The ‘Peoples Republic of Cork’, as it is only half jokingly termed by its inhabitants, grew up on reclaimed marshes around the River Lee, and is enclosed by hills - which only add to its sense of independence. The Irish city is the second largest in Southern Ireland, and the biggest in Munster. In order to get the best views of the city you must get to the top of St Anne’s Church – but only the fit need apply -since it’s necessary to scale 360 steps. A far more relaxing option is to take an open top bus tour of Cork courtesy of local bus firm Cronin’s Coaches – they let you to hop on and hop off to your hearts’ content.
Corkonians have a true joie de vivre and have made the most of recent investment which has transformed the place with new bars, arts centres and restaurants cropping up everywhere. Shopping in Cork is a pleasure too - O’Connaill is a confectioner of distinction, selling the best Hot Chocolate known to man and Liam Ruiseal Teo and Connollly’s Bookshop are packed with second hand books. For local foods such as sausages and smoked salmon head to the English Market.
Cork’s Top 10
10. Cork Opera House has been entertaining the citizens of Cork for over 150 years with opera, ballet, stand-up and puppet shows.
5. Curraheen Greyhound Park The Irish love this form of entertainment, just a bus ride from the centre.
9. The National Radio MuseumOld radios and tales of Marconi’s massive contribution to the airwaves.
4. Lewis Glucksman Gallery A testament to Cork’s optimism. Always full of visitors to its lectures, tours and basement cafe.
8. Crawford Municipal Art Gallery The works of Irish artists Jack Yeats and Sean Keating included.
3. Cork City Gaol Walk around restored cells featuring models of prisoners and menacing prison guards.
7. Cork Vision Centre features a model of the city as well as collections of local art and historical photos
2. Cork Public Museum history from the Stone Age onwards and a cafe next door.
6. Blarney Castle Built in 1210, features a certain magic stone. Kissing it will make you speak more eloquently, allegedly.
1. St Finbarre’s Cathedral Spires, gargoyles and angels. If an angel on the eastern wall blows her horn, legend has it this signals the start of the Apocalypse. Run for cover!
The Eigse Literary Festival has workshops, readings and events in February at Munster Literature Centre near Cork.
Cork’s Slow Food Ireland is a showcase for local artisan producers. Taste cheese and other offerings.
The Corona Cork Film Festival screens international films for a week in October across the city.
The Cork Midsummer Festival is everything theatrical, film, music, visual arts, literature, dance and family entertainment during June
The Lee Swim Don’t be a wimp, get your bathers on and jump in, or alternatively watch from the side.
The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is world famous and has been running for over 30 years. It takes over the city during the last week of October.
Cork Pride Festival celebrates the LGBT community in style. A week of fun including cabaret, film, picnics, and of course the Pride Parade.
Cork St Patrick’s Day Festival Free street entertainment and a Parade on March 17th, as with all touted as the best in Ireland.
Cork World Book Fest Forget the internet. There’s no better place to celebrate reading and books in a place which abounds in shops selling the things.
The Damhsafest is Ireland’s only International Folk Dance Festival held in July across Cork City and the county.
When To Go
Cork has a moderate climate which has no real extremes in temperatures throughout the year. May through to August is a good time to visit Cork since there are bound to be plenty of sunny days.
Temperatures in summer will be on average around the 20 °C mark, while winter temps will not normally drop below 7 or 8 °C.
When you travel to Ireland prepare for at least a little rain – autumn and winter are the months with the highest rainfall.
How To Get There
Cork Kent Railway Station is the main train station, just a half mile from the city centre, and links to Dublin (takes three hours), Tralee and Killarney.
Buses are the transport of choice for many Irish people with good reason. They operate a regular service from the bus station at Merchant’s Quay and Parnell place to most Irish destinations and they are cheap – Dublin is around £7 one way with a journey time of roughly four and a half hours.
Cork Airport is four miles from the centre, and direct flights to Europe are available –otherwise you need to get a connecting flight from Dublin.
The Republic of Ireland's veritable second city, behind only Dublin, is steeped in history, culture and vibrant civic life. As a result, Cork is a pearl of a destination and another in a long line of superb towns in Europe that reside in the long shadow of a major capital.
A paramount seaport that sits on the River Lee, Cork has a beautiful cityscape, with architecture that spans the medieval to modern periods. Grand cathedrals compete with attractive municipal landmarks such as Cork City Hall, in addition to cultural monuments like the city Opera House and Everyman Palace Theatre. As a premier university city, Cork also boasts a lively student population, with heavy involvement in the arts. No major surprise then that the European Capital of Culture for 2005 has a terrific live music, visual arts, drama and dance scene. Perhaps small in stature, Cork is big on charm and offers endless appeal to intrepid tourists in search of a genuine experience.
Typical of the rest of Ireland, Cork does not experience wide extremes in temperature, though rainfall is abundant.
- Winter (December to March) 3-9°C
- Spring (April to May) 4-14°C
- Summer (June to September) 9-19°C
- Fall (October to November) 5-13°C
Cork on Wekipedia
Cork official guide
Your hotel booking club!
Hear about our best travel deals first when you sign up for our emails!
The River Lee Hotel Cork makes for an ideal base for discovering the many charms of Cork with its deluxe accommodations, picturesque location and friendly attentive service. Guests at the chic... More
The award winning Clarion Hotel Cork occupies an enviable position in Ireland's second city, overlooking the River Lee, as well as sitting opposite the impressive City Hall. The largest hotel in... More
Imperial Hotel Cork is a haven of tranquility located in the centre of Ireland's second city. Close to all shopping amenities and financial districts the hotel is an ideal place to relax after a... More
Ideal City Centre Hotel
Whether for business or leisure, BEST WESTERN Montenotte Hotel offer guests a unique alternative for those looking for some extra space or may be a temporary home from home for their stay in Cork. ... More
Rochestown Road Douglas Cork City Map
Stay 3 nights Save 15%
The stunning Rochestown Park Hotel Cork City is housed in one of Ireland's most notable historical houses dating back to the early 1900s. The property is excellently situated close to major road... More
Featuring luxurious accommodation and excellent facilities, Ambassador Hotel & Health Club Cork is a chic haven of peace, which offers the perfect blend of maximum comfort and immaculate service. ... More
Fantastic - an accomodation gem
Charming, intimate and distinctive, The Gresham Metropole Hotel Cork prides itself on uncompromising levels of service. GeneralThe Gresham Metropole Hotel features 12 well-equipped meeting rooms... More
Housed in a beautiful Georgian architecture in the Irish seaport city of Cork, Garnish Guesthouse Cork makes for a suitable base with its inviting ambience, comfortable accommodations and quality... More
Book Now and Save an Extra 5% on Advance Purchase
The Silver Springs Moran Hotel is situated just five minutes from Cork City centre and within a few minutes' drive of Cork International airport. It is a renowned event and conference venue with... More
Refine your search
- Cork Opera House hotels
- Crawford Art Gallery hotels
- Cork City Hall hotels
- English Market hotels
- Oliver Plunkett Street hotels
- St. Patrick's Street hotels
- St. Patrick's Bridge hotels
- Everyman Palace Theatre hotels
- Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne hotels
- Church of St Anne hotels
- Grand Parade hotels
- Bishop Lucey Park hotels