Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) is situated on the banks of the River Lee in the south of the country. With a city population of 119,230 in 2011 it is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the third largest in all of Ireland.
Cork is the anglicised version of the Irish word Corcaigh, which means marsh. The city centre was originally built on marshland and boats were able to navigate into the channels which separated the many islands. Many of the wider streets, such as St Patrick's Street, the South Mall and the Grand Parade, are actually built on former river channels. St Patrick's Street is Cork's commercial hub, and is known colloquially as either "Patrick Street" or "Pana".
The centre of the city forms an arrow-shaped island between the North and South channels of the River Lee. There are upwards of thirty bridges over the two channels. This, combined with the one-way traffic system, can make the centre a little bit confusing for first-time visitors. The River Lee flows from West to East, and outside of the centre, hills rise steeply to the Northside, while the Southside is that bit flatter but still hilly in parts. St. Anne's Church watches over Shandon, just to the North of the river. The University is about 2 km to the west of the centre.
The Train Station is about 1 km to the east of the centre. Shops are generally concentrated around St. Patrick's Street, Oliver Plunkett Street, Paul Street and North Main Street. Bars and Restaurants can be found everywhere, but especially around MacCurtain Street, Washington Street and Oliver Plunkett Street. Financial businesses are centred on the area around the South Mall and the Administrative heart of the city is on Anglesea Street.
The patron Saint of Cork, Saint Finbar (c.550-c.620) founded a monastery on the south bank of the River Lee approximately 1,400 years ago. A settlement grew up around this monastery and was added to (and ransacked) by Viking invaders during the ninth and tenth centuries. The town grew and the English Norman King Henry II, who had been requested by Pope Adrian IV (the only English Pope) to collect papal dues not paid, gave Cork city status in 1185.
Cork slowly grew during the late Middle Ages, developing into a crowded, walled city, centered around North and South Main Streets. The city enjoyed a golden age of sorts during the seventeenth century providing butter to ships which plied the North Atlantic. During this period the city expanded and many Italianate residences were built on the hills to the North in Sunday's Well and Montenotte.
After a sluggish start following independence, the city grew substantially during the latter half of the twentieth century. Currently, as a result of the Celtic Tiger phenomenon, development is having a profound effect on all aspects of the city, including its appearance, mostly for the better. From a small merchant town, Cork has grown into a cosmopolitan and vibrant city that, within the Republic of Ireland, is second only to Dublin in size and importance.
Statio Bene Fide Carinis' – "A safe Harbour for ships" is the motto of the city that is found on the coat of arms.
In recent years Cork has developed a slightly separatist mentality when compared to other parts of Ireland. This is most evident in colloquial speech (Cork Slang) and references to Ireland's capital, Dublin. This is, however, mostly tongue-in-cheek humour.
Car ferry services depart from Ringaskiddy (15 km SE of the city) to Roscoff. Ferries sail to/from Ringaskiddy through Cork Harbour (the second largest natural harbour in the world; Sydney harbour being the largest) and past Cobh - the last port of call for the Titanic. From April to October there is a weekly ferry service to Roscoff in France with Brittany Ferries . The Cork-Swansea ferry service was suspended in 2007 for lack of a suitable vessel. The Cork-Swansea ferry service was reinstated in March, 2010 by a new operator: Fastnet Line and closed again in 2012 .
Cork Airport (IATA: ORK) Cork Airport is the international gateway to the south of Ireland and Ireland's second busiest airport after Dublin Airport which is also part of the DAA Group of Irish State owned airports. Cork Airport manages an average of 7,000 passengers per day, rising to 15,000 during the peak season and up to 60 aircraft movements a day. An average of 2.4 million Passengers use Cork Airport annually, flying to over 50 destinations across Europe. The airport is located 8 km south of the city centre, connected by the N27 Kinsale Road.
- Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels, Edinburgh, Faro, Fuerteventura, Gdańsk, Geneva, Girona, Glasgow (International), Gran Canaria, Jersey, Katowice, Kraków, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Liverpool, London (Gatwick, Heathrow & Stansted), Malaga, Manchester, Milan Bergamo, Munich, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Paris, Poznań, Rennes, Tenerife, Vilnius, Warsaw, Wrocław
There is a taxi rank located outside the arrivals entrance. Taxis to the city centre cost around €20 and can carry up to 4 passengers (or up to 8 if you request a van-style taxi). Fares for longer journeys are reasonably priced and negotiable.
The train service in Ireland is operated by Irish Rail (Irish: Iarnród Éireann) which provides rail services from Cork to Dublin (16 trains per day), Cobh (22), Tralee (3 direct, 6 with one change) and Mallow. All other towns and cities are accessible through connecting trains.
Cork's main station is Kent Station, located on the Lower Glanmire Road, a 10-minute walk east of St Patrick's Street.
Trains in Ireland can be expensive by comparison with other modes of transport. For example, a single (one-way) adult ticket from Dublin to Cork typically costs €36 if booked online , though a certain number of services offer a €20 or €10 single fare if booked online. Be aware that adult single tickets bought at the station cost €66 , almost the same price as a return journey. By booking online on the Dublin train you will be automatically allocated a reserved seat; you can also select which seat you would like manually. The journey takes approximately 2.5 hours.
The Irish Rail network is undergoing a significant upgrading in terms of both infrastructure and rolling stock.
Four routes operate from Kent Station, Cork:
- Intercity route to Dublin Heuston, serving: Mallow, Charleville, Limerick Junction, Thurles, Templemore, Ballybrophy, Portlaoise, Portarlington, Kildare, Dublin Heuston.
- Intercity route to Tralee, serving: Mallow, Banteer, Millstreet, Rathmore, Killarney, Farranfore, Tralee
- Commuter route to Cobh and Midleton, serving: Little Island, Glounthaune, Fota, Carrigaloe, Rushbrooke, Cobh; with a recently opened spur line serving Carrigtohill and Midleton.
- Commuter route to Mallow, serving: Mallow.
The main nationwide bus carrier in Ireland is Bus Éireann who run services from Dublin to Cork every two hours, on even hours from 08:00 until 18:00. Similar express direct bus services exist to Waterford (hourly), Killarney, Limerick, Skibbereen, Shannon Airport and Galway (hourly).
Aircoach also run services to and from Dublin on the hour every hour non-stop. They depart from the city centre. The bus goes to Dublin Airport. It's 3 hours to Dublin city centre and 3 hours 30 mins to Dublin Airport. Very cheap at around €10 single to Dublin City. The buses have toilets and wi fi. A connecting bus goes to Dublin Airport.
Gobus operates from Cork Bus Station at half past the hour every 2 hours (06:30, 08:30 etc.). They stop in Busaras in Dublin City Centre, close to Connolly Train Station. Again very reasonably priced €12 single and very comfortable buses with toilets and wi fi and it's non stop. Very good value compared to a train.
The main inter-city road network in Ireland has received a lot of investment in recent years, though sections of poor road still exist, even on the road between the largest cities.
The M7 and M8 motorways which connect Cork to Dublin is mostly motorway with 2 lanes in each direction. Approximate journey time is 2 hours 30 minutes in good conditions. There are 2 tolled sections of this road - Fermoy and Portlaoise - with the toll being €1.90 at each toll booth. The immediate outskirts of Cork and Dublin can be quite congested at rush hour like most major urban centres. Best to avoid at those times if you can as a tourist.
The N20 to Limerick is mostly single carriageway with one lane in each direction; there are short sections of dual-carriageway (2 lanes in each direction) around Cork and Limerick. Approximate journey time is 1 hour 45 minutes.
Cork to Killarney takes about 1 hour and Cork to Waterford is in about 1 hour 30 minutes.
The main arteries into Cork are mostly wide and in good condition, but outside of these the streets can be very narrow and steep; drivers who are unfamiliar with this style of close-knit street layout may find these conditions extremely challenging. There are many one way streets so best to use the Park and Ride facility at Black Ash (on the south side of the city and well signposted). It costs €5 to park there all day and that includes a shuttle bus to the city centre for all the car's occupants. Stress free all the way.
Car rental services in Cork mainly operate out of Cork Airport. The close proximity of Cork Airport to Cork City means that this is not as inconvenient as it might appear, particularly when the excellent bus and taxi services are included.
Cork has a small city centre. A visitor will most likely be staying, eating, drinking and touring in the city centre. Taxis are plentiful and even on busy weekend nights you shouldn't wait long for a cab. There is a bus service to the residential suburbs. Most buses leave from the main street, Patrick's Street or the nearby bus station at Parnell Place.
A guided bus tour departs from near the junction of Grand Parade and South Mall at regular intervals and provides an interesting tour of the main highlights of Cork for those who do not have a lot of time on their hands.
Cork City, though small, is a nodal point for shopping in much of Munster. The City has several large department stores and many smaller interesting shops.
Bus Éireann operate a bus service around Cork City with many of the buses stopping on Patrick's street in the city centre. Some bus stops (including nearly all in the city centre) are equipped with real time information displays showing the next 3-4 buses due and their estimated time of arrival. All Bus Éireann buses are wheelchair accessible.
There are numerous Taxi ranks located throughout cork city. Fares are calculated on a meter and all taxis are the same price. Fares are also negotiable for longer out of town trips. Most drivers also offer fixed priced guided tours. (See taxi regulator: )
Taxis appear as normal cars except with a yellow bar above it with their license number and 'TAXI' or the Irish equivalent 'TACSAÍ' written on it. If the light is on, the taxi is available for hire, but some taxi drivers forget to turn on and off their light, so check to see if anyone's in the cab.
- Cork Vision Centre, North Main St. This is in a former church in North Main Street. It has a large scale model of the city and plentiful free tourist info which should help your understanding. Free.
- Elizabeth Fort. Offers a good view over the city. However, it is not easily seen from the city. From Southgate Bridge, go up Barrack Street and turn right. The Elizabeth Fort Market Festival takes place on Sundays inside the historic fort walls and features Irish-made crafts, gourmet food, and entertainment. There is a police station within the fort.
- St Finbarr's Cathedral. This is just a few minutes away from the Elizabeth fort and much easier to find. A fine 19th century Gothic Revival building. Visible from the back is a golden angel high upon a tower.
- Shandon Church. The tower and bells are symbols of the city, and overlook it from the north. Visitors are allowed to ring the bells. This church is situated in a conservation area.
- Lewis Gluckman Gallery. This piece of modern architecture is situated within the grounds of University College Cork. Within is state of the art technology to protect and display major exhibitions of international art, along with facilities for workshops, film screenings, lectures and art classes. A café is situated on the ground floor.
- Cork City Gaol, Convent Avenue, Sunday’s Well, ☎ +353 21 430-5022, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mar-Oct 09:30-17:00, Nov - Feb 10:00-16:00. Slightly outside the city centre, this attraction is very much worth the visit. It can be reached by using the city sightseeing bus, by taxi or by a 30 minute walk. There is a small admission fee, but is worth every penny. The Gaol also provides fine views of the west of the city, including the University. €8/person for adults, €4.50 for a child.
- Cork Historic Walking Tours. Offer the visitor the opportunity to understand the City's history, from its foundation by St. Finbarre right up to the 20th Century. The tour brings the visitor to the site of the ancient monastery of Cork, through the areas of Viking settlement, the medieval streets of the Norman walled city and along the waterways of the expanding 18th and 19th century city. The tour explains the history of the city in an informative and relaxed way.
- University College Cork (UCC), Western Rd. Take a stroll through the College which is open to the public and take in the variety of architecture here, from the newly constructed extension of the Boole Library to the newly repointed limestone Honan Chapel which is popular for graduate weddings. Free.
- Páirc Ui Chaoimh, Ballintemple. This 50,000 capacity stadium is the home of Cork GAA. It is open on matchdays and Monday and Wednesday for tours.
- The Lough park, Lough Rd. Open 24 hours. Situated 1km south-west of Cork city centre and is one of Cork's most fascinating amenities. It is a small freshwater limestone lake in a shallow depression. The Lough receives its water from springs and from water percolating from the ridge to the north on which stands the Lough parish church. It teems with wildlife and the central island provides a safe haven for the numerous types of wildfowl stocked in the Lough. The Lough delights a wide range of people of all ages who engage in such activities as jogging, walking, reading and nature study. There are also a restaurant and bar at the SW end, both with good views of the Lough. The Lough was declared a Public Wildlife Refuge in 1881 and is one of Ireland's oldest protected areas. Free.
- Fitzgeralds Park. Running beside the river Lee, the tranquil setting of Fitzgeralds park is a place for locals and visitors to relax in quiet natural surroundings with Cork history museum located in the park. Its a must see for nature lovers.
- CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Blackrock, ☎ +353 21 432-6120, e-mail: email@example.com. 10:00-17:00. Last admission is 16:00. A 16th-century castle located approx. 2 km from the centre of the city. Adults: €6.50.
Cork has a thriving cultural scene that was acknowledged internationally when it was named the European Capital of Culture for 2005. Several festivals are held annually in the city giving the visitor an opportunity to experience a wide range of music, theatre and film.
- Midsummer Festival. A month long festival featuring theatre, music, art, poetry and much more, throughout the city. Mid June - Mid July.
- Film Festival. Established more than 50 years ago, the festival features an impressive selection of Irish and international films. Beginning of November.
- Jazz Festival. One of the largest jazz festivals in Europe that consistently attracts top acts from around the world. Last weekend in October.
- the Avant Festival. A festival of the Contemporary Arts (including experimental writing) in Cork. Usually over about ten days in mid-July.
- Elizabeth Fort Market Festival, Barrack St. Celebrating Cork Heritage at the Elizabeth Fort every Sunday, featuring Irish-made crafts, gourmet food, and entertainment all day long.
- Watch a Gaelic Game. During the Munster Championship in the summer, a number of games are played in Páirc Uí Caoimh, while smaller games are played all throughout the year. See the GAA for more information.
- League of Ireland Football. Watch a Cork City F.C. soccer match during the FAI League of Ireland season from March to November. Turner's Cross Stadium is located 1.5 km south of the city centre. Home matches take place on Friday nights at 19:45. Tickets cost: €10 (Adult), €5 (U-16′s/OAPs).
- Sail Cork, East Ferry Marina (3 mi east of Cobh), ☎ +353 21 481-1237. Teaches dinghy and cruiser sailing, powerboating and navigation. Courses are run all year round and are available for juniors and adults.
- Rugby: Musgrave Park. The auxiliary stadium for the 2 Times European Champions Munster. Munster are currently considered to be one of the best teams in European Rugby. Munster play some of their non-Heineken Cup Fixtures here.
Cork City Pub Crawl
If you're in Cork City on a Friday night and you want to go out and enjoy the city's pub culture then a great way to do it is by going on the Cork City Pub Crawl. It's a pub crawl/tour/party organised by local energetic youths, with the aim of creating a buzz or a bit of craic among the tourists and locals of Cork City. They run it every Friday, starting at 20:00 outside the GPO on Oliver Plunkett St. and take the group to 4 pubs and a club in Cork. There's a €10 charge but that saves you money because it includes at least one shot of jaegermeister, one shot of whiskey/tequila, two shots of apple sourz and entry into the club. The group is a fun blend of locals and backpackers, all up for the craic.
- Uncle Pete's Pizzeria, 31 Pope's Quay, ☎ +353 21 455-5888. 24/7. A pizza delivery place in Cork City, which places an emphasis on gourmet pizzas.
- Captain Americas Cookhouse and Bar, 4-5 South Main St. A very popular restaurant with young, friendly and fun staff. Take a walk around the restaurant and look at the collection of music and celeb memorabilia.
- Bana Thai, 15 Maylor St (Behind Brown Thomas), ☎ +353 21 425-1571, fax: +353 21 425-1583. Mediocre Thai food, really relaxed atmosphere.
- Liberty Grill, Washington St. This American-style cafe offers excellent food, especially their burgers.
- Nash 19, 19 Princes St (Off Oliver Plunkett St).
- The English Market, Grand Parade, South Mall (enter via Grand Parade or Princes St). 09:00-17:30. This is an old covered market in the centre of the city with an abundance of excellent food to suit all tastes and a pleasant cafe, often with live piano music. It also includes an excellent cafe: "The Farmgate". Free.
- The Bodega, Coal Quay. This is actually a cafe/bar set in a very large old industrial space. Very beautifully refurbished. As a place for a drink in the evening it has become less appealing over the years. However they do a very nice brunch menu on a Saturdays and Sundays. Priced from €8-12. Also very nice lunch menu. The crowd is a very diverse mix of young people, professionals and families.
- Café Paradiso, 16 Lancaster Quay, ☎ +353 21 427-7939, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Fantastic vegetarian restaurant, one that even the most hardened meat eaters flock to. At the upper end of the budget but worth it for the gourmet vegetarian delights. The Bridgestone Vegetarian Guide says "…I now firmly believe that Cork's Café Paradiso is the only vegetarian restaurant – maybe in the whole of Europe – where the actual enjoyment of the food is paramount."
- Scoozis, 2-5 Winthrop Lane (Off Winthrop St), ☎ +353 21 427-5077, e-mail: email@example.com. One of the most popular restaurants in Cork, always busy for lunch and dinner. Booking is advisable, but people also often just turn up and queue. Staff are young and friendly, menu is varied, cheap and full of very tasty food. Perfect for big parties, small groups of friends and even a romantic meal for two.
- Clanceys. A traditional Irish pub restaurant, that offers average food with an Irish atmosphere.
- The Ivory Tower, Oliver Plunkett St. This restaurant is a Cork institution. Very eclectic and eccentric food. Cheap it is not, but prices have come down slightly in the last year. An 8-course Traditional Irish Food Tasting Menu is €45. An intimate and unusual small room with very friendly staff and award winning food. The famous dish from here is Swordfish with banana ketchup. For the less adventurous there is a good selection of high quality quite game-y food. A great wine list.
- Fenns Quay, No. 5 Fenns Quay (Parallel to Washington St.). Quite a modern looking restaurant, a step down price wise from the ivory tower. Contemporary continental cuisine with an excellent wine list in a nicely renovated old house. Expect to pay about €35-€40 a head.
- Luigi Malones, Emmet Place (Across form Cork Opera House), ☎ +353 21 427-8877. Famous for the teenagers usually snogging out front.
- Jacobs on the Mall, South Mall. Incredibly delicious gourmet food. Expensive but worth it, it's easily one of Cork's finest restaurants.
- Quay CoOp, 24 Sullivans Quay (Just over the river across the footbridge from the Grand Parade), ☎ +353 21 431-7026. 09:00-21:00. The Quay Co-op Restaurant is renowned by diners in Cork and beyond for the quality and variety of its menu and the ambiance of its brightly decorated dining rooms. The restaurant is vegetarian and also provides an extensive range of vegan, yeast-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes from around the world. €10.
- Elizabeth Fort Market Festival, Elizabeth Fort, Barrack St, ☎ +353 86 066-7030. 23:00. The Elizabeth Fort Market features gourmet food on Sundays including French crepes, halal BBQ, sushi, vegetarian cuisine, cupcakes, coffees, refreshments and more. Free.
- Ruen Thai, 71 Patrick's St (Above Boots). Very good Thai Restaurant, plenty of seating inside. Relaxed atmosphere. Prices mid-range.
- Ambassador Chinese Restaurant, 3 Cooks St (Next to Specsavers). Chinese food "par excellence". If you are only used to cheap takeaways then you are in for a pleasant surprise. Traditional Western Chinese food but done very well. Try the aromatic duck. Prices are moderate to high.
- Panda Mama Restaurant, 14 Parnell Place (Between the Bus Station and city hall), ☎ +353 21 427-4779, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The place is worth visiting for the decor alone; traditional Chinese wood and marble. Menu shows innovation for a Chinese restaurant outside Dublin. Food is good. Prices are Moderate.
- Market Lane, 5 Oliver Plunkett St. This bustling two-storey restaurant and bar near the English Market is a friendly and welcoming place with a lively atmosphere. Where possible they source locally produced foods and artisan products at a reasonable price.
- The Idaho Cafe, Corner of Maylor St and Margaret St. 12:00-16:00. An excellent restaurant with locally sourced food. Traditional Irish dishes; everything on the menu is top notch. It is a tiny cafe, but the wait is never long and it's well worth it. All of the main courses are gluten-free, as well. €8-€12.
Barrack Street is known in Cork for its amount and variety of bars. The Barrack St. Challenge challenge is to drink one pint in each bar starting in Nancy Spain's and still be able to walk by the time you reach the Brewery. Cork is also well known for its live music scene.
- An Bróg, 72-73 Oliver Plunkett St, ☎ +353 21 427-0074, e-mail: email@example.com. Diverse patrons and music make this a favourite among all groups. A late bar open until 02:00. Expect to queue during the student year.
- An Spailpín Fánach, South Main St (across the road from the Brewery). Irish for 'the migrant labourer' has traditional Irish music most nights, is a traditional Irish pub and has a great atmosphere after 21:00.
- The Bierhaus, Popes Quay (At Shandon footbridge), ☎ +353 21 455-1648. Claims the best selection of beers in Cork, with over 50 on offer and new beers on tap monthly.
- Costigans, Washington St. Great atmosphere at weekends. Always a good place to start when doing a pub crawl of the lively Washington St.
- Franciscan Well (On the riverside north of the Gate Cinema). Has a large beer garden. Brews its own range of beers and has a fine section of foreign bottled beers. This pub organises beer festivals twice yearly.
- FreakScene. Gorbys / G2 Oliver Plunkett Street. Great Student night every Wednesday. Upstairs has alternative and indie, downstairs disco and soul and is the gay section of freakscene. Running for 12 years, it has outlasted all competitors in a fickle Cork scene. Casual Dress, in fact wear whatever you want.
- An Realt Dearg (Next to Elizabeth Fort & the Elizabeth Fort Sunday Market). The oldest pub in Cork. It was established in 1698 and the Dukes of Wellington and Marlborough were among its patrons. It is possibly the oldest pub in Ireland. That title is being claimed by a few pubs in the country. The Brazen Head in Dublin was a pub before The Gateway, but didn't hold a continuous license. An Realt Dearg used to be called The Gateway.
- The hi-b, Oliver Plunkett St. (Off Grand Parade). This pub is owned by the grumpiest man in Cork. It is a tiny room up old creaking stairs. It has a nice mixture of old guys and a young crowd very friendly and welcoming to newcomers despite its intimidating aesthetic. On a Wednesday evening an ole fella plays jazz piano and takes requests. This place is not for everyone, but if you like the kind of intimate place where a stranger sits to tell you his life story then the hi b is great. Be warned, the owner does not tolerate mobile phones in his bar (among numerous other things). Like a stranger sat at my table once told me "you are no-one in Cork until you have been kicked out the hi-b"
- Loafers, 26 Douglas St. A cosy pub just south of the city centre, Loafers is Ireland’s oldest gay venue. Its laidback, friendly atmosphere attracts a diverse clientele, and it’s generally more popular with women than the other gay venues.
- Long Valley, Winthrop St. Busy pub with constant turnover of clientele. Sandwiches are not to be missed! Classical and jazz music in the background. A bit expensive, but not overly so given its city center location.
- MvM - Movies vs Music, Everyman Palace, McCurtain St. 23:45–02:30. This is the place to be on a Saturday night. Playing all the hits from 60s,70s,80s,90s and modern day. They also have a comfy couch cinema showing the best in cult movie titles, such as 'Batman the TV movie', 'Whitnail and I', 'Planet of the Apes', to mention but a few. If that's not enough they have PlayStation, connect 4, draughts and electro buzz in their games room or chill out with a lovely cocktail! The latest club in Cork. Check it out, you'll love it!
- Mutton Lane Inn, Mutton Lane. (Off Patricks St., first turn after Burger King). This is owned by the same people that run Sin é and it shows. Dark and very comfortable with candle lit tables and trad sessions every Monday night. Get in early this place gets packed. Nice selection of beers both foreign and local.
- Savoy Theatre, St Patrick's St. Home to "Bang" student night on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the college year, "Goldsounds" on Friday Nights and Rapture every Saturday Night Savoy is a must for under 20s visiting and at €10 for entry its very reasonable. Opens at 23:00.
- Sin É, Coburg St. Dark, small and welcoming. Good for traditional music. One of Cork's more atmospheric pubs.
- Tom Barry's. Another traditional Irish bar, on Barrack St.
- The Oval Bar, South Main St (Behind the Peace Park). Best Music policy in Cork, if you perfer alternative, electronica or a little bit of rock. Pints are great too. Punters are relaxed. For genuine drinkers only.
- Boardwalk Bar & Grill, Lapps Quay (Across from the City Hall), ☎ +353 21 427-9990. M-Fr 17:00-19:00, Sa 17:00-18:00. A 750 square metre Bar and Grill with rich wood and leather panelling tinged with traditional Liscannor stone.
- The Long Island Bar, 11 Washington St, ☎ +353 21 427-3252. An award winning cocktail bar in the heart of the city. They have an extensive menu with loads of variety so there is something to suit everyone. The staff are friendly and helpful and the drinks look and taste great. The resident dj's have the place rocking at night and the atmosphere is the best in the city.
- Bar Pigalle, Barrack St (Opposite The Offie off licence). "Ze" ultimate French style cafe-bar experience in Cork. Friendliest French staff ever, great selections of French wines and Belgium/German beers, and best of all: ingenious yummy cocktails for €7.90!
- Thomond Bar, 2, Marlboro St (Between Patricks St and Oliver Plunkett St), ☎ +353 21 427-9747. One of Cork's premier rugby and sports pubs, offering food Monday to Saturday 12 until late and a guaranteed great atmosphere to watch any major sporting event.
There are a handful of hostels in the city:
- The Bru Hostel, 57 MacCurtain St, ☎ +353 21 455-9667, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A hostel with an attached bar. Live music and a lively pub most nights. Prices start at €12 and include breakfast, wi-fi internet, bike and luggage storage.
- Kinlay House, ☎ +353 21 450-8966. An environmentally friendly hostel in the north side of the town. Free wi-fi, luggage storage, and secure bicycle lock up. Rates start at €13. A free breakfast is included in the rates.
- Sheila's Budget Accommodation Centre, 4 Belgrave Place, ☎ +353 21 450-5562. Wellington Road. Rooms start from €13, and includes free wi fi internet.
- Corks International Youth Hostel, ☎ +353 21 454-3289. 1 & 2 Redclyffe, Western Road. Member of the Hostelling International chain - discounts for members. Rooms start at €15.
- Travelodge Hotel Cork Airport (1 mile from Cork Airport and a 5 minutes drive to Cork City), Kinsale Road Roundabout, Frankfield Rd, ☎ +353 21 431-0722, fax: +353 21 431-0723, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. from €35.
- Blarney Camping Ground, Blarney. Around 10 minutes from Cork by car, and is a godsend when all the hostels are booked out for the night. Prices start at around €10 per night for a large family tent site, complete with shower, laundry, kitchen and TV room.
- Jury's Inn, ☎ +353 21 494-3000. 3 star hotel. Rooms from about €90. On Andersen Quay, close to the bus station. Each of the 133 rooms is equipped with high speed internet and satellite TV. There is also a bar and restaurant on site. Please do not mistaken this hotel for the more lavish and superior Jury's Cork Hotel of The Doyle Collection .
- Metropole Hotel, ☎ +353 21 464-3700. This is also part of a group, Gresham Hotels. Rooms from about €110. This hotel is on MacCurtain Street, on the north side of the city centre. The hotel is comprised of 112 rooms, each equipped with complimentary wi fi internet access, room service, and laundry service.
- Imperial Hotel Cork, South Mall, ☎ +353 21 427-4040, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This hotel, on South Mall right in the city centre, can have decent weekend deals, but is edging towards the more expensive end. Each room includes room service and nightly turndown service.
- Silver Springs Morans Hotel, ☎ +353 21 450-7533. Moran Cork Hotel. This is also part of a group, Morans Hotels. Rooms start from around €99. The Hotel is located about five minutes from Cork City Centre and seven miles from Cork International Airport. The hotel has a leisure centre and large conferencing and banquet facilities.
- Maldron Hotel, John Redmond St, ☎ +353 21 452-9200. Close to the city centre and the bus station, this hotel is part of the Maldron chain of hotels. Double rooms start from around €98.
- Hayfield Manor, Perrott Avenue, College Rd, ☎ +353 21 484-5900. Family-owned boutique hotel. Winner of the Conde Nast Traveler 2012 Reader's Choice Awards. Hidden away at the top of a cul-de-sac on Perrot Avenue, off College Road.
- The Kingsley Hotel, Victoria Cross (Across from Cork County Hall), ☎ +353 21 480-0500. 4-star hotel on the banks of the River Lee. The hotel features an organic spa with a modern health club and an indoor pool.
- Radisson Blu Hotel Cork Airport, Cork Airport, ☎ +353 21 494-7500. Close to the Cork Airport, and 10 minutes' drive from the city centre.
- The Clarion Hotel, Lapps Quay, ☎ +353 21 422-4900, e-mail: email@example.com. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, power showers, and Egyptian cotton sheets.
- The Maryborough Hotel & Spa, Maryborough Hill, Douglas, ☎ +353 21 436-5555.
- Fota Island Resort, Fota Island Resort, Fota Island (Located on a private island, 15 minutes from Cork City), ☎ +353 21 488 3700, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Set on a 780-acre private island, amidst 3 championship golf courses and splendid woodlands. This five-star hotel boasts 123 en-suite rooms and 8 private suites, as well as a selection of restaurants and a spa.
Cork is a safer city than Dublin. During the night caution should be taken, as in any situation involving large numbers of people and alcohol. Late night fighting and anti-social behaviour are more common in Ireland and Britain than in elsewhere in Western Europe and Asia. However, as in any city the vast majority of people are out simply to enjoy themselves.
Sensible and vigilant behaviour when out late at night should mean that any trouble is avoided. If your safety feels compromised, approach any of the many police or doormen in the city centre, who will be happy to provide assistance. There is virtually no guncrime in Cork, even the general police don't carry guns, so there is no need to worry about firearm violence.
- Blarney Castle, Blarney. This is a famous and picturesque castle nestled within the comfortable settings of Blarney village. Known for its beautiful gardens and historic value, this sight attracts visitors throughout the year. Prices of admission vary but generally remain under €10, with discounts available for students. Grounds close at 5PM daily (excluding winter).
- Barryscourt Castle. On the way to Cobh, just before Fota. Historic restored Norman Castle and seat of the famous Barry Family. Guided tours available. There is a nice cafe adjacent and a heritage orchard with an example of every type of Irish Apple Tree.
- Cobh. This was the port for Cork in the age of the great ocean liners, and still sees the occasional cruise ship. It can be reached by a suburban train (timetable here). Cobh also boasts an interesting heritage centre.
- Fota Wildlife Park and Arboretum. Set on an island in Cork harbour and reached by road or the Cobh suburban train.
- Midleton. Home of the Jameson Distillery and Midleton Farmer's Market. One of the most famous farmer’s markets in Ireland: Saturdays only: 9:00-13:00.
- Cape Clear. Island off county Cork, officially designated Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking area.
- West Cork. Beautiful rolling hills and green countryside, the Ireland from the postcards. Many picturesque towns to stop and eat or sleep, like Clonakilty, Skibbereen and Bandon.
- Crosshaven. A pleasant seaside town 20 km South at the Mouth of Cork Harbour. Many clean beaches and Cliffside Walks.
- Kinsale. Pretty historic seaside town 30 minutes South of Cork by car. Famous for its food festival and restaurants especially seafood. Good pubs too. There is also an excellent range of watersports to avail of in the harbour or on the many nearby beaches, and the famous Old Head golf links is close-by. Charles Fort is an excellent example of 17th Century Star shaped fort: guided tours available. See also James Fort, Desmond Castle and the excellent walking tours of the town.
- Killarney, Co. Kerry. Home of the Killarney Lakes, Killarney Castle and Killarney Wildlife Park, another great spot to enjoy the countryside and small-town life in Ireland.