Dig out plenty of bargains on the Limerick shopping scene, with this handful of small but perfectly formed budget corners. Limerick is on the cheap side compared to pricey capital Dublin, but it’s in the charity stores, markets and crafty corners that you’ll find your best value for money, with plenty of quirky items to remember Ireland by. Time to dig out some souvenirs, talking points and a little bit of local history, then…
A real Limerick hidden gem, Quay Books is a ramshackle, packed-to-the-rafters style budget bookshop hidden from view in Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre. Quite how this place came by such a sporadic assortment of tomes is beyond us, but if you can’t pick a gem from this broad assortment of thrown-together chaos (much of which is local-leaning), you’re really not a reader. Quay Books takes in beautiful hardbacks and wafer-thin pamphlets on local history, with cooking, novels, literary journals and things last seen in long-forgotten attics all found within.
Unquestionably the hippest little market in the city, Lucky Lane is tucked in a tiny alleyway in the heart of the city’s shopping district, and opens out into an eclectic, scattered old market hall where there’s a piano to play, and anything from aging gramophones and fashion to plants and vinyl records on sale. The whole city knows about this spot, but as a tourist, you’ll feel like you’ve discovered a real, quaint corner of grassroots Limerick.
A tiny outdoor market in gorgeous village Adare, this farmer’s market is growing fast, having started out as a direct link to customers for business-leaning local farmers. New additions include stalls selling clothing, gardening equipment and plants, jewellers, bakers and some great furniture upcycling. It’s the kind of place you can explore thoroughly in less than half an hour, but surrounded by thatched roofs, ancient structures and a fairy fort, you won’t regret dropping in. Fridays only.
A charitable cause it’s easy to get behind when you feel like shopping (and at any other time, obviously), proceeds from Oxfam’s selection of books, media, clothes and everything else go straight to fighting poverty around the world. We’ve always found them to be particularly good for books, but whatever you pick out is sure to be keenly priced and while this is one of the smaller stores (there are dozens around the country), they even have the occasional live music event in-store, with events like ‘Oxjam’ (see a Dublin performance, below).
Sticking up for Limerick’s loveable animal population, the Limerick Animal Welfare Shop is a heart-warming place to dig into, made up of a mix of donated thrift items and animal-related objects. You’ll uncover lots of bric-a-brac, ranging from paintings and collectibles to clothes and toys, with a few little antique surprises hidden away if you’re into a little sifting. The money raised goes towards anything from feeding horses to keeping their substantial sanctuary open in tiny Kilfinane.
Sure, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to actually grab a bargain at Limerick’s main market shopping spot The Milk Market, but don’t let that put you off: what’s here might be a mix of crafty and high-end, but there are still deals to be found. It’s also a must-see on the Limerick tourist trail, with over two hundred years of history, plenty of activities going on (especially during the Christmas holidays), and a playful abundance of traders looking to hawk their wares. Vibrant and essential.