Limerick is a city in Ireland located on the banks of River Shannon, the longest river in Ireland. The town was founded in 92AD by the Vikings. The city has a vibrant culture and breathtaking historical landmarks with such a long history. Limerick boasts of numerous music scenes and beautiful sites to visit. If you happen to visit Ireland, a visit to Limerick should be on your itinerary. Here are 20 of the best things to do in Limerick during your stay.
20. Start your day by visiting the Milk Market for breakfast
The first and the best thing you can do to kick off your adventure is to fill your stomach in the famous Milk Market. According to Planetware, the market dates back to 1852, and it is one of the locals' favorite markets. It was initially called the Corn market because of the vast fresh produce supply. You will find almost everything you need in this market. You can enjoy eating pies, tarts, pastries, and cheese for a sumptuous breakfast.
19. Travel 800+ years into history by visiting King John's Castle
King John's Castle is our second stopover, and it's one of the best places to visit in Limerick, Ireland. The castle has an impressive medieval structure that dates back to 922AD. A visit to the castle will leave you tongue-tied because it is rich in dramatic history. The castle proudly stands at the center of King's Island, and it marks the arrival of Vikings to Ireland. There are numerous activities and historical exhibitions to visit combined with modern 3D and touch screen technology.
18. Head over to Ballyhoura for a ramble
If you want to escape the city life for a bit, head over to Ballyhoura for a forest walk. The place is approximately an hour's drive from King John's Castle. The forest is home to the largest mountain bike trail in Ireland. Nothing is more relaxing than being out in nature and enjoying the forest breeze and bird chirpings on a two kilometer trail. Ballyhoura is an area that has many places to walk. The site's beauty is magnificent, which will add some spice to your visit. You can also go for cycling, walking, and orienteering which are offered by the forest staff.
17. Explore the magical Lough Gur Archaeological site
Lough Gur is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Ireland. The site is home to the dolmen, prehistoric ruins, and one of Ireland's most prominent stone circles. According to Tripadvisor, if you want to travel 6000 years into history, visit this place. There is physical evidence of occupation from the Neolithic period. There are also artifacts from the Bronze Age, Iron Age, medieval and early Christian in Lough Gur.
16. Grab Coffee from Hook & Ladder
For a calming cup of coffee, visit Hook and Ladder on Sarsfield Street. The restaurant is known for its good food and cool vibes. According to DiscoverIreland, the coffee served at Hook and Ladder is one of the best in Ireland. If you want to eat and enjoy some good vibes as you relax, head over to this place.
15. Go kayaking on River Shannon
A visit to Shannon is one of the best things to do in Limerick City. River Shannon is the longest inland waterway in Ireland. Kayaking on this river is not only incredible, but it's like traversing through the heart and soul of the city. You will get to see a different side of the town. From the river, you can view King John's castle from a distance. Several companies offer kayaking excursions, such as Get West, allowing booking your visit in advance.
14. Visit Adare Manor for a 5 Star Luxury
Adare Manor should be on top of your list if you are all about fancy, class, and luxury. Adare Manor is a magnificent, breathtaking hotel in Downton Abbey close to Limerick. In 2018, the hotel was given an impressive multi-million renovation that upgraded its status to a luxurious Ireland castle hotel. The hotel added an extra suite with 42 bedrooms, a spa, a ballroom, a conference room, and several other facilities that make it a top-notch resort during the renovation.
13. Eat lunch at Restaurant 1826
The famous Restaurant 1826 is one of the most fantastic places to visit for a bite in Ireland. The restaurant is located beautiful thatched building that is aesthetically pleasing. The inside of the restaurant is equally pretty as the outside. It is a perfect destination to re-energize as you explore the city. The restaurant is known for its locally sourced food available at an affordable price.
12. Visit the town thatch Cottages
After enjoying a delicious meal at Restaurant 1826, head over to the traditional thatch cottages. If you want to experience the conventional Ireland lifestyle, visit the traditional thatched cottages. Thatched cottages are traditional Irish dwellings that are beautiful, and they are a symbol of history in Ireland. There are about 1500 cottages left in the whole of Ireland. The cottages are durable and environmentally friendly, making them a symbol of pride. Thatched cottages house about 0.1 % of the population, although it was the primary form of housing in 1800. The materials used to construct the cottages vary depending on the region and the availability of resources.
11. Listen to live music at Dolan's pub
Dolan's pub is a traditional Irish pub situated in the dockland of Limerick city. The pub is known for its hospitality, charm, and implausible atmosphere. If you want to enjoy some Irish music, delicious food, and dancing sessions, this is the place to be. Every Saturday night, the bar hosts traditional music sessions from 9 pm till late. The pub is open daily from 5 pm to midnight.
10. Grab breakfast at Buttery
The Buttery is a restaurant owned by siblings Joe and Hazel. The duo loves to cook and create delicious tasty foods, which prompted them to team up and make money out of something they love. Their restaurant is known for serving its award-winning coffee. The food from this restaurant is made from locally sourced ingredients. The ambiance is relaxing, making it an incredible joint if you want to enjoy some good vibes. The breakfast menu consists of poached eggs, baked beans, avocado, wilted spinach, and toasted sourdough accompanied by tea.
9. Cycle across the living Bridge
The Living Bridge is a 350 meters bridge that connects the University of Limerick to River Shannon. It is the longest pedestrian bridge in Ireland. According to TheCultureTrip, the Bridge was constructed in 2007, and it was designed to host social, educational, and cultural performances. The Bridge also accommodates music and dance events and social and informal teaching gatherings. The name Living Bridge is derived from the fact that the Bridge is not dormant because it is always full of activities. The Bridge was designed to mirror the flow of the River Shannon.
8. Attend Riverfest Festival
The Riverfest event is the best place to visit if you love fun, family, and loads of adventure. The event opens in May, and it is one of the best ways to start the summer in style. The event attracts thousands of tourists who flock to Limerick city to participate in memorable activities and soak up the thrilling atmosphere. The event starts at the bank of River Shannon, which is usually the epicenter of activities. Some activities are zip lining across River Shannon, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Families can enjoy the panoramic wheel ride and barbeque, and at night there are incredible Riverfest fireworks. The height of the festival is culminated by fireworks displays all through the night.
7. Visit Limerick City Art and Gallery
Visitors who love art and culture can visit the Limerick City art and gallery. The art center promotes the artistic work of local artists by showcasing contemporary art exhibits from both national and international artists. There is also a hub developed for talented students to showcase their skills. You also can purchase elegant art pieces made by indigenous artists. The art center also offers various events where family members can tour and enjoy the displayed arts and crafts. If you are an art lover, there are beginner classes for visitors which you will enjoy.
6. Watch a live match and music at Nancy Blakes
Nancy Blakes is a traditional Irish pub located in Limerick city. The pub has a late-night bar and hosts live music venues. They serve lunch from Monday to Friday. The pub is known for its iconic craft beer and a wide variety of whiskey gin. Sundays are for traditional Irish music. There are live music sessions in the garden on Wednesdays and Thursdays, where visitors are served beer and listen to calm and relaxing music.
5. Relax at People's Park
If you want to relax and enjoy some vitamin D, visit People's Park situated in Pery Square in Limerick. According to Limerick.ie, the park has numerous exciting activities, like relaxing in the memorial garden that was opened in 2002 and the refurbished drinking fountain. The park is family-friendly because it has a children's playground with adventure walks and treasure hunts where kids can have fun. The park also has mature and evergreen trees like Hornbeam, Oak, Horse Chestnut, and False Acacia, making the park have a great ambiance.
4. Attend mass at the St. Mary's Cathedral
St Mary's Cathedral is an 850 years old chapel constructed in the 12th century. The cathedral is an old structure situated on the banks of River Shannon, and it stands majestically in Limerick city. Historical books state that the cathedral was built as a meeting place for a Viking, and it later became a palace for O'Brien, the king of Thomond. The structure is incredible because it has weathered through sieges, battles, wars, invasions, and famines, and it is still standing strong.
3. Enjoy a live match at Thomond Park
A visit to Thomond Park is arguably among the top things to do when visiting Limerick city. It is even more fun if you visit Ireland during the rainy season. If you are a sports fan, especially a rugby fan, you will enjoy your stay at this park. Even if you are not a sports person, a visit to the park will be memorable. The park hosts Ireland's Munster Rugby team every year. The park has been in existence for over fifty years, and every year it hosts international games. If you visit the park, you might be lucky to get the back view of the historical Thomond stadium, which is only accessible by officials and players.
2. Visit the iconic Hunt Museum
John and Gertrude Hunt own the Hunt Museum. It is a museum that has around 2500 historical and archaeological materials. The oldest artifact is a Stone Age piece from Ireland and an archaeological material from ancient Egypt. Various materials show evidence of early Christian art that has been collected and preserved in the museum. There are also treasury rooms in the museum that houses artifacts such as the famous Arthur cross and Arthur Chalice. Medieval Christian pieces such as the Hohenzollern crucifix are stored here.
1. Round up your trip by visiting Limerick Museum
Limerick museum was constructed in 1916. According to Wanderlog, the museum has over 60,000 different historical and archaeological collections that tell the history of Limerick city and its inhabitants. The objects on display include items of local printing, limerick lace, limerick silver, and ancient military artifacts. Limerick Museum is the largest in the city, and it is dedicated to Jim Kemmy, a former mayor and a member Democratic Socialist Party and Labor Party. The history of Limerick is well preserved in the museum.
Limerick is an exciting town to visit and explore. The city is rich in history, and there are many recreational centers, restaurants, and shopping centers to explore during your visit. The above list will guide you on your Irish adventure and help you create a lifetime of memories.
Written by Liz Flynn
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