Phoenix Park is one of Europe's largest urban parks at more than 1700 acres. It was established in the 1650s as a deer park under the supervision of James Butler, a viceroy for English king Charles II. Because of the deer and other wildlife, it was enclosed by a wall. It opened to the public in 1745, which it has remained ever since. The park is immortalized in literature in the James Joyce novels Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake.
One highlight of the park is the Irish Presidential residence, Áras an Uachtaráin. Free tours are offered to the public on Saturdays. The Wellington Monument is a 62m tall obelisk commemorating the victores of the 1st Duke of Wellington. It is the tallest obelisk in Europe. The Magazine Fort was an important part of Dublin's defenses for centuries, and today is fun to explore. There are also recreation facilities, including a polo field.
The Dublin Zoo is located in the eastern end of the park. Founded in 1831, it is one of the oldest in the world. More than six hundred animals call the zoo home and it attracts nearly 1,000,000 visitors each year. Highlights include the World of Primates, which feature orangutans and gorillas. There are also exhibits dedicated to the African plains, the Arctic, and South America. It's an excellent, if small, zoo and a great attraction for children.
Phoenix Park is the perfect place to unwind during a trip to Dublin, especially on sunny days. It's a great place for a picnic. There are miles of trails, and if you're lucky you can spot the herds of fallow dear that patrol the park.
Location: 2km west of the city center
Telephone: +353 1 677 0095
Admission: Free admission.
Address: Phoenix Park, Dublin 8
Telephone: +353 1 474 8900
Hours: Open daily, hours vary throughout the year.
€10.50 Children (3-16)