Sitting at the heart of Ireland’s beautiful Shannon Region, Limerick is one of Ireland’s smaller cities. However although Limerick may be on the diminutive side when it comes to size and population, the welcoming city is a big hit for culture fanatics.
An attractive blend of picturesque history and vibrant contemporary culture has made Limerick a big hit for tourists. And as our short guide to the city shows, Limerick is looking forward to a bright cultural future – there’s no better time than to come across and sample it for yourself.
The historic city by the banks of the Shannon
How much do you know about Limerick? Most people are familiar with the short, humorous poetic form which takes its name from the city but that really doesn't say much about the reality of the beautiful town.
Taking it from the start then, the city of Limerick can trace its heritage back to the 9th century when the Vikings established a settlement on the site. Since then many different rulers have made their mark on the city, from Normans to 18th century merchants.
The legacy of this long history is a city which boasts a rich architectural fabric. The streets and buildings of the city speak to the events that have shaped the country itself and a holiday in Limerick can reveal much about the nation. The long history has also worked towards fostering a friendly atmosphere and vivid local cultural scene.
A city of culture
Limerick enjoys an exceptional reputation as the home of great culture. The city has produced many of Ireland’s most popular writers including the late Frank McCourt who won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for his novel 'Angela’s Ashes'. It is also a popular city with film makers who are drawn to the beautiful Georgian architecture and unique atmosphere of Limerick time and time again.
Although Limerick has a fantastic pedigree when it comes to film and literature, the city’s most alluring current cultural attraction can be found in its music scene. Each night venues across the city come alive to the sound of music and laughter as top quality acts play across a range of genres. Here are a few of our favourite venues:
- For traditional Irish music there is nowhere in Limerick quite like Dolans. Since 1994 the pub and live music venue has been regularly filled with the energetic sounds of Irish folk music. The venue puts on gigs in Limerick throughout the week, guaranteeing that there’ll be something on during your trip to Ireland.
- The stylish, modern Millennium Theatre at the Limerick Institute of Technology is another great venue in the city. The musical programme at the Millennium Theatre reveals an eclectic mix of acts and you can find anything in the concert hall, from talented local bands to international jazz stars.
- Finally, Limerick is home to the University Concert Hall - Ireland’s first ever purpose-built concert hall. The 1,000 seat arena has an incredible audio set-up which is perfect for enjoying the classical music oriented acts which regularly grace the hall’s stage.
These are just a sample of the venues that Limerick boasts and they are just a drop in the ocean. On any given night as you walk through the centre of town you are likely to hear the enticing sounds of music pouring out of a number of bars.
An international focus in 2014
Limerick’s cultural status is set to be cemented next year when it assumes the title of City of Culture 2014. It is an event that promises to infuse Limerick with a terrific cultural energy throughout next year but visitors will find that the buzz has already started.
All across the city people are gearing up for the big year and there is an extra sense of excitement throughout all the cultural events which are currently underway. Things will come to a head in the New Year though when a packed cultural calendar transforms Limerick into an international city of arts.
Although the final programme is still under development, there is already enough information available to suggest that the Limerick City of Culture 2014 will be an event not to be missed. If you’re undecided about where to go on a trip to Ireland next year then this information should help you decide on the city of Limerick.
Taking time to relax
It should be clear by now that Limerick is a exciting and vivacious destination for a holiday and it’s true that a trip to the city can leave you breathless. That’s why making the most of a trip to the city can rely on taking time between the sights and music and laughter to relax and unwind.
This is where Radisson Blu’s new hotel comes in handy. The Radisson Hotel and Spa, Limerick offers a quiet retreat, nestled amidst 20 acres of tranquil, wooded parkland. After indulging in Limerick’s lively nightlife the spa is the perfect place to recharge your batteries in preparation of another great night of Ireland’s most enjoyable cultural hotspots.