In January 2020 I went to Dublin for a quick but jam-packed city break! From Friday after work until Monday morning, I managed to squeeze in lots of great activities and get a good taste for the Irish capital city. Read on to find out where I visited, what I got up to, and my top accessible attractions to visit!
Making my booking
I made my booking via Expedia. This was for a few reasons – they had some good deals on hotels for the dates I was looking to go, but they also have really good customer service whenever I’ve needed to get in touch. Unfortunately, some hotels will advertise that they’re accessible when they’re not. Expedia has always done a great job of resolving these issues and relocating me for no additional cost. I also earn cashback rewards booking through Expedia, and most bookings will be ATOL protected, which is a particular benefit and safeguard to have when even the bigger travel companies are experiencing financial difficulties.
The Expedia booking process allows you to easily select the most suitable room for your accessibility requirements. For me, this was having step-free access to the room but I didn’t require any specific in-room accessibility features. Once I selected these requirements, the hotel was notified of my request and within a few days, they reached out by email to confirm that they were aware of my requirements and allocate a suitable room. This was very reassuring!
My flights were with Aer Lingus and I was very pleased to be able to fly direct from Edinburgh Airport to Dublin. When Expedia confirmed my tickets, which took just a few minutes once I booked and paid, I simply emailed the airline to confirm my accessibility and assistance requirements and that was it – the assistance was booked.
Getting to Dublin
Dublin is really easy to get to and is just a one hour flight away from Edinburgh. I was flying on an ATR 72-200 which is quite a small aircraft, and that means that the boarding process as a disabled passenger is slightly different. I boarded using an Aviramp, which is a long ramp that stretches across the taxiway. This meant I was able to drive my powerchair to the top of the ramp, and then have just a short walk to the seat.
It felt that we’d no sooner taken off, and we were coming in to land at Dublin Airport. Disabled passengers are usually asked to wait until the rest of the passengers have disembarked so that nobody is in the way, and there’s a bit more space around. This is great on a small aircraft, as disembarking takes no time at all! Therefore, I was soon met by the assistance staff from the airport, with a stair-climbing chair. This is quite common, as different airports will agree on different procedures with airlines on the boarding and disembarking procedures – if this could be problematic, it’s worth getting in touch with the airline to discuss your specific requirements in advance.
After passing customs and immigration, a member of staff escorted me to the Dublin Airport bus stop. From here, I was able to get a wheelchair-accessible bus right the door of my hotel in the city centre! Unfortunately, the buses aren’t that regular and the bus stop is outside – so wrap up warm. Once I boarded the bus, I was soon able to enjoy the views of the city, and spot the sights out of the window, until I arrived at my spot.
My stay at the Camden Court Hotel
I managed to get a great deal on Expedia to stay in quite a comfortable hotel. I usually focus on practicality and cost, so that I can travel as much as possible, so this was a lovely surprise! The Camden Court Hotel had large rooms, amenities including a coffee machine (yay!), and it was close to the major attractions.
Accessibility at the hotel was good. The hotel spoke to me in advance, by email, to identify my needs, and suitably allocate my room. Accessibility is so different for every disabled person, so I’m not going to claim that the hotel is accessible or not. But, it worked well for me. In the picture gallery you can see pictures of my room to see if this is the right hotel for you.
What to see, do, and eat in Dublin
See – the Teeling Distillery. This was a really interesting experience – it was great to visit a distillery, founded by local people, and away from the main hustle and bustle of the city. The tour went behind the scenes of the distillery and covered both the practical aspects of how it is made and also the history that led to the founding of their distillery in 2015. I was able to access the tour of the distillery and try the samples, for no additional cost as a Dublin Pass cardholder – but, I did really enjoy my visit and ended up spending a little bit before I left!t
Do – explore the city in the evening. Of course, you should take the right precautions when out in the evening, especially in an unfamiliar city, but Dublin has a great atmosphere in the evening! This extends much further than Temple Bar, which can be quite busy (and isn’t particularly wheelchair accessible). The experience was just as fun leaving the hotel to go and have some food and drink nearby. And, talking of food…
Eat – Boojum! When I’m on holiday, I like to try and get away from trying chains as it’s much more interesting to find local dishes and experiences. However, I have to make an exception for Boojum. They’re a chain, but only on the island of Ireland, so that’s okay, right? They’re a Mexican restaurant and takeaway and their food is absolutely delicious. I think that I ate there twice during my trip!
Have you been to Dublin, and where else would you recommend visiting? Tell me in the comments!