitchen Garden
This offers another recreational activity for all those that love the refreshing and rejuvenating sights of gardens. This newly created garden within the Phoenix Park looks irresistible from a distance with flowers and man vegetables cultivated in a Victorian style. There is always an opportunity to have a one-one talk time with the gardeners scheduled on the second Saturday of the month. A talk with them will provide valuable lessons to improve your skills. If you are a garden addict, then add this visit to your things to do in Dublin itinerary.
7. The Amazing Dublin Zoo
Are you with your kids for a vacation to the capital of the Emerald Isle still pondering about what to do in Dublin with your kids? Not to worry, the amazing zoo with the Phoenix Park will offer to your children the best adventurous experience ever. Did you know that this great Dublin attraction is the oldest Zoo in the whole of Europe?
Yes it is! It was created in 1831 and has been undergoing constant refurbishing and reequipping. These regular revamping makes the outfit contain all modern facilities and features of modern zoos, with a lot of collection of fantastic animals. A zoo has old as this will have all the animals on board definitely. Bring your child out here for the best fun ever within the Phoenix Park.
8. The Ashtown Castle
You cannot visit the Phoenix Park without encountering the most ancient building within the park. This wonderful castle takes you on a memory lane journey to rediscover the history of the park. A tour around the castle will intrigue you making you relish the pleasures of the archaic within the current. The Ashtown Castle was built in 1430 way before the establishment of this Park. It therefore standouts as the oldest monument to be explored – it is a unique attraction.
9. Winston Churchill
To emphasize the importance of the Phoenix Park as an amazing Dublin attraction is the knowledge of Winston Churchill residence in this Park. The ex-Prime Minister of Britain, Mr. Churchill lived here in this park from when he was two years old, till six years. He spent these developmental years at the Vice Regal Lodge now referred to as the Aras. The famous prime minster later on admitted that his initial memory of existence where those gained from the experiences at Phoenix Park.
10. Aras an Uachtaran
This is the most important facility within the Phoenix park; it is ancient government house of the President of Ireland. This was formerly called the Vice Regal Lodge that housed the likes of former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill during his childhood. Many other royals and people in government have resided here at this prestigious lodge. To visit this prominent Dublin attraction within the Phoenix Park, you will need to get a ticket at the park’s visitor center. With that ticket, you will be allowed to tour Aras an Uachtaran on Saturdays. You should add this important monumental visit to your list of things to do in Dublin this vacation.
How to get to Phoenix Park
From Dublin city centre:
Nos. 25, 26, 46A, 66 / 66A / 66B, 67, 69
LUAS Red Line:
Phoenix Park is about 10 minute walk from the Heuston Station stop.
From all over Ireland
Dublin Zoo is easily accessible by train and bus services.
Phoenix Par is located just 2 kilometers from Dublin city. Find the map to get the directions from your door steps.
Top 10 Things to do in the Phoenix Park Dublin
1. Aras An Uachtaran or President’s Residence.
Every Saturday there are limited amount of tickets that have to be collected at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre for guided tours of the President of Ireland’s home. The tours are free
2. Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, where you can learn all about the Phoenix park which is the largest urban park (1752 acres) in Europe. There is a coffee shop, parking and toilet facilities
3. Victorian Kitchen Garden are adjacent to the visitor centre, it is relatively new and proving to be very popular with the renewed interest in vegetable growing. Every second Saturday during the summer months you can meet and greet the gardeners.
4. Dublin Zoo established in 1831 is the oldest Zoo in Europe. One of the most popular family activities for all the family.
5. The Furry Glen where some 450 deer roam, fleet footed squirrels and other nice creatures and wildlife. The Glen is yet another heart warming part of the herculean Phoenix Park.
6. Farmleigh House has lots of events for all the family at Christmas, spring and summer.
7. The People’s Garden a homage to the Victorian style of planting is 22 acres in size. A charming place. The beautiful prime example of Victorian horticulture is located between the Parkgate Street entrance, and the North Circular Road Gate entrance to the Phoenix Park.
8. The Pope’s Cross, a steel cross standing at 35 meters, erected to mark the visit of Pope John Paul in 1979.
9. The Wellington Monument is situated at the southeast end of the Park, overlooking Kilmainham and the River Liffe. Wellington Testimonial is 62 meters in height and it make it the tallest oblesik in Europe.
An impressive Wellington Testimonial was built to commemorate the victories of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.
10. Hire Bicycles. There is a bicycle rental shop located at the main entrance to the Phoenix Park Dublin. They have W over 200 bikes to rent for adults and kids. Enjoy any of the 15kms of safe cycle ways / family / nature trails at the Phoenix Park.
Dublin Kids tips
Please be aware, that You are not allowed to do any of the following in the Phoenix Park:
- light fires
- ride a horse unless in an area specified for horse riding
- put up posters
- drive on the grass
- sell things, play frisbee unless you have got a permission from the park superintendent
- act “contrary to public morality”
- “annoy or otherwise interfere” with other park users
- go no faster than 50 km/per hour on roads through the park.