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Why Visit Limerick? 15 Great Things to See, Do, and Eat (Plus Bonus Limericks!)

Find out what Limerick is like and if Limerick is worth visiting. Learn about things to do in Limerick City Ireland. Travel from Dublin to Limerick by train to see places like King John's Castle and the Limerick Milk Market.
Limerick City would not naturally top many people's lists of "must see" places to visit in Ireland

In fact, Limerick was the last sizable city in Ireland that we found time to visit and only after living in Dublin for 8 years. 

Is Limerick worth visiting? I'm pleased to report that Limerick is chock full of history, great beer and food. Plus, Bunratty Castle is accessible from Limerick City on public transportation.

Limerick Points of Interest: King John's Castle viewed across the River Shannon

Limerick also has it's own namesake poem: the flexible and often slightly off-color limerick. Read on to find out about fantastic things to in Limerick on a weekend break from Dublin spiced up with a bit of my very own poetry (Limericks about Limerick!) composed during the trip.

Dublin to Limerick by Train

On a train to Limerick City
Here we are sitting pretty
A weekend away
Oh, what the hey!
That you aren't here too is a pity!
There is no excuse not to visit Limerick from Dublin. It takes less than three hours to get from Dublin to Limerick City by train including a train change in Limerick Junction. 

Irish Rail trains for Limerick Junction depart from Dublin's Heuston Station. You'll ultimately arrive in the heart of Limerick at Limerick Colbert Station.
Changing trains at Limerick Junction
Get us there faster's the function
Onboard the new train
Why take a plane?
Would cause unnecessary compunction
SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Dublin is an easy country to enjoy by train. Read about some of my other favorite places to visit in Ireland by train from Dublin including Kilkenny for a weekend.

1. Limerick Milk Market

Definitely visit Limerick City on a Saturday to experience Limerick's top attraction: the historic Milk Market. We quickly discovered that Limerick's Milk Market is the place to be on a Saturday morning! 

Shop for locally produced fruits, vegetables, meats, and browse for things like souvenir candles. There is something for everyone at the Milk Market.
Things to do in Limerick City: The Milk Market

There is also all kinds of great food prepared on the spot at Limerick's Milk Market. We grabbed "The Cure" from the Country Choice Stall. 

Loaded with sausage, black and white pudding, and an optional fried egg, this sandwich is definitely a great cure for a hangover induced by a craic-filled Friday night out in Limerick.
What to eat in Limerick: "The Cure" from the Country Choice Stall at the Limerick Milk Market
SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Cork is another one my favorite cities in Ireland. Much like in Limerick, one of the top things to do in Cork City is a historic market: the English Market.

2. Seek Out Limerick Street Art 

Why visit Limerick: fantastic street art
Limerick has an edgy reputation with street art to match. Keep your eyes out for fantastic full-wall creations on the side of 2 story brick buildings scattered all around Limerick. 

A rather rough looking lad with an eyeball perched on his ice cream cone (situated near King John's Castle) was my favorite piece.

3. Try Local Favorite Restaurants in Limerick

What to do in Limerick City: coffee at Green Onion Cafe

Hipster shops and restaurants are just starting to find a home in Limerick. Pop into local favorite places like Green Onion Cafe just across the street from the Hunt Museum. 

Green Onion Cafe is extremely popular for brunch on the weekend so we had to sit at the counter to drink our Americano.

4. Visit St. Mary's Cathedral in Limerick

Limerick Points of Interest: St. Mary's Cathedral
Limerick just oozes history and there are a few attractions that are nearly one thousand years old. Pay a visit to St. Mary's, an 11th century cathedral in Limerick. 

I don't understand why tourist guidebooks don't include Limerick. There is so much fascinating history here! 

St. Mary's Cathedral has incredible atmosphere inside and out with an imposing wooden door at the west entrance. Inside, you'll find wooden seats with intricately carved scenes that date back hundreds of years.
Limerick Points of Interest: St. Mary's Cathedral

5. Tour King John's Castle

Limerick City sits on the banks of the River Shannon and King John's Castle simply dominates the view along the river. King John's Castle ranks high on my list of the best castles in Ireland so make time for a self-guided tour of King John's Castle. 

Play dress-up with Medieval costumes and props in the castle courtyard. Enjoy the interactive exhibits which highlight the rich intrigue and bloody sieges centered on Limerick over the centuries

King John's Castle played a prominent role in the five sieges of Limerick that occurred in the 17th century during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.
Limerick points of interest: King John's Castle and the Treaty Stone

6. See Limerick's Treaty Stone

The Treaty of Limerick signed at the end of the 17th century ended the war between the Jacobites and supporters of William of Orange and concluded the siege of Limerick in 1691. 

Pay a visit to the Treaty Stone in Limerick. It's across the River Shannon from King John's Castle and St. Mary's Cathedral. The Treaty Stone site gets bonus points for the fabulous views.

7. Have A Foodie Lunch at Curragower Bar

We were surprised and delighted to find that Limerick City has some fantastic foodie pubs. We enjoyed lunch at Curragower Bar including a delicious camembert salad, mussels, and a pint of Treaty City craft beer.
What to do in Limerick: eat lunch at Curragower Bar
It was all fun and games until my traveling partner dropped his beer. I've captured the moment in a limerick for your enjoyment.
My man he did just spill his beer
I'll admit that I looked on in fear
Eat all the food
For guaranteed better mood
Thankfully the Limerick locals didn't jeer

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: We enjoy poetry inspired travel in Ireland. Are you enjoying my limericks and looking for more literary inspired blog posts? Check out a Dublin to Sligo road trip for fans of W.B. Yeats.

8. Admire Limerick's Georgian Doors and Architecture

What is Limerick Like? Colorful Georgian doors
Just like Dublin, Limerick has its fair share of colorful Georgian doors. The neighborhood behind the People's Park and O'Connell Avenue in Limerick offers particularly impressive photo opportunities: Instagrammable Limerick at its finest.

9. Take A Shannon River Walk By Day or After Dark in Limerick

What to see in Limerick: The River Shannon and St. Mary's Cathedral
Limerick is situated on the River Shannon. Walking along the footpaths on the River Shannon in Limerick City was definitely a highlight. 

See King John's Castle and St. Mary's Cathedral from across the river. After dark watch the lights twinkle on the water and keep your eye out for some lifelike sculptures.

10. Undertake a Limerick Pub Crawl

The sun is about to go down
That means time for a night on the town
Off to the pub
Then on to some grub
In Limerick you won't see us frown.
Pubs are a staple of life in Ireland and Limerick is no exception. Before dinner, take time to do a Limerick pub crawl. 

I know that after a couple of pints of Treaty City craft beer at the White House, my creative juices were flowing and I came up with not one, but two, limericks!
The White House pub is covered in Limericks.
Some might be tempted to think that they’re gimmicks.
But the poetry's for real.
And the pints are a steal.
Plus in rugby Wales beat England for kicks.

11. Dinner at the French Table in Limerick City

Eat dinner along the River Shannon with hearty French inspired cuisine at French Table. The portions were quite generous and I was definitely "roll me home" full after two courses including a rich French onion soup and coq au vin to conclude the first day of our weekend in Limerick City.
Where to eat in Limerick City Ireland: Dinner at French Table

12. From Limerick to Bunratty Castle by Bus

On the way to Bunratty Castle by bus.
Sunday morning definitely means no fuss
Visiting in February
Not to be contrary
But avoiding loads of tourists is a plus!
On Day 2 of your weekend in Limerick, take advantage of Limerick City's proximity to Bunratty Castle (just over the border in County Clare). Bunratty Castle is definitely on the tour bus circuit but we visited in February and thus had the place practically to ourselves. 

Take the 300 bus non-stop from Arthur's Quay in Limerick City and then walk about 10 minutes from where the bus drops you off to Bunratty Castle itself.
Day Trips from Limerick City: Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle is a well-preserved 15th century tower house and is imposing both inside and out. Follow the signs under the portcullis and enter the castle. 

Check out the banquet hall and other rooms dressed with period atmosphere. Image what it would be like to be an Irish chieftain in residence here. Bunratty Castle is surrounded by a folk park featuring dwellings from around Ireland throughout the ages. 

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park even features a small herd of majestic deer. Have a wander around the grounds and take a step back in time. We had a fab time exploring Bunratty Castle. There is so much to see and do and not many people realize just how close Bunratty Castle is to Limerick City!
Day trips from Limerick City: Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

When we visited Bunratty Castle from Limerick, we even got to meet resident Irish wolfhounds Meabh and Saoirse. Plus, it was their birthday so families with children from all over the local area arrived to celebrate with cake and music. 

We got to see Meabh and Saoirse "at home" before the festivities began and then quietly made our exit and caught the bus back to Limerick City.
Day trip from Limerick Ireland: Irish wolfhounds at Bunratty Castle

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: If you have time to go farther afield from Limerick City and you have a car, check out the fascinating Flying Boat Museum which recounts the history of early transatlantic aviation. I rated the Flying Boat Museum as one of the best things to do on a road trip between Dublin and Dingle. At about 45 minutes by car outside of Limerick City, Foynes Flying Boat Museum is another easy day trip from Limerick City.

13. Sunday Lunch at the Locke Bar

Back in Limerick City at the Locke for lunch.
Better to eat at a pub than a hipster brunch
Ireland rugby on telly
Fish n chips in my belly
Enjoying our weekend city break a bunch!
Back from Bunratty Castle, it was time to find some lunch. We ate fish and chips at the Locke while surrounded by rabid rugby fans watching the match. What is Limerick like? It's full of great craic.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Did you know that there is another castle just 30 minutes by car from Limerick City? Dromoland Castle is a great place to stay for a quiet weekend in a historic setting with plenty of fresh air.

14. Browse the Hunt Museum

The Hunt Museum is another top point of interest in Limerick City and, bonus, admission to the Hunt Museum is free on Sunday afternoons! The museum features art and anthropological artifacts from across the ages collected by John and Gertrude Hunt. 

The Hunt Museum is located in an impressive and historic stone mansion which is worth visiting for the architecture alone. The Hunt Museum is a fantastic thing to do in Limerick on a Sunday (when many other places are closed) or on a rainy day when you just want to stay inside.
Things to do in Limerick: Visit the Hunt Museum

15. Final Sneaky Pint at Tom Collins

Before we knew it, our weekend in Limerick was drawing to a close and it was time to head back to Limerick Colbert station for our return train to Dublin. We did have time for a very quick cheeky glass of beer at Tom Collins. 

Tom Collins was relatively quiet late on a Sunday afternoon but we did meet some talkative locals. Limerick is definitely full of fun characters.
What to do in Limerick: drinks at Tom Collins Pub

Some Parting Limericks

It's super-sad our weekend is over.
So many fun things in Limerick to cover.
Now on a train.
Many does it contain.
Who knows when I'll next be the wild rover?
As we sat on the train from Limerick to Dublin, I had the opportunity to compose a couple parting limericks. I'll leave you with these poetic stylings from a memorable weekend trip to Limerick City from Dublin!
There once was a blogger in Limerick, she'll fill in the rest!
“Can't wait to write about the trip, it's gonna be the best
castles and churches will feature
about markets and pubs I'll teach ya”
Limerick is a vibrant city? I never would have guessed!

Map of Limerick City Things to Do

Check out this map of the places covered in this post (click on the image to open up an interactive version in Google Maps). I hope we've been able to answer the question: why visit Limerick?

Things to do in Limerick Map

Did you enjoy this post about why Limerick City (downtown Limerick Ireland for my American readers...) is worth visiting (complete with accompanying Limericks about Limerick)? Sharing is caring...

Why visit Limerick City IrelandWhy visit Limerick City Ireland

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Why Visit Limerick? 15 Great Things to See, Do, and Eat (Plus Bonus Limericks!)
Why Visit Limerick? 15 Great Things to See, Do, and Eat (Plus Bonus Limericks!)
Find out what Limerick is like and if Limerick is worth visiting. Learn about things to do in Limerick City Ireland. Travel from Dublin to Limerick by train to see places like King John's Castle and the Limerick Milk Market.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog