Almost 20 hectares of beautifuly landscaped gardens create a colourful kaleidoscope of indigenous and international plants at this, Ireland's horticultural hub. Founded in 1795, the Gardens are 3.5km north-west of Dublin and make a great daytrip, particularly if teamed with a trip to neighbouring Glasnevin Cemetery. Whether a floral aficionado or not, just walking around the grounds brings tranquillity to the soul (philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein used to come here to ponder life's mysteries - look out for the plaque dedicated to him in one of the glasshouses). Glasshouses, statues and garden features, along with thousands of beautiful plants, reveal a different vista at every turn. Tours are available - with times posted in the Visitors Centre which also has a display, restaurant and head of a Giant Irish Deer.