National Botanic Gardens
Hop on the bus or take a taxi to Glasnevin, just outside the city center, to the tropical oasis—yes, tropical oasis—that is the National Botanic Gardens. The gardens were initially founded in 1795 to promote the scientific study of agriculture and were later used for further botanical studies and research, which led to—luckily, for Dubliners—the arrival of thousands of tropical plants from around the world. While you walk around, take note of the beautifully constructed greenhouses that reflect the rolling clouds (and, less frequently, the sun). Check out the orchid collection, the cactus house, the herbarium, and, of course, the rose garden. The café serves great coffee and baked treats. It’s really a perfect respite for visitors with little kids or anyone who craves the calm and peace of a big garden while in a big city.