The Full Guide For Visiting Limerick 

A Brief Overview Of Limerick

Limerick is a city located in the mid-western part of Ireland. It is the third-largest city in the country and has a population of approximately 100,000 people. The city is known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. Limerick is situated on the River Shannon, which is the longest river in Ireland, and it is surrounded by lush green countryside. It is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world.

History And Culture Of Limerick

Limerick is a city in southwestern Ireland that is steeped in history and culture. The city has been inhabited since ancient times, and its rich heritage is evident in its many historic landmarks, museums, and cultural institutions.

One of the most significant historical periods in Limerick’s history is the medieval era, which saw the city become an important centre of trade, commerce, and culture. Many of the city’s most iconic landmarks, such as King John’s Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral, and the Treaty Stone, date back to this period.

Limerick also has a strong literary and artistic heritage. The city has produced many notable writers, including Frank McCourt, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir “Angela’s Ashes,” and Michael Hartnett, one of Ireland’s most celebrated poets. The Limerick Arts Office and the Belltable Arts Centre are important cultural institutions that promote and showcase the work of local artists and performers.

In addition to its historic and cultural landmarks, Limerick is also home to several world-class museums and galleries. The Hunt Museum, located in the historic Custom House, houses a collection of over 2,000 artefacts and artworks from around the world. The Limerick City Gallery of Art is another important cultural institution that features a range of contemporary and historical artworks.

Limerick is also known for its vibrant music scene, which encompasses traditional Irish music, rock, and other genres. The city hosts several music festivals throughout the year, including the Limerick Jazz Festival and the Limerick International Music Festival.

Overall, the history and culture of Limerick are integral to the city’s identity and are celebrated through its many landmarks, museums, galleries, and cultural institutions. Whether you are interested in medieval history, literature, art, or music, Limerick has something to offer every visitor who wants to explore the rich heritage of this fascinating city.

Why Visit Limerick

There are many reasons to visit Limerick. Here are a few:

  1. History: Limerick is a city with a rich history that dates back over 1,000 years. There are many historical sites and landmarks to explore, including King John’s Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral, and The Treaty Stone.
  2. Culture: Limerick is home to a vibrant cultural scene. The city has a thriving arts community, with many galleries, theatres, and festivals throughout the year. Limerick is also known for its traditional Irish music, and you can often find live music performances in the city’s pubs and venues.
  3. Scenery: Limerick is situated on the River Shannon, and the city is surrounded by beautiful countryside. There are many parks and gardens in Limerick where you can enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
  4. Food and Drink: Limerick is known for its excellent food and drink scene. There are many traditional Irish pubs and restaurants in the city where you can sample local cuisine and enjoy a pint of Guinness.
  5. Day trips: Limerick is a great base for exploring other parts of Ireland. There are many day trip options from Limerick, including the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, and The Burren.

What Is The Population Of Limerick?

According to the 2016 Census, the population of Limerick City was 94,192, while the population of the wider Limerick metropolitan area was 191,809.

5 Interesting Facts About Limerick

  1. Limerick is known as the “Treaty City” because the Treaty of Limerick was signed there in 1691, ending the Williamite War in Ireland.
  2. The Limerick City Gallery of Art is the oldest public art gallery outside of Dublin, founded in 1905.
  3. Limerick is home to the tallest church in Ireland, St. John’s Cathedral, which stands at 94 meters (308 feet) high.
  4. The famous Irish author, Frank McCourt, grew up in Limerick and wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir titled “Angela’s Ashes” about his childhood experiences in the city.
  5. The famous rugby team, Munster Rugby, is based in Limerick and plays their home games at Thomond Park Stadium.

Getting to Limerick (flight, train, bus, car)

Getting to Limerick is relatively easy, and there are several transportation options available.

  1. Flight: Shannon Airport is the closest airport to Limerick, and it is located just 20 km away. The airport is serviced by several airlines, including Aer Lingus, Ryanair, and British Airways.
  2. Train: Limerick is well-connected to other cities in Ireland via train. The city has two train stations, Limerick Colbert and Limerick Junction, and there are frequent services to Dublin, Cork, Galway, and other destinations.
  3. Bus: Limerick has a central bus station, Limerick Bus Station, which provides bus services to other parts of Ireland. There are also several private bus companies that operate in the area, such as Bus Éireann, Citylink, and JJ Kavanagh & Sons.
  4. Car: Limerick is easily accessible by car, and there are several car rental companies located at Shannon Airport and in the city centre. The main roads to Limerick are the M7 from Dublin and the N18 from Galway.

How to get around Limerick (public transportation, walking, biking)

Once you arrive in Limerick, there are several ways to get around the city:

  1. Public transportation: Limerick has a good public transportation system, including buses and trains. The bus network covers most areas of the city and surrounding suburbs, and there are frequent services throughout the day. The train system connects Limerick with other cities in Ireland.
  2. Walking: Limerick is a walkable city, and many of the top attractions are located within walking distance of each other. There are several walking tours available, which is a great way to see the city’s sights and learn about its history.
  3. Biking: Limerick is also a bike-friendly city, and there are several bike rental companies located in the city centre. There are several bike paths and cycling routes in and around the city, which is a great way to explore the area and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Top Attractions In Limerick 

Limerick has several top attractions that are worth visiting. Here are five of the best:

  1. King John’s Castle: King John’s Castle is a medieval fortress located in the heart of Limerick. The castle dates back to the 13th century and has been restored and renovated to its former glory. Visitors can explore the castle’s towers, walls, and exhibits, which tell the story of Limerick’s history.
  2. The Hunt Museum: The Hunt Museum is a museum located in Limerick’s Georgian Quarter. It is home to a collection of over 2,000 works of art and antiquities, including paintings, sculptures, and artefacts from around the world. The museum is named after John and Gertrude Hunt, who donated their collection to the city of Limerick in the 1920s.
  3. St. Mary’s Cathedral: St. Mary’s Cathedral is a beautiful Romanesque-style cathedral located in the heart of Limerick. The cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Visitors can explore the cathedral’s beautiful architecture and learn about its history.
  4. Thomond Park Stadium: Thomond Park Stadium is a sports stadium located in Limerick. It is the home of Munster Rugby and has a capacity of over 25,000 people. Visitors can take a tour of the stadium and learn about its history and the history of rugby in Ireland. There is also a museum located in the stadium that showcases the history of Munster Rugby.

Lough Gur Visitor Centre 

The Lough Gur Visitor Centre is a popular tourist attraction.. It is situated on the shores of Lough Gur, a beautiful lake that is surrounded by rolling hills and scenic countryside. The visitor centre is dedicated to showcasing the rich history and archaeology of the Lough Gur area.

The centre features a range of exhibits that highlight the ancient settlements and monuments that can be found around the lake. Visitors can learn about the area’s rich cultural heritage and the fascinating stories that are associated with its landmarks. There are interactive displays, audio-visual presentations, and hands-on activities that are suitable for all ages.

6. Foynes Flying Boat Museum 

The Foynes Flying Boat Museum is a popular tourist attraction in Limerick that celebrates the history of aviation and seafaring in Ireland. The museum is located in Foynes, a small village on the banks of the River Shannon, and is housed in the original terminal building of the Foynes flying boat base, which was once one of the busiest airports in Europe.

The museum features a range of exhibits and displays that showcase the history of flying boats and the people who worked and travelled on them. Visitors can learn about the origins of aviation in Ireland, the role of the flying boats in transatlantic travel, and the famous people who passed through Foynes during its heyday, including John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe.

One of the highlights of the museum is the replica Boeing 314 flying boat, which is on display in the main exhibition hall. The flying boat is a full-scale replica of the original aircraft that operated out of Foynes in the 1930s and 1940s and gives visitors a sense of what it was like to fly on one of these magnificent machines.

7. The Hunt Museum 

The Hunt Museum is a popular cultural attraction in Limerick that is home to a wide range of art and artefacts from around the world. The museum was founded by John and Gertrude Hunt, who were avid collectors of art and antiques.

The collection at the Hunt Museum includes over 2,000 pieces, ranging from prehistoric artefacts to contemporary art. Some of the highlights of the collection include medieval manuscripts, Renaissance paintings, and 18th-century silverware. Visitors can also see artefacts from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as traditional Irish crafts such as lace and pottery.

In addition to its impressive collection, the Hunt Museum also offers a range of educational programs and events throughout the year. Visitors can take guided tours of the museum, attend lectures and workshops, or participate in hands-on art activities.

8. Treaty City Brewery Tour 

The Treaty City Brewery is a popular attraction in Limerick for those interested in craft beer and local brewing. The brewery offers tours and tastings for visitors who want to learn more about the brewing process and sample some of the brewery’s award-winning beers.

During the tour, visitors will have the opportunity to see the brewing process up close, from the milling of the grains to the fermentation and conditioning of the beer. The tour also includes a tasting of several of the brewery’s beers, including their flagship beer, Shannon River IPA.

The brewery is located in the heart of Limerick city and is easily accessible by public transportation or car. The tours typically last around 90 minutes and are led by knowledgeable guides who are passionate about craft beer and brewing.

 Hidden Gems In Limerick

Limerick has several hidden gems that are worth discovering. Here are five of the best:

  1. Treaty Stone: The Treaty Stone is a stone block located on the banks of the River Shannon. It is said to be the site where the Treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691, which ended the Williamite War in Ireland. The stone is a popular spot for photos and is a symbol of Limerick’s history and culture.
  2. Milk Market: The Milk Market is a covered market located in the heart of Limerick. It is open every Saturday and is home to over 50 stalls selling fresh produce, crafts, and other goods. The market has been in operation for over 150 years and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
  3. Limerick City Library: The Limerick City Library is a beautiful historic building located in the city centre. It was originally built in 1898 and has been recently renovated to its former glory. The library has a collection of over 300,000 books, including rare and historic volumes.
  4. The Bishops’ Palace: The Bishops’ Palace is a historic building located on the banks of the River Shannon. It was built in the early 18th century and was once the residence of the Protestant bishop of Limerick. The palace has been restored and is now a museum, showcasing the history of Limerick and its bishops.
  5. People’s Park: People’s Park is a beautiful park located in the heart of Limerick. It was first opened in 1877 and has since been renovated and expanded. The park is home to a variety of flora and fauna, as well as a playground, a lake, and a pavilion. It is a popular spot for picnics and outdoor activities.

The Best Free Things To Do In Limerick

Limerick offers many free activities that visitors can enjoy without spending a cent. Here are some of the best free things to do in Limerick:

  1. Visit the Limerick City Gallery of Art: The Limerick City Gallery of Art is free to visit and offers a collection of contemporary and traditional art, including works by local and international artists. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
  2. Walk along the River Shannon: Limerick is situated on the banks of the River Shannon, which offers a beautiful scenic walk. Visitors can take a stroll along the river and enjoy the views of the city.

3. Grange Stone Circle Lough Gur

The Grange Stone Circle is one of the most impressive and well-preserved prehistoric monuments in Ireland. It is located in the Lough Gur area of County Limerick and is believed to date back to the Bronze Age, around 2200 BC.

The stone circle is made up of 113 standing stones, which form a perfect circle that is over 45 meters in diameter. The stones vary in size and shape, with the tallest standing at over 3 meters high. The circle is aligned with the rising and setting of the sun on the summer solstice, suggesting that it may have had some astronomical significance to the people who built it.

Outdoor Activities In Limerick

If you’re looking for outdoor activities in Limerick, there are plenty of options to choose from. From walking tours to kayaking and cycling, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

One of the best ways to explore Limerick is on foot, and there are several walking tours available to help you discover the city’s history and culture. The Angela’s Ashes Walking Tour is a popular option, taking you to the locations described in Frank McCourt’s book, while the Limerick City Walking Tour will take you on a journey through the city’s past and present.

If you’re looking for a more active adventure, kayaking on the River Shannon is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. Several companies offer guided tours, where you can paddle past historic landmarks such as King John’s Castle and St. Mary’s Cathedral.

For those who prefer to explore on two wheels, cycling along the Great Southern Greenway is a must-do activity. This 40km off-road trail takes you from Limerick City to the town of Abbeyfeale, passing through picturesque villages and countryside along the way.

In addition to these activities, there are several parks and green spaces in Limerick where you can enjoy a leisurely walk or picnic. The People’s Park, which features a Victorian-style bandstand and playground, is a popular choice, while the University of Limerick campus is home to several beautiful walking trails and sports facilities.

Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking to enjoy some fresh air and exercise, Limerick has plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy and entertained

The Best Villages And Towns To Check Out!

Limerick is home to many charming villages and towns that are worth a visit. Here are some of the best:

  1. Adare – Known as one of Ireland’s prettiest villages, Adare is famous for its thatched-roof cottages, historic buildings, and beautiful parklands. Visitors can explore the ruins of Adare Castle, stroll along the River Maigue, or shop for crafts and souvenirs in the town’s many boutiques and galleries.
  2. Castleconnell – This picturesque village is located on the banks of the River Shannon and is popular with anglers, hikers, and nature lovers. Visitors can enjoy scenic walks along the river, explore the ruins of Castleconnell Castle, or visit the village’s many pubs and restaurants.
  3. Kilmallock – This historic town is home to many well-preserved medieval buildings, including a 13th-century church and a 15th-century town gate. Visitors can take a guided tour of the town, explore the local history museum, or enjoy a traditional Irish music session in one of the town’s pubs.
  4. Newcastle West – Located in the heart of County Limerick, Newcastle West is a bustling market town that offers visitors a taste of rural Ireland. Visitors can explore the town’s many historic buildings, including a medieval castle and a 19th-century courthouse, or browse the local farmers’ market for fresh produce and crafts.
  5. Askeaton – This small town is home to a number of historic sites, including a 15th-century castle and a Franciscan friary dating back to the 14th century. Visitors can explore the town’s many heritage trails, enjoy a picnic in the local park, or take a boat tour along the River Deel.

The Best Pubs In Limerick

Limerick is known for its lively pub scene, with a wide range of bars and pubs to suit every taste. Here are some of the best pubs in Limerick:

  1. The Locke Bar – This iconic pub is located in the heart of Limerick city and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The pub offers live music and entertainment, as well as a wide range of drinks and pub grub.
  2. Nancy Blake’s – This cosy pub is known for its warm atmosphere and friendly staff. Visitors can enjoy a pint of Guinness or a traditional Irish whiskey while listening to live music or chatting with locals.
  3. Durty Nelly’s – This historic pub is located just outside of Limerick city and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Irish history and culture. The pub is famous for its traditional Irish music sessions and its warm and welcoming atmosphere.
  4. The Old Quarter – This charming pub is located in the historic Old Quarter of Limerick and offers a wide range of craft beers, wines, and spirits. The pub also hosts regular music sessions and events.
  5. Mickey Martins – This trendy bar is located in the trendy neighbourhood of Castletroy and is popular with young professionals and students. The bar offers a range of craft beers, cocktails, and pub grub, as well as regular live music and events.

Where To Eat In Limerick

Limerick is known for its vibrant food and drink scene, with a range of options to suit all tastes and budgets. Whether you’re looking for traditional Irish pubs, Michelin-starred restaurants, or local favourites, there is no shortage of great places to eat and drink in Limerick.

For those looking for a traditional Irish pub experience, Dolan’s Pub, Nancy Blake’s, and The Locke Bar are all popular options. These pubs offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere, live music, and a range of classic Irish dishes such as fish and chips, Irish stew, and shepherd’s pie.

For those looking for a more upscale dining experience, Limerick has several Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from, including The River Restaurant and Freddy’s Bistro. These restaurants offer a fine dining experience with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients and are perfect for a special occasion or a romantic night out.

If you’re looking for local favourites, The Cornstore, Hook & Ladder, and The Sage Cafe are all great options. The Cornstore is known for its seafood and steak dishes, while Hook & Ladder is a popular brunch spot with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. The Sage Cafe is a vegetarian and vegan-friendly cafe with a range of healthy and delicious options. Dolan’s Warehouse on the dock road is a great spot for food and Adare Manor in County Limerick is a michelin star restaurant.


Limerick has a wide range of accommodations to suit all tastes and budgets. Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels or budget-friendly options, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Here are some of the best accommodation options in Limerick:

  1. Luxury hotels: The Savoy Hotel and The George Hotel are two of the most popular luxury hotels in Limerick. Both offer top-notch service, stylish rooms, and excellent amenities such as on-site restaurants, bars, and fitness centres.
  2. Budget-friendly options: Pery’s Hotel and The Boutique Hotel are two great options for budget-conscious travellers. Both hotels offer comfortable rooms and convenient locations in the heart of the city.
  3. Unique accommodations: For those looking for a unique experience, No. 1 Pery Square and The Absolute Hotel are two excellent options. No. 1 Pery Square is a stylish boutique hotel located in a restored Georgian townhouse, while The Absolute Hotel boasts a modern design and stunning views of the River Shannon.
  4. Adare Manor is a luxurious hotel located in the picturesque village of Adare, just a short drive from Limerick City. This historic hotel, which was originally built in the 19th century, has recently undergone a complete renovation and now offers guests the ultimate in luxury and comfort.

The Adare Manor Hotel features 104 guest rooms and suites, all of which have been beautifully appointed with luxurious furnishings and modern amenities. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the hotel’s lush gardens, the River Maigue, or the surrounding countryside.

In addition to its luxurious accommodations, the Adare Manor Hotel boasts several on-site dining options, including The Oak Room, which has been awarded two Michelin stars for its exquisite cuisine. Guests can also enjoy a range of activities, including golfing on the hotel’s championship golf course, relaxing in the spa, or exploring the beautiful gardens and grounds.

Day Trips From Limerick

Here are three of the best day trips from Limerick:

The Cliffs of Moher

Located just an hour and a half’s drive from Limerick, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most iconic natural wonders. Rising to a height of over 700 feet, the cliffs offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the rugged coastline. Visitors can explore the visitor centre, take a guided tour, or simply stroll along the cliff-top trails.

The Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a popular day trip from Limerick. The tour takes you through the scenic landscapes of the Iveragh Peninsula, with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, mountains, and lakes. The tour usually includes stops at charming villages along the way, such as Killorglin, Sneem, and Kenmare. You’ll have the opportunity to take in the local culture, enjoy traditional music and dance performances, and taste the local cuisine.

One of the highlights of the tour is the visit to Muckross House and Gardens, a stunning Victorian mansion surrounded by lush gardens and parkland. You can also explore the Killarney National Park, home to the famous Lakes of Killarney and a variety of wildlife.

The Ring of Kerry day tour from Limerick typically includes transportation in a comfortable coach or minivan, with an experienced guide providing commentary on the history and culture of the region.

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

Just a short drive from Limerick, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is a living museum that offers visitors a glimpse into Ireland’s rich history and culture. The castle, which dates back to the 15th century, has been carefully restored to its former glory, while the folk park features a range of traditional Irish buildings, including thatched cottages, a schoolhouse, and a church.

The Burren

Located in County Clare, just a short drive from Limerick, The Burren is a unique landscape that is known for its rugged beauty and fascinating geology. The area is home to a range of rare and endangered plant and animal species, as well as a number of ancient monuments, including the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a Neolithic tomb that dates back over 5,000 years.

Travel Tips

  1. Check the weather forecast: Limerick can experience all four seasons in one day, so it’s important to check the weather forecast before heading out.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes: Limerick is a walkable city with plenty of historical and cultural attractions to explore, so it’s important to wear comfortable shoes to get around.
  3. Bring a rain jacket: As mentioned earlier, Limerick can be rainy at times, so it’s always a good idea to bring a rain jacket or umbrella just in case.
  4. Learn a few Irish phrases: The Irish language is still spoken in some parts of Limerick, so it’s always appreciated when visitors make an effort to speak a few words.
  5. Try the local cuisine: Limerick has some delicious local specialities such as black pudding, bacon and cabbage, and Irish stew. Be sure to try some of these dishes during your visit.
  6. Use public transportation: Limerick has a good public transportation system, including buses and trains, which can be a convenient and affordable way to get around.
  7. Take a walking tour: Limerick has a rich history and culture, and taking a walking tour can be a great way to learn more about the city’s past and present.
  8. Respect local customs: Ireland has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to respect local customs and traditions during your visit.
  9. Carry cash: While many places in Limerick accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash for smaller purchases and transactions.
  10. Pack for the season: Depending on the time of year you visit, you may need to pack for colder or warmer weather, so be sure to check the forecast and pack accordingly.

These tips should help make your visit to Limerick more enjoyable and hassle-free.

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top attractions to visit in Limerick?

  • King John’s Castle
  • The Hunt Museum
  • University of Limerick
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral
  • Thomond Park (rugby stadium)

2. How do I get to Limerick?

  • By Air: Shannon Airport (SNN) is the closest international airport.
  • By Train: Irish Rail offers services from major cities.
  • By Bus: Several bus companies provide services.
  • By Car: Well-connected by roadways.

3. Where are the best places to eat and drink in Limerick?

  • Dolans Warehouse
  • Adare Manor Hotel
  • The Locke Bar
  • The Cornstore
  • Tuscany Bistro

4. What are some outdoor activities to do in Limerick?

  • Explore the River Shannon by boat or along its banks.
  • Visit Lough Gur for scenic beauty and history.
  • Hike and bike in Ballyhoura Mountains.
  • Enjoy Adare Village’s picturesque streets.
  • Relax in Curraghchase Forest Park for picnics and hiking.

John C

Hey, my name is John Conway and I love travelling around Ireland. I have a passion for All Things Ireland. I love the Emerald Isle! I love Guinness and green fields!

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