13 of the best picnic spots in Dublin to spend a sunny afternoon

By Brian Dillon

April 13, 2021 at 3:30pm

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13 of the best picnic spots in Dublin to spend a sunny afternoon

It looks like it will be another summer spent outdoors, making the most of the sunny days when we get them. And you know what? It's not all that bad. Because luckily, Dublin is home to some seriously scenic picnic spots.

From fab coastal views to quaint city parks, these stunning picnic spots in Dublin are guaranteed to do the trick when you're looking for somewhere to spend a sunny afternoon.

The Iveagh Gardens

With plenty of benches, loads of green space and a stunning water fountain, Iveagh Gardens is surprisingly tranquil for a park that's so central and makes for one of the best picnic spots in Dublin.

Don't fancy grabbing some grub in advance? Try the Green Bench Café around the corner.

Image via Shutterstock.

Merrion Square

If you find yourself in the city centre on a sunny day and you want to chill somewhere with a nice chilled out atmosphere, then I would recommend Merrion Square. It's one place I rarely think to go, but I'm always glad when I do.

When restrictions lift, there's a fab food market and there are also trails featuring fascinating sculptures, such as the Oscar Wilde Memorial by Danny Osborne.
Image via Shutterstock.

Killiney Hill

One word = views. Often said to be one of the most gorgeous viewpoints in the city, it's a perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon or even catch the sunset. Or if you're feeling up for it, the sunrise!

Image via Shutterstock.

The East Pier, Dun Laoghaire

Scrumdiddly's, amazing views and a stellar atmosphere. I'm not really sure what else you could ask for.

What's great about this spot is that it's equally as gorgeous during the day as it is at night. Oh, and there's Teddy's Ice Cream. Need I say more?

Howth Head

Howth is a fierce contender for the title of 'best town in Dublin' in our eyes. Jutting out to the Irish Sea, you'll get glorious views of the city as well as Ireland's Eye and Lambay Island. After just a short uphill walk from the village, you'll be treated to some of the most breathtaking views that just never get old. If you're not up for the walk, there's always a great buzz along the promenade, on the little hidden beach and on the pier. Grab some chips and simply enjoy the vibes.

St Anne's Park

There's a particular corner of St Anne's Park we're obsessed with. Park up at the Red Stables (where you'll actually get great coffee, sweet treats and 99s) and walk through the park towards the coast. There, you'll find an open elevated field where you'll be able to perch yourself and enjoy views of the coast and Poolbeg. If you fancy a bit of exploring, there are plenty of walking routes through the woodland along the little river.

Dubh Linn Gardens

Pretty much as central as you can get for your picnic in Dublin. Step through wrought-iron gates to reach the gardens south of Chapel Royal and the State Apartments. Feeling peckish? Simply pop onto Dame Street for a gander and you're sure to find something to suit your tastebuds.

Image via Shutterstock.

Bull Island

Reached by walking to the end of the wooden bridge in Clontarf, you're first stop will be Happy Out where you'll get a coffee and toastie (guys, the toasties are class). After that, it's time to find a nice spot along the stretch of sand up near the dunes, or even in the dunes if that's what you fancy.

Image via Shutterstock.

Malahide Beach

Malahide Castle might have been the obvious choice here, but I would argue that Malahide Beach is perhaps one of the best picnic spots in Dublin. It's a mere few minutes walk from the centre of the village where there are plenty of spots to grab a bite. Once you reach the car park at the beach, you'll find plenty of space among the dunes and along the beach to throw down a blanket.

Phoenix Park

And of course, we couldn't leave out Phoenix Park. At a staggering 1,750 acres, we don't think you'll struggle to find a spot to sit here. From the Papal Cross to the Wellington Monument to Ashtown Castle, there are plenty of trails to explore before you find the perfect spot for your picnic. And it's not just scenes you're spoiled with as there are plenty of places to get food and coffee in and around the park such as The Phoenix Café and The Victorian Tea Rooms.

Image via Shutterstock.

Stephen's Green

Here's my top recommendation for this one: You head into town at around 2pm. The sun is shining and the vibes are all just correct. Head to Pablo Picante's for a stellar burrito, bring it to the park and dig in.

Hell Fire Club

Montpelier Hill (AKA the Hell Fire Club) arguably has some of the prettiest views of Dublin. Although there are some fairly spooky tales attached to the place, it's actually quite tranquil on a sunny afternoon, with views over the city that are absolutely unmissable.

Herbert Park

Located in Ballsbridge, Herbery Park has football pitches, tennis, boules and croquet courts, a duck pond and a playground. Home to 'The Hive', you can also rent space for meetings, yoga, pilates, dance, drama and other activities. Or, you can simply head along with a blanket and snack and just enjoy the people-watching.

Jaysus, Dublin has quite the selection of picnic spots, right? While you're here, check out our top picks for where to catch the most stunning sunsets in Dublin.

READ NEXT: 10 Dublin beer gardens we can't wait to return to

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