Phoenix Park/Áras an Uachtaráin: A guide to Dublin’s urban escape

Nestled in the heart of Dublin, Phoenix Park stands as a verdant oasis, boasting the title of one of Europe’s largest enclosed urban parks.

Phoenix Park/Áras an Uachtaráin: Escape & PRESIDENTIAL ABODE

This sprawling expanse of natural beauty is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and home to Ireland’s official head of state at Áras an Uachtaráin – the President’s residence.

Join us on a journey through Dublin’s cherished urban escape, where ancient woodlands, historic monuments, and a diverse range of flora converge.

Discover the allure of Phoenix Park and delve into the stately halls and manicured gardens of Áras an Uachtaráin, encapsulating the essence of Ireland’s natural and political heritage.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for visiting Phoenix Park and Áras an Uachtaráin:

Image of a section of the nine hectares Victorian People's Flower Gardens located Phoenix Park/Áras an Uachtaráin.
Credit: Flickr/ William Murphy
  • Phoenix Park is vast and offers various attractions. Leave yourself a couple of hours to explore and enjoy the park entirely.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as you might walk long distances within the park. Remember, too, that you can rent bikes to cover the grounds more efficiently.
  • Phoenix Park is home to wild deer. Bring binoculars for wildlife watching, but keep a safe distance and do not feed them.
  • Bring a picnic to enjoy in one of the park’s designated areas. It’s a great way to relax and soak in the natural surroundings. 
  • Always bring your rubbish and leave the park as you found it.
  • Located within Phoenix Park, Dublin Zoo is a popular attraction and an excellent Dublin activity for the whole family.
  • Remember your camera! Beautiful landscapes, historic buildings, and wildlife make for great photo opportunities.
  • Ireland’s weather is notoriously changeable. Pack for all types of weather no matter what time of year you visit.
  • The Áras an Uachtaráin offers guided tours every Saturday at 10 am, 11:15 am, 12:30 pm, 1:45 pm, and 3 pm. The gardens are open to the public and feature diverse plants, a pond, and a walled garden.

Interesting facts about Phoenix Park and Áras an Uachtaráin:

Front view of Áras an Uachtaráin in Phoenix park, the official residence of the President of Ireland, showcasing its grand architecture and scenic surroundings.
Credit: Flickr/ William Murphy
  • Phoenix Park/Áras an Uachtaráin is one of Europe’s largest enclosed urban parks, covering about 1,750 acres.
  • Established in 1662, Phoenix Park predates New York City‘s Central Park by over two centuries.
  • Dublin Zoo, located within Phoenix Park, is one of the world’s oldest zoos, dating back to 1830.
  • The park’s sizeable fallow deer population is a descendant of an original herd introduced in the 17th century.
  • Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President of Ireland, was initially built in 1751 as a residence for the British Viceroy of Ireland. 
  • It has been the official residence of the President of Ireland since 1938.
  • Located in Phoenix Park, the Wellington Monument is one of the largest obelisks in Europe, standing at over 200 feet tall.
  • Phoenix Park is home to the Papal Cross, erected for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979. It has become a landmark and venue for open-air events.
  • The park houses the Magazine Fort, a historic military structure that played a role in the defense of Dublin during various periods of history.

What’s nearby

Front view of West County Hotel: A charming hotel facade with inviting entrance and landscaped surroundings.
Credit: Booking.com

Food: No43 (world food), Cumiskey’s (bar & grill), Shangri-La (Asian), Ryan’s of Parkgate Street (steakhouse).

For more options, check out our guide to the best foodie destinations in Dublin.

Drink: Hole in the Wall, Nancy Hands, P. Duggan’s, Breffni Inn, the Halfway House.

For more options, consult our list of the best pubs in Dublin.

Accommodation: Phoenix Park Hotel (three-star), West County Hotel (three-star), Deerpark Lodge (three-star).

See our complete guide to the best hotels in Dublin for all budgets.

Other attractionsKilmainham Gaol, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Farmleigh House & Estate, Irish National War Memorial Gardens, Dublin Zoo.

Your questions answered about Phoenix Park and Áras an Uachtaráin

Can you visit Áras an Uachtaráin?

Yes, guided tours are available in Phoenix Park/Áras an Uachtaráin, allowing visitors to explore the public rooms and gardens of Áras an Uachtaráin.

What does Áras an Uachtaráin mean in English?

Áras an Uachtaráin translates to “Residence of the President” in English.

Who lives in Áras an Uachtaráin?

The President of Ireland resides in Áras an Uachtaráin.

What is Phoenix Park Dublin known for?

Phoenix Park/Áras an Uachtaráin is known for being one of Europe’s largest enclosed urban parks.

Featuring diverse landscapes and historic sites, Dublin Zoo, and serves as the location for Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President of Ireland.

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