Cork City


Cork (Corcaigh in Irish) is known to its inhabitants as ‘the Real Capital of Ireland’, and enjoys a healthy rivalry with Dublin. It is the largest city in the southern province of Munster and the principal metropolitan area of County Cork (or the ‘Rebel County’, Ireland’s largest). The ‘Rebel County’ nickname refers back to the Civil War as it was the last stronghold of the Irregulars fighting against the pro-Treaty Free State and the place where Michael Collins was shot (his native county). Given its location on the River Lee and its proximity to such tourist hotspots as Clonakilty and the Ring of Kerry, Cork city is increasingly used as a great HQ for people’s concentric journeys in the area. In fact, many say most of the fun to be had in Cork is to be found 20 minutes outside the city in any direction where one will beaches, woods, valleys and localities to the heart’s delight.


The Everyman Palace Theatre: The Everyman Palace in Cork is one of Ireland’s leading middle scale presenting and producing theatres. A listed building, it is a jewel of Victorian architecture has 628 seats and is a favourite of artists and audiences for its intimacy and atmosphere.

The Cork Jazz Festival: Is a hugely successful weekend event held annually in October. Sponsored by Guinness, it hosts a myriad of performing groups and musicians from World, Blues, Folk and Traditional music, as well as some top quality jazz gigs. The perfect time of year to experience Cork, if not for the music then for the atmosphere (for most visitors from within Ireland the music is of secondary appeal).

University College Cork: The principle university of Cork established in 1845, attracts non-students for its central location and well-wooded grounds and elegant buildings. Ideal for those in need of a stroll amidst the metropolis.

The Cork Opera House: A rarity in Ireland, Cork City boasts Ireland’s premium opera house. The venue houses numerous concerts and shows from a range of genres, including Traditional Irish music, musical drama, drama, comedy as well as classical and opera.

Cork Film Festival: Ireland’s number one event for cinema buffs takes place in October every year. The festival, established in 1956, implies a heavy emphasis on short film and gives special awards to local filmmakers as well as the cream of the international big budget and independent cinema.

Kino Arthouse Cinema: Many of the events from the above festival are held in this small location on Washington Street, which remains the only independent arthouse in Ireland. Rates are favourable compared to other cinemas and you can expect to find interesting English and foreign language films here you will not find elsewhere.

Shandon Bells: Immortalised in sight and song, many sentimental types come to Cork solely to ring the famous bells at St. Anne’s Shandon. Cork is famous for its architecture especially the many epic churches and cathedrals. Also recommended would be the majesty of St. Finbarre’s Cathedral (Church of Ireland) and St. Mary’s.

The Lee Valley: Just as Egypt is the Nile and the Nile Egypt, the River Lee is central to the Cork experience. From the National Forest Park where it rises at Gougane to the meeting with the Sullane at Two Mile Bridge, then on to bisect Cork city, along by St. Finbarre’s and off to the famous deep-water port at Cobh; the valley is a paradise for anglers, site-seers, canoeists and ramblers alike. Guided tours are also available.


The main shopping thoroughfare in Cork city would be the recently renovated Patrick Street. As shopping streets go, St. Patrick’s boasts striking buildings along its broad avenue and much of it is pedestrianised. Food is a big thing in Cork and there are numerous markets to help you get a taste, such as the Old English Market through the iron gates on the Grand Parade and the Coal Quay Market on Cornmarket Street. There is also the Farmers Market just outside the city in Middleton organised by the famous chef Darina Allen.

  • Café Paradiso Vegetarian Restaurant
    16 Lancaster Quay
    Tel: +353(0)21 427 7939
  • Counihans Bar
    Pembroke Street
    Tel: +353(0)21 427 7850
  • Fred Zeppelins
    8 Parliament Street
    Tel: +353(0)21 427 1883
  • The Lobby Bar
    1 Union Quay
    Tel: +353(0)21 431 1113
  • Speigeltent
    Kyrl’s Quay
    Coal Quay
    Tel: +353(0)21 427 5874
  • Ivory Tower Restaurant
    The Exchange Buildings
    Princes Street
    Tel: +353(0)21 427 4665

  • Isaac’s Hotel, Bar and Restaurant
    48 MacCurtain Street
    Tel: +353(0)21 450 0011
  • Star Anise (Mediterranean Restaurant)
    4 Bridge Street
    Tel: +353(0)21 455 1635

  • The Thirsty Scholar
    Western Road
  • Lebowskis
    Marlboro Street
    Tel: +353(0)21 272703
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