A charismatic cosmopolitan city with bags of Irish charm, Cork rests on the banks of the River Lee. Despite being the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland, the city is affectionately referred to as “The Real Capital” by its friendly locals. Saturated in history and alive with shopping, dining, entertainment and nightlife, Cork offers something for every city breaker. Surrounded by lush green countryside and quintessentially Irish villages, the city makes a great base to explore one of the best areas of Ireland.
Things to see
High on a hill, the bell tower of St. Anne’s Church presents visitors with 360 degree views of the city. Made famous by Francis Sylvester Mahony’s song, The Bells of Shandon, the 18th Century bells are still singing today. The English Market is a mecca for foodies. Covered in ornamental architecture, the indoor market is a Shangri-La of fresh produce from all over the globe. With local specialties too, such as spiced beef, the market is a must-visit. If you’re hungry for entertainment, then take your seat at the glass encased Opera House. With concerts, comedy, theater, and opera all taking to the stage, there’s always something exciting on. In Ballintemple, you’ll find Pairc Ui Chaoimh. The Gaelic Athletic Association Stadium is where major hurling and football matches are played. For a taste of Ireland after the game, go and admire Murphy’s Brewery – the very home of Murphy’s legendary Irish stout.
Hotels in Cork
There is a particularly eclectic mix of hotels in Cork, with something to suit every purse and preference. Whether you prefer a chic luxury boutique or a homely graded townhouse overlooking the river, Cork will cater. Five-star city luxury offers you an array of lavish amenities, such as spa facilities, whilst mid-range hotels don’t scrimp on the creature comforts either. Budget hotels in Cork are in good supply, with plenty of modestly priced and well located B&B’s too. For those that like to dip in and out of the city buzz at their leisure, then there are plenty of hotels to choose from in the idyllic surrounding countryside.
Where to stay
A hotel in Cork’s spirited city center will ensure you get the most out of your stay. Whether you’re on a romantic break for two or a family holiday, basing yourself in the midst of the compact city will keep all the best bits within walking distance. St. Patrick’s Street is Cork’s main thoroughfare and a shopper’s paradise, whilst tantalizing eateries and thirst quenching pubs and bars line MacCurtain and Oliver Plunkett Street. Galleries and museums include the Crawford Gallery and the Cork Public Museum (located just outside the city center), whilst the historic jewel of the city, the Gothic St. Finbarr’s Cathedral, is located close by too.
How to get to
Those travelling to Cork from Britain or other European countries will likely touch down at Cork Airport, 5 miles south of the city. Buses into the city run frequently, arriving at Parnell Place Bus Station which is conveniently located in the city center. Taxis are also plentiful, and reasonably priced. Shannon Airport welcomes visitors from the US, with CityLink and Bus Éireann bus services taking passengers from the airport to Cork city in around two and a half hours. From there, links to rest of the city can easily be made from Parnell Place Bus Station and Cork Kent Railway Station.