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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 247 properties in Cork
The Kingsley €104
The Kingsley

The Kingsley

Victoria Cross, Cork, Cork
     
    4.6
    of 5, from 1,305 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.

    The River Lee Hotel €169
    The River Lee Hotel

    The River Lee Hotel

    Western Road, Cork, Cork
       
      4.7
      of 5, from 1,490 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Situated on the riverfront, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Glucksman Gallery, Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral and Triskel Arts Centre. University College Cork and Cork Opera House are also within 15 minutes. CORK (Station) is 29 minutes by foot.

      Jurys Inn Cork €112
      Jurys Inn Cork

      Jurys Inn Cork

      Andersons Quay, Cork, Cork
         
        4.1
        of 5, from 1,325 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in the heart of Cork, this eco-friendly hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Custom House, University College Cork, and Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Cork University Hospital is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) away. CORK (Station) is 10 minutes by foot.

        The Metropole Hotel €130
        The Metropole Hotel

        The Metropole Hotel

        MacCurtain Street, Cork, Cork
           
          4.1
          of 5, from 1,255 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Victorian Quarter, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Everyman Palace Theatre, University College Cork and Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Cork University Hospital is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) away. CORK (Station) is 9 minutes by foot.

          Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork €90
          Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork

          Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork

          John Redmond Street, Shandon, Cork, Cork
             
            3.8
            of 5, from 873 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 Cork City Hall are also within 15 minutes. CORK (Station) is 16 minutes by foot.

            Rochestown Park Hotel €99
            Rochestown Park Hotel

            Rochestown Park Hotel

            Rochestown Road, Douglas, Cork
               
              4.1
              of 5, from 728 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Situated in Douglas, this spa hotel is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) from Douglas Golf Club and 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Pairc Ui Rinn and Christ the King Church are also within 3 miles (5 km).

              Fota Island Hotel & Spa €126
              Fota Island Hotel & Spa

              Fota Island Hotel & Spa

              Fota Island, Fota, Cork
                 
                4.4
                of 5, from 524 reviews
                5.0 out of 5.0

                This family-friendly Fota hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Fota Wildlife Park, Barryscourt Castle and Fota House Arboretum and Gardens. Titanic Trail and Cobh Golf Club are also within 6 miles (10 km).

                Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City €118
                Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City

                Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City

                Southmall , Cork, Co. Cork
                   
                  4.4
                  of 5, from 43 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in the heart of Cork, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Crane Lane Theatre, University College Cork and Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Cork University Hospital is 2.4 mi (3.8 km) away. CORK (Station) is 12 minutes by foot.

                  Top Deals on Flights

                  These prices were available within the past 7 days. Prices quoted are per person, return, for the period specified. Prices and availability are subject to change. Additional terms apply.