Despite being Ireland’s third largest city, Limerick is a place that’s far removed from the typical tourist trail. Those who take the time to visit, however, will find a recovering riverside city that—although once depressed by economic downturn—has recently been renewed and reinvented as a burgeoning city of culture. In fact, Limerick was designated in 2014 as the “Irish City of Culture,” and is a place where Ireland’s rich history is fused with its prosperous future. Nowhere is this blend more evident than at the towering King John’s Castle, where 3D models and interactive displays help you envision what battles must have been like at this 13th-century castle. Take a walking tour through sites that inspired the book Angela’s Ashes, or shop for cheese, chutney, and produce at Limerick’s famous Milk Market. Dig deep into artifacts and rare fine art at the privately owned Hunt Museum, or, if your journey to Limerick is fortuitously timed, enjoy a rugby match at Thomond Park Stadium—home to the Munster Rugby team that competes with the best in the world.
Limerick is located only 20 minutes from the Shannon International Airport. It’s a 90-minute to drive to Cork or Galway, or 90 minutes to Dublin by train.