When you think of all the parks in Europe; do you think of Phoenix Park or do images of Hyde Park come to mind? Do you even know where Phoenix Park is located? If you are like me, you probably hadn’t heard of it unless you visited Dublin, Ireland where it’s located.
For me, my top 3 parks to visit in Europe aren’t famous in the sense that everyone might have heard of them. I chose them because of all the things I loved about them. Your top three might be different from what I chose but I hope if you ever get the chance to visit these countries that you will make a trip to these parks and see why I love them. Hopefully you will see all the reasons I chose them and they might make your list of top parks to visit.
Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland
I was staying at Jacobs Inn and found Phoenix Park easily accessible from the hostel. I loved that I could walk out the front door and it wasn’t that difficult to find as soon as I started walking in the right direction to it. I didn’t have to make too many turns until I arrived at the front of the park. That is a plus for me since I have a tendency to get lost no matter where I am. I didn’t have that problem of feeling lost or being lost as I wound my way from Jacobs Inn to where I would be entering the park to begin my run.
Now mind you, the park is 1,752 acres so there wasn’t any way I would be able to see all of it on one visit. I would need to make multiple trips back to Dublin to be able to see the entire park. I would have loved to have seen it all but what I did see was what I needed for my daily runs when I was in the city.
Colle Oppio Park/ Oppian Hill Park (Parco del Colle Oppio), Rome, Italy
I wasn’t sure what I would find in the way of running and walking trails when I was in Rome. I know I wanted to find something that would be close enough to where the Ciak Hostel which is where I was staying. Luckily, for me, I found the Colle Oppio Park across from the Colosseum. It was near enough that I could run or walk to it every morning before I began the day in the city. It was the perfect excursion away from the hordes of tourists wandering throughout the sights in and around Rome’s main attractions. What I loved is that it had remnants of ancient Rome; feeling as if you had stepped back in time as you began your run through the park.
I loved everything about this park especially the fountain off to the left as you first enter the park. You’ll only see it to the left if you are walking through the entrance away from the Colosseum. You can walk down the few steps to get a closer look at the fountain while you are in the park. As for me, I enjoyed running through the park as I wound my way to Via degli Orti di Mecenate and back through the park to finish my run. It was a great way to spend the morning running as well as walking through the park.
Can you believe the third park I would recommend visiting is one that I can’t remember the name of but I can tell you where it is located; Versailles, France. I found the park by accident when going to see the Palace of Versailles for the day. Can you believe my nieces and I got lost trying to find the palace when it was easily accessible from the train station where you could literally walk a straight path from the station to the palace itself? I guess it didn’t help that we stopped at a cafe for lunch and got turned around. We ended up at this park which had a really nice path; benches along the way where you could sit and enjoy the peacefulness of the area. There weren’t many people where we were and that is probably due to the fact that everyone else could find the Palace of Versailles except for us. While in the park, we ran into one of the workers who showed us the way out.
As we left the park and the door to the park behind us, we walked along this lake if you want to call it that and could see the palace from where we were standing. All we had to do is make our way around to the front of the palace and the entrance where we could pay for our tickets. I, for one, am glad we got lost because I would have never stumbled upon this hidden gem in a city that has hordes of tourists coming to see the main attractions at the palace. I know if I ever make it back to France then I need to visit this park again if only to figure out its name.
What are your favorite parks of Europe? What is it about them that draw you to them every time you visit that particular city or country? Is it the trails that wind through the park itself where you could get lost running or walking while you are there? Is it the lakes, the wildlife, the gardens that bloom ever bright, or the ancient ruins that fascinate you and make you feel they should be on someone’s top ten lists of parks to visit when traveling? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on your favorite parks and why they are your favorite.