County Limerick (Irish: Contae Luimnigh) is the smallest and least scenic county in Ireland's Shannon Region, but it contains Ireland's third largest city and the island's largest river. It is more likely to be on your route than your destination but there are things worth seeing.
- 1 Limerick (Luimneach) is the only city in the county. It has many sights and facilities and is the obvious base for exploring the area plus nearby County Clare.
- 2 Adare (Áth Dara) is a picturesque (and frankly touristy) village with Castle Desmond, a couple of abbeys and a plush manor hotel.
- 3 Newcastle West (an Caisleán Nua Thiar) is a town further west with another Castle Desmond.
- 4 Askeaton (Eas Géitine) is a small town near the Shannon with, guess what, Castle Desmond. (The Earls of Desmond built castles in other counties which for some reason they gave different names.) A little further west is Foynes with the flying boat museum.
- 5 Bruff (An Brú) is the closest settlement to Lough Gur which has prehistoric remains.
Limerick is located in the province of Munster. It is named after the city of Limerick which has an urban population of about 100,000 people. Limerick is the tenth largest of Ireland’s 32 counties by area and the eighth largest by population. It is the fifth largest of Munster’s 6 counties in size and the second largest by population.
The River Shannon flows through the city of Limerick into the Atlantic Ocean at the north of the county. Below the city, the waterway is known as the Shannon Estuary. Because the estuary is shallow, the county's most important port is several kilometres west of the city, at Foynes. Newcastle West is the most important county town outside of Limerick city with a population of around 10,000. Other towns mainly lie along the Limerick – Tralee roads (N21) and Limerick – Cork road (N20).
By train: The only railway station in the county is Limerick Colbert. This has hourly trains from Dublin Heuston, some direct but mostly with a change at Limerick Junction which is near Tipperary; and change here for Cork. Trains also run from Limerick to Ennis and Galway.
By car: the main roads all converge on Limerick. From Dublin, N7 is all motorway once you get past Naas, 200 km or 3 hours in all. Other major routes are N18 / M18 to Shannon Airport, Ennis and Galway, N20 to Mallow and Cork, N21 to Tralee and Killarney, and N24 to Tipperary and Waterford.
The main location for picking up a car rental in County Limerick is at Shannon International Airport.
- Limerick is an elegant Georgian city with a castle and two cathedrals.
- Adare is an attractive small town with thatched cottages and a stout castle. It's mobbed with tourists at the height of summer.
- Newcastle West along N21 towards Tralee has the 15th C Castle Desmond, open May-Aug daily. (Not to be confused with the similarly named castle in Adare.)
Limerick City has some of the best restaurants in Ireland, see city listings.
- Tom Collins Oyster bar, Cecil St. (just off O'Connell Street in the city center). fine example of an old style irish pub, popular with locals.
- The Strand Hotel bar, Sarsfield Bridge. Popular with both home and visiting fans before and after a match at Thomand park. Those without tickets can watch the match on several large screen TVs.
- Old Bank B&B, in Bruff near Lough Gur.