Like many of its villages, Limerick’s market scene is small but perfectly formed. The best of it is found in the city, where the markets nestle amongst substantial shopping offerings along the main streets, so you can switch quickly between designer department stores and the more rustic offerings of the local stallholders. Head rural, though, and you’ll find plenty of tiny charm delivered by local farmers and passionate craft-lovers. Choose your vibe, explore your stalls and fill your hold luggage.
The Milk Market, Limerick City
Milk Market is among Limerick’s most iconic attractions, dating back to 1852 when an act of parliament required Limerick’s disparate market scene to combine in the heart of the city. Today, it consists of a hollow square of buildings and a tented central courtyard. There are plenty of the traditional products to be found here, fresh from local farms, but its gone slightly hippie and upmarket in recent years, with vintage fashion, high-end coffee, an interesting foodie angle and lots of arts and crafts. The place comes to life during the weekend, and if there’s a single market you have to see in the city, it’s this one.
Milk Market, Mungret Street, Limerick, Ireland, +353 (0) 61 214 782
Adare’s Friday Market
Tiny but beautiful, the Adare’s Friday Market is quite a new offering in the charmingly quaint rural town, but none the worse for it. They offer a mix of local farm produce and crafts, the latter including knitwear, baking, jewellers and gardening items. You might be able to cover every one of the stalls in this tiny square in less than 20 minutes, but with so much else to explore locally, you’d be crazy not to include it in the itinerary. The market runs on Fridays only.
Lucky Lane, Limerick City
A hidden gem that’s easy to miss, tucked in as it is through a tiny gate between shops in one of Limerick’s main commercial hubs, Lucky Lane will appeal to those who enjoy things quirky, artistic and original. Charmingly referring to themselves as ‘World Famous in Limerick’, the fusion of stalls and traders that make up this covered courtyard sell books, plants, revamped furniture and arts and crafts. Although there’s plenty to explore, most are enchanted by the artistic use of the space, which often features musical and visual offerings alongside the wares.
Lucky Lane, 9a Catherine Street, Limerick City, Ireland, +353 (0) 89 437 8240
Coonagh Poultry, Bird and Small Animal Market, Coonagh
You’ll have to be a little lucky to catch this one: it takes place only on the last Sunday of each month and tends to close during the winter, but take the chance if you get it. Coonagh’s animal-themed sale is an experience that offers a colourful glance at the local farm and pet market. You won’t be buying anything to bring home, but a look at how the trading takes place in this ad-hoc, bring-and-sell spot is slightly wild and entertaining. Expect a lot of chickens, a few assorted pets and a whole lot of noise.