March 29, 2019: Crowd of people sitting on the grass in St Stephen's Green city centre public park on a hot sunny day.

©Derick Hudson/Shutterstock

St Stephen's Green

Grafton Street & St Stephen's Green

St Stephen's Green’s 27 acres is the most popular park in Dublin city centre. Come for a leisurely stroll in elegant landscaped gardens, stay for the people-watching.

Although surrounded by iconic Georgian architecture, the layout of the park is quintessentially Victorian with tree-lined avenues, a duck pond, ornamental gazebos and a bandstand which is still used in summer. Statues and public artworks are found at every turn; notable ones include representations of James Joyce, Constance Markievicz, Arthur Edward Guinness, Robert Emmet and a memorial to the Great Famine. There is also a playground and a garden designed especially for people with vision impairments to enjoy.

A popular meeting spot for Dubliners, the park is busy throughout the year but on sunny days you may have to squeeze in amongst assorted groups of friends, lovers and individuals splaying themselves across the grass (the flower beds are, of course, strictly off limits).


Named for a medieval church and leprosy hospital, this is the site of one of Dublin’s ancient commons. Originally a sprawling 60-acre site used for grazing livestock and public executions, 23 acres was enclosed by local government in 1663 and the land around it sold off. As houses began to develop, the area became affluent and the park was a fashionable place for Dublin’s high society to stroll in and be seen.

In 1814 the green became accessible only to wealthy residents of the nearby area who could rent a key. While they carried out many improvements in the park, the move was hugely unpopular with practically everyone else. In 1877, Arthur Edward Guinness (great-grandson to the founder of Guinness) bought the park back and paid for the development which shaped the Victorian layout we see today. In 1880 it was officially returned to the public.

During the Easter Rising 1916, St Stephen’s Green was seized by the Irish Citizen Army. For the week-long conflict with the British Army, both sides agreed to a daily ceasefire so the park keeper could feed the ducks. A report from the time notes they were well fed and “very little perturbed by the bullets flying over their heads”. The choice of the park was a poor strategic one though as the British was able to commandeer the buildings surrounding it and shoot down towards the entrenchments. Bullet holes from the conflict can still be seen today at the Fusiliers’ Arch at the Grafton Street entrance.

Fusiliers’ Arch itself commemorates soldiers of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who were killed fighting for the British in the Second Boer War and is one of the few monuments from the time of British Rule that has not been demolished.

Opening hours and other practicalities

The park is free to visit and is open all year around for daylight hours. The nearest public toilets are outside the Grafton Street entrance or inside the nearby St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre. The Green is easily accessible by public transport; the Green Line of the Luas terminates here and most city centre buses have a stop nearby.

Hotels near St Stephen’s Green

If you want to stay in a hotel right next to St Stephen’s Green, high-end accommodation is your only option.

The Fitzwilliam Hotel

Cliff Townhouse

The Shelbourne

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Grafton Street & St Stephen's Green attractions

1. Garden for the Blind

0.01 MILES

The centre of St Stephen's Green has a sensory garden for the blind, with signs in Braille and aromatic shrubs and plants that can be handled.

2. WB Yeats Statue

0.06 MILES

You won't recognise him, but this abstract 1967 sculpture by Henry Moore is actually meant to be poet WB Yeats – the clue is in the distinctive cape shape…

3. Adam's Tree

0.07 MILES

Between the bandstand and the James Joyce statue in St Stephen's Green is a young oak tree at the base of which are scattered the ashes of guitarist Adam…

4. James Joyce Bust

0.08 MILES

On the south side of St Stephen's Green is a bust of James Joyce by US-born Irish sculptor Marjorie Fitzgibbon (1930–). It faces Newman House, part of…

5. Little Museum of Dublin

0.09 MILES

This award-winning museum tells the story of Dublin over the last century via memorabilia, photographs and artefacts donated by the general public. The…

6. Three Fates Statue


This statue of the Three Fates by the southwestern corner of St Stephen's Green was presented to the city of Dublin in 1956 by West German president Roman…

7. Newman University Church

0.11 MILES

Cardinal Newman didn't care too much for the Gothic style of his day, so the 1856 church attached to his Catholic University of Ireland at Newman House is…

8. Famine Victims Memorial

0.11 MILES

At the northeastern entrance to St Stephen's Green is a poignant memorial to the victims of the Famine (1845–51) featuring three figures and a dog…