As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Dublin has plenty to offer and enjoy especially in the summer months. Of course, even with plenty to offer, some cities miss the mark on accessibility and make it difficult for wheelchair users or other disabilities to explore these great destinations. Luckily, Dublin as loads to offer that is completely wheelchair accessible and offers plenty more besides. Take a look at our top accessible tourist attractions in Dublin to help plan your trip and get out and about this summer.
The National Gallery of Ireland
Get a concentrated dose of culture at The National Gallery of Ireland. With ever-changing exhibitions and art from all over the world and in every style, there really is something for everyone. Highlights from their collection include artworks by Pablo Picasso, Lavinia Fontana and Rembrandt van Rijn. Interpret the artwork at your own leisure or why not book one of their regular free tours and get an expert take on these masterpieces.
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Like many art galleries around the world, open spaces make The National Gallery of Ireland ideal for wheelchair users. Plus, some recent refurbishments to some of the more historic parts of the gallery have made it even more accessible. They provide two fully accessible entrances at Clare Street and Merrion Square, accessibility throughout all the galleries plus accessible bathrooms including a changing places facility. There are even disabled parking spaces outside the Merrion Square entrance, a rarity in most city centres around the world where parking of any kind is usually highly restricted.
For all disabilities, there are education programmes, courses and tours tailored to suit you including workshops for people living with dementia and autistic children or adults. If you want to walk around at your own pace then you can make use of their various resources including noise-cancelling headphones, large-text booklets, free audio guides and art supplies at the Maples Creative Space. Just email or phone beforehand to make sure your visit is as accessible as possible, and take a look at their upcoming accessible events to pick the best time to go.
Image Source: National Gallery of Ireland
A trip to Dublin just wouldn’t complete without experiencing the country’s most beloved drink. The Guinness Storehouse is a unique opportunity to explore the history and making of the worlds most well-known stout, so it’s no surprise it’s one of Dublin’s most popular attractions. As well as exploring the workings of the world-famous brewery, there are plenty of chances to eat and socialise at one of the bars, cafes and restaurants.
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There are recommended quiet times for visiting between 9.30am and 12pm, Monday to Friday. On arrival, there are a limited number of wheelchair accessible spaces close to the entrance available on a first-come first-serve basis. An accessible entrance is located on Market Street where you will need press a button to gain access and follow signs for elevators and ticket desk although a map is also provided to download and print before you go. The entire experience is accessible with ramps and lifts, and there is even a wheelchair adapted tap so everyone can experience pouring the perfect pint of Guinness. Like many attractions today, there is handheld text, audio and international sign language devices available.
Why not go back to school at one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland and Ireland’s oldest surviving university. Steeped in history, Trinity College offers much more than lectures and classes thanks to its incredible Zoological Museum and Science Gallery. They also have other events and exhibitions during the year, such as the Book of Kells exhibition in the old library, so check before you go.
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One of the biggest draws of the college, the Science Gallery, is free and accessible to enter from the ground floor. While some exhibits aren’t always completely accessible, the majority usually is so you can take advantage of the wide range of talks, workshops, music performance, food presentations and film screenings throughout the year. Lifts to the first-floor galleries and an accessible toilet on the ground floor accommodate wheelchair users, pushchairs and more. As a bonus, staff have been trained to guiding visually impaired and blind visitors as well as in guiding visitors with autism, so you can rely on staff to help during your visit or call beforehand if you’re going to a specific exhibition to see how they can help make your visit accessible.
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Dublin Zoo & Phoenix Park
Most major cities have a zoo, but Dublin can lay claim to one of the oldest zoos in the world. The Zoo is a fantastic place to get up and close with your favourite animals while learning about endangered species and conservation. With over 400 animals and 28 hectares of park there’s plenty to see and do plus additional activities and exhibitions throughout the year.
Despite being over 180 years old most of the Zoo is accessible and there are 9 accessible toilet facilities around the grounds. Because of the nature of the Zoo, it’s one of the few tourist attractions in Dublin that restrict guide dogs, but there is an area that provides comfortable accommodation for dogs along with freshwater while owners visit the main part of the Zoo.
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While you visit the Zoo you can also visit Phoenix Park. Dublin Zoo is situated in one area of the park, but there’s plenty more to see with events and activities held in the park throughout the year particularly in the summertime. There are accessible walks, gardens and cafes to enjoy.