Cork, Ireland: Travel/Tourist Information Guide

Top things to do          Nightlife, Bars and Clubs           Accommodation           Tours and Excursions          Getting around / Transport

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There are several free and fun activities to partake in while visiting Cork, Ireland.

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Millstreet Country Park is comprised of 500 acres that include gardens, lakes, woodlands, walkways, historical and archaeological site, and more. There's also plenty of wildlife that include badgers, otters, deer, foxes, squirrels, and several bird species. The park is located in the southwest of Ireland and children under 16 are allowed free entrance. Free car and coach parking is available on site.

Fitzgerald Park is located only minutes from the center of Cork City. The grounds covers an area of about 18 acres and is home to the bank of the river Lee and Cork Public Museum.

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Cork Public Museum is located in Fitzgerald Park. It was built as a two-story Georgian house in 1845. The museum boasts several collections about the history of Cork. The most comprehensive exhibit is the archaeological collection. It showcases unique finds in the region. Artifacts from ancient Egypt and Rome are also included in the museum's collection. There is no entrance fee to visit Cork Public Museum.

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Barryscourt Castle was built in the 16th century. It was the residence of the Barry family. An exhibition titled Arts in Ireland is housed on the grounds of the Castle. Visitors are afforded a glimpse into the daily life of the family that resided in the Castle.

Crawford Art Gallery showcases the artistry of Cork. The gallery is located next to the Opera House in the center of town. It plays a vital role in the city's tourist sector and welcomes over 200,000 visitors each year. Over 2,000 items are part of the gallery's permanent collection. They include paintings, sculptures, and videos. Irish art from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is the focal point of the gallery. Admission to all exhibits in the gallery is free of charge.

Cork City Walking Tours recount Cork's 800 year history. Three guides, Jack, Michael, and Vera, takes visitors to The English Market, Coal Quay, French Quarter, Opera House, St. Finbarrs Cathedral, and several other historical points. Tours are capped at 15 people.

 

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Cork's nightlife is vibrant but not overbearing. The city is easy to navigate. It's only a short walk (or jig) to your favorite pub, theater, film, or club.

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Firkin Crane Dance Centre is home to a wide range of professional dance styles. International folk styles, jazz, tap, and experimental movements have been presented at the center. Classes, workshops, and recitals are also offered. An interactive display also celebrates contemporary dance.

 

Cork Arts Theatre (the CAT Club) is a hub for professional and amateur artists. Supporters and admirers are also present. Established in 1976, this venue has also developed drama festivals and several programs promoting community theater.

 

The Bodega is Cork's famed pub. It is a drinking-hole that boasts four bars within St. Peter's Market. Bodega is also home to to an eclectic nightclub and restaurant that serves traditional Irish food.

 

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SoHo Bar is a sporting-bar replete with large, flat-screen televisions. Even the bathrooms have plasma screens. The bar is divided into four different levels. They all cater to the mood of the client. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served on the premises. Cocktails swirl on the rooftop terrace. And SoHo Bar wouldn't be complete without its dance floors and DJs.

 

Founded in 1842, the Long Valley Bar is a classic Irish pub for the discerning drinker. This pub remained unscathed when British constables from the Black and Tans incinerated large swaths of Cork. They couldn't find it in their hearts to destroy the pub, such was its good reputation among British soldiers. This bar serves a host of traditional Irish beers to the tune of traditional Irish music. It continues to be a family-operated establishment and is frequented by many locals and visitors.

The Bowery lights up Cork's night life. It's a favorite for locals who like to hit the dance floor. A rooftop terrace offers a break from the music. The Bowery serves classic cocktails as well as other alcoholic beverages.

 

The Oliver Plunkett plays live music throughout the week and weekend. It has an eclectic mix that includes soul, blues, rock, jazz, and more. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is served on the premises. Old photos and wacky details about Cork are on the walls and ceilings. John F. Kennedy can be seen on his visit to Cork in the 1960s.

 

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A wide variety of hotels, inns, and B and Bs are available in Cork.

 

The River Lee Hotel sits on the banks of the River Lee. This hotel is only an 8 minute walk from Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral and a 14 minute stroll to the Cork opera House. it has received positive reviews for its modern, clean rooms, full Irish breakfast, professional staff, and prime location.

 

Maryborough Hotel and Spa is an upscale accommodation. The hotel is located 10 minutes from Cork Airport by vehicle. It has 93 rooms. Many have verandas and balconies.

 

Cork International Youth Hostel is one of the cheapest accommodations in Cork. It is located in a Victorian house. Operated by Billy and Brid Noonan, this hostel boasts a total of 96 beds. It is noted for its friendly staff, proximity to University College Cork, pubs, and museums.

Cork International Youth Hostel is spacious Victorian house offering all ensuite room.Billy and Bríd Noonan, joint managers of the 96 bedded hostel, make every effort to ensure your visit to their home city is one to remember. Staff are always at hand willing to help book activities and help with any queries you may have, whether you're an individual traveller or student, group tour or family, Cork has something for everyone. The hostel is part of the HI international chain and is also close to many attractions such as Cork city Gaol and the Blarney stone.

 

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Creedon's Bed and Breakfast is touted as Cork's most central B and B. It's located across the street from the bus station and only a ten minute walk to the main train station. This accommodation is surrounded by renowned pubs, restaurants, theaters, markets, and much more.  A traditional Irish breakfast is served each morning.

 

Cheap hostels and B and B's that are located in the center of Cork include the Brú Bar and Hostel, Sheila's Hostel, and Auburn B and B, Hotel Isaacs Cork, and Windsor Inn Cork. All accommodations are nearby the river Lee. Other B and B's include:

Fernroyd House B and B

Butter Market House Bed and Breakfast

Dunderg B and B

Glencairn Bed and Breakfast

Kent House B and B

Park View B and B

The Beeches B and B

Brookside House B and B

Anam Cara B and B

Gabriel house B and B

Action lodge Bed and Breakfast

Sunount B and B

Briarville B and B

Other hotels in and around the center of Cork include:

Imperial Hotel

Clarion Hotel Cork

The Kingsley

Metropole Hotel

The Montenotte Hotel

Fitzgerald's Vienna Woods Hotel

Ambassador hotel and Health Club Cork

Cork Airport Hotel

Maldron Hotel Cork

 

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A good way to see Cork City is riding the Hop On, Hop Off Tour. This double-decker bus makes 16 stops at renowned sites throughout the city. Visits include the Cork City Gaol, St. Finbarrs Cathedral, the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, the English Market, the City Library, Triskel Art Centre, St. Annes Church, City Library, Fitzgerald Park, and more. The first tour starts at 9:30 in the morning at the City Library and the last tour bus leaves City Library at 5:00 in the evening. Adults pay 14 euros while senior citizens and students pay 12 euros. Kids under 14 pay 5 euros and children under 5 ride for free.

 

 thumb ireland cork paddywagon day tours

Established in 1998, Paddywagon Tours provides a fresh take on sightseeing in Cork. It combines choice with quality and value. They offer day tours, multi-day tours, private tours, and shore excursions for cruise passengers. Sights visited include Giant's Causeway, Cliffs of Moher, Wicklow Mountains, Belfast City, Blarney Castle, and more.

 

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Fitzgerald Park is renowned for its tranquil atmosphere. The Cork Museum, Riverview Café, sculptures, and a waterlily-bedecked pond are all located within the greenery of this park. This open space of nature is wonderful for family visits and strolls while in Cork City.

 

Other parks in Cork include include Musgrave Park and Kennedy Park.