The site of two buildings that have been awarded the Europa Nostra award for excellence in conservation architecture, the National Botanic Gardens are home to over 20,000 living plants along with millions of dried specimens. Dedicated to conservation, education, science, reference, demonstration, and recreation, the garden gives visitors the opportunity to learn about plants while enjoying their aesthetics. Plant lovers and gardeners will especially appreciate the wealth of information that can be gleaned from a visit, especially if they take advantage of the gardening classes that are frequently offered.
- Arboretum – Take a stroll through the arboretum and become acquainted with a wide variety of trees in a country that are not seen in other parts of Ireland.
- The Palm House – Notable as much for its architectures as the plants to which it is home, the Palm House is a picturesque greenhouse situated in the southern part of the Garden.
- Museum Collection – Visitors can see fruits, seeds, wood, fibres, and other plant atrefacts from the Garden’s 200+ year history. There are about 20,000 samples in total.
Admission is free. Guided tours are available for €2 Monday through Saturday at 3pm. Guided tours are offered free on Sundays at 12pm and 2:30pm. It’s also possible to arrange a tour in advance.
- Arrange for access to the Herbarium (researchers only) – Home to over half a million plants, this section is closed to the public. If, however, you’re looking to study one or more of the species housed there, you can arrange an appointment to do so.
- Get permission in advance for photography and videography – If you want to take pictures during your visit, be sure to ask for a permit before you go.
- Check the events calendar – The Garden hosts a number of special events, including gardening classes. Check out the schedule ahead of your visit if you’re interested in participating in any of them.
- Interactive Map – You can access an interactive map on their site to get an idea of the whole area.
Driving is the most convenient way to get to the Gardens, though bus transportation is also convenient enough.
- Bus – Bus numbers 4, 8, and 83 stop at the Gardens.
- Car – If you’re using SatNav, use the coordinates 53.371731,-6.269535.
- The Gardens are home to over 300 endangered plant species of which six can no longer be found in the wild.
- The dome of the Curvilinear has been printed on several Irish stamps.