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Belgrave Square, Dublin

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While the manicured finery of St. Stephen's Green and lush space of Merrion Square buzz with summer tourists, it's the smaller, lesser-known urban parks that can really capture the calm elegance of Dublin's boom-time affluence. Belgrave square is just such a peaceful example: surrounded by grand Victorian architecture, the wrought-iron railings enclose an oasis of soft grass and tree-shaded spots. On sunny days the place hums with a calming soundtrack of relaxed chatter, birdsong, and children's laughter (a play area makes up the southern end of the square), and the urge to have an afternoon nap may prove irresistible. – Gareth Thornton