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Cork Rundown

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 Museum Old 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!

Cork Events

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.

General Information

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.


  • Cork Opera House
  • Fitzgerald Park
  • University College Cork
  • St. Patrick's Street
  • Saint Finbarre's Cathedral
  • Blarney Castle
  • Activities

  • Cork Jazz Festival
  • Cork Festival of Jewish Culture
  • Cork Film Festival
  • A Taste of Cork
  • Everyman Palace Theatre
  • Restaurant

  • Café Paradiso
  • Jacques
  • The Ivory Tower
  • Crawford Gallery Caf&eacute
  • Fenn's Quay
  • Nightlife

  • Bodega
  • Newport Bar
  • The Half Moon Theatre
  • Redz
  • An Spailpin Fanac
  • Climate

    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

    Hotels in Cork

    Recommended hotels

    From US$105

    1 Imperial Hotel

    4 stars
    4.6 / 5 5 reviews


    Advance Purchase - Book Now and Save

    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
    Got the bus from the airport and walked around the corner from the bus station to the hotel, very easy checking it. No safe in the room which worried me. Room comfortable and clean, would stay...
    1 Jul 2015
    From US$145

    2 The River Lee Hotel

    4 stars
    4.1 / 5 13 reviews

    Western Road Map

    Advance Purchase

    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

    Cork stay
    Hotel really nice in great location. Nice restaurants/bars close by and just 10 minute walk to the city centre Highly recommend it
    18 Aug 2015
    From US$62

    3 Clybaun Hotel

    3 stars
    5.0 / 5 5 reviews

    Clybaun Road Map

    Book now, save 10%

    Assuring courteous service and quality amenities, the Hotel Clybaun Galway prides itself as an ideal location for business and leisure travellers. GeneralHotel Clybaun Galway Galway features a... More

    Great hotel
    Hotel was perfect for our stay and staff and amenities was spot on. Look forward to returning.
    14 Apr 2015
    From US$88

    4 Maldron Hotel & Leisure Club Cork

    3 stars
    4.5 / 5 8 reviews

    John Redmond Street Map

    Advance Purchase Book Now & Save!

    Known for its ambience and elegance, this property offers an ideal accommodation spot in Cork for all types of travellers. GeneralGuests can avail the services of fax, currency exchange as well as... More

    Very good location. Friendly very helpful and cheerful staff. Very good breakfast pre book for 10 euros. Will return.
    25 Nov 2013
    From US$75

    5 The Metropole Hotel

    3 stars
    3.8 / 5 5 reviews

    Maccurtain Street Map

    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

    Business trio
    This is a functional hotel which happens to be in an excellent city centre location - apart from that it just a place that you can use
    10 Jul 2014
    From US$96

    6 Jurys Inn Cork

    3 stars
    3.8 / 5 6 reviews

    Anderson'S Quay Map

    Advance Purchase Rates

    Being an ideal place in the city of Cork, Jurys Inn Cork Hotel offers a warm welcome, relaxing atmosphere and convenient facilities to make your stay a memorable one. GeneralThis hotel offers... More

    New Clean and most central
    Central location..was on foot so car parking not required. Clean and modern hotel-new in all respects.
    28 Apr 2015
    From US$131

    7 Clarion Hotel Cork

    4 stars
    4.6 / 5 17 reviews

    Lapps Quay Map

    Stay 2 Nights & Save!

    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

    Right from the friendly staff at check in, to the high quailty food and drink. Everything was brilliant. Staff were amazing, happy and helpful. Residence bar is the one of the best I've been to in...
    12 Sep 2014
    From US$96

    8 Ashley Hotel

    3 stars
    4.5 / 5

    Coburg Street Map

    The cosy accommodations and inviting atmosphere of Ashley Hotel Cork makes for a suitable base for weekend vacationers in Cork. In the morning, tourists can admire the Bells of Shandon found in the... More

    From US$97

    9 Ambassador Hotel and Health Club

    4 stars
    5.0 / 5 3 reviews


    Book Now and Save

    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

    First trip to Ireland
    Steph on reception was a bit slow and made a couple of mistakes with checking us in but this was my only thing it could improve on. All else was fab with our stay. Couldn't fault it in any other way.
    30 Jul 2015
    From US$67

    10 The Commons Express Inn Cork

    3 stars
    Not yet reviewed

    New Mailons Road Map

    Complimentary Wifi

    The Commons Inn Cork is situated within walking distance of the centre of Ireland's second city, close to all main attractions and famously lively nightlife. For shopping, guests have the famous... More

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