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Cork is the principal city of County Cork in southwest Ireland. It was already the second-largest city in Ireland when in 2019 its boundaries were extended, to have a population of 210,000. The new boundary includes the town of Blarney, but this is described on its own page; Cobh and Crosshaven downriver remained separate.
Corcaigh is an old word for "salt-marsh" - the River Lee broke up into a wetland delta draining into the drowned valley that forms its natural outer harbour. It was tidal and navigable, and Saint Fin Barre founded a monastery on its south bank in 606 AD, the nucleus of a settlement. The Vikings in the 9th / 10th centuries and the Anglo-Normans from the 12th were also attracted by this fertile area, and sought to claim the area as their own. It was under King Henry II that Cork was granted city status in 1185.
Medieval Cork was walled for defence and overcrowded, so several river channels became infilled, the basis of what is now St Patrick's Street, South Mall and Grand Parade. The main north and south channels persisted, enclosing the arrow-shaped island of the city centre. Cork's heyday was the 17th century, when sea trade was booming but ships had not yet outgrown the river - later the port moved downstream to Cobh. Prosperous suburbs such as Sunday's Well and Montenotte were built on higher ground on the north bank, while on the south bank a university campus grew up from the 19th century.
The Tourist Information Centre is at 125 St Patrick's St, corner of Lavitt's Quay one block west of the bus station.
1 Cork Airport (ORK IATA) (8 km south of centre on N27 Kinsale Road). The main operators are Aer Lingus and Ryanair. Flights are short-haul to UK and Europe: the runway is too small for wide-bodied jets so there's nothing transatlantic or from the Gulf. UK destinations are London (Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted), Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne. Year-round European destinations are Amsterdam, Budapest, Gdansk, Katowice, Krakow, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Malaga, Malta, Munich, Paris, Poznań, Tenerife and Wrocław. There are seasonal flights to other Med destinations and the ski resorts. The airport has a single terminal, with two hotels a short walk away (see Sleep) and a Travelodge 2 km north.
To the city: Bus 226 runs hourly between Kinsale, the airport, and Cork bus station on Parnell Place, taking 20 min to the city. An adult single is €2.80 by cash and €2 by Leap card. In normal times Bus 226A also plies between airport and city, and a direct bus runs from the airport to Limerick, but these aren't running in 2020.
The taxi rank is outside Arrivals. A taxi to city centre might be €20 for up to four passengers.
All the main car rental companies have desks at the airport and downtown. They're best booked in advance.
Get in by wooden horse
Statio Bene Fide Carinis is the city motto - "a safe harbour for ships". It's a tale told in flashback by a weeping Aeneas in Episode 2 of Virgil's saga. The Greeks pretend to abandon their assault on Troy and sail home. Their fleet hides behind Tenedos, nowadays Bozcaada, in statio male fida carinis - a bad anchorage, where no-one's going to look for them. And they leave behind a giant wooden horse: Trojan curiosity overcomes caution, and Troy is destroyed by importing this malware. The Cork city fathers switched "male" - bad - to "bene" - good, for their motto. "Carina" strictly means the keel of a ship, and similar edges such as a woodwind reed. In English it gives us "careenage", hauling a ship onto its side to scrape the bottom. In Slav languages it came to mean customs and tax on a ship, which Cork city enjoyed as much as it enjoyed backing the horses.
In summer there are car ferries from Roscoff (15 hr) and Santander (26 hr) to Cork once or twice a week, operated by Brittany Ferries. They were suspended in 2020 and the timetable for 2021 has not been announced.
2 Cork Ferry Terminal is at Ringaskiddy, 15 km south east of the city on N28. Bus 223 / 225 runs here, see Get around.
Cruise liners often visit: they may dock at Cobh or at Ringaskiddy, or land passengers by tender for excursions. Many are on round-trip itineraries, but check the upcoming cruise schedule in case a point-to-point journey is possible. For instance transatlantic one-way cruises from New York might let you off at Cork on their way to Southampton.
Trains run hourly from Dublin Heuston, taking 2 hr 40 min to Cork via Kildare, Portlaoise, Ballybrophy, Thurles, Limerick Junction (for Tipperary) and Mallow. A walk-up single is around €40, see Irish Rail website for online deals. From central Dublin, get a ticket from city centre not Heuston, as this includes the tram fare and saves a couple of euros over separate tickets.
Commuter trains run from Cobh and from Midleton every 30 min. See Get Around for the suburban stations.
Cork's main station is 3 Kent Station on Lower Glanmire Road, 500 m east of city centre. There's just a coffee shop here but lots of facilities outside on the street, and be grateful that your train isn't going to be hauled by Engine No 36, the Victorian 2-2-2 loco in the main hall. The station is named for Thomas Kent or Tomás Ceannt (1865 – 1916), executed for his part in the Easter Rising. He and his 3 brothers actually stayed home, but when the police came to arrest known sympathisers there was a shoot-out which killed his brother Richard and a policeman.
Buses run hourly from Dublin Airport (3 hr 30 min) and Busáras (3 hr) to Cork, for a single adult fare of around €20. There's competition on the route between Aircoach (Bus 704X), Bus Éireann (Expressway X8) and Gobus.
City Link runs every 3 hours from Galway via Shannon Airport, Limerick, and Cork city centre and airport. The slower Bus Éireann 51 runs hourly from Galway via Ennis, Shannon Airport, Limerick and Mallow to Cork.
The bus terminus is 4 Parnell Place off Merchants Quay.
From Dublin take M7 onto M8 and reckon 2 hr 30 min. There are tolls at Portlaoise and Fermoy, €1.90 at each, pay online or by phone. Avoid rush hour in Dublin or Cork if you can.
N20 from Limerick is mostly an undivided road and will take around 1 hr 45 min to Cork. Say an hour from Killarney and 90 min from Waterford.
Try to avoid bringing a car into city centre. If you're day-tripping, use the Park & Ride at Black Ash south side of the city - it's well signposted and cost €5 to park all day, with a free bus to and from the centre. The last outbound bus is at 20:00 and the park is locked at 20:30 so it's not for evening attractions. The University has its own Park & Ride and shuttle bus, but you need to show staff or student ID to use it.
Cork has a small city centre, and most places to stay, eat, drink and tour are within one busy km. So too are the transport hubs.
There are many cycleways, both in-street and segregated, with some contraflow lanes.
The bike share scheme has docking stations across the city centre extending west to UCC. You need to register and pay a deposit of €150. As of Nov 2020, an annual pass is €10 and a 3-day visitor pass is €3. The first 30 min of any journey is free.
Irish Rail commuter trains serve three lines out of Cork Kent station:
- East then south every 30-60 min to Little Island, Glounthaune, Fota (for Wildlife Park), Carrigaloe, Rushbrooke and Cobh, taking 25 min, single fare €5.
- East every 30-60 min to Little Island, Glounthaune, Carrigtwohill and Midleton, for the Jameson Whiskey Distillery, 25 min, single fare €5.
- North hourly non-stop to Mallow, for the racecourse, 25 min. Many of these are inter-city trains to Dublin Heuston or Tralee, but you pay the same commuter fare of around €10 single.
Buses in Cork are run by Bus Éireann, with 22 routes, see map. Apart from three orbital routes that you're unlikely to use (201 north, 219 south and 225 further south), they all run cross-town, with central stops around St Patrick Street, Merchants Quay or Parnell Place main bus station. They run daily 06:30 - 23:30, every 10-20 min at peak times, except Bus 220 which runs 24 hours.
- Route 202 from Hollyhill and Knocknaheeney northwest to city centre then Blackrock and Mahon Point southeast.
- Route 203 from Farranree and Blackpool in the north to city centre then Turners Cross and Ballyphehane south.
- Route 205 from Cork Institute of Technology and University College Cork west to Kent Railway Station.
- Route 208 from Curraheen and Cork University Hospital southwest to city centre then Mayfield and Lotabeg northeast.
- Route 213 from Black Ash Park & Ride south to St Patrick Street in the city centre - no Sunday service. The P&R is locked at 20:30.
- Route 214 from Cork University Hospital and Wilton southwest to city centre.
- Routes 215 and 215A from Jacobs Island and Mahon Point southeast to South Mall in the city centre. Route 215 also extends northwest across the city to Blarney and Cloghroe.
- Route 220 runs 24 hours from Ovens and Ballincollig in the west to city centre then Douglas and Carrigaline southeast. Alternate buses continue to Crosshaven.
Most bus stops have real time displays. You can also plan your journey and check real time arrivals with the TFI website and apps. All buses are low-floor wheelchair accessible.
Cash fares within the city are €2.40-€2.80 adult and €1.40-€1.70 child, while if paying with a TFI Leap Card are €1.68-€1.96 adult and €0.98-€1.19 child. On TFI Leap Card, 24 hour, 7 day and monthly tickets are also available.
Fares are nationally regulated and taxis must use the meter. As of March 2021, fares M-Sa 08:00 to 20:00 are €3.60 flagfall then €1.10-1.50 per km, 20:00 to 08:00 and Sunday €4.00 flagfall then €1.40-1.80 per km. In slow traffic or if asked to wait they charge by the minute, 40-50 cents. Fares are negotiable for longer out of town trips. Many drivers also offer fixed priced guided tours.
Taxis look like normal cars with a yellow bar with their licence number and "taxi" or "Tacsaí" printed on it. If the light is on, the taxi is available for hire.
- 1 Crawford Art Gallery, Emmett Place T12 TNE6, ☏ . M-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 11:00-16:00. The permanent collection includes paintings by Jack Yeats and Sean Keating, and there's a series of plaster casts of classical statues, which King George IV found tedious. Free.
- 2 Elizabeth Fort, Barrack St. M-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 12:00-17:00. The original fort built in 1601 was just timber and earth, and the citizens made short work of it. It was rebuilt from 1624 as a stout "star" fortress. It lost its defensive role in 1719 but was variously used as a barracks, a depot for convicts (mostly female) awaiting transportation to the colonies, and a police station to 2013. It's now simply a tourist area with a gallery and occasional events, and you can walk along the walls. Free.
- 3 St Fin Barre's Cathedral, Bishop St. M-Sa 09:30-17:30, Su 13:00-17:30. Saint Fin Barre was a 6th century preacher. A monastery dedicated to him was built here in the 7th C, and there have been at least 3 churches on the site before the present building. This is an elaborate C of I (Anglican) cathedral built 1865-79 in Gothic Revival style. The interior is relatively small: Burgess the architect realised it would go way over budget so the focus was on creating a grand frontage, to impress the citizens and overawe the resurgent Catholics. There are three great spires, intricate carvings and gargoyles, stain glass windows, and a high ceiling over a rather stubby nave. The pipe organ adds to the cathedral's many expensive items of construction and maintenance. Adult €6, child €3, conc €5.
- 4 Nano Nagle Museum, Douglas St, ☏ . Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. Honora Nagle (1718-1784) pioneered Catholic education for girls in an era when that was repressed by the Penal Laws. She founded an Ursuline convent and the Presentation Sisters, which inspired Edmund Rice in Waterford to found the Presentation Brothers and later Christian Brothers. The museum depicts Nano's life, times and works, and the garden is an oasis of tranquillity. Adult €5.
- 5 Red Abbey Tower (off Douglas St). is one of the few medieval structures remaining in Cork. It was the bell tower of a 14th century Augustinian abbey: in 1690 John Churchill (later Duke of Marlborough) used its vantage point to blast away at the Jacobites below. The Augustinians moved out in the 18th century and the abbey became a sugar refinery. In 1799 a fire destroyed everything except the tower.
- 6 Church of St Anne, Shandon (Shandon Bells), Church St. Mar-May, Oct M-Sa 10:00-16:00, Su 11:30-16:00, Jun-Sept M-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 11:30-16:30, Nov-Feb daily 11:00-15:00. Shandon is the neighbourhood climbing the hill along the old road to Mallow. This C of I (Anglican) church was built in 1722; the famously inaccurate clock on its tower became known as "the four-faced liar". The church is best known for the eight "bells of Shandon that sound so grand on / the pleasant waters of the River Lee" as the 19th century ballad has it. (Who but Francis Mahony aka "Father Prout" would have dared rhyme Moscow with kiosk-o?) St Anne's bells are hung "dead" and rung by an Ellacombe apparatus. The most sonorous peel of bells is from change-ringing, which rotates them through 360°, but this demands skill and is sometimes impractical to build. It also incites scandalous behaviour, according to the Rev Henry Thomas Ellacombe of Gloucestershire, who in 1821 devised a mechanism whereby hammers struck stationary bells as resolutely as they would strike down temptation to sin. St Anne's is one of the two dozen churches in Britain and Ireland that still have functioning apparatus, and visitors can ding the bells from the tower first floor. There are 135 steps to the tower balcony, with a narrow squeeze as you clamber through the belfry, hoping that the group below doesn't choose that moment to start chiming. Adult €5, child €2, conc €4.
- Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne (on Roman St just up the hill from Shandon Bells). M-Th 08:30-16:30, F 08:30-15:30. is the RC cathedral opened in 1808.
- The Butter Museum. explores Ireland's long history of butter-making. 1000 year old bog butter, anyone? It's in O'Connell Square just below Shandon Bells. adult €4.
- 7 Holy Trinity Church. (RC) is a stonking great neo-Gothic affair on Father Mathew Quay, built in fits and starts 1830-1890. (No jokes about workmen's leisurely lunch breaks please, the famine years were the problem.) There's an active Capuchin Friary attached. The church hall often hosts Russian Orthodox services in spite of a lack of onion domes, but in late 2020 these are in a community centre in Douglas.
- 8 Cork City Gaol, Convent Avenue, Sunday’s Well (1 km west of centre), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Mar-Oct daily 09:30-17:00, Nov-Feb F-M 10:00-16:00. Fascinating jail museum. It was opened in 1924 to hold male and female prisoners of the city, while those whose crime was committed outside the city were held at the county jail across the river, now the UCC campus. In 1878 the prisons were segregated: City Gaol became the women's prison and all the men were marched away to the county jail, while all county women were marched here. In 1919 Countess Markiewicz was held here for making a seditious speech; after Irish independence it held anti-treaty Republicans. In 1923 there was a mass escape; thereafter the gaol closed. In 1927 it became a radio station and part of the museum displays this. Adult €10, child €6.
- 9 Cork Public Museum, Fitzgerald's Park, Mardyke, ☏ . M 12:00-16:00, Tu-F 10:00-16:00. Wide-ranging museum depicts the city's history from prehistoric to modern times. Free.
- Fitzgerald's Park outside the museum is a genteel municipal space on the riverside, laid out in 1902 after Cork hosted an international trade exhibition here. Your only excitement will be from crossing the pedestrian "Shaky Bridge" to Sunday's Well Rd on the north bank.
Just what the doctor ordered = false
George Boole (1815-1864) from Lincoln became the first Professor of Mathematics at Queens College Cork, now UCC. He's best known for his formulation of logic into binary algebra; thus true and false = false, true or false = true. These could be represented by on-off switches or levers - see Banbridge for how they directed the Irish linen looms. Then the switches became electronic and ever faster and smaller, powering computers. From humble admin tasks these logic-mills evolved to advanced decision-support, eg in medicine and therapeutics. But this was too late for Boole, who got caught in a downpour but delivered his lecture in soaking clothes, a chill set in, then pneumonia. His wife thought to treat this by soaking him in cold water, and that was the end of him.
- 10 The Glucksman, University College T12 V1WH, ☏ . M-Sa 11:00-17:00. Gallery in stylish modern building opened 2006 within the university, with rotating art exhibitions. Its sponsor Lewis Glucksman (1925-2006) had been CEO of Lehman Brothers, remember them? He lived in Cobh from 1999 and was a major benefactor of cultural initiatives. Donation €5.
- 11 University College Cork (UCC) main campus is beyond the Glucksman on Western Rd. You can stroll around (see college map) and take in the variety of architecture, from the modern extension of the Boole Library to the Honan Chapel, completed in 1917 but got up in Celtic-Gothic style to look much older.
- 12 Lough park is 1 km south of city centre. The Lough, which gives its name to the neighbourhood, is a small freshwater lake fed by springs bubbling out of the limestone; it's barely 1 metre deep. The Lough is ringed by housing but is a wildlife reserve: waterfowl nest on the wooded island at the south end. The lough shore has a firm track of 1.1 km, popular with joggers and dog-walkers. There are carp, eels, tench and other freshwater fish, and coarse angling is permitted by catch and release. There's a cafe by the north end and a bar with meals at the south end.
- 13 Blackrock Castle Observatory, Castle Rd, Blackrock (Bus 202 towards Mahon), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Th-Su 10:00-16:00. If pirates ever try to attack Cork from the moon, this place will give ample warning. It was first built in 1582 to defend the harbour and its shipping, but twice burnt down without the help of any marauders. The present castle is a cod-medieval structure of 1828; in 2007 it became an astronomy museum and observatory. Adult €6.50, child €4.50.
- 14 Fota Wildlife Park, Fota Island (Take commuter train), ☏ . Daily 09:30-18:00. Large park with dozens of animal and bird species, and Arboretum with many rare trees and plants. Adult €17, child €11.50.
- 15 Barryscourt Castle, Carrigtwohill T45 Y290 (Junction 4 of N25). Daily 08:00-18:00. Impressive tower house from 14th century, but mostly 15th / 16th C; it fell derelict but was restored in the 1990s. With attractive herb and knot gardens, and an orchard with examples of every type of Irish Apple Tree. Free.
- 16 Midleton is a town 16 km west of Cork along the road to Youghal. Its main attraction is the Old Midleton Distillery or "Jameson Experience", with a huge waterwheel and pot still, which produced Jameson whiskey from 1825. It's open for tours daily 10:30-17:00 (€23). In 1975 production transferred to the new distillery alongside; the business is now owned by Pernod Ricard. There are tour buses from Cork to the distillery, and the railway re-opened in 2009, so Midleton has grown into a large commuter town. The Farmer's Market is held on Saturday 09:00-13:00.
- 17 Ballincollig is a small village 5 km west of Cork which throughout the 19th century held a large military-industrial complex, the Royal Gunpowder Mills. These are nowadays just bosky ruins 500 m north of the village in the riverbank park. 500 m south of the village is the Norman stump of Ballincollig Castle, which is on private land.
- 18 Kilcrea Friary is the substantial ruin of a 15th century Franciscan abbey. It came under repeated attack by the English while the Friars holed up in Kilcrea Castle 500 m west: the castle ruin is on a farm with no public access.
- Cobh and Crosshaven are small ports in Cork Harbour, see separate pages.
- Cork City Tours operate a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city, as well as excursions out to the Jameson Distillery, Mizen Head, and Ring of Kerry. They hope to restart these in spring 2021.
- Cork Arts Theatre is on Carroll's Quay, Box Office +353 21 450 5624.
- Gate Cinema is top of North Main Street by the bridge.
- Triskel Arts Centre on Tobin Street has a gallery, live music, theatre and a cinema.
- Cyprus Avenue is a live music venue on Caroline Street.
- Cork Midsummer Festival features theatre, music, dance, painting, photography and more. The next event is 18-27 June 2021.
- Ironman Triathlon will be held in Youghal and Cork 14-15 Aug 2021. The event offers 40 qualifying slots for the world championships in Hawaii.
- Cork Jazz Festival was cancelled in 2020. The next event is probably 21-25 Oct 2021, tbc.
- Cork International Film Festival is probably next held 7-14 Nov 2021, tbc.
- Watch Gaelic games at 1 Páirc Ui Chaoimh, Ballintemple (2 km east of centre). This 45,000 capacity stadium hosts the biggest games. It's the home ground of Cork GAA, the county team, playing Gaelic football and hurling. They have a secondary home stadium at Páirc Uí Rinn, capacity 16,440, and club games are usually played at this and similar-sized grounds: Nemo Rangers for football, Blackrock for hurling, St Finbarr's play both. The fixture list is posted by the national GAA.
- Watch soccer at 2 Cork City FC, St Anne's Park, Turners Cross T12 Y7D6. "The Rebel Army" play in the League of Ireland Premier Division, the top tier of soccer in the Republic. The playing season is March-Nov, and home games are often on Friday evening. Turner's Cross Stadium (capacity 7485) is 1.5 km south of city centre. Take a bus to Evergreen Road or walk; you may not walk on South Link Road. Adult €10, conc €5.
- Watch Rugby Union ie 15-a-side. Munster Rugby are one of the four Irish professional teams playing in Pro14, the top European (predominantly Celtic) league. Their usual home ground is in Limerick, but some home games are at Musgrave Park, capacity 8000 (also known as Irish Independent Park). It's off Pearse Rd a mile south of the centre.
- Go to the races but you need to set off early: Cork Racecourse is at Mallow 35 km north.
- Eating places and bars are everywhere, but especially around MacCurtain Street, Washington Street and Oliver Plunkett Street.
- Farmgate Cafe is within English Market, see Buy.
- Cafe Gusto is good for a quick bite and coffee. They're at 3 Washington St (M-Sa 07:00-15:00) and on Lapps Quay (M-F 07:00-15:00).
- Uncle Pete's Pizzeria, 40 Paul Street T12 AH90, ☏ . Daily 11:30-22:00. Cheap and cheerful pizzeria, sit in (no reservations), carry out or they deliver.
- Captain America's Cookhouse and Bar, 4-5 South Main St T12 YKP6, ☏ . Daily 12:00-22:00. Lively relaxed restaurant serves burgers, wings and other American favourites, though it's not styled like a US diner.
- Liberty Grill, 32 Washington St T12 T880, ☏ . M-Sa 08:00-21:00. New England style bistro with good all-day brunch, licensed.
- Nash 19, 19 Princes St T12 W718 (off Oliver Plunkett St), ☏ . Tu-Sa 09:00-18:00. Bright modern cafe, good choice for lunch.
- Old Town Whiskey Bar at Bodega, 44 Cornmarket St T12 W27H, ☏ . M-W 08:00-21:00, Th-Sa 08:00-00:00, Su 09:00-21:00. Cafe/bar in a nicely refurbished industrial building with a good all-day brunch. The bar has a formidable selection of whiskey and at weekends they have a late-night club.
- Jacques at 23 Oliver Plunkett St is a long-established Irish restaurant, open Th-Sa 12:00-22:00.
- 1 Café Paradiso, 16 Lancaster Quay T12 FKE1, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Sa 17:30-21:00. This upscale creative vegetarian restaurant gets rave reviews even from committed carnivores.
- 2 Scoozi, 2-5 Winthrop Lane T12 DE6W (off Winthrop St), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-W 09:00-20:00, Th-Sa 09:00-21:00, Su 13:00-20:00. Lively family-oriented place with standard Italian fare.
- Clancys, 15 Princes St T12 V6FH, ☏ . M-Sa 09:00-23:00, Su 10:00-23:00. Trad Irish pub but nowadays primarily a restaurant, gets very mixed reviews.
- 3 Luigi Malones, 1 Emmet Place T12 VF43 (next to Opera House), ☏ . M-Th 12:00-20:00, F Sa 12:00-21:00, Su 13:00-20:00. Long-established popular Italian place with Art Deco interior.
- Jacobs on the Mall, 30 South Mall T12 NY22, ☏ . M-Sa 17:00-22:00. Modern gourmet cuisine, lots of veggie choice, the set menu is especially good value.
- 4 Quay Co-op, 24 Sullivans Quay T12 X867, ☏ . M-Sa 08:00-18:00. Vegetarian restaurant (lots of vegan and GF choice) within a health food store.
- Market Lane, 5 Oliver Plunkett St T12 T959, ☏ . Daily 12:00-21:30. Bustling two-storey restaurant and bar near English Market gets great reviews for its food and has a GF selection.
- Idaho, 19 Caroline St T12 Y206 (corner with Maylor St), ☏ . Tu-Th 09:00-17:00, F Sa 09:00-18:00. Great little cafe, limited seating and selection. All the main courses are gluten-free.
- 5 Greenes Restaurant, 48 MacCurtain Street T23 F6EK, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. W-F 17:30-21:15, Sa Su 12:30-14:00, 17:30-21:15. Upscale innovative Med cuisine, the tasting menu is especially good.
- Wylam, Victoria Cross, Cork T12 N262, ☏ . M-Sa 16:30-23:30, Su 14:30-00:00. Chinese restaurant close to University gets very mixed reviews.
- East Village Hotel, East Village, Douglas T12 Y688 (next to Douglas shopping court), ☏ . It's a mid-range hotel but most reviews rate it for food and drink.
- 6 Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Midleton P25 Y070 (On road to Youghal), ☏ . Daily 13:00-14:00, 18:30-21:30. This is a long way out but worth a splurge. A top-rank country hotel in a Georgian mansion with outstanding restaurant. B&B double €300.
- Useful to know: "langered" is the Cork term for being drunk. A "langer" is an idiot, asshole or drunk.
- An Bróg, 74 Oliver Plunkett St T12 FP28, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 14:00-23:00. Lively bar, popular with students. Bróg of course means shoe but one woozy regular visitor is beginning to suspect they don't sell shoes.
- An Spailpín Fánach, 29 South Main St, ☏ . M-Th 17:0-23:30, F 12:30-00:30, Sa 14:00-00:30, Su 12:30-23:00. It's Irish for "the migrant labourer" and has trad music most nights and a great atmosphere.
- The Bierhaus, 28 Popes Quay T23 AE79 (at Shandon footbridge), ☏ . M-F 17:00-23:00, Sa Su 13:00-23:00. Great selection of beers, new offerings monthly.
- Costigan's, 11 Washington St T12 N768, ☏ . Su-Th 17:00-23:30, F Sa 17:00-00:30. Lively pub, gets busy but there's enough room to watch TV sport or avoid it. Big selection of whiskey and other spirits.
- Franciscan Well, 14 North Mall T23 P264, ☏ . Daily 15:00-23:00. Pub with large beer garden on north river bank, serving pizza from Pompeii Pizzeria next door. Brews its own range of beers and has a fine section of foreign bottled beers.
- The hi-b, 108 Oliver Plunkett St T12 E6CX, ☏ . Small quirky bar up old creaking stairs, named for the former Hibernian Hotel. Often has live music. No TV, and definitely no mobile phones. However Brian O'Donnell the legendary owner died in Dec 2019 and the future direction of the hi-b is not known. His passing was mourned by the Press Association, who know a proper Irish boozer whenever they get ensconced in one: “A gent’s loo like a sewer, a sound system made up exclusively of vinyl LPs, and a tyrannical owner who has been known to prowl the premises in his pyjamas.”
- Long Valley, 10 Winthrop St T12 NW64, ☏ . Daily 10:00-00:30. Busy central pub does good filling sandwiches.
- Mutton Lane Inn, Mutton Lane, 3 St Patrick's St T12 RV07, ☏ . M-Th 10:30-23:30, F Sa 10:30-00:30, Su 14:00-23:00. Dark and comfortable with candle lit tables and trad sessions on Monday night, and no TV. Nice selection of foreign and local beers.
- Sin é, 8 Coburg St T23 KF5N, ☏ . Su-Th 12:30-23:30, F Sa 12:30-00:30. Trad pub since 1889, when there was a funeral parlour next door - "Sin é" means "that's it." In the 20th century the pub was the queue for the barbers shop upstairs. It's kept its atmosphere and has live trad music every night. No food served, but you can bring in cold bites, no hot food allowed.
- Tom Barry's, 113 Barrack St T21 RT44. Su-Th 16:00-23:30, F Sa 16:00-00:30. Trad Irish pub does great pizza.
- The Oval, 25 South Main St T21 Y15D, ☏ . Su-Th 15:00-23:30, F Sa 15:00-00:30. Great pub with trad decor and welcoming staff, quiet music that you don't have to yell over.
- Edison (formerly Long Island Bar), 11 Washington St, ☏ . Daily 18:00-00:00. Cocktail bar with an extensive menu and loads of variety. Try the whiskey toddy on a drear winter night.
- Pigalle, 111 Barrack St T12 FK75, ☏ . W-Su 18:00-23:00. French cafe-bar with great selection of French wines and continental beers. They still do good cocktails but now major on their restaurant offerings.
- Thomond Bar, 2 Marlboro St, ☏ . M-Th 10:30-23:30, F Sa 10:30-00:30, Su 12:30-23:00. Great pub for TV sports, food served till late.
- Cask, 48 MacCurtain St T23 F104, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 16:00-23:00, Sa Sun 14:00-23:00. Cocktails and tapas, pricey but good quality.
- Chambers, 26 Washington Street, ☏ . We-Sa 16:00-02:00; Su 16:00-00:00. LGBT bar and dance club. Gay Bingo?? Hey, whatever.
- Barry's of Douglas, Douglas East Village, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 09:30-23:00, Su 12:00-23:00. Slick modern place, value for money food and drink.
- The main shopping areas are around St Patrick's Street, Oliver Plunkett Street, Paul Street and North Main Street.
- 1 English Market, Grand Parade, South Mall (Main entrances on Grand Parade and Princes St, side entry from Plunkett and Patrick streets). M-Sa 08:00-17:30. This covered market was created in 1788 by the Protestant or English city rulers; in 1840 the Irish Catholics took over and set up Irish Market at St Peters. It's primarily a fresh-food market - several stalls do sandwiches and other takeaways, and Farmgate Cafe is open to 16:00.
- Farmers' Markets are held at Blackrock (Su 10:00-14:00), Mahon Point (Th 10:00-14:00), Douglas (Sa 10:00-14:00) and Midleton (Sa 09:00-13:00).
- 1 Bru Hostel, 57 MacCurtain St T23 CD00, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Hostel with bar, open all year. Live music and a lively pub most nights, so not for light sleepers. Prices include breakfast, wi-fi internet, bike and luggage storage. Dorm bed €20, double room €50.
- 2 Kinlay House, Bob and Joan's Walk T23 CK10 (near Shandon Bells), ☏ . Small hostel in the north side of the town. Free wi-fi, luggage storage, and secure bicycle lock up. Price includes breakfast. Dorm from €20, double rooms from €60.
- 3 Sheila's Hostel, 4 Belgrave Place, Wellington Road T23 XF95, ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 10:30. Clean well-run hostel open all year with free wi-fi. Reception is 24 / 7. Dorm from €18, double room €50.
- Camping: the closest campsite is near Blarney 8 km northwest and open April-Oct.
- 4 Travelodge Cork Airport (2 km north of airport), Kinsale Road Roundabout, Frankfield Rd T12 E2XY, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Reliable chain hotel. On drab commercial estate with no eating places beyond hotel. Pets accepted. Free parking during stay. No availability in 2020.
- Cork International Hotel and Cork Airport Hotel are both within the airport, a short walk to the terminal.
- Auburn Guest House is a smart B&B on Garfield Terr behind Bru Hostel (listed above) near the railway station. B&B double €70-€100.
- Jury's Inn, Andersen's Quay T12 DCR9, ☏ . Check-out: B&B double €100. Reliable central 3-star chain hotel, close to bus and railway stations. The 133 rooms have wifi and satellite TV. There is also a bar and restaurant. Charges for the small hotel car park.
- Metropole Hotel, MacCurtain St T23 EEC3, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Welcoming helpful central hotel, part of Trigon group. 112 modern rooms with free wi-fi. No hotel parking. B&B double €110.
- 5 Clayton Hotel Silver Springs, Tivoli T23 E244 (N8 two km east of city), ☏ . Good mid-range place with leisure centre and large conferencing and banquet facilities, free parking. Assistance dogs only. B&B double €100.
- Maldron Hotel, John Redmond St T23 A9TF, ☏ . Clean well-run hotel north of river, part of the Maldron chain. With leisure centre and pool. B&B double €120.
- 6 Achill House, Western Rd T12 Y009 (N22 opposite University gates), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 15:30 to 22:00, check-out: 10:30. Clean friendly small guest house, no children or dogs. Free parking. B&B double €100.
- Hotel Isaacs Cork, 48 MacCurtain St T23 F6EK, ☏ . Excellent stylish hotel, with quality beyond its price range. B&B double €120.
- 7 Rochestown Park Hotel, Rochestown Road, Douglas T12 AKC8 (5 km east of centre), ☏ . Smart midrange place at southeast edge of city. B&B double €110.
- 8 Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Ditchley House, Little Island T45 WF53 (jcn 2 of N25), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Mostly modern hotel on a retail park east of city, gets mostly good reviews for service, comfort and food. B&B double €110.
- 9 Hayfield Manor, Perrott Avenue, College Rd T12 HT97, ☏ . Charming upscale hotel hidden away in grounds behind UCC campus, great comfort and service. B&B double €230.
- 10 Kingsley Hotel, Carrigrohane Rd T12 P680 (opposite County Hall and Library), ☏ . Pleasant hotel on the riverbank, with spa, fitness club and pool. B&B double €150.
- 11 Imperial Hotel Cork, 76 South Mall T12 A2YT, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. This grand 200-year old hotel has been refurbished and earns great reviews for comfort and service. B&B double €150.
- 12 Clayton Hotel Cork City (formerly Clarion Hotel Cork City), Lapps Quay T12 RD6E, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Slick modern hotel, very central. B&B double €190.
- 13 Maryborough Hotel & Spa, Maryborough Hill, Douglas T12 XR12, ☏ . Upscale hotel in 18th C mansion at the leafy south-east edge of city, highly rated for comfort and service. With Bellini restaurant, fitness centre and spa. B&B double €150.
- 14 Fota Island Resort, Fota Island T45 HX62 (From N25 jcn 3 follow R624 south), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Plush but family-friendly hotel with 123 en-suite rooms, 8 suites, several restaurants and a spa. It's set amidst 3 golf courses and extensive wooded parklands; gets great reviews. Fota Island is a peninsula in the estuary reached by public road. B&B double €190.
Cork is mostly safe, but show usual caution around rowdy drunks.
Cork city centre has 5G coverage from all Irish carriers. As of Oct 2020 this hasn't reached all the suburbs, but they have a good mobile and 4G signal.
- Blarney 8 km northwest has the castle, gardens and of course the Blarney Stone - it's very touristy.
- Cobh, reached by local train, was the port for Cork in the age of the great ocean liners. It's an agreeable colourful place often visited by cruise ships.
- Crosshaven is a pleasant seaside town with clean beaches and clifftop walks.
- Kinsale is an attractive seaside town with water sports and the impressive Charles Fort.
- Further west beyond Clonakilty the coastline becomes rugged, with stony hills surrounding small towns such as Skibbereen and Bantry.
- Lismore in County Waterford has a fine castle, gardens and cathedral, and several mansions and gardens in the countryside around.
- Cahir in County Tipperary has a castle on a river island and the playful Swiss Cottage.
- Killarney in County Kerry has the Killarney lakes, castle and wildlife park.