Limerick in Southwest Ireland is located between two of Ireland’s top tourist destinations, Cork and Galway – which sometimes means it does not get the attention it deserves - but there are plenty of reasons to make a detour to take in this pretty city. The magnificent River Shannon loops its way through Limerick, a city of vibrant street markets and traditional music haunts, including Dolans, one of the best places in the country for trad gigs.
The sporting-minded will find out why Limerick was crowned European City of Sport 2011 - newly refurbished Thomond Park is home to Munster, one of the top Irish teams and a great place to watch Rugby. Limerick is also the place where Angela’s Ashes was written, and there are city tours which take in the Newtown Pery area of the city. Limerick is also where our ‘Tezza’ himself hails from – the nation’s favourite Irishman, Terry Wogan.
Limerick has undergone a major renaissance over the last 20 years, with ambitious new developments at Arthur Quay and a new waterfront. For shopping there’s the Crescent Shopping Centre and the most wonderful bookstore for miles around – ‘O’Mahony’s’ on O’Connell Street – three stories and seven levels of book heaven.
LIMERICK’S TOP 10
10. The Peoples Park is just right for a romantic stroll.
5. Limerick City Museum sits opposite King John’s Castle, with exhibits from the Stone Age to harsh times in the 19th Century.
9. Limerick Milk Market sells books, clothes and antiques –oh, and milk.
4. King John’s Castle was built by – you guessed it- King John, in around 1200 and is Limerick’s best known landmark with the tallest spire in Ireland.
8. Limerick Self Portrait Collection of Ireland houses the works of 265 artists.
3. St Mary’s Cathedral founded in 1168 and has the most unique 15th Century misericords in Ireland (that’s support ledges for choristers to us and you).
7. The Treaty Stone marks the place on the banks of the River Shannon where the Treaty of Limerick was signed.
2. Limerick City Gallery of Art sometimes exhibits pseudo-scandalous works in its temporary exhibitions – saucy!
6. The University Concert Hall attracts some top names as well as being home to the Irish Chamber Orchestra.
1. The Hunt Museum – named after its benefactors rather than the now banned toffs’ activity. See a coin said to be one of the 30 pieces of silver belonging to Judas.
The Limerick UnFringed Festival is a catch all programme of arts, and attracts international writers, comedians, artists and street performers during January.
The Limerick Fresh Film Festival takes place in the middle of March at the Belltable Arts Centre and offers up and coming filmmakers the chance to showcase their offerings.
St Patrick’s Day takes place on 17th March, the nation’s favourite event, with a parade down Limerick’s O’Connell Avenue.
The Limerick Riverfest is a riot of music and food as well as dragon boat races on the River Shannon in April.
The Great Limerick Run is an early May event which attracts more than 6,000 runners who take over the streets in this half-marathon, and a full marathon event.
The Custom and Performance Car Show draws together car enthusiasts and is a highly popular annual event which takes place at Limerick Racecourse in July.
The Limerick Show is the biggest agricultural show in the county with dog competitions and horse jumping as well as music, traditional Irish dancing and…cows! Make it a date at the end of August in Munster.
Limerick Gay Pride Festival is in mid September and a whole week of parties, parties, parties.
The Cruisle International Poetry Festival is a mid October Limerick event and a chance to take in literary readings, discussions and poetry workshops.
Christmas in Limerick is magical with a whole month of events during December culminating in Midnight Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral.
WHEN TO GO
· Limerick has a generally mild climate, with no huge variations in climate, and its fair share of sunny days.
· The daily maximum temperature during the summer is 20 °C and the average daily minimum in January is around 4 °C. During a rare hot summer the temperature has been known to reach over 31 °C, and it’s not unheard of for temperatures to dip well below zero during a cold spell.
· The grass in Ireland is not green for nothing. Rain is more to be expected than not, so pack accordingly.
· Shannon Airport in County Clare has domestic and international flights and taxis are available into the centre of Limerick at a cost of roughly 32 Euros.
· There is a regular train service from Limerick Railway Station into Dublin Heuston at a current cost of 43 Euros, and a journey time of two and a half hours.
· Bus Eireann operate a service from the bus and train station in Limerick centre – to Dublin which takes around one and a quarter hours and costs 11 and a half Euros.
One of Ireland's undisputed gems, Limerick is home to just over 90,000 people and some of the most important landmarks in the country. These include St. John's Cathedral, King John's Castle and the 12th century St. Mary's Cathedral. Many of Limerick's best attractions can be found near the banks of the River Shannon, a dominant waterway in Ireland which winds through the exceptional city.
Tourism is a vital engine of Limerick's economy and recent urban developments in the city seek to further that end. As a result, the heart of Limerick is rife with superb retail outlets, pubs, restaurants and bars and kicks into high gear after dark. Limerick's festival and cultural scene is notably eclectic and rich, with such events as the Fresh Film Festival, Exhibition of Visual+ Art and Shannon International Music Festival, in addition to a host of great local bands who play regularly in and around the city.
Limerick has a temperate climate, with mild conditions throughout the year.
- Winter (December to February) 4-9°C
- Spring (March to May) 5-16°C
- Summer (June to September) 11-20°C
- Fall (October to November) 6-14°C
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