Dublin is a cool city, packed with culture, art, nature, whiskey and one of the friendliest folks in the world. It has a very compact and cosy city centre, perfect to explore over a long weekend break.
To make your trip to Dublin unique, grab a super-cool and comfortable wheelchair-friendly room at The Dean. This funky hotel is also perfectly located in a flat-accessible-easy-to-get-around street and here you will find a night club, a roof top bar and a restaurant, all in one place, all accessible. The whole hotel has plenty of art in the corridors and in the rooms. All from Irish artists. It has a great vibe, specially over the weekend where you can also enjoy a beverage in the wheelchair-friendly roof top bar.
When it comes to accessibility, Dublin has a few cobblestoned streets and hills, but nothing really major that would make it difficult to get around in a manual wheelchair. Once in Dublin's compact city centre, you can rock n’ Roll just about anywhere, depending on the weather, obviously. An Irish friend of mine once said: ‘Ireland is the land of the long lasting rain’, so be prepared, but in case you get a sunny day, I have designed the perfect wheelchair-friendly stroll so you can check out what Dublin has to offer in one go.
This 5k Wheelchair friendly itinerary will take you to the best accessible things you can experience in Dublin.
From The Dean Hotel, start off strolling down the Grafton street towards Trinity College. Grafton Street is a very lively and picturesque pedestrian-only shopping street, it is filled with buskers and street performers. If you are a Thin Lizzy fan, stop by one of the side streets and take a picture of Phil Lynott statue that is on Harry St, on your left. After that, keep on strolling for about 30 minutes and you will reach Trinity College.
Trinity College is one of the most well-known historical universities in the world and it is the first university ever built in Ireland, over 400 years ago. It has an old library that houses the world-famous Book of Kells, a 9th century religious text. The whole library is wheelchair-friendly and a member of the staff will accompany you all the way up to the Library Long room - this place is truly wonderful and it houses about 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books in its oak bookcases. It is one of my favourite libraries.
After paying a visit to the University Library, continue strolling around the campus, it has a mix of classical and contemporary buildings with peaceful and elegant gardens.
After that, cross the bridge and head towards the historic General Post Office, a very interesting historical building close to O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main street. Here you can find plenty of wheelchair-friendly cafes, pubs and restaurants. This street is also filled with history, monuments and statues. Hang around there for a bit and head back towards Merrion Square, on your way back, pay a quick visit to The Science Gallery, a small wheelchair-friendly gallery with a very pleasant coffee shop where you can relax and stretch a little bit.
Once you reach Merrion Square, take a peaceful stroll around one of various gardens, smell the flowers and make sure to take a picture of Oscar Wilde statue, located inside the park. Some artists put their art for sale just outside the park and it is worth checking it out.
Now that you have smelt old books and flowers, take another 20-minute stroll towards George Street Arcade and now it's time to smell some food. Snap a picture or two of Molly Malone Statue on your way. George Street Arcade is a Victorian style red-bricked indoor market of shops and stalls selling everything from old vinyl albums, vintage clothes, food, books, antiques, you name it. If you feel like grabbing a bite to eat, head to The Market Bar, a wheelchair-friendly bar slash restaurant with a chilled out atmosphere and tasty food.
After that, keep on rolling through the charming and narrow streets of Dublin’s city centre and head toward The Temple Bar.
You will probably need to use your wheelie skills over here as this area is surrounded by cobblestones and narrow streets with some curbs here and there, but it is very manageable. It is certainly the most exciting and vibrant part of town, packed with bars, restaurants, music venues, second hand shops and traditional Irish Pubs playing traditional Irish music.
Once there, grab a pint of guinness in The Temple Bar Pub, this wheelchair-friendly traditional Irish Pub can get a bit crowded, specially when the live music kicks off, but that should not stop you to hang around there for a while, the members of the staff are very friendly and they have a wheelchair-friendly toilet.
Right opposite the pub, you will find the Irish Film Institute, Dublin's only art-house cinema and the Gallery of Photography, a small gallery that exhibits collections of local Irish photographers, both are worth checking out.
Now that you have ‘rolled’ around the whole city, why not take some peaceful time for yourself exploring Dublin’s art galleries and museums.
Enjoying great art is good for the soul and a great gallery is good for a stroll.
The National Art Gallery of Ireland is a perfect place for some peace and quiet contemplation. The gallery houses some very famous paintings and works of art by Caravaggio, Gainsborough, Monet, Picasso, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Vermeer among many others. The whole building is wheelchair-friendly and they have a very charming restaurant/coffee shop where you can relax between exhibitions. Members of the staff are super friendly and they love to chat, I remember having a conversation with a very wise man that told me a lot about Irish history. It is a really lovely place to hang out for a few hours, and it's free.
Another good option for a chill-out-afternoon is the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), they have great pieces of art: paintings, photographs, sculptures and video installations divided in different exhibition halls. All accessible by ramps and lifts. They also have a little funky cafe downstairs if you feel like a Fika. The surroundings of the museum are also worth a stroll, take a stroll they have plenty of wheelchair-friendly paths, gardens and outdoor sculpture installations. Good photo opportunities there too.
Musha rain dum a doo, dum a da. Whack for my daddy, oh. There’s whiskey in the jar.
It's impossible to talk about Dublin and not to mention the booze, Oh man, the Irish love the booze. If you feel like trying out some of the national drinks of Ireland, I suggest visiting the Guinness Storehouse. It is housed in an old fermentation plant, the now seven-storey visitor experience tells the story of Ireland's iconic drink. The building has wheelchair friendly ramps and lifts and your journey begins standing at the bottom of the world's largest pint glass, which rises through the building. It is a dramatic story that begins over 250 years ago and ends in Gravity Bar, Dublin's highest bar where you will receive a complimentary pint of the black stuff while enjoying spectacular views over Dublin.
Now for some Whiskey tasting, head to Jameson’s Whiskey Distillery which is another wheelchair-friendly booze related attraction. Here you can learn how Jameson's make their whiskey on a guided tour, take part in a whiskey tasting and also enjoy a lovely smooth Irish Coffee in the bar before you call it a day.
felling a bit hangover and weary? get yourself out for a stroll in one of Dublin’s parks for some fresh air.
St.Stephen’s Green Park is located right in the city center, just around the corner from The Dean Hotel. This park is like a a smaller version of Central Park, perfect place for a stroll, to feed the birds in the pond and watch the world go by on a sunny afternoon.
If you want more nature, another great chill-out spot is the National Botanic Gardens, it is filled with wheelchair-friendly gardens and beautiful restored Victorian glasshouses to wander around. An oasis of beauty and tranquility.
Getting there and around
The easiest way to get around Dublin is on foot, I mean, on wheels. The city centre is very compact and even if you find a small hill here and there and some cobblestones on the cultural Temple bar hood, rolling around Dublin is pretty easy.
If you get a rainy day, pubic transport is well accessible and you can Uber your way around. Uber is also the easiest way to get yourself from the airport to city. They also have an app thats called Hailo. Download that bad boy. Very useful. If you are using a manual wheelchair, you can easily request a normal car, the wheelchair goes in the trunk once you transfer to the passengers seat. Easy.
Also, Irish taxi drivers were very helpful while I was there, they were fun and talkative. I remember having a Thin Lizzy/ Oscar Wilde/ ‘In the Name of the Father’ movie lecture on my 20-minute ride to the city and back. Oh man, that was beautiful. The Irish are beautiful people, actually, that's my favourite thing in Dublin. The people.
The best thing in Ireland, are the Irish. No doubt about that.
Get out there folks, Enjoy yourselves.