County Limerick 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.
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).
- The closest airport to County Limerick is Shannon International Airport based in County Clare. Shannon Airport is the second busiest airport in Ireland and during 2006 carried over 3.6million passengers. The airport mainly offers destinations to Europe and the United States with Ryanair, Continental, Delta and Aer Lingus being the main carriers. During peak months chartered flights cater for the main tourist hot spots around Europe.
- County Limerick is served by only one train station, Colbert Station which is situated on Parnell Street in Limerick City. While County Limerick is not as well connected by rail as it was in prior times, the ever improving state of rail travel in Ireland is hoping to address some of these issues. Limerick railway station is operated by Irish Rail serves the following locations without needing a change:
Access to Limerick via car has never been easier due to the massive amount of investment recent Governments in Ireland have poured into improving the road infrastructure in Ireland. Today the road from Dublin to Limerick is motorway standard for up to 100km while other improvements will be coming on line soon. The main arterial routes to County Limerick are as follows
- N7 - Limerick to Dublin (estimated distance 200km)
- N18 - Limerick to Ennis (estimated distance 40km)
- N19 - Limerick to Shannon (estimated distance 20km)
- N20 - Limerick to Cork (estimated distance 100km)
- N21/22/23 - Limerick to Killarney (estimated distance 110km)
- N24 - Limerick to Waterford (estimated distance 130km)
- N66 - Limerick to Ennis / Galway (estimated distance 100km)
- N69 - Limerick to Tralee (estimated distance 100km)
Limerick City has some of the best restaurants in Ireland outside Cork or Dublin.
Highly recommended are:
- Copper and Spice, Cornmarket Row. For Indian and Thai Food.
- Brulees, Henry St. Specialises in traditional European Fare.
- Moll Darby's, George's Quay. Superb but expensive Fish Dishes.
- The River Cafe, George's Quay. A traditional but superb French Bistro.
- 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.