Parks and Gardens Walking Tour, Dublin (Self Guided)

In the golden age of Queen Victoria, suzerain of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Dublin grew into a wonderful and flourishing city with many parks and gardens. It has succeeded in maintaining these natural wonders over the centuries. Even in the 20th century, after a cruel modernization and remodulation in the 60s, the city of Dublin is still one of the greenest European capitals. Take this tour and breath in the green air of Dublin's parks.
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Parks and Gardens Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Parks and Gardens Walking Tour
Guide Location: Ireland » Dublin (See other walking tours in Dublin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Author: max
St. Patrick's Park

1) St. Patrick's Park (must see)

Adjoining St. Patrick's Cathedral, St Patrick's Park is believed to be the site of baptism of the first Irish Christians by St. Patrick, who used water from the River Poddle which now flows underground. St. Patrick's Park was created under the eponymous Act of 1897 by Lord Iveagh. Its layout was done by Arthur Dudgeon C.E. in 1901, and the park itself was opened to the public in 1904. Lord Iveagh had remained in charge of the park's maintenance for several years until Dublin Corporation completely took it over in the 1920s. With a children's playground inside, the park provides a beautiful setting for the cathedral. There were several additions to the park made in 1988, including a Literary Parade which pays tribute to Swift, Mangan, Wilde, Shaw, Yeats, Synge, O'Casey, Joyce, Behan, Beckett, Clarke and Dillon, and the Liberty Bell Sculpture.

Why You Should Visit:
Beautiful park with plenty of area to hang out and have a picnic; lots of walkways, benches to rest on, flowers and people to watch.
The Literary Parade on the east side of the park with all of the famous Irish poets and writers is quite fun.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-9pm
Iveagh Gardens

2) Iveagh Gardens

Iveagh Gardens is a public park located behind the National Concert Hall. It is a lovely, calm place to spend an hour or so in the sun.

This beautiful park isn’t very large, but it full of things to see. It was first opened to the public in the early 19th century, but no-one took much care of it and it became something of a wilderness and the land might have been sold off for housing, if not for Benjamin Guinness who took it over and restored it in 1863 after Iveagh House was built. His son Edward gave the park to the University College of Dublin in 1908.

The Gardens are laid out in a harmonious blend of a French formal garden and an English landscaped garden. You will find hidden grottoes and waterfalls, sunken lawns and fountains. In various places statues of Roman and Greek gods peer at you from the bushes.

There is a lovely box hedge maze to explore with its sundial in the center, a well stocked rose garden and an American garden with mellow meadow-like grass and rockeries. You can stroll along the pathways, shaded by woodland trees or sit on a bench near the bronze statue of the 19th century tenor John McCormack.
St. Stephen's Green

3) St. Stephen's Green (must see)

If you don’t want to wait your turn in one of the busy restaurants in the shopping center, the best thing to do is to pick up a sandwich and a drink and take it to Saint Stephen’s Green Park on the south end of Grafton Street.

This 27-acre park is the biggest of Dublin’s Georgian square parks. It was laid out in 1880 by Sir A. Guinness and is a delightful area to have your lunch, with its flower beds, shady walks, fountains and benches round a large ornamental lake where you can feed the ducks. In the summer open-air concerts are held here.

The rectangular park is surrounded by stately Georgian houses and is noted for its many statues and memorials. You will see a statue honoring Sir A. Guinness; a bronze statue of Theobald Wolfe Tone surrounded by monoliths (the locals call this “Tonehenge”); a fountain statue of the Three Fates, donated by German refugees after the Second World War; a statue of Robert Emmet and busts of James Joyce and Constance Markievcz.

Among the memorials are the Yeats Memorial Garden with its statue by Henry Moore; the Fusiliers Arch, a memorial to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who died in the Second Boer War; a monument to Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, the Fenian leader and member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and a memorial of the Great Famine that caused so much death and misery in Ireland between 1845 and 1850.

Why You Should Visit:
Beautiful, cosy and tranquil park. There are lovely little ponds with swans and ducks and plenty of places to sit.
Many cafes nearby, just down the road, where you can pop in for cake and coffee/tea before or after your walk.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 8am-6pm; Sun: 10am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Merrion Square Park

4) Merrion Square Park

One of the best places to relax is Merrion Square Park in the center of Merrion Square, the most distinguished of the remaining Georgian squares in Dublin.

The park is a railed off garden, once for the exclusive use of the Square’s residents, but now open to the public. On Sundays in the summer the railings are festooned with paintings executed by local artists and it’s possible to pick up a wonderful landscape or portrait by an up and coming artist, at a reasonable price. Open-air concerts are also held in the park in the summer.

The gardens were laid out between 1762 and 1764 and since they have been opened to the public a children’s playground has been added. There is also a lovely floral garden and a heather garden. The park is full of statues and busts; the most notable is the “Jester’s Chair” which is a memorial to Dermot Morgan.

You can see a superb statue of Oscar Wilde relaxing on a quartz rock. It was sculpted by Danny Osborne in 1997 and shows the great man, dressed in his favorite green smoking jacket with red collar and cuffs, his expression enigmatic. The details of this statue are truly remarkable and you would almost expect him to get up and stroll off through the park, perhaps to the house on the square where he grew up.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Garden of Remembrance

5) Garden of Remembrance (must see)

If you want to spend a quiet hour or so away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin, take a sandwich and a book and go sit in the Garden of Remembrance, which you will find on Parnell Square North.

The beautifully laid out gardens were designed by Daithi Hanly in commemoration of the men, women and children who gave their lives for the freedom of Ireland between 1798 and 1921. The gardens were opened in 1966 by President Eamon de Valera on the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising, during which he had been a commander.

The main theme of the gardens is the sunken pool in the shape of a Latin Cross, surrounded by benches and flowers in wooden tubs. The floor of the pool is tiled and you will see 4 mosaic designs along the “upright” part of the cross. These symbols represent the Celtic custom at the end of a battle, when the shields and weapons were cast into the water as a peace offering.

At the uppermost part of the pool is a shallow flight of steps leading to Oisin Kelly’s beautiful statue of the Children of Lir. The statue, which is based on Celtic mythology, represents rebirth and resurrection. Surrounding the statue and the sunken pool are neatly kept green lawns.

Why You Should Visit:
An oasis of peace, color and tranquility in the heart of the city, enhanced by excellent craftsmanship in design.
The ponds and statues are great eyecatchers and even if you just want to enjoy the few rays of sunlight Dublin gets every year, this is a good place to start at.

No public restroom, but you could always duck into The Hugh Lane across the street if it's open.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8:30am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Dublin, Ireland

Create Your Own Walk in Dublin

Create Your Own Walk in Dublin

Creating your own self-guided walk in Dublin is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Nightlife Tour, Part 1

Nightlife Tour, Part 1

Dublin at night is a buzzing Mecca of nightclubs, restaurants, bars, and night-time attractions. If you want to have an unforgettable night out, this walking tour is definitely what you need! We offer you a walk around the heart of the Irish capital, with stops at some of the most popular clubs and bars in this fascinating city.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 km
A Walk along Liffey River

A Walk along Liffey River

Take a walk among the places where Irish history was made and is kept alive for the generations to come. This part of town is a place where the past meets the present and the future is defined. There is no better place in Ireland for a tourist to learn more about Irish culture and its rich, colorful history. Don't hesitate to spend a few hours exploring the banks of Liffey River in the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Temple Bar Entertainment

Temple Bar Entertainment

Temple Bar is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin, Ireland. Unlike the areas surrounding it, Temple Bar has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets. It is promoted as Dublin's cultural quarter and has a lively nightlife that is popular with tourists, with locations proving to be traditional Irish hotspots

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 km
Daily Life Tour

Daily Life Tour

The real life of Dubliners is hidden away from the main tourist attractions. Those who live in Dublin and breathe its air daily, live an interesting and complex life. Take this tour to feel what it is like to be a Dubliner. Walk off the beaten track, shop alongside Dubliners, perhaps even go to an opera at The National Concert Hall.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
A Walk with Famous Irish Writers

A Walk with Famous Irish Writers

Check out this unique tour to learn about the lives of famous Irish writers, such as Oscar Wilde and James Joyce. You will visit places from their daily life, as well as monuments, museums, a birth place, and even a final resting place. Follow this tour and learn more about Dublin’s literary background.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 km
Pub Crawl

Pub Crawl

Dubliners and the Irish in general are known for their passion for whiskey and beer. The Irish and the Scots are constantly at odds as to who makes the better whiskey and who could imagine St. Patrick's day without some famous Irish green beer ? Check out this amazing tour, that will guide you trough an area packed with pubs, and find out first hand what an Irish pub crawl means.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Distinctively Irish Things to Buy in Dublin

16 Distinctively Irish Things to Buy in Dublin

The birthplace of many artistic talents, such as Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde, Dublin is the show-window of Ireland, a small country renowned for its rich cultural scene encompassing music, writing, poetry, dance, craftsmanship and more. The food & drink scene of Dublin (much as the whole of...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Dublin for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Dublin has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Dublin's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Dublin Pass or Dublin Freedom Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Dublin's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Dublin hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Westin Dublin, Temple Bar Hotel, The Morgan Hotel.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Dublin, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Dublin typically costs somewhere between US$20 and US$30 or more per person:

- A Historical Walking Tour is a must for a city like Dublin that wears on its sleeve a great deal of history spanning from the times of Viking settlement to modern days! This is more than just a sightseeing walk but a brief examination of the key periods of Irish history.

- Combine educational with recreational on the entertaining crawl through Dublin's pubs that have inspired great Irish writers. This walking tour is a great introduction to Dublin's rich literary heritage complete with a chance to enjoy a few pints along the way.

- A good story and glass of whiskey is the combination hard to beat! And to learn the story of Jameson Whiskey' rich heritage is what one may definitely want to do, whilst in Dublin, on a tasting tour of Jameson Distillery, the home of Ireland's best-selling whiskey.

- If you feel like partying, why not throw yourself into a traditional Irish house party for a deeper understanding of Dublin's culture with a great deal of fun in a warm and friendly atmosphere! Good food, lively and lovely music to dance and listen to are all added to the equation.

- If you love for music commands you to go out, feel free to do so and discover Irish music in the traditional pubs of Dublin on a 2.5-hour pub crawl through historic Temple Bar. Let professional musicians take the lead and reveal to you the story of Irish music in the most suitable Irish pub setting!

- Pedal your way around Dublin on a guided bike tour to feel the city's energy and unique atmosphere, see its great sights while stopping at some of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city's history and distinguished citizens from a knowledgeable group leader.

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in Dublin, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, Northern Ireland, Kilkenny and Glendalough, or Titanic Belfast Visitor Experience and Giant’s Causeway. For as little as circa US$40+ to US$80+ per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites including famous rock formations, castles, caves and cloisters, discover the best of Ireland’s dramatic coastline with cliffs, historically significant monastic settlements, gain insight into Irish folklore and history, relive the tragic yet captivating story of the Titanic, and see many other landmark sites worth visiting. For any of these tours you will be picked up straight from your hotel in Dublin and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach/minibus to the destination of your choice and back again.