Dublin welcomes visitors with historical sites, enticing pubs, and some of the friendliest people anywhere. It makes for a popular destination by itself or as a starting point for a trip around Ireland to places such as Galway, Cork, and Belfast. Cobblestones and hills can present challenges to disabled visitors, however overall Dublin disabled access is definitely good enough to make it a worthwhile destination for disabled travelers.
While Dublin has several excellent churches and museums to visit, many tourists feel the best way to get a feel for the city is by taking a guided walking tour. Standard group walking tours can be done by disabled tourists, however some may prefer hiring a private guide for a Dublin disabled accessible tour moving at a slower pace. Guides will be able to provide background on the numerous churches, point out the historical significance of the buildings, and explain the various types of architecture.
Overall, disabled access at Dublin tourist attractions is good. The Old Library at Trinity College contains the medieval Book of Kells and is accessible to wheelchair tourists. A staff member will have to escort you to the private elevator to get upstairs to the library. Dublin Castle is actually an 18th century palace and is worth a visit. The palace portion is accessible but the underground ruins of a 13th century castle can only be reached via stairs. The Kilmainham Gaol (jail) can be visited via a 1 hour guided tour. The tour route is not accessible so one of the staff members can provide you with a private tour. Accessibility at other Dublin museums and churches ranges from full accessibility to several steps at the entrance.
To visit all of the tourist sights, disabled tourists will need to use accessible busses, accessible trams, and walking/rolling over cobblestones and hills. It may sound daunting, but it really isn’t. The tourist attractions can be grouped by location. Those found west of Trinity College include Temple Bar, Dublin Castle, Chester Beatty Library, and Christ Church Cathedral. Those found east of Trinity College include the Nation Gallery of Ireland, the National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square, Number 29 Geogian House, Grafton Street, and St. Stephen’s Green Park. Kilmainham Gaol, Guinness Storehouse, and the Old Jameson Distillery are further away and require bus, tram, or taxi transportation.
Because the city centre is comprised mainly of 100+ year old buildings, few hotels have disabled access in Dublin. Many have bathroom doors that are too narrow for a wheelchair to fit through as well as a step or two at the entrance. Disabled tourists should call hotels to confirm accessibility features before selecting a hotel. Alternatively they can use a disabled travel agency to arrange accessible hotel accommodation in Dublin.
Overall wheelchair access in Dublin is similar to many popular European destinations; disabled tourists will encounter some difficulties with cobblestones, hills, access to buildings, and finding truly accessible hotels. Nevertheless, Dublin is a friendly, fun, intriguing city well worth a visit.