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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 237 properties in Cork
The Kingsley €89
The Kingsley

The Kingsley

Victoria Cross, Cork
     
    4.6
    of 5, from 1,160 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. Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral and Bells of Shandon are also within 2 miles (3 km).

    The River Lee Hotel €117
    The River Lee Hotel

    The River Lee Hotel

    Western Road, Cork
       
      4.7
      of 5, from 1,393 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      This family-friendly Cork hotel is located on the riverfront, 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 €70
      Jurys Inn Cork

      Jurys Inn Cork

      Andersons Quay, Cork
         
        4.1
        of 5, from 1,226 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in the heart of Cork, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Custom House and Cork City Hall. Bells of Shandon and St. Anne's Shandon Church are also within 15 minutes. CORK (Station) is 10 minutes by foot.

        Cork International Hotel €91
        Cork International Hotel

        Cork International Hotel

        Cork Airport Business Park, Cork
           
          4.7
          of 5, from 1,027 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Situated near the airport, this hotel is 2.8 mi (4.6 km) from Frankfield Golf Club and within 6 miles (10 km) of University College Cork and Cork City Hall. Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral and St. Anne's Shandon Church are also within 6 miles (10 km).

          Clayton Hotel Cork City €101
          Clayton Hotel Cork City

          Clayton Hotel Cork City

          Lapps Quay, Cork
             
            4.4
            of 5, from 1,012 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Located in the heart of Cork, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Custom House, Cork City Hall and Bells of Shandon. St. Anne's Shandon Church and Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral are also within 1 mile (2 km). CORK (Station) is 12 minutes by foot.

            Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Cork €73
            Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Cork

            Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Cork

            Ditchley House Little Island, Cork
               
              4.2
              of 5, from 498 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              This family-friendly Cork hotel is located in the business district, 1.8 mi (3 km) from Dunkathel House, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Fota Wildlife Park and Mahon Point Shopping Centre. Paul Street and English Market are also within 6 miles (10 km). Glounthaune Station is 8 minutes by foot.

              Fota Island Hotel & Spa €94
              Fota Island Hotel & Spa

              Fota Island Hotel & Spa

              Fota Island, Fota
                 
                4.5
                of 5, from 480 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).

                The Montenotte Hotel €102
                The Montenotte Hotel

                The Montenotte Hotel

                Middle Glanmire Road, Cork
                   
                  4.0
                  of 5, from 645 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  This family-friendly Cork hotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Holy Family Church, Cork City Hall and Bells of Shandon. St. Anne's Shandon Church and Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral are also within 2 miles (3 km). CORK (Station) is 12 minutes by foot.