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Cork Holiday Guide

Cork is officially Ireland's second city, but it is affectionately known by locals as the 'real capital of Ireland'. It is a city made for discovering on foot, thanks to the River Lee which flows around its centre, creating a compact island that is jam-packed with grand Georgian streets, intersected by medieval alleys and modern architectural triumphs such as the opera house.

Exploring Cork on foot will open out to you interesting waterways, lively traditional bars, modern art centres, historical buildings, fascinating independent shops and some of the best restaurants that Ireland has to offer.

Shopping in Cork

Cork is a shopper’s delight, not least because it still has a number of thriving independent traders that help set its shopping district apart from the interchangeable chains that dominate many other cities. Taking a stroll through the winding alleys around Grand Parade and Patrick Street you will discover many quirky independent retailers offering vintage clothes, handmade crafts and bespoke jewellery. When the shopping becomes too much there are also plenty of atmospheric cafes to relax and discuss your purchases in.

Restaurants in Cork

Cork has the best foodie scene in the country and lovers of fine foods are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out. It’s not just in restaurants, however, where Cork’s love of gastronomy comes to life: a trip to the English Market on Princes Street is enough to work up a hearty appetite in itself, with beautifully presented local produce (cheeses, ham, salmon, buttered eggs, sausages and artisanal breads) mingling with quality imports like olives and wines.

Views of Cork

Some of the finest views of Cork can be enjoyed from two historic buildings: Elizabeth Fort and Cork City Gaol. On Sundays the Elizabeth Fort Market Festival will reward you with more than stunning views: Irish crafts, gourmet food and entertainment are also hosted within its historic walls. The views of the west of the city, including Cork’s university, from the old Gaol make it well worth the bus or taxi ride out to it.

Sport in Cork

Páirc Uí Chaoimh is a 50,000 capacity stadium in Ballintemple. It is the home of the Cork Gaelic Athletic Association, so you can always catch live football here on match days or enjoy a tour of the grounds every Monday and Wednesday.

Nature in Cork

With the tranquil River Lea never far away Cork provides many chances to get away from it all, whilst never being too far away from the amenities of the city. Fitzgerald Park offers tranquillity and natural beauty in the heart of Cork, whilst Lough Park is set around a freshwater limestone lake teeming with wildlife just one kilometre south-west of the city centre. 

Enjoy Cork

With a warm welcome on every corner, modern art galleries, cosy pubs, great restaurants, historic buildings, regular festivals and shops with a difference, Cork has certainly claimed its place as the ‘real capital of Ireland’ in the hearts of its many visitors.


Guide to Exploring Cork


Top Hotel Deals

See all 233 properties in Cork
The Kingsley €98
The Kingsley

The Kingsley

Victoria Cross, Cork
     
    4.6
    of 5, from 1,218 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Situated in Cork, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cork County Hall and University College Cork. Cork University Hospital is 1 mi (1.6 km) away.

    Clayton Hotel Cork City €101
    Clayton Hotel Cork City

    Clayton Hotel Cork City

    Lapps Quay, Cork
       
      4.4
      of 5, from 1,049 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Located in the heart of Cork, this spa hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Cork City Hall, University College Cork, and Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Cork University Hospital is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) away. CORK (Station) is 12 minutes by foot.

      The River Lee Hotel €115
      The River Lee Hotel

      The River Lee Hotel

      Western Road, Cork
         
        4.7
        of 5, from 1,435 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Situated on the riverfront, this eco-friendly hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of University College Cork, Glucksman Gallery and Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral. Triskel Arts Centre and Bells of Shandon are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        Jurys Inn Cork €67
        Jurys Inn Cork

        Jurys Inn Cork

        Andersons Quay, Cork
           
          4.1
          of 5, from 1,276 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in the heart of Cork, this eco-friendly hotel is within 6 miles (10 km) of Custom House, Pairc Ui Chaoimh and University College Cork. Cork University Hospital and St. Patrick's Bridge are also within 6 miles (10 km).

          The Metropole Hotel €90
          The Metropole Hotel

          The Metropole Hotel

          MacCurtain Street, Cork
             
            4.1
            of 5, from 1,221 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Victorian Quarter, this hotel is within 6 miles (10 km) of Everyman Palace Theatre, Pairc Ui Chaoimh and University College Cork. Cork University Hospital and St. Patrick's Bridge are also within 6 miles (10 km).

            Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork €74
            Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork

            Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork

            John Redmond Street, Cork
               
              3.8
              of 5, from 847 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              This family-friendly Cork hotel is located in the historical district, just steps away from Bells of Shandon and St. Anne's Shandon Church. Cork Opera House and Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral are also within 6 mi (10 km).

              Rochestown Park Hotel €83
              Rochestown Park Hotel

              Rochestown Park Hotel

              Rochestown Road, Douglas
                 
                4.1
                of 5, from 688 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Situated in Douglas, this spa hotel is within 6 miles (10 km) of Douglas Golf Club, Pairc Ui Chaoimh and Cork University Hospital. Pairc Ui Rinn and Christ the King Church are also within 6 miles (10 km).

                Fota Island Hotel & Spa €110
                Fota Island Hotel & Spa

                Fota Island Hotel & Spa

                Fota Island, Fota
                   
                  4.4
                  of 5, from 498 reviews
                  5.0 out of 5.0

                  Set in Fota, this family-friendly hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Barryscourt Castle, Fota Wildlife Park and Titanic Trail. Cobh Golf Club and Water Rock Golf Course are also within 6 miles (10 km).