About Phoenix Park

General Post Office, Ireland
Phoenix Park. Image credit: Mark Hill

You may not have come to Dublin on a mission to visit Phoenix Park, but you’ll probably be surprised by how much there is to do here. It’s one of the largest urban parks in Europe, home to herds of grazing deer, polo matches, the presidential mansion and much more. If you’re visiting Dublin, don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore Phoenix Park.

The park’s name is actually an Anglicisation of the Irish words, fionn uisce, which mean ‘clear water’. It occupies a vast tract of land north of the River Liffey and serves as Dublin’s primary escape destination. Picnicking, cycling and jogging – they’re all on the list of things to do.

As mentioned, the Áras an Uachtaráin (Irish for ‘president’s house’) is part of the park. It was built in the mid-18th century to house British Viceroys in Dublin. It became the president’s residence in 1938. Free guided tours (one-hour) are offered every Saturday between 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

For a proper tour of the park, begin your visit at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre. It’s free to the public and offers a self-guided tour of exhibits and a 20-minute audio-visual presentation that explore the park’s history and significance. Go up one floor for an in-depth look at the wildlife found in the park.

Once you’ve toured the visitor centre, head next-door to the fully restored Ashtown Castle. It’s more of a tower than a proper castle and dates to the 15th century. It was actually lost and forgotten to the general public until 1978. A larger building that enveloped it was deemed irreparable and was slated for demolition. As the building came down, Ashtown Castle emerged. During the summer, concerts are often scheduled on Ashtown grounds.

Hire a bike from Phoenix Park bike hire and cycle around Phoenix park, the roads are often quiet enough to relax, head toward Farmleigh House and Estate’s market for a spot of lunch on Sundays.     

Photos of Phoenix Park:

Gap of Dunloe
Phoenix Park in Fall, Dublin. Photo credit: RedCraig

Gap of Dunloe
Phoenix Park Visitors Centre cafe courtyard

Gap of Dunloe
Quiet time at Phoenix Park. Photo credit: infomatique

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