Bunratty castle, Limerick
Bunratty castle outside Limerick is basically for busloads of American tourists. Durty Nellies bar is basically the blueprint for kitschy Oirish bars all over Europe. Now if you want to go to their medieval banquets, don't let me stop you, but I warn you, you will be surrounded by lots of package tourists.
Unique Suggestions: Bring me back a couple of bottles of Bunratty mead, that stuff is liquid gold. :)
BUNRATTY CASTLE is the 'must' tourist spot on the order of Stockholm's Skansen. It is dissappointing as a cultural site, there is very little information on the buildings assembled there and few resource people to talk with. There is a 'medieval dinner' offered in the castle hall at very expensive prices. I was more concerned about the lack of adequate emergency exits in the great hall for the number of people they pack in. Do not buy souvenirs in their gift shop, where the prices are over-inflated. The prices are more reasonable and the items more interesting at the Tourist Centre at Arthur's Quay Park in Limerick.
While I agree that Bunratty Castle and Folk Park may be a tourist trap, it is incorrect to list this as a 'Limerick' tourist trap as some other reviewers have placed it. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, is located in County Clare. Bunratty Castle itself is a fine example of a restored 15th century castle, and the folk park is extensive. I live in Limerick City and visit the park on a regular basis because it's an entertaining way to spend an afternoon. I wouldn't go so far as to recommend the banquets but you can't beat Bunratty mead.
Unique Suggestions: Climb to the top of the castle..there's a great view.
Bunratty Castle is the local tourist trap. While the castle itself is interesting, the village is basically a bunch of hotels and gift shops. If you're landing in Shannon Airport, do not think for a moment that this place is the 'real Ireland'. Visit Limerick or any normal town or city in Ireland if you want the real picture of life.