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What’s up with Limerick?

There is very little information on Limerick in the ‘Ireland’ book. Is this intentional, meaning there is something about Limerick that we should avoid? Or is it just something you neglected to mention?
Thanks! I really like the travel books.

Posted by
337 posts

I think Limerick would be a ways down the list for first time visitors to Ireland, which is basically readers of Rick’s books. It’s a big industrial city. There may very well be unsafe areas, though I really have no idea.
Having said that, I spent a short time in the city center last year (bus from Dingle to Ennis) and it was quite interesting.

Posted by
2774 posts

Whereas RS guides focus on the most popular tourist destinations, some other guides such as Lonely Planet are more wide-ranging.

This article from the British newspaper The Independent lists some of Limerick's attractions.

And it doesn't even mention Limerick's Viking heritage. For some of that, see, for example:

Posted by
11798 posts

Rick's guides start and end with what Rick recommends you see. If it's not in his recommendations, the book leaves it out completely. It might as well not exist. You really notice this in his Spain and Italy guidebooks because there are so many really great places that are left out.

I've been to Limerick. On first blush, it's a dismal city. While most of Ireland seems beautiful and green, Limerick seems gray and industrial. You can easily see why Angela's Ashes was written there.

Like the rest of Ireland, there are interesting sights, history and people. In the first pub I visited, for trad music, I had non-stop conversation (and completely missed the music). My second pub was an IRA bar. It was an interesting experience, big bruisers with leather jackets guarded the doors, but everyone was warm and welcoming.

Posted by
1833 posts

On our first visit to Ireland in 2017, we went to Limerick ( did not plan to, it just worked out that way) and we spent the day there. We toured King John’s castle and St. Mary’s cathedral. Don’t let the fact that Rick makes no mention of it, keep you from going. We enjoyed our day there, after all you are in Ireland!

Posted by
5078 posts

There once was a big Irish city,
And some folks said it just wasn’t pretty.
But we rented bikes there,
And ate good Polish fare,
So it’s grand, even if a bit gritty.

If you’re in a rush to get to/from Dingle, Rick’s main “back door” Irish destination, Limerick may be too out of the way to bother. It was an essential element in our bicycle tour of the west coast of Ireland in 2011, and so as far as I’m concerned, Ireland would be all the worse if it didn’t have Limerick city. And the polish bakery/sandwich shop across the street from the bus station made for a great lunch.

And books can change. Back in 2002, Rick’s much skinnier book on Spain/Portugal (he combined both countries in one book) barely mentioned Cordoba. Now Cordoba gets the full Rick Steves treatment as a worthwhile destination. So go to Limerick, but you might not see so many folks toting Rick Steves guidebooks there than in other places in Eire.