Limerick, Ireland holds a special place in my heart. It’s where my mom was born and where Amber and I have been coming to for over 20 years. In this post, we will explore some of the top things to do in Limerick.
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Limerick, Ireland – The Treaty City
The city of Limerick is Ireland’s third-largest, behind Dublin and Cork. Known as the “Treaty City”, Limerick dates back to 812 when it began as a Viking settlement. Stretching along the River Shannon, Co. Limerick is the 10th largest county in Ireland and one of six counties that comprise the province of Munster.
Limerick is an often overlooked destination despite it being a gateway city to the Wild Atlantic City. Having grown up in New Jersey and on the receiving end of far too many jokes about my home state, I see many similarities between New Jersey and Limerick. Most of all, if you are from either, you know just how great both really are.
But seriously, from history to great food and drink options, professional sports, stunning nature, and wellness, Limerick City and County have so much to offer travelers to Ireland. It’s also a great area to base yourself in to explore County Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Wild Atlantic Way.
Where is Limerick – Wild Atlantic Way Gateway City
Getting to Limerick is super easy. If you are coming from the United States there are direct flights to Shannon Airport. Located in neighboring County Clare, Shannon Airport is only a 25-minute drive from Limerick City Center. If you are driving from Dublin to Limerick it’s approximately a two-and-a-half-hour drive, straight across Ireland.
Pro tip: Driving along the M7 (the main motorway connecting Dublin and Limerick) in Moneygall, Co. Tipperary is the President Barack Obama rest stop. Moneygall is the ancestral home of President Obama. The rest stop is great for a cup of coffee and a bit of history.
Alternatively, both train and bus options are available from Dublin City Center to Limerick. The Dublin to Limerick train will cost approximately €50 return, taking 2.5 to 3 hours.
There are several bus companies that offer service from Limerick to Dublin and other cities. On average, the bus from Dublin to Limerick costs €20, again taking approximately 2.5 to 3 hours.
Things To Do In Limerick City
Explore King John’s Castle
Dating back to the 13th century, King John’s Castle is easily Limerick’s most famous landmark. Also known as Limerick Castle, King John’s Castle is the focal point of Limerick’s Medieval Quarter. Originally a Viking settlement founded in 922, the castle has been witness to many pivotal events in Limerick’s history.
The castle museum features a number of interactive exhibitions for visitors, including medieval games and archery. Over the years, the castle has played house to numerous events and concerts.
Visit Two Limerick Craft Beer Breweries
For a city with just under 100,000 residents, it’s exciting that there are two Irish craft beer breweries. Treaty City Brewery and Crew Brewing Co. have transformed Limerick into one of the best destinations in Ireland for Irish craft beer.
Treaty City Brewery offers a one-hour tour of the brewery on Friday and Saturday for €21. The tour concludes with a tasting of 3 different Treaty City beers. I personally highly recommend the Harris Pale Ale!
Learn About Limerick’s Whiskey History
You can’t come to Limerick and not experience some of the amazing pubs in Limerick. If you love whiskey, then make sure to visit the Limerick Whiskey Experience. From the brothers behind Mother Mac’s pub, the Limerick Whiskey Experience features both guided Irish whiskey tastings and coming soon, a guided walking tour of Limerick’s lost whiskey history.
The 90-minute tour is twice per day (Thursday, Friday, & Saturday) and costs €12. You can add on a whiskey tasting of four Irish whiskeys after the tour for €35.
Whiskey tastings from the Limerick Whiskey Experience take place at Mother Mac’s inside the warm and cozy, Peggy’s Parlour. There are three set whiskey tastings lasting from 45, 60, and 90 minutes in duration. The prices for the three different tastings are €25, €35, and €45 per person. Advanced booking is required.
For art lovers, a trip to Limerick’s Hunt Museum is a must. Set in a former Customs House in the heart of Limerick, the Hunt Museum showcases the vast art and artifact collection of its namesake John Hunt. The Hunt Museum has over 2,500 objects including pieces from Y.B. Yeats, Pablo Picasso, and others.
International Rugby Experience
For sports fans, there’s no place like Limerick. The city is home to the current GAA Senior Men’s Hurling Champions. It’s also home to Munster Rugby, one of the premier European rugby teams. In 2020, Limerick welcomed Treaty City F.C. as the latest addition to its sports resume.
The International Rugby Experience opened in early 2023. The newest addition to Limerick, the museum is located on O’Connell St, smack in the middle of Limerick. For rugby fans, Limerick will become a pilgrimage to explore this world-class museum.
Best Restaurants In Limerick – Places To Eat In Limerick
Limerick has a variety of places to grab a bite. From burgers to fish n’ chips, pizza to kebabs, you won’t go hungry. For the adventurous eater, no trip to Limerick is complete without a visit to the famous (infamous) Chicken Hut Limerick. Ask a local, trust me.
Here is a look at a few that we have become partly fond of over the years.
Sash – One Pery Square
With a dedication to sourcing as many Irish food products from within County Limerick, Sash at One Pery Square is a must. Led by head chef Alex Timms, the menu features classics like Roasted Rack of Irish Lamb, Irish Sausages, and locally caught Atlantic Cod and John Dory. For a real treat, head over to Sash for their unforgettable Sunday Lunch.
The French Table
French food in Limerick? That’s exactly what I thought when I was told by friends that we had to dine at the French Table in Limerick. But sure enough, the French Table has become one of our absolute favorite restaurants in Ireland. Serving up all these classic French dishes is Chef Thomas Fialon.
Originally from Strasbourg, France, Chef Thomas opened the French Table in 2008. Working with local Irish food producers, Chef Thomas’s menu features an assortment of traditional Gallic dishes including cassoulet, boeuf bourguignon, and our personal favorite, escargot, made using Irish snails!!
Looking for great coffee, delicious food made using locally sourced Irish ingredients, and super welcoming staff? Then look no further than Canteen in Limerick City centre. Since 2012, Chef Paul Williams has been at the helm of Canteen racking up numerous accolades.
For us, Canteen is easily one of the best restaurants in Limerick. With ever-changing specials and top-quality local ingredients, it’s always a winner. Open for breakfast and lunch only, Canteen is the best way to start a day of sightseeing in Limerick.
The East Room At Plassey House
Located on the grounds of the University of Limerick, the East Room restaurant is the definition of a “hidden gem”. Serving up locally sourced Irish food products, head chef and proprietor Derek Fitzpatrick has created an exceptional menu that changes with the seasons.
Available for dinner and Sunday lunch only, eating at the East Room is a must when visiting Limerick. The restaurant offers both an A La Carte Menu and a multi-course tasting menu costing €68, additional drinks pairing €49.
In a decade of traveling the world, I can’t tell you how many times one dish has caused us to return to a restaurant over and over again. In the case of the Cornstore in Limerick, their confit duck leg is the culprit. Easily one of the best confit duck legs I’ve ever eaten. Now they do use chorizo in the dish, so that could be the reason.
Regardless, the Cornstore features a straightforward menu of quality steaks and Irish seafood dishes. You’re not going to find traditional Irish dishes on the menu, but I think that’s the point.
Where To Stay In Limerick – Best Accommodations In Limerick
Limerick City offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors. From Airbnb rents to 5-star hotels, there’s something for every budget.
Most of the hotels are within Limerick City center and an easy to walk to attractions and restaurants. If you are driving, most if not all the hotels have parking on site. Otherwise, there are plenty of public parking garages.
We previously highlighted our picks for the 5 Best Limerick Hotels. These hotels range from family-friendly to the best spa hotel in Limerick. When booking, most hotels in Limerick will include breakfast in the rate but some will not. It’s advisable to confirm this before booking.
|Limerick Hotel||Best For||Rates From||Where To Book|
|🏨 One Pery Square Hotel & Spa||💆♀️ Best For Spa Lovers||€275||💶 Check Rates|
|🏨 The Savoy Hotel Limerick||🏅Best Five Star Hotel||€170||💶 Check Rates|
|🏨 The Strand Hotel Limerick||🌆 Best For City Views||€115||💶 Check Rates|
|🏨 Absolute Hotel||👨👩👧👦 Best For Families||€125||💶 Check Rates|
|🏨 Clayton Hotel Limerick||🏞 Best For River Views||€100||💶 Check Rates|
If you are looking to use Airbnb in Limerick that is an option but take care when booking. Ireland is in the midst of a housing crisis for people who live here. As a result, while doing research for this post, most of the Airbnb options in Limerick were for single rooms, not entire apartments or houses.
In fact, most of the available listings had the Airbnb “Rare Find” label attached to them. Summing up the housing situation in Ireland perfectly.
FAQs – Things To Do In Limerick
Colbert Station is the train and bus station in Limerick. It is located approximately 10 minute walk to the center of Limerick. From Colbert Station, you can train or bus to cities around Ireland including Dublin, Cork, and Galway. For trains heading to Dublin, you will have to transfer at Limerick Junction, which is the first stop outside of Limerick.
o take the bus to Galway from Limerick it is approximately a two hour and twenty-minute journey. Picking up at Limerick Colbert Station, there are several private bus (coach) companies operating between the two cities. On average the price of a ticket is approximately €15 one-way.
here are several options to travel from Limerick to Cork. Buses and trains from Limerick Colbert Station to Cork (Kent) Station run throughout the day. It takes on average between 90 minutes to two hours to travel to Cork from Limerick. The average price for a one-way bus ticket is €15-20, while the average price for a one-way train ticket is between €10-15.