Limerick City, on the banks of the River Shannon and at the foot of the Clare Hills, is a charming place to visit. Limerick is Ireland’s third biggest city and offers a host of tourist attractions, a lively nightlife, great shopping and an up-and-coming restaurant scene. With several parts of this compact city recently refurbished, including the weekend food and crafts market which has been covered and renovated, Limerick city centre is more accessible and appealing than ever. As Ireland’s sporting capital, Limerick is host to a variety of sporting events, including golf, the traditional Irish sports of hurling and Gaelic football, and horseracing, as well as being the home of Munster Rugby. On match days the city comes to life, so whether you are at the impressive stadium; Thomond Park, or watching the big screen in one of the great city centre pubs, the ‘craic’ will be mighty. Limerick is best served by Shannon airport, a 20-minute drive away, and cheap flights are available all year round. For great deals on accommodation in one of the many stylish hotels in Limerick, visit Hotels.com.
Limerick was a prominent medieval city, and some of the remnants of this exciting past still remain. King John’s Castle, perched on the banks of the river, is a must-see. Explore the Irish castle and the exhibitions on display, giving an insight into life in Limerick since the castle’s beginnings in the 13th century. Kids will love climbing the turrets and walking along the battlements, imagining that they are defending the castle from invasion. Take a medieval tour of Limerick starting at the castle and making your way down through winding laneways to St. Mary’s Cathedral. This 800-year-old place of worship is the oldest building in the city. It is known for its beautiful architecture, stained glass and fascinating history.
Limerick is a student town, with several third-level institutions located in and around the city centre. The University of Limerick, 5-10 minutes drive away, is nestled in a spot of remarkable natural beauty. The grounds are impressive and the University Concert Hall always has some quality performances lined up. There is also a large sporting arena with great facilities open to the public. Many athletes come to train here, and if you’re lucky you might even catch a glimpse of the famous Munster Rugby team! The student buzz means that Limerick city is a hive of activity, with a vibrant music and arts scene and a dynamic nightlife. Check out some of the city centre pubs and clubs for a guaranteed fun night out.
The Hunt Museum, housed in a beautiful Palladian style 18th-century building, which began as the Limerick customs house, boasts an impressive collection of antiques and artefacts dating back to the Neolithic period. Highlights include the Da Vinci Horse, medieval jewellery and enamels, and paintings by Renoir, Picasso and Jack B. Yeats. If you fancy getting out of the city for the day, Bunratty Castle, on the border of Limerick and Clare, is only 15 minutes from the city centre and very popular with tourists. The folk park, a recreation of life around the castle walls when it was occupied, is great for children. Animals such as pigs, hens, geese and donkeys roam around the park and staff are dressed as the inhabitants would have been centuries ago. For refreshments, check out Durty Nelly’s pub, a traditional Irish pub next to the castle that's known for great local food and drink as well as traditional Irish music. A visit to the Cliffs of Moher, at a soaring height over the Atlantic Ocean, is top of the list of things to see when visiting Ireland and located approximately 1.5 hours from Limerick City. Alternatively, Limerick is very close to the west coast so, on a sunny day, why not take a trip to the nearby beaches in counties Clare and Kerry.