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Limerick, Ireland in 24 Hours: What to See + Where to Stay

King John's Castle in Limerick Ireland.
King John's Castle.

The biggest thing we learned during our brief visit to Limerick, Ireland, is that we want to return and spend more time there. That said, if you only have enough time for a day in the Treaty City, don’t fret. By following our itinerary, you can see a lot in a short time. We know because we had a fabulous time following it. 

First Stop: King John's Castle

Remember the bad guy in Robin Hood… King John? King John’s Castle in Limerick is his castle. He never spent time in it, but he did order its construction in 1200. The castle was completed in 1212. You can walk through over 800 years of history when you visit the castle and tour its grounds. 

Visit the castle courtyard to explore the more playful side of medieval times. You can teeter-totter, play hopscotch, horseshoes, tug-of-war, and more. You can visit the blacksmith’s shop and chat about the evolution of swords and protective gear from iron to steel. When we visited, a lute player was set up in the space next to the blacksmith’s. He played gorgeous melodies, sang songs in Middle English, and gave us an engaging history lesson. 

If you’re going to Limerick, we recommend putting King John’s Castle at the top of your list. This is a great castle for all ages. I can imagine our grandchildren having as much fun as we did during our visit. It was a shame we couldn’t spend more time there, but with so much on our list, we had to keep moving. 

Exterior of Katie Daly's Pub + Kitchen in Limerick, Ireland.

You’ll find Katie Daly’s Heritage Pub and Kitchen a short walk from King John’s Castle in Limerick’s Medieval Quarter. Katie Daly’s is a gastropub with a menu that aims above typical pub fare. You can order a Liscannor Bay Seafood Pie, Fillet Steak, or Goat Cheese Salad, as well as more traditional pub fare like Fish and Chips and a variety of handhelds.  When we went last summer, I had curry, and Chris ate a steak sandwich. Both were delicious. The atmosphere was delightful, with a fair mix of locals and tourists.

Katie Daly’s namesake is a member of the Irish diaspora in America. Katie was born in Oakland, California. Her father, Bill Daly, was a poteen (moonshine) maker from Roscrea in County Tipperary. She moved with her family to Tombstone. There, Wyatt Earp shot and killed her father. Katie became a famous moonshiner herself, with a folksong written about her and her mountain dew (moonshine)

Travel Tip: Make reservations in advance. Katie Daly’s filled up pretty fast for lunch. 

Stop Three: Gen-X Nostalgia in Limerick City

A mural of Dolores O'Riordan on the side of a building in Limerick, Ireland.

“Zombie” by The Cranberries is a song both Chris and I love. The same goes for “Linger” and “Dreams.” A mural honoring Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries, can be found on Castle Street, on the side of a building behind Katie Daly’s Pub. 

The Cranberries got their start in Limerick back in 1989. O’Riordan was born in Ballybricken, about twelve miles from Limerick city. The mural of her is a great spot to remember her and the beautiful music she helped make.  

Altar reredos, a triptych showing Christ as prophet, priest, and the Good Shepherd. The reredos was carved by James Pearse. You can see it at St. Mary's Cathedral in Limerick, Ireland.
Altar reredos in St. Mary's Cathedral, a triptych showing Christ as prophet, priest, and the Good Shepherd, carved by James Pearse.

You don’t have to walk far from the mural to reach the next spot on the itinerary, St. Mary’s Cathedral. It’s about a three to five-minute walk from it. Founded in 1168, St. Mary’s Cathedral is the oldest cathedral on Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way. There is plenty of history to see during a visit to St. Mary’s, including two cannon balls fired at the cathedral during the Williamite Siege of Limerick. 

One particular piece of art and history that caught my attention was the altar reredos, a triptych showing Christ as prophet, priest, and the Good Shepherd. The reredos was carved by James Pearse and erected in 1907. James Pearse was the father of Padraig and William Pearse, two of the fourteen men executed by British leaders for their part in the Easter Rising

Stop Five: Limerick’s Oldest Pub, J. J. Bowles

The exterior of J.J. Bowles, Limerick's oldest pub.

Is a trip to any Irish city or town complete if you haven’t drank a pint (or other refreshing beverage) in its oldest pub? J.J. Bowles is a quaint spot with the friendly service you’d expect in one of Ireland’s historic pubs. We had a great time during our visit. 

Where to Stay in Limerick?

We loved our stay at the 4-Star, award-winning Absolute Hotel Limerick. It’s located in the Medieval Quarter, a short walk from everything on our itinerary for the day. Check out our Hotel Review: Absolute Hotel Limerick in Limerick, Ireland, post. 

How did our time in Limerick really go?

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