Limerick, Ireland is a bustling modern city with a rich medieval past. A vibrant arts and music community, plenty of shops and restaurants all coexist alongside fantastically old buildings and world-class museums, making this a multi-faceted Ireland holiday destination with lots to offer.
Things to do in Limerick, Ireland
Built up along both banks of the Shannon River, Limerick is a compact and very walkable city, making it an ideal place for some leisurely Ireland sightseeing.
The first stop on any Limerick tour should be the magnificent King John’s Castle on the banks of the Shannon River. Built in the early 13th century, the castle is an iconic Limerick site that evokes images of Norman lords and ladies rushing to safety inside its imposing battlements. King John’s Castle has been under siege many times during its long history, sometimes suffering considerable damage, but careful restoration work has bought it back it to its original grandeur. Recent renovations help you get the most out of the King John’s Castle experience with a modern visitor’s centre including interactive multimedia displays, CGI animations and 3D models.
But the history of Limerick goes back much further than the Normans. Both King John’s Castle and St Mary’s Cathedral are built on top of earlier Viking structures, a fact that boggles the mind when you think that the cathedral was built in the remote year of 1111. On your Limerick visit, be sure to take in the venerable beauty of St Mary’s Cathedral, the oldest surviving building in the city and one of the most inspiring of Ireland’s tourist attractions.
The Treaty Stone in Limerick has become one of the most important icons in Irish History. The stone is allegedly the place where a treaty was signed in 1691, ending the Siege of Limerick and turning the city over to William of Orange. You can now visit the famous Treaty Stone during your Limerick holiday at its resting place on a pedestal next to the Thomond Bridge.
Get an in-depth insight into Irish life through the ages with a visit to Bunratty Castle, the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. This popular Irish attraction not only celebrates the country’s medieval past through its collection of furniture and artefacts, it has an impressive Folk Park made up of over 30 buildings which showcase 19th century rural life in Ireland.
For lovers of literature, an interesting addition to your Limerick activities might include an Angela’s Ashes Walking Tour. The Pulitzer prizewinning memoir, Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt is set in 1930s Limerick and the tourist office takes people past plenty of sites featured in the novel on a fascinating daily walking tour.
Just a short drive from the centre of Limerick is Adare, known as ‘the prettiest village in Ireland’. You’ll be transported back in time as you wander down Adare’s tree-lined streets past original thatched cottages that are hundreds of years old. A romantic highlight of any Irish vacation, Adare’s allure includes quaint restaurants and local artisan workshops where you can pick up something authentic to remember this special place by.