Your guide to beautiful gardens of St. Stephen’s Green

travel blog about st stephens green

My arrival at St. Stephen’s Green

A park in a city is always a breath of fresh air, trading the claustrophobia of buildings for the smell of fresh cut grass. I visited St. Stephen’s Green as my first tourist attraction in Dublin. With blossoming flowers and fascinating statues it’s easy to see why it was so popular. 

I landed in Dublin rather surprised to see the sun. The weather forecast seemed to have condemned me to a wet weekend, and when the rain started to hit against the glass on my window at Stansted airport I resigned myself to that fate. I was pleasantly surprised to find bright blue skies when I landed. Although my weather app still insisted I was standing in torrential rain. After dropping off my bags in my room, I decided to make the most of the good weather and head to the castle.

Not used to travelling in a large group, I had to guide and corrall everyone there. After taking 25 mins to do a 10 minute walk, we arrived to find closed gates. On the gates I found a sign stating that the castle would be closed, and would remain so for the duration of my visit. Disappointed, we had to strike that off our list (thanks Joe Biden!) 

Luckily I always plan in advance, so I knew the area as well as what else would be nearby. So with the knowledge that St. Stephen’s Green was a walkable distance away, I started to lead the group there. There’s many entrances to the park, but I arrived by the arch near the shopping centre. I found a musician playing on a piano with a crowd gathered around him. Taking a moment to enjoy the mix of classics as well as his own music, I realised I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I detoured into The Rolling Donut to get a snack to enjoy on the walk. The choice was overwhelming, but after much deliberation I opted for the S’Mores Donut. Toasted marshmallow resting on a biscoff spread, all on a delicious donut forming the perfect snack for my walk.

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Although we had landed after the rain it was still evident. The grass damp and slightly muddy, we opted to keep to the path instead. Having a stroll around the circuit, St Stephen’s Green is full of statues and monuments to Ireland’s history. If you want to learn more about the statues and their contribution to history, you can download an audio tour from the St. Stephen’s Green. It’s free on their website to enjoy with your walk.

As well as from the audio tour you can find signs providing information at a few key spots. We stopped to read the sign outside the Superintendent’s Lodge. The Lodge had been occupied by Volunteers during the 1916 Easter Rising and shot at troops in the trenches. I read about how later on in life, the Lodge hosted a medical unit. The bandstand in the Green they were stationed in had come under fire and they sought out the Lodge for cover.

My favourite part of St Stephen’s Green had to be the cherry blossom trees. Visiting in spring meant they were in full bloom, creating a stunning view. I hadn’t been to a park with Cherry Blossoms before and it was spectacular to see on a sunny day. I was fortunate enough that I had the space mostly to myself. Allowing me to get some shots I was really happy with.

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Passing under the blossoms I came by the pond and out into the main area. I found this area to be full of families and couples, all enjoying picnics whilst the sun was out. With floral arrangements encircling the area, it was a stunning spot popping with colour. Unfortunately people bringing food had led to a plague of seagulls inviting themselves along and were generally causing a nuisance. I caught one particularly confident gull deciding that it was entitled to a woman’s chips. It announced this by jumping on the poor woman’s head and squawking loudly. Causing her to drop her chips and his friend to escape with their bounty.

Thankfully by this time I had already finished my S’Mores donut and wasn’t going to have to fight a gull. I took some shots of the flowers whilst I had the opportunity. I was starting to get thirsty and decided that I could do with a first drink in Dublin. And where better than Temple Bar itself. So we plotted our route and headed back the way we came in.

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Had I been in Dublin longer (and there were less Seagulls) I’d have loved to have spent more time in St Stephen’s Green. But when you only have a short amount of time you have to do as much as you can. And sometimes that means taking only a short stroll. But it was a fantastic start to my adventure in Dublin especially when the sun was shining.

St Stephen’s Green FAQ’s

Is St. Stephen’s Green free to visit?

Yes, these are public parks so anyone can visit and there’s no cost! My total spend was €3.30 and that’s because I bought food.

How long should I stay for?

This is entirely down to you! I just had a slow stroll through, so I was there for around half an hour. But if you pack a picnic and it’s a beautiful day, why don’t you relax in the sun and spend a few hours? 

Where can I eat nearby?

The whole green is surrounded by coffee shops and restaurants, you can find even more inside the shopping centre. When the sun is shining, get something to go and enjoy it in the park.

Where can I learn more about the gardens?

On the St Stephen’s Green official website you can download audio tours to enjoy on your walk. Perfect if you want to learn more or block out noisy crowds.

Is there parking nearby?

If you are driving through Dublin and need a place to park your car the nearby shopping centre has a 24 hour car park with access via Mercer Street. 

Yes, if you don’t have a car and its too far to walk, you can get here by either bus or tram. The latter dropping you directly outside the shopping centre. 

Are drones permitted?

The use of drones, either for fun or for photography purposes is not permitted. Stick to your normal camera and don’t disturb anyone else’s fun. 

Where to next?

You have a choice, with multiple museums and tourist attractions being so close. The Book of Kells is within walking distance (but you will need to book in advance). You can get some retail therapy in the adjacent shopping centre, or enjoy your first Guinness in the Temple Bar District.

If you want to prebook an activity, you can do so below with Get Your Guide. By booking through the link I may receive a commission which helps support the blog.

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