The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland is an oasis of calm and beauty, and the best thing is entry is free.
A premier scientific institution, the gardens contain important collections of plant species and cultivars from all over the world.
The National Botanic Gardens in Dublin are located in Glasnevin and are famous for the exquisitely restored historic glasshouses.
The National Botanic Gardens are open every day from 9am to 5pm weekdays and 10am to 6pm Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.
Tickets for guided tours are available for purchase.
If you fancy something to eat with a view, The Garden Tearoom offers a delicious selection of hot and cold drinks, snacks and cakes, as well as full hot lunches, all served with a panoramic view over the nearby gardens.
BEST FEATURE: Stunning Orchards in the Orchard House
The National Botanic Gardens is famous for its beautifully restored and planted glasshouses.
The Turner Curvilinear Range and the Great Palm House are both recipients of the Europa Nostra Award for excellence in conservation architecture.
The glasshouses are open every day throughout the year except for Christmas Day and are completely free to enter and explore.
Interpretative guided tours are available Monday to Saturday for a small fee and are free on Sundays.
BEST FEATURE: The Chaintent
Behind every turn in the path at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin lies a fascinating feature.
Two sundials are in the gardens. One in front of the Palm House is the more familiar horizontal dial, which was made in the mid eighteenth century by Lynch of 26 Capel Street, Dublin.
The Bandstand was built in 1894 and is no more than a shelter which would never have accommodated a band.
The Chaintent is definitely one to see. It is a remarkable circular pergola erected sometime after 1834 by the then head gardener Ninian Niven.
The Art Archive
BEST FEATURE: Lydia Shackleton Art
Some of the paintings were originally held, along with the Herbarium collection, in the Science and Art Museum (now the National Museum). These collections were transferred to Glasnevin in 1970.
Other works came to the gardens through bequests by the artists themselves or their families.
The collection represents over twenty artists, both Irish and foreign.
Among the larger collections are Lydia Shackleton (1828-1914), Charlotte Wheeler Cuffe (1867-1967), and George Victor du Noyer (1817-1869).