Fáilte Romhat! Welcome to Cork!
Steeped in history, Cork City is fast gaining a reputation as one of Europe's hippest cities.
Like Venice, the city is built upon water, and the city centre is built on an island in the River Lee, just upstream of Cork Harbour. The two channels of the River Lee which embrace the city centre are spanned by many bridges, and this gives the city a distinctive continental air.
Exploring Cork is an enjoyable, multi-day pursuit. Ring the Shandon Bells in the 300-year-old tower of St. Anne's Church, and marvel at the French Gothic spires of St. Finbarre's Cathedral. You will discover unique shopping and dining options, including the English Market, with its stalls selling foods from all over the world, and numerous pedestrian walkways and sidewalks flanked by smart boutiques and major department stores. At every corner you'll come across another panoramic view, another interesting architectural feature and some of the best art galleries, theatres and museums in Ireland.
If cultural overload sets in, there are numerous picturesque fishing villages within easy reach that offer a welcome break to the bustle of the city. Think fishing on the Rivers Lee and Blackwater, sailing in one of the picturesque harbours or have a drop of real Irish brew - there are bars, breweries and a distillery to choose from.
Cork is renowned for its culinary flair and vibrant cultural scene. The city was the European Capital of Culture in 2005 and listed by the Lonely Planet Guide among the top ten cites for ‘Best in Travel in 2010’. A strong festival programme attracts the best of film, jazz, folk, literary and musical talent year round. You certainly won’t be short of things to do!
Cork is Ireland’s ‘second’ city and is located at the mouth of a deep harbour. With a history that dates back to the 6th century, Cork was for centuries a major international port and retains a cosmopolitan attitude, although today most visitors come though Cork airport which is a stone’s throw from the city.
Pick up a copy of Whazon, available widely across the city, for a guide to events, pubs and restaurants.
Cork Opera House (Music, Theatre, Dance, Opera) www.corkoperahouse.ie
Everyman Palace (Theatre, Music, Dance, Opera) www.everymanpalace.com
Christchurch at Triskel (Music, Literature) www.triskelartscentre.ie
The Firkin Crane (Dance, Music) www.firkincrane.ie
The Granary theatre, UCC www.granary.ie
Cork Arts and Theatre Club (The CAT club) www.corkartstheatre.com/
Other Music venues & Concert series:
Traditional Music: The Lee Sessions gives weekly updates on upcoming pub sessions.
Classical Music: Cork Orchestral Society
Classical/Trad/Jazz/World/Experimental: UCC Music Events
Classical /Jazz/Music Theatre: Concerts at CIT Cork School of Music
The Pavilion www.pavilioncork.com
Cyprus Avenue www.cyprusavenue.ie
Crane Lane Theatre www.cranelanetheatre.ie
The Roundy Bar www.theroundy.com
Cork’s main art gallery is the Crawford Gallery in the middle of town.
The Glucksman Gallery lies in the grounds of UCC and has won awards for its architecture.
The National Sculpture Factory, Cork Printmakers, Backwater Artists and the Guesthouse are all part of the established art scene. Other art projects include Basement Project Space www.basementprojectspace.wordpress.com
Ó Bhéal hosts weekly poetry events.
Munster literature Centre keeps an updated list of literary events.
Film & Cinema:
For water sports & associated clubs and organisations, click here
Golfers can find the course to suit them at www.golfireland.com/courses.asp
Hurling and (gaelic) football have a very strong history in Cork www.gaacork.ie will tell you if there’s an important match coming up.
Soccer Cork City FC is our club in the National Premier League.
Greyhound racing www.igb.ie/Cork
Horse racing www.corkracecourse.ie
Cork Public Museum is situated in Fitzgeralds Park, on the Western edge of the city.
Cork City Gaol is located 2k n/w from Patrick’s Street and this magnificent castle-like building is now a major and unique visitor attraction, this Gaol once housed 19th century prisioners.
Cork Butter Museum in Shandon tells the history of Cork through its main export and the largest butter market in the world.
A trip up the stone tower of Shandon’s Church of St Anne to ring the famous Shandon bells and admire one of the best views of the city is a must! The church dates from 1722.
Cork Vision Centre hosts a scale model of Cork, including the historic centre of the city, as well as regular art exhibitions and events.
Click here to listen to the audio archives of the Cork Folklore Project Memory Map!
Day trips & things to do
In the city: ‘Doing Pana’ is the Cork equivalent of the Italian ‘passegiata’ or the French ‘flaneur’ – simply strolling the city, window shopping, stopping for coffee or lunch. There is no set time for Doing Pana, although Sundays are probably most traditional.
In your stroll, take in the famous English Market and Cornmarket Street traditional shopping areas. More modern shoppers are well catered for in Cork too, with Brown Thomas carrying some of the world’s top designers. There are a huge range of highstreet stores around Patrick’s Street, especially in Cork’s newest shopping precinct Opera Lane.
But sometimes it’s the unique local shops that reveal the charm of a new city! Cork is a compact city, and easy to get around on foot – you can traverse the city centre in about half an hour. (Not including time spent shopping and people-watching!)
There are several Cork City Walks brochures available, full of historical sites to give you a real sense of the city’s past. Outside the city, Slí na Sláinte - Path to Health walking routes have been mapped by the Irish Heart Foundation – Cork city and county short walks (most under 5K) Outside the city there are a host of towns and villages within 30 minutes drive of the city, like Midleton, Kinsale, Ballycotton and Blarney. All are well served by Cork buses.
Cycling is a great way to see the whole city and its beautiful surrounding countryside. Rent from the Bike Shed ,or City View Wheels rents electric bikes. For city centre service on your own bike and advice visit Kilgrews Cycles.
Things to do with kids:
Lifetime Lab: education centre on water and the environment
Blackrock Castle Observatory: Cosmos at the Castle interactive centre
Fota Wildlife Park: Ireland's Wildest Attraction.
Other useful information: