Something I have been meaning to do since I moved to Dublin was go to the National Botanic Garden and visit Glasnevin Cemetry. While I always knew that the Botanic Garden was in Glasnevin, I never realized until I got there that they are side by side!
This is a great (free!) way to spend a day in Dublin and I honestly really enjoyed both of them. The Botanic Garden is made up of several different greenhouses each with their own theme. I don’t think we managed to cover them all while we were there but we visited a Cactus house (which was my favourite!), a food themed house, a tropical house, and a few other with less noteable plants. I thought that this was the extent of what there is to see when you are there, foolishly, as there are an abundance of outdoor gardens such as their beautiful rose garden that you can do see. On a nice day this would be the perfect place to come for even a stroll as the gardens are quite vast and are sprinkled with gardens of beautiful flowers and art installations on every turn.
To my delight, there is an archway which connects the gardens to Glasnevin Cemetry. As grim as visiting a cemetery on your big day out might sound, Glasnevin was the first legitimate cemetery to be opened in Ireland back in 1832 by Daniel O’Connell whose tomb lays underneath the round tower, one of the defining landmarks of the cemetery. The grounds covered a whopping 124 acres and is home to over 1.5 million interments with many of these being some of Irelands most prominent national figures. These graves include Daniel O’Connell, Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, Maude Gonne, Constance Markievicz and Sean MacBride to name but a few. There are tours held within the cemetery which bring you to the most notable graves on the grounds and the tour guide gives the back story of each person. It is probably one of the best tours that you can take in Dublin that will tell you about the history of the country especially around the 1916 rising and when Ireland became their own free state.
If the cemetery and Irish history isn’t really your thing then don’t fret as the National Botanic Garden really has enough to keep you entertained for the full day. They are two amazing places to visit in Dublin and I think are somewhat overlooked compared to other tourist attractions. I’m not a huge gardening fan, nor a diehard Irish history fan but I was really pleased with what both had to offer – and the fact that they are both free to the public is just another perk!
Have you ever visited here? Or is it somewhere you think you would like to see?