Perfectly positioned with the sea to the east and mountains to the south, Dublin’s spectacular natural sights are never far away. Sea 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. The Fo
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.
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.
Dublin city stretches across 115km², with the county itself covering 921km². While it’s not the biggest area, as Ireland’s capital city, it has a lot going on – which is why it’s split into four local authorities: Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
An introduction to the districts of Dublin The River Liffey flows through the centre of Dublin dividing it in two. Traditionally, the north side of the river was home to the city’s working class residents, while the south side was associated with Dublin’s middle and upper classes. However, this is changing as neighbourhoods like Smithfield, Stoneybatter and Clontarf to the north become gentrified. Today, the county would be more accurately described as having a west-east division. Although there isn’t any river drawing a line between the two areas, the east side of Dublin is generally considered to be more affluent – particularly along the coast.