After Dublin, Jake and I took the train to Limerick. Why Limerick? Honestly, I think it was mainly because Jake liked the idea of writing a limerick IN Limerick. And isn’t that enough of a reason to visit anywhere? Knowing virtually nothing about the city of Limerick when we made the decision to go also added a bit to the fun and adventure!
We did some research before we arrived, but were still greeted with this exchange when we told others of our plans.
Everyone: “Where are you off to next?”
Everyone: “Why are you going there?”
“Really, Limerick? Why not Cork, or Galway?”
Wait, why NOT Limerick? Was it bad? Or just boring? I wanted to see for myself. And besides, at this point in our trip, everything is different and novel. Even a “meh” experience would be new and different to us.
Now that we’ve been, I feel Limerick gets a bad rap. Maybe at one time, it was deserved, but I’m going to make a case that it’s worth another look.
We were told by a local that Limerick used to be a tough town in the 1980’s and 90’s. While that may be true, we think it’s time for a Limerick comeback!
Limerick is the third largest city in Ireland, and yet it feels worlds different from Ireland’s largest city of Dublin. The streets are far less crowded, and there are fewer tourists for sure, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do.
Some highlights we enjoyed
• King Johns Castle. An amazing piece of Ireland’s history with views of the town and the Shannon river from the top.
• Walks along the Shannon River – any walk along gorgeous water where you can see a castle is a win in our book.
• Local pubs – we loved the pubs here (surprise!) although we didn’t find our favorite until our last night.
(shout out to J.Flannery’s bar for some great conversations!)
• A day trip to Adare – OK, technically, this isn’t IN Limerick as it’s a day trip, but Adare is an adorable little touristy town only a 20 minute and 5 Euro bus ride. We took a picnic and enjoyed walking through an old 12th-century abbey and the thatched roofs of a small town.
• There is also a Frank McCourt museum as this is where the celebrate author grew up and set the novel, “Angela’s Ashes”. Although we didn’t visit the museum, we heard good things.
We really enjoyed our relaxed stay in Limerick and I have to say, while I went in with no and then low expectations of this city, I was thoroughly impressed and would return in a heartbeat.
What cities have surprised you? Good or bad?