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The Botanic Gardens in Dublin, one of the best free things to do in Dublin

National Botanic Gardens Dublin

Dublin, a city brimming with history and lively pubs, also offers tranquil escapes for those seeking a breath of fresh air. Nestled amongst the urban sprawl lies a haven for nature lovers – the Dublin Botanic Gardens. Founded in 1795, these gardens boast a stunning collection of plants from across the globe, making them a perfect destination for a relaxing and educational day trip.

Friendly birds at the national botanic gardens in Glasnevin
Friendly birds at the national botanic gardens in Glasnevin

A World of Flora:

Step inside the wrought-iron gates and be greeted by a vibrant tapestry of colors and textures. Winding paths weave through themed gardens, each offering a unique experience. Explore the Victorian-era Curvilinear Range, a glasshouse showcasing exotic rainforest plants from South America and Southeast Asia. Be mesmerized by the towering palms, vibrant orchids, and delicate ferns thriving under the carefully controlled humidity.

A Walk Through Time:

Venture into the peaceful surrounds of the Rose Garden, bursting with fragrant blooms in a kaleidoscope of colors. Lose yourself amidst the neatly manicured hedges and formal flower beds of the Lower Garden, a testament to 18th-century horticultural design. For a historical touch, visit the Herb Garden, where medicinal plants have been cultivated since the garden’s inception.

Beyond the Flowers:

The gardens are more than just a collection of plants. Keep an eye out for the resident ducks gliding gracefully on the ponds, or listen to the delicate chirping of birds flitting through the trees. Pack a picnic lunch and find a quiet spot under a shady tree to soak up the serenity. The on-site cafe offers refreshments for those who prefer not to pack their own.

For the Plant Enthusiast:

The National Herbarium, located within the gardens, houses a vast collection of dried plant specimens. This treasure trove is a goldmine of information for botanists and anyone fascinated by the diversity of plant life. Guided tours are available for those who want to delve deeper into the garden’s history and plant collections.

A Tranquil Escape:

Whether you’re a seasoned plant aficionado or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the city buzz, Dublin’s Botanic Gardens offer something for everyone. With its diverse flora, historical charm, and tranquil atmosphere, it’s a destination that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. So, pack your walking shoes, a sense of curiosity, and prepare to be transported to a world of botanical wonder.

National Botanic Gardens, Dublin
National Botanic Gardens, Dublin by Miguel Mendez. CC by SA 2.0

What are the opening hours for the Botanic Gardens?

The National Botanic Gardens Glasnevin are currently open for Summer Hours, from 9.00am to 5.00pm on weekdays and 10am to 6.00pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and Bank Holidays.

These times are subject to change, however, you can find the most up to date hours over on the official website,

How much does it cost to enter the Botanic Gardens?

The National Botanic Gardens in Dublin, Ireland, is free to enter.

How do I get to the Botanic Gardens by public transport?

The Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin are only 3kms from the city center, making it well within walking distance. You can use this link if you prefer to find the most suitable directions via various means of transport. 

The official website has a detailed section outlining all the different options for arriving at the gardens. 

Is there a cafe at the Botanic Gardens, or a place to eat?

Yes, there is a cafe at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin. The Garden Tearooms offer a charming dining experience amidst the beautiful surroundings of the gardens. Visitors can relax and enjoy a selection of hot and cold drinks, light snacks, and delicious homemade treats. There are also a couple of dining options just down the road from the gardens, including the ever popular McMahon’s of Botanic Avenue.

What else should I know before I visit the Botanic Gardens?

Bring some nuts and seeds to feed the birds and squirrels, and grab a coffee in the on site cafe or one of the nearby cafes outside. 

Next door to the gardens you’ll also find Glasnevin Cemetery, one of the most well known cemeteries in Ireland. Visit the final resting place of Irish legends such as Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera, Luke Kelly and more.

If visiting, note that dogs are not permitted inside the grounds. Bikes, scooters or other forms of transport are also not permitted. 

The Botanic Gardens really does make for a great day out, an excellent option for a cheap date, and a fantastic place to read a book or unwind on a rare non-rainy day in Ireland!

Lastly, the gardens provide many tours and exhibitions throughout the year. You’ll find out more below:

For everything else, you can visit the office website below:

Author: Thiago

I moved to Ireland 2012. I work as a business administrator and travel a lot to Europe with my work. I enjoy writing and athletics during my vacation and try to visit friends and family every year in Brazil.
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