“Bang me on a list of things to do in Limerick, will ye? We’re heading there tomorrow for the match and fancy seeing a bit after.”
I tend to get this kind of text a fair bit.
Usually, I can just fire someone over a link to a guide that we’ve published on this site, but in this case, we didn’t have a detailed guide of things to do in Limerick.
So, here we are.
Loads of Things to do in Limerick in 2019
Limerick City was founded by the Vikings on the banks of Ireland’s longest river (the Shannon) waaaaaay back in 922AD.
Boasting a vibrant cultural and music scene, and some of the most beautiful historic landmarks that you’ll find across Ireland, Limerick is a county well worth slotting into your Ireland itinerary.
Here’s 20 of the best things to do in Limerick during your visit
1 – Start your day with a feed and a half at the Milk Market
Start your visit to Limerick off in style, by filling up your belly at the much-loved Milk Market.
Limerick’s favourite farmer’s market, which dates back to 1852, was once called the Corn Market, and today sells a huge variety of fresh produce (the stuff from the Sunflower Bakery, in particular, looks insanely tasty!)
Expect to find everything from pies and pastries to cheeses and tarts.
2 – Dive into 800+ years of history at King John’s Castle
Our second stop takes us to a place that often tops the lists of guides to the best things to do in Limerick.
It’s not hard to see why – King John’s Castle is easily one of the most impressive medieval castles in Ireland.
Over 800 years of dramatic history culminate at the centre of King’s Island in Limerick City, upon which King John’s Castle proudly stands.
A visit to the castle, which dates back to 922AD and the arrival of the Vikings, will immerse you in its history via state of the art interpretive activities and exhibitions, 21st century touch screen technology, 3D models and much more.
King John’s Castle runs tours daily which are fascinating, enjoyable and entertaining all at once.
3 – Head for a ramble in Ballyhoura
If you’re visiting Limerick and you fancy escaping the city for a bit, there’s an ample number of forest walks with your name on them nearby.
Take a spin out to Limerick’s Ballyhoura region (around an hours drive from King John’s Castle) and take your pick of one of the many walks the area has to offer.
Renowned for its beauty, Ballyhoura is one of those places that often gets missed on a visit to Limerick.
4 – Explore the magical Lough Gur
One of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites, Lough Gur contains the largest stone circle, dolmen and prehistoric ruins in the country.
It’s incredible to think that you can find physical evidence of occupation from the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Early Christian, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern eras in and around Lough Gur.
Think about that for a moment. That’s over 6,000 years of visible history in one place.
5 – Grab a Coffee From Hook & Ladder on Sarsfield Street
Or a Belgian waffle…
You’ll find this hub of good food, good vibes and even better coffee smack bang in the middle of the city, making it the perfect spot to refuel during a day of exploring Limerick.
According to the rave reviews online, the coffee here is top-notch (as is the food).
6 – Go kayaking along the River Shannon (one of the most unique things to do in Limerick City)
Kayaking down Ireland’s longest inland waterway is like traversing through the very heart and veins of the country.
You’ll get to see Limerick from a completely different perspective – just look at the view you’ll be treated to of King John’s Castle above!
Get West are among the various companies that run kayaking excursions starting at different points along the river.
7 – Dive into a bit of 5 Star Luxury at Adare Manor
Our next stop is all kinds of FANCY.
Limerick’s 5 start Adare Manor underwent a massive multi-million renovation back in 2018.
Click play on the video above to see what you’ll experience if you spend a night in this luxurious Irish castle hotel.
This renovated manor house is like something whipped straight from Downton Abbey. The proximity to Limerick City is just an added bonus!
8 – Get fed at restaurant 1826 in Adare
Restaurant 1826 in Adare is arguably the most beautiful looking place to grab a bite to eat in Ireland.
Set in a gorgeous thatched building (can’t even imagine how much of a pain this place must be to insure), the inside of the restaurant is just as aesthetically pleasing as the outside.
The perfect stop-off point to fuel-up as you move from place to place in Limerick.
Locally sourced food and affordable prices make this place a real gem of a find.
9 – Head for a post-feed walk to gawk at more of the towns thatch cottages
After you’ve eaten at Restaurant 1826, take a stroll around the town and seek out more traditional thatch cottages (there’s plenty).
Parts of Adare look like something plucked straight from a postcard.
A grand aul spot for a ramble.
10 – Round off a day of exploring with some live Music at Dolan’s pub
I spent a night in Dolan’s pub a few years back with a group of friends.
The lady running our B&B told us that if we didn’t enjoy it, she’d give us the nights accommodation for half price.
We went. We supped many a pint. We tapped our feet to the live music. And the craic was had.
A mighty pub.
11 – Go for breakfast at the Buttery
Good God I’ve never been as hungry reading about a place…
The Buttery was set-up by brother and sister duo Joe and Hazel, who ‘pour all their passion and love into creating wacky, beautiful foodie explosions’, according to their website.
Expect award-winning coffee, top quality locally sourced ingredients and good vibes.
The clean breakfast sounds unreal (3 poached eggs, rashers, avocado, baked beans, wilted spinach, toasted sourdough. served with Sencha green tea).
12 – Cycle, stroll or run across the Living Bridge
At 350 meters long, the Living Bridge links the River Shannon to the University of Limerick, forming the longest pedestrian bridge in Ireland.
According to the University of Limerick the bridge, which opened back in 2007, was designed to ‘accommodate social gatherings, informal teaching sessions, music and dance performances, as well as a wide array of educational, social and cultural activities – all contributing to this facility’s status as a living bridge’.
The architects designed the bridge to move in a flowing line across the River Shannon, mirroring the river.
13 – Visit the city during Riverfest
Limerick City becomes a mecca for families, foodies, fun runners and watersport enthusiasts during Riverfest, which takes place every May Bank Holiday.
Highlights of the festival include the Riverfest BBQ Competition, the Riverfestival village in Arthur’s Quay Park, Regeneron Great Limerick Run and a huge fireworks display.
Hit play on the video above to see what you can expect.
14 – Pop into Limerick City Gallery of Art
If it’s high-time for some culture, then the Limerick City Gallery of Art is sure not to disappoint. Contemporary art exhibits are on display from both national and international artists, and the gallery itself is built into the Carnegie Building on the grounds of the People’s Park – so it’s perfect to pair it with a walk there.
15 – Watch the match in Nancy Blake’s (and enjoy a bit of live music after)
Take a break from the buzz of the city and watch a match in Nancy Blakes, a traditional Irish Pub with character by the bucketload.
If you visit on a Sunday, Wednesday or Thursday, you can enjoy some post-match live music, also.
16 – Soak up some vitamin D in the People’s Park
OK, so the chances are it could be pissing down when you visit Ireland, so take the ‘Soak up some vitamin D’ with a pinch of salt…
But even then, a ramble around the People’s Park in Limerick City is a welcome respite from the hectic bustle of the town centre.
17 – Admire the architecture at the 850-year-old St Mary’s Cathedral
Saint Mary’s Cathedral was founded over 850 years ago in 1168 AD.
This beautiful old structure stands majestically over the City of Limerick on the banks of the River Shannon.
It’s believed that St. Mary’s was built on the site of a Viking thingmote (a meeting place), and later the palace of the O’Brien kings of Thomond.
This extraordinary building has stood strong through invasions, sieges, battles, wars, famines and times of peace.
18 – Catch a match at Thomond Park (or have a float around the museum)
A visit to Thomod Park is arguably one of the best things to do in Limerick when it’s raining.
Even if you’re not a rugby fan (or a sports fan of any kind), Thomond Park stadium is well worth a visit.
The stadium is home to Ireland’s Munster rugby team and has hosted international games for over 50 years.
A visit here takes you behind the scenes at the historic Thomond Park Stadium, offering a view of the stadium usually only accessible to players and officials.
19 – The Hunt Museum
Limerick’s Hunt Museum preserves and exhibits the countless original artefacts that were gathered by John and Gertrude Hunt, along with some of the museum’s own collections.
Expect to find everything from Irish Pre-historic archaeological material to art from Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Roderic O’Conor, Jack B. Yeats, Robert Fagan and Henry Moore.
20 – Round off your visit with a trip to the Limerick Museum
Finish your visit to Limerick by dropping into the Limerick Museum.
Here, you’ll learn more about Limerick’s history in the oldest local authority museum in Ireland.
The museum was founded in 1916 and is home to over 60,000 different objects, so you’ll be kept busy!
Things to do in Limerick this weekend
If you want to see what’s on in Limerick during your visit, there’s several different resources that you can use.
The best, in my opinion, is this Limerick events guide that’s updated frequently.