Limerick is southern Ireland’s third largest city. Set in the windswept, rugged landscape of county Munster in the southwest of Ireland, Limerick grew up at the point where the majestic river Shannon flows into the Atlantic.

In the 9th Century Viking raiders were terrifying the Celtic people of Ireland. Landing on the West coast they would swarm up winding rivers sacking villages and pillaging monasteries as they went. Limerick began as a base for the Norsemen, later expanding as an agricultural centre before becoming a fortified town under the Normans in the 12th Century.

Limerick is now a bustling and populous town. It has a thriving tourist industry, growing IT sector, a world-class university and is a popular shopping destination for day-trippers.


The medieval precinct is the oldest part of Limerick and it features some well-preserved historic buildings. The standout is King John’s Castle. Built between 1200 and 1210 this Norman fortification includes a historical museum detailing life in the middle ages and an exhibition about the ongoing archaeological excavations in and around the castle.

Limerick’s Hunt Museum is one of Ireland’s finest art collections. It has a hugely varied collection. It is a treasured repository of prehistoric objects from Ireland as well as artefacts from pre-dynastic Egypt, Greece and Rome. It has a huge collection of renaissance painting as well as 20th Century European art from the likes of Matisse, Picasso and Jack Yeats, Ireland’s most famous painter.

Limerick features in Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel Angela’s Ashes. There is a walking tour of the city which highlights places mentioned in the novel that leaves from the Tourist Office at 2.30pm daily. The novel is famously rather depressing so, by the time you complete the tour you probably deserve a pint in a pub.

Outside the hustle and bustle of the city County Limerick offers beautiful countryside for walking, hiking, cycling and riding. There are plenty of shops in the city that cater for these activities and hire out equipment, bikes and horses.

Adare village just outside the town is a great place to visit to get a taste of rural Ireland. The tiny, picture postcard village is set in beautiful countryside and packed with thatched cottages, a medieval church and, of course, a local pub.

Lough Gur is a beautiful lake 20 miles from Limerick. The Lough Gur Neolithic Settlement is one of the most important archaeological sites in Ireland. The visitors’ centre and reconstruction of a Stone Age village offer a rare insight into the life of some of Ireland’s earliest inhabitants.

Fishing on the Shannon and its tributaries as well as the lakes Lough Derg and Lough Gur is world famous. For the more adventurous boat trips for sea-anglers go from Limerick out into the Atlantic every day that weather allows. Salmon fishing season is April/May, with coarse fishing and pike fishing in the later summer.


Limerick is a great shopping city for locals, tourists and the thousands from the southwest who flock into the city every week. Main shops in the city centre are clustered around the pedestrian Cruises Street where elegant cafes nestle between large chain and department stores. There’s a branch of Brown Thomas, Irelands most famous department store featuring design clothes, home furnishings and a food hall.

There are also plenty of places to buy some local handcrafts. Carraig Donn is a famous seller of locally made woollens and knitwear and no trip is complete if you don’t come back with a traditional white arann jumper with its characteristic patterns on loops and knots.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Limerick is a big modern city with a big student population. In fact 2 out of 3 people there are under 30. This ensures it has a lively nightlife. There’s the range of restaurants and chic bars that you would find in any modern European city. Restaurants range from fancy Michelin starred establishments, through all sorts of international cuisine (particularly Italian and Spanish) to cheap eateries and fast food chains. Similarly the clubs of Limerick range from grungy student hangouts to rather trendier nightspots like Icon.

Pub culture is what really makes Irish nightlife standout and Limerick has its fair share. The pub isn’t just a place to drink, it’s a place to meet people, chat, eat and listen to music. Most pubs in Limerick will serve traditional food like sausages with champ (mashed potato with spring onions) or a full Irish fry complete with soda and potato bread. Most also hold traditional music nights. A favourite spot for city dwellers is Dolan’s, on Dock road. There’s live music every night here, provided either from a bunch of locals or specially booked traditional Irish musicians from around the world.

Tourist Information

Limerick Tourist Information OfficeArthurs QuayLimerick City Co LimerickTel: +353 61 317522Fax: +353 61 317939Email:


Shannon International Airport is just 20km east of the city centre. Planes fly out of Shannon to Belfast, City of Derry, Dublin and a range of international destinations across Europe and North America. Flights are operated by both established and budget carriers.

Cork Airport is two hours drive south of the city and offers a range of national and international destinations.