Named after the villainous king from Robin Hood, King John’s Castle is a 13th Century stronghold on King’s Island in the heart of medieval Limerick. One of the best-preserved Norman castles in Europe, its recent state-of-the-art upgrade introduced interactive activities and exhibitions, CGI animations and projections that really bring its story to life. It’s an immersive experience that captures the castle’s place in Limerick's history, culture and everyday life.
There’s nothing like experiencing the “Munster roar” in Thomond Park and seeing the unique synergy between the Munster rugby team and the fans at a live game. Go one better with a behind the scenes Thomond Park tour and access places normally reserved for players and coaches. Relive Munster’s finest moments in the interactive Thomond Park Museum, from beating the All-Blacks in 1978 to the “miracle match” in the 2003 Heineken Cup.
In the heart of Limerick on the banks of the Shannon, the Hunt Museum’s eclectic collections reflect the diverse interests of its founders, John and Gertrude Hunt. Be treated to artefacts from ancient Greece and Rome, art by modern masters like Jack B Yeats, Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore, and important Irish relics from Neolithic tools to the famous Antrim Cross. Afterwards, visit the restaurant and enjoy fantastic views of the river to complement some great food.
Founded in 1168 on the site of a palace donated by the King of Munster, Donal Mor O’Brien, St Mary’s Cathedral has survived countless invasions, battles and wars and to this day, remains a part of the fabric of Limerick life. Tradition says that the West Door was once part of that ancient palace and this gorgeous building is full of stunning architectural features. Explore the cathedral's six beautiful chapels and the art that spans back nine centuries. Enjoy free lunchtime and evening performances, which are only are enhanced by the unique charms of the extraordinary venue.
Calling all craft beer enthusiasts, don't forget to visit Treaty City Brewery on Nicholas Street where you can learn about Limerick’s rich brewing tradition and sample their range of themed beers. See how their brewers use locally sourced ingredients to develop new and unique beers and flavours. Get a real taste of Limerick, from the beer right down to the local artefacts from the once derelict buildings that now house the artisan brewery.
Ireland’s oldest weekly market, The Milk Market is an enduring Limerick institution where you can pick up the best artisan food or fresh family essentials each weekend. Browse traditional fare like crubeens alongside fresh seafood and homemade sauces as you soak up the buzz and chatter.
The Friday market throws up some unexpected surprises and vintage finds, while the Saturday market is a foodie’s dream. Sunday’s market changes every week, and has everything from antiques to food and locally produced arts and crafts.
Take a short spin from the city to visit Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum, where you'll be transported back to the thirties and forties. After playing a vital role in developing transatlantic passenger flight, Foynes' original terminal building now hosts exhibitions, memorabilia and a life-size replica of a Boeing 314 Flying Boat that give you a real sense of those heady days.
Relive the exact moment the first Irish coffee was ever served with an impressive 3D holographic show. No trip to Foynes would be complete without stopping at the Foynes Island Viewpoint, so make sure you have enough time to take it all in.
Enjoy stunning views of Lough Gur and soak up the history of the area, from its ancient burial mounds and megalithic tombs, to its forts and standing stones that remain scattered around the mysterious landscape.
Immerse yourself in the local legends like the King of the Fairies that lives on the Hill of Knockadoon. To find out more about the rich history of Lough Gur, don't forget to stop by the crannog-shaped Lough Gur Visitor Centre.
Follow the 90km Ballyhoura Way route that forms part of the famous O’Sullivan Beara Trail and walk in the footsteps of Domhnall Cam Ó Súileabháin Bhéara and his entire clan, who used the route to flee their enemies after the Battle of Kinsale. Starting at Limerick Junction train station, the trail includes sites such as Liscarroll Castle and even a donkey sanctuary on the way, if you fancy a well-earned break.
For added excitement, try some off-road cycling on the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails. From testing forest road climbs to boardwalk sections, there are five loops to choose from depending on how adventurous you’re feeling.
With 313 hectares of woodland, rolling parkland and lakes, the vast Curragh Chase Forest Park estate was once home to author and poet Sir Aubrey de Vere. The estate now includes several areas of conservation with rare wildlife like the lesser horseshoe bat and the hawfinch.
Stroll the estate’s 8km of sign-posted trails and become on with the area’s natural beauty. Make it a day out for the whole family and avail of the incredible facilities, including the children’s playground, picnic areas and barbecue equipment.
Just a half-hour drive from Limerick City, the heritage town of Adare on the banks of the River Maigue is a required stop on any tour of Limerick. It’s a postcard perfect village that has no shortage of attractions.
Feel free to spend your whole day in "Ireland's prettiest village" and explore the amazing variety of sites on show. Lap up views of the 19th Century Adare Manor, the gorgeous thatched cottages that once housed the manor’s workers and the ruins of three ancient monasteries. Learn more about the history of the area at the impressive Adare Heritage Centre, or walk along the 2km riverbank and take in some of its best historic buildings. Or simply enjoy a round of holes on its celebrated golf course.
The International Rugby Experience in the heart of Limerick City is perfect for passionate rugby fans of all ages. From interactive skill trials to media installations, the exhibit brings you through six stages that follow the sport from its roots all the way up to contemporary rugby history.
Cap off your visit with a few tasty bites in their café and take in 360-degree views of the lively city below.