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
Perfectly positioned with the sea to the east and mountains to the south, Dublin’s spectacular natural sights are never far away.
Driving from the city centre, you can make your way to Sandymount Strand in the south in 15 minutes, or Bull Island to the north in less than half an hour.
By train, it gets even easier: the DART takes a coastal route on Dublin’s south side, filling your journey with seascape views. From Shankill near the southern border with County Wicklow, the train takes you through the beautiful, affluent village of Dalkey, past Dún Laoghaire and its picturesque pier and lighthouses. Once it reaches the city, the train travels right up to Malahide and its beach-filled surrounds; nearby Portmarnock and Donabate are two of the best-loved beaches in north county Dublin.
- A dip at The Forty Foot – Dublin’s legendary swimming spot.
- The Great South Wall walk to Poolbeg Lighthouse – one of the most beautiful walks in the county.
- A trip out to Howth Head – for spectacular views out across the sea to south Dublin.
At the county’s southern fringes, the Dublin Mountains are a potential-packed range, filled with manageable walks, challenging hikes and exhilarating mountain biking trails. The range is easily navigated via the Dublin Mountains Way, a long-distance trail stretching for 42km from Shankill in the south-east to Tallaght in the south-west.
- The cairn at Fairy Castle – accessed through Ticknock Forest, this ancient, collapsed passage tomb is the highest point in the Dublin Mountains.
- Hell Fire Club at the summit of Montpellier Hill – an 18th-century hunting lodge, long associated with the occult and meetings where the devil was summoned!
Home to no fewer than five Michelin-starred restaurants (Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Chapter One, Heron & Grey, l’Ecrivain and The Green House), Dublin’s foodie pedigree is growing every year. Ireland’s premier food and drinks festival,
The Big Hitters Dublin’s rich mix of history, culture and nature ensures that visitors will never run out of interesting places to visit. Best of all, many of these – including world-class galleries parks and museums – do not charge an entry fee. Enjoy! The Book of Kells at Trinity College Booking required. One of the world’s most famous books, the Book of Kells is a 9th-century copy of the Gospels. Spectacularly ornate, completely unique and impeccably preserved, it is housed in Dublin’s historic Trinity College Library – a treat in i