Ultimate Guide to Phoenix Park

A Day at Phoenix Park: Your Complete Visitor’s Guide

Can a stroll in the park really be a stress antidote? Actually, regular visits to green city parks, like Dublin’s Phoenix Park, can result in a 15% reduction in cortisol levels, the stress hormone. 

But beyond its greenery, this park is where you can explore history, nature, culture, and fun. There’s so much to see and do!

So read on, because we’re going to tell you all about this amazing park below.

What is Phoenix Park most known for?

Phoenix Park is known as the largest enclosed city park in Europe, covering an extensive 1,750 acres. It’s renowned for housing Áras an Uachtaráin, which serves as the official residence of the President of Ireland.

Now, let’s rewind a bit to the 1660s. Back then, someone had the brilliant idea to turn Phoenix Park into a royal hunting ground. Fast forward to 1747, and bam! It opens its gates to the public.

And it’s not your run-of-the-mill park, either. Nope, it’s got all the cool stuff: Farmleigh House, Dublin Zoo, the People’s Flower Gardens, and the Wellington Testimonial. It’s like the VIP section of parks!

But that’s not all! This park isn’t just about strolling around or having a picnic. 

It’s a hub of sports, recreation, and wildlife action. We’re talking about a bunch of fallow deer chilling out, adding that extra touch of nature.

And don’t miss the Magazine Fort—it’s like the lookout spot. From there, you get this awesome panoramic view of the park and the whole city. Talk about a two-in-one deal!

Visitor’s Information

ADDRESSThe Whitefields, Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+353 1 820 5800

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURSMain Gates - Open 24/7

Side Gates - Open daily from 7 AM to 10:45 PM


Best Time to Go

Best Time to Go
Photo by 2H Media on Unsplash

For morning enthusiasts and seekers of urban serenity, the prime time to visit Phoenix Park in Dublin depends on your taste. But it’s best to opt for early mornings or weekdays to escape the crowds.

If you love sunny days and vibrant events, summer from June to August is your jam. But fair warning, it’s also prime time for tourists, so brace yourself for a bit of a crowd and maybe some wallet-stretching moments.

On the flip side, if you’re ballin’ on a budget, winter’s got your back with the best deals. Just be prepared for some chilly, rainy vibes.

Want a sweet middle ground? Spring or fall is the sweet spot. The weather is mild, and the park is more on the chill side. It’s like the Goldilocks zone of Phoenix Park enjoyment.

How to Get There

How to Get There
Photo by Nico Baum on Unsplash

Getting to Phoenix Park is a breeze; it’s just a 6-kilometre skip from Dublin City Centre or a speedy exit off the M50 (exit 6). And if you’re jetting in, you’ll be trading airport hustle for the chill vibes of the park in a cool twenty minutes flat!

By Bus

There are loads of bus routes that’ll get you pretty close to Phoenix Park. Just hop onto the Dublin Bus website to get the most up-to-date info and the complete list of routes by number.

Oh, and if you’re eyeing specific entrances:

  • For Parkgate Street (Main Gate Entrance), Islandbridge Turnstile, and Chapelizod Gate, roll with bus route numbers 25 or 26.
  • If you’re heading to the North Circular Road Gate, hitch a ride on bus route number 46A.
  • Castleknock Road and Castleknock Gate? Bus route number 37 is your ride.
  • Need to hit up Navan Road and Ashtown Gate? Take your pick from bus route numbers 37, 38, 39, or 70.

By Train or Tram

Now, if trains are more your style, Heuston Station is practically giving Phoenix Park a high-five at its Parkgate Street entrance. Grab a regional or commuter train, and it’s like you’re already at the doorstep of the park.

For an equally snazzy entry, catch commuter trains to Ashtown or Phoenix Park Train Stations, just a skip away. Check out the latest details on train adventures at the Iarnród Éireann website.

Feel like a tram-tastic journey? Hop onto the Luas Red Line and hop off at the Museum or Heuston Station stop for your grand entrance into Phoenix Park. Cheers to easy travel!

Parking Information

Parking Information
Image from Phoenix Park

Here’s the scoop on parking at Phoenix Park—they have lots for you. But heads up, most shut down when the sun takes its leave.

Now, there are a couple of rebels in the mix. The car parks on Upper Glen Road and inside Knockmaroon Gate are like the VIP section, open 24/7.

But, and this is important, don’t be that person parking where you shouldn’t. No sidewalk takeovers, no bicycle lane invasions, and definitely no cosying up to double yellow lines or junctions. 

Safety first, and let’s keep it classy in the parking game. 

Things to See and Do in the Park

Head to the Park’s Visitor Centre

Head to the Park’s Visitor Centre
Image from Phoenix Park
OPERATING HOURSOpen Daily - 9:30 AM to 6 PM

If you fancy becoming a Phoenix Park aficionado, make a beeline for the Visitor Centre. It’s hanging out on the north side of the park, just chilling past the main roundabout like it owns the place.

Inside, you’ll find this hip exhibition that spills all the tea on the park’s history and wildlife. It’s like a time-traveling extravaganza with videos and stories that’ll have you saying, “What century is it again?”

And if you need a caffeine fix or a bathroom break, no worries—they’ve got a coffee shop and toilets. Plus, there are picnic tables outside for when you want to soak up the knowledge while enjoying some fresh air.

Go for a Walk on Phoenix Park’s Scenic Trails

Go for a Walk on Phoenix Park's Scenic Trails
Image by Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park is the prime spot for a leisurely walk where you can dodge ducks instead of pedestrians. You can roll up in your car like a boss or embrace your inner adventurer and hoof it on foot.

With trails that cater to your every whim, whether you’re into ponds, fields, or feeling like you’re in a mystical forest straight out of a fairytale, Phoenix Park has got you covered.

These trails are like the red carpet of walking paths—smooth and fancy enough for city shoes. Just make sure those kicks are as comfy as your favourite pyjamas, because you might end up racking up more steps than you thought possible! 

Rent a Bike for a Speedy Park Adventure

Rent a Bike for a Speedy Park Adventure
Image by Phoenix Park Bikes
CONTACT DETAILS+353 (0) 873799946

[email protected]


Summer - 10 AM to 6 PM (Weekends - 9 AM to 7 PM)

Saddle up, folks! Phoenix Park Bikes is your go-to ride pimp, offering everything from classic bikes to ones that practically pedal themselves.

Whether you’re feeling all Tour de France or just want a leisurely cruise, they’ve got the wheels for you. Rent a bike for a hot minute or make it an all-day affair—the choice is yours.

And if navigating the park on your own doesn’t appeal to you, Phoenix Park Bikes offers a guided tour for a dose of park knowledge that’s as stylish as a polar bear sporting sunglasses. 

Say Hello to the Deer That Call the Park Home

Say Hello to the Deer That Call the Park Home
Image by Eini Trujillo on Unsplash

Phoenix Park has been the time-traveling deer sanctuary of Dublin since the 17th century. You can stroll through history surrounded by these majestic beings, who practically hold honorary citizenship in Dublin.

For the ultimate VIP deer-viewing experience, plan your visit just right—aim for late spring to mid-summer, especially July. That’s when the bucks and adorable fawns are out there, strutting their stuff like it’s a deer fashion show.

A weekday visit is the ideal way to dodge the crowds and catch these wild residents showing off their antlers and spots, if you’re up for being an early bird.

But quick heads up: these aren’t your run-of-the-mill pets. It’s best to resist the temptation to go full-on Disney Princess.

So skip the snacks, and instead, kick back, relax, and take in the spectacle as these wild wonders roam freely through the park’s meadows. It’s like a nature show, but you’re right in the middle of it!

Enjoy a Guided Tour of Dublin Zoo

CONTACT DETAILS+353 (0)1 4748900

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURSOpen daily - 9:30 AM to 4 PM (African Planes close at 3:30 PM)

Dublin Zoo is an awesome spot in Phoenix Park that’s been bringing people joy since 1831. You can explore different habitats, watch feeding times, join educational talks, and even meet some of the zookeepers. 

It’s like a global animal bash at Dublin Zoo, boasting over 400 creatures like rhinos, giraffes, zebras, and party-loving gorillas. They spill the tea on habitats, quirks, and all things conservation—a premier access to the realm of the wild!

And here’s the thing: if you happen to swing by the zoo in winter, get ready for a magical treat. 

The Wild Lights show transforms the whole place into a twinkling wonderland, like a zoo-meets-fairy tale mashup. So, hold onto your hats and prepare for some seriously enchanting vibes!

Check Out the Magazine Fort for Some History

Check Out the Magazine Fort for Some History
Image from Phoenix Park

Have you heard of the Magazine Fort in Phoenix Park? It’s like a time capsule, encompassing Ireland’s military and political history while also providing panoramic views of the park and the city.

Initially just a laid-back lodge, the fort got a serious glow in 1734 when it was demolished to make space for a full-on fort and magazine.

And no, not a celebrity gossip magazine; it’s where the Brits stashed their military bullets during their Irish escapade. They were basically the ultimate storage squad, keeping things low-key for quite a while.

It has strong walls, cannons, and a whole vibe of defending itself, and it’s like the fort took self-defense classes! You can join a free guided tour of the fort or just explore the outside on your own. 

Visit Iconic Park Buildings

Visit Iconic Park Buildings
Image from Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park is practically a who’s who of well-known buildings in Dublin! You’ve got Farmleigh House, the President’s House, the American Ambassador’s Residence, and Ashtown Castle.

Let’s start with Farmleigh House, this cool Edwardian place that used to be the hotspot for the Guinness family. Now, it’s like a treasure trove with fancy furniture, books, and art on display.

Now, let’s swing by Áras an Uachtaráin, the President’s crib. This place isn’t your average house; it’s a living, breathing history book, and the walls practically spill secrets about Ireland’s past.

And as if that’s not cool enough, right next door is the American Ambassador’s residence. Think lush gardens and a mansion so historic it’s practically giving side-eye to time itself.

What’s more, let’s not overlook Ashtown Castle, a mediaeval tower house cleverly tucked away in the Visitor Centre. It’s complete with a free museum detailing Ireland’s fight for freedom. 

Take in the Park’s Historic Monuments

Take in the Park's Historic Monuments
Photo by Rubina Ajdary on Unsplash

Dublin’s Phoenix Park is like a history buffet, hosting several intriguing historical landmarks, including the Wellington Monument, Papal Cross, and Phoenix Monument.

The centrepiece of the park is the Wellington Monument. It’s decked out with bronze plaques that are basically his Battle of Waterloo victory stickers.

Then there’s the Papal Cross, a cool white cross from 1979 for Pope John Paul II. It’s not just a cross; it’s your ticket to awesome views of the park and Dublin.

And of course, we can’t forget the grand finale—the Phoenix Monument. This stone column comes complete with a majestic bird perched on top, symbolising rebirth and all that good stuff. 

Oh, and check out the plaques too—they’ve got all the deets for history buffs!

Admire the Flowers at Victorian People’s Gardens

Admire the Flowers at Victorian People's Gardens
Image from Heritage Ireland

Phoenix Park is a floral wonderland in Dublin. The Victorian People’s Gardens are the main act—think vibrant flowers, a serene lake, and a snug tea room that’s basically a hug in a mug. 

Spanning a whopping 9 hectares and conveniently close to the zoo, these gardens are a Victorian time capsule from 1864, giving off serious Jane Austen vibes. It’s like stepping into a romantic novel set in the heart of nature.

There’s also the Walled Kitchen Garden that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a green classroom where history meets sustainability, and fruits, veggies, and flowers are the star students, proving that learning can be both fruitful and beautiful. 

Have a Peaceful Picnic at Furry Glen

Furry Glen, an ideal spot in Phoenix Park for a delightful picnic, is a lush paradise with a stream showing off its watery dance moves, a waterfall doing its majestic thing, and more trees and flowers than you can shake a selfie stick at.

But hold on, we’re not done yet—let’s talk about the A-list residents. Deer, squirrels, and the coolest birds in town call this place home.

This place is also the perfect spot for a picnic more fabulous than a Hollywood premiere. So, grab your basket of goodies and channel your inner foodie for a taste of nature’s VIP experience!

Where to Eat

Phoenix Park Tea Rooms

Phoenix Park Tea Rooms
Image from Phoenix Park
ADDRESS Phoenix Park
OPERATING HOURSOpen daily - 9:30 AM to 4 PM

Phoenix Park Tea Rooms is a vintage time capsule from 1896 that’s more than just a café—it’s a flavour journey through history! With options ranging from paninis to salads, baked potatoes, and more, your taste buds are in for a treat.

And the beverage game? Top-notch. Sip on organic coffee or tea while diving into their delightful array of cakes and desserts, which includes options for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and sugar-free folks.

Whether you choose the quaint indoor setting or the breezy outdoor experience under the trees, you’re in for a charming view paired with a side of vintage décor. 

Phoenix Café

ADDRESSPhoenix Cafe, Visitors Centre, Ashtown Castle, Phoenix Park
OPERATING HOURSOpen daily - 9:30 AM to 5 PM

Phoenix Café, your go-to haven for good eats in Dublin, presents an enticing selection of specialty items, with their scones reigning as the top-selling pastries. There’s also homemade jam that’s ultimately a game-changer!

Feel like defying gravity? Dive into their gravity-defying cakes or indulge in the richness of Wicklow’s organic coffee. And the best part is that, whether you’re gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan, they’ve got the magic touch to cater to all diets.

Now, let’s talk accolades—they’ve snagged the Best Café in Ireland Award and a bunch of other well-deserved honours. With an outdoor hangout, a paradise for the little ones, and a garden supplying fresh goodies, they’re basically café royalty!

Anglers Rest

Anglers Rest
Image by Anglers Rest
ADDRESS20 Knockmaroon Hill, Castleknock, Dublin
CONTACT DETAILS+353 1 820 4351

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURSSunday to Wednesday - 12 PM to 9 PM

Thurs, Friday & Saturday - 12 PM to 10 PM

Anglers Rest, located near Phoenix Park,  is where fish pie dreams come true. Nightly, your dining experience is accompanied by the harmonious tunes of live music, adding a delightful touch of entertainment to your meal.

And let’s talk history—this joint’s roots run so deep, they predate your grandma’s secret fisherman stew recipe. Talk about culinary heritage! 

Plus, parking is as stress-free as finding Nemo. And to top it off, they’ve got an outdoor terrace that’s basically a seafood lover’s VIP lounge.

The Boathouse

The Boathouse
Image by Brambles
ADDRESSCastleknock, Farmleigh, Phoenix Park

The Boathouse cafe is a 15-minute stroll from the Phoenix Park gate. It’s a culinary carnival spotlighting fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, with a menu that could mirror your evolving culinary inclinations.

Here, you can feast on salads, sandwiches, soups, and desserts while ducks and swans perform their graceful water ballet in the lake. 

And if you’re in the mood for a sun-soaked session, hit the veranda. But if rain decides to gatecrash, don’t fret—inside is a cosy haven where you can still enjoy the ambience. Time to treat your taste buds to a lakeside rendezvous!

Lo-Cal Kitchen

ADDRESSThe Phoenix Park Racecourse, Dublin 15
CONTACT DETAILS+353 1 838 8050

At The Lo-cal Kitchen near Phoenix Park Racecourse, diners can begin their culinary journey with guilt-free indulgence. Its gourmet goodness goes beyond satisfying your taste buds, offering a wholesome and healthy lifestyle upgrade to delight in.

You can enjoy a menu bursting with freshness—salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups, and cakes that practically do cartwheels! It’s the go-to spot for the health-conscious squad, whether you’re veggie, vegan, gluten-free, or on a dairy hiatus.

The Lo-cal Kitchen has a cosy and cheerful vibe, with bright and colourful decor and friendly staff. You can also sit inside or outside, or grab your food to go. 

Where to Stay

Phoenix Park Hotel

Phoenix Park Hotel
Image by Dublin Hotels
ADDRESS38-39 Parkgate St, Stoneybatter, Dublin 8
CONTACT DETAILS+353 1 677 2870

[email protected]

Phoenix Park Hotel, a family-run three-star gem in central Dublin with picturesque views, offers modern comforts including flat-screen TVs. They’ve got 24/7 reception, free WiFi, and a delightful breakfast for a perfect stay.

Getting here is a breeze; just ride the 748 bus to Heuston Station and strut for a solid three minutes. Spot the hotel chilling opposite the Courts of Justice on Parkgate Street, and voila!

Joe’s Bar and the Bistro are all set to make you feel like the esteemed guest you truly are. From here, Dublin is your oyster—take a stroll to the Zoo, the Guinness Storehouse, and other cool spots.

Ashling Hotel Dublin

Ashling Hotel Dublin
Image from Booking
ADDRESS10-13 Parkgate Street, Dublin 8
CONTACT DETAILS+353 (0)1 6772324

[email protected]

The Ashling Hotel, only 6 minutes from Phoenix Park, is your comfortable four-star retreat with 226 rooms and a restaurant for 180 guests—it’s the perfect place for any celebration!

Wi-Fi and on-site parking? No problem! They’ve got your internet needs and parking anxieties covered.

And let’s talk convenience—you’re practically neighbours with Heuston Station, the Airlink Bus stop, and the LUAS Tram Red Line.

Travelodge Dublin Phoenix Park

Travelodge Dublin Phoenix Park
Image from Expedia
ADDRESSNavan Rd, Castleknock, Dublin 15
CONTACT DETAILS03531 8202626

At Travelodge Dublin Phoenix Park, you can experience the charm of their three-star hotel with 100 comfy rooms, each boasting ensuite bathrooms, a TV, and complimentary hot drinks.

You’ll enjoy the perks of free parking, indulge your taste buds at The Diner restaurant, and grab quick snacks from their trusty vending machines.

But that’s not all—thanks to easy access to buses and trains, you can whisk yourself away to Dublin’s city center whenever the mood strikes.

EasyHotel Dublin City Centre

EasyHotel Dublin City Centre
Image from Tripadvisor
ADDRESS28-31, 28 Benburb St, Stoneybatter, Dublin, 7
CONTACT DETAILS+353 1 539 2909

EasyHotel Dublin City Centre offers budget-savvy travellers a cosy oasis amid pubs, tunes, and markets. It’s your ticket to wallet-friendly wanderlust, ideally situated just 1km away from the iconic Phoenix Park.

Forget long walks; Temple Bar, Guinness Storehouse, and Dublin Castle are practically your neighbours, just a stone’s throw away.

And the cherry on top? Air-conditioned rooms boast TV, WiFi, and your very own private bathroom, because privacy is a beautiful thing.

West County Hotel

ADDRESSOld, Lucan Rd, Chapelizod, Dublin
CONTACT DETAILS+353 (0) 1 626 4011

[email protected]

The West County Hotel has been a hospitality hub for over 50 years. It offers 48 cosy rooms with all the amenities, just a 7-minute drive from Phoenix Park, and even provides room service.

When your stomach starts doing the cha-cha, hit up the Liffey Bar or the Pine Restaurant for a meal that’ll make your taste buds throw a party. And if you’re planning a shindig or a conference, this place has you covered.

Plus, it’s like a choose-your-own-adventure novel with golfing, walking, shopping, and more right on your doorstep. 

Hilton Dublin Kilmainham

Hilton Dublin Kilmainham
Image by Hilton Dublin Kilmainham
ADDRESSS Circular Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin

The Hilton Dublin Kilmainham Hotel is a place to rest your head. From Phoenix Park, you’ll be practically waving at Kilmainham Gaol and the Royal Hospital gardens from your window.

Step into one of their 120 rooms, which are basically modern-day magic caves equipped with everything—TV, internet, air conditioning, and a laptop safe—because who wants their laptop throwing a wild party when they’re out exploring?

But the adventure doesn’t end there. The LivingWell Health Club is like a fitness amusement park, offering a gym, sauna, steam room, spa bath, and a hydrotherapy pool.