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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.

Q: Should I book a car while on holiday in Cork?

A: Experience Cork like a local. Get around the sights of Cobh with ease. Not only will a rental car make things easier, it'll make them more fun too. Sure, you can get around the major cities with public transportation if you need to. But if you're venturing out into the region of Cork or farther afield, take a look at our guide to Cheap Car Hire in Cork.

Q: Which airports can I fly in to for a holiday to Cork?

A: Prepare to fly in to Cork Airport (ORK). You'll most likely be arriving on one of the 885 international flights that operate from this major airport in Cork every month.

Q: What are the most popular types of hotels for a holiday to Cork?

A: From luxury options to those with fewer frills, you have plenty of choice. Many visitors spend their getaway in hotels. Other common sorts of accommodation are bed & breakfasts, apartments and guest houses.

Q: What does a holiday booking with Expedia include?

A: You can choose to plan every detail of your upcoming getaway or let Expedia give you a helping hand with an awesome holiday package. Hotels, flights and cars — we've got them covered. All that's left to do is figure out what activities or experiences you'd like to try.

Q: What is the best way to save money on my holiday to Cork?

A: Book a package with Expedia. It's that simple. Hotels, Flights, Experiences, Rental Cars — work out what you need for your Cork escape and watch your savings grow. It's time to start organising your dream holiday (and save yourself a pretty penny at the same time).

Q: What are the best things to do in Cork?

A: To start with, you could check out Shandon Steeple and National Radio Museum. If you'll be in Cork for another day or two, Elizabeth Fort is another favourite among travellers.

Annie Moore Statue, Lusitania Memorial and Stephen Pearce are well worth taking a look at if Cobh is where you're going to be spending your time.

But if you're only going to be in Mallow, you still won't be left short on options. Mallow The Rebel Trail, Spa House and Ballinamona Golf Course are just the start.




Guide to Exploring Cork


Top Deals on Flights

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Top Hotel Deals

See all 468 properties in Cork
Hotel Isaacs Cork €84
Reviewed on 29 Feb 2020
See details
 
Hotel Isaacs Cork

Hotel Isaacs Cork

48 MacCurtain Street, Cork, Cork
     
    4.2 of 5
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Business, a Show, and Evening Meal. So convenient and Fantastic to have such a facility on the verge of City Centre hence an indubitable 5 stars

    The River Lee Hotel
    Reviewed on 14 Mar 2020
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    The River Lee Hotel

    The River Lee Hotel

    Western Road, Cork, Cork
       
      4.7 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Wonderful breakfast, beautiful views, friendly staff, and clean rooms. Would definitely recommend and stay here again.

      Clayton Hotel Cork City €95
      Reviewed on 4 Mar 2020
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      Clayton Hotel Cork City

      Clayton Hotel Cork City

      Lapps Quay, Cork, Cork
         
        4.4 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Staff were very pleasant and welcoming. However, I was surprised and disappointed to be told that if I wanted a second Cappucino at Breakfast that this was an additional cost of c. €3.75. I don't see this in other hotels, and quite frankly, it's over the top, and unnecessary.

        Hayfield Manor
        Reviewed on 1 Mar 2020
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        Hayfield Manor

        Hayfield Manor

        Perrott Avenue, College Road, Cork, Cork
           
          4.8 of 5
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Unbelievable service and facilities in a wonderful environment. Catered with ease for dietary restrictions in the restaurants and the spa and it’s staff were delightful. Must give a mention to Frank, the concierge who was a pleasure to meet and so helpful.

          Ambassador Hotel & Health Club Cork €137
          Reviewed on 2 Mar 2020
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          Ambassador Hotel & Health Club Cork

          Ambassador Hotel & Health Club Cork

          Military Hill, Saint Lukes Cross, Cork, Cork
             
            4.1 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Very friendly staff and overall a great stay. Rooms need some maintainance, especially bathrooms.

            River's Edge Bed & Breakfast
            Reviewed on 19 May 2019
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            River's Edge Bed & Breakfast

            River's Edge Bed & Breakfast

            The Village, Glengarriff, County Cork
               
              5.0 of 5
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Everything about this b&b is absolutely perfect. I specially appreciated the well appointed, beautifully devorated immaculate room, and the friendliness of host and staff.

              Blarney Castle Hotel
              Reviewed on 20 Mar 2020
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              Blarney Castle Hotel

              Blarney Castle Hotel

              Village Green, Blarney, Cork
                 
                4.4 of 5
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Such a quaint little hotel, with a friendly staff and clean, updated amenities! The receptionist went out of her way to give my wife and I local suggestions for food and sites to see. At night we enjoyed traditional Irish music in the hotel's very cool pub!

                The Montenotte Hotel
                Reviewed on 8 Mar 2020
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                The Montenotte Hotel

                The Montenotte Hotel

                Middle Glanmire Road, Montenotte, Cork, Cork
                   
                  4.1 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Quick and responsive room service. Front desk was kind enough to extend checkout time.

                  Top Activities in Cork

                  See all 23 things to do in Cork (county)