Limerick Taster – 24 Hours in the Treaty City

  • King John's Castle with swans

With a choice of hotels in Limerick to fit any taste or budget, visitors can park the car and enjoy the vibrancy and cutting edge sports and social scene, by staying in the heart of the city.

Morning: Discover Georgian Limerick

Ever since Italian engineer Davis Ducart arrived in the 18th century to put his Italian Renaissance hallmark on Limerick City’s streetscape from the architecture of the Hunt Museum to the oval contour of the O’Connell Avenue piazza, the city has showcased one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Western Europe.

Saturday mornings arrive with the country’s finest market, The Milk Market, crammed with gourmet cheese, fresh produce, artisan pastries stalls and street food, or cosy cafés for a hearty breakfast.

Afterwards, follow the childhood steps of one Limerick’s most famous residents, Pulitzer Prize winner author of Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt, around the wide open avenues and narrow lanes that crisscross the city. Each street offers an abundance of retail and restaurant opportunities.

The People’s Park has open spaces to burn off energy with pathways that weave in and out of sculpted seasonal gardens and younger visitors make a beeline for the city’s best playground. Enjoy viewing some of Ireland’s most contemporary collections of artwork at Limerick City Gallery of Art before browsing the city centre for some of Ireland’s best shopping, like O’Mahony’s - one of Ireland’s oldest and finest independent bookstores. Across the street is Brown Thomas – the city’s largest department store selling high-end merchandise.

A statue of Hollywood legend and Limerick man Richard Harris, with raised sword and crown, sits at the top of Bedford Row. He points the way to high street shopping and to good family dining at The Buttery or The Spitjack. Nearby on Henry Street, the city’s history unfolds at the Limerick Museum, which is housed in a grand scale, classically designed Franciscan Friary.

Linger along the Quays to enjoy the sweeping views of the city with elegant lantern lit Sarsfield’s Bridge and King John’s Castle as a backdrop, or stop by to say hello to the statue of Limerick man and celebrity chat show host Terry Wogan.

Afternoon: Discover Englishtown

Limerick City’s beating medieval heart is the place of myths and legends and it’s overshadowed by magnificent King John’s Castle, which is teeming with history and interactive fun for visitors of all ages.

Villains and heroes, poets and kings are just part of the fascinating tapestry that moulded, not just the medieval backstory of the Treaty City, but the shape of Irish history. The tales of Robin Hood’s arch nemeses, King John or the notorious Black Murrough O’Brien, capture the imagination.

However, it’s the great Earls of Ireland who departed from the city after a deal made on The Treaty Stone when it was under siege, or the sick worshippers who stopped by to the ‘Leper’s Squint’, a slit in the wall of Saint Mary’s Cathedral, who capture hearts.

Take our self-guided tour or guided tour of the city to navigate the twists and turns of the past, before stopping by the Abbey River Café for a hot chocolate or coffee break. Located at the crossroads of Georgian and Medieval Limerick, it’s adjacent to the city’s unmissable Hunt Museum and across the street from atmospheric George’s Quay.

Limerick is the sporting capital of Ireland, and water enthusiasts can see the city from a different perspective – right from the river. Nevsail River Tours offer excursions for guests by canoe or sailboat, along with a host of other activities. For those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground, take a stroll to Thomond Park Stadium, the city’s towering edifice to sport and home ground of Munster Rugby.

Round off the afternoon with high octane indoor adventure at the National Kart Centre, Delta Karting or any of the cinemas located around the city peripherals, or enjoy a splash of retail therapy at Crescent Shopping Centre.

Evening: Discover Ducart’s Italian Dining Legacy

Davis Ducart appears to have left his mark on Limerick City’s culinary landscape too – the decadence overload with La Cucina’s Freaky Feasts (plenty of pizza and pasta too) or the ice-cream and pastries at Gusto d’Italia will keep sweet connoisseurs satisfied. Other tastes of Italy are served with similar gusto at Bella ItaliaRossi'sDa Vincenzo, La Piccola Italia and a host of other eateries and famous fish and chip outlets throughout the city.

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Treaty Stone Limerick. Photo Piotr Machowczyk