The Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed urban park in Europe and contains a number of stately homes, including the official residence of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin (the "Irish White House" open on Saturdays), Farmleigh House (open for tours daily) and the US Ambassador's residence. The Park is also home to the Dublin Zoo (est 1831) and the 22-acre Victorian People's Flower Gardens (est 1864).
Phoenix Park is open to the public all year round. Features to see include the Wellington Testimonial (obelisk, 1861), the Phoenix Monument (1747) and the Papal Cross (1979). Also contained in the park are polo, cricket and hurling grounds; cycling routes and walking routes. The Magazine Fort which dates to 1611 can be visited and offers nice views of the valley below. There is also a prehistoric burial chamber in the park.
Phoenix Park was originally formed as a royal hunting Park in the 1660s and opened to the public in 1747. A large herd of fallow deer still remain to this day. They are usually found in the Western part of the park. The Glen Pond is set in very scenic surrounds in the Furry Glen.
An exhibition on the history and wildlife of the Phoenix Park is on display in the Visitor Centre. Here visitors can receive information, get tickets for tours and view a historical interpretation of the park from 3500 B.C. to the present. Temporary exhibitions are displayed and the Phoenix Café is there.
Adjoining the Visitor Centre is the fully restored Ashtown Castle, a medieval tower house that may date back to the 15th century and is open to the public. The castle was once incorporated into an 18th century mansion and was rediscovered when this building was demolished. The universal access playground is located here.
Phoenix Park also hosts many events like Food and Craft Markets, festivals, music, etc. Bicycles can be hired at the Parkgate St entrance . Guided Cycle tours are available and you can even try a guided Segway tour. Orienteering sheets are available at the Visitor centre.
Enjoy the Victorian Tearooms on Chesterfield Ave.