Welcome back to #FailteFridays! If you’re looking for a place to run, relax, read a book, or just go for a stroll, check out Phoenix Park. It’s a 15-minute walk west of Dublin’s City Center and it’s the largest enclosed park in all of Europe! It has over 1700 acres and it’s larger than all of London’s city parks put together and twice the size of Central Park. Inside of the park you can visit the Dublin Zoo, Wellington Monument, War Memorial Garden, and the President of Ireland’s house.
When you first walk into the park, you’ll see the Wellington Monument from a far distance away. It’s a 203-foot-tall obelisk, making it the largest obelisk in Europe. It was built to commemorate the victories of Arthur Wellesley. Born as an Anglo-Irish solider and quickly rose ranks until he became the 1st Duke of Wellington. He was the general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars and defeated Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo. The Monument consists of 4 panels which cover Wellesley’s different campaigns and battles. It’s a nice open area to relax and read a book. If you take a left at the Monument, you’ll come up on the War Memorial Garden. If you’re visiting in the summer time, I would highly recommend checking this out.
If you continue up Phoenix Park, you’ll come up on a flower garden. If it’s a nice day and the sun is out, expect tons of people to be taking naps on the grass. I’m not one to usually take a nap in a park, but I can assure you that grass was strangely soft. If you keep walking, you come up on the Dublin Zoo for €20, but it is a definite must in my opinion. You can easily spend an entire day there with the number of exhibits and animals they have. You’ll see animals from monkeys, penguins, gorillas, rhinos, giraffes, lions, tigers, elephants, and zebras. A couple of friends and I spent an entire day at the Zoo, so I highly recommend that if you’re interested.
Phoenix Park is famous for the deer that reside in the park. If you see a large herd of them, don’t be shy. You can walk up to the deer and they’ll walk right up to you. Granted, they think they’re about to get food from you but if you play it off, you can get some incredible pictures with them. We happened to stumble upon about 100+ deer and about 15 of them were walking up to people looking for food. A good portion of them have fully grown antlers. Check out Paige’s incredible pictures of the deer close up!
Last up on my list of places to visit is the presidential residence. That’s right, the president of Ireland lives in Phoenix Park. You can buy tickets at the visitor center just up the road for a one-hour long tour of the building. With the tour you’ll learn about the history of the building and how it came under Irish ownership, and then you’ll hear about the previous presidents and how they each add something different to the house during their time. If you’re lucky, you’ll actually get to see him taking his dogs out to play!
That’s about it for this week’s blog on #FailteFridays. Hope you enjoyed and plan on checking out Phoenix Park! Make sure to check us out on Instagram – @MSMUtravels.